by Marlene Berlin
I started the Forest Hills Connection to develop a place for our community to share news and our diverse interests and talents. What I was hoping to find was a common curiosity about what goes on in our neighborhood, the passions of its members, and a desire for a deeper sense of community. I did. And I need your support to continue to feed this curiosity and desire for community.
We started out with an email list of about 500 names in April 2012. Our audience has grown exponentially since then. The hunger for news about our corner of DC is strong. We see that not only in our continually growing number of visitors, but also in the growing number of tips and pieces our neighbors and friends contribute. Where we thought we would be doing about three posts a week, we are now posting 1-2 times each weekday. And we need your continued support as writers, editors, photographers, and donors in order to maintain our quality and diversity of our writing.
Tracy Johnke and I have had a great partnership in bringing you Forest Hills Connection. Tracy is the one who makes the site look as great as it does – thinking up the headlines, doing layout, and interacting with you on Facebook and Twitter. So without Tracy there would be no Forest Hills Connection. We have been able to pay her a monthly stipend and not nearly what she deserves, but that support from our start-up funding and monies from the Forest Hills Neighborhood Alliance has dried up. We need to continue to show Tracy we value her service in keeping the Forest Hills Connection as vibrant and timely as it is.
And we hope you have enjoyed the diversity of subjects our publication tackles. I certainly have. I think you already know one of my favorite areas of reporting – the Broad Branch daylighting project and the ducklings that made themselves at home there.
We have provided a platform for Marjorie Rachlin to share her extensive knowledge of nature. Carol Stoel has been digging deep into what UDC has to offer our community. David Bardin is always discovering something new and cool about the neighborhood and the city agencies at work here. Annette Aburdene has had us tramping with her in Italian Alps, and Mary Beth Ray, besides keeping us informed of the hard work of the Van Ness Vision Committee, is often the first to try out our new restaurants at Van Ness and close by.
Then there is our great photographer, Pat Davies, who has captured the beautiful flora of our neighborhood, as well as Christmas decorations. I hope she is up for photographing corner of 30th and Brandywine again this year which offer another feast of lights for the eyes.
Barbara Bates, Margery Elfin, Ann Kessler, and Anne Rollins have provided our popular history pieces. Anthony Dobranski will be utilizing their expertise and coming out with a serial mystery thriller set in Forest Hills early next year. I can’t wait. This fulfills one of my goals of having a literary component to our community e-magazine, and hopefully this serial will inspire budding authors.
And just this year, we have recruited Nora Pehrson, an intern from Wilson High School, to help us cover public school issues. She has been a valuable asset. With Nora’s help, we were the only publication covering the Ward 3 State Board of Education race in any depth.
These are just a few of our neighbors who have written for us over the time we have been up and running. We need to keep engaging more writers. Please join us to write about a passion or interest or help out on editing.
And again, I hope we can entice you to lend your financial support to the Forest Hills Connection, so that we can continue to fund Tracy’s work and the continual upkeep of our website. We hope that our monthly newsletter, daily postings during the week, Facebook and Twitter updates and this community of writers are worth $10/ month (or any amount you wish to give). We will happily accept a check or credit card payment.
We in Forest Hills have much to be thankful for, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity afforded by your support for the Forest Hills Connection. Thank you.