Metro: Philly Parking Authority hate ahead of “Parking Wars” season three

Metro: Rikard Larma

Metro: Rikard Larma

In today’s Metro-Philadelphia, I covered the always vitriolic response to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, ahead of next week’s debut of the third season of “Parking Wars,” though I’ll have a more directly related piece next week.

Clarence Shippen Jr. keeps watch outside his office at 8th and Locust streets.

Read the rest here.

Below check some quotations that didn’t make it into the piece.

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Still in the process of making the obvious improvements to this site since switching to this self-hosted version.

You can now via e-mail, receive updates to this outlet for my professional work, experience as a young freelance writer and thoughts on what my future in news, writing and journalism might look like.

Also, you can submit your e-mail address to the box on the right sidebar and receive in your e-mail inbox what I post here. No spam, no clutter, no cost. Just these posts.

That is, of course, an alternative to subscribing to my RSS feed, which you can do here.

In case this RSS thing is still crazy and confusing, dig its explanation In Plain English below.

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Metro: North Philly teen who duct-taped cat has background of violence

Sticky, who was wrapped in duct tape, is doing fine. Photo: RIKARD LARMA/METRO

Sticky, who was wrapped in duct tape, is doing fine. Photo: RIKARD LARMA/METRO

I had two stories and a couple briefs in today’s Metro, including news of the arrest of a teenager who allegedly duct-taped a tabby cat now dubbed Sticky.

The North Philadelphia teenager who was arrested for allegedly wrapping a cat in duct tape lost both his father and brother to street violence in the last two years, said the Pennsylvania SPCA’s chief law enforcement officer.

Read the rest here.

We were searching for a fresh angle on this story, which has received widespread attention. AP’s coverage made it national, being picked up by the Washington Post to name just one. TV news followed it closely too — of course they did because it involves a cute animal — including an in-house appearance by the cat Sticky on the Fox affiliate in Philadelphia, which you can see below, in addition to how the story was reported.

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Hyperlocal news: a definition

Image courtesy of

Image by Minh Uong/The New York Times.

Hyperlocal news is as much as a buzz phrase for those in news media today as anything else — yes, even social media.

But as these things happen, no real definition seems to hit at what we’re talking about, and I was surprised to not be able to easily find someone who tried to give one.

So, expecting some comments to show where I missed one or simply critiquing my own, I humbly submit one, if only for my own understanding.

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Number of Views:16026

Grid magazine: Dansko, a responsible shoe company


Earlier this summer, I did some reporting for sustainability publication Grid magazine about Dansko, a suburban-Philadelphia durable footwear company that specializes in clogs. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the story for some personal reasons.

Still, you should see the final product by Natalie Hope McDonald on Page 10 here, and check out the whole mag, which is an interesting niche news startup in Philadelphia.

Below read some of the content that I didn’t get the chance to use.

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Number of Views:5061

Online news startup dilemma: we have an industry fighting entrepreneurship

I covered the Demo Day from DreamIt Ventures, a University City tech incubator, for Technically Philly last month.

Bright and passionate 20-somethings pleaded the case for their products, eager for funding to follow the $25,000 and three months of mentoring they received at DreamIt.  It was an exacting event.

It was also interesting to think of Technically Philly, a news site I helped co-found that is very much a startup. The conversations I had with some of the young entrepreneurs after the event were startling in similarity to the struggles I’ve had with TPhilly.

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Making mistakes since 1983: Speaking at Rowan University

Brian James Kirk (L) and Sean Blanda speaking at Rowan University on Sept. 16, 2009.

Making mistakes since 1983 | Sept. 16, 2009 | Rowan University

On Sept. 16, 2009, the three Technically Philly founders spoke to Rowan University journalism faculty and students about the necessity of entrepreneurship for young, aspiring journalists. The cheeky presentation was stuffed with insight from their young experiences. Below see our presentation notes.

Number of Views:3886

Metro: The death of the American post office



I contributed to one and grabbed a byline on another in a small package for Metro on talk of closing Philadelphia post offices in response to lagging volume.

With mail volume down, jobs dwindling and the highest deficit in agency history, technology has brought the United States Postal Service into its darkest days.

Read the rest here.

Below some quotations that didn’t make it into the piece.

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Number of Views:2837

Audience building with social media: Speaking at the PA Women’s Press Association

On Aug. 30, 2009, we addressed a small assembly of the Southeastern chapter of PWPA on building an audience using social media.

Using examples from the audience, we shared some of our thoughts on using those tools for bringing traffic to political and freelance writing operations. Below see our presentation notes.

Number of Views:3117

PC users: How to use MS Paint for quick, easy screenshot selections


Anyone publishing to the Web needs to accept the importance of a catchy image, graphic or photo.

The color can spruce up a site — bringing in word-resistent readers and making something simple seem more design friendly — and affect readership.

But many average PC users out there blogging — or even those just looking to share captures from their screen — struggle with an effective way, particularly if they aren’t skilled in graphic imaging or have the requisite software.

Thankfully, MS Paint and other similar basic graphics software prove powerful tools, even with their bare-boned application options.

Mac users can utilize Command-shift-4 to take a selected screen shot (or Cmd-shift-3 for a copy of the entire screen), but for PC users there are a few extra steps if you want to make a selected screenshot. Below, at the behest of a friend, I share the simple steps.
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Number of Views:14056