Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome to the New & Expanded Neighbors of Easton

Posted by: Noel Jones

Hi Everybody~

Neighbors of Easton is back--and while it may at first sight look very much the same, some significant growth and expansion has taken place! First of all, while for the last year I have been the sole administrator of the blog, now I have been joined by eight new administrators,
who are among some of our most independent and committed citizens in the West Ward--I am very excited to have them on board:

Dennis Lieb
Terrence Miller
Tim Pickel
Jeanette Caines
David Edwards
Nikkita Frazier
Joanne Czeck
Tim Hare

They will be introducing themselves with their first posts today, and over time you will get to know their individual voices and areas of focus. Among our administrators are two architects, a pastor and crime reduction outreach specialist, a former teacher and City Council president doing water purification work in third world countries, a couple who has worked extensively in the neighborhood to increase code enforcement on slumlords, a single mother and database expert with a daughter in the school system who hosts her own blog for single parents, and a web site designer who is also caretaker of the 5th Street community garden.


In addition to adding our new administrators, we have streamlined the blog a bit, by shortening the posts to teasers on the home page so readers can scroll less, and by creating a group blogsend feature so that readers on the blog's email list no longer have to wait on emails from me to know when a new article has been posted--you will automatically be notified. Please note: we will no longer be focusing on community event announcements, so please check the top right of the home page for the RESTORE West Ward web site, which will be maintaining a community calendar with important meetings for residents. I hope to see you all at City Council meetings!

We have also beefed up the sidebars with more links to web sites of interest to the West Ward (check out what's been added on the right side of this home page) and will be using photos in our articles as well.

From now on I will be just one of the group, and I will be focusing primarily on issues of political will in our neighborhood. It is our democracy, and as the most densely-populated neighborhood in Easton,  we have a lot of political power in the West Ward if we wake up and use it. We have made steady (though incremental) progress this year on issues of street cleaning (coming in 2010), improving resident relations with our police department, pushing for a comprehensive strategic plan to reduce crime, and the hardest nuts to crack--code enforcement for slumlords and de-conversion incentives. We still have a long way to go to see full revitalization, but it's great to see residents coming together and engaging the process to bring about change, slowly but surely.

We are completely independent and citizen-driven--not beholden to any government bodies or nonprofit organizations, so please jump in and be a part of this exciting citizen project by posting your comments freely to any and all posts that interest you. That's how we get an open and earnest debate going, and how the best ideas come to the surface, bringing us ever closer to revitalizing our neighborhood. The best ideas come from the ground up, not from the top down!

Welcome back~

Noel Jones


noel jones said...

ok, still working on the "torn page" feature for some of our administrators who are on older computers that aren't completely compatible with the newer blogspot platform, but we will get it worked out soon--stay tuned! this will soon mean that all posts involve less scrolling...

julie said...

Congrats Noel on the new and expanded blog. It's exciting. Thanks for all your hard work.

noel jones said...

Thanks, Julie. Looking forward to the West Word newsletter!