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Registration's Thorny Issue

Original post made by Kiko on Mar 21, 2009

In response to making people register for postings on the parcel tax issue, what ever happened to "...IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF AN OPEN FORUM TO MAKE EVERYONE REGISTER IN ORDER TO POST." This was posted by Gina Channell-Allen (PW 7-2-08) in her post "Shall we trample the rose because of the thorns?"

I think the roses need water, Mr. Bing, and you need to read her post. Of course, maybe you don't want an open forum...then you have accomplished your goal.

Comments (26)

Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 21, 2009 at 10:23 am

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Kiko, I responded to your post in the Streetwise thread. Please know that the decision to restrict those threads to registered users only was not Jeb's alone and involved me and the other members of the editorial staff.

Here's part of what I said in the other post: "A healthy debate is an exchange of ideas. The forum threads that were closed contained name-calling, bullying, and the like - not a healthy debate. We will not condone this disrespectful behavior or allow it to continue."

We saw all the threads moving from healthy to disrespectful. While I do believe that requiring registration defeats the purpose of an open forum, I also believe that an open forum should be free of name-calling and bullying - particularly when specific individuals are being named. That is unacceptable. And all the parcel tax-related posts were headed that way. So we decided to slow it down by asking people to register. Please note we didn't close the threads, but by requiring registration we were hoping that people would be more inclined to stop and think about what they were typing and the affect it might have.

The PW encourages debate, even when you debate our policies and question why we do things. But please understand there are four people monitoring these threads as close to 24/7 as humanly possible, and we might see things posts that are unacceptable and remove them before you (hopeful) see them. Some were really ugly.

We are relying on our TS users to adhere to our terms of use and stick to the debate and not move toward personal attacks, foul language, and hateful diatribes.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:08 am


I think you need to consider hiring a web usability design person to redesign the graphical interface of your site. Good typography is just as important on a website as it is on a newspaper. On a page with long comments, it can get difficult to separate one poster's comments from another because they visually blend in with each other. I've seen it happen before with someone responding to comments they thought I had written and I think it happened to the person who wrote about Jennifer Cohn. Design elements on the comments section such as zebra striping, numbering, and even avatars can help improve readability and reduce misunderstandings.

Posted by Kiko, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

GC-A, I understand the logic of the argument for registration and I don't condone nor engage in bullying attacks on individuals with different viewpoints.What I don't get is that if posters can register using any name or address how this is going to stop the bullying unless that by registering you can delete that persons ability to make future posts. I don't know if you have this ability, but this may have been your reasoning.

At any rate, it appears that PW has been totally overwhelmed by the volume of the respone to the parcel tax topic and that alone speaks volumes for an open forum.

Posted by Kiko, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

GC-A, I forgot to add that I am registered using another name, but I have chosen not to use it becuase it flies in the face of the open forum policy.

Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:55 am

GCA-Can you say why the thread on "Facing Layoffs" was locked down? I have seen my posts pulled, have apologized when rightly called out on another, and actually asked for one of my own to be pulled. It makes me rethink how I posted and how I could have done it better. Locking down a thread gives me no insight to what was considered distasteful, particularly because all the posts still are shown on that thread as far as I can tell.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 21, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Why suddenly does the PW feel they need a policy change to control name calling, etc.? It smacks of selective policy-making depending upon what they personally support or don't support. This simply appears to be a form of censorship. The parcel tax thread is hardly the first thread to have name calling and other bad behavior in it. There have been many in the past with the apparently same degree of behavior.

PW, you have now set in motion a policy that you have to continually apply whenever a thread becomes controversial, irrespective of the subject. If you don't, it will clearly prove your biases. There is no going back once you have crossed this line.

Readers, you should expect this policy to be the norm for all controversial subjects in the future. That is, whenever there is bad behavior in threads concerning a subject the thread will be closed to only registered users.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm

They went away, frank, they're not listening. Their logic in convulted and yours isn't because you don't have an agenda.

Posted by Fletch, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2009 at 3:47 am

So why isn't the Weekly clamping down on the blog about the SUV accident on Sunol Blvd? There is a lot of name calling and rude things being said there.

Since it doesn't have anything to do with the parcel tax and isn't contrary to the PW's stance, I guess it is OK. Frank is absolutely correct that the PW has set a new policy in action but clearly, they only want to pick on the parcel tax threads.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 22, 2009 at 8:34 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'd like to take this moment to give a big thank you to the person who was impersonating me about 8 hours ago on numerous threads, including the SUV accident one. You've just illustrated perfectly for all readers why all posting activity should be restricted to registered users only.

Posted by DJohns, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

DJohns is a registered user.

You said controlling the parcel tax threads was a joint decision. Did you all support the justification of condemning one side of the argument?
To suggest this action was necessary because one side was being unkind to the other was just not true. The suggestion that the side that questions the parcel tax, were the ones being mean was very biased.
There was challenge from both sides but nothing that grown-ups shouldn't be able to deal with. Both sides were able to defend themselves as a few teachers made clear in their harsh posts as well.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

You are all beating a dead horse. They are not going to change their slanted position. The question is not why they did this, the real question is who's pulling the strings that made them do this. They can't be getting all their revenue from adverts, there's just not that much of it. So...who is the puppet master.

Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:32 am

You can ignore my post GINA(or Emily)because I choose to hide my real name. I am one that fears repercussions for me and my school age children not supporting the tax. I assure you that I'm still a Pleasanton homeowner, taxpayer, father, husband, friend... kind citizen, helpful neighbor...etc.
But because I don't sign in with my real name ON AN ANONYMOUS opinions will be ignored? Even Gina says "I do believe that requiring registration defeats the purpose of an open forum"...She claims that " The forum threads that were closed contained name-calling, bullying, and the like - not a healthy debate. We will not condone this disrespectful behavior or allow it to continue."....OK I get it, but why do you allow it on ALL of the other threads? Name calling and bullying, and "flamming"..or whatever it's called, is a regular part of this site. It's a shame, but it happens everyday, on every thread... People are mean to one another and it is overlooked by the PW staff EVERYDAY. Why do you take a stand on the parcel tax issue? Whats different with this topic as opposed to other emotional community issues?
Now, how can you ignore "DJohns" when he asked you a direct question. He registered, right? He asked you "Who's behind the decisions made" and who decides which side YOU have to support (as a paper). BETTER YET.... can the PW please respond to ANY of the posts by "Frank"..or "Joe"...or myself. Can you try to tell me that we're wrong? Can you say that you (as a staff) don't support the tax? Are you guys NEUTRAL? ... AND...why is this topic being "controlled" by you guys when SO many other topic get MORE nasty and disrespectful with name calling and abusive language? So after you answer some or all of those questions, THEN you can start to work on improving your tarnished reputation.

Posted by Non-registered, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:14 am

Hey PW,

You want to see some "name-calling, bullying, and the like" go back and read the "Prop. 8" threads. Many of the comments on those threads make the "parcel tax" threads seem like childs play.

Posted by Also non-registered, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 4:17 am

Here's where we first started seeing this interesting pattern of closing threads that were anywhere near questioning PW's reporting, but leaving others with a lot of vicious statements wide open:

Web Link

Web Link

Posted by Carl, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 24, 2009 at 6:30 am

Seems the Staples Ranch topic is rising in the 'vitriol' ranking. What is it with topics of taxes, property, education, children, politics and marriage that bring out human expressions of passion and emotion?

Posted by unclehomerr.., a resident of Downtown
on Mar 24, 2009 at 8:08 am

If you take the real estate ads out of the Weekly.. there isn't much left. News OR advertising.

Parcel tax.. Stoneridge extension.. Staples Ranch... all have real extate roots. Could it be??


Posted by dancermom, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

I support control of this section and requiring registered users to identify themselves. I have seen so much misinformation, bias, and name-calling on many issues here (from the Oak Grove thing, to Stoneridge Extension, to the parcel tax) and many come from the same fake names. I ended up only checking this once in a blue moon because I became disappointed at the malicious commenting.

Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

Dancermom, Could you please point out what you believe is misinformation and bias? I, for one, don't mind that you are anonymous and unregistered, like myself. I am not bothered that one person may post as more than one (I am not doing that) because I am just reading the information provided, considering the validity of the information, and deciding whether I agree with the information. If I don't agree, I will look for and post the other perspective with the facts I can find.

Posted by observer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I believe that some of you are confused about the word "Bias," Let me clear it up. When an individual writes and pushes HARD for their side of an issue, that is simply debating. When the Pleasanton Weekly exserts their power to control the direction of the conversation of that issue, that is BIAS!
DancerMom, I would LOVE for you or anyone else to provide proof of "misinformation" on behalf of the anti-parcel group. As far as I have read here, they are the ones sticking to facts and the pro parcel group is relying on emotional outbursts.
All above is my opinion only, and is considered for entertainment purposes only. Thank you

Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Its pretty bland around here since PW wants registered posts. Looks like nobody wants to comment on those eggs being recalled. Did the puppet master(s) get their way ? Well, the "open forum" seems to have bitten the dust. Well played,PW,but is it checkmate ?

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 27, 2009 at 11:29 am

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

What are you complaining about? How is requiring FREE registration a limitation on free speech? Anybody can make a FREE gmail and register here. Are you paranoid or just lazy?

Regarding misinformation, the original post for "More Money Does Not Fix Education!" contains ridiculous figures I've been unable to find elsewhere. I repeatedly asked for links to no avail. Yes, the thread was started by an unregistered "Get Real".

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

Stacey is a registered user.


I don't know where the writer of that thread got their data from, but a quick Google search for "washington dc per pupil spending" came up with this article from the Washington Times as a first hit: Web Link

"The most common per-pupil figure used for D.C. Public Schools is an estimated $13,000....But the actual dollar amount is $24,600 - which is "roughly $10,000 more than the average for area private schools," as Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute pointed out in his April 4 blog, "The Real Cost of Public Schools." ...Total funding for D.C. Public Schools this fiscal year (including federal dollars) was $1.216 billion. He divided that by the official enrollment figure of 49,422 and the sum became $24,606. "

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 27, 2009 at 11:48 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I guess using the same basic math above... lists PUSD as having 14,613 students.
The PUSD budget is $124MM
That gives roughly $8485 per pupil, which is a higher number than the "Get Real" poster wrote (he must have confused ADA with per pupil spending).

I suppose that number is on-track since the per pupil spending was $7,935 in 2005/2006 according to greatschools/NCES.

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Thanks for the link and info Stacey!
Even though DC is a district, not a State/County, that's still a heck of a lot of money. Another way to look at it is that we get a heck of a lot for our money here in Pleasanton.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Check to AVHS Dud

Posted by Jill, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 27, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Stacey and AVHS Dad...are you on the wrong post? Doesn't matter, you two are topic killers anyway

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

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