Friday, May 30, 2014

Let's Do the Numbers

Last night I was startled to read the following in the Sun article about Thursday's joint meeting of the CA Board and the Inner Arbor Trust:

"Many of the residents who testified at the meeting did so in favor of the plan, although there were some who criticized it."

My first thought was, it's too bad there wasn't someone from the press there to take an accurate count.

Oh. Yeah.

For the first time in recent memory, the vast majority of those who turned out to speak at a CA Board meeting did so in favor of moving Columbia forward. If you weren't there, the press account gives you absolutely no idea this occurred.

The numbers really matter.

It made me wonder what other newspaper stories would be like without the numbers:

  • Many cast their votes for Smith, although some voted for Jones.
  • The Orioles scored many runs, but some were scored by the Red Sox.
  • The school budget allocates many dollars for testing, with some for teachers salaries.
  • Many of the pollutants were found to come from the factory, although some were unattributable to any particular source.
  • Test results show that many of the students improved, but some did not.

If you found yourself describing a neighborhood barbecue, or a child's lemonade stand, you might not feel it necessary to nail down the numbers. But this is the real thing, real news happening in Columbia, Maryland.

It counts.

For the record, of those who spoke about the Inner Arbor plan for Symphony Woods:

12 in favor

3 against

1 with several questions (difficult to discern for or against)

I think that could have been reported.

I think that should have been reported.

The next step for the Inner Arbor plan will be a presentation before the Planning Board some time this summer. I will share the date as soon as I know it. I want to see many of you there.

And I want some mention of how many in the newspaper.






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