Since its launch in August 2004, Church Hill People’s News has become a well-visited community journalism Web site for many of the historic Richmond neighborhood’s residents.
“But not all of them,” Cliff Sutton says with a chuckle.
Sutton, a 34-year-old who stands three-feet, four-inches tall, is the editor and lead writer of another “community blog” for the neighborhood that will launch tomorrow, the Church Hill Little People’s News. CHLPN.net will be a site dedicated to “all things little people” – and written by little people – in the old historic district, he says.
Content-wise, Church Hill Little People’s News will provide “information, commentary and opinion” on the matters of neighborhood residents smaller than four-feet, 10-inches in height, says Sutton, who plans to update the site daily with localized little people-related happenings.
For instance, while Church Hill People’s News ran a recent story about the upcoming Italian Festival and its entertainment and food options, the article made no mention of little people-specific entertainment or food at the event, Sutton notes. “Will the food be authentic Italian little people food?” he asks. “Will there be stepping stools provided to see the entertainment? These are things that the little people of Church Hill need to know, yet they would not be able to find anywhere on Church Hill People’s News.”
John Murden, the creator of Church Hill People’s News, did not respond to claims by Sutton that CHPN.net was not inclusive or prejudiced to smaller persons, saying only, “Are you kidding me?”
Sutton, an IT consultant, estimates the little-person population of the neighborhood at two people, including himself and wife.
When asked whether “midgets” are “able to maintain Web sites like normal people,” Sutton then drop-kicked a Tobacco Avenue reporter in the shins, used one hand to drag the writer into the street, and set him on fire.