Newspaper Should Have Checked Its Facts

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Editor:

Pine has had a water problem for more years than most people can remember. This problem is exasperated by individuals who present personal opinions as fact, leaving people who are trying to make informed decisions completely mystified and creating a situation which leaves the problem unsolved.

One expects a newspaper to be above the spreading of opinions as fact. However, the Payson Roundup is just as guilty as many others of spreading opinion as fact in the article "Petition out to stop Pine well deal."

My first clue to the lack of verification of information presented in the article occurred when I tried to find the Arizona statute referenced in the article. I could not find the article because of an improper cite. I believe that if the newspaper had done its homework, a proper cite would have been provided in the article.

Further, if the deal between Brooke Utilities and Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District is illegal, why didn't the attorneys in the employ of Gila County so inform the board, before the deal was made? Are the county attorneys remiss in their duties?

Other things referred to in the article, that should have been researched, include the following:

The article quotes someone as saying the proposed site for the well is close to a septic tank. Who owns the septic tank? How far away is it? What would be an acceptable distance? How did the reporter verify this information?

The article gives information about Brooke Utilities expenditures and profit. Where was this information gathered? Did the person being interviewed gain this information from personal examination of original documents or was this information obtained secondhand? If secondhand, who gave this information and how was it gained? How did the reporter verify this information?

The article also warns of possible problems from Salt River Project. What documents were personally examined to verify this statement? Was this statement based on secondhand information. Who provided the person being interviewed with the information? Was this information gained from original documents? How did the reporter verify this information?

The article states that at 80-by-100 feet, the proposed well site is too small. What is the proper minimum size? Where can you get information concerning proper size? How did the reporter verify this information?

Please do not think I am a loyal Brooke supporter. Please do not believe that I ardently support the well proposal. I simply would like to be provided with fact.

I expect a newspaper to do its homework and provide verified fact. Please do not become an instrument for the spreading of unverified opinions.

Bernice Winandy, Pine

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