Kudos to the Waltham Shopper; Questions for Sally Collura

(Borderline has apologized for most of the points raised in this post. Please see the follow-up post.)

I like the Waltham Shopper. I really do. It's not a real newspaper with breaking or current news, but it is a good source of community happenings, local business advertisements, and classifieds. Everyone in Waltham as well as a few thousand households in Newtonville and Weston get it every week. I attended the Waltham Police Citizens Academy four years ago, thanks to an ad in the Waltham Shopper, and it was a great experience.

But I am not so sure I trust the publisher of the Waltham Shopper, Sally Collura.

There are two reasons for this:

1) She is a Waltham City Councillor, yet she accepts many thousands of dollars every year from real estate companies and local businesses who advertise in the Waltham Shopper. I have not examined her voting record, but I see this as a conflict of interest in issues that pit business interests against those of local citizens.

2) I have found evidence that some of the "filler articles" that she places in the Waltham Shopper is copied verbatim from the Internet, but is bylined as being written by herself. Here are a few examples from the article "The Tea Leaf," from the July 20, 2005 issue:

"The essence of the Japanese tea ceremony is harmony. Every move or every component about the ceremony brings out the serenity of the whole."

This sentence, and many others were copied from EasternTea.com's "Tea Ceremony" page.

And the following paragraph:

"Japan was introduced to tea by Yensei, a returning Buddhist priest residing in China at the time of the discovery. Tea was immediately embraced by Japanese society and resulted in the creation of the intricate Japanese Tea Ceremony, elevating tea to an art form."

... was copied word for word from a Canadian website called Pacific Friend.

While this type of filler article in the Waltham Shopper is interesting, it is wrong to claim that it's "By Sally Collura" when in fact someone else wrote it. In my book, politicians and publishers should give credit where credit is due, and shouldn't take a bow for someone else's work.

(Borderline has apologized for most of the points raised in this post. Please see the follow-up post.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the blog reagrding the Waltham Shopper and Sally Collura.

It'sreally important to me that bloggers put correct information on the internet otherwise you can hurt a lot of good people, businesses, etc.

1. The fact is the Waltham Shopper is not a weeky publication but a monthly one.

2. Councillor Sally Collura is NOT the publisher, Glenna and Joe Fabbo are.

3. Sally Collura does not claim that the information is all her own. If you read the first installment as I have you would know that she stated that she would "pass along information" in her column to others in hopes to educate them to the history and benefits of tea.

4. Sally Collura, a Waltham City councillor accepts donations to her campaign as many other candidates do and all candidates must file campaign finance reports on all funds raised.

Finally, I have also read that Ms. Collura over the years has done a lot of wonderful things in the Waltham community and through her local cableaccess show has promoted organizations such as the Salvation Army, Waltham Boys and Girls Club, GWARC and a host of other non-profits.

Bloggong can be a wonderful way of allowing people to express them selves and also to pass along information but it can also destroy good people as well.

10:50 PM  

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