Alex Burness’ article on the poor folks at Picklebric (“Unlicensed co-ops await new laws,” Daily Camera, July 17) showed an absolute lack of journalistic ethics.
If the strong emotions and biases are filtered out of the articles on co-ops the facts that remain are: Over-occupancy is illegal and residents are ignoring this for their own needs.
Facing the front of 765 13th St., one would see nothing to indicate the home is particularly different from its surrounding properties – except for the gaggle of “mature responsible adults” hanging out on the front porch, the tacky Christmas lights still lit up in the middle of July, untended “gardens” choked with weeds, and several dilapidated vehicles displaying expired neighborhood parking passes.
Yes, I’m talking about the “technically” illegal boarding house known to some as “Picklebric”, recently featured on the front page of the Daily Camera. I’m not sure how something can be “technically” illegal. It’s also technically illegal to drive 60 mph in a 25 mph zone – but if there’s no enforcement, you can often get away with it. That’s how it is with occupancy limits in Boulder, where the only means of enforcement is to rely on neighbors to “tattle” (and even then you can probably get the City Council to squelch the complaint). Continue reading “Picklebric – The Real Story”
This article has also been published as a Daily Camera Guest Opinion.
The glorification of the illegal co-op Picklebric by reporter Alex Burness in Sunday’s Daily Camera in conjunction with the simultaneous publication of Picklebric member Steven Winter’s guest opinion creates the impression that the co-op is being persecuted for speaking out in favor of co-operative housing and for being a “good neighbor.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the City is well aware of many of the illegal co-ops that exist (including Picklebric) and has affirmatively chosen not to enforce its over-occupancy ordinance. Mr. Winter seems to think that his neighbors were accepting of Picklebric’s existence until its members spoke out in favor of the proposed co-op ordinance. I would suggest that having 10+ residents and a revolving door of short-term “guests” has more to do with Picklebric’s current situation than its political advocacy. Add backyard concerts, dog parties, group projects and an exponential number of friends with cars and pets and you have created an untenable situation for the neighbors. Continue reading “The Glorification of an Illegal Co-op”
The following letter was sent to Kevin Kaufman, Executive Editor of the Daily Camera, in response to the Picklebric Story in Sunday’s paper.
Dear Mr. Kaufman,
It appears that flagrantly flaunting the law these days, yields you a glorified sob story on the front page along with a self-serving guest opinion published that same day. Alex Burness’ biased, one-sided article on Picklebric’s rental contract not being renewed shows a complete lack of journalistic integrity.
I may not have a degree in journalism but I do know that any quality reporter worth his salt would have had the knowledge to recognize that there are two sides to every story. Burness could have found other people in the community to speak with who are concerned about these proposed ordinances as they are plentiful. He could have referred to the May 17th city council meeting and pulled quotes from concerned citizens during that recorded session. Continue reading “Picklebric Story Lacks Journalistic Integrity”
Thanks for sharing these articles. The July 4th front page article in the NYT about Boulder was reprinted in our local paper in Eugene as well today, so it was a huge PR success for developers seeking to undo decades of carefully crafted local policies so they can build more of everything anywhere. The article is actually a commentary and it is disappointing that the NYT editors would allow something like this to be in their paper, let alone portray it as objective news reporting and placed on the front page. It is a classic example of “data-free analysis” where sweeping generalizations are made about complex issues without the benefit of an actual supporting body of evidence or even a balanced treatment of the subject. There is nothing to indicate that the author is qualified to make such analysis. He fails to provide any actual evidence to support the inflammatory headline and instead, uses out-of-context quotes to try to support his storyline. This highly biased “article” would not have gone anywhere if the NYT had not lent its credibility to the poorly-done story.
I have lots more to say about this, but unfortunately don’t have the funding of developers, large corporations, or a group like the Nation Association of Realtors to pay me to write it.
Fodor & Associates LLC