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I spoke with Scott Wedel yesterday. He wanted to clarify that he in no way defended our policy, prior to 2009, when we allowed anyone who provided us with an email address to comment anonymously on the site. In 2009, we went to a policy of verifying identities before allowing users to then post under a pseudonym. Scott Wedel felt this policy went far enough. He opposed going from that policy to our current one in which all comments appear with names attached. Scott is correct in his assessment and I apologize if the column was not clear on that point.
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Thanks to you all for all participating in our forum. I recognize that there are other forums you could choose which may have different or perhaps more inviting policies and approaches. I appreciate that you read our newspaper and contribute to the discussion.
I agree with Edith. The exhibit is very impressive. My wife and daughter especially enjoyed it.
Scott Wedel said in an earlier post "it seems to me that a reliable indicator of the economic situation is the number of Help Wanted ads in the newspaper compared to the number of modest rent housing available. During the boom there were as many as 200 help wanted ads with 20 or so available housing units."
Scott's numbers are a little off, but he is certainly right that classified employment and rental advertising tell the story of our economy the past five years. During the first quarter of 2007 (the boom time) the ratio of employment advertising to rental advertising was 5:1. As the housing market collapsed and the unemployment rate rose, that ratio began to shrink rapidly and by the first quarter of 2009, rental advertising had surpassed employment advertising. For two years, rental advertising outpaced employment advertising until the first quarter of 2011 when employment crept past rental advertising.
In the first quarter of 2012, employment advertising is up 30 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. In fact, employment advertising was at its highest level since the 1st quarter of 2008. Conversely, rental advertising is down 12 percent in the first quarter and is at its lowest level since the first quarter of 2008. The ratio of employment ads to rental ads is up to 2:1, certainly not the ratio we saw during the boom, but the healthiest it has been in 4 years.
One other note -- Legal advertising, driven largely by foreclosure notices, is down 30% from its record pace in 2011. That's a positive sign that the rate of foreclosures is slowing.
So I guess what I am saying is that the Scotts -- Wedel, Ford and Stanford -- are in agreement that all the data anecdotal, statistical and newspaper, point to a moderately improving economy driven by slightly more jobs and a little better housing market. But it is not 2007.
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If an anonymous poster wants to preserve their previous anonymous comments while still posting using their real names in the future, this can be accomplished by creating a new account using a different email address.
Good luck Erik!
Tshirtguy is the pseudonym for an individual who posts on our online comment board. Tshirtguy is not the owner of Crown Prints, an employe of Crown Prints or affiliated in any way with Crown Prints.
General Manager, Steamboat Today
The Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board's role is to take a stance on community issues on behalf of the newspaper. This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Editorial Board, whose members are listed at the top of this opinion piece, including community representatives. Certainly we understand, accept and invite differing opinions, both in this forum and in print.
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