Here’s one reason why many call CLIFFVIEW PILOT the area’s best news source:
On Tuesday, the Bergen Record published a story about purse snatchings in Cliffside Park, in a warning of sorts to loved ones of elderly, vulnerable residents. If you read CLIFFVIEW PILOT, you already were warned — a month ago.
From the Nov. 10 story on CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM (you can look it up):
Please look out for the elderly women you love: Cliffside Park police are now reporting their fourth purse-snatching in the borough in the past month, all near local banks. Keep your eyes open for anyone following elderly women either by foot or by car, police ask. If you see anything suspicious, flag down the nearest police officer or dial 911. Do not approach him yourself.
Police also urged residents to ” remind elderly family members that if they go to the bank to keep their money separate from their pocketbook, because this seems to be the target of the bad guy.” The thief is described as about 5-foot-7, possibly Hispanic, and wearing a baseball cap.
A community meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17 at Borough Hall, where police and residents can discuss the crime spree and devise ways of spotting the brazen thief before someone gets seriously hurt.
And that was after a previous alert on CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM a week before, following the third robbery.
There have been no attacks since, nor any arrests in the spree. Nothing has changed in nearly a full month since the last assault. The Nov. 17 meeting was extremely well-attended, and Cliffside Park now has the largest community watch group in Bergen County.
Now THAT’S news.
This is not a horn-blowing exercise. It’s more important than that. I’ve taken on the responsibility of being THE source for what’s happening in this area I call the sixth borough — along the riverfront and across the Palisades, from the GWB to the tunnels. It’s an obligation I take seriously: No story that deserves attention here will go untold.
When one of your neighbors killed her elderly father by punching him in the face, who had the details a full three days before the former Hackensack-based daily even acknowledged there’d been a death?
When an immigrant crossing a street off Anderson Avenue was mowed down, who had photos and info posted immediately? And who first reported that no summonses were being issued?
Same as when a New York State corrections officer being chased by Palisades Interstate Parkway police jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death after crashing his car — scant details from the better-resourced machine, full story from CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM. Then, the next day, an exclusive interview with the driver of the other car.
Or when a West New York post office was robbed: On the scene, with photos of investigators at work, was the news source you can trust most.
When a 2-year-old girl was scalded by the girlfriend of the child’s father, you found an interview with the girl’s mother nowhere else but here.
And when disgraced former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik decided to give a series of interviews this year, who is the only person he spoke with on the record? (See: Travels with Bernie: Court of public opinion clears Kerik)
Ever notice how often ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT or YOU READ IT HERE FIRST turns up at the beginning of stories? Search either phrase (homepage, upper right) and see how many articles appear.
CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM was barely out of diapers when site photog Joey Lepore caught two George Washington Bridge security guards asleep at their jobs — not once, but several times. The Port Authority got both canned and has been more vigilant ever since.
That is community service, not a self-aggrandizing attempt at impressing other journalists.
I have plenty of awards myself — all in a box gathering dust somewhere. The point of this exercise is to matter, to make a difference, to use a unique position to help make this a safer, more secure society. Period.
Law enforcement authorities trust me. They know I’m not irresponsible. And they know I’ll check out every tip, no matter where it comes from, that I won’t waste time on witch hunts trying to prove that someone isn’t fit for a particular job. I leave that to them. That’s their responsibility.
At the same time, YOU know that I won’t be crashing wakes, pestering the bereaved or sticking my nose in places it shouldn’t be.
What do I (you) get for it? For one thing: a direct line to the boss while others are waiting for a callback from the public information officer. That means major details before anyone else even realizes there’s a story out there.
The kicker, of course, is that I’m doing this by myself, competing against a stable of journalists, overseen by a host of editors and higher editors and even higher editors. Go figure.
Ask your local law enforcement officials about trusting the media. See what they tell you.
Check with the Bergen or Hudson county prosecutor’s offices. Or the New Jersey State Police. Or the state Attorney General’s Office. In fact, you can check with the chief justice of the state Supreme Court — and if he’s not available, try calling the Governor-elect.
Or you could try any number of police chiefs in the area.
Don’t be surprised if they say I’m as trustworthy they come…. No brag. Just fact.
Bottom line: When you have a tip, or see news happening, when you think there’s something that should be checked out, take a minute to think to yourself: Who is the best person to contact? A reporter who needs a full month before getting any kind of word out on a criminal terrorizing the elderly, or a North Bergen native — one who lived in Cliffside more than 12 years — who’s looking out for your interests?
Is your best choice an organization that no longer even operates out of Bergen County, that devotes precious resources to investigating individuals (work we already pay our government to do) instead of mining what’s happening in your town — or an award-winning veteran newspaperman who lives and works among you, who shops, banks, buys and breathes the same golden coastline you do?
If you want, e-mail me directly: [email protected] If you don’t get a quick-enough response: 201.943.2794.
Yes, I want to build an organization that sells advertising to survive. After 28 years in print, working for someone else, this is my livelihood now. Perhaps someday I’ll get lucky and prosper. But I am only going to be as successful as you allow me to be — ’cause, in the end, I answer to you.
Send this link to your friends. Post CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM stories on Facebook, MySpace and any other space you can find. If you want to sell ads, call me. If you want to sell an ad, PLEASE call me.
And if you simply want to write or report stories, I’m here, just waiting for you.
Let’s show ‘em how it’s really done.
All photos and illustrations on this story, and throughout this site, are by and for CLIFFVIEWPILOT LLC. No use without permission.