A Monday Communiqué from Dolan Media

Do college students like to text-message? Uh, yeah. So officials at the University of Maryland and other colleges in the state can’t figure out why so few have signed up for an emergency-alert program instituted after the shootings at Virginia Tech.

According to the Daily Record, one law enforcement official thinks students are wary of a scam:

Some students, faculty and staff might be concerned about the cost of text messages, (Robert M. Rowan of the University of Maryland) theorized. Some mobile phone or wireless service providers charge mobile users per message.

And many probably are concerned they’ll be inundated with junk messages, said Courtney Jolley, a spokeswoman at Loyola College in Maryland, where 1,400 have signed up for the text message service that began over the summer.

“We’ve made it very clear to them this is not designed for us to be able to send any announcement we want,” Jolley said. “It’s just an extra point of contact in truly grave emergency situations.”

The director of communications at the U’s College Park campus found some success by treating the emergency text program as a marketing problem.

“What we realized was we needed to do a broad-based awareness [campaign] of our various emergency notifications,” he said.

The school held a campus-wide Emergency Awareness Week last month, including the distribution of educational materials about the service and booths set up throughout campus where students could learn about the service and register on the spot.

Towson, like many of the schools, made the text message alert system part of its orientation for new students over the summer, Herring said. It also has taken out ads in its school paper, and is planning to set up an informational table at the student union.

….Up the Atlantic coast, Long Island Business News blogger Henry Powderly II continues his illustrated winery crawl with a visit to Corey Creek Vineyards. Bet you didn’t know Long Island was a wine region.

(T)he tasting room led out to a back porch, and I walked out there, looked down on the rows of vines and wondered how bad it would hurt if I wrapped my hands around the electric fence protecting the perimeter. I guess the raspberry wine was stronger than I’d thought.

The verdict: Corey Creek makes beautiful New World chardonnay’s that are so creamy and spicy that I’d blindly slip one to a lover of high end California whites any day, another testament to how the Long Island wine region can stand tall in the world of wine. Also, for making only one red, Corey Creek makes a wonderful one, a lustrous example of what Long Island does with what I’m starting to think is its signature grape, cabernet franc.

Business reporting; don’t try this at home….

Back down to Virginia, here’s a disturbing story about a lawyer with one employee — a secretary of 27 years. So he was pretty shocked to find out she was stealing from a client’s account….

Exhibit A has a column on the law of eBay. Like, what do you do if someone leaves negative feedback that’s false and unwarranted?

To prove defamation, you must show that a false statement of fact that tends to harm your reputation was made to another person. A statement of opinion cannot be defamatory. So if a person expresses an opinion about the smoothness of the eBay transaction, promptness of payment, quality of goods, etc., it is not defamatory.

But if someone states that you refused to pay when, in fact, you had paid, or that you failed to deliver the goods when, in fact, you did deliver them, or makes some other provably incorrect statement of fact, it could be defamatory.

However, it goes on, lawsuits are expensive…maybe in the future eBay will let you bid for billable hours….

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