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Letters to the Editor 

September 10, 2008


I cannot understand why we are still having this conversation about UVM's housing situation [Local Matters, August 27]. The issue has been studied, re-studied, analyzed, prioritized and compartmentalized, and UVM has yet to live up to its obligations.

It is imperative that the city powers-that-be stop bending to the will of UVM. Will someone, anyone, for once, stand up to this giant and hold them accountable? UVM must develop more - much more - student housing. Yes, they did build some new units, but with the increase in student enrollment, it does not come close to even attempting to meet these new demands. Why does the city continually allow this?

Working families have long been exploited in Burlington. Let's face it: Vermont has the oldest housing stock in the nation. We pay outrageous rents for apartments that I would not even want a dog to live in. Yet we pay and pay and pay. We must establish rent control. There are too many working families ending up homeless. All of the "affordable" housing programs out there are not really affordable to the average working family.

When will there be a real, sincere effort to end this problem instead of all of the posturing?

Jackie Hickerson



For the umpteenth time, I am struck by the irony of Seven Days' coverage of Tim Ashe, ubiquitous city politician [Local Matters, August 27]. I am a faithful reader, especially on city issues, but I've never seen a disclosure, in connection with any of the stories where Mr. Ashe is a source or a subject, that he is also the domestic partner of one of the paper's owners.

As the most recent story makes clear, Tim Ashe aims to shape city and state policy for many years to come. The couple is entitled to their privacy, certainly, but don't your readers deserve to understand that the chances of seeing Tim Ashe cast in a negative light in the pages of Seven Days are virtually nil?

Lucy Totten


Editor's Response: In fact, there was a full disclosure at the end of the story referenced above. And retired political columnist Peter Freyne made the connection between Paula Routly and Tim Ashe several times over the years in "Inside Track." Freyne portrayed Ashe negatively and positively, depending on the councilor's actions. Seven Days will continue to apply that standard to its coverage of Ashe as long as he makes news. Routly does not shape or edit any stories in which Ashe is featured. How is it "ironic" that two people's jobs intersect? Welcome to Vermont.


I'm surprised that Susan Green didn't mention Touchstone in Bristol, Vermont ["Hippie Havens," August 20].

I grew up there, being about 12 when my parents and my uncle and various other people (who mostly all still live in that area) got together, bought land, built houses, pooled resources, raised kids and had some wild and crazy 4th of July parties.

I have good memories of what they tried to accomplish and, if I could, I would certainly live in that kind of situation again.

Lori Ebare



People in Boston tag air conditioners as a form of protest for making our cities hotter [Local Matters, September 3]. So stop using AC, and you won't have your property tagged. It will only get hotter the more you use your AC. This is Vermont, not Arizona. Just a thought.

Dan Cheesman



The cover featuring sculpture at the South End Art Hop ["All Original," September 3] credited the people who did the cover design, who took the cover photograph and who drew the cover illustration. But there was no mention that I could find of the sculptor who made the piece.

It was created by Bruce Hathaway, talented sculptor and welder, who lives and works in Richmond.

Gary Bressor



Imagine my surprise when I read the article, "Rape Crisis Center Hopes Educating Men Will Reduce Sexual Violence" [Local Matters, August 13].

Why surprised? Simply put, sexual violence is not a learned behavior. While educating men and women on any type of violence is important, I feel that it is irresponsible on behalf of the Rape Crisis Center. Educating men why it is incorrect to rape is ridiculous.

Rape is not taught to be a normal behavior. Society frowns upon this, does it not? Is there some sort of encouragement on behalf of society that I have missed? How can we as a society believe in any way that telling men that sexual violence is bad - something that the basic person knows - will make a difference? And if you were to find the sexual predator, is it really believed that a chit-chat will change their inner most cravings?

So men must become allies and address other men's behavior? How does this work exactly? Do you find the potential rapist and have a heart-to-heart? No, it simply does not work that way.

What is important to stress is that the sexual predator is a solitary creature who lives inside a different world than we will ever fully comprehend. He will stalk, he will seek and, sadly, he will find.

So, what can society help do? Protect yourself, educate yourself and your loved ones, and understand that sexual predators will persist.

Barbara Fortier


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