Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum Case Study

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 by No comments yet

Ken Picard wrote an article in this week’s Seven Days about the assault of a woman at a Burlington basketball court when she asked some late night ballplayers to tone it down. What a terrible act against this 11-year resident.  I reported on the Burlington Free Press’ coverage here previously.

With the publication of Ken’s piece, a vivid portrait is painted of how the neighbors are using Front Porch Forum to inform each other about events, express concerns, debate underlying issues, attract official responses from local authorities, and get organized. Some excerpts…

When residents living near Pomeroy Park in the Old North End first learned about the late-night assault last month on one of their neighbors, they probably didn’t get the news from the daily newspaper. More likely, they read about it on the Front Porch Forum

This incident, like many relatively minor crimes that occur each day in Burlington, might have gone unnoticed and unaddressed were it not for the victim’s neighbor, Samuel Press. He asked her permission to post an account of the incident on their neighborhood’s Front Porch Forum…

Press’ posting sparked a flurry of email responses from other residents of the Old North End, some of whom recounted similar experiences with unruly and foul-mouthed park users. Others expressed dismay at the Parks & Recreation department and the police department’s unwillingness and/or inability to address their concerns, which appear to have existed for years.

The online back-and-forth eventually prompted official replies from Parks & Recreation Director Wayne Gross and Burlington Police Lieutenant Jennifer Morrison… Gross wrote that he asked the Burlington Electric Department to fix the street lamp that was bleeding light onto the court, enabling late-night play to occur. Likewise, Morrison informed residents that the police have stepped up nighttime patrols of the area, and asked residents to get good descriptions of anyone else engaged in suspicious activities.

Recently, a group of neighbors met to talk about longer term solutions. FPF is all about helping neighbors connect and foster community at the neighborhood level. This is a wonderful case study of people using Front Porch Forum in just this way.

Posted in: Burlington, Citizen Journalism, Community Building, Front Porch Forum, Good Government, Local Online, Media, Neighborhood, Social Media, Stories, Vermont

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