Restaurants come and go, burglars break in and out, and someone always wants to tear down a nice old building and put up an ugly new one. If it happens in the neighborhood, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog usually has the story. Development battles are of special interest on the hill, where new condos and apartment buildings are being shoehorned into an already densely populated neighborhood. The seven-story Melrose & Pine project will consume a good portion of East Pine’s “Bauhaus Block,” for example, where the fight is on to save existing buildings, CHS reports, providing blow-by-blow coverage. There’s also that proposed six-story apartment project at the Undre Arms site, a slim triangular plot at East Madison and East Union; it’ll force out several tenants unlikely to find similar low-rent space—another blow to the hill’s human-scale charm, the blog reports. Launched in 2006, the site includes an all-posts page to which any registered reader can contribute; the better write-ups are then published on the home page. “A neighborhood,” says CHS, “after all, should be defined by its neighbors.”
Mocking me that I can’t fly and have to trudge around in the snow,
originally uploaded by ERIK98122.
At the end of this year, CHS will celebrate its seventh birthday and fifth anniversary as a business. We are supported nearly completely by display Web advertising purchased by a mix of small neighborhood businesses and regional chains that actually know something about the neighborhoods they operate in.
I am lucky to be able to say that this mix — along with a small boost from the generous support provided by our “subscribers” ($5 a month to subscribe, in goodwill, to CHS? Such a deal!) — has enabled me to pay for and support an ongoing community news effort dedicated fully to the neighborhood and created by the people who live here. It is a tricky balance and we continue to see pretenders come and go, sometimes making that balance even trickier. In the meantime, there is daily news to get out and a redesign to complete.
At the core of CHS are the readers, commenters, Facebook friends and Twitter followers who provide ideas, insights, criticism and, often, laughs to help push us forward. The honest-to-goodness secret of the whole thing is that it exists to be added to — and because it exists to be added to, people have added to it. Some would call that dependence a weakness. They’re correct that it is fragile. But — even if it is good advice from bad sources — it is apparently the “best.”