Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS


In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.



All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.


77 comments - (Comments closed)

Anonymous Blogging Opens a Pandora’s Box

Pandora’s box was opened out of curiosity without meaning any harm. Yet all evils of mankind were released and hope was left in the box once it was closed. In the same way, anonymous blogging allows anyone to write comments or blog stating opinions or criticisms without accountability. Yet spiteful statements have taken over dialogue. The possibility of open and candid exchanges has been left in the box.

I am writing in hopes that media will revisit the decision to allow individuals to write without disclosing identity. One could argue that screen names operate as a shield or cover for those who fear retaliation on themselves, their business or the organization they represent for their extreme views. One could understand this position when in a dictatorship where one’s life is at risk, in the McCarthy Era or in the case of women who used male names to get published.

We don’t have these problems in the US, and screen names invite hateful language and personal attacks which hinder constructive dialogue.

Just recently I stopped using my screen name as I read disrespectful comments and hurtful messages to friends and colleagues who were courageous enough to use their real names instead of hiding behind an alias. I believe that signing our own names forces us to get our facts straight since our names are on the line.

Misgivings about using one’s name bespeak a certain discomfort with one’s position. When we speak our views openly as ourselves and not behind some clever screen name (mine was building bridges, speaking of clever) we are reaching out to the other side. We actually practice democracy.

I hope that most of us can agree that wherever we come from socially, economically, culturally or ideologically, we want peace, a respectful society, a democratic process and our pursuit of happiness. With this basic understanding I am sure that we can find respectful ways to disagree and might reach a common ground sooner. Most importantly we show courage and conviction to our children who are likely to carry themselves like we do. We don’t want them to be offensive, rude, hateful or violent do we?

Even if media doesn’t mandate a signature, I encourage writers, commentators or bloggers to consider voluntarily signing their name.

Mariana Boneo
Mamaroneck, NY

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77 comments to Anonymous Blogging Opens a Pandora’s Box

  • Anon E Mous

    Respectfully disagreed. But your thoughts are appreciated. It is the ideas rather than the identity that are the important contribution and often how one views a comment is affected by its assumed source. Hopefully many can and will contribute their thoughts on issues, respectfully and as they feel comfortable.

    Citing what appears to be one’s name is not proof of authorship and screen named blogging is not as anonymous as some may expect.

    Identities are stolen frequently while one of the most precious rights, hopefully exercised by many today, but probably unfortunately by too few, the right to vote in our nation, is provided and protected with anonymity.

    Also unfortunately, and ironically, our municipal government which is supposed to be open to the people isn’t so open. An article here in the Larchmont Gazette said that there was an objection by a Councilmember to televising either T.O.M. Council budget or work sessions because that could inhibit their discussions. http://www.larchmontgazette.com/news/tentative-budget-would-raise-tom-taxes-2-9/

    Perhaps you’ll ask to see your government, and to hear the comments of people as the each person chooses; at least please give it some thought. The rights of open government of the people, to free speech and a free press are among the foundations on which this nation is built and for which many have fought long and hard.

    - A.E.M.

    Public opinion, a vulgar, impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for anyone who is not content to be the average man. – W. R. (William Ralph) Inge

  • Catherine Ryan

    AEM: How is a screen name not anonymous?

    Catherine Ryan

  • Anon E. Mouth

    Anonymity also allows commentary to be scurrilous and untruthful. Where is the right to face ones accusers and to dispute their accusations in a proper forum? Where is the right to force a commenter to acknowledge error when fact can be verified?

  • Anon E Mous

    Screen name Catherine Ryan: Perhaps by being not anonymous, by not being anonymous, depending on how the question is read, or perhaps by being iceskatingcoach :-) . But there are probably others better able to answer the question. Why do you ask?

    Why not ask why the founders of our country did not write “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech provided that the speaker identify themselves’? Why not ask why the we elect our representatives by secret ballot? Why not ask why a Councilmember said that televising Town government meetings would inhibit its discussion?

    Of course, we don’t know whether you’re the Catherine Ryan of Mamaroneck, or one of more than 50 people nearby who identify themselves with that name, or whether you’re someone else. Perhaps you’re the person who wrote previously in the Larchmont Gazette http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2009/articles/20090115masplayfilm.html/. Perhaps not. We have no proof, need none, it doesn’t matter. What is contributed to the discussions matters, no matter who wrote it or the author’s choice of name.

    Would someone propose that ‘bloggers’ be required to identify their political party affiliation as that would permit some to sort the comments they wanted to read? What else could someone propose to require of a ‘blogger’? By the way, A.E.M. is not a ‘blogger’ as that term has a negative connotation to some; rather A.E.M. is an interested person or a commenter. You can decide whether the interested person makes interesting comments and you can decide whether to read the comments.

    As Gerard K. O’Neill said, Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don’t regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.

    A.E.M.

  • 10538er

    AEM,
    I have to give you credit, you have A LOT to say about everything. A teacher at SJ&P years ago used to comment to her students who were always talking that they knew everything about nothing. It must be nice.

    • Gotcha

      SJ&P was certainly not the poster school for having the most engaging teaching staff or curriculum by the way. While they may have taught the 3 R’s quite well , in fact, they were quite dull beyond that as I recall. Hence the student chatterboxes were only creating a forum for intellectual stimulation by bored students.

      On the otherhand, AEM is quite engaging, intelligent and has a lot of insight to offer.

      You may want to think about picking up on some of his/her traits. Knowing a little bit about a lot of things goes a long way at cocktail parties for example ;-)

  • Anon E Mous

    LET’S THINK BIG AND LET’S ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

    There was a person called Bernie.
    Who’s name was known by some.
    Sadly, to him, some gave their hope and their money.
    While to those he was anonymous, perhaps now have a better sum.

    Here, Amendment VI to the U.S. Constitution, ‘In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted by witnesses against him …’

    Wouldn’t know, prefer not knowing, thinking is better. As Rick Kirschner said, ‘The old paradigm, based on specialization, division and dissociation was a highly refined set of assumptions in which more and more people learned more and more about less and less until they knew everything about nothing. … The new paradigm shows us that the most economical way to solve a problem is to think big.’

    With :-) s thanks to all,
    - A.E.M.

  • Anon E Mous

    LET’S THINK BIG AND LET’S ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

    There was a person called Bernie.
    Who’s name was known by some.
    Sadly, to him, some gave their hope and their money.
    While to those he was anonymous, perhaps now have a better sum.

    Here, Amendment VI to the U.S. Constitution, ‘In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted by witnesses against him …’

    Wouldn’t know, prefer not knowing, thinking is better. As Rick Kirschner said, ‘The old paradigm, based on specialization, division and dissociation was a highly refined set of assumptions in which more and more people learned more and more about less and less until they knew everything about nothing. … The new paradigm shows us that the most economical way to solve a problem is to think big.’

    With :-) s thanks to all,

    - A.E.M.

  • Catherine Ryan

    AEM:

    I am just curious how writing under a screen name is not writing anonymously? I asked because I am interested in the answer.

  • Anon E Mous

    CATHERINE RYAN TOO/TWO? Because as your question says, the author is named. Must be brief as may have been scolded for lack thereof by someone I may not know above :-)

    I’m curious too. Why your curiosity only about that question of all the questions mentioned in the prior response? Or perhaps you’re curious about the Town budget. Think big! What issues are you curious about? As Sudie Back said, ‘Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.’

  • Catherine Ryan

    I am interested in it because these are comments on a letter that urges people to use their names when commenting to promote true dialogue. I’m trying to understand if you are making a point worth considering.

    Another question: you said “often how one views a comment is affected by its assumed source.” And yet, you end each comment with a quote and give the legal name of the author. Isn’t this a contradiction? I thought it didn’t matter. We may take into account the identity of the person when considering the ideas.
    And you say that Town Board meetings should be televised and object that board members say it would inhibit deliberation because everyone could see every word and know who said what. So you want them to be identified with their ideas. Because it makes them accountable?

  • Tom Murphy

    Dear Anon E Mous,
    I think your argument that providing a real name on a posting doesn’t prove the identity of the sender is a ridiculous red herring. You can always ask the person if he or she posted an opinion and definitively get an answer. I think a more persuasive argument would be that folks who post anonymously don’t really believe the opinions that they are espousing and are just posting to create controversy. Because no one can question an anonymous poster to see if they really have the courage of their convictions there is no proof that your really believe your own musings. You surely have a right to remain anonymous but it means that people will greatly discount your posting and your beliefs. If these really are your convictions.
    And yes I am THAT Tom Murphy

    • Eleanor

      Tom, I disagree with you. It frees people to share in dialogue without the possibility of “revenge” from those people holding power over us or our children.

      I use my actual first name, and can be easily traced by those who I have exposed. Just trace it back to my 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals case against Mamaroneck Free School District.

      When we see wrong, it is the rare person that will place a name to the person bringing the charges, because of “fear of retaliation.” It was my son, who asked me to bring “justice” to those who he was leaving behind at MHS whom we felt were being discriminated against.

      We won our case, and then the Board of Education appealed it, and found some legal loophole which the court then said we should start all over again. It was a technique they used to try and economically bankrupt the parent by contintuing to use our tax payer money in court.

      My son was about to graduate college and we decided to drop the case. However, it was all worth it, because our case is written in law books, and the judgment of our district Board of Education is being questioned every day in law schools around the country.

      Did I worry that by bringing this case to court would hurt my child? Yes, indeed I did. I would have preferred if they would have allowed us to do it anonymously, but that was not possible. My name had to be on that document.

      By not having an actual name, or face associated with our comments truly allows us to have “free speech.” I have not read mean, spiteful or hurtful comments by Anon E Mous or any other blogger. Perhaps, you can give us an example of what you are referring to. You have made blanket accusations, using your name, without justification or documentation. Oh yes, you did use your name. Did that make it any better than those you accuse?

      I find that Anon E Mous is a very bright, articulate, and intelligent person, whom I enjoy reading his/her posted comments. I also find that the Larchmont Gazette has finally opened true dialogue between residents. No longer can we be divided an conquered. I hope that you, too, will join us in our dialogue. You are welcomed to use any name that you wish. :-)

    • Gotcha

      Dear Tom – if what you say to Anon E Mous were true, than you have just contradicted your own points. You have certainly NOT been discounting Anon E. Mous’s postings nor beliefs because you have evidently taken the time to read and reply to them right here.

      -Gotcha ;-)

      PS: True writers can easily determine the gender of another writer who chooses to remain anonymous. It’s one of the intrinsic talents of being a writer. I don’t care what a person’s name is – as it’s completely irrelevant whether I know them or not; their opinions nor my opinions of them do not change based on that information. However, I am interested in their gender as that tells me a great deal more about a person and it influences my perceptions of their commentary.

      • Eleanor

        Can a screen name influence how you are being perceived? Gotcha, you bring out an interesting point. Anon E Mous’s name certainly has triggered an outcry. Is it the name, or is it this person’s comments?

        As a woman business owner, I know that my “gender” alone influences people’s perception of me. Successful women are perceived differently than successful men. Perhaps gender neutral screen names are best.

        I started to try and figure how who this mysterious AEM person is? Was it a man or a woman? What career did they have? Was it a stay at home mom or a retired person? Who is this intellectual that I enjoy reading so much?

        I think I will be retiring my screen name, or perhaps have a double identity in the future. Signing off for now. I have to figure out how to reinvent myself. :-) Eleanor

  • Simon Noble

    Well said Mariana

    We cannot oblige people to sign their names because of First Amendment rights ( and a court case is not the same as an online debate, Anonymous). But the more people use their own name the more likely we will have less vitriol and silliness in these debates. Although it has to be said that this one is quite polite compared to many!

    • Eleanor

      Simon,

      I wish that Mariana would justify her complaints by giving an example of “spiteful statements” because I have not seen them.

      Mariana Boneo is accusing people from hiding behind screen names and saying means things. I think we are a group of intelligent citizens sharing ideas and comments.

      Is Mariana Boneo, using her full name, a better person by accusing people using screen names of nonspecific mean, spiteful things …??? I think her comments are much more antagonist than anything I have read from screen named bloggers.

      Mariana, please tell us what you objected to. We would like to know.

      Welcome Simon Noble – to our very polite Larchmont/Mamaroneck chats. :-)

  • Catherine Ryan

    You don’t even have to cite comments from other recent anonymous comments in the Larchmont Gazette calling people “stupid” and children “spoiled brats.” That is constructive and polite?
    You have to go only to the 5th comment here from screenname 10538er:
    “I have to give you credit, you have A LOT to say about everything. A teacher at SJ&P years ago used to comment to her students who were always talking that they knew everything about nothing. It must be nice.”
    Neither the letter writer’s arguments or those from commenters here who use their legal names contain ad hominem attacks like this. Only one from an anonymous writer.
    And why does AEM continue to pursue non sequiturs instead of explaining the premise of the argument at the core of the comment he or she made: how is a screen name not anonymous? If this person’s name were on the line, as were those who signed the Constitution he or she mentions, might the writer feel accountable to explain?

    • Eleanor

      People have the right to their opinion, including 10538er. So what? I don’t know where the other “stupid” or “spoiled brats” comments are written. But I am not offended by 10538er remarks. You can agree, or disagree. This is “freedom of speech.” Even if they had put their name on the blog, what difference would it have made?

      We all can “agree to disagree,” but thankfully we do have the choice to have dialogue because this is a free country. Personally, I would not use words like “stupid or spoiled brats.” But, having a name associated with the blog wouldn’t change anything.

  • Dancerina

    Me thinks that all those here insistent upon unveiling the commentary behind anonymous posts should follow the wise old owl’s prophecy: “Curiosity killed the cat”. Me also thinks that their desire is driven out of a need to control their environment yet they do not understand the design nor relevance behind online web logs – or BLOGS.

    Go to any blog on the web today; end users employ handles as in anonymous names/identities on nearly every posting out there today. It is unheard of for any one to be posting their real name and MOST blogs strongly advise against revealing one’s true identity on their websites – it’s ridiculous that people commenting here don’t understand this in today’s day and age. I chalk it up to ignorance quite frankly. Look around you, the world is a very different place today. This is not the 1970′s and this is not the Daily Times of Larchmont – i.e. this is NOT a gated community.

    Commenting anonymously is the absolute right way to respond to any public forum on the web today. Anyone that chooses to publish their true identity does so at their own risk. And for all intents and purposes, it is risky to do so. Almost no one uses his or her real name online today not only because of privacy issues but safety issues. The WWW is a global platform and it is an uncontrolled environment. Sure, the owners of almost any blog can pull IP addresses from every post if they wanted to breach the integrity of their online publications but they’d also lose a LOT of their audience in doing so.

    I encourage the “outers” to do some research. Unless they are (well) known writers/columnists (for example, the Huffington Post has bloggers who are celebrities in their own right and actually create and benefit from the web traffic by promoting their true identities – as do advertisers who promote their products on high traffic websites but the posters who comment on the board their remain anonymous – they are not influencing advertising in any way shape or form). As in the case of the Larchmont Gazette, and other lesser known publications the editors themselves might choose to respond w/ their true identities although some online pubs only respond “Ed-” for editor.

    I cannot THINK Of a single online newsletter, publication, or BLOG where posters in the comment section would actually post their true identities. As far as I’m concerned the questioning of this shows me that the Larchmont Gazette has some very unsophisticated posters here.

    The best analogy I can come up in case anyone still does not get it, is that it’s the very same reason that many people past and present choose to have unpublished phone numbers; to protect their privacy, which is their U.S. Constitutional right. It may “anger” and even “outrage” some readers or residents – but as they say en Francaise, C’est la Vie, n’est-ce pas?

    If you want to publish your identity than write a letter and sign it on here. But posters comments shall remain anonymous or I shall fly the coop, pronto!

    • DC

      Usually, I would agree with those who think it’s best to require people to post with real names, but in this case, pseudonyms are OK. Why? Well, when you hit the submit button here, your comment doesn’t immediately appear in public. The Gazette gnomes moderate the comments, so nothing really offensive or inappropriate will get through. This helps keep the atmosphere pretty civilized, even with the use of “handles”. Before anybody squawks about their First Amendment rights, remember: that’s about the government not restricting speech, not a privately owned entity like this newspaper.

  • Mariana Boneo

    I thank all of you for finding the time to read my letter. Most of all thank you for including your thoughts. I still believe that while risky, signing one’s name keeps some decorum which I believe important and also relays comfort with one’s position.

    I did not mean to be antagonistic or righteous. I just wanted to share my thoughts. I felt compelled to write as I read some outrageous comments and attacks in the Journal News particularly. I imagine that all writers read The Journal News or the NY Times and see that while most choose to write under a screen name there are others that don’t. In my letter I share my change of heart about annonymity.

    I realized that as Catherine pointed out it is usually the more agressive remarks that go under annonymity while those who openly state their positions on different matters rather than their anger sign their names. Food for thought..

    While I am interested in all views and ideas per se, I am particularly delighted when I see familiar names. I feel compelled to continue the conversation with Catherine, Tom or Simon to build on our views and go into more depth on the topic at hand. I could reach any of them and offer to grab a coffee just to chat about this in person. I get a sense of community that I find refreshing.

    While ideas are necessary and key to any movement, it is the individuals that carry them that bring them to fruition.

  • Betsy Palmieri

    It seems from reading the comments to Mariana’s letter, that the readers of this paper who have taken the time to comment, are in general much more civil than some of the anonymous posters Mariana may be thinking of who write in to the Journal News’ online site.

    To Eleanor: if you are curious about what Mariana is referring to, type my name in the search box at lohud.com, read some of the comments, and you will see the level of “discourse” engaged in by people who disagree with my ideas. Unlike what I’ve seen at this site, (though I don’t regularly read this paper) many anonymous posters there simply do personal attacks and name calling. I believe that kind of comment is cowardly. One anonymous poster justified his/her anonymity by saying he/she was afraid he/she would be labeled a racist. Uh, when we were kids, the saying was, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

    • Eleanor

      Betsy, sorry that you and others have had negative experiences in the Journal News blogging. Judy and Paula monitor this blog, and are responsible people. I find the Larchmont Gazette bloggers are bright, thought provoking civil people who agree, and/or agree to disagree. I hope that you will participate in our group discussions.

  • Mumbo Jumbo

    To Betsy P:

    Just an FYI -The phrase you are referring to is actually: “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it IN…”

    However, my favorite version of it goes like this:

    “When in doubt, leave it out”.

    -MJ

  • Anon E Mous

    Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for your actions. – Author unknown.

    My sincere thanks for compliments I’ve received here, not necessarily deserved, but they need not be taken back. They are, I expect, however, more accurately applied to their writers. For what may have been less than complimentary remarks, not necessarily deserved, but the writer need not take that back either :-)

    Catherine, sorry, but your question was answered, by me as I could, and also by another. Please look harder. It’s not all in the name.

    Tom, sorry, but I did ask, but some still don’t know which Catherine it is. But the concerns are heard anyway.

    Mariana, sorry, but in other aspects you are usually more inclusive. The most enlightened and strongest communities are based on diversity. And if you want, and if you want coffee, you can post an open invitation here and enjoy those who come.

    Regardless of each one’s opinion, it is refreshing to see so many participate eagerly in conversation of a subject. Ironically, this thread on identity is in some ways the polar opposite to another currently active in the Larchmont Gazette http://www.larchmontgazette.com/news/larchmonter-arrested-as-part-of-huge-insider-trading-case/. Thank you very much to the -Ed and Moderator for providing the community an important opportunity to speak.

    But unfortunately, greatjob here http://www.larchmontgazette.com/news/vol-fire-doused-firefighters-promoted/
    and Jay here http://www.larchmontgazette.com/news/tom-requires-vol-to-pay-for-new-assessor-intern/ are lone responders to excellent articles and very critical issues regarding our community. Perhaps we should all add our voices to theirs, whatever our opinions, whatever our names.

    As NY Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch said, ‘We’re going to fall off a cliff unless we get our revenues and our expenditures in true sync.’

    - A.E.M.

    P.S. Multiple choice quiz: Who said You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.?
    a. Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass
    b. Mark Twain
    c. Samuel Langhorne Clemens
    d. Josh

  • Mariana Boneo

    To A.E.M
    Here is a quote by the same author
    “We recognize that there are no trivial occurrences in life if we get the right focus on them”

    I don’t feel I can comment on the links you entered in your comment. I don’t feel compelled to write at this time. Again, I included my views on anonymous blogging. I appreciate the gazette for publishing my letter and for its effort to share important events and endeavors in our community as well as its new venture of opening an opportunity for all to comment as they choose to.
    It is obvious that there are strong views about anonymous blogging on either side. I believe good points were brought up by all.

    In the end..
    “Who dares
    To say that he alone has found the truth?”
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    • Dancerina

      Hello Mariana,

      Thanks for submitting your H.W. Longfellow quote – I love it because IT SPEAKS THE TRUTH!!!

      I don’t believe, although I certainly could be wrong, that A.E.M. thinks that he/she is has singularly or “alone found the truth”. I did not interpret it that way at least. But of course, perception is reality so perhaps you perceived it that way and therefore, it is your reality and maybe some of the others on here.

      I think there is a difference btwn, arrogance, confidence and the truth. One might possess all three traits or one may have just one or two of them. Some might say there is a thin line btwn all of them. As a truth seeker, I find no offense in one who delivers what he/she perceives to be the truth. As you stated in your last paragraph above, strong views were presented on all sides and good points were brought up by all. I would have to say I agree with you, as my perception was the same; truth be told ;-)

      PS: Here’s another “truth” from me: I once got the arithmetic wrong on one of these reply forms; it was quite late at night!

  • Catherine Ryan

    AEM:

    With all due respect AEM, you never did answer the question. Lots of non sequiturs, though. And yes you did prove Mariana’s point that when someone comments here with his or her legal name it does make the person accountable. This is a small community and you correctly linked me to another instance on this site where I used my legal name. Since it links me to a local event, one can guess with reasonable certainly that it is likely me. And it is, so I am (proudly) accountable for what I said and how I said it.
    I agree that this is a good discussion, though. I still don’t see the reason for fearing owning up to your ideas by using your name if you really believe in them and discuss them with a civil tone.

    • Pseud Onym

      Catherine, don’t get stuck on “the name” of a person. Having the name of “Catherine Ryan” can easily be Googled. Then I would have a predetermined “perception” of who you are, instead of just accepting your opinions without bias. I, therefore, will not Google or do a search for you. I find not knowing about yours and other blogger’s identities is liberating. To me your name is as valid as Anon E Mous. We are all equal by being Screen Names. Your Screen Name just happens to be your “legal name.” Or, maybe it isn’t. :-) For all I know…you are Anon E Mous in disguise! LOL ;-)

      • Catherine Ryan

        Anon E Mous mistakenly disproved his point. I am exactly the person he thinks I am. We are not all equal. I own up to who I am, just at the (much smarter) people he quotes in all his posts with their legal names. Why does he feel the need to identify the author of each quote he uses, but says putting his name to his comment is bias to his message?

        • Anon E Mous

          MEA culpa? Rather perhaps A U, demonstrated that A U, claims to be, the Catherine that, A ME identified :-)

          And, if our elected officials fail to connect with all the people, well actually, they could find themselves, well virtually unelected. ‘Cause at tax time, they take our green money, even though the pictures in the middle aren’t ours.

          So, to repeat, try this, a multiple choice quiz: Which name represents the person who said You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus?
          a. Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass
          b. Mark Twain
          c. Samuel Langhorne Clemens
          d. Josh

          - A.E.M.

  • Pseud Onym

    Enjoyed reading your comments. Hope you share your thoughts with us again. :-)

  • 10538er

    Catherine,
    Because AEM does not want to be held accountable, or be responsible for anything. Rather AEM would like to anonymously put blame on the elected officials that he or she may have voted for, or chats with on the street like they are friends. While I agree the majority, if not all, elected officials have done a poor job being fiscally responsible, do you really think any elected official came into office looking to raise taxes?? Local politicians are at the bottom of the barrel when we want to complain about our tax rate. Look at Chuck, Kirsten, Nita, Suzi, George (hate to say it, I like him), Judy, and school boards before looking at a town/village elected official. While there is certain animosity towards currently elected officials, think before voting them out, you may not like what you vote in.

    • Pseud Onym

      In defense of AEM and other bloggers,I don’t think we are questioning motives for holding office. We all do agree that there has to be a change in attitude and spending in our community. I think our Virtual Mayor AEM may have an impact on our Reality Mayors. We all have to be held accountable. In this economy “spending less is best.” Our neighbors in Rye seem to have gotten it.

      • Catherine Ryan

        Elected officials need not worry one bit about people who do not connect themselves to their ideas. And they know that.

        • Eleanor

          Oh Catherine…don’t be so sure. When I sent my emails to them last night, I used my “resident name.” Just because I have a “screen name” doesn’t mean I won’t identify myself in person. One has nothing to do with the other.

          In fact, Paul Fried emailed me late last night with a response. I continue to ask for an “answer that can be substantiated.” I cc the School Board as well.

          My question continues to be:

          “How many MHS Students used the allowed TI89 Scientific Graphing Calculator on the SAT’s last year? How many were used by Regular Education Students, and how many were used by Special Education Students?”

          It can easily be obtained, because the calculator has to be cleared before entering the room. I am sure that the SAT Board needs documentation on how many were cleared.

          Under my FOI request, Ms. Brause wrote to Dr. Orfinger in June 2009 that “few students at MHS use the TI89 Calculator.” This calculator is approved for the SAT’s.

          Ms. Manetta in her recent blog was asked the same question and never responded. It is not enough to say “we are compliant” without facts or statistics.
          I suspect the answer is “NONE,” because Ms. Brause was the Math Chairperson last academic year.

          Are we a “School District that is Technology Inferior?” Why aren’t our students competing on an equal field with other students nationally who are being instructed using more sophisticated approved technology?

          NYS requires that all Special Education Students “use to the maximum extent possible technology.” What kinds of devices are we offering our Special Ed Students to get through their Regents and SAT’s?

          I am sure we all want to know this information, considering that MHS students score so poorly on NYS math exams.

      • Mumbo Jumbo

        From what I have heard and read, people in Rye were hit harder by this recession then they were in Larchmont. More of them work on Wall Street and in Finance and more jobs were lost. I read something about this a while back.

        What that translates into is frugality. People learn to cutback and conserve when their income is restrained. In many ways, this is not a bad thing for any one of us. Spending on the consumer side as well as in Washington, had gotten way out of control.

        Before you go complimenting The City of Rye and its people, you should recognize that they HAD no choice but to cut back as they were in more dire straights than others.

        • Eleanor

          How do we know that Rye residents were harder hit than our community residents? How can you substantiate that statement? It sounds ridiculous.
          Is that a valid reason for over spending? Not for my hard earned money.

          Economic frugality is good for our community. Leadership has to tighten the budget spending. We live in the “real world.”

  • Pandora

    I would like to hereby officially declare that my proprietary box (aka “Pandora’s Box”) has been virtually pried open by all the anonymous blogging on the Larchmontgazette.com.

    And you know what? I am totally fine with it :)

    Alleluiah!!! I can see again, I can see!!!!!!!!!

  • DR

    On the topic of anonymous blogging, it you look back into American history, especially the colonial times, you’ll find that many if not most of the important political documents at the time such as the Federalist Papers or Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” were published anonymously. Yet they had profoundly positive effects on the development of the new American republic.

    Similarly, prior to the Civil War, some of the most powerful anti-slavery tracts were published anonymously.

    Such anonymous political writing can be powerful, since it liberates the author from the chains of delicate posturing and concern for their own immediate self-interest. It allows them to state their opinions without the hassle of fallout from snide neighbors and gossips.

    In any case, how would anyone authenticate identities on this message board? Short of using a complex and expensive system of “digital certificates” issued by a neutral 3rd party that would review and authenticate notarized applications (this is common in the secure data exchange world), it would not be possible.

    Finally, I got the same chuckle as “DC” did out of the poster who stated, “We cannot oblige people to sign their names because of First Amendment rights…”.

    The first amendment to the Constitution restrains Congress from abridging individual rights. Would requiring true identities to be disclosed on this website involve Congress making a law that would abridge the freedom of one’s speech? Of course not. It does not apply in any way, shape or form to a private website that wishes to authenticate the identities of letter writers.

    • Catherine Ryan

      Again you are proving Mariana’s point. No one here is putting forth arguments of the courageous Abolitionists or the Federalist Papers – a point she makes. And she also wisely suggests that she herself was not compelled to give her name but did so voluntarily to raise her level of accountability for both her ideas and tone and suggests others do he same. So why not give it a try DC?

      Catherine Ryan

  • Eleanor

    Thanks Pandora…Officials can blame you for the consequences of our blogging! ;-) Have a great day.

  • Pseud Onym

    DR…Thanks for sharing your information and opinions. I found it interesting reading. Always willing to listen and learn. ;-)

  • Mumbo Jumbo

    DR – Well said!
    Any chance your other initials are MD?

    ;-)

    MJ

  • Mariana Boneo

    And the debate continues…even Pandora joined us!

    Reading the above comments makes me wonder why the need to comment annonymously to current elected officials?

    First of all it is quite hard to recruit individuals willing to serve. Whether we like or not who gets elected, we owe them some respect for putting themselves out there. They have to deal with mockery, picketing and the burden of constantly being in the public eye. I believe that the least we can do is approach them personally if village or town meetings are too daunting. Participating in the political process is not just voting periodically, which a minority does, but continuing to actively participate through our engagement. The government is us. Again that is my point of view.. as my son says..” its a free country.”

    Now I understand that the pragmatics of certifying identity appear quite impossible to put into action and even worse, could be costly in this economy. I am well aware of anonymity as a right. I am not for taking away rights at all!

    What I was hoping to accomplish is to encourage those who read to think about the possibility of owning up to our beliefs. That is what those who signed their names in the blogs I read taught me.

    We don’t need laws to define everything in our lives and community. There are no laws that require us to say please and thank you. They are tacit understandings.

    I suspect that the sophistication of discourse is likely to elevate by adding faces to the statements. But alas this is not likely to happen for fear of getting a dirty look from a neighbor; or an elected official to whom we smile in the street might know that while we greet him or her as friends we write negative reviews about them under a different identity.

    • Eleanor

      Mariana, when I correspond with officials I do identify myself. When I blog, it is more informal and I prefer it that way. It is just a style issue. I think that Valerie O’Keeffe is terrific and that we are fortunate to have her. Nonetheless, there are issues that continue to need some attention.

  • Anon E Mous

    And certainly no politician has ever maintained a private life separate from their public one or hid anything from the public :-) And if it said that in the Sun it would have to be true :-) That Sun? Yes. A ME thinks was a newsPAPER, on PAPER of course!

    And Mariana, for argument sake, let’s take it at FACE value that it is you who are saying you are. The you has succeeded. Perhaps you’ve not convinced some or any to change our names, but simply gave reason to write in thoughts and sign with their pen, their chosen names – or should that pen be screen? Just what’s in a name?

    And it appears that us various names are having a reasonably sophisticated conversation intelligently exploring the U.S. Constitution, the difference between public and private, and even being multi-lingual – touché. Perhaps -Ed can let us know the record for the number of comments to an article or letter in this, uh, E-Paper :-)

    And if, just if, whatever the names, we use the new means at hand to share ideas on the other critical issues that confront our communities, then perhaps, we need not settle for what is but rather, what can be, will be.

    Now I know we’re not in Kansas! said Dorothy to Toto, as the www in the address line says it’s not 10538 or 10543, but the world wide web here. So in the words of revere and others, http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/10/science_journalists_bloggers_a.php

    • PSEUD ONYM

      Mariana wants identifiable names associated with our comments, and then why not demand our photos as well? Will that change her opinions? No, her response to our comments may change; i.e. she may consider it’s a woman, they are old, just a kid, he/she is black, white or Asian, looks like they are gay, straight, etc. By identifying by name the person who is commenting, just knowing their identity name may change our receptivity to the comments or ideas. That is why I enjoy writing under a “screen name.” It takes away the bias.

      Mariana, what if our names were Joe and/or Mohammed? Would that impact your receptivity to our comments? Would “Joe” make you more comfortable? Mohammed may be more insightful, but would his name impact what his message is? Having “screen names” takes the bias away. I don’t think we have changed your opinion.

      Mariana, take a risk…try commenting under a “screen name” and see if the responses are different. ;-) Leave your comfort zone.

      • Mariana Boneo

        PSEUD ONYM Your background would not affect my listening to you at all. I have close friends who think very differently than I do or who come from very different backgrounds and experiences.

        I understand people’s need to use a screen name. As I stated in my letter, I did use a screen name for some time and had a change of heart. My letter is about that in hopes that those who read it think about it. Revisit their views and take the risk themselves of using their names and see if their responses are different.

        And if for Joe you refer to Joe Lieberman, I confess I would have to control my anger and might have some difficulty listening to his position. But that is a whole different discussion…

    • Mariana Boneo

      Interesting link you posted AEM. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy the way this discussion is unfolding. I understand the difference between pseudonymous and anonymous. Certainly as I point out in my letter many have written under pseudonyms I should correct that right? where I say wrote anonymously.

      Many of the bloggers in the journal news go under pseudonyms: watchdog2; cutthebs; cicero; geopolitics and I could go on and on. One can certainly see their thinking through their entries. However I maintain my point that if they were to sign their postings with their names they would probably read them twice before hitting the send button. Then doubt would have a little role there and as someone quoted earlier “when in doubt, leave it out” or as I tell my daughter “when in doubt is always NO”.

      Now at FACE value you have to admit that the fact that you can walk pass me in the street and know who I am and I won’t, does feel a bit unequal. I do hope that if you or any of the above pseudonymous writers see me somewhere, you will say hello and I promise not to reveal your identities. We will probably share a good laugh and maybe continue this conversation in person.

      Not sure this was the most commented piece but it certainly motivated many to enter their thoughts.

      Are we done? Is there more to it? Do we agree that there are are pros and cons to all positions presented? Have we found some common ground?

      Since you like quotes here goes one:
      ” A little work, a little play,
      To keep us going – and, good-day!” Charles Farrar Browne

      • PSEUD ONYM

        Hi Mariana,

        I just sent you a LinkedIn Invitation…identifying myself with “my real name.” When you wrote that I would know you walking in the halls, I wondered why. I googled you out of curiosity and found out about your wonderful contribution to our community. So when you see my invitation to LinkedIn…you will be the only one that will know my true identify. I hope you will keep it very “confidential.” ;-)

        • Mariana Boneo

          PSEUD ONYM
          Thank you for your kind words. Will check the request in the network and rest assured that I can keep a secret! I appreciate your invitation!

        • Pandora

          No True Pseud Onym – everyone in her contact base will know who you are too. The way Linked In works is that they update on a daily and weekly basis, all of the newest contacts. So anyone in her contact list will get to see who all of her newest contacts are and draw conclusions.

          You should know how this works if you are a registered user on Linked In. Even if you hide your contacts, the updates and newest contacts are available for every one of your connections to see…..not that I care who you are or anyone else on here for that matter.

          I think this topic has worn itself out a very long time ago. Can we please all move on past the Pandora’s Box??!!

      • Mumbo Jumbo

        Mariana,

        If you had used a pseudonym or an anonymous profile (they are in essence the same thing) then you would be able to walk PAST AEM on equal ground w/ the insecurity or concerns that you evidently have today. Incidentally, I am sure it’s a result of your rapid fire fingers….aka quick typing, but when you walk past AEM he/she would know who you are, as you say, but so would you!! And you must admit that at “Face Value” too ;-)

        I think we’re done now….Tout Finis!!!

        • Catherine Ryan

          “but when you walk past AEM he/she would know who you are, as you say, but so would you!!”

          Looking for clarification here. Are you saying that Mariana would know herself? Don’t understand the point you are making…….

          • Mumbo Jumbo

            Go back and re-read Mariana B’s post. Her commentary was grammatically confusing… She said this (and I lift it word for word from her Nov 15th response to AEM:

            >>>>Now at FACE value you have to admit that the fact that you can walk pass me in the street and know who I am and I won’t, does feel a bit unequal>>>>>

            It doesn’t make sense – she using the reflective without a clearly defined subject matter. It’s confusing. A direct translation implies that she is saying she won’t know who she is….as in herself.

            I have no problem pointing stuff out, but if I have to go over and over it to explain it when it’s clear as a whistle, then this becomes a total drag. Catherine Ryan, you do seem a bit defensive towards anonymous posters here. That is my take away here…I think you may want to re-read some of your “challenges”.

            I find there is a lot of back and forth here explaining basic stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t have any time to keep up anymore. I had hoped for a faster, free flowing discussion on this board as it has been in the PAST. However, there are some posters on here who have this uncanny desire to know who, where what why and when someone is posting. And it detracts from the focus and the purpose of the commentary; for that matter, the content as a whole. If you’re not comfortable w/ blogging as it was created to be, anonymously, then you may want to start your own online publication and force people to opt in by sign in with a traceable name. You may as well put up a sign up sheet outside of a gov’t office to attract the same level of interest though…I can assure you will have a very hard time getting a diverse and engaging “crowd”.

            OK – that’s all from me. I didn’t come here to pontificate nor educate, maybe not even to debate. But I’ve said all I need to say, for now, and I have nothing left on my plate, to state :)

  • PSEUD ONYM

    Ohhh nooo..my identity may have been breached!! :-(

    In fact, I was chatting with a business contact and telling them how much fun I was having with my Larchmont/Gazette comments. I found out that I was talking to “DR”.. I had no idea.

    What I suggested was that we all meet for breakfast one morning, and “DR” thought that would be a good idea. If any of you are receptive to that…let me know what day works best. ;-)

    • Pandora

      When chatting w/ this “DR” …is there any chance you were looking in the mirror at the same time??

      :-)

      I wonder,….is it possible….some of these aliases are one in the same as Eleanor surmised in an earlier post?? …Or …egads!..are there perhaps multiple personalities amongst us?? ….give or take a few…??

      Or…just maybe …AEM’s Science Fiction references from above may not have been so off base afterall….may be…it’s true…we may have stumbled upon……a new entity, the “Twilight” Gazette if you will…..and it is possible… we may not be alone here……..eGadZettes!!!

  • PSEUD ONYM

    Sorry, “DR” is not the same gender or person. Last time I checked, I don’t talk to myself in the mirror. :-) Would Clark Kent disclose his aliases? Should I meet you or others, and feel safe enough to disclose my “secret identity or identities” whichever is true..then you shall know. ;-)

  • Mariana Boneo

    I believe we are chatting rather than continuing the comments to the issue of anonymity when blogging.

    PSEUD ONYM I included quite a few individuals to my network so I believe that people have better things to do than going over all my contacts. I would be happy to meet anyone interested in getting together for a coffee. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. It is a very interesting discussion and a safe one!

    As for Mumbo Jumbo…not sure what you meant when referring to my insecurity. I was continuing to elaborate on my point of anonymity. Wasn’t really discussing my feelings about that on a personal level. I guess you missed that ha..

    And I believe that someone who uses a pseudonym and comments frequently on issues brought up in the news is not the same as an occasional anonymous writer. That is why I offered to correct. It is clear that many writers here have a distinct voice. They appear to have developed quite a following -”Virtual Mayor” that is fascinating- In a way they are still anonymous and I stick to the point that it generates an unequal debate. Yet we are in an unequal society anyway so it’s just a reflection of the status quo.

    On the other hand we could endeavor to bridge certain aspects of inequality. That was my point really. Though I am always fascinated by ideas when I read a novel or listen to a compelling piece of music, inevitably I will move toward learning about an author or composer’s life to listen again to their piece and expand on the understanding that their experiences have inevitably marked their lives moving them to write or compose in a certain way.

    I am more interested in the individuals that bring good ideas and looking into further developing those ideas if they are good rather than leaving them as ideas in the virtual world. That’s all. C’est tout!

    As for Pandora’s comments, all personalities whether the same individual or not have contributed to the discussion so they would be all invited. Not sure you know that your earliest incarnation, the original Pandora, felt quite guilty when she saw the consequences of her box. She tried to close it but alas it was too late.

    I look forward to that coffee. I can be reached at marianaboneo@yahoo.com

  • PSEUD ONYM

    Well said Mariana. I tried my “screen name” because I wanted to see if people would just “listen” instead of stereotyping me, because we are in an unequal society. I agree with you. If all things were equal and anonymous the question I had was would we perceive people differently?

    It has provoked curiousity though. When speaking to DR, I had no clue that this person was commenting. If I were to profile DR by their comments, I would not have been right. That is what I find interesting.

  • Dancerinia

    The opening paragraph in this letter is still something that I find very troubling and actually, kind of disturbing. I think this is what set off all of the confrontation that took place over the past few weeks on this board. I wish people would strive to be more careful in their choice of words in the future; as their words have repercussions including the alienation of others. Here is what Mariana’s letter above stated that I find to be quite out of line and which ignited the debate in the first place:

    >>>Pandora’s box was opened out of curiosity without meaning any harm. Yet all evils of mankind were released and hope was left in the box once it was closed>>>

    “all evils of mankind were released and hope was left in the box once it was closed”???? HUH???!! Run that by me again??It’s so preposterous that it is almost laughable.

    If you want to see “all evils of mankind” released then I think a trip to a war zone or a country experiencing genocide or human trafficking or child abuse or animal abuse is in order. But citing that anonymous blogging (an oxymoron, I realize but I want to emphasize what the writer’s issues are in case there’s any doubt – she really doesn’t like the fact that people are commenting anonymously, even if it is their right to do so) is in the same league with true “evils of mankind” such as the examples I provided above is beyond delusional. It’s outrageously inaccurate.

    Just like Mumbo Jumbo stated, I don’t think I’ll be posting any more either until the topics change at least. I don’t see any of this as “thought provoking” nor productive on anyone’s part – other than providing some self grandeur to some of the bloggers and letter writers. Truth be told, I see it more as a waste of time as MJ also said.

    I do wish there were better discussions taking place here. Perhaps the news is slow as we wind down the end of the year and as a result the discussion sink as well.

    • Mariana Boneo

      Even though I thought we were finished I guess I cannot resist responding to Dancerinia. I was a bit startled by the tone! My intention was not that of troubling any reader but bringing some food for thought through my personal experience with blogging.

      In my opening phrase I was making a comparison to Pandora’s myth as an exploration of unintended consequences. I mentioned the evils I encountered in different blogs. I define as evils spiteful, hurtful or rude comments that are more likely to be sent by anonymous writers. It was an opinion I decided to share through the gazette.

      In good faith don’t you find it difficult to deny the fact that if you were to sign your recent posting with your name you would have written it slightly different? Would you call me delusional, outrageously inaccurate and laughable or seeking self grandeur in my face? I hope you stop and think about this for a minute before you discard all the exchanges about this topic.

      Now, I wish to share that I’ve been thinking about PSEUD ONYM’s posting about the role that stereotypes on race, gender, political affilitations, culture and the like can have in our openness to listen or read a piece. I believe this point is worth considering.

      I tried to work on that in my mind and think of my own stereotypes. I thought about my openness to the posting of a member of the KKK. I would have to work real hard inside me to be open to a posting by such individual because in my view there is little dialogue possible when racism is the issue. Now if the post was anonymous, I wouldn’t know about that affiliation and I would certainly read it without the emotion related to the activities of the KKK and racism interfering with my attention to the actual post. I believe that that was what I took with me from this discussion as an excellent argument to challenge my position.

      I am sorry to have angered you Dancerinia. Not the intention at all. I hope you have a great day.

  • PSEUD ONYM

    Mumbo Jumbo and Dancerina..we will miss you both! :-(

    I think Dancerina is finding pleasure in pointing out typos. I certainly understood what Mariana meant. I believe others did as well. The problem is that there is no edit button.

    Are we finding fault with Mariana because she decided “not to play by our rules?” Perhaps. Are we forming biases because of that? What if Mariana didn’t identify herself by name? Would we respond differently?

    What if Mariana’s name is really Bill Clinton? Would you speak to Bill that way? Do you really know if Mariana isn’t Bill Clinton? Would you then change your dialogue Dancerina and Mumbo Jumbo?

    Why did both of you have to forewarn us that you were leaving? Why not just leave? Feel free to come back and visit. ;-) Perhaps you can change your “screen name” and see if we realize you are really back. :-)

  • Dancerinia

    Correction: actually, I am Dancerinia…not Dancerina.

    We are two separate posters, (one w/ an additional ‘i’ at the end) so please, make note!

    The edit application would be nice to apply here, I would agree. This is accessible on all other blogs I post on and should be available here too. Good point.

    Bye now!

    • Dancerinia and others: We are testing a way for users to be able to edit their own comments after the comment has been approved. Right now, we’re setting the timing for 30 minutes. So within 30 minutes of seeing your comment appear, you can edit it or request deletion.

      I actually haven’t seen this feature on too many other sites. We’ll see if it works or not! Sometimes there are conflicts with other parts of the site’s backend. Please let us know how it’s working for you.

      • Dancerinia

        You can go to LinkedIn, Marketwatch.com, just to name a few and see that the edit feature is available and works well there on both sites. I will try it here now and see if it worx (sic, done intentionally to test my point).

      • Catherine Ryan

        This is great.

  • Dancerinia

    PS – Bill Clinton?? Nah…wouldn’t impress me in the least. I see him in Chappaqua all the time. I’m a bit jaded you may say.

    But Barack Obama, yes – I would be very happy to meet our wonderful and most recently elected President.

    Just don’t tell me you’re Sarah Palin. I can’t take any more interviews or appearances by that woman – or “Levis” Johnston and his Playgirl poses. No, they should all return to their native Alaska and do what they do best there – wear clothes!!

    Lord, help us ….there goes the neighborhood!!!

  • Paula E.

    You can also do an immediate edit right after you hit the submit button. Useful for typos.

  • PSEUD ONYM

    Dancerina…I knew you wouldn’t leave. :-) I told Mariana that my new “screen name” may be “Hillary.” She suggested I consider “Monica.” ;-) Sarah Palin is going to be around for a long time I fear. Dancerina, are you now insulting “Native Alaskans”? You don’t like the way they dress? Do people in Chappaqua dress any nicer in the winter? LOL :-) You really have to explore your opinions! LOL ;-)

  • Dancerinia

    No – it did not work for me – I was unable to see my post even if I could edit it, after I hit the submit button. It just disappeared!!

    Check out how it works on the two site I mentioned in my previous post – you will see that they have a link that resides on the post for 30 mins that says “edit comment” and that gives you the ability to make any changes once you click on that link. Here you do not have that – and my posts just seem to evaporate into thin air once I hit the submit button. Perhaps it’s visible to you on the back end, but not visible to me here so therefore, I can’t make any changes or corrections ….

    Please see how it works on Marketwatch.com or LinkedIn.com, those are the two best examples I can give you to reference how it’s done. But don’t ask me from a coding standpoint how to do it, that’s out of my domain ;-)

    • Hi. We don’t require registration to comment, so we do put a new post into the moderation queue. It hasn’t disappeared; it’s just not visible until an administrator approves it and publishes it.