I woke up today and realized it is the 5th anniversary of the launch of GerritsenBeach.net.
A lot has happened since the launch of the site; hell, a lot has happened this past year. Many of the stories have been wonderful, and some, which usually get the most attention, are a little rough to say the least.
Now, I know there are mixed opinions out there about what people think this site is and what the site actually is. I will address them first by saying what I have said from the beginning:“GerritsenBeach.net strives to be an objective news site that was created with the intention of providing the residents of Gerritsen Beach with solid news and commentary on matters that are important to us.”
As I reflect on these past years, I have realized that there is nothing that has pushed me more than to try and give you unbiased community news. There are too many factions, cold wars between groups, cliques, behind the scenes banter, and problems for you to even imagine and sort through. I’ve tried to let you know about what is happening in the neighborhood so you can be informed, and, in the end, come together as a community.
This year, I do not know if I have succeeded in that goal.
Over the years, I have been demonized and physically attacked by community leaders over the contents of the site. I’ve so far successfully defended against legal threats by unscrupulous land developers. The site has been called every name in the book by just about everyone. However, some good things were said, including “Brooklyn’s Best,” “Gerritsen Beach’s own Thomas Paine,” and a “muckracking reporter.”
I have always tried to share the best and, sometimes, worst of the neighborhood. Sharing “the worst” seems to be a point of contention for some. I will attempt to address some of the contempt we’ve earned.
Let’s take Halloween, for example. Halloween has always been “bad” and complained about. Last year was particularly bad. The reaction that my photos were wrong and the source of the problem, I believe, is wrong to say the least. I also believe it is the opinion of a small amount of people. If you look back, I have covered the good and bad of Halloween for four years now. “Taking care of our own” seemed to be the motto of Halloween, but that shouldn’t mean protecting abhorrent behavior, it should be about protecting our neighbors and our neighborhood.
There are others that believe that the website is solely responsible for painting a bad picture of the community, and that the website sharing news outside the physical boundaries of Gerritsen Beach is wrong. I again need to disagree – bad things happen everywhere, including in our “physical” boundaries. Why prefer to live in ignorance of our community issues, rather than actually try to help do our part and correct them?
Despite this, we will continue to cover community news and events while having a new focus on helping bringing the community together. The website has evolved, the community is constantly evolving it’s a good thing and I am proud to be a part of it.
The site has come a long way, it has been a great five years and I would like to sincerely thank you all for being with us since 2006.