The crew at the newspaper sometimes gets giddy. We also occasionally get bored. There are only two newspapers a week (thus the reason it’s called a biweekly) and we start thinking of conspiracies. It passes the time.
On down days, I go searching for Bigfoot or the perfect beer as to keep myself entertained. As this is a blog, I admit these things freely. I harass the local politicians for sport or I go visit people that I find are interesting as they usually can lead me to something.
News is not found in press releases. It’s found by talking to people on the street or at least that’s the old school journalist in me coming out. I believe you listen, you find out things.
Over the past few days, we’ve had a little bit of excitement. UT Martin budget cuts, the Grand Jury convened which is always a big time, the obits kept us busy (probably the most popular page in our newspaper, right behind the Sheriff’s report. Who is dead and who is in jail. Very popular with the locals.)
Big doings, I assure you.
I only give you that bit of background to say occasionally we run into things that gobsmack us. Mainly because it’s just so out in the Twilight Zone that we are perplexed. Remember, twice a week is when we come out which has a different rhythm to seven deadlines a day (I actually miss those days. Kept me on my toes.)
We have our own little dumping problem in Hoots, which Editor Bates has been on the case about. I have found people do not like to talk about dumping or the environment. They especially don’t want to talk about these things due to the recent disaster in Harriman with TVA. Because it’s not in the “city” per say and in the county, everyone is sort of wondering who is in charge of this debacle. They do not want to be disturbed.
However, this is disturbing and it needs to be dealt with.
Here’s a photo taken by Editor Bates:
The owners of a trailer park have been taking money from the residents for their garbage to be picked up. Needless to say the management did not pay the garbage pickup people, although the residents paid for their garbage to be removed. If you pay for a service in your rent, and then that service is not fulfilled, would that be “theft by deception?” Something to consider.
There is also this:
Nice. Top fold, today’s paper if you were wondering.
Now, you may be asking why I’m being snarky about this. I will tell you, 16 families rent from this trailer park. They don’t have a lot of money and their stories have been somewhat just thrown to the wayside. After we took pictures, one of the families who we spoke to was evicted the next day.
I do not know if there was grounds to evict him or not. That’s not the point.
The point is simple. When children are playing near garbage, when Bates is stepping over dirty diapers and dog intestines where the children are living yards away, I think it goes without saying that there is a problem here.
And because of the socioeconomic background of many of the folks living there, just packing up and moving isn’t always an option. Residents are living there because they have no where else to go.
The people with the health department are 50 miles away from Hoots so, of course, we had to wait. We always have to wait. It comes with the territory. They did come. We have been assured that we will have a report from them later in the day.
Now, I also want to say that people have tried to help. Members of the city went outside their jurisdiction to help, however, who’s jurisdiction is it? And, in all honesty, who cares. This needs to be cleaned up. The owners should clean it up (which apparently they’ve started doing once the cameras came out.) Remember, journalist or not, if you get your camera out, people usually start doing what they should have done all along.
That water, however, is going to be nasty when the mosquitoes come back in a few months.
And that’s what we are working on today.
Everyone, no matter where they live or what they do, deserves to be treated with value.