Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We Want to Know...

We received this letter on the morning of Feb. 24 and have waited to confirm some details in it before publishing. Part of one paragraph has been withheld until we gain further information. The author is a resident of Chestnut Hill.

This is a thank you note to CHnotebook for offering an alternative to the Local. It is also a plea to the Local to be such a fine paper that such a blog becomes unnecessary. And to please not cut my letter.

So -- dear Blog, thank you for providing another information source on the Hill. Even as a resident who has never been involved in the politics here, I have felt that one of the many benefits of living here has been the give and take of the letters section of the Local, the news stories of the Local and the all around excellence of the Local. To change the Lentz policy, to not publish all the coherent letters submitted, is inexcusable. The pabulum currently offered up as news stories has often been a waste of time. (Freezing bananas? Tips on the dangers of cold weather and snow? Editorials on cats. Stories naming each merchant on the hill and assuring us that they are very nice. Pleeez.)

The Hill is mostly made up of college educated professionals pressed for time. We want a newspaper worth reading, not a tale told by an babbling homemaker. We want to know about local events and what others think about local events. We want to know what is going on. We want to know why Richard Snowden seems to dislike renting out space. We want to know how the Rev. Maxine Dornemann conducted herself (...) while she was living in the St. Paul's Rectory, -- and how that hurt the community of St Paul's. Why do we want to know? Because it's relevant to a half-rented Hill and perhaps the CHCA's current head's leadership style.

This is the 21st century. Dinner party gossip, which, might I add, is far more cruel and even more truthful than what I have said here, -- has 2 places to go for facts: A hard-hitting, news-reporting Local or a Blog like that at If you don't like the freedom of blogs -- make them unnecessary. News can no longer be restricted; there are too many venues for it. Wealthy individuals nor cheerleaders can control information. Only a newspaper that abides by real journalistic ethics can make sure that gossip doesn't stick. And only if it does its job. Meaning no hands-off policy on the Association or landowners.

I love the Hill. Up till recently I loved the Local. Whether it makes money or not, it is part of what makes the Hill worthwhile. Its one of the reasons to live here, to shop here, to play here. It is one of the things that ups the quality of life here.

So Local, please get back in the saddle and do what you're supposed to do. And thank you Blog for making it obvious what needs to be done. Good night and good luck to both of you, and especially, all of us.

Kay (All I ever needed to know I learned from "Bonanza") Wisniewski
Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, good people of St. Paul's, if there is something the community should know about the Rev. Dornemann's leadership style during her tenure there, it is time to let the community know.

This information would help the community make a very important decision this coming spring.

Wed Mar 01, 01:31:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Sigmund Schadenfreude said...

Yes! Yes! More innuendo and ad hominem. That's what's needed here.

Wed Mar 01, 02:01:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Germantown Cruiser said...

Innuendo... hmmm. Depends on whose ox is being gored. It appears Ms. Wisniewski has an inside track on information. Do a google search and find out for yourself.

Wed Mar 01, 02:36:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tried that. Came up with nothing relevant. Any hints?

Wed Mar 01, 03:41:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this letter in the Local yesterday. Ms. Wisniewski appears to be letting more than the blog know about her concerns.

Thu Mar 02, 08:49:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except the letter was censored. The reference to Maxine Dornemann and Richard Snowden was deleted.

Thu Mar 02, 09:24:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to google. Just ask Kay Wisniewski. As a member of the vestry at St. Paul's, she should be able to answer the very questions she raises concerning Dornemann. So why does she ask when she knows? She could just tell us, if it's important. If she doesn't want to say, why should she expect someone else to do it for her? And if it's not important, why should the Local bother with it?

Thu Mar 02, 08:55:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Germantown Cruiser said...

Anonymous suggests we ask Kay and then adds, "Why should the Local bother?" What a wanker; could be on the CHCA baord with those insights. On the first item, read the Editor's Note and think about it... Any thoughts yet? Obviously Kay said more and, as any newspaper reporter knows, one needs to have secondary sources on certain information. She obviously did tell us something.

As for the Local, "It's a newspaper, er, newsletter, er something in print." Hello!?! They didn't even leave Maxine's and Snowden's names in the same letter. Just what the board ordered for a newspaper - don't offed the powers that be. And you expect them to investigate? Oh, that's right. You don't.

The first step in recovery is admitting there's a problem. This community has a problem and it starts with the community association.

Thu Mar 02, 09:21:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Kay Wisniewski said...


First of all, I feel like a heel. If I had known the editor of the "Local" was sick I wouldn't have been so forthright. In fact, even if she were well, I wish I had been more temperate in my criticism. I am trying to find a way to speak strongly but gently. Obviously I have quite a ways to go on that. The new "Local" had been both boring and iritating me, and when I saw a letter in it saying that the present editor should become the permenent editor, well, I had to say something, would though, that I had said it more kindly.

Secondly, I did state what I knew about the Rev. Dornemann in both my letter and post. And both publishers thought it best to leave it out. If the editor of this blog thinks it should be left out, and if I respect his journalistic judgement, which I do, why would I state it again?

Kay Wisniewski

Fri Mar 03, 10:03:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Kay Wisniewski said...


And I started a blog here at

So far its mostly about all this but I hope it wouldn't be so much in the future. But if you're interested in gardening(it will be a garden journal once more than the snowdrops are up,) or the moral dilemmas of liberal Episcopalians (Now there's a hot topic!) consider giving a look-see.

Kay Wisniewski

Fri Mar 03, 12:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kay has stated what she knows about the Dornemann debacle at St. Pauls. However,journalism ethics require a second source for the information to become public. Will anyone step up to the plate?

Elections are coming up soon. The Dornemann side marshalls their forces like ward leaders in the olden days (and recent days). It won't take many votes to leave them in charge -- and that would be the end of the CHCA as we know it.

P.S. I hear Sanjiv Jain had a closed committee meeting re: his plans for the former Yankee Candle Co. If true, the community will be displeased to say the least.

Fri Mar 03, 08:29:00 PM EST  

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