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Blocked by New Hartford Plus For Trying to Correct Misinformation? Me too…

by on March 30, 2012

Dear Friends of Open Discussion and Honesty in Reporting in New Hartford:

New Hartford Plus posts the Principles of Journalism on their “About Us” page.  I’d like to direct your attention to an excerpt:

#1  Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
#4  It’s practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
#6  It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise

I feel obligated to write this with the hopes of helping to inform the readers of New Hartford Plus that they are only getting half the story, because the editors frequently delete and/or outright block comments that don’t forward their agenda.  I have attempted a few times to comment on the website, and sometimes comments are “approved”, but usually they are not.  You will find that this is the case if you disagree with anything reported, and attempt to provide information to the readers in an honest and factual manner. 

I now find myself among the ranks of the many who have been blocked from posting on the blog.  How many of us are out there?

Now, you may notice that if you look on their last Facebook post, you will see in the comments section a response to “Jessica”.  That is me.  Oddly, though, there is no comment from me.  That is because my comments have been deleted.  Lucky for me, I saved a screen shot of the comments, so that I can share them with you here, where there is no censorship of ideas.  

These activities occurred between yesterday and today, after the letter from Friends of Brodie Park South was posted there.  When I attempted to provide information to readers, my comments were deleted.  I have now been blocked from commenting on the site.  These types of activities are frowned upon by the established media.

My first comment was in response to another person who was concerned that the Friends of Brodie Park South were asking for her support to stop Youth Football from practicing at Brodie Park South.  Because she lives next to New Hartford Elementary, which she thinks is an alternative to BPS, her concern was that the inconveniences experienced currently by neighbors of Brodie Park South would just be moved over to her.  However, as a reasonable person, she admitted that she would make the best of the situation if they did move there, and would even walk over to watch them play.  I commend her.  

Maria responded that she has always supported the move to Ann Antolini School, where the field is available.  My response to this was as follows, with name removed to protect the innocent:

“——-, as Maria knows – because it is explained on her video of the 02/01/12 Rec Meeting right around minute 20:20, youth soccer currently uses the fields at Antolini 5 nights a week, so it is not available as it stands right now for Football. They are at BPS temporarily only because there is literally no other available space, until they develop (with your tax money) the fields at Antolini.”

You can read her response to me, because that remains on the comments section, oddly.  She explained to me that Youth Sports coaches arrange practice schedules and submit them to Rec.  She then said that “the word through Rec” is that soccer will move to some other location – she suggested the space next to the Field House (the hill?) and football can move to Antolini this year.  
I responded to her response to me.

“Maria, it seems as though you are implying that Football is just practicing at BPS to spite you and the FoBPS. If that is “the word through Rec” that has never been expressed by Rec at any of the town meetings that you have reported on, including the meeting that you attended last night. If there is available space that will accommodate Football, they will happily move. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The field at Antolini needs to be expanded so that Football can practice there, and that will take time and directly cost everyone in town money in the form of taxes. This has been explained various times at the town meetings you report on and in the videos that you post.”

Do you think that I was disrespectful?  I did not post anonymously and I had less than her maximum 3 posts on the topic.  There seems to be one other reason you are blocked from commenting, and that is for pointing out misinformation.  That is not welcome there.

I ask you, readers of New Hartford Plus, what kind of “news” are you getting if commenters who attempt to correct misinformation “reported” are constantly being blocked from the site?  I know I’m not the only one; we hear from more and more everyday like us.  They are not allowing you to formulate your own opinion – with all of the facts presented to you.  

I thank the for having an open posting policy and for not censoring their content to hide information from their readers.


Jessica Alvarez


From → Commentary

  1. I beg to differ with Maria when she states that she has always supported the move to Antolini. In the Board of Finance meeting on March 22, Maria proposed to cut the funding for the field expansion project. She passed out her recommended list of cuts, of which I have a copy, and it clearly is a project that she does not support. Fortunately, the other board members do not agree with her, and she was told that it is not the BOF’s normal procedures to micromanage how the Selectman (or Education) make their cuts, just to propose an amount to cut. She is telling people that she supports the move, but her actions tell a different story.

  2. New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

    Thanks Jessica, for documenting the deception.

  3. Dale Martin President, New Hartford Youth Baseball/Softball permalink

    While I do think New Hartford Plus provides a service to our community, I would not call their “reporting” on BPS journalism. It is editorial at best, misleading at worst. I find it to be the latter. Perhaps Ms. Moore should go directly to the various Youth Sports for her information on Youth Sports. She may find it enlightening. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss our program with her. Hiding behind the cloak of journalism is a disservice to us all.

  4. stephaniegorman permalink

    The fact is, with the exception of football, Maria and Bob do a fantastic job at covering all things New Hartford. But they are dead wrong when it comes to trying to stop children from playing football. They are not fair, and they don’t care to be so. I’m tired of the lies. There is no way that the rec commission could shut these kids down. I’d be surprised if they did. In this instance, NH+ has demonstrated zero patience, zero faith in the fact that football would go elsewhere if they could and a complete lack of willingness to cooperate with their neighbors in a friendly fashion. Blacking out the truth (or any other point of view other than their own) is in no way responsible journalism. They are divisive, and it’s really sad that it has come to this. The town deserves better.

    • Neil permalink

      The exception about football that you mentioned is right but should expand to include all sports. They’ve shown little interest or knowledge of sports, especially youth sports.

      The way they have been one sided, deleted posts with differing viewpoints and blocked people from their blog and Facebook page is just as you point out: divisive, irresponsible, and unfriendly.

      • stephaniegorman permalink

        Good Point Neil. Thanks for the correction!

  5. New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

    Only took 2 comments to get blocked. Business idea: “I’ve Been Blocked By NH+” tee shirts.

  6. PELLETIER permalink

    Stating that Bob and Maria of NewHartford Plus are against youth sports is an abhorrent piece of small-town, small-minded gossip. All they’re trying to do is preserve some of your neighbor’s quality of life who are being crapped on by a small special-interest group of bullies. Hey, as long as it’s not going on in the bullies’ backyards -right? This isn’t a vendetta against the children of New Hartford playing sports. It is, however, an issue of sports parents doing a lot of questionable things and a search for resolution regarding the town’s currently available infrastructure. The kids don’t run the show, obviously parks and recreation do not, so it’s an issue involving ADULTS who run the youth sports programs. To turn it into a town vs. kids issue is a cowardly spin and is despicable. at town BOE meetings, they run through endless revisions of policy regarding bullying. Is it time to draw up policy regarding bullying by special interest groups and elected officials against their own citizens????

    Bullies who are so “proud” of their upbringing in the sports culture that they want their kids to follow suit? Even elected officials bullying – some going as far to promote select boycotts of local businesses who dare take a stand against recent events at BPS. Honesty and Integrity???! Elected officials actually trying to make businesses in their own town fail??? Businesses that pay taxes and put money in the coffers? What a joke! As a former groundskeeper for a private boys school in Avon and a bus driver who drives kids to and from their sports events, I know all too well about the sports “culture”. It’s a culture of disrespect with a misplaced sense of privilege, and it’s the parents I’m writing about. For the most part, the kids are not an issue. It’s the “grown-ups” who run the show. Park wherever you want, litter, destroy bus interiors (allowed and ignored by the coaches), create dangerous traffic and pedestrian situations – talk about mob mentality.

    For example: I drive home through Barkhamsted every night along the river. The town sank treasure into creating an ample parking area for the baseball games outside of Riverton. Despite the town’s best attempts to provide a safe place for everyone to park, the parents still insist on lining up along the road, kids jumping out of vehicles, doors swinging open, throw in some bicyclists and joggers and it gets real interesting. All this happening on a road that can scarcely allow 2 cars traveling in opposite directions to pass while the new parking lot is veritably empty.

    What are you trying to instill in your kids? It’s not safe, it’s not courteous… everything these parents do seems to fly in the face of reason even when the right thing to do involves an extra 75 -100 yard walk. Doesn’t the concept of sports involve physical fitness and not finding the most direct waddle to the bleachers?

    And what about the bullying from this website, who have called New Hartford Plus’ advertisers and coerced them into dropping their ads, simply because Bob and Maria have a difference of opinion. What a shameful, petty, crap-storm you’re creating. Actually, being an out-of towner, I’m just standing on the sidelines and enjoying the circus! If I WERE a citizen, I would be incredibly ashamed at how low you’re all stooping! Honesty and integrity my arse…

  7. Pelletier: Who are you referring to when you state that elected officials are bullies and promoting boycotts of local businesses? Please be more clear and state your facts, not your opinion.

  8. PELLETIER permalink

    Like I said… out of towner and I’ve said my peace regarding this maelstrom of dung! HaHa! It will all come out soon enough regardless of my facts or my “opinion”. And that’s all I care to say about that. Have a nice day.

    • Alesia Kennerson permalink

      Then I will disregard since there are no facts to present.

    • stephaniegorman permalink

      Telling the truth and defending yourself is absolutely not bullying. Everything that has been said is carefully vetted by at least 3 people at a time to ensure accuracy. We have not started a war. We are on defense in a game where someone in a position of power has cheated residents from the whole truth. There is no way on this earth that anyone would be able to post a comment like yours on NH+. I’m not saying that to be a “bully”, it’s just a fact.

      I do have to agree with your comment about parents (in Avon). I played soccer as well as softball for Regional, and know first hand how those parents are – or at least were then. That said, you cannot hang the same generalization around the necks of the people of New Hartford. That is unfair considering you are from out of town and probably haven’t seen how much care these parents take in respecting BPS and its neighbors.

      I have no doubt that Maria and Bob think that what they are doing is in the best interest of the town. My only request (and as you can see, I’m not alone) is that they be truthful – or at least allow the truth to be posted.

  9. PELLETIER permalink

    “That is unfair considering you are from out of town and probably haven’t seen how much care these parents take in respecting BPS and its neighbors”.

    The fact is that almost 150 residents around BPS have signed a petition regarding how much “care and respect” they’re receiving from the sports culture sect and their town government. It’s safe to say no one is coercing residents to sign petitions and that alone speaks volumes of truth.

    There also comes a point when defending becomes attacking and this online rag and it’s commentators have gone well past the line from stringent words to malicious, physical action. Yes, I can see that you’re not alone, as I stated previously -“mob mentality”. Why doesn’t everyone just step back and reflect on what you’re doing to your neighbors. You will only shoot yourselves in the foot in the long run, most likely in the form of even higher taxes.

    • jessalvarez permalink

      Mr. Pelletier – It seems as though you may be forming your opinion of our online rag before reading it, because if you took the time to read the posts and comments, you would see that 122 people signed a petition, many of them dont live near BPS, and people have exactly been coerced into signing something they didnt understand.

      If we are sticking to the facts, the facts are that the kids are at BPS because they have no other place to play, and the only thing costing tax payers money is the people that wont let the kids use the park. They will eventually move to Antolini, but developing that field will cost money. Taxes will go up because the “neighbors” are not willing to work out any solution other than the immediate end to any/all active recreation at BPS, causing the need to build fields elsewhere.

      • PELLETIER permalink

        Oh I read your rag thoroughly (snooooooore). There were 122 signatures at YOUR last count, with more being added since. The only reason if residents are back-peddling on signing the petition it’s because they are being hounded and coerced into saying they didn’t understand it by you “good folks” at the beacon. BTW, nice ploy, displaying all the names and addresses of petitioners so they can be targeted, harassed and shunned by the football parents.

        They do have alternate fields for practice. They had Brown’s Corner but they were kicked out for abusing their practice schedules. It’s just a shame that a small special interest group is going to cost all the taxpayers. Why doesn’t youth sports and the beacon, no – THE WHOLE TOWN come together and hold fund-raisers or ask residents with heavy machinery and know-how to volunteer their time and get a jump on the field at Antolini. Has anyone thought about that? Is philanthropy still alive? Maybe the hero to this dilemma can have a field named after them in their honor?

    • The sports culture you so viciously malign has been nothing but respectful to the FoBPS. I invite you to watch New Hartford Plus videos on every town meeting.

      Their blog has had monopolistic power over media content about this subject for well over two years, with unfortunate results.

      If making sure the truth about their accusations and fabrications gets out makes us “bullies,” we’ll wear that.

      Sharon Wilbur

  10. PELLETIER permalink

    HAHA! The ladies doth protest too much, methinks!

  11. PELLETIER permalink

    I don’t understand how you can fabricate mistruths through video taped meetings on the matter, or any matter. Believe me, I’ve watched all the meetings and the sports culture has nothing but animosity towards the FOBPS as seen in the meetings with their chortles, guffaws, boos and head shaking while they are commenting on the situation. Acting out exactly as one would expect the sports culture sect to behave. Maybe you should review them. Isn’t it convenient to have such substantive material at your fingertips per gratis of your nemesis, NewHartfordPlus, who not only provide the town with these taped meetings, but offer substantive reading on a variety of other topics and events that focus on the positives of this town. Your site is the “BIZZARRO WORLD” of NH+. Complete polar opposite and completely negative.

    • stephaniegorman permalink

      Do you suggest we take the beating and like it? “Thank you sir, may I have another?” lol

      What other outlet do we have? This is it. NH+ has tried to silence the other side of the story by blocking us from posting.

    • New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

      Bravo Mr P! Someone needs to be the muscle for the moron fringe. I really do feel for you. Have you been bullied since 1st grade? The contempt you show towards athletics is priceless. Maybe if you had stood up for yourself, just once, everything could have been different (rent “Back To The Future”).

      NH+ won’t allow freedom of ideas from its readers, which is its right as a private organization. So many of those same readers have found their outlet. It’s unfamiliar to you. It’s called standing up for yourself. Try it.

  12. PELLETIER permalink

    Why don’t you use your real name? Never had to fight much but won all the fights I was in If that excites your neanderthal instsincts Mr. Jock Strap. See, the sports “culture sect finally has shown up !! YEE HAWW!!!!!!!!

    Note from the Editor: Be carefull Mr. Pelletier. Your comments are becoming crude. If you wouldn’t want your Mom to read it, please don’t write it here.

    • New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

      And there it is! Doesn’t it feel better already? Just on more thing, “YEE HAWW!!!!!!!!”, I believe you have sports confused with country line dancing.

    • I would like to point out, Mr. Pelletier, that all of us were blocked from New Hartford Plus for much less than what you’ve posted here, and you’re still typing.

      That’s the way dialogue is, even if I choose not to respond to 90% of what you post because it’s just not worth it.

  13. PELLETIER permalink

    I have no confusion about a man-child who refers back to an 80’s children’s movie in an infantile, yet hostile rebuttal. Stuck in the past and still living out his teenage glory days on the field. Be a man a print your name, unless you like Mr. Jaques Strapp?

    • New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

      Can’t. I want to write for nh+ when I grow up, like you do.

  14. PELLETIER permalink

    Maybe, Biff or Jaques or whatever your hidden identity is, CAN you write? You may even be a woman for all I know. Why don’t you put a a little avatar tossing a football if you’re a guy. Or maybe a fat, little South Park avatar if you’re a woman.

    Really, it’s been a blast rattling all your cages, seeing as I’m the only voice of dissension among your twisted little following. Thanks for letting me vent, Sharon. Gee, America is swell. But I’ve spent WAY to much time over here giving you noodnicks a good time. Please go back to grumbling to yourselves again. TA-TA and HAHA!!!

    • Anonymous permalink

      Lots of personal attacks here. Hard to pick out the bully, isn’t it?

  15. Guest permalink

    “Like I said… out of towner and I’ve said my peace regarding this maelstrom of dung! HaHa! It will all come out soon enough regardless of my facts or my “opinion”. And that’s all I care to say about that. Have a nice day” Posted by “Pelletier”, about 7 posts ago………so why is he still posting?


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