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Letters to the Editor (6/10/15) 

Wrong Instrument

[Re Album Review: Audrey Bernstein, Alright, OK, You Win, June 3]: Dear Seven Days music reviewer Ted Kammerer: What qualifies you to critique a jazz recording?Your use of clever verbiage is far from a qualification. You mentioned my solo on a particular track. Ted, I play the trumpet. The solo in question was performed on saxophone. Please do your homework and inform yourself so that you don't embarrass yourself or Seven Days in the future.

I invite you to audit my jazz history class at the University of Vermont. Why? Because the Burlington area doesn't need yet another so-called music critic who doesn't understand jazz and or even like it, for that matter. Your poorly written critique of Bernstein's recording clearly demonstrates that you just don't get it. I take my work seriously; I suggest that you do the same.

Ray Vega

South Burlington

Support Soteria

Thank you for ["Dream House: Soteria Vermont Welcomes Mental Health Patients," June 3]. It is so extremely important that our country take a look back at Loren Mosher's work, and how Vermont is now hoping to follow in his footsteps because our suffering population desperately needs a compassionate response to distress that occurs in the form of what is called "psychosis" or delusions.

Many experts now agree that this condition is exacerbated, if not caused, by trauma, and anyone who has been "treated" in mainstream medical systems with the so-called "standard of care" will tell you this method is horribly traumatizing. It makes no sense to approach people suffering from past or present fears by making them more afraid.

So I applaud Vermont for taking this vital step toward the healing process that millions of others all over the world need, and I do hope your paper will continue to report on this program's progress, encouraging other cities and states to follow Burlington's lead.

Susan Vaughan

Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

The Verdict on Domestic Violence

The article "Shelter Skelter: Domestic Abuse Survivors Wind Up in Seedy Motels," [June 3] raised issues screaming for reform. To reduce domestic violence, law enforcement across Vermont should consider enacting Lethality Assessment Protocols — a short survey administered by police upon initial interaction with domestic violence victims designed to gauge level of risk. The officer then acts according to survey result. This protocol proved successful in dramatically reducing domestic violence in Baltimore, Dallas and other places. Vermont should adopt laws modeled after Oregon law, where domestic violence victims have a statutory right to take leave from work after being assaulted. Oregon law also allows prosecutors to charge a felony in any domestic assault occurring in front of a child. Regarding the shortage of domestic violence shelters, policy makers should consider vouchers for preapproved rooms in private residences. Yes, this presents risks, as does placing juveniles in therapeutic foster homes, which has been done successfully for decades. Finally, law in criminal cases should be amended to grant courts discretion to approve restitution in domestic violence cases, where the restitution could support housing for victims.

Ben Luna


Luna is a former deputy state's attorney with the Lamoille County Special Investigation Unit. 

Addressing Abuse

Thanks for this excellent article ["Shelter Skelter: Domestic Abuse Survivors Wind Up in Seedy Motels," June 3]. Two things popped out for me, which I wanted to mention.

One: that the Department for Children and Families does not have any idea how many motel vouchers they give out or are used. That seems worrisome.

Second: that, as usual, the abused are forced to cry out for help after the abuse. The whole focus of the article — and the work of the communities of caregivers — remains on patching up the wounded instead of addressing the cause of their suffering and injury.

I don't fault Seven Days for this — just keep noticing that we aren't teaching the men what is OK. We're just trying, without success, to bandage up the women later. Ugh, so sad.

Steve Ames


Testing the Limits

[Re "Going it Alone, and Female, in the Woods," June 3]: Truth be told, Emily Benning's parents were more than just frantic when she first went for a solo "adventure" in the woods behind our house. It had snowed, she was about 6 or 7, and the sun was going down. Following her trail in the dimming light, I could see where she had veered off her path to investigate things like deer scat and weird-looking tree stumps. I grew more and more alarmed the farther I ran while slipping in the snow, hearing no response to my yelling her name at the top of my lungs. Thankfully, this parent's worst nightmare had a happy ending, but we learned an important lesson. Encourage your children to test their own limits; just make sure they don't go overboard testing yours. Happy trails, Emily!

Sen. Joe Benning


Armed and Adventurous

[Re "Going it Alone, and Female, in the Woods," June 3]: I firmly believe that, if you are taking these long hikes during the spring season, especially in Vermont, you should carry no less than a .45 ACP handgun or rifle. There are more dangers in the Vermont woods than sketchy people. What happens if you cross a mama bear with cubs? She's not likely to walk away unless that big bang scares her or, in a worst-case solution, doesn't put her down upon an attack.

Joseph Crawford

North Bennington

Shove Off, Shumlin

[Fair Game: "Push Comes to Gov," June 3]: I sure hope the gov is challenged by someone ... anyone. Time for him to leave! I can't afford to stay here now. Another term will bankrupt us all.

Jamie Longtin



A food news item in last week's Side Dishes column misidentified the owners of Williston's Grazers restaurant, which has just opened a second location in Stowe. The two restaurants are co-owned by Sam Handy Jr., Don Johnson and Patrick Stewart.

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