Dixon Patch is a Place for Discussion & Debate; Please Join the Conversation

Let's make sure these online conversations are in the best interest of the town -- especially during election season.

The Measure N debate in Dixon is a good example of how things can get rowdy during election season. 

In some ways, I’m very much impressed and amazed by the way members of this community have grabbed a hold of Dixon Patch and harnessed it as a tool for this often-heated debate. But as we proceed, I want to remind you that the site functions best when it's a place for thoughtful conversation in which all can participate. 

In addition to being a news source, Patch is a community hub where Dixonites are encouraged to share and interact with one another. Doing so can help the community connect and collaborate, and it ensures that people know what’s happening in town. That’s all very productive stuff.

Lately, though, that dialogue has sometimes looked more like an argument. 

I'm referring specifically to issues surrounding Measure N and Mike Ceremello, both of which seem to drive our readers and bloggers to extreme ends of the spectrum.

The fact that people feel so strongly about both of these topics make them very worthy of discussion on the site. But it's important to remember that Dixon Patch users aren’t just random Internet commenters and bloggers whom you’ll never see in person.

These are your neighbors, and that’s what makes Patch unique. That’s also why it’s important to avoid letting the conversation devolve into something that becomes totally unproductive.

The Growing Importance of Blogging

My colleague, Carlos Villatoro, built Dixon Patch up from nothing, and he carried the banner for more than a year and a half, breaking some very important stories in Dixon and making this site his whole world. His hard work paid off, and now he’s overseeing a handful of Patch sites in west Solano County and the North Bay.

I’ll be the first to tell you that Dixon Patch does not have a large newsroom of reporters sitting around and waiting to cover everything that happens in Dixon. We just don't. It's a modest operation, which makes your participation even more important.  

And since you can post on Patch with just a few clicks (it’s so easy it’ll blow your mind), we invite you to help tell Dixon’s stories. Not only can it make the site more interesting, but it can make the town a better place. 


These Two Bloggers Are Role Models

Gary Erwin and Bil Paul are two great Dixon Patch bloggers, whose content I always enjoy reading. I come away feeling like I know more about Dixon every time I read their work, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. 

Both Gary and Bil manage to maintain their own human voices and personalities while sharing valuable information with the community. That's a beautiful thing, in my opinion. 

When Gary talks about the studio and Morning View, it’s clear he’s in support of the project, but he lays out facts and strings together thoughtful opinions. He doesn’t force the studio in your face or take stabs at people with whom he disagrees.

And when Bil talks about Measure N or the mayoral race, he tells a story from his own perspective and he leaves the matter open for discussion. This kind of writing tends to be more effective in guiding readers’ thoughts anyways.

Telling people that “Measure N is idiotic and you should vote No!” is usually far less persuasive to people on the other side. (That's not a real quote, by the way. It's hyperbole). 

Let's Keep this Conversation Going

Blogging has become increasingly important on Dixon Patch since Carlos moved on. I’m here to tell you that it will continue to be a huge part of the site, probably even more so in the future. We'll always be a strong local news site, but we want you to be a part of the process. 

Whether it’s a one-paragraph piece about a car accident downtown, a 600-word column about the election or a few photos from a Rams game -- please don’t hesitate to share. All you have to do is click the link below, and then click “Post on Patch.” We look forward to hearing from you!


Gary Erwin October 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Justin, Whenever I read something that fans my flame I find giving the subject some time to breathe before responding helps to reduce over reaction on my side. I will admit that I might go too far at times and this election cycle is testing my endurance. I look forward to the Morning of November seventh when we will have the results and hopefully a clear mandate on all of our election items. Measure N has surly stirred many emotions within the community. I hope that we are able to somehow get both the Studio deal settled and in time get some “sunshine” as felt necessary by many in the community. I think some Sunshine is good; too much might lead to a Sunburn… and loss of business for the town. Some might accuse me of painting the studio as a Pie In The Sky dream… Well it sure is a dream hopefully come reality…if we can hook and land this fish we will all be able to enjoy increased prosperity be it personally or through our improved community. I’ve seen the positive effects of a studio built in Marin many years ago and if this can be replicated again in Dixon our future is sweet! Once again I encourage you to Vote No on Measure N and vote often…
Marilyn Keller October 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Does anyone know why no one is running for City Treasurer? How bad can that job be????
Bil Paul October 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Further question: Just what does the city treasurer do? Marilyn, maybe you should write yourself in as a write-in candidate! Does the position get any pay?
Thom Bogue October 26, 2012 at 02:58 AM
I believe $89 a month.
Randy Davis October 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM
RE: "But it's important to remember that Dixon Patch users aren’t just random Internet commenters and bloggers whom you’ll never see in person. These are your neighbors, and that’s what makes Patch unique." I can deal with almost anything someone writes as long as they are using their actual name as a contributor. Those that make outrageous comments under false names or single names tend to infuriate me. I try to weigh my comments carefully because I am not hiding my identity.


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