Trying to get a break in exposing the truth about the Orton Family Foundation and the Heart and Soul Project that Polson has willingly stepped into is not easy. But, staying silent is simply not an option. The Lake County Leader Advertiser published a front page puff piece using the typical distorted nonsense. It is peppered with misleading statements and half truths. There is even at least one blantantly false statement. You can read the piece for yourself here:
I have submitted a reply to the editor of the paper, but it was not published this week. If it isn’t published next week, that will just be wrong and will need to be dealt with.
This is what I wrote:
I am writing to point out some untrue and misleading statements in the July 10 Leader story: Heart and Soul Seeks Community Involvement. I wrote to reporter, Bryce Gray, about my concerns and he suggested I write a letter to you. Let me start at the beginning. The grant agreement between the city of Polson, Orton Family Foundation, and Greater Polson Community Foundation (GPCF) is not clear. Polson’s city attorney referred to it as “murky.” The commissioners gave their approval despite the public asking to wait allowing time to investigate. Therefore, because the agreement and goals were vague, local citizens began to research. We now know this is not a “bottom up” project. Also, the backing of $100,000 is one of the story’s misleading statements. Yes, Orton will provide “up to” $100,000 of which $64,000 benefits Darlis and Daniel Smith for their part-time work. What the story did not report is that Polson and GPCF must put up $140,000 in cash and in kind. Daniel stated the “vocal minority [is] actually from outside the community.” Blatantly false. The most troublesome discovered aspect is the deceitfulness Orton encourages. The training held in Chicago instructed attendees to “[practice] their project’s ‘elevator speeches’ … rather than jumping straight to the nitty-gritty of the project description.” The article stated that Darlis and Daniel “are intent on reaching out to all the area’s residents.” From the Chicago training they were instructed to understand “on whom they needed to focus engagement efforts.” When a group of local residents requested to meet and have a discussion with GPCF grant signer, Penny Jarecki, the Orton Foundation produced four pages of instructions on “how to deal” with us. In summary, our research shows the objective is already determined, but it is doubtful it will be clearly stated publically. The “Heart and Soul” is all for show.