Welcome to the Sharpener, an Independent Local News Venture

Welcome to the Sharpener, an Independent Local News Venture

Leer en Español

Sharpening the Sharpstown area of southwest Houston with truly local news that matters.

In the Houston-wide media, Sharpstown usually gets bashed or ignored. Look up "Sharpstown" on any one of Houston's major media websites (Houston Chronicle, KHOU, FOX26, ABC13, etc.), and you probably won't see many articles published in the past month. If you find something, odds are high that it's about a murder, robbery, kidnapping, or fire.

Thanks to the media, it's not surprising that Sharpstown has a bad reputation. One of my friends from the suburbs was afraid to park his car in a Sharpstown strip mall lot in broad daylight, worried it might be stolen.

I laughed at him. I've lived here for almost four years, and the neighborhood isn't as bad as many outsiders think.

I'm not saying that Sharpstown is perfect. This news website isn't going to be a PR campaign for Sharpstown. I'll publish the good, the ugly, and everything in between. But I plan to give Sharpstown the attention it deserves. There's more to our neighborhood than crime.

Of course, it's not surprising that the Houston-wide media focuses on crime. We all know the saying, "If it bleeds, it leads."

It's also not surprising that the Houston-wide media mostly ignores Sharpstown. It's one of eighty-eight Super Neighborhoods across Houston (and did I mention the suburbs like Sugar Land, Katy, and Missouri City?). In a metro area of 7.3 million people, Sharpstown (population ~78,000) is just one penny in a dollar jar.

But 78,000 people is still a lot. If Sharpstown was transplanted to my childhood homeland of North Dakota, it would be the second largest city in the state.

And it would definitely have its own newspaper.

Right now, Sharpstown only has SCAN, which only comes out bi-monthly, only targets residents of houses (not apartments), and doesn't publish many investigations or in-depth stories. In other words, our neighborhood is basically a news desert.

That's where the Sharpener comes in: news by Sharpstown, for Sharpstown. It will cover education, government, community resources and events, culture, social issues, human interest stories, and more.

All for free.

Technically, it's news for the Sharpstown area. It may also include some stories about Westwood, Braeburn, Gulfton, Westchase, Mid-West, and east Alief. After all, the boundaries of Sharpstown are mostly invisible. It's easy to cross them without knowing they exist. And what happens in neighboring communities can affect Sharpstown.

So if you're from one of those neighboring communities, feel free to subscribe. Maybe one day, there will be a branch of the Sharpener in every Super Neighborhood in southwest Houston.

But for now, the Sharpener has limited resources, so the focus is on Sharpstown.

If you call our neighborhood home, please click the "Subscribe" button at the bottom of the page to ensure that you don't miss any of our stories. Again, it's free.

If there is anything you think the Sharpener should cover, please email me at sharpstownsharpener@gmail.com. And if you see any mistakes in our stories, please let me know.

Our first stories will release on Friday, June 2nd. Please tell your friends and family and share this post with them.

I look forward to serving our community!

--Tyess Korsmo, editor-in-chief of the Sharpener