I was dismayed to see that your choice for your primary front-page story for the Feb. 21 edition of the Watertown Daily Times was about the toilet farms in Potsdam. What was your thought process there? Did you feel you needed local color for the front page?
This isn’t news. It was almost 20 years ago that a Potsdam resident asked for a zoning variance and got turned down. Because he was irked, he responded to the community’s decision by putting ugly lawn decorations on his property.
When the village asked him to stop and to remove the toilets, he decided to call them “art.” Not only is this not very interesting, it’s old.
Hank Robar and his dispute with Potsdam began when, 2002? Everyone in Northern New York has seen his toilet gardens. The whole thing is silly and pointless (though you feed Mr. Robar’s hunger for attention).
I suppose it’s news that somebody thinks it’s interesting enough to make a documentary about it. That bit surprised me because I can’t think of anyone who cares.
The majority of your first section is given to this non-story. Either of the other front-page headlines that were pushed to the corners should have gotten precedence. Any of the stories on pages 2 and 3 should also have gotten precedence because they’re actually news.
If they still deserve any mention at all, the toilet gardens belonged in the local section. If you ever decide to waste your front page on such tired old non-news again, I’ll reluctantly spend the extra dollar and buy the Syracuse Sunday paper because that newspaper allocates its space to news.