JOURNALISTIC Malpractice

Citizens Speak, Letters to Editor
Dear Mr. Harbison,
I am offended, shocked, and stunned – but not surprised – at the continuing lack of objectivity and fairness of the News Observer.  I have been a subscriber for more than a decade and a reader for multiple decades.  You are objective and fair with SPORTS reporting, but your paper clearly has a bias –  if not agenda –  in your POLITICAL reporting.  Your front page article in the October 4th edition regarding my wife Jane’s candidacy for City Council treated each allegation and argument of Ms. Barbie Gerald and Mr. Syfan as gospel truth, and made my wife look evasive and untruthful.  Everyone who knows her, knows full well that Jane DOES NOT LIE OR EXAGGERATE, nor did she when signing her qualification affidavit UNDER OATH stating that she was a resident of the City of Blue Ridge qualified to run for a seat on the City Council.  That, sir, is TRUE, and the Superior Court will so rule.
What you didn’t report was the bombshell evidence at the “hearing” that Mr. Syfan represented Angie Arp personally.  Yes, to deprive Jane of her constitutional right to run for public office, Mr. Syfan ginned up a challenge to Jane’s residency and held a so-called “hearing.”   What was clear as a bell (and your reporter knows it because he was there) was that Ms. Gerald was unqualified to be an Election Superintendent thereby allowing her to be exactly what they wanted her to be – a mere pawn and shill for Mr. Syfan and his block of City Council members who have had a choke hold on the City Council for the past 4-8 years.  The resulting dysfunction (to put it charitably) of that controlled council has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds from the City and put them into the pockets of none other than Mr. Syfan.  Indeed, he profits from mayhem, confusion, and dissent!  And this election chicanery is just the latest example because it, too, will end up costing the City as it continues to pay for the bad and self-interested advice of a hopelessly conflicted  counselor – Mr. Syfan.
Also newsworthy, but ignored by your paper, was that the delayed occupancy of our home at Sycamore Crossing was DUE TO “THE CITY” which forced us to stop work on our apartment on the second floor over Sycamore Crossing thereby delaying our expected April 2016 move-in.  By the way, Sycamore Crossing is now recognized as the “meeting place” and landmark property in the City of Blue Ridge – and all because of a person who Mr. Syfan and Angie Arp have thrown off the ballot.  Not qualified to run? Garbage!
Look also at page A7 “CANDIDATES SPEAK—”  where you carry photos of eight (8) candidates that chose to attend, participate, speak and answer questions at the only public community forum for the city council election.  Notably, HOWEVER, there were nine (9) candidates there – the ninth being JANE WHALEY who garnered loud applause for her candor, honesty and commitment to Blue Ridge – while her opponent didn’t even do the only thing he has done for the City in his eight (8) years on the council – show up.  Where was your fairness and objectivity on page 7.  Jane will be ordered back onto the ballot, and she will run and win a seat on the City Council.  That is when you will start to truly see a Better Blue Ridge!
Sincerely,
Bill Whaley M.D.

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