Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just the facts, Ma'am, Just the facts

Oh, sometimes there are plenty of facts but hard to get a true perspective.  Two articles in the South Jersey Times newspaper are full of facts.  The one titled "Newfield Council can fire, hire volunteer fire company members Appellate Court says" gives facts about the Appellate Court decision and hints at some of the roots of the long-standing feud between the fire company and the council - what goes on the marquee sign.  The one titled "Newfield Fire Company claims it was removed from service; council president says that's not true" in the online version or titled "Who will respond to fire calls?" in the paper version has each side alleging the other side is lying.

Neither side is lying; just giving their interpretations of the facts, context, and consequences from their own perspectives, particularly the consequences.  The 1950's TV show Dragnet implied that all you needed to get at the truth of a situation was facts but to evaluate consequence we humans need context too.  Context and consequence are what make history and entertainment compelling.  The possibility of drama will draw residents to the Borough Council Meeting Thurs Feb 12, 7:30 pm, no matter which side they are supporting.  Personally, I am wishing for a sweet anti-climatic moment where both sides shake hands and the feud is permanently ended with the fire company minding its own membership and the Borough Council working on the real problems of the town - like the slightly radioactive slag pile left by ShieldAlloy Corporation metallurgy operations; the bare bones budget situation, how to move into the next 20 years with an improving quality of life for residents.  Foolishly, I continue to root for the happy ending.  Isn't that the definition of insanity?

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