There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see ...
OK, yes, I realize that Klondike doggerel is both inappropriate to and unworthy of America's 14th state, Vermont, and its largest city, Burlington. But after a stretch of seeing Burlington-area Burmese refugees, energy-efficiency pioneers, dot-com successes, urban-development theorists, manufacturing innovators, food-and-beer entrepreneurs, activists for and against bringing F-35s to town, local pols and business people, and others, I feel propelled into the "queerest they ever did see" realm by one particular discovery.
In Burlington there is a print newspaper that:
- Has a three-times-larger print distribution now than it did at its inception in the mid-1990s;
- Has a healthy print-and-digital classified-ad section, including a robust set of recruitment ads and "help wanted" listings (400+ when I checked this afternoon, in a city of 40,000+ and a surrounding metro area several times that large);
- Employs more people now than it ever has before; and
- Is on pace for its best year ever in total revenue, up by more than 20% from its high before the crash of 2008.