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Let's Do Launch

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2007, at 10:13AM

Joessign "I like the way you cover people," Eric said over coffee a week ago. I was meeting him to confirm what he wanted me to contribute to blogdowntown. The loose assignment is adding an Arts District perspective with a closer look at the Downtown Art scene, including the performing arts.

It's also a chance to extend what was started at View From a Loft as we profile Downtown's different districts through LAPD's Senior Lead Officers. Of course, I'll be an additional blogarazzi to Dave Bullock.

And if its people Eric wants, it's people Eric gets. . .

Eric Richardson is the 24-year-old publisher of blogdowntown, a site whose readership includes City Hall and the Los Angeles Times. They are among those who read this blog with the same interest as Tommy Lasorda getting advice from Johnny the Shoeshine boy on Police Squad.

On his online bio, Richardson claims his starting date for passing out information was 1998. That may be true for the medium he now uses, but it's less widely known that as a 10-year-old he published a newspaper by making notes from BBC broadcasts via a shortwave radio. His selection of the more interesting reports gave him content for his newspaper, The Sumter Chronicle, which was published for several years as time and reception permitted.

More than once, the quiet, soft-spoken Eric has said his shy approach to people for a story is something he's working on. Yet that same shy calming demeanor was willing to help "Mary" when he found her on his way to the 6th Street Bridge. She was injured after being involved in a fight and Eric told how he stayed stayed alongside her waiting for the Police.

The next day Eric told me while they were waiting she borrowed his cell phone to call her daughter. "No matter what happens to me, know I love you," he remembered "Mary" saying. Eric was thinking; "How crazy is this? You never expect to have someone talking on your cell phone saying a thing like that." For him, it brought to mind that even as Downtown develops, it's still an urban environment and you need to watch carefully.

That's what this blog is about. Sharing with others what to watch for in Downtown. Both good and bad.


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