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Letters to the Editor 

October 29, 2008


I fear folks are missing the point of the protest against Burton over its choice of graphics for some of its boards [Local Matters, October 8].

This is not about freedom of speech or artistic expression. This is not about being “offended.” My objection is not moral or artistic. I’m concerned about the influence cultural icons like Burton have among youth with regard to what is or is not healthy behavior.

Every day social service agencies, such as Spectrum, work with youths and families who are struggling to attempt to undo some of the damage being done by violence, whether inflicted by others or, yes, self-inflicted. Self-mutilation is a huge hidden problem in America.

It’s clear that Burton doesn’t “get it” that using such images as marketing tools promotes the idea that these things are normal and healthy. A friend of mine said, “Teens are subjected to a lot of bad stuff from many different sources. They become desensitized to it, blurring the lines of what’s right and wrong. It appears not cool to take the high road. They don’t have a map to get there.”

Burton, please listen to the folks who are experts in mental health and domestic violence: You may have the right to show such images, but this is not responsible use of that right. You are an icon among youths. Please consider what messages you pass to them. Cease production of these boards. Rip up the maps to the low road and give youths more maps to the high road.

David G. White



I’m quite surprised about the public outcry over the Burton snowboards that feature seminude Playboy models and other boards that feature blood and gore.

Maybe the public woke up yesterday, but partial nudity and gore are prevalent in movies, video games, CD covers and even Abercrombie and Fitch clothing catalogues. All one has to do is take a trip to the local mall or turn on the TV or Internet to witness the encroaching “indecency.”

Unfortunately, Burton has become the sole target of the purists in our society who would censor anything and everything deemed “indecent“ in the name of the children. Give me a break! My only complaint against Burton is that they did not feature Playgirl models on any of their boards.

Owen Mulligan



In the October 22 “Fair Game,” the issue was raised that Democrats and Progressives, although more philosophically aligned than the Republicans, are still unable to get out of each others’ way when it comes to running candidates.

It was also noted that Anthony Pollina ran for 10 months against Douglas before the Democrats ran a “weak campaigner” in Symington. This sentiment sums up my frustrations completely.

Steering committee members of Chittenden South Democracy for America invited Mr. Pollina to speak to our group last fall. Assembled were a large group of activists hungry for change. He electrified the audience, and I wrote out a check for Mr. Pollina that very night.

I did not vacillate when Ms. Symington got into the race. She also spoke to our group and paled in comparison, especially when asked about decommissioning Entergy’s Vermont Yankee.

We live in a time when our children’s future, our precious earth and its varied life-forms, our resources, our economy and our prestige in the world all are precariously held in a delicate balance. Please honor the great Vermont tradition of vote splitting and do so again by voting for Pollina and Obama!

Donna Constantineau


Constantineau is a member of the Chittenden South Democracy for America’s steering committee.

CORRECTION: Our story on NRG Systems [“HR Heaven?” October 22] got the size of the company’s headquarters wrong. It’s 46,000 square feet, not 4600. And, in [“Angles in Paradise” October 1], we reported that Ben Falk’s UVM thesis was a master’s thesis. It was an undergraduate thesis. Our apologies.

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