“The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know, and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.” The Ralph M. Brown Act, California Government Code
This newspaper has been accused of being slanted, of being biased and one-sided. Well, we are biased. We are biased towards full disclosure. We are biased towards truth and transparency. We are one-sided when it comes to the public interest over private interests, public good over personal gain, and facts over fabrication. We are slanted towards a belief in self-governance over governance by special interests, and slanted towards preservation of the natural wonders of our precious mountain environment.
We may use new technologies, but our approach to gathering and reporting the news is definitely old school. We strive to double- and triple-check facts, and, when we get something wrong, we own up to it. We don’t sugarcoat it. We correct it as quickly as possible in our multiple media.
We are beholden to no one. We owe no one any favors. We do have our favorites: Our favorites are families and communities, the inarticulate and the inexperienced, and the first-responders, protectors, healers and caretakers that abound in our communities. Our favorites are the givers, the teachers, the mentors and the role models; those who lead by example, whose deeds speak louder than their words. We tell their stories, so others may learn.
We tilt towards perseverance and persistence. Recognizing that our greatest gifts come from our critics, we provide a soapbox for their views. Recognizing that our greatest lessons come from our missteps, we do not shy away from risk, in the pursuit of truth.
This newspaper has been accused of various conspiracies and vendettas, strong language usually reserved for criminals and other masterminds. These accusations, made in the shadowy world of whispers and emails, sometime percolate into public view, but are always brewed from the same stew, whose ingredients are self-interest, mistrust, cynicism and deceit.
As I have said before, we prefer to keep it simple. To tell it like it is. To demand accountability from those with whom we entrust our resources, our communities, and our children. To play fair. To show respect. To emulate the values of the best of us, and identify the heroes among us.