Sheesh! A whole damned page on Sunday dedicated to the School Board handcuffing someone during the time for public comment and its not sufficiently important to put on the Trib’s website. Considering their limp treatment of the subject they may have good reason to hide it away.
Here’s the Trib:
“Its no secret that the man, Loren Martell…has become a roll-of-the-eyes, here-he-comes-again headache for some School Board members.”
Well, that settles it. He’s not civil enough just to shut up an go away after he demonstrated the Board Chair expunges public criticism from the public record and has adopted all together different public policies from the promises he once made as a candidate. In fact this is evidently a mark of courage according to the Trib.
“The turnabout was courageous, to say the least. He set aside his personal feelings for the good of the community and with the best interest of constituents in mind.”
No doubt when Tuesday roles around and he votes to violate another promise not to invoke eminent domain this will be yet another sign of Tim Grover’s courage. The Trib then quotes, invokes really, Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson by tell us that public comment is “…a privilege, not a right.” Thankfully the Trib goes on to elaborate saying “…it is the right thing to do.” There is, however, a caveat “members of the public…should ….remain civil….”
Ah but because of Tim Grover and other Board member’s sensitivity Mr. Martell probably crossed that line by making “trouble and to incite negative publicity?” Funny but that seems to me to be the crux of this. Duluth should be ecstatic about our new schools and the generous school board is sick and tired of carping from the sidelines. How uncivil. And by inciting negative publicity Board Member says with the Trib’s apparent agreement that she’s frightened by the soft spoken yet tenacious Mr. Martell. He has “pushed the Board to the point of alarm, prompting the need for police at School Board meetings” Why the district is even keeping track of his public comments on DVD. Why? For future use in a harassment suit maybe? Ms. Seliga Punyko would probably prefer to be a public official in China where critics of things like mass removal can be quietly put in prison.
Punyko is quoted in the editorial as saying “For teh last 10 months, ever meeting, he has grown more and more agitated. Every meeting he has gotten worse and worse, so much so that we feel threatened.”
Oh let’s role out those DVDs and see why if Mr. Martell has gotten “worse and worse” the Tribune’s editorial began by expressing surprise that Mr. Martell was carted away in cuffs when they wrote: “…the summoning of a police officer to remove Martell was a bit of an eye-popper…” My guess is that if Martell had been worse and worse as described no one’s eyes would have popped.
After this milchtoast criticism of the Board majority’s heavy-handedness the Trib quotes its former Editor, Virgil Swing, not a fan of censorship, and then concludes mildly “Everyone’s opinion is important. A diversity of views often leads to the best solutions. But all views have to be allowed to be heard first.”
Of course, if the views belong to a guy whose stubbornness leads to eye rolling, maybe its not that big a deal if you cuff him. Yeah for the first amendment!