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April 02, 2008

Seven Days Hires Shay Totten As New Political Columnist

Stop the presses!

Veteran Vermont journalist Shay Totten will be taking over as our new political columnist. We sent out a press release earlier today.


Vermont’s only alternative weekly, Seven Days has a new political columnist: Shay Totten of Burlington will take over the beat previously covered by Peter Freyne, who retired his popular “Inside Track” column two weeks ago.

Totten, 39, is an experienced, award-winning Vermont journalist who — coincidentally — wrote the very first story about Seven Days when it launched 13 years ago, in 1995. Totten left The Burlington Free Press to become editor of Vermont Times (now the Vermont Times Sentinel). In 2001, then-Vermont State Auditor Liz Ready hired him as her special assistant.

Three years later, Totten was back in journalism, in the top job at the now-defunct Vermont Guardian, overseeing two offices — in Winooski and Brattleboro — and a daily website. The independent newsweekly regularly focused its editorial energies on the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, as well as statewide politics and the legislature.

When the Guardian folded last year, Totten joined White River Junction-based Chelsea Green Publishing as the company’s editorial director. But the job still afforded him a reportorial outlet in “Shay’s Lounge,” a monthly column for Vermont Public Television’s “Vermont This Week” program, for which he also serves as political analyst.

Taking over the Seven Days political column, however, proved too tempting an opportunity to pass up. “Shay’s at just the right point in his career,” says publisher and co-editor Paula Routly. “He’s been around long enough to have an institutional memory of Vermont news and still has energy enough to wrap himself around a big investigative job like this.” She adds, “After observing the local political scene from almost every angle, he can hit the ground running.”

Totten’s byline will appear regularly in Seven Days starting May 7.

Seven Days is also happy to announce that on April 9, it will receive the “Business of the Year” award from the Burlington Business Association, given for “exemplary business practices, contributions to the community, promotion of a positive image for Burlington and business success.”

Seven Days — — is Vermont’s largest independent newsweekly and the region’s premier source of news, opinion, arts info, job listings, personals and classifieds. Seven Days also publishes the 7 Nights dining guide and NOW e-newsletter.

Having been an admirer and fan of Peter Freyne for twenty years, 7 Days couldn't have picked a better reporter nor a nicer guy to fill the void.

Excellent choice!

Shay Totten is an awesome choice. Couldn't be a better replacement for Freyne. Good luck, Shay!!

Best Man for the job!

This is great!

I would like to suggest a few topics for his return debut!

What is CVPS and GMP doing to respond to the Vermont Energy Forum results which clearly state that we want renewable Energy generation in state and energy conservation and efficiency measures NOW. See Forum Results here.

Why have CVPS and GMP not planned for the expiration of the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) Reactor in 2012? Have they put all their (and our) eggs in one basket that is starting to unravel? They have known for 35 yrs that the license was going to expire.

Just how close is the working and financial relationship between ENVY and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Company (VYNPC) and CVPS and GMP?? ENVY sells 500 MW of electricity to VYNPC at 4.5 cents/kw. But Vermont only uses 250MW of that 500MW. Where and how much is the rest going or being sold for? And where are the profits going? Would that be why CVPS and GMP want ENVY relicensed?? and ASSUME that it will be??

Thank you

Seven Days could not have made a better choice. Shay is not only a great writer but a fantastic human being. I look forward to reading his columns.

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