I have been asked to blog on Montclair Patch.
The first thing I would like to say is that the main reason I love this town is because of how interesting, generous, ethical, thoughtful, and tolerant Montclairians are.
By my estimate, I have had the privilege of meeting over 3,000 residents. Community heroes, neighbors, long-time residents, volunteers, students and teachers. Also, many people who just moved to town. And newlyweds ... I've performed over 150 weddings and civil unions in three years.
I meet dozens of new people every week ... some visit during my open office hours at 205 Claremont on Wednesdays. People stop me on Church Street or Valley Road. Others call or email. It is always interesting because ideas are shared and feelings are expressed. I find that just about everyone loves this town for the same reasons I do. We can agree, or disagree, but everyone is civil. No one weaves conspiracy theories, makes unsubstantiated accusations, or puts words into other people's mouths.
Sadly, you would never know how great Montclair people are by reading the overwhelming majority of anonymous postings on Patch or Baristanet.
A small handful of people create the illusion that our streets are full of intolerant, snide, angry people.
Is this the town you live in?
I understand that a few who run all the Patch sites have considered doing away with the toxic policy of anonymous postings. I hope that they do this and that other local news sites do the same.
Until then, I ask Montclair residents to abstain from posting anonymously and to renounce those who do. Nothing is gained by this practice. It hurts our town, and it creates the illusion that we are a nasty, cranky place, which we most definitely are not. Most of the stories and all of the profiles I read on Montclair Patch give a real sense of the real Montclair.
Let me leave you with an inspirational quote that I think says it all:
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." — George Bernard Shaw
My "official" Facebook page is