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April   5

Wanted: Letters to The Editor

Want to do a good deed? Send the Montclair Times a letter. They need them. In fact, they have an editorial assistant soliciting them by trolling reading the Watercooler. Just don't send anything if you don't live in Montclair. Here's how a recent exchange played out...

From   Mary Anne Christiano

Sent  Monday, April 3, 2006 12:10 pm
Subject  did you find your dog yet?

I saw your message on the Watercooler and was wondering if you found your dog yet? (I love animals so my heart went out to you).

I work as editorial assistant at The Montclair Times, so if you haven't found your dog and want to write a Letter to the Editor, we can do that for you.

You send the letter to me at: christiano@montclairtimes.com

Mary Anne

So Lisa, the lost dog owner, writes back...

GetattachmentaspxSent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 7:49 AM
To: christiano@montclairtimes.com
Subject: Lost dog

Hi and Thank you!

Our little dog has been missing since saturday, April 1.  She is a red, mini dachshund, female about 7 lbs.  She is very friendly and has tags with her phone number and address.  She should have been seen around the Bloomfield green, she certainly would have approached any person she saw. If anyone has seen her, or has her, please call us at 973 743-4333.  Thank

I hope this is okay...feel free to change it if you think.

Thanks again for your help!!!

Sent  Tuesday, April 4, 2006 9:35 am
Subject  RE: Lost dog
Hi Lisa,

Please re-write and address it as: To the Editor, then I can pass it on and
we also need your address for our records (not to be published).

Mary Anne Christiano/Editorial Assistant

Robert and Lisa send in an edited version, along with their address. Then, they get this in return...

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 2:58 pm
Subject  RE: RE: Lost dog
Hi Lisa,

When I read about your dog on the Watercooler, I assumed you were from Montclair. Unfortunately, we can't publish a Letter to the Editor unless it has some relevance to Montclair or if you are from Montclair.

Sorry about the confusion.

Good luck finding the dog.

Mary Anne

Meanwhile, Lisa tells us Scooty is still missing; if you see, him, comment here, or write us at tips.

April 5, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink


The fact that they troll there and not here says something doesn't it?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 5, 2006 3:27:58 PM

So, let me get this straight. A message on the Watercooler about a lost dog not in Montclair, from owners not in Montclair, was allowed? Were the moderators distracted by something?

Posted by: Jim | Apr 5, 2006 3:30:29 PM

yes it certainly does. as does the fact that the watercooler posted the lost dog announcement as well as a photo.

Posted by: pissant | Apr 5, 2006 3:31:00 PM

I just hope the dog is found ASAP.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 5, 2006 3:33:55 PM

don't the rules say montclair and the surrounding communities and include Bloomfield?

Posted by: pissant | Apr 5, 2006 3:45:12 PM

Love this story, Barista. Love it love it love it. Do more!

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 5, 2006 3:50:21 PM

What's the Watercooler? It sounds like a really good place.

Much much better that the heartless Montclair Times. Doesn't the Montclair Times realize how close we all are it's not like there's a moat around Montclair.

Posted by: lucy in bloomfield | Apr 5, 2006 3:51:27 PM

nah, lucy. I am sure the WC aparatchiks just missed that is was not a Montclair related item. If they'd known they'd have blocked it too, I suspect.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 5, 2006 3:54:56 PM

I'll never send the Montclair Times a letter again!

Posted by: cheeze | Apr 5, 2006 3:54:58 PM

Unless the poster was somebody they liked. As opposed to, say, ROC.

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 5, 2006 3:57:50 PM

Yes, ROC has been flagged from the WC...the horror! I hear the BDs have his photo up by their desks and have warned "anyone who has seen this man must contact the proper authorities immediately!"

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 5, 2006 3:59:33 PM

"don't the rules say montclair and the surrounding communities...?"

Of course they do!

Thank you.

The Benevolent Despots of the Montclair Watercooler



Posted by: The Moderators of The Montclair Watercooler | Apr 5, 2006 4:00:19 PM

Right of Center

I don't think that's correct since there were two posts about the lost dog at least a day apart.

One with just the information and one with a link to a picture that is posted on the Watercooler web site.

Posted by: belletones | Apr 5, 2006 4:02:03 PM

Ronald Reagan to Editors of The Montclair Times: "Tear down this wall!"

Posted by: Jim | Apr 5, 2006 4:11:04 PM

"...and start building the moat!"

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Apr 5, 2006 4:22:12 PM

Ronald Reagan is dead. i don't think he'll speak from the grave.

jim do you have anything nice to say or maybe even wish that the dog be found?

Posted by: pissant | Apr 5, 2006 4:36:31 PM

Oh, yes, The Rules! How convenient they are, aren't they? There's always a Rule when you need it. Except when you "forget" to enforce them. Oooops! Heavens, sorry, it was egregiously unfair of us to post that note from a friend of ours calling you an a-hole, but, well, mustn't compound the error by letting you defend yourself!

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 5, 2006 5:09:45 PM

Wow, these poor folks and their poor dog. I hope that someone is fostering Scooty, and is able to reunite them all soon.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Apr 5, 2006 5:59:53 PM

barista, did the montclair times gives your book a bad review or something?


as for the rest of you, at least the people at the montclair times have day jobs.

Posted by: barista | Apr 5, 2006 6:05:06 PM

Pissant: Your criticism is misdirected. I didn't give the dog owners a hard time, the editorial assistant at The Montclair Times did. And I would thank the barista for exposing this heartless exchange, in hopes the newspaper will correct its policy and train its staff in better community relations.

Posted by: Jim | Apr 5, 2006 6:18:05 PM

I'd love to know if "barista" above is in fact someone at the Montclair Times...

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 5, 2006 6:20:58 PM

Does anyone know how much people are paid at the Montclair Times, Bloomfield Life, or Independent Press? Do people make a living working for these papers?

Posted by: lasermike026 | Apr 5, 2006 6:31:25 PM

lasermike, if I'm not mistaken, the Montclair Times (along with several other community weeklies and The Herald News) is owned by the same company that owns The Bergen Record, and thus by the Borg family. So they can certainly afford to pay good wages; whether they do is another matter.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 5, 2006 6:42:12 PM

First, just to clarify, the staff of The Montclair Times doesn't need to "troll" for letters. Just this week, we had so many letters I had to jump them twice, and we had people calling us after deadline asking us to fit more in.

Mary Anne was, as she wrote in that private e-mail, personally reaching out, trying to help a fellow dog-lover. She was not doing this in an official capacity, but thought a letter to the editor would be a way to get the word out. She admittedly did not go about this in the best way, but hey, we're not just journalists, we're human and we make mistakes.

The last e-mail in this exchange (that was rather interestingly left out of the post) was Mary Anne suggesting Lisa contact The Bloomfield Life, the paper in Bloomfield, since that is where she lives, and where the dog was lost, and therefore where it would probably do the most good.

For the record, The Montclair Times letter policy does state that letters should pertain to Montclair, or be from a resident of Montclair. This isn't about us building moats (or walls, or barbed-wire fences, or anything else), but rather is a result of three simple facts: 1.) we provide more value to our readers if we stay focused; 2.) we often get a large number of letters as it is, and there are only so many trees we're allowed to kill each week; and 3.) our parent company also publishes other papers for each of the other surrounding local towns (Bloomfield Life, Belleville Times, Glen Ridge Voice, etc.).

Baristanet and the Watercooler cover a larger area in part because they have the limitless (cyber)space to do so.

An additional option, (plug alert) would be to post to myBloomfield (http://www.mycommunity.com/town/Bloomfield) and/or myMontclair (www.mymontclair.com) and/or the community site of any of the other local towns (www.mycommunity.com).

In the end, we're all just hoping Scooty is found, and though I wish this had all gone down differently, at least this will (I hope) bring attention to his photo and info and get him found that much more quickly.

Posted by: Managing Editor, The Montclair Times | Apr 5, 2006 7:07:51 PM

ROC: That poster is not from The Montclair Times, because if he was, he would know we actually ran a favorable review of Debbie's book (though Debbie never mentioned it, not sure why).

And I doubt any of our staff would be that rude.

Posted by: Managing Editor, The Montclair Times | Apr 5, 2006 7:14:30 PM

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