From the Publisher: Something to Celebrate | From the Publisher | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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From the Publisher: Something to Celebrate 

Published April 15, 2020 at 11:18 a.m. | Updated April 15, 2020 at 11:20 a.m.

click to enlarge A young Paula Routly and her sister
  • A young Paula Routly and her sister

I was 35 when we started Seven Days. On Monday, I turned 60.

I had planned to be in Mexico for the occasion — frankly, to avoid the whole thing — but instead I was glued to the computer, in my home office, in the middle of a pandemic, sweating into a bathrobe I have been wearing for the last month.

I'm not big on birthdays, but when you're born in a year that's divisible by 10 — in my case, 1960 — you can't help but fast-forward to the momentous ones. In 2000, four months into the new millennium, I turned 40. Two decades hence, I knew this one would fall during a leap year with Olympics and a presidential election, but I had not counted on the biggest global economic shutdown since the Great Depression.

In short, this was not how I pictured my 60th. Anyone celebrating a milestone right now surely knows what I mean.

In truth, nobody could have imagined how we're all living today: hunkered down in our respective safe houses, socializing on computer screens that look like the old "Hollywood Squares" game show, venturing out to score supplies like masked survivalists.

Seven Days has been documenting the new reality, from the medical preparations and budget impacts to takeout trends and livestreamed concerts. In her "Stuck in Vermont" video last week, Eva Sollberger found great examples of local communities getting through this tough time together in creative ways.

This week's issue of Seven Days marks the fourth we've put out remotely. The once-bustling office is pretty much abandoned, except for a few occasional employees. Instead of poring over the paper together, looking for last-minute errors on Tuesday nights, we are communicating via Slack and scrutinizing finished pages on a computer server.

It's slower, and harder on the eyes, but it seems to be working.

Similarly, we're finding new ways to sustain Seven Days financially. Iconic Vermont businesses have stepped up to support our local journalism. And thousands have sent donations or become paying Super Reader subscribers — or both. An outpouring of community support has given us the confidence, and the cash, to keep going.

It's one example of Vermonters coming together to preserve what matters to them — and there are other bright lights in this week's issue, illuminating a path of hard work and good deeds through this dark time.

I can't think of a better birthday present.

With gratitude,
Paula Routly

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About The Author

Paula Routly

Paula Routly

Paula Routly came to Vermont to attend Middlebury College. After graduation, she stayed and worked as a dance critic, arts writer, news reporter and editor before she started Seven Days newspaper with Pamela Polston in 1995. Routly covered arts news, then food, and, starting in 2008, focused her editorial energies on building the news side of the operation, for which she is a regular weekly editor. She conceptualized and managed the “Give and Take” special report on Vermont’s nonprofit sector, the “Our Towns” special issue and the yearlong “Hooked” series exploring Vermont’s opioid crisis. When she’s not editing stories, Routly runs the business side of Seven Days — overseeing finances, management and product development. She spearheaded the creation of the newspaper’s numerous ancillary publications and events such as Restaurant Week and the Vermont Tech Jam. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.


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