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Letters to the Editor 

Senator Speaks Up

I am writing to thank Senator [Peter] Shumlin and his efforts regarding the use of ATVs on state land [“Fair Game,” January 13]. It took great courage to stand before that group and express his feelings that ATVs do not currently belong on state land, and they need to prove that they can manage use on private land first.

Ethan Maurer


No More McClaughry

John McClaughry is a right-wing flake, nothing more and nothing less, and it demeans your paper to give him a respectable forum for what reasonable people everywhere will view as right-wing rants [“Sizing Up Vermont,” January 13].

With his loopy ideology, McClaughry applies his doctrinaire theories without regard for logic or compassion. That Crown Point bridge repair? Of all the crazy solutions proposed, why should the government — the government?! — be involved in the repair when the people who use it should repair it, by golly, with the plentiful ore and timber that’s sitting around nearby for free.

And those Haitians: If they only had the personal fortitude that has been sapped by years of do-all government, well, they’ll be able to save and rescue themselves without anyone’s help! Why, the very building blocks of a new Haiti lie strewn about them in the rubble, if they’d just get off their rear ends and stop depending on others. That’s the McClaughry way.

John D. Wagner


Vital Video

Long ago, I realized that [Seven Days staff videographer] Eva Sollberger is absolutely brilliant, but the “Cysts Happen” video [“Stuck in Vermont,” January 20] underscores that fact a gazillion and one times.

This video is such a service to women: It’s informative, it’s personal and — what impresses me most — it’s fun. (No small feat when you’re talking about potentially cancerous tumors!)

As a journalist who focuses on health and nutrition, I know how difficult it is to convey complicated science clearly and effectively. But with her concise explanations, cool drawings and well-conducted interviews, Sollberger makes it look effortless. I believe that this segment of “Stuck in Vermont” will save lives — literally.

I encourage you to nominate “Cysts Happen” for lots of prestigious awards. It’s a winner.

Nicci Micco


Emergency Action

I am an EMT-I in South Royalton [“Paramedic on Board? Not in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties,” January 20]. I have the chance to meet and work with EMTs, EMT-Is and paramedics who are licensed in both Vermont and New Hampshire. The differences are amazing. If the state of Vermont would abide by the national guidelines for all levels in EMS, EMT-Is would be able to do many of the tasks that only the paramedics in Vermont can do. There is a mnemonic in medicine for chest pain called MONA: Morphine, Oxygen, Nitro and Aspirin. The only thing that an I-tech cannot give is morphine. Most of the time a patient can be managed by a good I-tech. We do paramedic intercepts in this area. It is nice to have the back up, but not always needed. Sometimes, the paramedic gets on board and asks what we needed them for.

Matthew Thornton

South Royalton

Thornton is an EMT-I and a registered respiratory therapist.

Forgotten Skiier

You forgot to mention Jimmy Cochran [“Swifter, Higher, Colder,” January 20]!! Check him out on

Abby Getman

South Burlington

Philanthropy Is Cheap

I’m writing to comment on “A Little Give: Can Vermont Count On the Next Generation of Philanthropists?” [December 29]. The story recalls how Burlington’s numerous generous philanthropists have traditionally “pressured” each other into pledging money for important local projects and charities, and points out that the next generation of philanthropists may utilize methods of philanthropy that are different than previous ones. However, in my opinion, another message warrants emphasis: Today and in the future, philanthropy should not be limited to those with substantial financial means.

The clothing exchange mentioned in the article is a prime example of innovative philanthropy that works and creates a means for almost anyone to be a philanthropist. The event, which was started by a group of friends who got together to swap clothes, has evolved into an annual event attracting hundreds of shoppers. Since the first event in 2001, the Burlington Clothes Exchange has raised nearly $150,000 for Burlington nonprofits, including the Hicks Foundation, the Visiting Nurse Association and Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. The event raises money primarily through the sale of gently used and new women’s clothing and accessories donated by individuals and many local merchants. Thus, the Clothes Exchange creates a mechanism for individuals, businesses and others to focus their good intentions, energy and dollars to help their community.

This year’s Burlington Clothes Exchange, the ninth annual, is scheduled for May 20 at the Doubletree Hotel in South Burlington and will benefit the King Street Youth Center.

Brian Dunkiel


Brian Dunkiel is married to Leslie Halperin, the founder of the Clothes Exchange.

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