Editorial: A Seeger segue into the new year

By Alex Bunten | Editor in Chief

When I began my tenure last January as editor in chief of our venerated local community paper, Moe Harvey said to me, “You’re going to learn a lot in this post.” At the time it sounded a bit ominous, but it also reminded me of a Pete Seeger song my dad used to sing, “What did you learn in school today?” To round out 2015, here’s a few things I learned at The News:

I learned that the townsfolk are my friends

I learned that Selectboard meetings never end

I learned that people get mad sometimes

Even if no one’s committed a crime 

That’s what I learned at The News today, dear little town of mine

That’s what I learned at The News today, dear little town of mine 

I learned that the paper has a deep history 

It comes without paying but it ain’t free

I learned that money doesn’t fall from the sky

Volunteers work damn hard and seldom cry

That’s what I learned at The News today, dear little town of mine

That’s what I learned at The News today, dear little town of mine 

Indeed, Moe was right. There is certainly a lot more to this town than what I thought growing up here—the personalities that punctuate hot button topics, the deeply complex local governance issues and, of course, the debate about how Charlotte will move into the future with a viable Town Plan, staying true to its rural character while also responding to a growing community interest in business development (or just replacing those that have recently left?).

To keep you on the cutting edge of town issues this year, it has taken the help of over 100 volunteers and a few minimally paid staff. To all those who have supported us in 2015—with your time, energy, input, funds—we can’t thank you enough and hope we can count on your help in 2016. I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting year.

For those of you following along with the developments of your hometown paper, here are a few projects we have on the horizon that we hope you’ll like:

Build our web presence. We would love to better respond to stories in a manner faster than our bi-weekly publication schedule permits. That, however, takes a lot of time and effort. Hiring a web editor is high on my list from Santa this year.

Update our equipment. We are working with some pretty old computers at headquarters on Ferry Road. To get more people working at The News, building our online footprint, training interns, or attracting good writers, we’ll need to update our machinery. Our printer is from 2003 and the OS system of our Macs is so old that it is no longer supported by Apple. We get the paper out, but we often dream how much better it could be if we had updated tools.

Start constructing our archive. Thanks to a very generous $10,000 donation from a loyal reader, we are now able to embark on a quest to consolidate nearly 60 years of the town’s history. This ambitious project will partner with the Charlotte Library and the Charlotte Historical Society to make it a valued community resource for all. We are looking for matching donors to sponsor this project. Please get in touch if you know someone who might be interested in helping us build this magnum opus du Charlotte.

As I said, it should be an exciting year on all fronts. Thanks for reading and all the best from the staff, board and friends of The News.

Contact: alex@thecharlottenews.org