Friday Catchall: Negativity surrounds but doesn’t have to define us

The Friday Catchall:

• NEGATIVITY is the tendency to be pessimistic. If we are being negative, we generally find the worst in any situation, often even seeing negative things where they may not exist.

Recently we published a story celebrating Western News&Info, Inc. President Joe Soldwedel’s 60 years in the media industry. In it he stated his most illuminating experience was as CEO in Lake Havasu City.

“I was 22 when I took over a newspaper in a town where everyone was from somewhere else, especially not from Arizona. I wasn’t ready for the role and got schooled daily by the townspeople. I threw away my college textbook on management. I started believing that being screamed at daily was something to look forward to.”

That was in the ’70s. Today, some people are brazen enough to phone in their negativity. Most, however, hide behind email addresses or social media profiles.

The flip side is true as well. Take for instance the “Save the Rodeo” campaign. When commenting on the topic this past Tuesday, council members stated they had heard nothing of killing the rodeo or moving it away from Prescott.

I must remind that just because you don’t see or hear the negativity, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

In fact, yes, I hold back many items from publication because they are inappropriate or do not further the debate (read: they’re too negative or would figuratively plant a mine field).

With the advent of high-tech devices, social media, email, and reasons for us to not engage our neighbors face to face, I do not see our national or local divide as going away any time soon.

But because negativity tends to be bad for mental health, well-being, and it especially loosens the glue that holds together our community, I hope you notice how The Daily Courier is looking at the issue on the Opinions Page nowadays. Letters and Rants & Raves will remain — they will be more closely examined.

Negativity is a choice, folks; and every now and then we all need to do a self-check and move forward with the best of intentions. I have made similar pledges over the years.

Who knows, maybe those who were negative early on concerning the rodeo master plan, have now changed their tune because they gained so little traction.

• RODEO — I reported on the Western Values Coalition’s tele-town hall Monday, July 10. From it, as well as the Tuesday council proceedings, I was amazed at how close the multiple sides are on Prescott Frontier Days’ master plan improvements.

It all came down to “communication.”


• EXPANSION — I was particularly struck this week by this word. Many people have been assuming it means the “World’s Oldest Rodeo” wants to expand beyond the borders of the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.

No. As the rodeo’s Business Development Manager Greg Mengarelli said: “The property is 43 acres there that the city owns. There is no plan to use, buy, condemn property, expand.”

Some since then, though, have been like my third-grade teacher way back when, saying there are other definitions to “expansion,” such as “the action of becoming larger or more extensive.”

Sure, we could argue the definition of the word “is” too, but in this context the rodeo wants to improve the property.

• PARTING SHOT — How often do you conduct a self-check? Seriously. Your attitude, expressions, words, tone, demeanor, etc. … how you treat people, what you do well, and what you could do better.

Think about it.

Follow Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or

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