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Category — Editor

Free Press Access Denied

I guess I can’t read the Free Press Online anymore. If it wasn’t for me they would still be calling the College Street Cam the Church Street Cam. Yet despite this they now want me to pay $12 a month for their content. That’s a little too steep for me. I would pay $20 for a year. That sounds about right. Hey Free Press- how about $20 for a year?  You still want to deliver me to your advertisers don’t you?

June 8, 2012   1 Comment

Leopold: Ashe and Wright Knew

Here is the video of Jonathan Leopold telling Matty Tanner and “Mike Jones” that the Board of Finance was briefed in May of 2008 about Burlington Telecom’s inability to get financing and of its continued use of pooled city cash in violation of its certificate of public good.  May 2008 was about a year before the story broke and almost a year before the re-election of mayor Bob Kiss.  If Kurt Wright had wanted to, or had been smart enough to, he certainly could have used that information in the last election, and he probably would have won. You may recall that at the time the Board of Finance was made up of the following five people- Mayor Kiss, Chief Administrative officer Leopold and a city councilor from each party.  Democrat Andy Montroll, Republican Kurt Wright and Progressive Time Ashe.

Assuming Kurt Wright is the Republican nominee- he’s going to have to answer for this soon enough, but right now the Democratic party has a choice to make in about a week.  Are you telling me they’re going to be stupid enough to nominate Progressive Tim Ashe with that kind of baggage?  Jesus Christ!  I almost dare the Dems to do it because it would be so comically self-defeating.  First of all, he’s not even a Dem.  Duh.  Secondly he would lose!  Given the choice between Wright and Ashe, many moderate Dems and Indpendents like me would vote for Kurt.  People feel the city needs a change and a shake up.  Tim Ashe loudly proclaimed Kiss, Leopold and BT to be resounding success stories when he nominated Kiss for re-election.  He’s about as far from “change” and “shake-up” as it gets.

And Where’s Lloyd Benson when you need him?  This week the Vermont chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers called Ashe the best choice saying  “Tim Ashe is a young Bernie Sanders.”  That’s like saying The Phantom Menace is as good as the orignal Star Wars.  Ridiculous on its face.   Somebody’s got to say it…

“Senator, I served with Bernie Sanders. I knew Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Bernie Sanders.”

November 6, 2011   9 Comments

Tabula Rasa

I’ve decided to clean up the blog a little for spring.  For a while at least, I’m going to have fewer items on my sidebars and only display one post at a time on the front page.  Also, the header image will not change each time the page refreshes.  I’m embracing my minimalistic tendencies.

March 29, 2011   8 Comments

Categories and Twitter

I just spent some time categorizing hundreds of blog posts under the list of topics to the left.  You are most welcome to click on any category and read its associated posts. 

Also I put a Twitter button up.  Click that to go to my Twitter page.

Thank you for reading  Visit often!

December 30, 2010   2 Comments

College Street Cam

From: Haik Bedrosian []
Subject: “Church Steeet Cam”
I clicked on the “Church Street Cam” feature on the front page of your website, and its view is of College Street. You should probably rename the feature “College Street Cam” if you want to be accurate.
RE: “Church Steeet Cam”
From: “Rebecca Holt”
To: “‘Haik Bedrosian’”
We appreciate the feedback and suggestion.
From: “Farre, David”
To: “” , “Holt, Rebecca”
You’re right! I’ve changed it to say College Street instead of Church.
David Farré
Digital Developer | Burlington Free Press
Re: “Church Steeet Cam”
From: “Holt, Rebecca” Add sender to ContactsTo: “”
Good suggestion. We are making the change.
Becky Holt
Associate Editor / Digital
The Burlington Free Press
From: “Haik Bedrosian”
To: “DavidFarre”
Thanks David. I think it also makes more sense because of the storied history of The Burlington Free Press at its College Street address these many years. College Street is part of your identity! Enjoy the sunshine today!

March 24, 2010   Comments Off

Associated Press Editor

Hey- I just got to play Associated Press editor again this morning. A top AP story on yahoo looked this way when I woke up today…

With the writer saying

“Yes you can,” Barack Obama declared, brushing off his campaign slogan and adapting it for his foreign audience.

So I wrote a very simple email to the writer asking ‘Don’t you mean “dusting off” his old campaign slogan?’ Lo and behold- a little later this morning it looks like this…

Isn’t it crazy how easy it can be to change what millions of people are looking at?

July 11, 2009   2 Comments

Local Media Errors

Welcome to BurlingtonPol’s new feature- “Local Media Errors” where I’ll be bringing attention to some of the misleading statements and egregious errors of fact that frequently appear in our local media. Burlington Free Press, Seven Days and WCAX- this is your warning. You’re not getting paid to get it wrong. From now on when you make a mistake, or when you’re just too damn lazy to get the facts right, you’ll have to answer to the Great and Powerful BurlingtonPol and my army of loyal readers.

The first person to receive this blog’s swift and merciless justice is Sam Hemmingway from The Burlington Free Press. Today online and on the front page the physical newspaper above the fold, Hemmingway writes:

“A dejected Kurt Wright said he might challenge the instant runoff vote system that had him ahead in the contest for mayor of Burlington for two rounds of vote counting.”

One could make a semantic argument that asking for a recount would “challenge” the system to prove the votes were counted correctly, but Sam should know damn well that what Kurt would be challenging is the count only, not instant runoff voting itself.

In my interview with him on February 22, Kurt wright said very cleary that he would not challenge IRV because it was supported by the voters. Kurt said:

“I was asked by Channel Three News when they talked about IRV last week if- because I was the only candidate that had some issues with IRV- I mean I think there’s pros and cons to it- so they asked if I was elected would I work to overturn the system, and my answer is no, because voters voted for it. If there was any move to overturn IRV, I think it would have to be a citizen lead initiative.”

Maybe Hemmingway worded it that way to stir-up more debate about IRV, but it’s wrong, it’s poor reporting, and I’m calling him on it.

Local error-riddled media- this is your wake up call. Get it right or be destroyed. The choice is yours.

March 4, 2009   1 Comment

Today’s Fight with the AP

It’s Monday. Let’s pick a fight with the Associated Press.

Did you know that all AP reporters can be reached via a single email mnemonic? First Initial, Last Name at AP dot org. I email the people that write the top stories on Yahoo headlines all the time. And they write me back. It’s incredibly easy to contact these people. And it’s fun! But, don’t abuse the power, or they’ll shut it off, just like all good things.

Here is what happened Monday morning. That’s yesterday to you if you’re reading this Tuesday. The AP runs a story about how US CITIZEN (and terror suspect) Jose Padilla was essentially being tortured by OUR GOVERNMENT while being held for YEARS WITHOUT CHARGE!!

Here’s a link to the story. (The “US Citizen” Version (Yay Me!))

Here’s the email exchange:

From: Haik Bedrosian []
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 10:08 AM
To: Anderson, Curt
Subject: Jose Padilla

Dear Curt Anderson,

Why did you fail to include the fact that Jose Padilla is an American citzen who was held without charges for three years in your story this morning?

Don’t you think that’s an important aspect of the story, or do you work for the Bush Administration?

Haik Bedrosian
Burlington, VT

Subject: RE: Jose Padilla
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 10:20:21 -0500
From:”Anderson, Curt”
To: “Haik Bedrosian”

I believe that information is in the story. Did you read all the way to the bottom?

Thanks for your interest,

Curt Anderson


Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 07:29:28 -0800 (PST)
From: “Haik Bedrosian”
Subject: RE: Jose Padilla
To: “Anderson, Curt”

I read it to the end. It’s not there.


Mon, 4 Dec 2006 08:21:11 -0800 (PST)
From:”Haik Bedrosian”
Subject:RE: Jose Padilla
To:”Anderson, Curt”

Well? Are you going to quote me the part you “believe” is in there. or are you going to admit you were wrong?

Subject:RE: Jose Padilla
Date:Mon, 4 Dec 2006 11:32:01 -0500
From:”Anderson, Curt”
To:”Haik Bedrosian”

This is our latest version. I have added the words “U.S. citizen” in the third-to-last graf, in case the “Chicago gang member” reference does not make that clear. You obviously are following this case quite closely. I appreciate your pointing out flaws in our stories. It’s not necessary, though, to be confrontational about it. I am just a journalist trying to do a job. I have no agenda.



Date:Mon, 4 Dec 2006 09:16:45 -0800 (PST)
From:”Haik Bedrosian”
Subject:RE: Jose Padilla
To:”Anderson, Curt”

Thanks for adding “US Citizen.” That’s extremely important. “Chicago gang member” hardly means “US Citizen.” I’m sorry if you don’t appreciate my tone, but if the president isn’t going to fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, then I’m afraid the rest of us have to do it, niceties be damned.

Keep up the good work.


Date:Mon, 4 Dec 2006 09:23:12 -0800 (PST)
From:”Haik Bedrosian”
Subject:RE: Jose Padilla
To:”Anderson, Curt”

The story is off Yahoo’s front page now. It’s under “US News” with the following title:

Images show Padilla in chains, goggles
By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer 9 minutes ago

The word citizen still does not appear. I’ll keep watch for it.

By the way, were you born here, Curt, or are you a naturalized Chicago gang member?

That’s a joke, obviously, but I think you get my point.

Post Script-

Later Monday Night I caught Brian Williams’s Shit eating broadcast version of the ‘Padilla Was Tortured’ story on NBC. Of course Williams didn’t say “Padilla was tortured” and like the first version of the AP wire story, never mentioned the fact Jose Padilla is an AMERICAN CITIZEN which, if I’m not mistaken, is why his story is in the news in the first place.

As a CHILD I learned that America is unique because a king can’t just throw you in his dungeon without proving you committed a specific crime. That’s what makes America. That’s it. Bush should be impeached. He’s the madness of king George and he thinks he’s all that, but he was lying when he took the oath of office. We don’t do kings in America.

December 5, 2006   Comments Off