visit_church_hill

Results from our recent survey

September 21, 2015 11:11 am by

Last week I asked for your feedback in a simple 12 question survey. Almost 250 responses came in very quickly.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. It has been interesting and informative to see what came in over the transom.

Here is what you said:


Where are you coming from?

  • 29 – Chimborazo
  • 117 – Church Hill
  • 25 – Church Hill North
  • 3 – Fairmount
  • 6 – Fulton
  • 6 – Oakwood
  • 37 – other / don’t know / whatever
  • 1 – Peter Paul
  • 21 – Union Hill

How long have you been a CHPN reader?

  • 103 – 2-4 years
  • 82 – 5+ years
  • 53 – < 1 year
  • 2 – no answer

How often do you visit CHPN?

  • 106 – few times week
  • 114 – daily
  • 25 – every so often

Do you have ad blocking set up on your browser?

  • 99 – yes
  • 143 – no

Are you a participant in the “My Block” pickup stick giveaway?

  • 196 – no
  • 45 – yes

Have you attended a public meeting, civic association meeting, neighborhood clean-up or other similar type event in the past year?

  • 125 – yes
  • 116 – no

Do you feel like CHPN is biased in how things are reported?

  • 27 – yes
  • 214 – no

If you answered YES above: Will please describe what you see?

Biases might not be the word, but your coverage could go deeper. More coverage of social issues, historic and evolving race/class divisions…. Not just restaurant buzz ( although that is also nice to read about)

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preachy’ slant i don’t recall from previous years. don’t hit the site as often. all grown up and the relaxed camaraderie is pretty well gone.

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I think you are afraid of offending the CHA

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It is a generally pro-conservation, anti-standard development, pro community bias, which I don’t mind. Everyone has a bias, but there are no visible strong republican vs democratic biases I see (but I would say a democratic lean) if that’s what you’re asking.

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Sometimes stories seem designed to instigate comments or page clicks. But I am a willing participant and am a junkie for updates and new comments, so don’t take this as pointed criticism.

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Read comment below for further explanation. I prefer not to have comments censored.

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Not all comments are posted, it seems to be up moderator as to what or who he decides to post.

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capitalist real estate goons 2 way racialism dupes

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As long as you stick with stories about missing kitties, vacation times for businesses, street closures and the antics of local politicians you seem to do OK. However, your biased past reporting has incited disharmony in a community that has even yet to experience recovery. I would like to believe that your actions were not intentional but do to inexperience; the resulting negative impact is evident no matter what the reason.

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Tends to be more focus on feel good stories, steering away from controversial topics more than you used to in the past. Maybe this is just change in comments being posted but it has felt like more heavy moderation, more bias towards fluff pieces.

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This site seems to cater to a certain socio-economic group of people in Church Hill.

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For the most part, I think the reporting is unbiased. There are times such as the story about the MLK Middle School Teacher cuts, when some obvious bias appears. I don’t necessarily have a problem with it, but I can’t say it’s not there.

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The positive highlights on CHPN are situated closer to Broad and further west… I feel like the further east/north, the more negative the news is. That may be indicative of what is going on in these parts of our neighborhood, or may be bias.

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I think the coverage of local people and businesses could be expanded to better represent the diversity of the community.

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Disclaimer: of course none of us are free of bias. Also, these comments don’t have anything to do with CHPN posts that are merely informative, though there might be something to be said about the range and selection of news items that count enough to get posted. Reports are in line with a kind of standard mild liberal view, often skewing toward a dreamy idealism/hopefulness/optimism. Nothing wrong with that last part, I suppose. I do appreciate the solemnity with which you treat violence. The political underpinning is often not progressive or analytical enough for me, yet my sense is that it matches a large swath of the population. Fair enough, it should be reflective of its constituency.

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Biased to the extent that CHPN needs to be more deliberate about crime posts.

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I feel that CHPN likes to keep things copasthetic, kosher, overly informative and positive for fear of ruffling feathers. CHPN doesn’t like to call inequality, or unfairness or racism out where it exists. Report everything. Even when it could shake the powers that be. If the Mayor’s office is corrupt, say so. Don’t fear that they will stop talking to you. If the CHA is corrupt, say so. Don’t worry about the repercussions. If people are arguing in the comments, let them. Disourse is good. Ad hominem attacks are not.

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Some liberal political tilt. Also, you express more excitement about things like the bike race, as opposed to focusing issues it will cause for traffic and parking. I don’t know that it’s egregious, just noticeable.

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as a libertarian, there is definitely a politically liberal slant (not from CHPN specifically but from the commenters).

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John, what you report – some folks take as fact – you have to be careful with that responsibility. For example, when you state on CHPN that […] gets a banquet license for each one of their “wine/beer” events – it’s just not true. The ABC website has a search feature that will demonstrate this (just go back in to your archives, check the dates of events – cross with ABC – you’ll see only a couple of the events were permitted. My only problem with it is: they are advertising these events (on CHPN postings) – it’s just not right – and CHPN (you) are promoting this. It’s not all legit – I hate businesses that cut corners. Why not get the permits needed for each of these events? Why cut corners? We all love young entrepreneurs, but there are rules to follow…


Are there stories or topics that you feel deserve more attention?

I feel strongly that the East End got screwed by GRTC when they initiated the transfer station on 9th street. It takes over an hour to get anywhere: doctor’s office, Carytown, etc. It’s been impossible to call attention to this.

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Issues related to the experience of people of color, race relations, gentrification, highlight work of local non profits to spread awareness. More coverage of so-called “community associations” like the CHA. Who are they really? What have they really done for the greater community ( vs what they could be doing)? What are members associations? Do renters and people of color really feel welcomed at their meetings or so-called “community picnics”? What do they really show they care about apart from a ruined river driving down the values of their prime Libby hill real estate?

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just hit the ‘headlines’ mostly but stuff in the ‘hood we know about never shows at all.

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Saving the view in Libby Park. Too many are still unaware

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Schools in the neighborhood…why your kids (and mine) would probably not be sent to the public schools in the area.

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You do an amazing job of presenting a spectrum of viewpoints. I’m sure there is room for improvement, but you are by far the best thing going.

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the curse of gentrification

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Stories about the persistent stuff – vacants, schools, income inequality / gentrification, etc. You’ve done some good pieces on these in the past but lately it’s been more of the community bulletin board than a source for investigative / thought provoking discussion. If that’s intent, it’s your site but at least to this reader it would be nice to see a few more of these.

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I love getting to know individuals, businesses, etc- more individual highlights! More of the good stuff going on in our hood 🙂

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I would love to see more coverage of historically/predominately black groups, organizations, and community elders , more open discussion of issues related to gentrification and the wide range of socioeconomic status among community members. Basically, information that both appeals to and covers more of the diversity within the neighborhood. More in depth coverage of local public policies would also be of interest, including broader policies that may not be particularly targeted to the neighborhood, but could still be covered from either a neighborhood or city-wide perspective. I also always love the coverage of local history.

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While race and class issues (and the intersection between them) are rightly on the front burner (community relations, gentrification, disadvantage, and so on), I’d like to see more probing of poverty and homelessness as issues (not just in terms of attempts at amelioration), environmental issues (e.g., what does it mean that CH supplies an endless train of renovation dumpsters?, why is there a chemical assault on the grass growing from brick sidewalks when there are repeated and recent reports of the cancer-causing effects of Round-up?), and — from a personal axe I have to grind — the celebration of violence against animals in the foodie culture that permeates the hill (foie gras at The Roosevelt is fucking obscene, sure, but so are the mindless attempts to feel warm and cozy about Hogtoberfest, butcheries, and so on). You want to invoke something edgy in being “people’s” news? Then take one step ahead and challenge the bullshit on more than the usual fronts. Don’t get me wrong, I think you do so in a lot of ways, but I want MORE

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I’m a jobs person, I would like to see more information related to jobs.

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Inequality. Unfairness. Gentrification issues.

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More attention to crime reports and stats beyond shootings. I really liked the grocery store comparison you did a while back (cost of bread, etc.). And I like the historical info, black-and-white photos. Sometimes all the details and drama surrounding Capt. Buzzy’s and the M Street developers could be cut short.

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I think sharing news about Armstrong High and MLK is good. Church Hill Academy is definitely a great story. The constant renovations of homes and businesses is fun to read about. I like to see how much someone paid for a property, then how much they spent to fix it up. I also like the ways to bring people together stories. Like BBQ in the park, or walks in the park, etc.

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Yes home/auto robbery and vandalism efforts.

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I’m biased because I live there, but would love more coverage of Montrose Heights/Fulton, but hey I’ll take what I can get!

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I would love to see more about the Fulton Area. 🙂

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Home renovations (reader submissions), interviews/stories about individuals within the community

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My biggest interest is new business (retail or restaurants) opening up and any construction/development in the area. Second would be crime blotter. I have very little interest in anything one would deem “human interest” stories or anything about local schools.

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Not sure, I do like crowd-reported items, I feel like it gives a lot of different perspectives.

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Less crime, please.

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more schools information, highlight organizations that serve the community (CHPN already does a good job at this, want to encourage to continue!), love the photos

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stories which create a sense of community (common rallying points, volunteering activities, festivals).

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I appreciate the profiles of local people involved in the community and on local non-profits/events. I would encourage you to continue to to incorporate more of them.

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Current renovation projects happening in the neighborhood. More before and after stories

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History

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This is not entirely your responsibility, but it would be great to try and focus the readership of this site (and thus the members of the CH community) in more discussion about the real problems that are swirling around our neighborhood. There is so much focus on trivial controversy and NIMBY issues, while real desperation abounds everywhere. I don’t think anything will change hearts and minds, but it would be nice to try.

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It would be nice to see more interpretation and analysis- really impressed with what RVANews has been doing, and honestly, find myself going there for most information nowadays.

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I’m an incorrigible history head. I want more history, back stories, archival images. I’m a firm believer in the mantra that if you educate people about their neighborhoods, they more they will appreciate them, and will be less inclined to tear down, burn down, obliterate or otherwise fuck things up.

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dining, community events that are more social (eg happy hours, progressive dinners), news about str8 out of philly

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I would like to know more about business and the people who live in the community

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More human interest. Like a person of the week, folks making a difference, a change, doing well etc

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More coverage of what occurred at City Council meetings not just upcoming adjenda. Bon Secours as well as Richmond Community Hospital. Cynthia Newbill. What more can we do to protect riverfront and promote public park.

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Maybe features on local organizations / charities / service opportunities? But that’s always secondary to hard news, and you’re only one person.

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More community profiles. What’s been done on video, such as Coffee With Strangers or the 5 Minutes With Richmond videos, could be done on this website, with a hyper-local focus on hyper-local interesting people, places, events, businesses, etc. RVA News’ content is a lot more varied, and a lot less reflective of neighborhood grievances.

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Yes. I’m very concerned about the many drivers who don’t stop at stop signs, use their turn signals, etc. I have had some close calls thinking it was safe to cross only to have a driver turn without warning and nearly hit me. Also, my fellow runners who run before and after sunset really need to stop wearing all black and need to start wearing some reflective gear. Seriously.

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While there is ample discussion of poverty and crime in the neighborhood, I would like to see more research/investigative type stories – although, admittedly, this may not be the best forum/venue for such stories. I realize this is a tall order, but I feel like a lot of these sorts of stories, as currently reported, tell about a specific incident – what happened – without giving enough details about the context or individuals involved, or without later follow up. Of course, I totally understand if this is beyond the scope of what a single person or a news blog can or should do.

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The gentrification/culture clash of new folks vs. people who’ve been in the neighborhood forever is really interesting and doesn’t get talked about enough. If it is talked about, someone usually says “This isn’t about race. Stop playing the race card.” It’s totally about race. The race card was played hundreds of years ago.

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Some immediate thoughts – open up and report on visits to local amenities perhaps one a week to further develop people’s knowledge of their community e.g. the local library, The Peter Paul and CHAT centers/schools, the Robinson Theater, key Civic Assn and 7th District meetings, group, the Petanque players etc etc

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I love the personal profiles. Those are hard and require more time to develop. You should rely on volunteer journalists (says the person who has never volunteered to do the thing they recommend)

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Features on long-time African-American residents and their contributions, features about teachers and kids in the schools, and background/discussions on urban planning topics.

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Historical renovations…more stories based on the work going on on blight houses.

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Less missing cats more engaging the neighborhood in topics that really matter to us as humans. The most important one being reconciliation between black and white members of the community. Healing the divide. I think CHPN, in simply doing more to get to know what our neighbors are doing and care about, is uniquely positioned to facilitate that

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I feel like the reporting his great and timely. While the volunteer events are well posted they tend to kinda whiz by in the hustle and bustle.. A section like “get involved” similar to the dine and schools etc sections that has all currently active volunteer and involvement opportunities in a list form would be great


Have you noticed a change in tenor in the comments section over the past year or so?

  • 138 – no
  • 88 – yes

If you answered YES above: Can you describe the change?

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In a word, it appears to be censorship. You seem to have to have elected to eliminate the diatribes by cutting off the discussions. Have you thought that a contributing reason the discussions became so heated was possibly because of the incomplete and otherwise biased reporting you provided that ignited and fed the flames? Freedom of speech is a right but is employed at the highest level when information accumulated, organized, distributed and updated in an unbiased form. Anything short of that is nothing more than yellow journalism.

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“Alex” has toned things down. Also, fewer hard to decipher, direct from Facebook comments.

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3 words: white people problems

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A bit calmer and less aggressive.

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Actually I’m uncertain. I tend to ignore yelly people in the comments, knowing that it’s just noise and not real discussion. But maybe you’ve been weeding that stuff out more heavily, which is fine by me! Let people who can calmly state an opinion engage in civil discourse. Everybody else can GTFO.

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“Although I understand your desire to control the tone of discussions on the site, I believe that too much is being filtered/censored. I also understand you have every right to do that since this is your site. I believe you should allow people to make the comments they feel are necessary to state their perspective. Let’s face it, Church Hill is so incredibly diverse that there will likely never be consensus on issues of race, social issues, etc. The cultures are just so different, we have to agree to disagree. That’s an issue larger than Church Hill. I do believe there is quite a bit of learning achieved by reading/”hearing” emotions such as anger and frustration in others’ comments. It’s helpful to gain perspective about the other side. We don’t have to agree–likely, we never will. But, we can, at least, understand. I completely get how frustrating it could be to moderate a site that is accessed by people from every walk of life. Church Hill is home to so many different types of people- poor, wealthy, well-educated, high school dropouts, old, young, street thugs, professionals, black, white, multicultural, gay, straight, hipsters, nimbys, and socialites. How often does that happen in small cities like Richmond? The cultural divide is wide but understanding is a small step toward tolerance. ”

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At least once a year there is a story that gets people fired up and passionate, and the comments section can get dicey. It just proves how vehemently we all love our community.

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booooring, preachy, and uninvolved

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Comments are becoming more racially biased,but covered up with “proper English”

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Comments have always been disrespectful and adversarial…but since buzzy’s isn’t an issue any more comments have been much better.

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Comments seem to have calmed down more so than in previous years.

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Edited – to have less inflammatory remarks

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Even though I said no, I’d like to comment: I continue to see a typical range of snarky, weird, friendly, blowhard, defensive, joking, offensive, supportive comments.

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Everyone whines and complains about everything. Lots of negativity. It’s either bleeding heart liberals making excuses (e.g. people are poor so they have to resort to stealing strollers and bikes) or people who are negative about every new restaurant (too fancy or expensive, I’d so something else instead), development project (everything is ugly), etc. I think people could be a little more open and supportive about change in the neighborhood. P.S. I LOVE WHEN YOU SHUT DOWN COMMENTS THAT GET OUT OF HAND.

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Fewer comments

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From my perception there appears to be an increase (but not an overwhelming increase) in negativity and grumbling. And an increase in the stereotypical “South of Broad” crowd who think they own and speak for all of the East End. But as you can see I have my own biases, so I wouldn’t consider my assessment very trustworthy.

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I appreciate the crowd control on the occasions when the comments get heated, personal and off point.

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I can’t say for sure, but the overall tenor might be more positive — or at least there may be fewer negative comments.

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I can’t say they have “changed” since I haven’t been here for very long. But I notice the comments on this website pretty accurately reflect a sense of complete resistance to change and a battle of people who long for the “good ole days”. High levels of negativity and concern with issues that just aren’t a big deal. More comments about a roundabout on Franklin street than a post about a fundraiser for Armstrong high school. But these are your readers, the key (to me) is to continually expose these readers to the real people who their negativity and general lack of “neighbor-ness” affects.

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I don’t know how to answer exactly. You do a good job redirecting. People have different opinions…and that’s great….but the comments are OFTEN lacking basic kindness…but I guess that’s (sadly and unnecessarily) human nature

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I exclusively read CHPN through Tumblr, and have not seen the comment section.

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I fall into the camp of having read between 1 and 2 years (although I’ve selected the 1 year button above), so I don’t have a great deal of perspective on whether there’s been a change, but I generally overlook the comments section when I do read because of its overwhelmingly negative, recalcitrant, and complaining tenor. The fact that the comments so frequently come from the same people reinforces the sense that they speak for the neighborhood, not that they represent outliers among the community. It may be uncouth to offer comparisons to other neighborhood blogs, but one of my favorites before we moved to Richmond (and home to many champion complainers, but not to the extent that it overwhelms the feel of the blog) is http://www.popville.com/. It may be that the blog manager takes an openly editorial stance in the articles or that specific threads are designed to “air concerns”/channel negative feedback or it may just be there is enough positive participation on recurring articles that you can overlook the negativity, but it cultivates a sense that there’s less hand-wringing about the neighborhood and more engagement and enthusiasm for where the neighborhood is headed.

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I feel that I see more strong and defensive statements, that at times seem to represent a very limited range of perspectives

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I find the comments increasingly noxious, prejudiced, and frequently ignorant. More grand-standing than community conversations.

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I go to every CHA meeting – because I enjoy punishment. i’ve also noticed a distinct lack of vitriol and acrimony in the last 12 months. It’s refreshing, and sad as I have no reason to eat popcorn anymore.

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I have been wanting the tenor of comments to change. They get pretty rough, still.

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I think comments have become less mean and inflammatory

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I think people are quicker to tell aggressive or even just negative folks to calm down and be more positive.

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I think you have helped people to be aware of what they say and how they say it

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I think, in general, the comments have been more respectful/less confrontational.

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I’ve noticed that comments are less supportive and at times trollish.

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It has been more positive, now that the comments are closely monitored. Good to close threads before they degenerate completely but also important for people to feel heard.
It seems less vitriolic. But maybe I’ve become immune.

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It seems that more and more commenters have little to no empathy for the poorer folks who live in the neighborhood/surrounding area. They are blind to many factors facing this community. I know that’s generalizing, but It kind of drives me crazy. P.S. I’ve had my own trash pickup stick for years!

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It’s a bit less inflammatory, but there are still people who lash out at tiny perceived slights. I don’t comment much, for that reason.

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It’s been less nasty and personal

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It’s hard to say if there’s a change in comments or if I’m just noticing things that I didn’t before. Some commenters seem totally oblivious to how they might sound to normal people. I don’t know the folks in person, but some sound unaware of their white privilege and they come across as racist. Would they be embarrassed if they knew how they sound? Probably not. For most of the commenters, I have no interest in knowing them personally and that’s partly why I don’t go to meetings or events. Some commenters seem older and have been around Church Hill a long time. I love to hear their views and don’t think they’re racist.

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Less hostile

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Less negativity, less fighting! I’m not sure how this happened. I know that you’ve shut down some comments that have become unnecessarily hateful and appreciate that.

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Less strident and personal

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Lots of comments seem vitriolic/not constructive on hotter topics given the option to remain anonymous.

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Lots of negative and derogatory comments

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More aggressiveness towards other (probably because of the anonymity)

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More civil.

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More civilized which is excellent as it brings the tone up and brings credibility and (hopefully) more readers and contributors.

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more folks calling out others to be civil, calls to remove option to post under alias/anon

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More negative and sarcastic. I’m all for intelligent, witty humor but the sniping isn’t funny or well received. It seems to come from a small contingent always willing to insert snark where it’s not proper or welcome.

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More positive comments overall… Less bitching. Like the moderation strategy….

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More positive especially when you begin a post with a note you will moderate if the dialogue turns unsavory

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More sniping; less gracious

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nicer

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NO CHANGE, unfortunately there’s still an undercurrent of negativity about everything that goes on, whether it’s a block party reunion or the erection of signs at the parks. Adults can usually deal with the minor changes and inconveniences of life in a city. We seem to have a larger share of adult children, people who use the comments to vent their minor frustrations.

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Not as mean

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Not as toxic as in the previous 2 years. Tired of hearing about Buzzy’s friction. Still amazed at what gets people sharing their comments.

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not so much anger and vitriol.

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Only been reading a little over a year but it seems there is a divide between the south-of-broaders and the urban pioneers. I find it funny. Eventually they’ll die off and we can hope their trust fund kids don’t continue the assholery.

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People do seem less argumentative. Tho in my neighborhood group/civic assoc, we have been intentionally NOT sharing on CHPN what used to be news worthy stories about development projects. We are now getting a lot of things done without having to battle the non-stop arguments and personal accusations in an online public forum. Its unfortunate that we’ve gone to ground on a lot of really interesting activities lately, but the strategy has been working (meaning things get done without the strife and publicity).

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People have been less argumentative

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People just seem so negative and nit-picky. They are slower to listen and quicker to judge
People seem to have become more vicious in their attitudes and nastier in their choice of language.

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Perhaps a bit more cordial…

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Perhaps it’s due to not having the hateful, over the top responses concerning Captain Buzzy’s as the main topic! I do believe you had stated that future comments follow certain guidelines so that the threads don’t devolve the way they did during the coffee shop “brewhaha.”

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Seems more positive

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Seems more tame, but that said, it also seems like there has been less controversy to get people riled up since the Buzzy thing quieted down.

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Slightly less combative.

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Some can be negative without offering something constructive.

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Still a lot of racism & classism…but I wouldn’t want those voices to be censored. I would just want them to be challenged.

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Stopped reading the comments more than a year ago. I hope there has been.

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The Church Hill area remains snarky in their responses and mostly negative in their perceptions.

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The comment section has become a shining example of white privilege and some of the negative residual effects of gentrification. It’s quite sad, inhuman, yet unsurprising.

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The comments are less mean-spirited, generally – of course, it depends on the topic of the article that is generating the comments.

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The personal attacks have pretty much gone away (although not completely) which is great. All the negativity got in the way of all the wonderful things you post. I know it also kept a lot of people from reading, chpn. When someone says to me they won’t read your site because of all the crap people would say about each other I always say they should give you a try because it has gotten better and it really is a wonderful place to learn about what’s going on up here.

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The temperment of the comments seems more polite. Blatent attacks seem to be way down.
There are a few people that have toned it down a bit. There are also some people that were horrible all the time that are no longer posting.

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There as been some increase in negativity but that has happened everywhere, not just on CHPN. It may be more noticeable here because many new people have moved in to the neighborhood. There was more uniformity 10 or 15 years ago.

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they are not as negative and mean spirited. For this we need to thank you, John!

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They are very discouraging and negative. I used to receive the weekly email for your site and read daily but for the past year I have only read occasionally because of the tone of the comments. (It’s somewhat ironic that I looked at the site today and am now filling out this survey. I haven’t looked at it in at least a month.) It is depressing to me how many people will negatively comment on things that have nothing to do with them or that they are not personally involved in. I think this is a problem with comments on the Internet in general; it just hurts more deeply when many of the articles and news reportings are so personal to me and my neighborhood.

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They seem less inflammatory

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Very aggressive tone to comments. Lack of consideration for other viewpoints.

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Well, the Buzzy’s thing died down which was basically the giant flame for the moths of insipid comments. Also […] seems to have reduced her commenting a lot which helps because no one seemed smart enough not to take her bait EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

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When the complainers get on a roll, someone usually speaks up to get them back down to earth. I have seen a lot of stupid personal arguments play out — glad you shut them down.

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While people still get a little snarky, there is less nastiness

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while there are still a portion of the commenters who react negatively to any perceived change, most of the comments are polite and well thought out. The “lynch mob” mentality still exists where an opinion is formed of an individual/business with limited facts. As a slightly dated example, the Capt Buzzy’s/Buffington fiasco was a perfect example.

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yes-ish. I understand that many commenters post to get a rise out of the reader community. I find myself avoiding the comments on certain topics, especially relating to socio-economic differences. But, the comments can be a great source of additional information and entertainment!

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Yes. People have realized that only some comments are welcome (even ones that are not mean hearted are excluded.) When John gets tired of hearing it, he turns the censorship on.

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You can just tell that the “new-comers” are a bit on the “uppity” side. They are way less sensitive to the environs that some of us who have been here longer, 10+ yrs. They’ve been up here for 3, 4, 5 yrs., and they want to dictate how it should be on the Hill…it really doesn’t work like that. (Prime example: CH Reunion thread)


Any other feedback that you’d like to share?

As a Shockoe Bottom resident with many friends in the Church Hill area, I appreciate this connection to my community. Thank you for sharing stories that affect us all and bringing us together.

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As much as I dislike seeing negative comments, I do value CHPN very much. I feel that as someone who is not able to get out in the neighborhood much due to family responsibilities, I have a way to find out what’s going on, both the good and bad. This allows me to be aware and keep an eye on how trends play out.

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CHPN creates a lot of social capital for our neighborhood. Thank you for what you do to make Church Hill a better, inclusive community.

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I actually signed up for the My Block pickup stick, but never was contacted about it.

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Overall, I am very appreciative that the site exists, and hope it will continue. It would be nice to see some “ground rules” for conversation, though.”

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I appreciate how you there is a balance within the comments section – people are able to express constructive comments, but others seem to keep more inflammatory comments in line. The self-policing seems solid.

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Even though I am the owner of the orange house you use in your avatar on social media, and I get a kick out of seeing it every time I log on, I am SURE that there are MANY other houses that you can use to better represent the Church Hill area. (To be clear, I don’t mind AT ALL that you are using a picture of the house, it just seems there could be a better picture used to represent Church Hill since, let’s face it, it’s not the best house in the neighborhood…of course, it’s not the worst either, but still!)

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I don’t participate in “My Block” but in fact I do take responsibility for picking up my block. I like the initiative as well as the Little Libraries, the Farmer’s Markets, the clean-up initiatives and anything that gets folks involved in the community. Thanks for fostering the effort!

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I don’t think people have gotten snarkier, because I can remember back a few years when the ballpark debate was going on and there were snarky comments, and back when the Capt. Buzzy’s thing was happening, ditto. I think people just don’t THINK when they post, they tend to say things that they would never say to someone’s face….but that’s the way of the internet.

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I find this to be an invaluable source of information about the community. I don’t visit the physical site daily but I follow the Twitter and Instagram accounts which are fantastic.

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I have a soft spot for the lost/found pet stories – I root for the pets and/or owners to be found.

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I think CHPN does a good thing for the area and is far more inclusive than the CHA. A good example is the so called “Church Hill “Flag that shows the monument and St.John’s Church. Church Hill includes far more than this limited area. This flag is an indication of the mentality of this arrogant organization and it’s detremental actions that affect the rest of the neighborhood. You should allow critisism of the CHA,

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I wasn’t sure I liked the most recent format change, though it has grown on me. It seems a little more difficult to review older posts without the accompanying photos (which were often my cues for what was contained in the post).

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CHPN is a local TREASURE when it comes to opening up community engagement and positive transformation. Keep showing us all the opportunities to connect, keep updating us about changes, keep helping us find our lost pets, keep reminding us that we don’t live in isolation and that we have a moral duty to each other that requires our active participation, keep showing us the beauty that is captured in an ordinary photo, keep us honest and chasten us about our losses and our failures. Keep on keepin’ on, CHPN!!

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I wish people who post about animals would be mindful that many of us check back often about lost and found pets. We’re keeping an eye out for their furry family members! Our animal friends are one of the ties that bind us and it’s frustrating not to hear of closure, especially happy endings!

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I work in Church Hill and will eventually move to Church Hill within the next year. I like how there are a variety of posts and balance with positive parts of the neighborhood and challenges. It helps me feel connected to what is going on and give opportunities to get involved, make a difference and be informed. As well as building pride in the neighborhood but not hiding its challenges. It would be great if flyers could be distributed to doors of all Church Hill residents that may not know about this website, about half the people I mention it to have no clue. I’m especially thinking about the lower income groups, but also newer young families. Thanks for making a difference!

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I would love to see more informative posts based on research about crime in Church Hill (I’m one of those that considers Chimborazo, Oakwood, Union hill etc. as part of Church Hill). For example, there has been a steady uptick in petty crime (i.e. theft, burglary, drug dealing, assaults, etc) in the Chimborazo and Oakwood areas as the area “conventionally” known as Church Hill (especially near Broad) has witnessed a decrease.

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While the posts about crimes that happen (e.g. shootings, thefts, etc), are useful to know about, other related posts such as godund or related efforts for crime victims are not necessary. They open up a pandora’s box about good/bad victims, their personal/familial connections to prominent religious institutions/people in Church Hill that are not productive. Simply linking information, as they emerge, about fundraising efforts under a news post seems appropriate whereas a whole post devoted to a victim’s family measures to raise money seems irresponsible (and also random) in that judgement calls are being made about which victims are worthy of entire posts and which are not.

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I would not of found the Rotary or be adopted by the UH Association and Jeff Parkers if it wasn’t for this site. Tremendous resource to understanding the history, the architecture/carr stuff.

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I was told not to join the CH association because it’s just old cranky white people. This site is my substitute, and a far better resource, to understanding what is going on.”

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I’d love recommendations for local mechanics, yoga classes, services et al

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It would be cool to send a follow up tweet if any of these dogs are eventually found if you ever find out.

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It’s difficult to put this politely, but: Occasionally, neighborhood residents who are less adept at writing post comments that I think are either completely ignored or possibly misinterpreted. I think it would be great if someone from CHPN could reach out to these folks and help them edit themselves a little bit so that they could better participate in the conversation. I’m not sure how this would work without being patronizing or insulting to the individuals involved, but I worry that low-income and minority voices are inadvertently being excluded from a lot of public/civic discussion because of electronic media and the increased importance of written communication. There may be a better solution for this, but I don’t know what it would be. 🙁

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Keep up the good work. It is good to have 3-5 posts a day. Or more.

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Live in Montrose and have worked in Church Hill for ten years. One thing I would like to do is volunteer more in the neighborhood. Also, love CHPN!

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Maybe disable the anonymous posts or from people without any identity?

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Maybe do featured neighbors or something so we can get to know the rest of the people in the area, not just within our few blocks we live at. Also how the new housing boom is going to affect the quality of the public schools.

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More local stories and stories about folks living in church hill

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More photos would be nice.

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Negative comments are unnecessary. Constructive proactive solutions are great. We all need encouragement and kindness. Eliminate all derogatory or sarcastic comments. Otherwise this is a great community service and so helpful to know what is going on in community. I live in Shockoe bottom. Just 2 blocks from Churchill and spend a lot of time in churchill

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People should not be allowed to post anonymously.

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Perhaps local church hill restaurant deals..$25 for $50

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please keep up the good work and keep us informed

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Suggest you pay attention to the red line from spell check – I think you will be able to “gauge” your impact

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I’d love to continue to see posts for donors choose stuff (fundraiserfor teachers at Chimbo) as I have emailed you about that and not had them posted

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I’d also love to have others report too (although you do a great job)

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I think ppl should be linked to fb or use their real names (would cut down on the crap I hope)

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Thanks for moderating and closing the comments down. Your judgment is good about that.

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Having thumbs up or down buttons to click might lead to fewer comments and that might be a good thing. It would provide a way for us “lurkers” to have a voice without having to post a full comment. Maybe lots of thumbs down would be a way to gently tell people they sound like nut jobs and get them to think twice about what they say?

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The right to claim church hill as your neighborhood needs to be more inclusive. Just because developers have carved out a “st john’s district” here and a “Chimborazo” there, that doesn’t mean our local media has to perpetuate those divisions. Also think you do a good job reporting positive happenings in the community as well

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This is an awesome service and I am glad you offer it. Might be nice to encourage some elected officials to participate.

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Those T shirts with the CHPN logo on them were so cheap and thin and sheer that there was no way I’d wear one. I’d be more than happy to show off that logo on a quality shirt. Come on, John, how about another run of those things on some quality cloth?

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You all do a great job of reporting news, events and opportunities in the community, lost pets and so much more. I also appreciate that you let people speak their minds in the comments section on the website but step in when discussions get nasty. I Also enjoy the silly captions on some of your instagram and tumblr posts. Thank you for all your hard work!!! I love CHPN!

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You asked for the above comments so please accept them in that context. I believe you provide a valuable tool for the community. However, any tool can be used either constructively or destructively. The choice is yours. Best wishes.


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