McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

08.24.06 -- EDITORIAL: All Hail the First

What I missed when I didn't get past Freedom of Speech and Press Freedoms

By CHER PHILLIPS

Last year I took this amazing class called Spirituality and Communication. Part of the assigned work was creating an inspiration journal surrounding themes brought up in the class.

My instructor is a friend of mine. She asked if she could take my journal to class to show new students an example. So, I was looking at it through the eyes of someone who'd never seen it, reading all the quotes figuratively for the first time.

Because I'm a freedom-of-expression geek, there is a page in my journal devoted to the First Amendment. I laid out the quote last year in PhotoShop, set the font and all that. But reading it again today, something struck me that I didn't realize before.

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It's the last clause that caught my eye ... no laws prohibiting the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A petition to the Government as a freedom of speech ... I remembered Scott Walker saying something of the kind when former Council President Joe Phillips wanted to remove citizen board members for signing the recalls. I just missed the context.

I've not made any statements for or against the recall petitions. I didn't sign them. I didn't actually SEE them until long after they'd been turned in so I didn't have to make that choice.

I admit that it would have been a hard one. Given that I live in the Cove, I might have felt like I owed it to my neighbors to sign the recalls. Given that I witnessed the February Workshop meeting and deeply believe in the importance of our state's Sunshine Laws, I might have felt obligated to sign the petitions.

But I do report here and people do read this. When it comes down to it, I wouldn't have signed the recalls for the same reason I have always been a registered independent in this state. I know in Florida that cuts me out from voting in the Primary Elections. By not choosing a party, I retain an objectivity I need to feel ethical in how I do my job. It's the same thing with the recall petitions.

I've not made any editorial statements about the recall petitions, Danaya Wright's defense in her resignation letter and Strange's official defense filed at the office. I've kept reports on Strange's decision to sue over the minute details and the theory surrounding his recall petition to what I could find in record or could ask in an interview. And I am not going to rant, nor throw Darts, nor award Laurels.

But I sure would like to point out that last line of the First Amendment again ... no abridging the freedom "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Casey Girardin told me tonight there is a tentative court date set the law suit for next Tuesday.


***

I still hope to get defenses on line since I was able to post Strange's complaint. But UF decided to start a little thing called the Fall semester so I've been a wee bit busy.

posted by Cher @ 5:19 PM,

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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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"A Popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." - James Madison, 1822

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