Statement on Vermont's Peter Freyne

Vermont lost an institution of journalism today with the passing of Seven Days newspaper columnist Peter Freyne.?? ? Sen. Sanders said, "Peter Freyne was one of the most remarkable individuals I ever met, and I am going to miss him very much.? As a friend and occasional antagonist for over 25 years, I knew Peter to be brilliant, honest, courageous and unusually observant.?In addition, he was prickly, annoying, and utterly relentless in getting the information that he wanted."

Vermont lost an institution of journalism with the passing of Seven Days newspaper columnist Peter Freyne. Sen. Sanders said, "Peter Freyne was one of the most remarkable individuals I ever met, and I am going to miss him very much. As a friend and occasional antagonist for over 25 years, I knew Peter to be brilliant, honest, courageous and unusually observant. In addition, he was prickly, annoying, and utterly relentless in getting the information that he wanted."

"I first encountered Peter when I became mayor of Burlington in 1981. While he was supportive of many of my initiatives, it was not unusual for us to have strong differences of opinion, to say the least, about some of the decisions I made as mayor.

"A small memory of mine reveals his quirky but perceptive personality. I remember an event that I held as mayor to talk about our success in repaving Burlington's streets. We served sandwiches. Peter ate about half of them. In his next column, he commented about the absurdity of serving sandwiches at such an event. He was right, as he was on so many other occasions.

"He was also right about bigger issues, including the war in Iraq, which he felt very strongly about. At almost every press conference that he attended, he in one way or another made clear his disgust with the war.

"He was also right in being the lead reporter in Vermont prepared to take on the scandal several years ago at Fletcher Allen Hospital, which ended with the CEO receiving a prison sentence.

"I think it is fair to say that Peter was an institution in the state of Vermont. He will be missed by thousands of his readers, he will be missed by his many friends, and he will most assuredly be missed by me."