Greta Garbo, who famously said “I want to be alone” in one of her films and in fact preferred as much in real life, probably would have liked living in Weston. We don’t necessarily know our neighbors, and we are not obligated to interact with anyone. We value privacy and the ability to be left alone when we so choose.
But in this holiday season there are many other things I can think of to be thankful for in Weston, and first and foremost is its people. That’s right, you and you and maybe you too, hiding in the woods.
We rely on the sincerity and wisdom of those of our fellow Westonites who volunteer to serve on elected and appointed Boards, Commissions, and Committees. We expect that they will do the right things for us.
The Weston League of Women Voters recently presented a very intellectual and informative discussion of “Local News, Community, and Democracy.” Following presentations by three panelists having extensive professional journalism and communications experience discussion with the audience flowed. A video of the event can be seen at www.lwvweston.org.
I asked the first question following the presentations, involving how to make informational websites more noticeable to the public. Is there a way for entities like the sites I manage, www.aboutweston.com and www.lwvweston.org, to increase public awareness of the locally-oriented news and information they present? The answer seemed to be to disseminate the links as much as possible.
Attending meetings of Town Boards and Commissions can in a sense be like watching soap operas. If you don’t do it regularly you can lose track of the story.
In this day and age “hot news” gets cold pretty fast. It tends to be overwhelmed by the next day’s screaming headlines. And local news in Weston is rarely “hot,” and rarely warrants regional notice. So how can Westonites keep up with goings on in Town, especially matters involving local government?
You are already off to a good start, since you are now looking at www.westontoday.news. In addition, if your primary concern is K-12 education, as is the case for many Westonites, you have an immediate source of information. That would be your child. As well as the school system’s website, P.T.O. contacts, and the “Moms in Weston” Facebook group and website. But how about other parts of municipal government?
The Boards of Selectmen and Finance, P&Z, the Building Committee and the Police Commission are my journalistic “beat.”
Their agendas and other relevant information are posted on the Town website. But my unofficial “minutes” and a photo story with captions for their meetings are posted the very night they occur, at www.aboutweston.com.
Did you ever wonder about some of the things previous Boards of Selectmen have dealt with? For example, on November 16th, 2001. On that date there was a Special Board of Selectmen meeting at 8 a.m., in which the results of a Referendum were discussed by the Selectmen. You can find that on my website.
I began attending Board of Selectmen meetings in mid-1991. I was using a Radio Shack TRS80 computer in those days, its memory being about the size of a cricket's brain. It seems safe to say that in the years since then technological advances have both contributed to and to a large extent compensated for the decline of print journalism.
“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.