Finding a new home for NEast Philly’s content

When I made the decision in late 2013 to close NEast Philly, offers poured in to keep the site running. Many community groups, politicians, universities, bloggers and local newsies offered to either fund the site, host pieces of the archives or keep the site alive with some kind of fresh content.

I found it surprisingly easy to envision all of these possibilities. After five years of closely managing the site and being extremely careful about affiliations, once I made the decision to close up shop, letting go wasn’t as hard as I imagined. But I knew I wanted to find the right fit for the archives — a place where I could be proud to send people looking for the content, where it would all be in one place, and where related content already exists.

That transition is now complete. Continue reading Finding a new home for NEast Philly’s content

Why I closed my Philly-based hyperlocal news site

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Two months ago, I wrote my last post for NEastPhilly.com, the hyperlocal news site I started in 2008 to cover Northeast Philly — a large part of the city that, to date, gets little media attention.
For a large part of the last five years, I lived and breathed NEast Philly. I wanted to leave a little bit of time between that and posting my thoughts here.
Here’s some of what I learned over the last half-decade, and what went into my decision to shut down. Continue reading Why I closed my Philly-based hyperlocal news site

‘Affordable housing for vets’ under scrutiny by Philly civic group [NEast Philly]

The site plan for affordable housing units at a former Northeast Philadelphia convent. Image/Columbus Property Management
The site plan for affordable housing units at a former Northeast Philadelphia convent. Image/Columbus Property Management

This is a story I wrote, collected sound and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

The Holme Circle Civic Association is doing everything it can to prevent Columbus Property Management’s plans for affordable housing for veterans at the site of an old convent. Why? Because veterans aren’t a protected class of citizens, and the HCCA worries that if too few vets apply for residency, the units will be made available to the general “affordable housing” population, which neighbors fear will attract irresponsible tenants.

The full story is below and originally appeared on NEast Philly with audio commentary and an embedded list of documents related to the project. Continue reading ‘Affordable housing for vets’ under scrutiny by Philly civic group [NEast Philly]

How Philadelphia’s AVI will affect the Northeast [NEast Philly]

This is a quick post I did for NEast Philly using data gathered by the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network.

PPIIN created the map of a sampling of Northeast Philadelphia homes. It allows homeowners to enter their address and calculate how much they’re expected to pay under Philadelphia’s Actual Value Initiative to adjust property taxes. Continue reading How Philadelphia’s AVI will affect the Northeast [NEast Philly]

Three hours in the car with a news CEO: My tour of Northeast Philadelphia with Neil Budde

A tour of Northeast Philadelphia that winds through some but not all of the region’s many neighborhoods. Image/Google Maps Pedometer

I’ve given lots of people tours of Northeast Philadelphia, but only ever to friends and always informally.

So I was interested by a request from Neil Budde to do a sort of ride-along in the Northeast. Budde is new in town and was recently named the head of Temple University’s Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network, housed under the Center for Public Interest Journalism and funded by the William Penn Foundation. Continue reading Three hours in the car with a news CEO: My tour of Northeast Philadelphia with Neil Budde

City Planning Commission holds first public meeting for Lower Northeast District [NEast Philly]

Residents of a Northeast Philadelphia planning district used a map to identify their neighborhoods’ strengths, opportunities and weaknesses.

This is a story I wrote, shot video and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

As the City of Philadelphia continues implementing portions of its comprehensive plans, meetings have kicked off around the city in 18 identifiable regions. There, city planners will meet with residents to single out neighborhoods’ strengths, weakness and opportunities. Each district will eventually implement a plan that makes better use of neighborhoods and their assets.

The full story is below and originally appeared on NEast Philly. Continue reading City Planning Commission holds first public meeting for Lower Northeast District [NEast Philly]

New owners for Stokes property just as Planning Commission enters Holme Circle [NEast Philly]

The Stokes property in Northeast Philadelphia was recently purchased by a developer.

This is a story I wrote, shot video and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

Reporting on civic association meetings is one of the most challenging things I do for NEast Philly. It’s an hour or three spent with residents who have the deepest knowledge of a neighborhood possible. There are often vague references to extinct properties, multiple and disjointed topics of discussion and a free-for-all “new business” discussion.

But every now and then, a group’s meeting comes together in a way that makes it enjoyable to write. And the published product is better for it. Continue reading New owners for Stokes property just as Planning Commission enters Holme Circle [NEast Philly]