Townie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Re: “Burlington Renames Street to Honor Late Seven Days Photographer Matthew Thorsen

He helped to tell the story of this community -- and told it as only he could. It's right, in a poetic sort of way, that his name be enshrined in the city's geography so that those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing him, who don't carry memories of him in their consciousness, can have a chance to appreciate his contribution.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 06/25/2019 at 8:50 AM

Re: “Seven Days Photographer Matthew Thorsen Dies at 51

Matt's passing is a great loss for our community and for the many people whose lives he touched with humor, kindness, and warmth. He shot like he lived: with inimitable style and a keen sense of what makes us all so wonderfully weird.

24 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 01/02/2019 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Burlington School Board Sends $85.5 Million Budget to Voters

Chip Morgan: I'm also holding my breath over a tax hike for schools, and I share your concern. But I think it's important for the discussion, which will probably be contentious from this point forward, to look at our school budget in a broad context of the facts on where we rank. To say our results on most metrics are average relative to other states depends, of course, on the metrics. Contrary information is out there, and here's one example: the last major NEA study had Vermont with the lowest student-to-teacher ratio in the country. Number 1. If you think that's good for learning, then that's a positive distinction. Source:…

I could cherry-pick statistics that reflect favorably and unfavorably on our schools, but I have to say, having looked at the research, Vermont is better than average on many metrics. I'm with you on the sting that comes with the new budget. Here's hoping we can let the facts guide the way to the March ballot.

This report that puts Vermont at number 12 overall. That's the top 25%, if my math is right (with apologies to the South Burlington school system for my weakness in this area. Totally my fault.):…

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 01/12/2017 at 3:00 PM

Re: “South End Artists Hope to Stall the Champlain Parkway

The mayor claims that the Parkway will cut down on heavy truck traffic on Flynn Avenue. I wonder if the operators of City Market, which has won approval to build a 20,000 square foot grocery store *on Flynn Avenue,* are aware of this. Plans put the new City Market site right at the juncture of the Parkway. Flynn Avenue, and most likely the streets connecting Shelburne Road and Pine, as well as the south end of Pine Street, are going to see more heavy truck traffic.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 09/25/2015 at 10:12 PM

Re: “Anger Management: Sanders Fights for Employees, Except His Own

I object to the oversimplification that passes for a justification of this analysis in the first place:

"If he wins, he'll become the boss of some 4.2 million federal employees, have a standing army at his disposal and, you know, hold the nuclear launch codes. So an analysis of his management style and temper might be reasonable."

Come on, Paul. There are *no* checks and balances between the person in the Oval Office and the functions within his purview? Tell me: What kind of a boss was Lyndon Johnson. LBJ was unafraid to step on toes to pass sweeping and historic civil rights legislation. Bernie look like Mr. Rogers in contrast.

Maybe Bernie was justified in howling at staffers so gutless that, down the road, they didn't have the character to be identified on record.

16 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 08/28/2015 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Man Takes Aim at South Burlington High School's 'Rebels' Nickname

The problem with the Rebel nickname today is that, stripped of its Confederate context — arguably a good thing, not just because of its slavery and segregationist associations but because it never made any sense in relation to South Burlington — it is meaningless. Rebels? What rebels? It's generic. It's like calling yourselves the Dogs or the Birds or the Soldiers. I vote for giving the students, teachers, administrators, and community members a chance to vote on a new mascot and nickname — maybe on that actually has something to do with S.B.

I played on S.B.H.S. sports teams, and I have no sentimental attachment to the nonsensical nickname.

I had Bob Walsh as a teacher when I was a student at S.B.H.S., and he was an outstanding role model. He's a veteran, a lifelong teacher, and a humanist. The idea that political correctness is liberal reactionary zeal run amok is itself a reactionary view. We can do better, people.

11 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 08/24/2015 at 12:58 AM

Re: “'Rebels' Moniker Debated in South Burlington

None of the rebel historical associations that Leonard Bast lists refers to the S.B.H.S. mascot. The advocates of a new mascot haven't "cherry picked" the Confederate association. The Confederate association is the original in this case. When I was an S.B.H.S. student, the precision dancing troupe, the Rebelettes, did a halftime routine to "Dixie." Maybe a new historical association could be forged with the word Rebel to retain the nickname. Without some specific association — which is where S.B.H.S. has landed since nixing the Confederate context — Rebels is a generic term. As such, it's kind of a lame nickname. It's like saying we're the Birds or the Dogs or the Soldiers. As an S.B.H.S. alum who played for Rebel sports teams, I advocate a new mascot, one that can be specific and maybe even connected to South Burlington in some way without being potentially offensive to someone.

15 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Townie on 08/04/2015 at 4:21 PM

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