Buffett knows score when it comes to the need for newspapers
On March 1 Warren Buffett released his letter to Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders. I had no intention of reading all 24 pages, or for that matter any pages at all, but these few paragraphs were brought to my attention.
During the last year, he has purchased 28 daily newspapers, to the tune of $344 million. I found his reasoning clear and informed (they don’t call him “The Oracle of Omaha” for nothing), and thought it fitting to reproduce his words here, in our Daily Gazette:
“Now the world has changed. Stock market quotes and the details of national sports events are old news long before the presses begin to roll. The Internet offers extensive information about both available jobs and homes. Television bombards viewers with political, national and international news.
“In one area of interest after another, newspapers have, therefore, lost their ‘primacy.’ And, as their audiences have fallen, so has advertising. (Revenues from ‘help wanted’ classified ads — long a huge source of income for newspapers — have plunged more than 90 percent in the past 12 years.)
“Newspapers continue to reign supreme, however, in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what’s going on in your town — whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football — there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job.
“A reader’s eyes may glaze over after they take in a couple of paragraphs about Canadian tariffs or political developments in Pakistan; a story about the reader himself or his neighbors will be read to the end.
“Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents.”
I could not agree more. If we have a “sense of community,” our local newspaper is a resource for all of us.
Kudos to Glendaal, and Lake Ave., film students
I wish to thank the Gazette for continuing to cover positive stories coming out of area schools, like the one about“How to UnMake a Bully’s ‘Better Actions Now’” program March 9. We are honored by the attention, and the students are excited to be part of the story. I hope to see a lot more coverage, in the Gazette and other media, about many of the great things schools are doing to build character.
The children, families and staff at Glendaal School deserve recognition for completing the 26-minute movie with me in only 48 hours. It was an honor to earn a Silver, the highest Telly award, above companies like Warner Bros., Disney and Scholastic, who took home bronzes in the same category.
This is not to say that Lake Avenue students [incorrectly credited in the original story for having won the silver] haven’t also earned recognition for the excellent work they’re doing. Lake Avenue is a National Blue Ribbon school, and in fact their “Better Actions Now” commercials aired on Fox through last summer. So they too have been recognized! Being at Lake Avenue — just like Glendaal — is like being home, as it has been for all of the schools I’ve visited so far.
I hope to find a home in more area schools with our anti-bullying media program, and to one day help earn accolades for all students who are actively trying to make their towns, and this world, a better place, rich in good character.
Mike (MR. MIKE) Feurstein
Mayor Johnson shows his scorn for democracy
Mayor Scott Johnson was quoted in The Saratoga Wire calling those who spoke at the public hearing Feb. 26 “basically the same old cast of characters.” The mayor continued: “You know, bring me somebody new that I can actually believe in. Don’t parade the same people to me on the same issue again and again. It has no effect.”
The mayor appears to be saying: “Send me people who think like me. When I want your opinion, I’ll tell you what it is.”
The mayor’s comment reminds me of ancient Rome’s autocratic emperor Caligula, who did not gladly entertain conflicting views. Caligula, according to history, suffered a bad end, but not, sadly, before indulging the public’s and his own blood lust.
Thanks, Mr. Mayor — the same ol’ cast of characters who came before you at the public hearing were simply your fellow citizens advocating for America’s precious democratic process, which traditionally has been nurtured by bipartisanship — negotiation and open discussion.
None of the public hearing speakers announced their party affiliation, nobody pushed a partisan agenda. Mr. Mayor, do you truly see these people, who are faithful to the core values of democracy, as just “the same old cast of characters?”
Please consider that these “characters” stand in a long line of distinguished patriots like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.
These folks are on your side, Mr. Mayor — you should be on theirs.
Ballston board’s critic is the clueless one
Stephen Stark’s March 4 letter [“Ballston board clueless on climate reality”] indicated that the Ballston Town Board was clueless when it came to global warming. One might get the impression that Mr. Stark actually attended the meeting. He did not.
One might get the impression that the resolution passed by the board actually mentioned global warming. [It] did not. The resolution supported home rule, property rights and environmental action by our elected officials. Who is clueless?
For the record, this Town Board has an excellent record on the environment. We have worked for cleaner air by addressing blacktop plants in industrial areas, passed solar legislation and now are working on improving the water quality of Ballston Lake with a town sewer initiative.
The Ballston Town Board looks forward to continuing its efforts to help town residents; this needless negativity drags everyone down.
The writer is a town councilman.
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