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Who Is Manipulating the Wikipedia Entry for New Rochelle?

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Who Is Manipulating the Wikipedia Entry for New Rochelle?

February 28, 2011 - 22:04
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Wikipedia logoSomeone has putting in quite an effort over the past year to manipulate the Wikipedia article for the City of New Rochelle. Some editors there have complained that someone is turning the article into a "Paean to commercial development". One person was banned and then showed up as in other guises. Sound familiar? Have a look for yourself.

For those not familiar with Wikipedia there is an article page but also a discussion page where editors of the page can discuss changes to the article. Some of the discussion will sound familiar to Talk of the Sound readers:

Paean to a commercial development?

The following paragraph (or variants thereof) has been repeatedly added to this article:
The large-scale development is achieving the sufficient critical mass needed to bring new life and energy into the downtown district. Developers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars with plans for nearly $2 billion in new development in the next few years. One of the most the significant upcoming projects is the renewal of Echo Bay which will restore 25 acres of the city’s waterfront, creating new parkland for downtown residents.

I continue to contend that language like "achieving the sufficient critical mass needed to bring new life and energy into the downtown district" is pure PR blather that has no place in an encyclopedia. Although sources have been provided regarding the Echo Bay project (the last sentence), the sources indicate that the project has not yet been fully approved (which is not the impression created by the above-quoted sentence). Also, the articles I've read say that the redevelopment would consist primarily of luxury apartments, retail, town homes, and condominiums; parkland appears to be only a minor part of it. All in all, this looks like a P.R. piece from a land developer hyping one project, so I'm deleting it once again. --Orlady (talk) 18:19, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I suppose you are technically correct. But do you have to refer to my attempted contributions as "blather"? --JConoco (talk) 18:43, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I am not an advertising copywriter. If I were, I'm sure I'd know dozens of euphemistic descriptors for verbiage like "achieving the sufficient critical mass needed to bring new life and energy into the downtown district", but I'm afraid I have to use the words I know. --Orlady (talk) 15:33, 12 July 2008 (UTC)-->
James, I definitely prefer to call a "spade" a "spade" when I see one, and blather as blather whenever I read it, and usually say and write "bullshit" rather than "male bovine excrement". James Conoco needs to learn to deal with the real world, rather than the ones that the writers of PR blather and advertisers wish to create.98.67.163.150 (talk) 15:04, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
You're responding to an account that was blocked over a year ago. Wknight94 talk 15:11, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

and...

Removed apparently spurious fact and its alleged source

I removed a statement that CBS chose New Rochelle as the setting for the sci-fi series Now and Again (in "search of an upscale, posh community") and its alleged source which was supposedly a 2001 book Division and diversity: Community transition in postwar America, 1945--1970. New Rochelle, New York, a case study by Gail Kaplan Guttman. This material was added to the article by pasoradobles, a sockpuppet of the banned user Jvolkblum, and I believe that both the source and the fact were made up. From Google searching, I determined that Ms. Guttman is a 4th grade teacher in New Rochelle and she holds a Ph.D., but I find no evidence that she or anyone else published a book by that name in 2001. Google does produce a reference to the book, but all of the information in that reference could be derived from the former Wikipedia entry.
There might be truth to the story that N.R. was the setting for this TV show, but it should not be based on this apparently bogus source. --Orlady (talk) 16:53, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The source for the refence and the reference itself are OK. From a google search on the author and title you can find verification for the source here. I restored the reference to the main article. Thanks--98.14.133.106 (talk) 19:55, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. That dissertation record does not come up in Google results unless you omit the author's middle name from the search string. Since it would be helpful to identify the source as a Ph.D. thesis, I added that information and the URL to the reference. It's not obvious to me that a dissertation on the city's history from 1945 to 1970 would be a good source regarding the reasons for a CBS decision regarding a 1999 TV series, so I altered the entry in the article to eliminate the quotation and focus on the fact (supported by other online sources) that New Rochelle was one of the settings for the story. Presumably someone with a Columbia University computer account or local library access could read this dissertation and use it productively as a source in the article. --Orlady (talk) 00:01, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Followup: In midst of discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places#Banned user Jvolkblum and New Rochelle, NY articles a oopy of the dissertation was found and it was determined that the quote was legitimate, and that Orlady's accusations about fabrication of material in this situation were false. A copy of the dissertation was provided to Orlady and I could provide it by email also to anyone else who requests it (send me an email giving your email address, if interested). If anyone wants to restore the quote/passage, if it is still missing, or to develop the article further along these lines, they should go ahead. doncram (talk) 19:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

From time to time I will make suggestions or edits on Wikipedia and seeing these discussions motivated me to review the entry and suggest some edits of my own.

Remove "renowned" from description of New Rochelle High School

In Education section, I recommend removing the sentence "The city is served by the City School District of New Rochelle, which operates a renowned public high school, two junior high schools and ten elementary schools" should be edited to remove the word "renowned" Puffery Rcox1963 (talk)[edit]

Indiscriminate Collection of Information: inclusion in "best of" lists

It appears incongruous that in an article on an American municipality that is 300 years old to include, in the opening paragraph, a three year old "best of" lists from the American Podiatric Medical Association and Business Week. Further, the Business Week article used criteria for consideration that excluded all but three municipalities in New York State (Mount Vernon, White Plains and New Rochelle) and then selected New Rochelle from among those three; it is beyond a stretch to say that there is any verifiable basis for the claim that New Rochelle is one of the best places nationally, to raise children or was back in 2008. Even if this information belongs in the article (and clearly I believe it does not) it does not belong where it has been placed. I recommend removing it altogether. Info (Puffery Rcox1963 (talk)
[edit]

Housing Variety section reads more like a Real Estate Broker Brochure

The section on Housing variety violates Wikipedia policy on many levels. I recommend the entire section be scrapped and begun again based on data on housing stock in New Rochelle. Here is partial list of what is wrong with this section:
Sourcing is Poor: Rather than rely on sources like "Forbes Magazines list of the '500 most expensive zip-codes', this section should use data from the U.S. Census Bureau or American Community Survey or government agencies than provide studies on housing stock.
Not-NOV: This section is written to tout New Rochelle while making statements which may be understood to be critical of neighboring municipalities,
Vague Terms: Terms such as "Popular consenus" (sic), "embracing the needs of the poor", "more forward thinking, community centered townhouse-style housing units"
Random Collection of Facts: "Some of the country's most expensive real estate can be found in New Rochelle." and "One of 'the wealthiest people in the United States' according to Forbes Magazine was longtime New Rochelle resident and businessman Sidney Frank." and "the true economic diversity of New Rochelle".
Not About Housing: This section is not really much about housing at all but rather describing neighborhoods and specific development projects as well as home prices and the affluence of the home owners. A great deal of focus is on comparing wealth or lack thereof. There is actually very little in this section about housing at all.
Soapbox INFO — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rcox1963 (talk • contribs) 21:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC) [edit]

New Rochelle is not a "center of business"

Recommend changing "New Rochelle remains a center of business, home to the corporate headquarters of Sidney Frank Importing, Blimpies, and East River Savings Bank." to "Corporate headquarters of Sidney Frank Importing, Blimpies, and East River Savings Bank are located in New Rochelle" or similar to make the sentence more NPV. I believe this is incomplete. It fails to list, for example, Steiner Sports, one of the leading sports memorabilia companies in the world.

If you want to debate any of this fine but first read the Wikipedia List of Policies and Guidelines. The violations of policy I am citing in are there policies not my own.

There are 2 Comments

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia based on user contributions. For the most part the contributions need to be properly sourced with references to back them up. For the most part this new ro article is well written and accurate. Differences in opionion do not negate content that is included. The city is a center of business for southern westchester, as Pelham, Larchmont, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Eastchester (all surrounding communities) are not. Wykagyl is where many scarsdale and new rochelle residents do their dailt shopping, not to mention the golden horseshoe in northern New Ro. Downtown New Rochelle is a medical center and medical offices, supermarkets, home shopping, car dealerships, and various other officesbusinesses and offices. The waterfront is maritime based and thus, also a business center.

New rochelle was also chosen as a 'best walking city' so any question of that is unnecessary.

New rochelle high school is indeed a renowned high school with a long history of success, accomplishments and well known alumni. To question such phrasing is unnecessary and unfair.

As for the section on housing, where is the problem there? The section seems to appropriately summarize the dynamic which exists in the city. Its housing types and property values span the widest range, from subsidized + inexpensive, to amazingly high priced. The data detailing the fact that the 10804 zip code is within the Forbes top zip-codes in the country is sourced to the Forbes list and is also cross verified when looking at the US Census data and websites. Additionally, New Ro has more affordable housing than any of its neighbors and the city and its residents have worked towards this goal since the 1930s and 40s. The most important fact to note is that the unique aspects of the citys 'housing variety'. Has enabled it to grow into a modern suburban city with a continuing history of ethnic, religious, racial and economic diversity.

Anyone can add to or edit any wikipedia article if they can substantiate and properly source their contributions.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia based on user contributions. For the most part the contributions need to be properly sourced with references to back them up. For the most part this new ro article is well written and accurate. Differences in opionion do not negate content that is included. The city is a center of business for southern westchester, as Pelham, Larchmont, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Eastchester (all surrounding communities) are not. Wykagyl is where many scarsdale and new rochelle residents do their dailt shopping, not to mention the golden horseshoe in northern New Ro. Downtown New Rochelle is a medical center and medical offices, supermarkets, home shopping, car dealerships, and various other officesbusinesses and offices. The waterfront is maritime based and thus, also a business center.

New rochelle was also chosen as a 'best walking city' so any question of that is unnecessary.

New rochelle high school is indeed a renowned high school with a long history of success, accomplishments and well known alumni. To question such phrasing is unnecessary and unfair.

As for the section on housing, where is the problem there? The section seems to appropriately summarize the dynamic which exists in the city. Its housing types and property values span the widest range, from subsidized + inexpensive, to amazingly high priced. The data detailing the fact that the 10804 zip code is within the Forbes top zip-codes in the country is sourced to the Forbes list and is also cross verified when looking at the US Census data and websites. Additionally, New Ro has more affordable housing than any of its neighbors and the city and its residents have worked towards this goal since the 1930s and 40s. The most important fact to note is that the unique aspects of the citys 'housing variety'. Has enabled it to grow into a modern suburban city with a continuing history of ethnic, religious, racial and economic diversity.

Anyone can add to or edit any wikipedia article if they can substantiate and properly source their contributions.

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