Vermont Gossip

Vermont Gossip Vermont Gossip interviews Vermonters and residents of the surrounding area to bring their perspectives to life.
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08/09/2016

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Rutland Man Supports Sending Special Units In After Groups Destroying the EnvironmentDavid Shappy, 49, has lived in Verm...
06/06/2016

Rutland Man Supports Sending Special Units In After Groups Destroying the Environment

David Shappy, 49, has lived in Vermont all his life.

Vermont Gossip: "Do you live in Rutland?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yes."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the community of Rutland is strong?"

Mr. Shappy: "No, because the economy isn't that strong, not enough local businesses, a lot of unemployment."

Vermont Gossip: "Is there a central place or location to hang out in your community?"

Mr. Shappy: "Well, I'm pretty much a homebody, so...there seems to be a lot of bars still, it's always been a bar town. So I think a lot of the youth might congregate in the bars, but I'd like to see more restaurants and clothing stores. Things open downtown like it used to be. I'd like to see a more vibrant downtown."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see community dances, and if they were held would you attend?"

Mr. Shappy: "I don't know if I'd attend, I'd like to see it for the community. I'd like to see more rec sponsored things for the youth, like there used to be in the sixties and the seventies. The Rutland Rec Department were more active with the youth in the community."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe there are health benefits to going out and having public social engagements?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, I think there's always a benefit to having people interact with people. When I was growing up I knew all of my neighbors on my street on a first name basis, and now I just know my next door neighbors. I don't know many of my neighbors anymore and I think that's the same in most neighborhoods. I think neighbors have lost track with each other in this day and age."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see them get back in touch with being good neighbors?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, I think that would help, yeah."

Vermont Gossip: "What can be done to deal with the heroin and opioid crisis in Vermont?"

Mr. Shappy: "I think more accessibility to treatment. I think there's some treatment and some doctors, and there's a clinic and there's Serenity House and Grace House and places like that, but a lot of times I think that you've gotta jump through hoops to get into some of these places. You gotta wait seven months to see a doctor or you gotta go through all these programs to get into a treatment facility or to get into certain treatment houses you have to go to an inpatient treatment facility. I think you have to have easier access to health, without so many technicalities getting in the way because I think people when they have an addiction problem, if it comes down to having a hard road to recovery and having an easy road to getting access to drugs, they're going to take the easy access to getting drugs rather than the hard road to recovery."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you support pairing Vermont youth with law enforcement in an effort to combat drug abuse?"

Mr. Shappy: "No, because I think the Rutland police are a poor example of law enforcement in general. I think especially the younger officers on the force. I don't think they do a good job, some of the older officers I think do a fine job. The younger officers I think are a poor representation of the force. So I wouldn't want the community intermingling with them because I don't think they represent Rutland."

Vermont Gossip: "After a terrorist attack or mass shooting the media often makes the killers famous with pictures and names. Do you think this could inspire others to carry out copycat attacks because they want to become famous?"

Mr. Shappy: "Well I think you gotta balance that with the public's right to know, you know access to information. So, sure there might be somebody out there domestically or internationally who wants to be the next Osama Bin Ladin, but there's also the public's need to know that there is an Osama Bin Ladin out there or someone like him. We have a right to know about these people."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think that the older generations are supportive enough of the younger generations?"

Mr. Shappy: "Well there's always going to be a divide. It was that way when I was younger. The older generation just said we didn't get it, we said the older generation didn't get it. So you're going to have that in any generation. So I don't think it's any different with this generation now than the older generations. It might seem that way because of the social media, it just seems that way because it's more out there. It's seen more out there because of the social media. There's a greater divide, but I think there's always been one."

Vermont Gossip: "What do you do for work?"

Mr. Shappy: "I'm a home care provider for my girlfriend. She has kidney failure, so I take care of her."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you like living in Vermont?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, I wouldn't live anywhere else."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that elementary school students should be taught how to grow food in a hands-on environment?"

Mr. Shappy: "Well I think elementary school students should go to one school from Kindergarten to sixth grade. How they school them there, I'm not sure, but I don't like this idea of having elementary school students go to three or four schools. That's another pet peeve I have. If they live in one district, they should go to one school. Kindergarten to sixth grade, just the way it's always been, instead of this idea you go to Kindergarten to second grade and then you switch schools and you go to third grade at some other school and you switch schools, I think to me that is ridiculous, and I think that's why there's a problem with education today is because the way the school system is in Rutland."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you wish you knew more about how your ancestors spent summers and winters in Vermont or where ever they're from?"

Mr. Shappy: "I never really thought of it. No."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?"

Mr. Shappy: "Like a shop class? Sure."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see charging stations for electric cars in parking lots and on city streets?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, you see a lot of hybrid cars out there so I think they should have that option."

Vermont Gossip: "Researchers at the University of Iowa found that driving while under the influence of marijuana causes no impairment. Do you support Montpelier's aggressive effort to crack down on stoned drivers if they legalize weed?"

Mr. Shappy: "Well I don't have any problem with anybody smoking weed, but I don't think it's wise to smoke like three blunts and then start driving through town. That doesn't make any sense to me. Why would you want to get high and then get in a car and go cruising? That doesn't make too much sense to me."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that Hollywood and advertising corrupts the minds of our kids with all the sex and violence and unrealistic versions of life that is found in the media?"

Mr. Shappy: "I think it can to some degree. I think if you look at Hollywood and some of the portrayals of some of the actors and actresses and lifestyles and you look at it as being realistic, if you look at that as though it's reality I think it can give you a warped sense of reality. If you don't look at it as if that's just acting, that's not real. If you don't look at it for the entertainment value I think you can warp your mind. If you understand that it's just entertainment I think you can be alright from it."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that internet pornography is making sexual delinquents out of Vermont teens?"

Mr. Shappy: "No. I mean when I was that age we used to look at our parent's Playboys and Penthouses and I turned out alright."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you support using the military to threaten people who were killing off elephants and orangutans and people who threaten our survival?'

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, I could see sending in groups like that into countries that are harvesting elephant tusks and rhino tusks. Sending in like a special forces unit and telling them to knock off the poaching. I have no objection to something like that. Scare the hell out of them, put the fear of God in them."

Vermont Gossip: "Seven in ten Americans take prescription medicine and children in America are twenty-five times more likely than children in the UK to be prescribed medication for ADHD. Do you believe that doctors are over prescribing medications, or do you think that these medications are really improving out lives?"

Mr. Shappy: "No, they're over prescribing. I don't blame the children or the doctors, I blame the parents because they want an easy out, so they want their kids medicated and I think it's a different culture over in Europe. I think they take a more hands-on approach with children, or if they don't then they find a nanny or a house sitter or someone like that who can substitute for them. So even if they're not the best of parents over there, they at least find someone who will take care of their children, not a medication. I think in this country we just say 'Johnny's a little hyper give him some Ritalin'. I think that's been going on, it's not just recently. This has been going on since the early seventies that kids have been medicated. When I was in Kindergarten we had kids that were on Ritalin. So it's not a new problem, it's been going on for generations now, and like I said, I blame the parents, not the kids and not the doctors. It's the parents who go to these doctors and say 'I can't handle my kids, he needs to be on something.' and the doctors are put between a rock and a hard place."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe our instincts are as complex as other animals?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that emotions are instincts that were selected by nature for survival?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, I believe that."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that humans will survive as a species for the next million years?"

Mr. Shappy: "No."

Vermont Gossip: "Does that bother you?"

Mr. Shappy: "No. I think you know, we'll run our course. Maybe another advanced species will come and take our place. I think the earth will still be here. I think there will be some advanced species instead of us, or maybe some advanced species of human. It might look nothing like us in a couple hundred thousand years, to the point where we couldn't call them humans. We'd have to call them something else."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think that there are human leaders who don't care about whether the world ends in their children's lifetime, or the next generations lifetime?"

Mr. Shappy: "Maybe. It's hard to really get inside someone's head. It's hard to say, I would hope not."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you ever just sit back and think about all the sacrifices your forefathers made to get us to this point?"

Mr. Shappy: "Yeah, and I think about how they messed things up to get us to where we are too. You can't think of the good without the bad."

Ray Lewis Jr., 32, lives in Rutland. He has lived in Vermont for four years. Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the community...
04/25/2016

Ray Lewis Jr., 32, lives in Rutland. He has lived in Vermont for four years.

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the community of Rutland is strong?"

Mr. Lewis: "In its own way yes. In some ways they could work on it. I see a lot of good people out there helping each other out every time I go to the super market and one time I didn't have that much money for my groceries, a person in back helped me with my groceries. You know they do got good people out here, but you got some messed up a-holes you know? I don't want to curse for that part. You got some bad people that don't listen. People gotta understand that you gotta have patience. You know it's all about the patience and praying to the lord above. You know?"

Vermont Gossip: "Is there a central place, location to hang out in Rutland that you know of?"

Mr. Lewis: "I do not know for young people. My bud told me a good place is the Boys and Girls Club, but I don't know for us adults they've got bars, but what if you're not a drinker? Where's a good place for us?"

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see a central place to hang out in Rutland?"

Mr. Lewis: "Yeah."

Vermont Gossip: "If there were community dances held would you attend? Would you support that?"

Mr. Lewis: "I would support it with my finacee, yeah."

Vermont Gossip: "What do you think could be done to make the community stronger?"

Mr. Lewis: "Everybody just look out for each other. Brotherly love like Philadelphia. That's what people form Philadelphia do, the brotherly love, the unconditional love for each other. That's what we need up here."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the older generations are supportive enough of the younger generations?"

Mr. Lewis: "Sometimes. Sometimes they just worry about themselves."

Vermont Gossip: "What's newsworthy and relevant in your life?"

Mr. Lewis: "I'm moving again. My parents is moving again. I'd say I like it a little bit here. They just need to have some place, somewhere to go to have fun other than stay home constantly and not get out nowhere."

Vermont Gossip: "So where are you moving to?"

Mr. Lewis: "Um she won't tell me yet. It's a surprise."

Vermont Gossip: "You're moving with them? So you're leaving Vermont?"

Mr. Lewis: "Yeah, but I'll come back by myself or with my fiancee to live out my life here."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think you'll live out the rest of your life here in Vermont?"

Mr. Lewis: "If I can, if I can't then I'll stay where I'm at, but I want to come back. It's just that they have to be something poppy you know? Like a club, not like a club-club where you drink, like a club to socialize with people and play games and you know, how can I say it? You know with different stuff to do like a treasure hunt type or stuff like different games like that."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you like living in Vermont?"

Mr. Lewis: "Yeah I really do."

04/19/2016

Chittenden Man Makes Impassioned Case for More Treatment for Heroin Addicts

Roland Smith, 35, has lived in Vermont all his life. He lives in Chittenden.

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the community of Chittenden is strong?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah, for the most part, you know, I mean they got a good background, you know, they got good, they have, they do good stuff for the community, you know, as small as the town is. I mean there's a lot of people who go on that have second homes there. So they're not full time residents. They could always use more jobs, or more businesses. I mean, they got a couple decent businesses there and there's some people that do their own company work and stuff like construction things like that you know. Small businesses.

Vermont Gossip: "Is there a central place to hang out in Chittenden?"

Mr. Smith: "Not really, unless you consider the playground at the school. I mean, they got tennis courts and the playground for like, but they don't really have like a park or anything."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see one?"

Mr. Smith: "I mean we have a lot of national forest in town. There's the Chittenden resevoir and stuff, so there's, you know there's stuff to do. And there's a hike, there's trails you know you can hike on the VASA trails and stuff, you know, so I think as far as like a park park, no not really. I mean because they got everything at the playground at the school that you would have in a park pretty much."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see community dances and if they were held would you attend?"

Mr. Smith: "I'd like to see something, like you know dances or you know like plays or something like that maybe, but I dont dance so as far as dancing goes, no not me personally."

Vermont Gossip: "What do you think could be done to deal with the heroin and opioid crisis in Vermont?"

Mr. Smith: "I think they should let more doctors be able to prescribe help if the people want it because the waiting lists are so long, and as far as shutting down pharmacies or whatever for selling i guess needles to people that aren't just diabetic, they're putting a crunch on the people that were doing drugs using them...chance of getting infections because they were reusing needles and they weren't able to get new ones. And they just got the needle exchange in Rutland like a year ago, which is a good thing, you know, but they come around like once a week or once every two weeks. Like, if they had more things like that...I mean I know that's not necessarily helping it's kind of giving em a crutch to get away on, but it's a lot better than spreading disease."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think the older generations are supportive enough of the younger generations in Vermont?"

Mr. Smith: "Not necessarily because i feel that some of the older people in Vermont don't really they don't understand like uh, the crisis of, like they think, 'Oh yeah you can just quit drugs and it's okay.' But it's not. It's kind of like alcoholism, it's bad. I mean you can't necessarily die from it like you can from detoxing from alcohol but the old people don't support the want to have more help to come in for the drug addicts, you know like more doctors being able to prescribe Suboxon and needle exchange, or the clinic, there's not a lot of older people who are real supportive of that.

Vermont Gossip: "What's newsworthy and relevant in your life right now?"

Mr. Smith: "I'm just waiting for spring so I can go back to doing construction again. That's pretty much what I'm waiting for right now. I mean I don't have any real happy things going on in my life. I'm an only child and I just kind of stick to myself for the most part."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you like living in Vermont?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah, but I'd like to go somewhere else and see what it's like. You know, like South or maybe towards the West. I've never been down South or out West. I'm getting a little older I should see some of the country."

Vermont Gossip: "Are you married?"

Mr. Smith: "Yes I am."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you have kids?"

Mr. Smith: "No."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah, and most of that's due to lack of respect from the younger generation to the older generation. I mean I see that a lot like...kids they don't really have any respect for their parents or anything nowadays. Course it's also in how they're raised. I mean I was raised where you're seen and not heard. That kind of thing."

Vermont Gossip: "Explain 'seen not heard.' What does that mean?"

Mr. Smith: "Like children are meant to be seen and not heard. You only spoken if spoken to. They don't get all rowdy and make a bunch of noise and stuff. They play with their toys and sit on the couch or wherever, and there's other adults talking and stuff, they don't try to always interrupt."

Vermont Gossip: "And that worked for you?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah, for the most part, I mean I have consideration for my older generation, and I don't interrupt people all the time, and I didn't lash out when I was a kid. I didn't get in trouble as much as some of the other kids that whose parents didn't discipline them as much. Maybe I got a little too much, but I didn't get beat and I didn't get put in a closet. I didn't get reprimanded and I can remember the five or six times I did get reprimanded was cuz of something I did that I wasn't supposed to."

Vermont Gossip: "So you believe we do have to reprimand kids when they do something wrong?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah, maybe not physically. Maybe not like total spanking, stuff like that, cuz that can get out of control very easily."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe elementary school students should be taught how to grow food in a hands on environment?"

Mr. Smith: "You mean like garden? Yeah. They should have more I guess like recreation stuff for the kids to do, like growing their own garden or learning about, yeah like growing gardens, surviving, being able to grow your own food and build stuff out of nothing, really. It would be able to help you even if you were living in a city and you wanted to grow plants. You'd have some sort of background on how to maintain them so they won't die all the time."

Vermont Gossip: "Have you heard of David Zuckerman? He's a senator in Northern Vermont. He's running for lieutenant governor this year and he's a farmer."

Mr. Smith: "I worked on a farm since I was like 12 years old off and on. It's a good education working on a farm."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?"

Mr. Smith: "Yeah. I mean even though there is more exotic wood out there that you can make furniture and stuff out of. But they should learn you know hands on and what is local that you can build stuff out of, what works best."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you like to see charging stations for electric cars in parking lots and on city streets?"

Mr. Smith: "It doesn't bother me. I've seen em around. They got em in a couple parking lots here in town. I guess it's alright if you want to charge your car and pay the money to do it. I guess that's your opinion, but I don't see where electric cars would work real good in this state."

Vermont Gossip: "Would you support an initiative to pair Vermont youth with police in an effort to combat drug abuse?"

Mr. Smith: "I think the younger kids should know that cops aren't all bad. They are good. Even though they have a tendency to come off really strong. They should have more of a presence not more of a force. Like the sheriff in my home town, he gave me a couple of three four warnings before he'd actually take you home or write you a ticket."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you believe that Hollywood and advertising corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex and violence and parties that are found in the media?"

Mr. Smith: "That there again depends on what the parents let the kids watch as well, I mean, TV isn't always controlled and monitored now. It stays on 24 hours a day seven days a week. I don't think Hollywood's totally to blame. I just think it's the way culture is advancing."

Vermont Gossip: "Seven in ten Americans take prescription medicine, and children in America are 25 times more likely than children in the UK to be prescribed medication for what doctors call ADHD, making America a very lucrative market for Big Pharma do you think doctors are over prescribing medication or do you think these medications are really improving our lives?"

Mr. Smith: "Kind of both. Sometimes doctors do prescribe a lot more medication sometimes than needed because they don't really know how to control certain people and environments because they lash out so much that they don't really know what to do. I was on Ritalin for a little while when I was a kid and I got taken off of it because one doctor in Burlington said that the doctor in Rutland didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't need to be on it. I was just a natural hyperactive kid. I wasn't acting out during class or nothing like that. Like so many other kids that have been put on the medication that I know that it did help them."

Vermont Gossip: "Do you think that we should hold doctors accountable who over-prescribe medication especially opioids and pain killers?"

Mr. Smith: "I guess it kind of depends on their record. On your past of what they've done. You know how much they've actually...if they've even been accused of using a drug. Being prescribed before and what not. I seen a thing on TV a month or so ago this doctor they were having a discussion. And this doctor said he could prescribe Oxycodone he could prescribe enough of em to keep half of New York City calm, but he could only prescribe 100 people a year Suboxone. Now that's like, pretty whacked. You know, there's a drug out there that could help some people who need the help. And they only allow doctor...any doctor that's licensed to handle that like a hundred people a year, whereas you can prescribe a bunch of pain killers to a bunch of different people over and over again."

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