Los Angeles' 90 or so neighborhood councils were created in 1999 as part of an effort to give neighborhoods more say in what happens in City Hall. Good on paper. Not so good online.

One might think that as part of the movement to be in touch with the people council websites would be dynamic portals of neighborhood news and data. Rather, many of them are sleepy online backwaters not worthy of such a metropolitan city.

The Mar Vista Neighborhood Council's newsletters page is up-to-date … if you live in 2008. West L.A. is a little more on top of things. It's news alerts reach November, so you know that's fresh. What's new in Hollywood Hills West? Something that happened in September.

At first we thought Palms was simply off the grid, with a URL that showed an “account suspended” message. But a quick Google search found that its URL was different and the site is not bad at all. Northwest San Pedro? Ugly, but timely and maybe even useful.

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