A reader writes:
For your West Seattle reader, the place to go for city and state coverage is PubliCola, a well-funded site run by two ex-Stranger reporters, Josh Feit and Erica C. Barnett. They report the heck out of City Hall and Olympia. In fact, Josh was the first online reporter to get state house accreditation a couple of years ago.
There are a bevy of local blogs for Seattle neighborhoods started by the "Geeky Swedes," who started the My Ballard blog for my neighborhood, Ballard (historically a Scandinavian area). They have an agreement with the Seattle Times to share stories and information. The lede is that the only remaining mainstream newspaper in Seattle (now that the Post-Intelligencer has shuttered its printers) has in large part given up reporting local news and ceded that role to the blogger community.
As for the best state level blog for Washington, it's horsesass.org. It's excellent AND has had a similar competition as VFYW for the last couple years: Bird’s Eye View Contest.
Regarding the decline of local news, check out The Capitol Fax Blog, which provides the best coverage of the Illinois statehouse. (And, as the world knows, our state government is a sodden mess.) There’s a subscription service for breaking news that generates revenue, and it’s a must-have for politicians, lobbyists, and community organizations. It’s a slightly different revenue model for new media, but it seems to work. Also, the commentators are possibly the most hilarious people in the entire country.