Goodbye from Central District News

I publish community news in Seattle so I’m used to making things function on a tight budget and working with contributors of all types in an environment of relentless change. Creating new news things is a lot of fun and a spiritually rewarding affair for a journalist. Ending them never is.

The Central District News — published continuously, often 24×7, mostly 365 days a year since October 31, 2007 — will come to a close this week. The last day will probably be Friday. After that, the site will freeze and the archives and comments, pictures and etc. will just kind of hang there as a quickly decaying resource to some of the stories of the neighborhoods of Seattle’s Central Area from this strange and wonderful six years and change. I don’t have the heart to run through the best and most memorable right now. Maybe I’ll get to it later once the news flow has trickled to an end.

I have operated the site for the last few years after inheriting it from founder Scott in 2010 — when he wrote his “big change” post. Editor Tom gave the site its start on a new era — here’s his “big change” post in 2011 saying hello. You can find his work now on his own creation — the Seattle Bike Blog. Megan came on in 2013 to help keep CDNews alive. She has a hello post, too, and will probably have time for a “big change” post to say goodbye before the week is done.

Why this “big change” and why now? As a business, Central District News is a challenge. It has survived on advertising revenue and generous support from readers. We appreciate the opportunity to bring messages from supportive businesses to the community. We appreciate the support so many of you gave with subscription payments every month. We’re in the process of shutting down active subscriptions so you shouldn’t see any additional payments charged. If you would like your most recent payment refunded, let us know.

The revenue has been enough to sustain the site. It has not, however, been enough to grow the site. The people who have worked on it every day — Tom and Megan — were giving much more than they were getting. At least in the dollars and cents end of things. I thank them for doing such fantastic work.

Even with the challenges, we kept the flame alive for one consistent source of community news in the Central District for a long time. Trying to find a pace we could sustain, however, marked a change that many of you noticed and some of you challenged us on in recent months. What happened to my CDNews, a few asked? What happened to the hour by hour scanner reports Scott used to do? Why haven’t you reported about this? Why haven’t you reported about that? It was difficult — especially when we knew that, yes, indeed, the Central District News couldn’t perform at some of the lofty heights we’d reached in the past. We reported deeply when we could. But the opportunities were becoming fewer and fewer and the dissonance between the site’s standard coverage and larger news was becoming more and more confusing for readers — and editors, alike.

We will not leave a total void — and I have hopes the closure will open up opportunities for other voices to say more or say it louder or say it in a different way. Sites like the Seattle Medium continue to serve the community. My other site will continue to cover many issues that are pertinent beyond Capitol Hill and across Seattle’s central neighborhoods. Community radio station Hollow Earth is there to get the word out about neighborhood events, issues and ideas. But also know I’m aware we are leaving behind a gap. It’s part of why we kept things going this long. And, like I said above, ending things hurts.

Thanks for reading.

28 thoughts on “Goodbye from Central District News

  1. Agh, I’m sorry the site will be going away. Thanks so much for giving it all you had for so long!


  2. Darn, this is a big bummer. Thanks for keeping it alive as long as you did, Justin.

    • Goodbye to the much loved and necessary Central District News, without it there’s little opportunity for people to easily exchange ideas and experiences in this community that needs that so very much – the above links are all appreciated suggestions. Still, they don’t seem likely to completely fill the void of what this site did.

      It is really a loss to this community but I am very grateful to the many people who gave their all to keep it going.

  3. Sad, sad news! CDN has kept us informed and engaged, caring about people we’ve never met, meeting people we would not have encountered otherwise, trying things we never thought of before, thinking about issues we had never considered. Yes, it has sllipped a bit lately – nobody’s got time to do it justice – but it has still been the best resource around. I’ll miss it.

    It’s absence will free up a bunch of time for me (I spend far too many hours on it), but I hope I fill the newfound minutes with some just as worth while. And other readers/bloggers – let’s keep in touch, okay?

    • To those who know me as “that proof reader,” yes, my post should have said “Its absence” without an apostrophe!

  4. Thanks to the staff for all of your great work. I’m gonna miss the CD News.

    Imagine I’ll be shifting over to

    So long fellow posters. See you in hell Grumbo!

  5. a true loss. thanks to all those that elevated this project over the years…

  6. It’s been fun. I had hoped we would hear more voices from our diverse community. This could have been a great forum for interaction with those we don’t engage everyday.

    I often wondered where all the other voices were. Why are they silent most of the time. Sure there is a time for silence. But this community needed to speak up more.

    Thanks for trying. Yes of course I am Grumbo. It is frustrating that Grumbo was silenced. In the future consider if Sesame Street makes sense without Oscar and Cookie Monster. It doesn’t. Peace and Love are meaningless in the absence of conflict.

    Good luck. By the way. Grumbo has left the city. I now reside in the glorious burbs where the streets are clean and paved, the schools are #2, nobody has been shot in several years. Etc. Obviously not Kent. Unfortunately the only thing to eat is Papa Murphy’s and some milk toast ethnic joints. But the trade is a good one. No way I’m raising my baby surrounded by they violence and drug addiction in the CD.

    • Sorry to hear you left man. Thanks keeping an eye on our neighborhood from afar.

  7. One thing is for sure: There is no shortage of stories to be told in the Central District. So many people in our neighborhood are doing so many interesting and inspiring things. Lots of changes are happening, and there a big need for people to digest it all and have a say. I look forward to seeing what comes along to fill the CDNews gap. Thanks everyone for reading! I loved my time as editor.

    • Thank you Tom and Megan and jseattle, maintaining a good blog in a way that provides news of the day and at the same time promotes productive and interesting conversation is a challenge. I agree, Tom, it will be interesting to see what develops to fill this gap.

  8. Very sorry to hear this. This was a wonderful resource for me and my husband and our neighbors. Thanks for all you provided to our neighborhood over the years!

  9. Definitely bummed that the numbers to keep this going couldn’t pencil in. It is a unfortunate loss for the neighborhood and I really appreciate all the time and effort put into this over the years!

    For news and events mostly along Jackson St., we’re still posting, though mainly only on our Facebook because, boy howdy, it is hard to keep up with everything going on for just volunteers!

    And another resource for way down at Hiawatha and Dearborn is the Jackson Place Business Association

  10. I also posted this on the CDNews Facebook page which we’ll leave up and in motion for the immediate future until it makes sense to shut it down or transition etc.

    >> Thanks for all the nice notes. As some of you probably know, CHS has covered parts of the CD and the lines are — if anything! — fuzzy about what neighborhood starts and ends where. We’ve started tagging posts that involve stories located in the CD — you can follow along here I’ll also be the first to admit there are many stories and many areas beyond CHS’s reach. Looking forward to see what comes next.

  11. Very bummed about this as I have loved reading this site over the years and found it to be a valuable resource.

    I wanted to mention another neighborhood social media source: the mobile app called NextDoor ( I use it on the iPhone but I thinks its available on Android too. There are quite a few CD users on there. The more the merrier so please check it out. It’s free.

  12. Very Very Sad to see this happen. I predicted that the city would have silenced this site years ago, too much networking, information shared, not allowed in the CD, makes up “uppity”. I am glad it lasted this long. I hope the site is picked up by someone or some group. Again, why can”t the CD News be continued by another person? Nearly every other area has a blog, why can’t this continue?
    And a thanks to Tom, his late brother and you for be the great editors you were. We as a community need pass the tourch, silence can not be alowed to be contained in the CD ( awaiting the last trolls to come in again for one last final dig.)

  13. Thank you so much to the editors, contributors, and supporters for providing a reliable and trustworthy space to find local news and events. CD News has been a great resource to have in the two years that I’ve lived here and I’m sad to see it go. Best of luck with everything, and I look forward to hearing more from our community in other ways in the future.

  14. oh no!! I’m really sad to see the site go. I have appreciated the stories shared here and will miss the news, announcements and community. Thank you to everyone who kept CDNews rolling all these years. You will be missed!

  15. Wow – this is such a huge loss for our neighborhood which needs more than anything to have good lines of communication! I truly wish we weren’t losing this great resource that many of us rely upon.

    I hope another organization or group can take-on this work in the future.

  16. Pingback: Happily ever after in the Central District | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  17. This site has been a great community resource and service. Thank you for starting the site, and thank you for hanging on for so long. We wish you well and hope to connect with you and other CD News writers in the future.

  18. I will miss the CD News very much. I have gotten to know so much more about the neighborhood I’ve been a part of for 30 years. Thank you for your service to the community, Scott, Tom, Justin, Megan and everyone else who helped.

  19. Thank you for the work you’ve put into it, and to all of the past writers of CDNews, and to everyone who commented with intent to add something to the site (which was most people).

    I’ve never lived closer than Montlake, but I found an article in the CDNews about five years ago, and I’ve kept reading. It’s the only neighborhood blog I’ve wanted to follow regularly as a non-resident. All neighborhoods ought to have such a blog, but it’s rare, and it’s hard. And now I wish I’d sent some money your way. :-/

  20. And if anybody has ambitions to do a neighborhood blog to fill some of the void, I for one would not find it spammy at all for you to post a link here.

    One suggestion for CDNews: I appreciate your keeping the site serving after it goes frozen, but that’s hard to keep up forever. It would be a damn shame for all the writing to be lost, in ten or fifty years from now. I don’t know what kind of export options the blog software might have, but if you can (and, uh, I have to admit I didn’t read the Terms of Service, to know if comments could be included) you might put an archive up so that some people can stash copies.