Archive for the ‘Burlington’ Category

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North Beach Access is Restricted

September 10, 2008

What a bummer. I used to love the last hour of the day on the beach.  When coming by after work, I would swing in with my little fold up chair and read for an hour.  Sometimes I would draw. It was sublime.

Now there is a sign “No cars on beach after 6pm.”

Bummer.

Reason? the guy on the golf cart that was chasing people off said it’s because college kids get in there and hide. I didn’t push him on this, as he is only doing his job. The receptionist at Parks and Rec said the season is over so they don’t have the staff to keep it open. I didn’t push her either– she’s only doing her job. but part of the reason I like it down there then is that there are so few people.

yes there might be a little trash to pick up, but not from me. oh dear. It’s a losing battle. things just don’t stay the same. maybe I should move to the country. these small losses start to add up. I should mention the other loss: it’s my peace and quiet in the neighborhood due to barking barking barking.  actually, it’s quiet this afternoon, for once.

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Getting Shot on Pine Street and New Art Exhibit

July 8, 2008

It’s a dangerous ride down Pine Street when biking after dark on Monday eve. Some kids shot at me out of a car with one of those little pellet guns. At least that’s what the officer thinks it was after hearing my description: A popping sound and a sudden sting. Really made me mad, not that it hurt that much; although it did leave a welt on my backside. Dangerous, stupid kids. I was travelling south on Pine Street, and the car was too. They shot when they were slightly behind me. It looked like NH plates on a silver 4 door sedan. I was momentarily stunned and then tried to read the plate, and tried to catch up to them, but couldn’t. ughghghhg.

I’ll be posting later about the latest art show at Uncommon Grounds

click on image to enlarge

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Burlington Telecom and Al Jazeera, work work, and Buono’s Italian Restaurant

June 26, 2008

Well thank goodness a decision is made regarding Al Jazeera and our lovely local network. A joint resolution by the two advisory committees recommends that it remains on the channel lineup.

It should behoove you who want to make a case against a channel to bring evidence to back up claims next time. The issue was worthy and very important to defend, but please: you who would wish to censor my media experiences, why not use your time and efforts for more productive purposes. Instead of wishing away Al Jazeera, why not further your cause(s) in a creative and instructive way. For example, why not start your own channel? there seems to be enough of an organizational thrust behind you. Talk is cheap.

WCAX covered the story this evening. I noticed that a clip running behind one of their interviews showed the orange jumpsuits and the hooded men, a clear allusion to, and reminder of the beheadings. I don’t think WCAX is complicit in the disinformation campaign against Al Jazeera, but their unfortunate choice of back drop does not un-muddy the waters.

And now, we can all get back to business. I did not do any Telecom door-knocking today, but I did manage to work in at least three other areas– 1.5 hours on a contract painting job on Willard Street, 6 hours on bookkeeping and tax work with my finance guru, and 1.25 hours for Ribbecke Studios cementing 2 panels. Tomorrow, I will paint in my studio… oh- after opening at Ribbecke Studios. I have a painting to finish… tomorrow is the day!

Evening dinner with friend at Buono’s on Shelburne Rd. Rumor had it that there was fried chicken to be had on Shelburne Road. Yes indeed, Buono’s did, but at $18, I balked. I ordered the Pesto Linguine at $10.50, and based on the quality of that dish, decided I was glad that I hadn’t gone for the fried chicken. Olive oil and basil flakes do not pesto make. The first cup of coffee was stale and burned, the room was too loud. But the company and conversation made up for it. Living by art. Why is it so easy to show up for work at other people’s operations and projects to help them along in their processes, but nearly impossible to stay focused on my own? I think it comes down to risk management, which is further deconstructed to get to fear. REALLY? …FEAR?

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Al Jazeera Star Struck in Burlington?

June 12, 2008

The auditorium was filled to standing room only. The list of speakers was long. At issue was whether Burlington Telecom should remove Al Jazeera from its cable offerings. Most people stayed through all 50+ speakers. These are my notes:

Afterwards in the courtyard I met and talked to Josh Rushing an ex marine and star of “Control Room” who is now a correspondent for Al Jazeera. Also met briefly Tony Burman the managing director of Al Jazeera International. They both seemed as blown away by Burlington’s rising to the occasion as some of us were by their attendence. Burlington Telecom is one of only three cable networks in the country that carry the network so far. Once we are past this jam we must lobby to have Al Jazeera included in the basic package. Really!

How many places in the world would you not be surprised to find a bunch of folks inside for several hours on one of the most beautiful Vermont evenings of the year to discuss whether or not the Al Jazeera network should be carried by a telecom company.

I have to admit I almost bagged it to spend time in the garden. but I am not disappointed. I am disappointed that I did not get up to the mike, but plenty did. the tally was 43 or 44 pro keeping the network in the BT lineup to 8 against. In my own defense, I did write a letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press, which was in part an editing of previous post ( see June 1).

The friend that I attended with thought that there was a clear class divide, or if not class, then one resting on educational level, between the two camps. I don’t know about that. In any case, it makes me sad that there are people who genuinely wish to have the Arabic network removed.

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Burlington Telecom’s Al Jazeera Dilemma

June 1, 2008

Something has been looming in the back of my consciousness. It has barely made it on the radar through all the intensity of my own April and May projects. Last night, it came bursting through. I caught a rebroadcast of the May 27th Burlington Telecom public hearing at Contois Auditorium. The question under discussion was whether the Al Jazeera English network should be pulled from the lineup.

In theory, I love Sunday mornings. It’s Spring. School is out, I’ve returned from two back-to-back trips, got 13 artworks submitted to an exhibition, made good progress with the tee shirt design committee for Branch Out Burlington, the garden is 80% in, scored some great plants at the farmers market Saturday, and managed a decent bike ride up and down the hills of Burlington. So, hadn’t I earned a lazy morning off to read, lounge in bed, hang out with Pixel, hang out in the garden? But the workings of my subconscious, stirred up by last night’s rebroadcast, bubbled through immediately upon my awakening…. So here goes – perhaps a draft of what I ultimately send to the reviewing committee:

We live in a democracy. Democracy means nothing if our public and well-intended projects can so easily be derailed by a small but powerful and vocal few. Democracy ought to be supportive of all voices. Anti-Al Jazeera folks wish to have the Arabic network removed from the BT menu. How is this different from censorship? Are we so provincial that we need to be protected from the very forces that should enlighten us?

I am not a Jew and I am not in Israel. But if I was, I would listen to Al Jazeera; the same way I occasionally catch Fox news, for the different points of view. Occupied minds are the most vulnerable to debate-stifling discourse; discourse which by the way, in our current kerfuffle seems suspiciously familiar. Are the oppositionists perhaps the same folks that were so intent to bring about a censorship of the South End Art Hop last fall?

Instead of being a tool for education, a media that succumbs to such pressure is not very different than mainstream media that serves, and is an integral part of, the dominant culture, otherwise known as the corporate (military-medical-education-prison-agro-academic- industrial complex) culture. But there are differences and let’s fight for them. Burlington Telecom is not directly beholden to structures grounded by corporate economic, social and political interests. Those media that are don’t need the careful nurturing that our local venture has had and continues to need, if it is to offer the free interplay of diverse voices.

We are in an age of hyperconsciousness. As a community, our very careful, deliberate and thoroughgoing efforts toward inclusion serve us well. The better informed we are, the better we behave as a community. As an employee and a customer of BT, I am going to be very disappointed if we lose Al Jazeera– not that I get to see it all that often. I would love to, but it is not in the current basic package. From the little bit that I have seen thanks to RETN, it is not at all as the detractors portray: I have not seen even subtle or nuanced broadcast of hate, there is no subtext of Islamic extremism, the programs seem to be no less diverse than CNN, and I think they are more diverse than Fox. I do not glean a slap in the face of Jews by the humanizing of Arabic culture.

What happens in Burlington doesn’t stay in Burlington. To delete Al Jazeera sets a dangerous precedent. If we are to have any moral or social commitment, let it be to let a thousand flowers bloom, and be the Burlington that we really can be: open, welcoming, growing, searching…but also with a bit of the edginess that struggle, differences, and unfortunately even hurt feelings and disappointments bring.

Now, off to my garden with me. or to BT doorknocking…