December 2, 2009

JT's Top 10 list paints gloomy picture of 2009

It's been a year of doom, gloom and uncut lawns, according to the Journal Times.

Our daily newspaper reviewed the top stories from 2009 and came up with a list of 19 stories for readers to vote on and whittle down to a Top 10 list. Not a bad idea ... until we look at what stories are on the list.

Of the 19 stories on the list, more than half of the stories focus on crime, death, the down economy ... and the Weinermobile crash. There must be some sort of positive, uplifting story on the list, right? There must have been at least one instance in the past 11 months and three days of people coming together and helping the community, accomplishing remarkable feats and showing us Racine is a great place to live and work. Right?

Uh, no.

If the stories on the JT's list aren't negative, they're at best neutral. They're certainly not examples of what's right and great about Racine.

No doubt stories on the JT's list were newsworthy or important (though we have to wonder about putting a story about "long grass" on the same list as Russell Seager getting murdered at Fort Hood). But it's a sign of the mindset of the editors and reporters who put together this list that they couldn't include one positive story. It's not like there was a set number - unless they were somehow limited to 19 stories - and there were plenty of wonderful, successful events in our community this year.

Here's a few stories we'd add to the list of top stories of 2009 (starred stories mark our Top 10):

Downtown Racine events including: ice carving, First Fridays, Gallery Night, Summer Art Project,

UW-Parkside prof gets prestigious appointment to Stanford

OOHP's Snowdance continues to grow

SC Johnson to preserve historic fire station

Ben Johnston Krase named pastor at First Presbyterian

SCJ, Johnson Financial among best places to work | And here

Racine Arts Council gets new leader

CATI presents to patent conference in Japan

Quilts on Barns in Racine County is a big success

Artists Gallery moves to new location

Racine snow sculptor wins Chicago competition

1,500 attend Black History Youth Achievement awards

Beer club, Hop to It are a hit among microbrewers

Belle of the Ball gives out prom dresses

Empty Bowls brings in $16,000 to fight hunger

Racine costumes earn spotlight at opera, Broadway

St. Patrick's Day parade in Downtown Racine

Thoughts for Food plays on to support Food Bank
| Fall event

RAM brings glass artist to students

EPA: Racine cut toxic chemicals by 53,000 pounds

Hundreds turnout for mayoral forum

* United Way aims to take 50 families out of poverty

LGBT Center opens in Racine

Open air aviary opens at Racine Zoo

Leadership Racine brings art to HALO

Tax protesters rally at City Hall

Peace rallies continue

Racine's 'biggest loser' competition changes lives

Art in an hour fundraiser

55th anniversary of Pancake Days

Leaders consider 'Racine Promise'

Farmer's Markets are a success

Eat Right Racine takes off

* Urban Gardens get a boost
| And here

* RAM hosts exhibit by famed artist Viola Frey

Letter carriers collect 70,000 pounds of food for Food Bank

Racine still has the world's greatest prom

New Unified superintendent stabilizes school district | Shaw

Suzuki method gets local students playing music

Student-built gardens take shape at Walden III

North Beach again named among nation's cleanest, safest

Hot Rod Power Tour visits Racine

Treasures at Monument Square Art Fair

Relay for Life raises money, hope

Another year, another successful Lighthouse Run

Sebastian's named one of area's top restaurants

Greek Fest offers great food, fun

Mayor Dickert's neighborhood clean up

Racine's massive Fourth of July parade

Dragon Boat Festival paddles on

* Sewer plant adjustments save the city millions

Spirit on the Lake Triathlon draws top athletes

Downtown Racine bike races draw a crowd

Public devours healthy foods gathering on Monument Square

46 Norwegians descend on Racine for a birthday party

Glass artist Therman Statom unveils new work in RAM window gallery

Racine County Fair extravaganza!

Community for Change organizes health care forum

* Racine Kilties' Emil Pavlik inducted into Drum Corps International Hall of Fame

* Lockwood Park: Community rallies to build playgrounds for all

* A good ride: Volunteer keeps skateboard park flowing | 2009 Bike Jam

Elaine Kinch named 'peacemaker of the year'

Team Trivia fills local bars

Sunny and Chair Tour ends with successful auction

Mount Pleasant to host new half marathon

Great Lakes Brew Fest sells out

Racine wins 'best host city' for pro volleyball tournament

Art takes center stage at Sixth Street Art Walk

Party on the Pavement is a great time

HALO gets a new executive director

Mayor seeks millions for clean beaches center

Compassion Fest offers contemplative way to peace

Raytown Roadhouse opens on Sixth Street

* Walden III named 'exemplary' by the state

City rehabs Uptown buildings

Successful Raiders season ends in playoffs

* Sixth Street work finally pays off

Holiday season arrives in Racine | Kiwanians light up zoo | Holidays at the mansion

* Racine celebrates 175th birthday

Racine gets a voice at international climate change negotiations

Thanksgiving Eve Ceremony brings faith communities together

Walden III students donate 10,300 pounds of food to Food Bank

50,000 books await kids at annual giveaway


  1. I give Dustin a big Oh Hell Yeah!

    JT - thou hast been PWNED

    There are good and bad things happening here, but where is the balance? You can't sugar coat everything but you shouldn't mire it all in despair either. You'd think Jody Harding wrote their top 19 list or something.

  2. Let's predict the top 10 stories for 2010.......Dickert admits he never had a 10 year plan......Becker gets off with probation and runs for mayor again.......RUSD makes it 13 years in a row at the bottom........Taxes continue to climb........Free land and tax breaks for illegal immigrants.....Beaches closed for pollution.....Sex Scandals continue at city hall.......More scrap metal art purchased for thousands.........RAMAC bribes politicians........WE Energies raises rates, again....

  3. Nice work Dustin !

  4. Although negative, the lack of a 10 year plan by Dickert deserves consideration for a top 2009 story. Given all of the hype, promises, direction, and the potential positive impact on the city and area (not to mention we really one); I feel it has to be included. Unfortunate, but true.

    Just as easily as it became a negative story, it could have been one of the big positive ones for the year as well. Huge miss on the Mayor's part and a lost opportunity.

    Perhaps 2010 brings that issue to a conclusion, but I don't see any signs indicating that will take place. Tough one to swallow for the citizens of Racine.

  5. Dustin - once in a while you are spot on.

  6. News articles are neither positive nor negative. They are simply accountings about what is happening in the community, state, nation or world.

    What is more important is that there are people who have the opportunity to evaluate and make choices about what is "news" and how it is presented to the readers of a publication or media outlet. Sadly, many of the gatekeepers who determine what is news and how it is presented are often not fully thoughtful, for a variety of reasons, about the repercussions of their choices and the health of the community.

    More on this later.

  7. The Racine Post has a lot of nerve criticising the JT for being negative and gloomy. C'mon Dustin & Pete - you two thrive on controversy! The worse the subject matter is, the larger the font is on your home page. You sensationalize headlines to get attention.

    So please, to even try to criticize the JT is just plain ridiculous on your part.

  8. 2:02 PM-

    I agree 100%. Dustin and Pete are infatuated with the JT. I believe there are medications for this type of behavior. Both of you should consider seeking help.

  9. I don't see this as Pete and Dustin being over focused on JT. The JT did run their poll and follow up for a few week so the JT did focus alot on their 2009 view. So the JT brought this round of attention on themselves.

    Dustin and Pete provided a different view of Racine rather than buy into the JT's overly negative view of everything.

    The sad part of old line media in general is that they focus on the negative because they feel it sells. Let's face it, if the old line (some call it mainstream) media was covering the right things they would be in good financial shape. Newspapers and broadcast media are broke or going broke. If the old line media was really mainstream they would know that the stream and even river has moved. The old media is so out of touch they didn't realize they were out of the stream until they were bankcrupt. When Comcast bought NBC this week the cable giant Comcast made it clear that the broadcast NBC network was the least valued asset in the deal.

    The reality is that the Internet and cable operations are the future of media. Pete and Dustin were in front of the curve. While I don't always agree with their bias on some stories/issues they are the future. If anyone is likely focused on the competition behind closed doors it is the JT.

    Pete and Dustin, thanks for the reminders of all the positives that happen int his community. I could easily add even more positives to your list. The community and your view of it depends on how involved you are in the community.

  10. There is an article online today that some dems in Washington want a new bailout for newspapers. Message to Washington, they are not too big to fail so let them fail. We can't keep bailing out failed business models. No one bailed out the pony express, telegraph and other obsolete businesses in the past when new business and technology arrived. There is a good reason not to bail out failed businesses. As long as the government throws good money into failed businesses there won't be enough money available for good and new businesses. These businesses failed for a reason. They were either mismanaged or they are obsolete. Either way, let them fail and use the money government is iching to spend on new businesses and business models.

    Both parties now realize the stimulus and bail out packages that spent hundreds of billions failed. Time for a new strategy that doesn't include spending new money on old failed businesses.

  11. Only conservatives could bash someone for highlighting positive stories in the community.

    Hatred is in their blood.

  12. The Racine Post is suddenly supposed to be mostly positive? Since when? Racine Post seems to relish in writing negative stories about Racine. In fact I've been thinking how their motto "Positively Racine" is pretty much a joke.

  13. I wrote the 8:15 annon supporting the positive Racine articles and Pete/Dustin. I am a conservative leaning independent so the theory from the 1:15 Annon is not true. Blindly labeling people on either end of the political spectrum is not positive or constructive. Neither side is always right or always wrong. That's why there are so many independents.

  14. It's about the top articles; ones they deemed would be at the top. It doesn't matter they are 'negative' or 'positive'. They are news stories. Watch the Milwaukee stations. How many positive stories are there in one half hour? One? Maybe?

    I don't beleive OOHP's Snowdance continues to grow would be on any top list.

  15. This is a nice list of mostly positive things going on in Racine, but I don't think hardly any deserve to be included in a Top 10 list. Maybe in aggregate these stories would make a single Top 10 listing.

    The unfortunate reality is we're living in gloomy times in a gloomy city. But it's in our hands to turn that around (as people are trying with their positive efforts.)