Writing a hyperlocal news blog got one resident of a community in south Brooklyn into hot water with his neighbors. The New York Times tells the story of Daniel Cavanagh and his blog covering issues in the neighborhood of Gerritsen Beach, GerritsenBeach.net.
According to the Times, on Nov. 1, Cavanagh posted photos taken on Halloween in which neighborhood teens threw objects including rocks and potatoes at cars, buses, and people. A few days later, at a meeting of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association, he was told that he was “destroying the neighborhood” and should leave if he did not like Gerritsen Beach.
The harassment didn’t end there, as Cavanagh told the Times that shortly thereafter, his father’s house was hit by a thrown pumpkin, his girlfriend’s car was keyed, and he was confronted outside of a local bar.
Cavanagh also told the Times the neighborhood’s issues with GerritsenBeach.net started in early 2009, when he posted blog entries and a video interview about what appeared to be a illegal dumping operation off the neighborhood’s main street, Gerritsen Avenue, on land owned by the New York City Parks Department.
“I was definitely the messenger,” he told the Times, “and they were shooting the messenger.”