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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1, 2008, 9:22 P.M.

The Events of the Day October 1, 2008

Good evening, Netizens...

I returned home late this evening to my beloved Virtual Ballroom and Espresso Bar not truly knowing what to expect after a flame-filled day of rancorous conversations between Casey King and myself. As I strolled uncertainly in the doorway of the Virtual Ballroom, I was struck by the pall of smoke and thus the dim lighting everywhere. Instead of the usual festive atmosphere I have come to expect of an early fall evening, replete with colorful ghosts and goblins of every sort. A dense atmosphere of sadness indelibly painted the ballroom dance floor, while ghosts and live humans alike poised in small groups along the edge of the ballroom floor chatting quietly among themselves.

The minute I saw that the Headless Horseman was the espresso barrista for the evening, I knew I eventually would have to explain my actions throughout the day since, by definition, he could not.

Taking the podium, and after nervously tapping the microphone to make certain the public address system was on and functional, I began.

What I have done today was not a good solution to a problem. I should have banned Casey King the minute he became strident and unrepentant, a major irritant to so many and making allegations against both Jeanie and myself which simply were designed to irritate rather than edify. Instead, I joined him at his game of being irksome and dull-witted, which although part of human nature at times, should never be considered any part of journalism.

However, the reason I did not ban Casey was simple: if I ban him as an administrator, he gets banned across the entire set of Spokesman-Review blogs and I do not believe that is fair. However, I am certain now as then that I wanted Casey King to leave the Virtual Ballroom and Community Comment, but lacking tools to perform that task, decided to shame him into it. I'll leave it to others to determine whether that ploy worked, but I do note that he has not posted since he filed his letter of complaint with Doug Floyd, with whom I spoke at length about my perceived misbehavior. I wish Casey well; just do not enter in the doorway to Community Comment and the Virtual Ballroom again.

There are other sadnesses perhaps greater than Casey King that should be noted this day, including the faces of many skilled journalists who will be leaving our midst in the middle of yet another cost-cutting effort at the paper. Perhaps sadder still is the resignation of Editor Steve Smith who helped me give Community Comment a place from which to succeed or fail on its own merits. I owe him my gratitude and being faithful.

I am saddened beyond words at the events of the day, but know full and well I must pull myself back together after a 19 hour day and simply move onward.

Since our barrista The Headless Horseman does not speak so well, the custom blend espresso of the day is “Harvest Moon” which is upcoming, and a change in the weather promises tears will fall from the skies upon the events of the day.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.