LETTER: Blog’s ‘Policy of ‘No Comments’ allowed from public is dead wrong…’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

The B-Town Blog policy of “No Comments” allowed from the public is dead wrong. Here’s why: Those candidates who choose to prohibit comments obviously DO NOT want to hear from you, the public.

What they do want to do is tell you about themselves and share some of their ideas and history and perhaps their visions for Burien. That’s all good and I thank each one of them for that. I thank them for their clarity and honesty and point of view.

What they don’t want to do is hear from you. Not a comment. No.

Not your thoughts. No. Not your feedback. No. Nothing from you about them. Not one single thing from you. So sorry public. We’ll tell you but you won’t be allowed to tell us.

I thought candidates welcomed feedback and were anxious to hear from the public. After all, candidatea hope to be elected to represent the public.

To close down public discussion is wrong. Those candidates who have chosen NOT to hear from the public will not be getting my vote. Those candidates who reject the value of public feedback will not get my vote.

Let’s instead have transparency and openness and frank exchanges.

That’s what I hope for in Burien.

Those qualities are the qualities I hope candidates will embrace and celebrate.

– Sally Nelson

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our ~90,000+ monthly Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please cite your sources, remain civil and – pending our careful review – we’ll consider publishing it.]

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22 Responses to “LETTER: Blog’s ‘Policy of ‘No Comments’ allowed from public is dead wrong…’”
  1. Update from BTB Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer:

    In the spirit of transparency, please allow me to explain what happened:

    – In early July, a paid political Advertiser emailed text to me. I originally (and mistakenly) thought this text was meant to be posted as a “Blogvertorial” sponsored post (which we allow for all our Advertisers).

    – This Advertiser requested that comments be turned off (something we allow paid Advertisers to do). 

    – After that story was posted as a “Blogvertorial,” the Advertiser emailed me and let me know that the text was meant to be posted as a Letter to the Editor (“LTE”), so I quickly revised it and changed it to a LTE, but I left the comments turned off.

    – Other candidates soon learned that I allowed a candidate’s LTE to be posted with comments disabled, and asked me to do the same for them…so I did that (for two others) since I had already established that policy…by mistake 🙁

    – Former Burien Mayor Sally Nelson called me and complained about this issue. I explained my mistake and how it happened over the telephone.

    In conclusion, I would like to apologize to all our Readers and Advertisers for making this mistake. I value a civil dialogue and believe that allowing Comments is a vital part of our role in local media.

    I’d also like to thank Sally Nelson (and others) who brought this issue to my attention.

    NOTE: From this point forward (7/16/17), South King Media’s Letter to the Editor policy will be to *always* allow Comments to be enabled (in addition to requiring use of full, real names and civil tone, etc. – see our revised policy here: http://b-townblog.com/how-to-submit-to-the-blog/).

    We have also re-enabled Comments on the previous Letters that were closed.

    Scott Schaefer

  2. Lee Moyer says:

    It is not clear if you require the use of a full real name only to submit a LTE or if a full real name is required for comments as well. I’d support the latter since it would certainly reduce the spite comments.

  3. Laura Stiles says:

    I applaud your change in policy to now require real, full names of commenters.

    • Captain obvious says:

      To verify names and actual comments connected to them would be a tough job and time consuming . Even though I hide my name. I have always been open to a login system where a copy of are real name and contact information is kept on file ether offline or online on a secured sever and verify but we can have a different name or avatar for commenting if we choose to do so.

      This one reason why I don’t use nextdoor.com they want use of full name and that can lead to issues. Of not only abuse but in the selling and trading of information on mailing lists. Even though it may be rare there are people that collect that type of information to make money from.

      It’s also really easy to get some address from there full name all you really have to do is cut and paste there name into any search site and usually there full address will come up some ware with in the results. From there you can find all sorts of information.

    • Annoying Factchecker says:

      According to the accompanying link provided, the policy only applies to the person who wants to submit an official letter to the editor, not commenters. That’s a different policy.

      • Laura Helms says:

        Hmmm… yes it appears that I misunderstood the new policy. While it’s definitely great to require real full name for letters to the editor, I am very disappointed that it doesn’t also apply to commenters. Way too many snarky, uninformed comments have been posted by anonymous commenters. If they are so sure of their positions, why won’t they come out into the light and identify themselves?

        • FYI Laura we are also working on revising our Commenting function soon…thanks!

          • Clean it up! says:

            Scott, Laura and all who would like full names of those who comment, I understand why this sounds reasonable, but there are good reasons for not publishing one’s name on the Internet let alone in one’s local community. As a senior who lives alone one needs to be careful of those who might use such information let alone retaliate. As I have often mentioned, I am dealing with continuous vandalism and these creeps are not someone that you want to give any information to.
            On a side note, it seems one could always make-up a seemingly sounding regular name anyway, like Bill Mason, Sue Jones, etc. Unless the blog wants to verify all names, this seems a can of worms to sort out.
            I like posting here because I was raised in Burien. I try to vary my posts and avoid being mean spirited. I will admit to liking my point of view 🙂 but I try to let other’s take or leave it, as they please.
            If it would be at all helpful, I do not mind sharing my name with The Blog staff if it would be held from being published.

  4. Martin C says:

    Thank you for owning this Scott. Thank you also for the opportunity of sharing my LTE with the citizens.

  5. Darla says:

    The intent in creating a “closed comment” at the end of the announcement to run for City Council was about creating an unadulterated message to voters of Burien Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, regardless of whose message it is, a “closed comment” for every candidate is wise. I am not the only candidate who is verbally attacked via this blog and other Social Media.

    Having a point of view that may be different than yours is my right and privilege. I have been threatened, verbally abused, and much worse because I want a safe and prosperous Burien. Please notice, I said Burien, NOT Seattle.

    And that’s what the key issues of this election are really about. Seattle politics in Burien. Failed Seattle Politics. Seattle should be our cautionary tale. There is much to learn from its policy failures and bankrupt political machine. Are these lessons lost on you?

    There are currently seventeen people running for four Burien city council seats. I will be generous and estimate eight of these candidates actually care deeply for Burien and Burien’s future. They seem to have no political or social agenda that would cost our city as it has cost the city of Seattle.

    Politics in Burien has become a blood sport because of comments like this. You use your past status as a weapon to use against those you disagree with instead of positively supporting your candidate, you choose to wreak havoc against those you don’t.

    Many seem to think it’s acceptable to disparage, threaten, harass, outright lie and otherwise torment people they don’t agree with. It’s not ok, it’s not ethical and I have full faith that the greater Burien populace see’s through this type of behavior.

    These people have no interest in a productive conversation, nor do they offer real solutions. They love the status quo and want nothing more than a collective group-think echo chamber. Their perspective is filtered through their intolerance and preconceived ideas. I have challenged many to offer solutions to our problems. Not one has ever been able to do that. Why? Because their intent is to tear down and render impotent any idea they disagree with, rather then work to solve the problems in an effective and productive way.

    I don’t take running for the Burien City Council lightly. I decided to run because it was the right thing to do. There were many, many residents in Burien who made it very clear that they wanted me to run, and are in full support of my vision for a safe and prosperous Burien. It’s a shame you and others choose not to share that vision. But it is always easier to destroy than it is to create, isn’t it? It is always easier to criticize and attack than it is to put in the work to solve our problems. We are seeing this on the national stage right now, aren’t we? Some people more intent on destroying the individual than fostering success for the whole. As witnessed on the current, dysfunctional Burien City Council, who is held hostage by personal agendas, higher political aspirations and ego.

    I am happy to have productive conversation, I am reachable via email, phone, or at my place of business. Perhaps we can discuss our ideas for making Burien safe and prosperous.

    Burien is no place for Seattle Failed politics. I vow to put Burien’s best interests ahead of outside interests that are attempting to take over Burien.

    I would be a resounding NO VOTE on:

    Safe Injection Sites
    Low-Barrier Shelters
    15NOW (a sure small business detriment!)
    Increase in B&O taxes

    The above are FAILED policies in Seattle and would not be in Burien’s best interests and in fact will only cost Burien’s citizens their safety, security and harmony.

    I will support:

    Adding to our Police Department
    Anti-Panhandling ordinance
    Active enforcement of code compliance – Business & Residential
    Business friendly policies
    Balancing Burien’s budget
    Youth recreation facilities
    Advocating for all of Burien

    This election is our best chance to stop the radical, failed Seattle policies continuing here.

    My commitment will be to bring much needed common sense back to our local government and to put crime reduction and economic development as top priorities. If elected, I will vigorously and responsibly confront these issues that affect our community with strong leadership, courage, and empathy.

    • Captain obvious says:

      Interesting you state burien and not Seattle but your own website for your business is http://www.skinperfectinseattle.com/ not http://www.skinperfectinburien.com. This really makes it look as you don’t want people to know your in burien until there ready to call for appointment.

      • Darla says:

        Hey CO,

        That is a business tactic and works very well. Having my website be SEO for Seattle/Burien/surrounding cities has been vital in my success.

        Thank you for checking out my website! Now try http://www.DarlaGreen.com as well.


        • Clean it up! says:

          Yes, ‘Bait and switch’ has been used for centuries by everyone from used car dealers to horse traders. I seem to recall a current council member who used it pretty successfully to get elected. Implying she would be for all of Burien’s citizens before revealing her unique brand of brinkmanship.

    • Clean it up! says:

      I appreciate your post Darla. It helps us to know who you really are. I like the things you are for (and several of the things you are not for) but, I don’t hear how you propose to pay for any of these things.

      You depict Seattle as a failed city, but in actuality Seattle is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s biggest problems are how to deal with it’s success. Meanwhile here we are in Burien with empty store fronts (old and new) and spending our money on things like changing our logo, and street markers. You say you want to be supportive of small businesses, but we need to hear just how you would do that. The devil is in the details.

      I need to hear candidates with thoughtful ideas of how to make Burien prosper at this ideal time for growth, not be angry as a wet hen about non-consequential comments.
      I want to hear about ideas for ALL of Burien not just 152nd.

      • Jack says:

        I work everyday in the downtown core of Seattle and have observed increasing crime, trash and chaos. The only reason that Seattle appears to be growing economically is because of mega businesses who are putting the small family stores out of business. Seattle has been influenced by developers to throw up expensive housing without thought to infrastructure. I don’t want Burien to be swallowed up in a similar way. Many of new faces running for council are recent transplants who have funding from outside sources. I wonder why…?

  6. Maenad says:

    Darla, you have blocked so many people on social media at this point I would venture that you don’t even know why. I realize that you are telling your supporters that you have only blocked those who have been abusive toward you, because playing the victim suits you. I have disagreed with you without attacking you personally, and you blocked before I even knew who you were. Part of being a city council member is representing and listening to even those you disagree with. Your inability to even pretend to listen makes you completely unsuited for the position you are seeking, regardless of your position on the issues. Sadly, some of the other candidates you have aligned with have also picked up this sad twisted little habit. I sincerely hope that the citizens of Burien can see through your political games.

    • Darla says:

      In regards to blocking people:

      It has come to my attention that there are a few select people who are upset for being blocked on my social media pages.
      Let me be clear, I do not block people unless or until it becomes clear they are harassing, are disparaging, are threatening, use foul language, create negative and circular commentary that is baiting and combative, or use a post to introduce non-topical challenges that are not Burien related. There are people whose only goal seems to be to wreak havoc and to sow discord.

      This behavior is not what I am about.

      I reserve the right to moderate my social media pages at my discretion. It is called Liberty.

      I would like to remind people, I have family and children, just as you, and this behavior affect’s my children’s and family’s view of Burien and it’s residents.

      One thing I am NOT, is a “victim” –

      Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, Similarly, criminals often engage in victim thinking, believing themselves to be moral and engaging in crime only as a reaction to an immoral world and furthermore feeling that police are unfairly singling them out for persecution.

      As for you T.Maened, I will represent you fairly regardless of your constant attacks that go back almost three years ago when I originally ran for BCC, just as I will represent every Burien resident – Bold, fiscally responsible leadership, that will put Burien FIRST in all decisions.

      Remember to check out http://www.DarlaGreen.com

      • Jack says:

        I do not know Darla, but can agree that I have witnessed the attacks against her the past few months on the Burien Facebook pages by several of the same people repeatedly. These people seem to be set on destroying her reputation. It has been disturbing to me to observe the venom directed at her just because they are blocked or don’t agree with her political stances. As I stated, I have no ties to her, but keep the names of the attackers in my memory in case I ever meet these “neighbors”.

        • Clean it up! says:

          Jack, I only know Darla from her current posts and last campaigns videos and coverage. I don’t do any social media beyond this blog. My sense is that, she needs to ‘get on with it’, She says she is not a victim, too much and doesn’t seem to know how to turn the corner on the topic. Give it a cold shoulder and move on. If she is for ALL of Burien, let’s hear about it. I want some details about how she and the other candidates would support the various business districts and neighborhoods within Burien’s boundaries. What are her plans for helping businesses. Does she care about those who are living on fixed/limited incomes and worried about being priced out of their housing? Or, does she even know or care about this significant part of Burien’s population? These are examples of real topics to be talking about. Bring up the house lights on Burien and stop spotlighting being a victim of one kind or another. The old “if you can’t take the heat (or know how to deal with it) get out of the kitchen” still applies.

      • Captain obvious says:

        I would like to ask Darla have you had any more run ins with the ex meth head that was pointing and laughing at your business.

  7. Burien Res says:

    “These people have no interest in a productive conversation, nor do they offer real solutions. They love the status quo and want nothing more than a collective group-think echo chamber. Their perspective is filtered through their intolerance and preconceived ideas. I have challenged many to offer solutions to our problems. Not one has ever been able to do that. Why? Because their intent is to tear down and render impotent any idea they disagree with, rather then work to solve the problems in an effective and productive way.”
    Were there more than one of you looking in the mirror when you wrote that statement? It seems that productive conversation for you is when someone agrees with you.

  8. Maenad says:

    Darla, since you blocked me so soon after I arrived in Burien, I think your case for “constant” attacks is on shaky ground. If I cannot see anything you post or comment on, how can I possibly attack you? People will disagree with you, that’s not sowing discord, that’s called having a discussion. I have never attacked you personally, I have disagreed with your stated positions, but I have never made it personal. Sorry, but I just don’t trust that you would represent ALL of Burien, and that’s my opinion, which I am free to share and publish, and yes, that’s me exercising my freedom of speech.

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