Sunday, November 27, 2022

City Council, November 28th

The front page today had a story I've been wanting all late summer and fall. Vegetable gardens seemed to be a real struggle this year, and I wondered how the professionals were handling the growing season.

Front page on the growing season and climate

The body of the article was great. It surveyed a broad range of farmers growing food, drink, and ornamental plants. 

The headline focused on the wet and cold, which is true, but perhaps did not place it in the correct context. It could be read as an ordinary vicissitude of farming. But the season was not altogether inexplicable. The body of the piece correctly centered climate disruption, which yields both flood and drought, and makes the swings between more wild.

No fact-checking

Farther in the paper, the piece on the community survey was a dud, soliciting the hate-clicks and rage-reads, without doing any fact-checking. Were the sentiments well-founded? You'd never know.

A different mood - via Twitter

But if the city is so terrible right now, so badly off track, the mood so sour, why did the holiday parade seem like a success? The real story about the city has to be more nuanced.

The front page story on the growing season sought facts even as it also expressed mood. It placed the detail of this growing season in the context of previous growing seasons and prospects for future growing seasons. It was great to read.

Mismatch in NYC on crime - via Twitter

The piece about the community survey just summarized it, and did not make much effort to interpret and analyze it. What are the actual problems, and what are misguided complaints? Is there any bias or disproportion in the way crime, housing, and homelessness are reported in the news? What is appearance or mood and what is empirically grounded reality? A great piece would be to take the results of each question in the survey and fact-check them, to try to sift just criticism from groundless complaint, and equally to find unwarranted praise.

Council meets on Monday and aside from the proposal for an adjustment to the mural code and the URA grant exception for the D'Arcy buildings downtown mentioned a couple days ago, from here the items look light, and so bullets only:

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