My Turn: Real questions deserve real answers on the Summit | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Real questions deserve real answers on the Summit

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. variously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain, and others. It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so. Artemus WardI could be the soul of brevity, and make one succinct comment on Royal Gorge LLCs purported survey: MARKETING TOOL. Frankly, it was a waste of (recycled) paper to print Royal Gorge LLC’s much massaged Public input piece out. It pretends to be a survey, but a real survey, even a poorly designed survey, adheres to a least a minimum of rules regarding sample groups, methodology of questions, design of questionnaire, conduct of interviews, and analysis of data gathered. This survey was designed with an utter disregard for legitimate standards. Instead, it was designed to create and manipulate talking points for Royal Gorge LLC, in order to further their flannel-shirt masquerade as people who want to develop a Conservation Community. Jason Rainey of the South Yuba River Citizen’s League aptly calls it a conservation calamity.You really needn’t read beyond the first page in order to see that whatever this is, it isn’t a survey. You see, of the 300 to 400 people who attended their meetings, only about 100 comment sheets were turned in. If you were in a statistics class, and your professor said, spot the flaws, quite a few would leap out. First, who attended the meetings? How many worked for Royal Gorge? How many people who don’t live up on the Summit, but are part-timers, were able to attend? What was the age range of respondents? The questions could go on and on.Second, why did between two-thirds and three-quarters of the attendees not submit comments? When you have that low of a response rate to your questions, any inferences drawn from the responses you obtained are rendered meaningless. And, all those non-respondents were they bored? Were they stunned because they had believed up until that point that Todd Foster and Kirk Syme meant to continue to run a world-class cross country ski resort? Did they resent being asked questions biased towards development, when they thought the area couldn’t support any more development? Did it dawn on them that they were merely the trial audience for the high-pressure time-share sales talks that will become a staple up at Serene Lakes if Todd Foster and Kirk Syme have their way with us? What’s important up here at the summit are the real questions. Will the proposed development adversely impact the watershed? Will the lakes be polluted? Will we have anything left to drink? Will endangered species be killed? Will the effects of large-scale development overwhelm a fragile area? What will happen to our community?Real questions deserve real answers, not manipulated Public Comments aimed at selling a project. Royal Gorge LLC, let’s get real and stop the window-dressing. Kathryn Gray is a homeowner in Serene Lakes concerned about the impact of the proposed Royal Gorge LLC development.


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