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Editor's FInal Notebook: Thanks For the Memories Montclair

Today is this Montclair Patch editor's last day.

 

I'll be honest. This is a hard letter for me to write. But today is my last day as editor of Montclair Patch and I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't say something to the best bunch of readers any Patch editor could hope for.

When I launched this site in June 2010 — with the intent of creating a highly respected news source where Montclair residents could go for daily news and to engage in lively conversation — no one around here had ever heard of Patch. Frankly, before June 1, 2010, neither had I.

But since then we've posted many thousands of articles and though not all comments have been constructive — you know who you are — many of you have learned to use Montclair Patch as a sounding board. And for that, I thank you.

Before Patch, I was a London-based foreign correspondent, covering Europe. You may not believe this but the last two years and three months at Patch have been (nearly) as much fun as that.

I've met the liveliest cast of characters. I'll never forget watching former Councilman Cary Africk sparring with former Mayor Jerry Fried over, well, just about everything. Some nights the township council should have charged admission!

I'll also never forget the way the town came together when Patch helped organize a fundraiser in May for LaMonica Carter, the beloved teacher at the Montclair Community Pre-K who became homeless after a fire destroyed her Belleville home on Mother's Day.

I've had such a good time doing the "My Block: Which Block Is The Best Block In Montclair?" spots. Check out the latest one. It's so great to see how proud people are of their neighborhoods.

I also loved the vote to pick the "Person Of The Year" in Montclair last year. The winners were Karen Turner, Bob Feinberg, and Ed Carine. But, wow, it was a tough call.

A new Montclair Patch editor has not been named and so, in the meantime, please contact the Essex County Regional Editor Liz Moore at elizabeth.moore@patch.com or the Essex County Associate Regional Editor Jack Durschlag at jack.durschlag@patch.com with story ideas or news tips.

I am extremely excited to be going off to become an editor at The Huffington Post. You can contact me — and please do so — at shelleyemling@hotmail.com.

A huge thanks to Katya Wowk, Linda Wanat, and all those at Channel 34.

Also, thanks to a few particularly vocal and very helpful local politicians — Jerry Fried, Cary Africk, Nick Lewis, Rich Murnick, Renee Baskerville, and Bill Hurlock. And a huge shoutout to former School Board President Shelly Lombard, one of the most communicative leaders I've ever encountered, as well as to Robin Kulwin.

Thank you to my bloggers and also to my wonderful young writers — Alessendra Whitney and Lauren Glasse and, especially, Lena Rawley, who is going to be one to watch in the years to come!

Thank you to Todd Conforti, Scott Buehler, and Angel Roman at the Montclair Police Department and all those at the fire station who have been great tipsters over the years (I won't name names).

There are so many people working so hard to make this town even better. Alma Schneider, Melody Kettle, Meg Beattie Patrick, Greg and Cheryl Spinelli, Grace Grund, Ellen LaBarbera, Wayne Robbins, Thom Powers, Ritesh Patel, Margot Sage-El, Luther Flurry, all those at MSU, at the libraries, and at the animal shelter, and all the pastors, the real estate agents, the dedicated PTA heads. All of you — and many more — have my admiration.

Thank you to my fellow local Patch editors as well as to Erica Paris, all tireless, incredibly talented people. You guys are amazing and Patch will continue to do great things because of you!

Thanks also to those of you who have written for me and who were with me at the start: Jessica Wolf, Melody Kettle, Tara Chowaniec, Jaime Bedrin, Ellen Rooney, Joanne Bloomstein, Linda Federico O'Murchu, David Scherzer, Carol Selman, Nancy Toomey, Josie Zeman, Jen Maidenberg, and so many more. You guys are the best! In particular, thanks to Linda for doing such a great job with Montclair Patch when I was away on book leave.

And my biggest thanks goes to you, the loyal readers of Montclair Patch. Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today, and for that, I'm forever grateful.

Last but not least, a few nuggets of "wisdom." After putting together countless Readers Choice ballots, please indulge me.

—If you want a good caterer, look no further than Villa Victoria. Amazing!!!

—If you want a good meal, go to Saveur Creole on Grove Street. This is a hidden gem with the most scrumptious food ever!! Also fantastic is Brick Lane!

—Looking for a great restaurant that delivers? Four Seasons in Upper Montclair!

A few other places/events I think are incredible, in my personal opinion: Vanity Hair Salon, Parcel, Terra Tea Salon, the Wellmont, Watchung Booksellers, Osteria Giotto, Jafajems, the Bellevue Theater, Van Vleck, anyone associated with the Upper Montclair Sidewalk Sale and also Strut Your Mutt in Brookdale Park (coming up Oct. 20).

And with that I'm off. I truly have appreciated the experience of writing about this wonderful town. I love living here with my husband and three kids. Hopefully, I'll see you around!

Shelley

Robin Hoffman October 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
As someone lucky enough to call you my friend, I'm thrilled for you and the potential of your new gig. No doubt you will be a huge success there as well. But, as a Patch addict, I have to say I'm totally bummed out. You brought everything to life and covered so much in one day that I'm sure most people thought there was more than one of you. I used to get angry when I'd see commenters imploring you to ask follow up questions and question your journalistic skill. But, I now realize that because you covered this town so thoroughly, they had no idea it was just YOU behind the curtain. Thank you for all you did in creating such a great site for Montclair. As others have said, you are an inspiration. Rock on, Shelley Emling!
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Very nice Robin.. thank you so much.
Amy B. Popp October 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Good Luck, Shelley! Thank you for publishing some articles about Immaculate Conception HS! We appreciate it!
Selma Avdicevic October 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Congratulations and best of luck! You will be missed.
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Thanks Selma..
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thanks Bev.. your contributions have been invaluable.
Alma Schneider October 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Shelley, I'm so sad to see you go. A true pleasure to work with- smart, responsive, and a responsible journalist who clearly cares about people and your community. You will be missed here on Patch but good luck to you in all you do! Alma
Mary Mann October 05, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Shelley, HuffPo is not gonna know what hit them! You are a journalism tornado, lady. I admire you so very much and look forward to following your work at Huffington Post.
Sara Santora October 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Good luck Shelley! You'll be missed!
montclairdad October 05, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Best of luck Shelley. Won't be checking out Huffpo/50 much since I'm not a boomer, but I'm betting you'll do very well. Hope Patch doesn't thin out with your absence. We'll miss you.
StudioKids Art October 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Way to go, Shelley!!! Congrats and looking forward to reading your posts there! Awesome!
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Thanks much!
Scott Kessler October 05, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Best of luck with the new business and role. Will definitely miss your content and voice in this context.
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM
You all have been terrific.
Lauren Glasse October 05, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Hi Shelley, Congratulations on your new job! I'm sorry to see you leave the Patch because it won't be the same without you. Thank you for all of your support. You've been a great inspiration to me! Wishing you all the best at the HP.
A. Cathy Hawley October 05, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Shelley, Congratulations and Best Wishes as you move upwards. The Patch (thanks to you) has been wonderful for this town. Huffington Post is getting a wonderful editor. Peace and Blessings to you and your family.
Gloria Falzer October 06, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Shelley, I only met you once at Bobbi Brown's but I've become a big fan of The Patch. You've done an amazing job. Congratulations and best of luck on the new gig. They're lucky to have you. Gloria Falzer
Joyce Shears October 06, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Congratulations Shelley. Thank you for bringing The Patch to the Township. Numerous visitors to Union Baptist Church have told us that they saw us on The Patch. Wishing you the best in your new Huffington Post position. J. Shears
jacqueline jacobson October 06, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Shelley I am sad to see you go ... I check the Patch daily to find out what is going on in Montclair 24/7 because I know you will cover it all!!! Huff/Post50 is so lucky to have you & I can't wait ... I have just added it to my favorites. You moved here 2 years after me & I would have never gotten to know Montclair with out your tireless reporting ... On the elections ... Schools ... People ... Events ... Shopping ... For peeps like me that spend more time working across the river than @ home - Patch has been my virtual Montclair. Thank you for your tireless devotion to Montclair Patch & our community. You turned a new online Hyperlocal concept into a must read! I admire you as a journalist & adore & love you as a friend. Good luck Shelley - I look forward to following you @ Huff/Post50
A. Gideon October 07, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Bah! You'll miss us. Montclair is more fun. I hope the new editor(s) let you sneak back from time to time.
Jodi Godfrey October 07, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I read this with a bit of shock and much sadness, but can not fault you to moving on to The Huffington Post where we will enjoy following your insights and humor from a different vantage point. Good luck and best wishes
Shelley Emling (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 10:48 PM
You are very kind!
scarletxknight October 08, 2012 at 10:34 PM
thanks for all you've done!! = )
Karen Turner October 09, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Shelley, Congratulations on your new position at Huffington Post! You created such a wonderful news source for all that was transpiring in and around Montclair. Your energy and integrity in reporting and your passion for Montclair shined through in all the articles. I'm sad to see you moving on, but will certainly follow you on HuffPost 50. Thanks for all your hard work in keeping the Montclair community networked and informed!
Melody Lima October 09, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Shelley, thank you for sharing my words and the bliss of yoga with the Montclair Community. Wishing you well at Huff/Post50. Namaste.
Mary Ann Cucci October 10, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Shelley-The Montclair Patch is part of my day for what's happened & what's happening in my beloved town. There's awfully big shoes to fill with your departure. From the beginning your hard work and focus created an inviting site for all of us to learn & share. Your support and enthusiasm for local businesses was obvious and needed in hard economic times. I always appreciated your coverage of what Montclair Beadworks was doing. The Huff/Post 50 Editor Position sounds fabulous. Count me in as a faithful reader. All the best!
Amy Barnett October 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Shelley...you've done amazing things here in Montclair! Good luck at your new gig, I know you'll rock it. Cheers! Amy B.
Abraham October 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Thank you for being professional and personable.So many times you were attacked but stayed above the trollism,thank you.
Vanity Salon October 22, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Shelley, I am just finding this article, and wishing you all the best! Congratulations on your new position and Good Luck! Thank You for your continued support! Anthony & the staff at Vanity
June November 19, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Sorry to be so late on the ball but you were a terrific editor.

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