Friday, March 23, 2007

Duarte Gets Some Love

I've complained more than once that Duarte never gets much media coverage. And when it does, well . . . recently I read a Marc Lifsher LAT article about workman's comp that began with the story of a man injured while "clearing a sewer line in Duarte"; then there is the Duarte resident recently convicted, in the words of Ruby Gonzales in the Whittier Daily News, "of beating, strangling and throwing an El Monte man down a mountainside."

So I was shocked to see a more serious, Duarte-centric story in the SGV Trib by Emanuel Parker about a jockey in the especially nice part of town who wants to build a little higher than zoning laws allow—this is making national rounds. And it was nice to see another article by Emanuel Parker in the SGV Trib about Duarte Mayor Lois Gaston's 2007 State of the City speech, in which Gaston "credited city staff with cutting $800,000 from the city budget. The city now has a projected surplus of $74,200 with just under $5.6 million in reserve, she said." Mayor Gaston is pretty happy these days—just listen to her.

Helped by a new "A-" credit rating that will enable a money saving restructuring of redevelopment agency debt, as well as landing a new Best Buy that will generate lots of precious sales tax revenue, as well as the possibility of getting some federal gold for the gold line, the city is well poised to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

So the SGV Trib also ran a glowing op-ed entitled "50 years worth celebrating," refering to Mayor Gaston as "one of the Valley's most dedicated and capable mayors," which reads like a city press release. And you know, I think Duarte and the powers that be over there deserve a good portion of all this.

As I've mentioned before, Duarte deserves kudos for being on top of that whole podcast thing. And I hear their local Senor Fish has great ceviche.

At the same time, however, Duarte (along with other foothill cities) deserves more frequent, serious coverage in the local media generally, be it good or bad, focusing on the most significant political issues in the city. Without such coverage, there is no way of telling if there is "another side of the story" that needs to be told, or if and when city press releases need some qualifying.

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