After a 3-year hiatus, the Oakmont Observer will resume accepting articles for publication from members of the Oakmont Community!

What is The Oakmont Observer?

The Oakmont Observer (OO) is an online-only independent source of news and commentary of interest to the Oakmont Community. OO was born during the great pickleball conflict of the mid-2010’s, as a place where OVA members could provide information and express opinions that were not approved by currently serving OVA directors, and it continues in that role today. OO is open to campaign messages relating to the OVA Board election, unhindered by space limitations. OO is a champion of free speech in Oakmont! To get a flavor of articles published by OO in the past, check out The Oakmont Observer Bibliography.

What is The Oakmont Observer NOT?

OO is not the voice of opposition in Oakmont – rather it is a platform that allows all views in Oakmont to be expressed and read by others in the community. The content is determined by the authors who provide articles for publication.

OO is not a commercial enterprise. We accept no advertising and our web expenses are paid by a whatever supporting organization or individuals are willing to pay the bills.

OO is not approved, supported or controlled by OVA in any way. This gives us an independence that would be impossible were we to be officially recognized by OVA.

Why have yet another online website devoted to Oakmont?

The purpose behind OO is to provide a platform for civil and relatively professional articles to be published and made available to the Oakmont community. This is different from the corporation-controlled Oakmont News and OVA website, and from the free-for-all Nextdoor social media platform.

The Oakmont News (ON) and the OVA website provide club news and very brief reports of Board meetings and other important events, but space in the Oakmont News is very limited and, more importantly, ON is is not a free-speech platform. Content of ON is provided by the OVA Communications Committee, which serves the OVA Board. Essentially ON is an instrument of OVA, the corporation, and will never present commentary that is critical of the OVA Board. In contrast, The Oakmont Observer will publish any responsible article written by an Oakmont resident, subject only to guidelines to keep articles civil and reasonable. Since it is online-only, space in OO is effectively limited only by the authors’ common sense.

Nextdoor also serves Oakmont as a valuable platform on which residents can and do express themselves on almost any subject. But Nextdoor has almost no monitoring of content, and it is so easy and immediate to post messages there, that it is more or less a free-for-all. The volume of messages is truly overwhelming, and the content is often very repetitive and sometimes misleading or just plain wrong. Occasionally, someone will post a “flame”, i.e. a message with name-calling or other inappropriate content, but this is more more rare than some would have you believe, and it is controlled, to some extent, by Nextdoor’s complaint procedure. By contrast, OO content is monitored and filtered by the OO editorial staff (currently, me). The intended result is to allow a complete diversity of opinion (like Nextdoor), while reducing redundancy and assuring that articles are civil and relatively professional.

Who runs The Oakmont Observer?

The content of The Oakmont Observer is controlled by its editorial staff, which currently consists of myself (Bruce Bon). I will welcome with open arms anyone who is capable and willing to share this duty, or even to take it over, providing that they were to promise to continue the general policies that currently govern OO.

Does The Oakmont Observer take advertising?

No, and it is unlikely to do so in the near future. Operating on a shoe-string has its challenges, but so would operating as a business, with all of the regulations and red tape that would come with it.

How can you help?

The first need of OO is for content to publish, without which we are nothing, and I have no wish for OO to become my personal blog! If you would like to express yourself in writing, and you think what you have to say might be of interest to the Oakmont Community, please contact me. Content need not be limited to news and commentary about Oakmont. It could include, as examples, news and commentary about national or international issues, poems, short fiction, even photo essays. Upon request, I will provide guidelines for authors.

Another OO need is for someone to help with Email and subscription lists. At the moment, this is a minimal job since the length of our subscription list is very short, but it could grow to several thousand if we are successful in reaching most of Oakmont. Part of this job, indeed, would be to try to expand readership.

How do I contact The Oakmont Observer?

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  1. Christine Buth Furness on January 29, 2024 at 8:01 am

    Thank you for continuing this valuable publication.

  2. Gina Asaro Busalacchi on January 29, 2024 at 9:58 am

    Happy this publication is back. Always enjoyed reading. Thank you

  3. Lyn Cramer on January 29, 2024 at 10:14 am

    Bravo! Three cheers and so on. The timing for this resurrection could not be better. Oakmont is at a fork in the road. Do we continue our tradition of offering maintained facilities, adequate but not luxurious, for modest monthly dues or go in a new direction, with costs as yet unknown but likely much higher. This election has consequences.

  4. Ann Gutierrez on January 29, 2024 at 10:18 am

    Bruce…I have enjoyed your balanced and informative voice over the years…thank you for bringing the Oakmont Observer back to life! Ann

  5. Yvonne Frauenfelder Gewalt on January 29, 2024 at 5:13 pm

    The new/old Observer

    What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
    T. S. Eliot

    Three years ago, Gregory Gewalt, my son, reluctantly shuttered the Oakmont Observer because of other duties awaiting him.

    It is with greatest pleasure and much anticipation that I am learning of its resurrection by one of its former and most important contributors Bruce Bon, who along with his late wife, Julie, were most closely associated with Oakmont’s alternative news source.

    Today, Oakmont, once again, finds itself at a crossroads in its 60 year existence.

    The rejuvenation and rehabilitation of our all important Downtown awaits conclusion, against the backdrop of much community discussion, replete with differing opinions.

    The Observer will have both the freedom and the latitude to explore the individual and collective sentiments as expressed by Oakmont’s residents.

    On behalf of Gregory, who is momentarily out of the country, and myself, I wish Bruce and his most commendable endeavor as a newspaper publisher – publishing is not just a business but a passion – all the luck and satisfaction in the world.

    Long live the Oakmont Observer!

    Yvonne Frauenfelder Gewalt

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