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Letters to the Editor 

October 1-8, 2008

GOOD FOR THE ’HOOD

For heaven’s sake, there are so many really important things going on in the neighborhood/city/world. Leave the poor guy alone. It’s a clever name exhorting folks to eat his pizza [“Side Dishes,” September 10]. I can’t imagine what would happen if he had decided to call it “Eat Me.”

We should be pleased that such a good business has opened, with good food, which the whole neighborhood can enjoy, owned by a very nice person trying to add something good to the neighborhood.

Carol Shepherd

BURLINGTON

Editor’s Note: Suzanne Podhaizer reviews Bite Me Organic Pizza in this week’s food section.

JSC’S GREEN ETHIC

It was great to see your cover story on campus greening [“Campus Greens,” September 10]! I’m not sure how Johnson State College was omitted from the mix, but I’m happy to report that the green ethic is alive and well here on our campus.

Some of our recent projects include a student/staff-run garden, a composting project in the dorms and new student-decorated recycle bins for the quad (of course, we’ve been recycling campus-wide for years). Also, we’ve just initiated trayless dining — which conserves energy and water, decreases waste, reduces pollutants, saves money and reinforces healthy eating habits — in our cafeteria, which regularly offers local and organic foods and also composts all its food wastes.

Our work vehicles run on biodiesel, as does our student shuttle, the Badger Bullet. Furthermore, we are in the midst of planning a campus energy audit, which will lead to our creating a JSC Eco-Master Plan. While we don’t yet have a full-fledged sustainability office, we do have a student environmental club and a team of work-study students who work on greening projects.

And all this doesn’t even take into account the courses we offer on various ecological issues, as well as the environmental outreach work we’ve begun to do with area public schools.

To find out more, please contact the JSC Greenline at 802-635-1376 or visit our beautiful campus anytime.

Russ Weis

JOHNSON

Weis teaches writing and literature at Johnson State College.

SOCIALIST ACT

As the self-proclaimed conservative champions of free-enterprise capitalism, isn’t it ironic watching Republicans and the Bush administration embrace socialism to bail out their banking buddies who got criminally rich making bad investments [“Fair Game,” September 24]?

So now the government — you and me, the taxpaying citizens of the United States — get to take over a half-trillion dollars in bad debt. A socialist act comes to the rescue of capitalism gone bad.

But just how good is our, the government’s, credit? After the $859-plus billion cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and interest on the money we already owe, is there any credit left to come to the rescue of our health care system, transportation infrastructure and schools?

The costs of deregulation and Reaganomics have come to “trickle down,” leaving us with the excrement of greed’s excess, and it really, really stinks.

Fred Wilber

MARSHFIELD

YOU’RE WELCOME

A heartfelt thanks for producing the “What’s Good: Bands of Burlington” showcase event and directing proceeds to support Big Heavy World and WOMM-LP 105.9FM “The Radiator.”

As a volunteer-staffed-and-programmed organization, we rely on community supporters and partners to make our mission real, and this event — which was amazing — was a beautiful example of that miracle of friendship.

Congratulations to you for creating such a vibrant success and for being so proactive and willing to uplift local efforts like ours! (And thanks also to Metronome, Nectar’s and the bands!)

James Lockridge and Lee Anderson

BURLINGTON

Lockridge is executive director of The Big Heavy World Foundation. Anderson is creator and operator of Radio Bean, home of WOMM-LP.

NO SURPRISE

I was not surprised by “Crisis Center Critic” [Letters, September 10]. Her perspective reflects many of the misconceptions contributing to society’s inability to reduce the occurrence of sexual violence.

While a small percentage of repeat sex offenders have untreatable forms of behavioral disorders, most are individuals whose behavior is shaped by learned and socially reinforced patterns. To understand why, one has only to look at entertainment and marketing messages depicting women and girls as sex objects; listen to conversations filled with sexist and derogatory terms directed at both women and men; or ask women how often they have been sexually harassed verbally or physically.

The author also states “the sexual predator is a solitary creature.” Again, true only for the few most dangerous, repeat offenders. Most sex offenders are known to their victims. They are socially engaged and supported or “camouflaged” by peer routines, group social norms and stereotypes of masculinity.

Educational programs engaging men to become active, vocal allies in ending sexual violence are essential to help dismantle the bystander mindset that allows predatory sexual behavior to start with a joke and end in an assault. Kudos to the Women’s Rape Crisis Center and others who incorporate these efforts into their work.

Anne Liske

BURLINGTON

Liske is Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Anti-Violence Partnership at UVM.

CORRECTION:

In the article “Winging It” [September 10], we mistakenly assumed a $1.50 charge from Chicken Charlie’s was for “extra flavors or dressings.” In fact, the $1.50 was a delivery charge. Also, we did receive blue cheese dressing with our order. “Where’s the blue cheese?” was meant to indicate that the dressing didn’t include big chunks of cheese. And “big fat wings” was intended to be a positive assessment of the fresh, meaty chicken pieces.

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