7.06.2006

Sloppy reporting on Waltham development

Time for Borderline's monthly anti-development rant, and while I'm at it, I'll throw a barb at the Globe, too, for some really poor reporting.

You may remember a few months back I took Waltham city councillors to task for a pro-development proposal they support ("Councillors Tarallo, Logan and Kelly and their pro-development zoning proposal"). Well, Chris Reidy and Stephanie V. Siek and Thomas C. Palmer Jr. of the Globe had an article about this issue as well, "N.Y. company to redevelop Polaroid site in Waltham" which does a great disservice to the residents of this city. These two reporters basically spend several hundred words gushing over development plans for the Polaroid property, as well the councillors' zoning plans which give "developers the chance to upgrade about a half-dozen older buildings in the new district."

All of the developers and politicians code-words for profitable endeavors at the expense of the citizens are in the story. "Mixed Use", "new zoning designations", "best suburban market", etc. Developers, politicians, and businessmen are quoted throughout the story.

But not once did the Globe bother to interview ordinary Waltham residents to see what we think about yet more development. Come on! Three crack reporters couldn't wear out a little shoe leather and talk to folks who live near this "zone"? Are our opinions so unimportant that no one bothers to ask what we think? Or did the reporters actually try, but the quotes were removed because there wasn't enough space?

There's a bit of sloppiness in this article too: At one point (paragraph 2) the article says "residences" might be in the mix (I'm sure the local condo industry would love that!) and a hotel but the rest of the article is all about office space, shops and restaurants. No description of how residences or hotels would be allowed.

Nice job, fourth estate. Thanks for sticking up for the little guys.


Borderline's earlier posts on real estate:


Borderline isn't the only one alarmed by out-of-control development in Waltham

Local housing bubble deflates

Newton housing bubble?

Borderline prediction comes true: Housing prices decline

News Tribune sucks up to the realtors

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