Ms. Joseph: As Matthew Schniper told you this morning, we will be more than happy to review any documentation/information you would like to share with us. You may send to Matthew directly or to newsroom(at)csindy.com. — Kirk Woundy, Editor
To be clear, Mad Dog 20 20, IndyJones is not the Independent. There is no relation. And we fact-check all letters before going to press, though we cannot do the same for online comments. Thanks for reading.
As mentioned in my email to you earlier today, I removed your comment because it constituted a personal attack, which is against our comments policy. (You can read that policy here: http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/User…)
Curious, here are two people from our "Misfire" story, talking about why an impartial analysis is important:
Darrell Schulte, fire behavior and planning instructor: "I would think that an 'outside' opinion of the way the fire was handled would be valuable to the entities, because it would most likely be less biased by internal politics, etc."
Gordon Routley, a former fire chief and consultant who's investigated high-profile fatal fires: In an internal review, "Everybody is looking to cover their ass."
As I wrote in response to another commenter yesterday, the city thus far — as evidenced in its Initial After Action Report, and in its refusal to answer questions — has done little to indicate that its own analysis is going to be thorough. Compare its IAAR assessment of "public safety response" and "planning" — both termed "major strengths" — to the reports from the firefighters on the ground, and you see some pretty striking disharmony.
As for mistrust in government, newspapers exist in large part to ensure that governmental leaders act honestly, and are answerable to their constituents. No matter who they are, leaders are always going to be scrutinized if journalists are doing their jobs.
To Sirius Lee: Normally, we’d simply remove a comment like yours, given that it contains personal attacks, and is also both factually inaccurate and libelous. (Pam was not fired from the Gazette; we’re proud to say we hired her away from the Gazette.) But at this point, in a story as important as this one, we’d rather avoid any claims that we’re “censoring” the debate.
As for the idea that we’d invest months into this report in order to “get vengeance” for the firing of Penny Culbreth-Graft, a city official who’s been gone for almost three years — and whom we covered critically when it appeared warranted (see, for instance, http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/culb…) — I must admit, that’s one I didn’t see coming.
In fact, our motivation in doing this story is fairly simple. Analyzing the response is the only way we're all going to learn from this fire, so that maybe when the next one comes around, it won’t be so devastating.
And the city thus far — as evidenced in its Initial After Action Report, and in its refusal to answer questions about all this, for months now — has done little to indicate that its own analysis is going to be thorough. Compare its IAAR assessment of "public safety response" and "planning" — both termed "major strengths" — to the reports from the firefighters on the ground, and you see some pretty striking disharmony.
Finally, to jeffkochisok: Thanks for checking back in, my friend. But “acerbic”? Don’t tell me that all that time in California has made you soft …
Seen Too Much,
We removed the comments earlier, and a couple more since, because the personal attacks within those comments violate the terms of our user agreement. That agreement — which we realized yesterday had been accidentally removed from our website — is as follows:
"The Colorado Springs Independent requires that users register for access to add comments or post forum entries on the site. This is done to avoid anonymous posts and cut down on unproductive comments. Please ensure responses to required registration entries are factual, or you will be removed from the system. Other entries are optional, but you are responsible for their content.
"The content of comments and user posts are the responsibility of the poster. We expect posters to refrain from inflammatory and/or hate language, which will be grounds for deletion. Please be considerate and stay on-topic, particularly in comments. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
"Colorado Springs Independent management reserves the right to delete posts or comments for any reason, although we are under no obligation to do so.
"We plan to send regular updates via e-mail to those registered members who opt to join our mailing list. Mailing list recipients can opt out at any time by altering their profile or by replying to the opt-out link in any mailing list e-mail message.
"By registering, you agree to the above conditions and you affirm that you have read the privacy statement. If this agreement and/or privacy statement is altered in any way, members will be notified by e-mail and changes will be posted."
Within the next few days, we will be able to ensure that the user agreement is restored to a prominent place on the site. In the meantime, please accept our apologies for any frustration or confusion this may have caused.
In response to DesignGuy: Thanks for your post. Our statement that "All submissions become the property of the Independent" has been revised as follows:
"The Independent retains the right to use any submitted logo in Independent-related forums including, but not limited to, print, csindy.com and m.csindy.com. The creator retains all remaining rights."
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