Hallwatch.Org No More

Ed Goppelt announced recently that the hallwatch website will shut down in February. This website provided a much needed reality check--transparency, even, on the city's failures to enforce its tax laws and to provide for its infrastructure. I am saddened by losing this resource.

Let's keep the data and its routine publishing alive, though. Does anyone know how he was able to sift through the BRT data and produce the lists that he posted on the site? I have used the BRT site often, and can't figure out how he did it without trudging through the data block by block.

Hallwatch 4-Ever!

Ed used some nifty SQL queries and scripts, running his site with Zope, which is fairly intuitive and easy to use. He had to pay for the BRT data (as do we all) on a monthly basis.

Hallwatch will be missed; but there are some just hatched plans to try and get up a syndicate of some sort to keep it going and in the hands of the taxpaying public.

Contact me off site if there is interest/ideas on your parts.
Josh

Joshua Vincent
www.urbantools.org
www.ourcommonwealth.org
Phree Philly

That sucks

Not just for tax issues but for activism in general. Its a sign of how disfunctional our city government is that Hall Watch got so much traffic as a way to voice opinions to our elected officials.
-Sean
MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

Why will it close?

Why will it close? I found that site and was saddened to find out that it was closing with no reason provided.

The Continuing Decline of News

News as a commodity is being greatly devalued by the busyness and lack of attention of our times. The death of Hallwatch comes shortly after the death of the PolitickerPA website, and the death of three neighborhood weeklies, the News Gleaner, the Northeast Breeze, and the Olney Times.

If we want news, we are going to have to pay for it with effort and/or with money. I am currently working on developing a local monthly or biweekly newspaper on a non-profit basis to serve the areas covered by the Breeze, the Olney Times, and the long-ago shut down Logan Times and Community News. Other areas may be covered as well.

The paper will be titled Your Community's Voice, and it now has a Facebook site established last week. It will continue to grow both online and in print.

I am glad to see that there is an effort underway to keep Hallwatch alive. It played a good role and deserves being maintained. It was an example of what a small group of people could do with a small budget; hopefully a new group of people could expand its reach and audience.

Newspapers are a bad business

I am pretty sure that the Germantown Courier and the Mt. Airy Times Express are getting the axe as well. The problem is the owning company, Journal Register. I think they are bankrupt. At this point, who knows what will be spared as the company tries to save itself.

I am going to try to build a community site for Greater Germantown. It's something that the community needs and the people deserve to have some kind of free resource.

Whoa!!! ED!!!

I dont even have time to write anything but this is SUCH a loss. HUGE HUGE loss. Ed Goppelt and his site really played a unique role in philly politics, the grassroots, our blogosphere, anyone who wanted to look at bad pictures of city council, etc etc. He was basically a one-man online newspaper for YEARS before anyone even knew what the Internet was - complete with bad pictures of almost everyone in community activism in Philly squinting uncomfortably at some civic association meeting somewhere.

We should at least have a send off!!!

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