I was happy to see the media pay some attention to the siting plans of the Army Corps of Engineers for an Army Reserve Training Center on Boardman Lane in Westfield. Happier still to see that the Middletown Eye, had a more complete accounting (Eye reporters tend to stay until the end of important meetings and events, and as residents, observe with a different concern than most reporters).
Undoubtedly, Common Council member understand how important it is to keep the residents of Westfield happy. They are a large, cohesive, vocal, voting block. And right now, they are pissed. Democratic council members seem clear about how important it is to keep the WRA on their side. Not so sure about the Republican members.
It's also becoming clear that despite the many professions of patriotism and cooperation, there aren't many neighborhoods in town which want to host a gargantuan military training base which, in the end, will have a negative economic impact on town.
And now, the Army needs to get the message loud and clear - look elsewhere.
What struck me simultaneously as hilarious and tragic, is the angle taken by the Middletown Press, and by Channel 3. With all the negative impact that this army base might have, both of these news organizations focused on the poor farm animals that will be displaced. Typically Americans seem more apt to react strongly to some distress experienced by a cat, dog, dolphin, bear or donkey, then they will to a starving family in Darfur. And the members of the media understand this. So we get front page photos of the poor miniature donkeys who will be sent far from their homes and lead stories on the 11 0'clock news covering the same thing.
But if these asses can prevent other asses from building an Army Reserve Training Center that townspeople don't want, then I'll be the first to kiss those asses.