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If you're looking for "I Spys," dating or LTRs, this is your scene.
If you're looking for full-on kink or group play, you'll get what you need here.
I wish I could say I am surprised. How the state could have stewarded this title for the last two decades and not understood the need to transition to a digital revenue model is perplexing enough (note: VPR made the transition, SevenDays made the transition; it's not an impossible task). Instead of re-envisioning itself a 'content provider', it insisted in seeing itself as a 'magazine.'.
The trick of course, is to have content that a younger generation actually wants to consume, provided in a format in which they will consume it. And that's the ultimate failure here. I attribute it to the title being held within the organs of the State, which, in turn, is managed by an aging set of cultural stakeholders who continue to push a 'come recreate in my rural yesteryear' message, and that message is being revealed for what it is; applicable to a core set of dying baby boomers for whom escaping modernism & retreating from the world is still a relevant vein to mine. We need to evolve the message & media to be relevant to a new generation.
A 'new fusion' message awaits, and it starts with putting one foot in the pasture, and one foot in the future. Why not create a Vermont that calls out and asks all to come, be 'innovative by nature'? Time for intellectual climate change.
As the former solo-operator of VTFolkus, a short-lived experiment in changing the approach, here is my input: Seven Days, an independent publication, and many others can attest, this little state has much going on. It doesn't even fit a single stereotype (an obvious point I think). But, it's all happening, and will continue to be a unique experiment in what a small yet dynamic population can do alternatively, creatively as a dynamic culture. From presenting generational farmers to still-wet-behind-the-ears entrepreneurs and artists, Vermont Life definitely needs to be a part of this mix. As Curtiss Reed Jr points out, there's not just much -- there's MANY to not miss. It's not just about places and history. It's about people and present events. There's much to be proud of that others will want to know about, that see Vermont as a leader on different levels. Just being Vermont Life covering the state (albeit, a continuously transforming publication, as it should be) is all it needs to be. This publication can stand to be quirky, Vermont is quirky. Don't make Vermont Life operate 100% in the black -- that's a mistake. Just make it work well and -- largely -- responsible in bringing in revenues (on that, continue to be 'quirkily creative'). Happy publishing with many more decades to come, you state magazine icon, you!
PART TWO OF TWO
Mary Nowland, Vermont Life’s editor, opening remarks in the Summer Edition aptly cautions us to “Beware the Stereotype.” The Agency for Commerce and Community Development under Lawrence Miller’s leadership recognized that our ability to attract and retain a more diverse visitor base serves to strengthen Vermont’s economic future. The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing has since created the Vermont African American Heritage Trail and Inclusive Vermont to respectively attract more people of color and persons with disabilities to spend their vacation dollars in Vermont.
To the world beyond our borders, Vermont Life serves as our brand’s standard bearer and as such must as a matter of sound marketing appeal to the multicultural marketplace in all its variations of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, etc. For example, the cover photo of Halima Said has already been widely circulated to and has generated a buzz with African American skiers, snowboarders, marathoners, triathletes, hikers, cyclists and other recreationalists of color to consider Vermont a destination.
The legislature should ignore the archaic thinking and dog whistle politics of Sen. Westman and consider tax dollar support for Vermont Life as a core investment that positions the state as a desirable destination for those in the untapped multicultural marketplace.
PART ONE OF TWO
Vermont Life serves as a great worthwhile investment for our tax dollars contrary to Westman’s assertions that the magazine is, “…an endeavor that he considers to be of questionable usefulness.” Where else in the state budget does a paltry $1.637 million in expenditures generate $33 million in economic activity? Last year VL generated an effective return on investment of 1,916% for the state’s economy-an exceptional return by any measure.
However Vermonters should be less concerned about Westman’s lack of business acumen and more concerned with his view of what constitutes in his mind Vermont and Vermonters. His assertion that “…looking at the most recent Vermont Life, the only thing that speaks to Vermont is the name” reeks of the dog whistle politics reminiscent of Republican Brian Dubie’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign slogan, “Pure Vermont.”
Does Westman find the beautiful cover photo of Halima Said offensive and un-Vermont because she is an African immigrant or practices Islam? Or maybe the good senator finds offensive and un-Vermont the efforts of the Brattleboro Retreat to nurture veterans battling PTSD back to stable mental health through fly fishing? Or does he find offensive and un-Vermont the rancor of roaring engines piercing the pristine silence of the bucolic landscape surrounding Barre?
Westman’s dog whistle harkens back to the fantasy world of Vermont as white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, of Vermonters with sound mind and body, and of residents and visitors quietly reverent of Vermont’s natural beauty. Population diversity challenges us to live the core values of our state motto “Freedom and Unity.” His disingenuous dog whistle peddles the false and divisive narrative of difference is dangerous.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce produces their free summer and winter vacation guides, both of which truly represent Vermont at it's best and everything that our tourists can do and experience when they visit here. The Vermont Campground Association also produce their free guide to camping in Vermont. All three are distributed at shows and state rest areas. They are produced and printed in Vermont all the while in the black.
The last issue I saw on newsstands had a really bad photo of a young woman standing outside a restaurant. Between that and the awful font that is now used for title on cover, looks nothing like Vt Life. Article doesn't mention the complete disaster under Kevin Dorn of a nationwide search for a "real" publisher after ACCD ran Tom Slayton off. Should have retired it with him.
Love this story, thanks Ken. I ran into them at wcax once and always wondered what their backstory was. It's like the Vt version of the film Nightcrawler.
Glad to see this incredible show get the attention it deserves. Erica's deep curiosity about what's going on around her--what people are thinking and doing and saying and why it might be fun to know--drives each and every story she reports. She's right, the podcast form is freeing in many ways and she really makes the most of it.
In my travels throughout Franklin County as a freelance photographer and corespondent to the St. Albans Messenger I've encountered Dave many times and have always found him to be courteous and professional. Congratulations on a great article Ken Picard on individuals committed to their community.
Very nice human interest story. Have seen Dave and his wife in action at many scenes over the years always in a professional and caring manor.
Thank you for your article about Erica; she is a gem, and deserves recognition for her stories.
Original, insightful, and narrated with a beautiful voice. A voice for Vermont!
Vaughn Hood's story is one of her best; they're all good.
Erica is a true inspired professional. She believes in the authenticity of storytelling. She captures voices we often do not hear. Bess O'Brien
I love Rumble Strip Vermont. Erica Heilman is an inspiration.
PS! Thanks for shining the light on this wonderful Vermont character 7Days!
Rumble Strip is THE BEST! Erica asks the most interesting questions because she really is interested. She seems to get to the heart of things and we get to hear more intimate sides of stories and people! She's great! I agree with the commenter above...Rumble Strip should be run on VPR!
Heilman doesn't do this for an audience she really sees the world through the questions she asks. She has an uncanny ability to put anyone she talks to at ease and often she is able to get them to start telling their story and that in itself is what we all want. We want to connect and find a common thread. Thanks to 7 Days for bringing her and RumbleStript to the attention of Vermonters.
Such a great story. I've been listening to Rumble Strip since it started. VPR should be running this highly engaging and off beat podcast. Would make a great full time show!
I think the operative word here is "vegan" not Muslim. She stated she was a "member of a Muslim household", not that she was a Muslim.
The restaurant got punked, PETA is laughing out loud, and the confused are mad at Muslims. Muslims who choose to eat at restaurants that are not halal tend to be highly aware that foods that are forbidden are likely to be on the menu.
I empathize with the Bistro owner, offending the wrong Muslin can result in decapitation.
Uh, this article says she wasn't Muslim. That's funny, SINCE SHE SAID SHE WAS IN THE POST!