Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Patch" Me In

  Like many other communities around the country, Farmingdale has an edition of The Patch, the hyper-local online news-blog. From time to time, there are news items that I find interesting and/or informative, but more often there are days when it seems like they are grasping at straws to come up with anything important to report. Farmingdale is not a hotbed of crime or any other big news.
  In addition to a daily email with links to the news highlights,subscribers also receive "Breaking News" alerts from time to time. Alas, whoever is responsible for these seems to have an odd idea of what constitutes "Breaking News."
  To be fair, I do recall receiving one alert reporting that Route 109 was closed down because of a major fire. The alert came in the mid-afternoon and the firefighters were still on the scene when I passed by on my way home about an hour later.
  More recently, however, there's been a substantial time lag between when the event took place and when it is finally reported. Last Monday at 5:10 p.m. I received a Breaking News report about a 3-year-old boy who had been injured in a car accident... on Sunday just after noon. Not much of a scoop there, but a day or two time delay seemed to be the norm these days.
  But then on Wednesday I received an alert about cars being vandalized in Farmingdale. Something I might want to know about, especially since one of the cars was parked on a street not that far from my own. But the vandalism took place a full week earlier! How does this constitute "breaking news"? (Unless, of course, the "breaking" refers to the windshields involved.) And why has it taken them a week to report anything about it?

  For the past three days, work crews have been closing down and digging up portions of Main Street. As a result, I've had to take a detour route to get to work. It would have been nice to know about it in advance, so that I could have taken the alternate route from the start, rather than having to loop around to do it.
  Alas, there has been no report at all on The Patch about what is going on. I suppose, however, there might be a Breaking News alert sometime next week. Maybe even before all the work is completed!

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