Monthly Archives: March 2008

Opening Communication with Front Porch Forum

Sometimes it’s the little things that open up communication among neighbors. Here’s a message from Linda and George that was just posted on an until-now-sleepy Essex Junction, VT, neighborhood forum…

“Many thanks to all of our neighbors for helping with the search for our indoor black cat. So many of you called to say you had seen him or would look out for him. Cindy Smith on Villa Drive had been working with us to capture a very scared black cat that keep showing up at her garage looking for food. Today, Monday, she called to tell me that the cat was under the porch across the street. Sure enough, he was. Sassy was gone for 3 long weeks but now he is home: thin, hungry, and dirty, but safe. Again thanks to everyone who was willing to help.”

I’m glad for this family (and the cat!). This is just the kind of success story that leads to more neighbors signing up and putting Front Porch Forum to use.

Please vote for us! And help spread the word… one vote per email address.

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Grassroots Candidates use Front Porch Forum

At its best, Front Porch Forum simply provides a venue for some pent up community issue to bubble up and get addressed. This may be the case in a part of South Burlington, VT recently where neighbors discussed an opening on the City Council…

“I have been concerned that our neighborhood does not have adequate representation in the City and have considered running for it… This is a huge window of opportunity for someone from our neighborhood to take a leadership position in city government, given the attention this newly conceived plan deserves. You need only 30 signatures, and the deadline is mid-April. Our neighborhood needs to be a voice in the discussions shaping the future of South Burlington.”

Then neighbor Liz weighed in…

“I couldn’t agree more… but am also unable to adequately represent our neighborhood at this time.”

And she laid out some of the issues facing the neighborhood (e.g., airport expansion).

And then, lo and behold, neighbor Meaghan jumps in with both feet…

“Dear Neighbors – Because I feel it is so important for someone from our neighborhood to run, I’ve decided to give it a go. My husband and I have agreed, and I’m grateful to him and to our children for supporting me and moved that they are encouraging me in this effort. They, too, love this city and see this step as an investment in the future. If I succeed and am elected as City Councilor, I plan to use this Front Porch Forum as a means to hear your ideas and to communicate with you. This process can start now. And, if someone else wishes to run, I see this as a positive sign for our neighborhood and our city. So please do.”

Please vote for us! And help spread the word… one vote per email address.

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Local News Coverage of FPF and MIYO

Andy Potter of WCAX in Burlington, VT knows a good story when he sees one!

Please vote for us! And help spread the word… one vote per email address. Read/add comments.

Thanks Andy…

Spot Burlington Friends and Landmarks on Video

In the excitement around Front Porch Forum‘s selection for the big national Make It Your Own Awards, I neglected to share our new video clip! You can see it below, on YouTube, on the contest site, and on local access TV (schedules below)…

Special thanks to CCTV Channel 17 (Meghan O’Rourke, Sam Mayfield and Lauren-Glenn Davitian) and the dozens of local folks who appear in the clip.

RETN Channel 16 (more times forthcoming)

  • Sun, Mar 30 – 7 p.m.
  • Mon, Mar 31 – 7 a.m and 8:56 p.m. (right before our repeat airing of “Winter Soldier”)
  • Tue, Apr 1- 11 a.m., 8:00 p.m. and 12 a.m. (4/2)
  • Wed, Apr 2 – 8:59 a.m. (after Democracy NOW!), 2:58 p.m. and 8:56 p.m.
  • Thu, Apr 3 – 9 p.m.
  • Fri, Apr 4 – 9 a.m.
  • Sat, Apr 5 – 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

CCTV Channel 17 (more times forthcoming)

  • Sat, Mar 29 – 6:33 PM
  • Sun, Mar 30 – 10:04 PM
  • Mon, Mar 31 – 3:04 AM, 9:04 AM, 3:04 PM

Please vote for us! And help spread the word… one vote per email address.

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Neighborly Encouragement

It’s inspiring to moderate Front Porch Forum in Vermont. Here’s part of Alan S.’s posting to his Burlington neighbors today…

Hello Neighbors – I assume that the rest of you are as ready for flowers and grass as I am. Enough of this cold and dreariness already!! I had a tree topple on my house during the last ice storm. Fortunately, it did no damage to the house, but I had to remove it entirely… It still seems strange that I live on Birch Court, but there are almost no birch trees left on the street. I may correct that shortcoming by planting one to replace the one I removed. I have to save up some funds because lately the cost of living is becoming prohibitive.

Hard earned dollars do not go as far and being fiscally conservative has become a way of life. We boomers are in for some tough times, especially those of us who got a late start saving and investing money. It behooves us to stick together and maintain our community with its resources. We will need all the resources we can muster in the future.

One immediate way to be involved is to join and attend our Neighborhood Planning Assembly. We hold monthly meetings at the Heineberg Senior and Community Center. Look for postings here on the forum. In addition to NPA, I encourage that you speak with city councilors, Board of Health members, school board members, and any other appointed or elected servants of the city. Your input to the processes of governance and change is critical to successful outcomes. I have learned not to underestimate the power of my single voice and certainly not the collective power of our many voices together. Please write, call, post on the forum and blogs, do whatever you can to raise community consciousness.

I also want to mention our need to reach out in our immediate neighborhoods. There are some of us living alone and living poorly for lack of resources. I believe that it would benefit them greatly if we paid them a neighborly visit. I encourage us to find small, but effective ways, to help someone near us. I keep in my own mind, that someday it could be me waiting for someone to be friendly and loving. Please reach out to your neighbor next door and beyond. The rewards for doing so will be great!!!

Please help us continue and expand this work… vote today and spread the word!

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Voters flocking to Make It Your Own Awards

More and more people are voting online in the Make It Your Own Awards… hopefully lots of them casting one vote for Front Porch Forum. If you tried and the site failed, please try again using this simpler voting site.

More comments from voters…

  • “I voted. IT was a great site! A lot of really COOL stuff folks are doing. (They wouldn’t let me just vote for FPF – I tried! They REQUIRED I select three other orgz. So, of course I got sucked into investigating carefully the merits of each of the other props!! I actually downloaded 2 proposals from organizations from the site as a template to help me with mine that I’m writing!” -Rolla, innercity Baltimore school teacher
  • “I support Front Porch Forum because it brings local neighborhoods together. It allows people to communicate with their fellow neighbors quickly and conveniently.” -Tom in Vermont
  • “I’ve connected and been connected to such vital information for my city and neighborhood.” -Lisa speaking about Front Porch Forum in Vermont

Please vote and ask other to vote as well.

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Can the underdog win the vote?

Front Porch Forum is in tiny Vermont… we’re definitely the underdog in the Make It Your Own vote. But maybe we can pull off a miracle. We’re starting to hear from folks…

  • “Would like to vote and help you out–I think the fpf is the best thing since sliced bread–better even!” -Linda G.
  • “I want to thank you SO MUCH for the front porch forum. It has really helped bring us together.” -Sarah Jane W.
  • “… you’ve got my vote, we’ll pass it around to friends. Good luck.” Rich K.
  • “I just voted. It was an awesome experience to see FPF among other innovative national community programs!” -Nance N.
  • “i voted for you!  i’m actually a huge fan of front porch forum.  my neighborhood has a very active forum, and it’s my alternative to the local morning newspaper.  it was great to read the descriptions of the other wonderful community projects so that i could vote for three more.  it was hard to choose- they all sounded so good.”

Please help us continue and expand this work… vote today and spread the word!

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Neighbors Support Each Other thru Front Porch Forum

People use Front Porch Forum in lovely ways. The other day a proud mother shared the following with her neighbors…

“We are pleased to tell the community that [our son], an eight-year member of Huntington Troop 645, passed his Board of Review last week and is now an Eagle Scout.”

She provided some detail and showed great constraint in not bragging… just sharing really.

Well… she opened the flood gates and neighbors started flowing in with compliments about the Eagle Scout, as well as a sibling and the parents in general, e.g.,

“This is a wonderful accomplishment and one well deserved. I agree that [they] have done a wonderful job giving these great boys to our community. It gives me much hope for our future to know that there are boys like these in our world and contributing to our future generations. The welcoming smiles that these boys so readily share makes my day each time I cross paths with one of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

The mother weighed in one more time, a bit embarrassed, but clearly appreciative of her kids AND her neighbors.

It’s a privilege to have Front Porch Forum used in this way.

Please help us continue and expand this work… vote today and spread the word!

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Craigslist bandits strip man’s home

Craigslist is a force of nature, an amazing thing. So is a tornado and a virtual funnel cloud hit Robert Salisbury in Oregon recently when someone posted a bogus ad on the local Craigslist saying he had suddenly moved away and everything on his property was free for the taking… even his horse.

As he drove toward his place he stopped multiple vehicles laden with his stuff and asked for it back… “no way” was the response. “Craigslist said it was free… end of discussion.” He’s working with the police and lawyers to sort through the aftermath now. As the Seattle Times reports…

Meanwhile, Salisbury could not even relax on his porch swing.

Someone took it.

This amazing tale illustrates one of many risks associated with using anonymous online services.

Front Porch Forum, on the other hand, is limited to conversation among clearly identified nearby neighbors.

Vote for us today!  And please spread the word about the Case Foundation funding contest.

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Vote for Front Porch Forum!

Big news for Front Porch Forum and its thousands of local members…

The Case Foundation just named Front Porch Forum among the Top 20 (out of nearly 5,000 entrants) in its national Make It Your Own Awards. And today starts one month of online public voting to narrow the field to the Final Four, each of which will receive a $35,000 grant as seed capital.

Anyone from anywhere may vote. One email, one vote. Polls close April 22, 2008.

Please take two steps today…

  1. Vote for us.
  2. Ask others to vote. Please email everyone you know, use Facebook/MySpace/etc., blog about it, post in your newsletter… shout from the rooftops… whatever it takes. You can even embed the widget below…

These much needed funds will make a big difference in Front Porch Forum’s ultimate success. We’re an underdog since we hail from tiny Vermont, while most of the other finalists are based in major urban areas. But I like our odds. 😉

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