Site Notes

About Raise the Hammer

Introduction, overview, and brief history of Raise the Hammer.

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 14, 2004

In this Page

Overview

Raise the Hammer is a group of Hamilton, Ontario citizens who believe in our city's potential and are willing to get involved in making the city a more vibrant, livable, and attractive place to live and work.

We are non-partisan and our members come from diverse political backgrounds. Our common interest is revitalizing our city, a goal that benefits everyone.

About the Site

Raise the Hammer is dedicated to providing a variety of views and approaches to the goal of making Hamilton a great city. Towards that end, we encourage readers to contribute feedback, letters to the editor, and article submissions. Please feel free to contact us with your comments and ideas.

History

Back in 2003, Ben Bull, a Leeds native who had moved to Hamilton via Toronto, wrote a letter to the Hamilton Spectator entitled, "Hamilton is dying and I can't bear to watch". Little did he know how much controversy his cry of the heart would generate.

Sensing the rich life that pulsed just beneath Hamilton's cadaverous skin, Ben and his wife decided to postpone leaving, and at the same time, Ben connected with three other Hamiltonians who shared both his concerns and his desire to make a difference.

Ben, Sohail Bhatti, Charlene Dobson, and Jason Leach formed the Green Berets, appearing regularly on CHML with Roy Green to discuss urban issues. Between radio exposure and contacts with other citizens who had made public statements, the Green Berets grew in membership and decided to branch out into other media. Around this time, Sohail and Charlene moved on to other projects.

Because it was no longer identified exclusively with Roy Green, the group decided to adopt a new name: something that reflected its passion for Hamilton and its political interest in revitalizing the downtown core and encouraging sustainable development in the periphery.

Raise the Hammer was born early in 2004. The web site, designed by Trevor Shaw and developed by Ryan McGreal, went live in December, 2004. In January 2005 we added the Hammerblog to post shorter articles between issues.

From inauspicious beginnings, the site has grown steadily and now attracts several thousand page views per day. The site went through a full redesign in April 2006 and has been tweaked incrementally several times since then.

Another major redesign (of the back-end rather than the layout) was completed in 2009, and the site now runs entirely on open source software.

In early 2009, we changed the site so that articles are published now regularly throughout the month rather than in discrete issues at periodic intervals.

Submissions

Please see our submission guidelines before submitting letters or articles.

RTH User Agreement

By reading this website, you agree to the following:

At Raise the Hammer, we encourage you to share what you find here with others. We hope you will link to this website. If you find an article you really like and want to republish it on your site, please feel free to go ahead and do so. All we ask is that you cite your source and provide a link back to the original article. It's the courteous thing to do.

We invite you to share your commentary, particularly if your comments enhance, amplify, clarify, correct, or otherwise contribute to the totality of facts and arguments that enable citizens to participate more meaningfully in civic issues.

We disclaim all express and implied warranties concerning the accuracy of the information on our website, but we do try our hardest to be accurate, and we correct any mistakes we make as soon as we learn about them. We would appreciate if you let us know if you encounter any errors so we can fix them.

We value your privacy, and do not sell or otherwise share any personal information about our registered users, commenters, or visitors. We may publish a generic summary report of daily page view activity (e.g. using Webalizer).

We want to hear from you. We hope you will share your observations, suggestions, and recommendations on what we're doing. We promise to get extra-excited if you agree to contribute articles, especially in areas that we currently under-represent.

Most of all, we urge you to get involved. Learn about the issues affecting your neighbourhood, your city, your country, and the world, and start thinking of ways you can make a difference. Join a local organization (or form one if one doesn't exist). Contact your elected representatives. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Launch blogs and websites. Meet with people in your community and start building relationships. Resist apathy. Expose corruption. Celebrate successes and enjoy victories.

Finally, let the evidence lead your investigations and let your conscience guide your responses. Remember the Benny Hill Rule: When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

We sincerely hope that this is the first time a user agreement has ever referenced Benny Hill. Thank you for your time and interest.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted None at

Great Site, I am really looking forward to more content. As a politican who has ran before, I look forward to the increase in views available online. Best of Luck, Joey Coleman http://www.joeycoleman.ca

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 05, 2007 at 15:56:33

Would you be able to increase the number of comments listed in the Recent Comments section? I like to keep on top of the comment threads, but once they drop off that page, it's harder to find out where the new comments are.

Thanks!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 05, 2007 at 16:25:48

Hi seancb,

I just bumped the comments up to 20. I had been think of doing this anyway, and your request gave me the nudge I needed.

Let me know how this works.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 09, 2007 at 10:21:40

Looks great! Thanks...

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By TomMcMaster (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2008 at 19:54:10

I would just like to send my regard to this group. I have recently been exposed to the beauty of this wonderful city and enjoy seeing like-minded individuals. Keep up the great work!

Tom.

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By CMYK (anonymous) | Posted March 11, 2009 at 14:57:25

Hey I'm just wondering if you guys have any source of articles reviewing your organization by other reputable source.

I would appreciate your help.

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By concerned (anonymous) | Posted September 25, 2009 at 02:10:05



The first several paragraphs to your article, , Ethical Consumers Cooperative: Affordable Sustainability
(www.raisethehammer.org/index.asp?id=815), seem to whole a structural and stylistic similarity to an article published in the Hamilton Spectator article Green shoppers unite online (www.thespec.com/article/495875).

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 25, 2009 at 08:12:01

Interesting observation, Concerned. I would point out, however, that the RTH article was published on January 8, 2009, and the Spectator article wasn't published until January 14, 2009.

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2010 at 19:11:59

I love this website. I lived near Hamilton all my life (Cayuga) and studied at McMaster University. I chose to live in the downtown, never regretted it. I always felt a greater connection with Hamilton than with McMaster. I am now living in Germany, but still love Hamilton and love this website. Helps me keep up with what's going on in my city!

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By Mikey Richardson (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 12:20:06

Hello,

I'm new to Hamilton (specifically Carlisle a month ago), and am falling in love with the area. As a designer by trade, I am interested in the role that design can play in the revitalization of Hamilton and the surrounding area and would love to play a role in helping local businesses and other organizations push themselves further. If there's anyone out there that would like to chat, please hit me with an email

mikey@amoebacorp.com
www.amoebacorp.com

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 19:23:24

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you these wonderful Messages from Holy Love web-site, please go to this link:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/nguyen-tra...

Thank you.

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By kk (anonymous) | Posted May 16, 2011 at 18:39:40

I'd like to see pedestrian controlled crossing light at various points on Cannon Street East, just like the petition for the Aberdeen/Kent area, to help the crossing guards! I drive Cannon daily on my way out of the city and fear for the lives of those crossing guards!

Let me know how I might help!

Cheers,

Krista
kkleinwort@hotmail.com

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 15:22:42

Ryan, really hoping to see a quick writeup on the new grocery store in Jackson Square. Walked over on the weekend and was REALLY impressed..

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2013 at 22:38:35 in reply to Comment 90356

Seek and ye shall find:

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By Evangelinvlj (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2013 at 05:41:45

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By Brian from Fergus (anonymous) | Posted February 12, 2014 at 16:42:36

Stumbled on this site by accident, but am impressed. I don't live in Hamilton, but visit often, and I'm happy ot see people passionate about such an interesting and historic city! Keep it up. Now I'm thinking about swining down this weekend!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 12, 2014 at 18:08:18 in reply to Comment 97569

Thanks for your kind words. If you come to Hamilton on Friday evening, you will be able to enjoy the James North Art Crawl - second Friday of every month.

And for what it's worth, Fergus is a beautiful town!

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2014-02-12 18:09:37

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