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Hello and goodbye

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Bill Dwyer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10/September/2013 at 7:01pm

As I've learned quite painfully the past year, "all things shall pass."

Now, I find myself sitting here waiting for my last day as a working daily journalist on Wednesday, Sept. 11. And I feel the need to comment on a couple things.

For years I’ve posted here and in the local papers under a screen name, due to being a working journalist. Mr. D., Just the Facts, Bill from Melrose Park South, and several others. As FYI on the Wednesday Journal website.

The ethic presented was that one couldn’t be “fair and balanced” if one was voicing an opinion on matters one was reporting on.

Personally, this “one” always disagreed with that contention. The issue for me has never been “fair and balanced.” It’s always been “accuracy and comprehensive, inclusive” reporting. Reporting that put things in genuine context.

I've always believed that, if you got all the facts right and the context straight, you would inherently be fair.

From now on I'll go by the name my parents gave me- Bill Dwyer.

And as I prepare to shed my journalistic harness and leave the newspaper business for a two-plus-year hiatus- maybe longer- to write about only the things that truly matter to me, I want to say this:

Newspapers matter.  Whether most people realize it or not; whether you agree with everything they publish or not, what newspaper do and how they do it matters. They simply can’t be replaced.

Some fools think newspapers don’t matter, that they’re biased and flawed and unneeded. Those fools are wrong. And, unfortunately, more numerous than I originally suspected.

I’ve worked for both local newspapers that serve this area at times over the past 12 years. And I’ve seen close up the dedication they bring to the task of informing people of what’s actually going on.

In detail, with documented facts and a clear narrative that inevitably makes some people uncomfortable.

It’s never been perfect, but the goal has always been to bring essential facts and context to the public, even if many times it seemed the public didn’t care.

As both newspaper chains that cover this area- Wednesday Journal Inc. and Pioneer Press- reorganize and, in the process, unfortunately diminish, I hope some people are reconsidering supporting them and what they do. Because while it’s time for me to move on, it will never be time for newspapers to cease doing what they were designed to do.

Without newspapers, the only way people learn of major issues- and too often the corruption or administrative ineptness that impact them financially and socially- is when local units of government see fit to let them in on things. Usually through self-congratulatory newsletters and websites that tell us nothing about the reality of the situation and the motives underlying it all.

In other words, the truth surfaces infrequently if at all. Especially in the Kremlin-like atmosphere of Forest Park municipal governance.

Oak Park officials can be pretty damn opaque when it suits certain people’s purposes, by the way. River Forest too, though not recently. 

It’s human nature, and more often than not, the darker angels of our nature hold sway over the better angels when there are things we want covered up. 

The one institution in this country explicitly protected and encouraged by our Constitution to speak the truth to our darker angels is the free press.

So while I intend to continue to expound and disclose on this website, I don’t for a minute expect to be a substitute for a journalist-in-harness working hard on a regular basis to dig out the inconvenient facts and figures that put the lie to what some people are feeding you.

For one thing, I just spent my last evening sitting in a chair watching a village board meeting. And while I'll miss regularly seeing some of the people I've covered, I'm happy to be relieved of the duty of having to show up regardless of what I'd rather be doing that evening.

Think of that the next time you see a reporter taking notes for hours at a village board meeting. And asking questions that piss off people who'd prefer to not have to provide answers. 

As for me, I’ll still be watching what those journalists do. And probably digging a bit myself. And commenting. 

I look forward to the arguments here- honest and otherwise. This, of course, being Proviso Township. 



Edited by Bill Dwyer - 10/September/2013 at 9:48pm
Facts are a bitch and the truth most hurts the liars
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote logic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/September/2013 at 10:05am
Aw, Bill, we always knew "it had to be you".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Dwyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/September/2013 at 8:22pm
Careful, dear.... you're dating yourself.  :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/September/2013 at 7:39am
You did make it fun for the fetishists obsessed with FPF anonymity. <cue Bob Hope>

Not sure where you'd like to see this go, but good luck. May your tools and skills never get rusty.
"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote logic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/September/2013 at 11:47am
Get a room:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Dwyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/September/2013 at 11:11pm
Will a garage do?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote logic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/October/2013 at 7:21am
"Not sure where you'd like to see this go, but good luck. May your tools and skills never get rusty."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 1:39pm
I moved this to the Quality of Life section so it wouldn't knock other topics off the screen.

It was hinted by Observer in the Review comments that Bill D. has posted simultaneously as his various screen names on FPF. In actuality, Bill has changed screen names over the years for far less nefarious motive. I can't recall each change/shift, but mostly the occurrence of a new screen name has been because of computer issues (read: he lost his password). The "style" of his posts has never varied whether as Mr. D, Dunlop Man, Just the Facts,... or now as Bill Dwyer.

Each time he has moved to a new account, he's stopped posting as whatever had come before. Several posters over the years have adopted multiple screen names and continued to post under both/all of their personae. That's never been the case with Bill. It was mildly amusing when they argued with each other or used their alter as cheerleader/second source/agree-er to bolster their rants. Most often they'd get confused over which of them had said what...hilarity ensued?

At other times, members who broke the rules found their accounts "muzzled". They simply made a new account and kept right on ranting until that account too was closed. A new category of member was created, SEAGULL, to identify those who rarely came here to discuss anything. They fly in, make a lot of noise, crap on everything and then fly away. For many "observers" those exchanges represented what FPF was all about. Mission Accomplished.

But FPF didn't go away. While the number of regular posters dwindled, whenever a new issue came up or an older issue flared up, other members joined in the exchange.

All in all, the critics and their complaints about what has taken place on FPF have been false. The most stunning example came from Forest Parker who claimed we(I) regularly deleted messages from "pro-MATC" members. At the time this claim was made, FPer's message count was over 800.

And FYI, messages that appear to have been deleted haven't actually been. They've just been moved out of sight. There's still a more or less complete record of what was "censored". Just in case...

Over the years (10 and counting for the current forums) there have been attempts to have multiple moderators and administrators. More often than not this had led to confusion and weirdness. By attrition, the duties have been mine for the last several years and I can assure you that if you have something to say that you can manage to say without seeming unhinged, it will post when you hit the button and remain for all to see. The only censorship that happens is when the situation requires removing a post from view because it is blatantly abusive, false, wholly without merit or spam.

If anyone has a better idea for herding things on FPF, speak up.




"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Dwyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 1:56pm
Misplaced. I "misplaced" my password. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote logic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 2:13pm
Originally posted by watcher watcher wrote:


Over the years (10 and counting for the current forums) there have been attempts to have multiple moderators and administrators. More often than not this had led to confusion and weirdness.
Believe, the above created huge problems for FPF and the posters, many scared-off by the abuse of power. Yes, power, too many fingers in the pot, some of them ethically challenged, outing a pastime for a few, was pretty damn sad. Expected some hostility, we're human, but the level of pure animosity, the fact that it was welcomed, allowed to flourish was a surprise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 2:29pm
Originally posted by logic logic wrote:

Believe, the above created huge problems for FPF and the posters, many scared-off by the abuse of power. Yes, power, too many fingers in the pot, some of them ethically challenged, outing a pastime for a few, was pretty damn sad. Expected some hostility, we're human, but the level of pure animosity, the fact that it was welcomed, allowed to flourish was a surprise.


For the record, I was against it. You've summed up my argument again' it.
No, I was told, it will make things more open and fair... Now, only two people have access to registration information. Two people can approve members (only one does:))and while I can't speak for Pie, I'd much rather post than administrate.

I've been accused of being heavy-handed? Confusing my posting with my administering?
Can't we all just get along?
"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote logic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 2:40pm
Originally posted by watcher watcher wrote:

Can't we all just get along?
We all know what happened to him, I'll take that as a rhetorical question:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piehead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 2:44pm
I also, would much rather post than administrate.

I have rarely administrated and the few times were when someone has reached out to me to remove personal information on a post. Whenever that was done, I stated what I did in the post so others would not think I was doing/changing something important.

I don't think I'd even know how to approve a member.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Dwyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 4:01pm
I'd like to take over administrative chores. Then I could bully people much more effectively and spread terror and doom throughout forum land.

It's just the way I am. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 4:02pm
Originally posted by Bill Dwyer Bill Dwyer wrote:

I'd like to take over administrative chores. Then I could bully people much more effectively and spread terror and doom throughout forum land.

It's just the way I am. 


Not gonna happen on my watch(er).
"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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