Listed below are some sample letters that registered members of the website may use as models for writing articles and letters to the editors of local newspapers and websites.
There are also the Letters to The Editors addresses for some key Philadelphia and Bucks County Newspapers as well as the web links to TV stations and blogs that encourage citizen comments.
Letter No. 1:
There certainly is hostility, partisanship, and even un-democratic activity at Northampton Township meetings.Â However, this unpleasantness does not start with the majority Supervisors, as is widely reported.
It is from a small band of residents who heckle, insult, jeer and shout down Supervisors Komelasky and Deon, or anyone speaking in their defense.Â These residents refuse to put themselves on record or on camera, preferring the anonymity of the crowd.Â They intend only to disrupt the meeting, and clearly they have been very effective.
Faced with this apparently well coordinated effort to sabotage public meetings, the Supervisors have been forced to take drastic actions.Â These actions are not meant to shut down discussion, but to hold the mob in check long enough to give other voices a chance to be heard.
I know this is a very different take on the meetings than you may have heard.Â At this writing, the next meetings are scheduled for July 13th and 27th, 8 PM, at the Township Building â€“ more details at http://www.northamptontownship.com/boards/schedule.aspx.Â Please, come out and see for yourself what is happening at your Township meetings.
Letter No. 2:
This is the only space the Courier Times offers to the public.Â To appear here, writers must meetÂ the requirements and restrictions reprinted daily, right belowÂ their views.
I mention this because the same people who run this space routinely and harshly criticize Northampton Township Supervisors Komelasky and Deon for allegedly restricting debate at Township meetings.
This is not to label the editors hypocrites.Â Rather, it is to cite their recognition that any unregulatedÂ public airing of views will degenerate quickly.
To keep order and allow everyone to be heard, some may have to wrap it up earlier than they would like; and wait aÂ bit before taking another turn, especially if they have nothing new to add; and support points and accusations with facts; and take responsibility by putting oneâ€™s name and face to oneâ€™s comments.
Unsubstantiated accusations, repeat comments, speeches well over the length allowed here (interestingly, three minutes at an average reading rate), and anonymous jeers and insults are all common at Township meetings.Â And the Courier would rightly refuse to publish every word of it.
The Supervisorsâ€™ efforts, criticized as limiting public comment, are exactly what this paper does every day:Â set a few reasonable rules to keep the debate moving and civilized.
Letters to the Editor
Bucks County Courier Times
8400 Route 13
Levittown, PA 19057
Submitting a press release
Organizations and clubs who want news of their activities published in the newspaper should send us a press release or photograph for consideration. Here are some guidelines:
Type your story, double-spaced, on standard 8Â½ by 11 paper. Include your name and a day-time telephone number in case we have questions. Be brief, but include information that will answer the questions of who, what, when, where, how and why.
Be accurate. Names should be spelled correctly.
Write the press release to begin with the most important information first. For example, you may want to begin with what type of event is planned, where and when it will be held and who will be involved. Follow that information with why the event is planned or how it will affect the community.
The newspaper always welcomes tips about newsworthy happenings or breaking stories.
Phone numbers of our news rooms are:
Here are phone numbers for some other newspaper departments:
Business News: 215-345-3186
The Graham Building, Suite 1400
30 S. 15th St., Phila, Pa, 19102
Editorial Fax: 215-717-2627
Philadelphia Media Holdings (Inquirer & Daily News)
P.O. Box 8263
Philadelphia, PA 19101
400 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Inquirer City Desk: (215) 854-4500
Daily News City Desk: (215) 854-5901
The Catholic Standard & Times
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
Facebook Page (Where you can write on their wall!): http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Philadelphia-PA/Catholic-Standard-Times/108085326801
TV Stations Websites:
KYW (Channel 3): www.kyw1060.com
WCAU (Channel 10): www.nbcphiladelphia.com (Feedback page at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/station/#tvg plus you may comment on news and opinion articles online by clicking on the “Buzz up” link after every story and adding your comment on it. The comment goes to Yahoo and gets very wide distribution. Remember, your politicians are listening for feedback)
WPVI (Channel 6): http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/index