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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘Know your audience’

To The Editor:


Re: The article entitled “Meet the new tattooist in town” in the February 8, 2013, issue of The Valley Reporter.

There were, in my estimation, some inaccuracies, poorly chosen descriptors and lackluster editing in the above-mentioned article in The Valley Reporter last week. As the owner of the physical property, I took umbrage in the terminology used. While I may be able to attribute some of it to the reporting, the editing also needs to be held accountable.

In the second paragraph, I did not even recognize the features written about my house, my home of 60-plus years (and I know that house pretty well). “Colonial”? To those of you who know our place, really? Does anyone see that lovely old farmhouse as a colonial house? Therein began my concerns regarding the integrity of the whole article. The story went on to describe the house as “dilapidated and deserted” . . . wow! Was the house livable? No, it had just had over five feet of water roll through it (oops, there is another inaccuracy by the reporter). In my estimation, being unlivable is much different from dilapidated and deserted.

Anyone driving south from Moretown village would have seen one or both of the owners’ vehicles, as well as any number of the 80-plus friends/volunteers who helped with the cleanup and that cleanup went on through winter and into spring 2012. Someone was in the house working almost every day, either before or after work. There were interior lights on; there were Christmas lights strung. Deserted? Absolutely not.

I feel as though The Valley Reporter must have been really busy last week. No one called me to verify anything that was written about our wonderful, old house. While the article about my friend Meredith was an okay article, the paragraph about the house could have just as easily been deleted or at the very least put in less offensive, more compassionate terminology.

“Know your audience” . . . some of the best advice known to all. The audience of The Valley Reporter, the readers of the article last week, that audience is comprised of an awful lot of folks connected with or survivors of Hurricane Irene. My sister and I are just two of them and our house is one, as well, with quite possibly more integrity than the article!

MaryIna Goodyear Peterson


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