10th Anniversary. Couldn't Have Done It Without Them

On this 10th Anniversary Issue I have to shine a light on the people who were there in the beginning, helping me to establish firm foundations.  

First - The following people gave much-needed support in the beginning either through encouragement, donations, sharing their experience in publishing,  or all three.

Buck Henry and Irene Ramp, Cecilia Uribe, Denise Domergue, Gary Kemper, Jay Levin, Laura Meyers, Leonard Cohen, Peta J. Torokvei, Steve Wallis, The Marketing Action Group Network.

Then - the following women miraculously showed up just when TNN needed them. Their ongoing dedication and commitment in the early years was instrumental in helping to establish a solid foundation for the paper. 


I  found out about TNN when I moved to Mid-City, LA., over seven years ago from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I ran across a copy while shopping at Ralph’s one day.  At the time I was looking for ways to get writing samples. I remember finding a phone number to contact the publisher of TNN, or Dianne, and called her. She enthusiastically invited me to come over and said some other people interested in writing for TNN were stopping by as well.

I remember arriving at Dianne’s apartment and meeting her and three writers who were already contributing to TNN and two other women who like me wanted to write for the magazine.  That meeting helped change my life. I started out as a writer for TNN but eventually started photographing as well. Thanks to Dianne’s encouragement, direction and willingness to take a chance on my budding photography skills, I changed my focus on writing for TNN to providing photographs for the magazine instead. Thanks to Dianne and TNN I’ve had the opportunity to photograph such great events as Smokey Robinson appearing at a local middle school to present a check for 1 million dollars for arts education! I have also pursued further education in this profession and started my own business.

Thanks, Dianne for all the great photo assignments and thanks for creating TNN. Congratulations on your 10-Year Anniversary!


Bordering on the fringes of Koreatown, Crenshaw and Mid-Wilshire, Mid-City is a crazy-quilt of weird and wonderful adjacent cultures: Greek temples besides El Salvadoran 99 Cent Stores, Buddhist retreats backing up to Renaissance libraries, and Latina fortune tellers neighboring Korean driving schools.  For three of the early years of TNN I covered the growing cultural beat, restaurants and architecture. Regularly cruising the  neighborhood looking for stories, I wasn't on my route very long before I would encounter a new art gallery or, let's say, an Evangelical missionary parade.  Favorite stories were the Yuppet marionettes , the legendary First A.M.E., the Black Doll Exhibit, 

To me, Dianne Lawrence represents the Wild West success story,  an immigrant finding a home in L.A., establishing a distinguished record of amazing artistry, rambling around in her old Volvo, building a business brick by brick.   Although I moved to Oakie Oklahoma for family reasons, I fondly remember my time documenting Mid-City's ever changing culture in the Neighborhood News.


When I bent down to pet Dianne's dog Foxie, I had been photographing a youth conference put on by a community leader at Leslie N. Shaw Park. I was fresh out of college, back at the 2nd Avenue home I grew up in with my parents and trying to reestablish my relationship with a community that had reared me from my first waddling steps to my adult life. I wanted to strengthen my relationship with my neighborhood while taking tentative steps into a career in journalism during some of its most uncertain times. I was also looking for a place where I could tell the stories of my community after spending the previous five years telling the stories of my college town.

With Foxy, came Dianne, and her friendly, curious and direct nature that has touched many of us in the neighborhood. “Fantastic. I’m starting a community newspaper. We should work together.” And just like that, we exchanged contact information and Dianne gave me an opportunity to join her growing power group of local contributors documenting the stories about a community in a way nobody else in the city was doing.

During the past 10 years, we’ve shared many phone calls, emails and conversations about where “Spirit” is taking us, not only for The Neighborhood News, but in life. 

One of my favorite reports was about the giant Mid-City shopping development at San Vicente and Venice that blocked some of the best views in the neighborhood. Because I was working at a commercial real estate newspaper at the time, I took advantage of the expertise of my architect and engineer friends to help me analyze public records. We discovered the public had not been warned the views would change. In fact, the public records approved by city officials stated the development would have no change to the community’s aesthetics. The Neighborhood News kept up on the story for nearly two years as the community fought to have their councilmember finally address their concerns, and TNN was instrumental in bringing him to their table.

Another project that I was proud to take part in was our coverage of the homeless population that took place over a year. TNN consistently published resources for them and forged a bridge for the community to understand their less fortunate neighbors. I remember, in one day I went straight from interviewing the senior lead officer at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest station to interviewing a homeless individual on the curb of a gas station.

Dianne has always thanked and shown appreciation to the team for making the past 10 years possible. But I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her personally for telling the stories my community deserves to hear and for helping me reintegrate into the community that raised me. The Neighborhood News assignments have unknowingly picked me up off the floor after defeat, heartbreak or the unforeseen. And I could not feel more grateful to TNN, Dianne or “Spirit” for their guidance.




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About Us

Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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Dianne V. Lawrence
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