An Editorial (of sorts)
By Bill Eagle
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I rarely write my own things here on the web page; however some accusations have been made about this page in blogs elsewhere; accusations that I think should be answered.
I started the St. Helens Update around November 2000. I borrowed the name for my web page from Jim Huffmans' Scappoose City Update. People encouraged me to establish a web presence. I had recently received State, Regional, and National awards for Volunteerism, and I was chair of both City and County Parks. A group of my neighbors approached and encouraged me to try and run for a position on the St. Helens City Council. I was upset with the old City Council in what I perceived as their "Good old boy" mentality. I was appalled by the city doing business with Council members. I had the feeling that some of these elected officials involvement with government was motivated more by personal profit, than by public good.
I decided that I could change things for the better, so along with another candidate (Peter Alotta) I ran for a City Council seat. I just knew that people could see that we needed a change and that we would most certainly win.
I was mistaken. We lost.
That should have been the end of this web page, but some of my neighbors on Wagner Street thought differently, and I was encouraged by them to continue. I have kept my site going ever since. They saw the St. Helens update as an opportunity to make their feelings known without being the object of someone's personal retribution.
Several accusations have been hurled at me and at my web page.
1. The St. Helens Update is Joe Corsiglia's webpage.
2. All articles are "Joe Corsiglia approved."
3. I will only accept letters that are complimentary to Corsiglia
4. I censor what is printed on the webpage.
5. Joe writes most of the letters and barbs on the page
*I do have to admit that I am biased. I do like Joe Corsiglia. I have never made a secret of this; but that does not stop me from liking other people as well. The St. Helens Update is MY WEBPAGE not Joe Corsiglias', or any one else's web page. No one else owns the Update.
*Joe Corsiglia does not see or approve anything on my web page. He is not told in advance what I print, or for that matter cares what I print.
*I will most certainly accept all letters and barbs, even if they aren't complimentary to Corsiglia, to me, or anyone else that I might consider friends. Not only will I accept them, but I will print them. In the eight years that I have been running the Update, I believe that there were only three or four letters that I refused to print. I am not a censor. I refused to print those letters because I thought that they were overly abusive, and might cause hurt. One letter that I refused to print, was a letter implying that a city council person was on drugs. Another letter that I refused to print was from someone in Clatskanie informing me that Earl Fisher's son was a sex offender. (I only mention this now because Fisher told the South County Spotlight that his son was caught in a sex sting).
* I am repeating myself, but I do not censor letters. I will sometimes (when I have time) correct spelling, but most often I will post what ever is sent me (except, of course, if it is over the line, and might get me or someone else sued).
* Joe Corsiglia is not a major contributor to my web page. I wish that Joe did write some things for my page. I would love him to do a column like "Tammy's Take" giving us his view of being a commissioner, and keeping us informed about some of the issues in our county. For that matter, I would love Rita Bernhard or even Tony Hyde to contribute. We, as citizens need to know more about what is going on in our County.
I have received very few letters from Joe Corsiglia. Most of the letters that I received were during my first year of publication and they were signed by him. Rest assured, Joe is not a "mystery contributor."
I would love to have people send me letters of disagreement. I don't "out people," I don't editorialize, and I don't censor people. All I ask is that people try and exercise a modicum of sanity in what they post, and please try and tell the truth; at least the truth as they see it.
The update is here. I hope that it remains civil and that what is printed does not get as nasty as the blogs seem to be getting elsewhere. People can be mean, and I hope that you will refrain from this. I respect what people have to offer, and all I ask is that you try and show respect for others in return. I will still protect your anonymity and I do encourage you to post.
The St. Helens update is not an ordinary web page, nor is St. Helens an "ordinary" community.