Letters to the paper are not fact-checked and do not necessarily represent the views of The Bridge.
Thanks to Nat
In the world of community newspaper editor/publishers, what separates the hireling from the good shepherd?
The former punches the clock. The latter doesn’t have one, but is compelled by (1) printers’ deadlines that make you work alone until dawn because your (2) sense of obligation to the community ordains that you spend three precious hours covering and writing up the story of a meeting from the night before, while adding four pages to the length of the paper because there’s just too much important news to squeeze into 16.
And when you’re done and satisfied that you have given your all to create your latest magnum opus (yes, it does feel like that sometimes), you still have to answer the angry phone calls and snarky emails from upset readers or, worse, wonder why there’s no feedback at all.
Why do the Nat Frothinghams of the world do it, week after week, for a quarter century? It’s love. Love of the craft, love of the community. Maybe a little ego-stroking self-love, too. But good shepherds like Nat love serving people: the individual reader, the small local businesses that believe in the paper, aspiring writers like my old friend Amy Driscoll, and the committed local government workers. They also serve the idea that someone in the community must speak and write in conscientious freedom about civic matters and give others a platform to do the same.
The next time I see Nat on the street, this long-time member of the flock of numerous readers of The Bridge will thank him for showing the love. Until then this letter will have to do.
Guy Page, Berlin
Montpelier Business Community
As business owners in Montpelier, we support opportunities that will bring patrons to our city. One of these opportunities is the recently announced project which would develop a new hotel and parking garage in our downtown.
A new hotel would benefit our city in more than one way. It would increase capacity during busy weekends. It would attract a different type of visitor—those who participate in rewards programs and choose to stay at a branded hotel while still being able to accommodate the traveler who prefers an independent property. It also positions Montpelier to be considered for larger conferences of 100 or more room nights and allows us to be more of a destination. An increase in visitors who stay the night instead of drive out of town would give our restaurants and shops the opportunity to earn the patronage of new and repeat visitors.
As a walkable, bikeable downtown is one of our greatest attractions, the addition of a garage would be a welcomed improvement. At different times throughout the year—in the winter or when the State House activities are in full swing, or when there is a large event, parking can be a challenge for visitors unacquainted with our city. It will also alleviate a perception that Montpelier is a great small town with a parking problem. A garage would give the city an opportunity to make multi-modal improvements to our streets, assist in new downtown housing projects and offer ease of access to those who choose to visit by car.
The undersigned businesses ask that city officials do what they can to make this project a reality. Our downtown businesses rely on each other to ensure our city remains an attractive place for all visitors. Although national trends point to many downtowns which are struggling, we as a group are committed to improving our city so that it will remain an example of a small city succeeding and responding to changes in our regional economy.
Bear Pond Books
Coco Bean of VT
Down Home Kitchen
The Drawing Board
Langdon Street Tavern
No. 9 Boutique and The Alley
North Branch Café and Tech
Onion River Outdoors
The Skinny Pancake
Three Penny Taproom
Woodbury Mountain Toys
Yankee Wine & Spirits
What Do You Think?
We welcome your letters and opinion pieces. Letters must be fewer than 300 words. Opinion pieces should not exceed 600 words. The Bridge reserves the right to edit and cut pieces. Send your piece to: email@example.com. Deadline for the next issue is June 1