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17th Street Market Needs Positive Press

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Regarding Deveron Timberlake's story regarding the growth of the Forest Hill Park farmers' market ("Pie Eyed in the South Side," Food & Drink, July 2): The writer's ability to create a scene for the reader is impressive, and giving a spotlight to local vendors is a must to receive positive public response. Once readers see this article, they will surely want to visit the market, and even purchase a pie or two.

Though the story was enjoyable, the entry was a true "kick in the teeth" for the vendors, neighbors, businesses and associations trying to make the 17th Street Farmers' Market a success. For over a year, for example, the individuals who now form the Richmond Farmers Market Advancement Association have worked to get positive publicity for the market while pointing out the issues we face.

Though we are not affiliated with the city, we pride ourselves on the oldest, most historic market in the state. Anytime a negative article regarding the market is published, it only furthers the negative view the public has on this venue. We have many great vendors that are dedicated to this market and would do anything to keep it alive.
Further, we have just as many enthusiastic neighbors around this market who want to see it succeed. We also have the free parking, strollers and well-mannered dogs that give this a community feeling.

In short, publishing this article is directly attacking all our actions to save the 17th Street market. We need all the positive influence the press can give.
With this said, we invite Deveron Timberlake to see all this venue has to offer. Maybe with a review as wonderful as was given to the Forest Hill market, we may be able to get more visitors. The more visitors we get, the better this market will become, in turn giving you more to write about. It's a full circle that starts with a little positive press.

Scott Sibley, Chairman
Richmond F.M.A.A.

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