Good Morning, Burlington!
<Quick announcement: The construction detour around Francis Wyman begins today. Plan your travel accordingly, and don’t plan to take Francis Wyman Road during the day.>
There’s nothing on the town agenda today, which means it’s a perfect time for me to spend a few minutes reminding you fine folks about what the Buzz is, how it started, and how it’s going.
Plenty of you have been with me since the beginning, so feel free to skip today’s email (or scroll down if you’re ready to become a paying member). But I do find it really nice to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last six-ish months.
I wrote this whole thing and then realized I didn’t talk about myself at all. How dare I? So here I am, inserting a paragraph about me:
I am a writer, educator, and mom to 3. My youngest, my sidekick, my mini-me, is Baby Buzz - a misleading name considering he’s nearly a preschooler now. You’ll probably catch a glimpse of him with me around town. I write all kinds of things, from poems to essays to novels, and am in the process of trying to find a home for my first novel - after which, I will be writing many, many more of them. My essays about motherhood, grief, and body image have been published in a lot of places, and sometimes I share them here. I’ve spent years cultivating my voice as a writer, and I think I’ve finally found it. If you like it, you’re encouraged to sign up to my weekly author newsletter, where I almost never mention local government. 😉
In late January, seeing the local election on the horizon and realizing I was woefully undereducated on our local government (and sensing many of my neighbors were in the same boat), I started writing daily Facebook posts about the different facets of our local government. The posts were so well-received that, after a few weeks of interviewing folks and sharing my learnings with y’all, I started thinking about establishing my own news publication. When I learned the local paper was going to convert to regional and all-online, my decision was kind of made for me. As Daniel Ricciardo says, sometimes you’ve just got to lick the stamp and send it (nods to the three readers who understand this reference, one of whom is my husband).
I launched the official version of my “politics posts” (which I rebranded “government posts” because they really have nothing to do with politics) as Burlington Buzz on February 20, 2022. Since then, I’ve reached out to my community almost every single day with a summary of what was, what is, and what will be happening in Burlington.
Also since then, some really cool things have happened:
I received the Enthusiastic Newcomer of the Year award from BCAT.
The Buzz was accepted into Local Independent Online News (LION).
I was invited to participate in a program called “Substack Grow” that helps writers on this platform grow their business - and which is helping me improve my author newsletter, as well.
We have added two volunteer (yet appreciated beyond words!) contributors, Judy Wasserman (local history and human interest) and Tony Salamone (Sports).
Last week, the Buzz reached 10,000 folks on Facebook, and the email subscriber list continues growing daily.
I introduced myself to someone last week and she said, “Wait. You’re not Nicci Kadilak, are you?” 😂🤣😳
The mission of the Buzz has always been clear in my mind: to inform and connect. I believe our community is better when we are curious, aware, and engaged. I do my best to report in a neutral way, while acknowledging that I have biases and blind spots. I stay away from national politics (because it is a dumpster fire and) because I believe that when we get to know one another on an individual level, divorced from ideology and dogma, we can learn from one another, build empathy, and see how much overlap really exists in our desires for the community in which we live.
Some will say (actually, shockingly, no one has yet, but I’m always prepared) that my outspoken support for things like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and LGBTQIA+ rights, among other things, goes against my apolitical stance. But I disagree that human rights are political and, hopefully, you trust me enough to know that, despite any difference of opinion we might have, I’m willing to talk and listen, teach and learn. Connection and empathy helps us all.
This is mostly a volunteer effort, and just about everything we publish is free to everyone, forever. Still, paid subscriptions definitely help me do Buzzy things like create merchandise (on hold for the moment, but coming soon!), find time to do podcast interviews, and the like.
You can always become a paid subscriber here. There are $5 monthly plans, $50 yearly plans, or an option to name your own annual price above $50. Many print newspaper subscriptions are (were?) $150 or more, so I do try to keep it manageable while also giving you the flexibility to contribute more if you’d like.
If monthly subscriptions aren’t your thing, you can offer one-time or whenever-you-feel-like-it support here. You can choose any dollar amount and contribute as often as you’d like.
If you’d rather Venmo me or write me a check, just get in touch and we’ll work something out.
The Buzz started on Facebook, and that’s still where most of our activity is, but you can also find us on Twitter and Instagram. You’re also welcome (encouraged) to leave a review on Facebook and recommend the Buzz so others can discover it more easily.
That’s all for now. If there’s ever anything you think we should be covering, or an event you’d like to help us publicize, just email or DM me and, if it falls in line with our publication’s objectives, we’ll get the word out for you!
Have a great day, and I’ll see you soon!
I guess you forgot to leave your communication device home for the week. Based on that I ask you and Judy what your thoughts are on the CPA project the town is approaching this fall at election time.
Stay tuned to your local station for further information. Film will not be at 11!
Thanks for the reminder about Francis Wyman Rd. detours. Take a walk down it the next few weeks and get a feel what Burlington was like back in the early 50s. Enjoy.
Super great post ! :-)