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Monday, October 4, 2010

University Place Celebrates Its "Patch" of Turf on the Web

You didn't hear the rumble and roar of propulsion, but a launch took place today and is making history. The City of University Place, Washington, is the first in the state, and one of the first in the West, to claim its own edition of Patch, an exciting new phenomenon spreading across the nation faster than crabgrass but a lot more welcome. Editor Brent Champaco is already known as an award-winning journalist. He wrote for several newspapers, most recently the News Tribune in Tacoma, and brings to this new position a love for, and deep knowledge of, University Place, after covering this community  for several years.

So what is Patch? It's the web's latest, greatest way for people to get up-to-the-minute news, information, photos, and a chance to participate in all of those things through a website designed specifically for their community. Headquartered in New York, Patch is a dream now manifested for a team of professional journalists and others who want to give people in cities with populations of 15-100 K,  relevant, timely, useful, meaningful, and most importantly, HYPER-LOCAL coverage. What it is NOT, is another generic, one-size-fits-all website supposedly offering local information when it's all just gleaned from the web. University Place Patch get's its news by being a real part of the community. There's just one "place" it's about and that's University Place. People there are excited.

So am I, because I'm part of Patch too. Today you can read my story on the unveiling of the Terry D. Reim Memorial sculpture at the University Place Civic Building, taking place on October 16,1010. I'll be writing a regular column on the arts as well. So, in the words of Editor Brent Champaco, here's a welcome to the wonderful world of Patch. Watch it grow. Maybe your town needs one of its own.

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