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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Re: “Letters to the Editor (8/10/16)

Seven Days' attempt to justify smoking ads is faulty. Smoking is violent. Ask your lungs if sucking in particulate matter is a benign act. Cancer and other pulmonary diseases are deadly violent, to 35 year olds as well as those younger. Your position is one of greed over profit, and belies a disregard of public health. Shame on you.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jimshifty on 08/10/2016 at 6:36 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/22/16)

Well Julie, as far as "the courage to say yes" to this totally out-of-scale project which requires us to change the newly-established Zoning as set forth in Plan BTV - why would it be courage? You think we are a mob of anti-progress know-nothings at these City meetings? We show up by the dozens because we know that if the Mayor and Mr. Sinex have their way, Burlington will no longer be a livable city. Have you experienced the traffic problems we have already? This project would make them worse. Affordable housing? As Tony Redington has detailed in many letters, that's already being taken care of, and vacancy rates are going up. Pine St. dead-ends at a gigantic building which houses the Burlington Free Press, and will never be re-connected (as Mr. Sinex has proposed) without its demolition (which has never been mentioned). There is a bill of goods being sold the City Council and Planning Commission, and it is a courageous act to question it. Check out the details, if you are interested. This gift horse has bad teeth.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by stickinthemud on 06/29/2016 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/22/16)

Radcliffe's is a far more balanced and perceptive response, and not only because it is neither snide nor personal.

The so-called courage to say yes to this rushed, accommodative, and ethically questionable arrangement to sideline inconvenient zoning laws is really nothing more than the courage to jump on the mayor's bandwagon.
Michael Long

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael Long on 06/29/2016 at 1:10 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/22/16)

If you want to know how difficult it is to say either yes or no to the Sinex project, please read my summary of the last planning commission meeting on our blog coalitionforalivablecity.blogspot.com. Here is an excerpt:
There has been an enormous amount of hard work and great critical thinking happening on the planning commission over the last few weeks, as commissioners struggle to understand the repercussions of the downtown core overlay district zoning change they are charged with evaluating. The City Council has asked the Planning Commission to provide their approval or disapproval of the dramatic zoning change necessary to allow for a height increase, by right, from 65 feet to 160 feet in an area of about 2 square blocks. They are charged with doing this in an extremely short period of time. As one commissioner noted last week, they spend much more time deliberating on much smaller projects. As another commissioner said when she discovered they were expected to have a conclusion by July 6th, "You have got to be kidding!"
There are many things that make this complicated and even sometimes prohibitively convoluted, but the main question is whether they are being asked to approve a zoning change for this particular project or a general zoning change. Whatever your thoughts about the project are, it is clear that the Planning Commission would not be reviewing this change right now if it were not for Mr. Sinex's Town Center project, and it certainly wouldn't be reviewing it within an irresponsibly small window of 120 days.

-From the one with "bohemian cachet" who is too cowardly to say Yes...

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sud End on 06/29/2016 at 11:55 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/22/16)

I disagree with Julie Campoli’s viewpoint (6/22 letter) that it is easier to say “no”. In fact, the last 3 planning commission meetings have shown that the details surrounding the Sinex project can't be distilled to a simple yes or no. At the project's core is a major zoning change request. I don’t believe City Council’s pre-approval was in any way a rubber stamp on the Sinex project.

The planning commission is doing an excellent job of separating out the important considerations of a zoning change and its future implications from the push of one project, one developer. City staff pressure to say “yes” is huge. Regardless, the PC is working hard to stay objective and consider options. In this case, saying no may be the bravest move. The PC knows that public needs to be on board.

Most people say yes to the idea that something needs to be done with the old Mall and to reconnecting fully public streets. That's where the simple story ends. Is the Sinex project a good one? At only 55 (segregated) affordable units out of 274, and no plan for moderately-priced, below market rate, “workforce” or senior housing, the project does little for our housing affordability problem. The parking garage seems contrary to a walkable city. The massive bulk of the building has no park, garden or green space. The city will have to buy it's own streets back.

Innovative cities across the country and around the world are solving housing and climate change concerns with outside-the-box solutions, not a business as usual urban planning approach. Growth and change are wonderful when truly innovative. When a truly creative and sustainable project is proposed, with a focus on people, the planet and our unique Vermont environment, the answer will easily be “yes”.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Amey Radcliffe on 06/23/2016 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/1/16)

Edit~
The calculation I come up with for what Hunters and Fisherman provide to the Dept is 91%, not 94%

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bob Pierre on 06/02/2016 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/1/16)

RE Jennifer Lovett,
As an avid reader of 7-Days, I enjoy most commentary but yours caught my eye. Not for the subject but a rather bold claim.
You said, “In fact, recent studies demonstrate that 94 percent of total funding for wildlife conservation and management comes from the nonhunting public.” BIG statement there, please provide a citation of said “study”. 94%?!
As a I love to critique state budgets and spending, I am quite familiar where money comes- in and goes – out in this state.
To keep it short, here is the VT Fish and Wildlife Budget for the current, 2015 and 2014 year.
http://anr.vermont.gov/sites/anr/files/co/…
I will keep it to the rough numbers…
For the 2016 year
Income:
General Fund: 5,162,155
Licenses: 7,161,148
Federal( Pitman/Robertson/Dingal): 8,991,856
Motor Fuel; 885,000
Motorboat Reg; 200,000
In house; 197,500
Misc; 1,145,927

Now lets break that down…..
General Fund- used to offset salaries and spending to cover “non-dept mission- work” personnel, e.g. Studies for ACT 250 Permitting Process and Wildlife impact studies.
Licenses- pretty self explanatory.
Federal( Pitman/Robertson/Dingal): excise taxes on hunting, fishing and archery equipment
Motor Fuel; goes to non-game fund along with boat launch maintenance
Motorboat Reg, goes to boat launch maintenance, can
In house and misc.- who knows.
Well crushing the numbers using what applies to the “hunting and fishing” mission, I come up with 94%!! I think your read your “study” WRONG!

If I include the “General Budget” supplement, it only lowers the value to 78.2%

So your statement is backwards.
Well we talk studies, I can provide several that says, moon is made of cheese and that the Earth is flat.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bob Pierre on 06/02/2016 at 5:22 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (5/18/16)

EMT WEEK! Has anyone traveled down Colchester Avenue in an ambulance and not been bounced around like
ping pong ball due to the road conditions. While a great deal of ambulances use the local highway some do not like BFD! Someone should an article on this and shame the mayor and the city of Burlington into fixing this street! So dangerous for emt s putting in IV s, administering drugs or using cardiac paddles to revive a heart attack victim while going over the 200 bumps of the side street on UVM s helipad entrance. Can you imagine a ride as a trauma patient on this road only to be transported to a helicopter after it! Shame on Burlington Public works and shame on the mayor of Burlington. Great new mall but no smooth ride to the hospital. Please seven day staff, ride an ambulance thru Winooski rotary construction all the way up the hill to UVM Medical center, turn left at the India House Restaurant and continue to UVM helipad or UVM Medical Center as an experiment. Then imagine yourself with a severe trauma or injury! What is wrong with the City of Burlington? 200 Million on a mall but no clear or smooth driveway to its hospital! What a disgrace. Is the City of Burlington negligent?

Posted by Penny Gillander on 05/20/2016 at 7:13 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (5/11/16)

Is anybody concerned about the 17 rail tanker cars that may be full of fuel oil at the waterfront.
If full 70.3 billion BTUs with north west prevailing wind and only Lake and Depot street for foam fire suppression. Might be a nasty fire.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by new north on 05/15/2016 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (4/6/16)

I agree with Louise Watson about Paul Heinz's reporting on Sanders and Clinton. I've noticed the same thing that she describes. His reporting is similar to the Washington Post and the NY Times, both acknowledged Hillary supporters whose articles mostly denigrate Bernie and crow about Hillary's wins. But Paul Heinz? Seven Days? It's really disappointing.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Petitelulu on 04/06/2016 at 1:33 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (3/30/16)

I just read the start to your article about Cavendish Game Birds in Springfield, VT. As a resident of Springfield, I am not at all happy about the way you felt the need to describe our town. Junkies shuffling down Main Street? Boarded up slums? That's truly special! It makes all of us who work hard and don't use drugs feel good that this is the picture you paint of our town. Since it is apparently the pits of Hell, I kindly invite you to NEVER back.
Stephanie Patch
Springfield, VT

Posted by Stephanie Patch on 04/01/2016 at 6:39 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (3/30/16)

I saw that documentary that was suggested - MAGICAL UNIVERSE.
It's soooooooo good. I second that recommendation!
I saw it on Netflix. But i'm pretty sure you can also get the DVD at the library

Posted by kstar on 03/31/2016 at 8:41 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (3/23/16)

I agree with Kyle Saltzman. If Bernie loses the primary, it will be in part because of the same attitude that Heinz expressed in his article that pervades the establishment press. With the NY Times and other newspapers rooting for Hilary, we don't need to see the same kind of defeatist position against Sanders in Seven Days. I'm really disappointed in Seven Days.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Petitelulu on 03/23/2016 at 3:16 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/24/16)

PART 2 of 2
That for all their baloney patriotism in a moment in history when the single most innovative and important venture on the face of the earth is an American company building and manufacturing in the USA with American workers they are all silent on TESLA. That PANASONIC is so impressed with what TESLA is doing they have committed to a $1.6 BILLION investment in the battery Gigafactory in Nevada. Still no word from Bernie or any politician because they do not even know to say anything a disgrace in itself.
BTW the State of Vermont is lousy for electric vehicle charging stations and especially TESLA friendly electric vehicle charging infrastructure. You need to get serious chargers like CHADEMO DC chargers and 70amp single phase AC chargers installed. Many MODEL S drivers from out of State like to visit Vermont and you are of course also a pass through on the way to Montreal. If you have serious charging TESLARIANS driving to and from Canada will stop and spend money in Vermont while charging up. Then in 2 years when the more affordable TESLA MODEL 3 and a longer range Nissan Leaf are on the market the EV traffic will increase significantly. Think ahead be prepared if you build it they will come.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Howard Simon Marks on 02/29/2016 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/24/16)

PART 1 of 2.
Bernie Sanders could have won in Nevada if he and his campaign manager knew enough and were aware enough beyond the usual rhetoric about fossil fuels etc to visit the site of the under construction TESLA / PANASONIC Gigafactory. When completed the Gigafactory will be the largest manufacturing plant on the earth and it will be 100% powered by solar, wind and geothermal.
It is clear to me that Bernie Sanders is utterly clueless about the TESLA mission like all politicians including Green Party politicians (who are just Watermelons who spend 99% of their time talking red not green) Sanders and his team know nothing about battery chemistry and application they have no vision comprehension of the massive task that Elon Musk and TESLA has taken on. The fact that during the course of the Nevada primary/caucus neither party produced a single politician aware enough to visit the Gigafactory site and give a speech showing that they understand the economic model of prosperity and the technological innovation that it offers (without which there is no getting off fossil fuels) is a sad indictment of American politicians.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Howard Simon Marks on 02/29/2016 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/24/16)

Paul Burns approach of "wind and solar everywhere, at all costs" is misguided policy and the reason I and others no longer support VPIRG. Annette Smith has clearly pointed out the faulty PSB process, and should be commended for her actions over the years. And what's happening with VTGAS is another debacle.

Mr. Burns approach of "we need to destroy the environment, in order to save it" makes no sense, and is the reason why so many people are upset about these projects. His "everyone is a NIMBY" attitude, even though they may live nowhere near these projects, is making more enemies of renewable than friends.

VPIRG should be promoting solar panels on our huge parking lots and flat-roofed buildings in Chittenden County...hundreds of acres...not to mention home-rooftop solar, before we put panels on our prime agricultural fields.

VPIRG should go after the business on Church Street who block open up their doors on 90+ degree Heating Degree Days and blow air-conditioned air outside to attract shoppers, while we get messages on our phones to shut down unnecessary appliances.

VPIRG should demand that all new construction and be equipped and sited for solar panels on building rooftops, and that there be mandates for higher building efficiency...such as near net-zero...before we destroy our environment for continued inefficient and wasteful designs.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 02/25/2016 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/24/16)

I have never met or communicated with Annette Smith but have followed in the media her courageous battle against the anti-zoning and anti-Act 250 industrial energy profiteers. VPIRG has shown their true colors. Just like Bill McKibben, VPIRG cowardly refuses to engage on the F-35 fighter jet, in spite of the fact that the US military is one of the largest causes of global warming emissions worldwide. Let's compare the annual emissions of the current F-16 fighter jets, for example, with Vermont's entire automotive fleet. Guess which one is the bigger problem? And yet Paul Burns and Bill McKibben are silent. Makes you wonder how much they actually care about global warming.

VPIRG is supposed to care about the public interest of Vermonters but their tacit support for the F-35 basing shows they care not a whit for lower income Vermonters without a voice, and instead, in fact, value the destruction of the health and home values of these Vermont residents. Ralph Nader would be ashamed.

McKibben was right early in his career, when he authored "Maybe One" about the environmental argument for only one child. But, just like VPIRG, he realized there is no money in encouraging reductions in population growth. They know who butters their bread. Fortunately, more Vermonters are now seeing through the fraud of VPIRG.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 02/24/2016 at 11:15 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/24/16)

I'm wondering why Mr. Burns felt the need to weigh in with a sales pitch for his organization's money goals -- yep, renewables have made VPIRG into a multi-million dollar organization -- while remaining silent on the attempt by Vermont's Attorney General and renewable industrialists through their lawyer to silence my voice through a criminal investigation. During the 19 days I was under criminal investigation, the renewablists were all silent, as were the many legislators who benefitted from financial donations from the renewable developers. Were they all okay with violating my 1st amendment rights? VCE has been attempting in recent weeks to talk to VPIRG and have a civil conversation with Mr. Burns, who consistently shuns every attempt to "work together" as he proclaims is his goal in his letter. Instead he just seems to want to yell at us and tell us we are anti-renewable. Paul, you know where I live, you have my phone number. I'm open to working with anyone who wants to work with me and VCE. We are all about solutions.

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 02/24/2016 at 3:27 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (2/17/16)

In response to Mr. Lawrence, yes, Bernie did win handily when it came to the popular vote in the NH Primary, but Secretary Clinton pulled even with him when it came to the delegate count. The Democratic nomination may well depend on the votes of Superdelegates this election cycle and Secretary Clinton has a massive majority of pledged Superdelegates that can vote any way they choose, even if it's against the popular vote of their own state's citizens. Just ask Sen. Leahy who has pledged his vote as a Superdelegate to Secretary Clinton no matter what the results of the popular vote in the VT primary.

In sewing-up so many Superdelegates, the Clinton campaign has made Bernie's mountain to climb toward the Democratic nomination that much higher. But, a win by technicality is still a win and a tie is still a tie. Given that it's the delegate count that ultimately matters when it comes to determining the party nominee perhaps Govs. Kunin, Dean, and Shumlin, along with Sen. Leahy and Mayor Weinberger don't look as much like the stooges Mr. Lawrence is suggesting.

But, if a Clinton nomination comes down to a technicality, there is a chance that all those Bernie voters whose popular opinion was overturned by a reading of the rules will be so disenfranchised as to boycott the polls come the 1st Tuesday in November. That'd be a great outcome for the Dems, no doubt. Whatever the purported "inevitability" of a Clinton nomination, it would be wise not to jade Bernie supporters in a year when turnout stands to break records.

Posted by Lee Stirling on 02/17/2016 at 11:25 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (11/18/15)

Ms. Schlueter, Christopher Walken already had an illustrious role as a Bond villain in 1985's A View To A Kill. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_View_to_a_…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lee Stirling on 11/18/2015 at 11:37 AM

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