Making The Rounds: If a tree falls …

This page contains my random thoughts. They could change frequently, or seldom, as my moods suggest, depending on news items or other events that motivate me and arouse my passions.

Dexter Harper

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear does it make a sound? This philosophical riddle challenges observation and the knowledge of reality. Webster defines sound as the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing: “… and no one is around …”

The Amarillo League of Women Voters are predicting the highest voter turnout since the 2005 city elections. The slate of candidates is at an all-time high with 23 vying for 5 positions plus three key referendums also on the ballot.  These are the observations and the reality is that the Carver Elementary Academy auditorium was 95% empty for the City Candidates Forum hosted by the Amarillo Branch NAACP. This was arguably the best conceived and executed candidate forum ever held in North Amarillo.

Setting aside planing, key elements of any forum are the questions and responses. Questions were from panelist comprised of media members representing Amarillo Globe News, The Amarillo Independent, La Voz Hispana  and KFDA Channel 10. Responses weren’t boiler plate nor just a running down of talking points.  The reality is that all this was observed by row after row of empty wooden seating.

Is it plausible that one could use present reality and mix past realities as a predictor of a plausible reality? The 2005 municipal election was the largest total voter participation in recent history. The north-side candidate forum drew a modest crowd in 2005 and while the overall turnout was heavy,  the North Amarillo turnout was slightly higher.  The north-side forum of 2007 was nearly standing room only and the north-side voted in record numbers as the turnout weened in other parts of the city. 2009 saw the lowest turnout for a city election which mirrored what was until yesterday the poorest turnout for a north-side candidate forum.

If a tree falls …

Perhaps you would like to witness what the empty chairs observed yesterday? thanks George Schwarz of The Amarillo Independent for providing access to the video from Saturday’s City Candidate Forum. Click here to view videos of the mayoral candidates and the commission candidates.

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Making The Rounds


  1. Dexter,

    Thank you for your kindness in posting the link to The Amarillo Independent’s coverage of last night’s forum. May I share with your readers that the Indy also posts videos of the City Commission work sessions and meeting in Commission Chamber?

    In addition, when we cover other gatherings of interest such as the recent Downtown Amarillo Inc. board meeting, we post the full video. If anyone can’t get to these meetings, these are available without the filters that come with needing to write to a news hole or broadcast a story with a specific time slot.

    Please let me know how I can help foster more dialogue and civil civic debate in Amarillo.