NateOrshan | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Member since Nov 27, 2012

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Nato, a/k/a Nate Orshan. #BTV, #VT. Marketing, media, copywriting, design. Evolutionary science, psychology. Music writing/performance, Beatles-inspired pop.

Recent Comments

Re: “A South Burlington Grad Reflects on Renaming the Rebels

When I think of Isaiah Hine's honesty, courage, and persistence, I think to myself, "This is what a hero looks like." We should all be proud to have Hines among us.

27 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 06/30/2017 at 10:55 AM

Re: “Burlington Councilors Consider a Pay Raise for Themselves

It's easy to get angry about the idea of elected officials wanting to get paid more for their service. Let's flip that thinking on its head.

Who exactly is able to put the time into public service? It's only people who are already financially secure who can afford the opportunity cost that public service exacts In other words, the time a councilor spends communicating with constituents --at all hours of the day-- and working on resolutions, ordinances, and other city issues is all time that could be put to much more profitable use working just about any other job, including fast food.

In a time where so many voters claim to be against elitism and the status quo, one real way of getting lower-income people to serve in public office would be to make sure that they don't go broke just by serving. Paying our councilors a living wage would go a long way toward changing the composition of our city council in the long run. If you truly care about shaking things up, making it feasible for low-income people to run and serve in elected office goes a helluva long way toward that goal.

But above all, I invite anyone who wants to mouth off about our so-and-so councilors voting themselves more money to put up or shut up: you run for office. You get elected. You serve us. Then come back here to tell us all how easy it was to do with the pittance you got paid.

26 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 11/29/2016 at 9:19 PM

Re: “Ballot Battle Pits Weinberger Against Activists — Again

I've already voted "Yes" on Ballot Items 3 & 4, and I encourage all Burlingtonians to do the same.

The nearly 250 new bedrooms the Burlington Town Center redevelopment (which Ballot Items 3 & 4 support) would create downtown directly addresses a need we all articulated in our PlanBTV Downtown document when we called for more mixed-use (i.e., including housing) development downtown.

But more importantly, there's an absolutely crushing need for more housing in Burlington, with way too much demand chasing way too little supply. The result: spiraling housing prices, and people at the lower end of the economic spectrum being pushed further away.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to supporters like the Progressive president of the City Council, Jane Knodell. Listen to the Champlain Housing Trust. Heck, listen to COTS executive director Rita Markley, who recently told WPTZ, ""For those who say the (housing) markets easing up, that vacancy rates are better, that's not true." (…)

Ballot Items 3 & 4, and the Burlington Town Center redevelopment that they support, aren't in themselves magic bullets for fixing all our city's problems. But they go a long way toward helping, and the additional economic benefits, not to mention getting Pine St. and St. Paul St. re-connected (also, I believe, a PlanBTV goal we all articulated), are welcome benefits to all Burlingtonians.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 11/04/2016 at 7:10 AM

Re: “Queen City Planning Commission Signs Off on Plan for Higher Buildings

You don't need to use imagination or towering shoebox models. Computer-facilitated imaging technologies are able to give very realistic views of projects such as this, and there are already files in the CEDO site for this project that you can look at right now.

What these files show is the significant degree to which this project would (a) fit into the downtown skyscape relatively unobtrusively and (b) not even be noticeable --literally, not figuratively-- from a lot of downtown and even up the hill.

Please check these out so you can see for yourself (from the project documents page…

- "Photo Visualizations- Before and After Views of Project from Locations Throughout City (Includes All views from 3/7 and Edmund's View from 3/21)"…

- "Animated 3-D Model "Fly Through" (Note: this one's a little bit dumb in that it's a >50MEG PowerPoint file, but regardless: Click on slide #2, then give it a minute, and the animation starts up, but you can scroll through as well):…

27 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 07/07/2016 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Cofounders of Parenting Site Razed Talk Back

Delighted for this post This non-breeder thinks that Harrington and Olsen's Razed work is just about the funniest writing to come out of the Queen City ever. As additional evidence, my I proffer...



(That they both have "stupid" in their titles is coincidence. it...?)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 06/26/2016 at 12:24 PM

Re: “Critics Crowd Burlington Meeting to Oppose Building-Height Increase

"Many speakers said the low-rise profile and little-city feel of Burlington is part of what makes it unique and livable...Nancy Kirby...added: '"We have grandchildren and we want them to enjoy Burlington the way we enjoyed Burlington.'"

No, it's not livable. "Livable" implies that a wide variety of people can live here. They can't. They're already priced out. And no, Ms. Kirby's grandchildren won't be able to live in Burlington, at the rate that housings costs are increasing.

I have the utmost respect for the people who are railing against tall buildings (and I'm sympathetic to the notion that this particular project hinges on a zoning change that may be out of step with the current zoning or future form-based zoning).

But my friends? My dear, fellow Burlingtonians? How are we going to keep housing costs increases manageable for middle- and lower-income people if we don't create new housing? And how are we going to create the kind of population density that we need to keep the housing in Burlington, and especially, centralized close to or in downtown, if we don't start putting up big buildings like the project being discussed?

47 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 05/25/2016 at 1:08 PM

Re: “Battering Ram: Would 'Shap for LG' Push Kesha Out of the Race?

I hope people will read "goodhearth"'s comment and ask:

- Would they have written that a male candidate has blind ambition?
- Would they have written that a male candidate should drop out of a race just if someone "immensely more qualified" joined?
- Would they have suggested that a male candidate not dropping out just because someone "immensely more qualified" joined showed poor character?

For me, the answer's no.

Kesha Ram is exactly the kind of leader we need more of in Vermont. Whether or not she makes it to the Lieutenant Governor's office this time around, I have no doubt that she'll get there soon enough, on her way to even greater positions of leadership.

10 likes, 40 dislikes
Posted by NateOrshan on 04/13/2016 at 12:18 PM

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