Langdon Street Alive Funds Should Go Toward The Buildings
First, let me state that I appreciate the goals of the Langdon Street Alive project, which seeks to enliven the historic streetscape with art installations and plantings.
Having said that, I have long shared the (arguable) opinion that architecture is the most public of the arts. Therefore, it seems to me that the primary artistic elements which are already on the street — the historic buildings themselves — are being overlooked. Overall, there is an appearance of shabbiness that no amount of art installations or parklets can overcome. What is needed is simple: new paint on the larger brick buildings on either side of the street — new paint on the wooden storefronts, new paint on the window frames and sashes and new paint on the decorative cornices.
The oldest structure on the street, the wood framed former Huntman’s building that now houses Sweet Melissa’s, is perhaps in the worst shape of any building in the downtown area. It badly needs paint, but the property appears to have serious structural issues as well.
I understand that maintaining buildings takes money. The downtown area has what I think is called the Downtown Development District, intended to generate monies to support the area. Might some of those funds be directed to enhance these historic examples of public art?
Bill Perreault, Montpelier
Money For Local Arts Should Go To Local People
I was excited to learn that an National Endowment for the Arts grant and matching funds would mean $164,000 will be spent on local arts funding. I was considerably less thrilled to find out that nearly one third of that money will be spent upfront on a performance art piece titled “The Giant Sucking Sound of $50,000 Being Channeled to an Out-of-State Consulting Firm in Columbus, Ohio.”
In a state in which we are constantly striving to support local businesses, the idea that we would hire an Ohio firm to advise us on how to develop public art in Montpelier is offensive. Any number of well-qualified professionals in Vermont could get the job done, and likely for less than $50K. Any money saved could be directed toward the people who need it far more than a consulting firm in Ohio: Vermont’s artists.
In addition to my financial concerns, the process proposed for the development of the plan reeks of the kind of bogus rhetoric that gives consulting a bad name. For their $50K fee, the ironically-named Designing Local will “define for Montpelier what the idea of ‘place’ has meant and means today.” And if you can say that one with a straight face, try this one, from Designing Local’s Amanda Golden: “We are asking people to tell us who they are, who they have been, and who they hope to be.”
Really? At a time when arts funding nationwide is under a major threat, it’s time to reconsider, and to do some practical math. Let’s say you’re an ordinary Montpelier citizen. You’ve just come into a windfall of $164.00. I come along and politely explain that for a mere $50, I will tell you how to spend the remaining $114.00. I am guessing that you wouldn’t make that mistake for yourself. Why should we make it for our city?
Gary Miller, Montpelier
Improved Medicare for All or Single-Payer Healthcare
Libraries throughout Vermont are hosting educational events on Improved Medicare for All or Single-Payer Healthcare and every person of goodwill understands that to live in a decent society we need to cultivate the common good, the common welfare. To that end, every community in Vermont and in the U.S. is encouraged to organize locally in libraries and other venues such as churches, synagogues, mosques, town halls, health centers.
The following resources/contacts are provided to facilitate this drive to true universal healthcare:
What is Single-Payer Healthcare or Improved Medicare for All?
How to Finance Single-Payer:
“The Healthcare Movie” that should be viewed everywhere, watch a trailer:
For expert physician speakers:
Together we can and will make truly universal healthcare available to all, a plan to place the patient front and center and not the for profit health care industry.
Giovanna Lepore, Jericho
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