Ariana Cohn, who grew up in Kinnelon. Others may have noticed her about town, usually camera in hand and laptop close by as she captures Kinnelon's latest news for Patch, and more specifically, Kinnelon-Butler Patch.
Patch, as the About Us page, explains is "... a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities." [I just noticed that NYU journalism professor Jeff Jarvis - do you remember the 2005 Dell Hell fiasco? - is on the Editorial Advisory Board.] It's also owned by AOL to focus on hyperlocal news.
Thanks to Ariana Cohn, Kinnelon Patch editor, news about Kinnelon is readily available. For example, did you catch her story about the recent Alex's Lemonade Stand event [with a picture of Emma's 3rd grade teacher, Doreen Kolster, and her daughter]? Or of the issues - such as an underage drinking ordinance - that our local Kinnelon government grapples with?
I caught up with Ariana to ask her a few questions.
C.B.: Ariana, please tell me about yourself and your background.
AC: I grew up in the Fayson Lakes community of Kinnelon.
When I was in high school, and even before that, I knew I loved to write-I actually kept a diary from when I was in about sixth or seventh grade until last year. Sometimes I re-read the diaries and laugh about the silly things I used to write about, but I really think keeping a diary set the stage for the rest of my career as a writer and journalist.
C.B.: What did you like about growing up in Kinnelon?
AC: Growing up in a lake community, I used to love going on long walks with my friends to the beach. Sometimes we would even walk to the beach at night and go swimming when it was dark. I loved being able to be outside and see all kinds of animals and trees, but being so close to New York City also.
C.B.: What is Patch and what is your role with Patch?
Patch is a company owned by AOL that has hyperlocal Web sites in cities and towns across the country. (You can see all of the Patchs by clicking on this link.)
I am the Local Editor for Kinnelon-Butler Patch, a site which covers the news and happenings for Kinnelon, Butler and Bloomingdale.
We cover all kinds of news from borough council meetings and school board meetings to community events and more for Kinnelon, Butler and Bloomingdale.
AC: The most surprising thing has been learning so many things about the town I grew up in that I didn't know about before. For instance, I had no idea there even was a Kinnelon museum before I started this job, and now I know about the many programs that are held there.
C.B.: How does your Kinnelon background help?
AC: I think having grown up in Kinnelon helps with my job because I know where everything is, and I know a lot of people I talk to on a daily or weekly basis.
C.B.: What are you enjoying most about being back in the area and so thoroughly immersed in what's going on?
AC: I enjoy seeing some of the people from my hometown who I haven't seen in such a long time.
C.B.: This is a question I bet many readers are wondering about... When is your wedding date?
AC: November 12, 2011! Just one day shy of 11/11/11!
C.B.: Congratulations! And, how can you be reached?
If you have a news tip or want to see something covered on Patch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter @KinnelonPatch or on Facebook at Kinnelon-Butler Patch.
C.B.: Thanks very much, Ariana! I know we'll all be seeing you around town!
By the way, you can upload your news of events taking place around town as well as comment on stories. I also recommend that you subscribe to receive The Patch Newlsetter. Registering takes just a few minutes.