Here we are! After several weeks of gearing up, Lake Hopatcong News & Reviews is live and here to inform, serve, and celebrate the Lake Hopatcong community.
Our goal is not to replace any local news media or websites that are already out there—in fact, we’ll make every effort to link to other relevant news stories that focus on lake issues. The point of LakeHopatcongNews.com is to be a web newspaper that brings the lake community together, is a resource for residents and visitors, and gives locals a place to share what they know. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the site:
NEWS: From the low water level to the Lake Hopatcong Commission funding, we’ll report on Lake Hopatcong-related news by covering local government meetings and interviewing lake residents, business owners, and leaders. We welcome unbiased, well reported contributions from residents—especially aspiring and accomplished journalists—so don’t hesitate to submit news stories to email@example.com. And feel free to comment about any stories we run in any part of the site.
VOICES: We’ve been blessed with two outstanding bloggers/columnists (and hope to bring you more in the coming weeks!). Paula Chaney is our Martha Stewart of Lake Hopatcong; her "Paula’s Pantry" blog—the same name as her business—will provide residents with tips and reflections on lakeside living, eating, and entertaining. Lori Price’s "Home Front on the Waterfront" will give readers a glimpse into the life of a (very funny) wife, mother of three, and new lakefront homeowner who has enjoyed Lake Hopatcong for two decades. An "Editor’s Corner" blog will keep you posted on anything that captures our attention.
FEATURES: You can expect to see a new feature every weekday during the summer months. On Mondays, "Twenty Questions" will profile community leaders and personalities in a question-and-answer format that includes lake-related queries (What is your favorite lake destination?) and those not-so-lake-related (Who would play you in the movie?). On Tuesdays, "Lake Living" will bring you photos of some of the lovliest homes and gardens on the lake—starting with that of one of our bloggers, Paula Chaney. Wednesdays’ "Green Scene" stories will feature environmental issues on the lake. On Thursdays, we’ll share "Excursions"—something fun to do or a great place to go on the lake. And every Friday, you can test your knowledge of lake subjects with our "Friday Quiz." This week, we give them all to you at once, so you don’t have to wait.
REVIEWS: This section is mostly geared toward reviewing lake restaurants, but all types of businesses will get some attention. These are longer-form reviews, and all residents and visitors are welcome to submit their own through the link at the right side of the page. (Please, if possible, include the address, hours, phone number, and website; for restaurants, please include a description of the fare and the price range.)
HISTORY: The lake is fortunate to have a spectacular historian, Marty Kane of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. We’re incredibly blessed to have him working with us! Marty will be submitting stories about the history of Lake Hopatcong, and he has already provided us with a brief general history of the lake, plus historical photos.
TRIP PLANNER: This page includes a business directory for lake-related businesses (it’s still a work in progress—let us know which ones we’re missing!); a calendar of community events; and a map to help visitors find their way to the lake. In the business directory, which is also available on the homepage, you can rate the restaurants, marinas, and other businesses on a scale of one to five stars, and submit shorter reviews of your experiences with them.
WEATHER: With a full report of current conditions and any storm warnings, this page also includes a five-day forecast so you can plan your weekend.
GAMES: In leiu of a comics page or regular crossword puzzle that you might find in your newspaper, the Games page features ten arcade games to entertain all ages.
CLASSIFIEDS: If you’re selling something or looking to buy something—especially boats and other lake-related items, here’s a place to post your ad or check out other items for sale. We also include space for want ads, real estate/rentals, a lost and found, and personal ads.
INFO: The drop-down menu from this section includes three pages: a local municipal meeting schedule, a list of community links, and the basic rules and regulations of motorboating on the lake, written in plain language.
STORE: Show your Lake Hopatcong pride! We’ll continue to add new t-shirts and apparel to the store.
MASTHEAD: This is where you can track down the email addresses of the main contibutors to the site and submit your comments to the editor.
And it all comes together on the main page, which also includes a link to the USGS site that monitors the lake water level and a weekly poll. So explore the site, share your knowledge, and maybe learn a little bit about the state’s biggest lake and its 45 miles of shoreline. And let us know what you think!