Reporter Editorials: Hope springing, the supervisor’s letter

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | A sure sign of spring — a piping plover cruising over Shell Beach at sunset.

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | A sure sign of spring — a piping plover cruising over Shell Beach at sunset.

Visible signs

If nothing else, the winter of 2013-2014 has provided us with endless small talk openings to more substantial conversations. But even though the calendar says it’s been spring for a week, you could’ve fooled us, although this weekend holds some promise.

But living here, we don’t have to wait for truly warm weather or yellow blasts of forsythia to tell us winter is a memory. Living on the Island, we can witness spring on the wing when those magnificent fish hawks, the ospreys, return from their Florida and Caribbean winter quarters.

A smaller winged harbinger is here, too. The piping plovers have been spotted with their melodious penny whistle voices and mad dashes across beaches foraging for food, or skimming low across the water in shifting formations.

Emily Dickinson was right: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul …”

Mr. Dougherty’s letter

In a letter to the editor, Supervisor Jim Dougherty (see previous post) has proposed the notion that the Reporter’s stories on properties that he originally said could be bought or leased (amended by him later to be only available for lease) had frightened away a potential customer.

What are we to make of this? Probably nothing, except a politician not taking responsibility for what he said on the record.

We can understand people misspeaking, and clearly reported that the supervisor later said he had no intention of entertaining offers to sell open space as he had originally said.

But implying that the Reporter is stopping town real estate transactions is absurd.

In his letter, the supervisor also writes that he’s “at a loss why preliminary conversations raises negative front page coverage.”

This is an old complaint. Reporting news that some might see as putting an office holder in an unfavorable light is of course seen by the public official as “negative.”