Monday, March 06, 2006

A doctor, a chairman, a publisher, and a city council meeting tonight.

Today in New Albany, it’s Dr. Dan Eichenberger’s turn to bask in the media spotlight, with his NA Health blog being examined by the Courier-Journal’s Alex Davis.

Community newsmaker/Dan Eichenberger: Doctor's blog takes on Indiana medical establishment.

Eichenberger, now 42, said he remains committed to the hospital's success -- even though his blog, NA Health, sometimes criticizes its management.

Eichenberger said he launched it last fall to offer a conservative view on health-care issues in Southern Indiana. He said it's a way to state his case that Floyd Memorial needs to change.

NA Confidential is delighted at being cited by Dr. Dan as a source of inspiration. Verily, there’s something fermenting here in New Albany, with the only question being whether the finished product will be fine ale or vinegar.


It’s a shame that the New Albany Tribune continues to refrain from archiving letters to the editor at its web site.

Sunday’s editorial page featured a lengthy and thoughtful missive from county councilman and Democratic Party chief Randy Stumler, with a companion and equally compelling column by Tribune publisher John Tucker.

Ostensibly, these two pieces addressed separate topics, but upon closer examination, they came to resemble a productive conversation of the sort where both speakers come away having learned something useful.

Randy’s letter was an examination of political and personal conscience, in which he explored his own evolving reaction to comments about the Democratic Party that had been offered by the ubiquitous Dr. Dan in a recent E-Board listing.

Rather than submit a response in the heat of the moment, Randy decided to telephone Dr. Dan, and by doing so submitted to an exchange of viewpoints that reinforced his commitment to empathy in dialogue, while not altering his fundamental Democratic political conviction, which he described as co-exists with his personal Christian faith.

John’s column was similarly introspective, considering the topic of bias in the news media and making the case that a certain degree of bias exists in every person, institution and human endeavor, and that in itself, this is not odious so long as there is no accompanying (and, as in the case of FOX-NEWS, disingenuous) pretext of objectivity.

Given that Randy cited the comic strip Mallard Fillmore as an example of failure to “walk in the other’s shoes,” and that it only recently began appearing on the Tribune’s editorial page accompanied by the explicit disclaimer that its inclusion was made necessary by liberal bias in the media, I’m guessing that the timing of the Sunday commentaries wasn’t exactly coincidental.

Good thing, too, because by being placed together on the same page, the effect of both was vastly enhanced.

According to John, if the newspaper is “doing (its) job right,” it functions as a reflection of the “multitude of beliefs and opinions that exist within Southern Indiana,” and he added:

It’s probably better to explain our purpose – to make a positive impact in our community … we want to highlight what is good about living in this area – the people and the places. We also want to bring to light the problems we are facing and by doing so we hope that our community will be able to address and rectify those problems.

Randy closed with this:

I don’t believe that the majority of my party have lost our true purpose. I believe that most people who enter public service want to do just that … if you want to contribute to making a difference here in Floyd County, do this: Pray for understanding, and pray for peace. Then pray for the courage to follow through with actions and words of the same caliber.

Can Randy articulate a vision that unites the horribly disparate wings of his party, do so in a way that is consistent with the principles he espoused in yesterday’s letter, and finish the job before the city's Neanderthal faction kills New Albany for another generation or three?

Can John remake the Tribune and purge the vestiges of sloth and passivity that have defined the newspaper for so long, do so in the face of steady encroachment by other forms of media, and finish the job before the populace forgets how to read at a kindergarten level?

Good luck to both men. They’ll need it.

I wonder what sort of consultancy fees are charged by Mikhail Gorbachev?


The Sunday Tribune’s “Quote of Note” came from former Floyd County prosecutor Stan Faith:

“(The Camm family) has threatened me, spit on my car, cornered me in Wal-Mart, glared at (me and my family) and intimidated us.”

Just another reason to boycott Wal-Mart, wouldn’t you say?


Here's the official notice and link to the agenda:


And remember that on each and every council meeting night, the Luddite Bar & Grill offers all-night trogaoke and half-price innuendo.


Iamhoosier said...

A couple of weeks ago the 'bune had a front page article by Mr. Morris concerning the amount of money being spent on justice and law enforcement in Floyd County. I have forgotten the exact context but Mr. Morris attributed the following quote(or very close) to Mr. Stumler. "Can't something be done to eliminate crime?" That was it, no other context or comment.

Now either Mr. Stumler is the most ignorant person on earth or Mr. Morris is one poor reporter/writer or some editor is very poor. I have never met any of the above people but I refuse to believe that Mr. Stumler is that ignorant. I have read the 'bune for years and don't have a real problem believing a combination of the last two options.

Brandon W. Smith said...

Just speculating, but perhaps he was suggesting that we spend resources addressing the conditions that encourage crime in addition to law enforcement/justice?

Iamhoosier said...

Yeah, I know there had to be more to it. I meant to keep a copy but the fish had to be wrapped in something! The way it was written/edited was extremely poor. I could not do it but then I am not being paid to.

The New Albanian said...

I agree with Brandon.

The last time I attended a County Council meeting and discussion turned to the costs of building a new jail, Randy commented to the effect that money spent on prevention and addressing the root causes of crime might be better spent.

I have the quote somewhere in my notes at home.

Iamhoosier said...

The article is from Feb. 15. Found it in the archives by searching for "Stumler".