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Letters to the Editor 

Don't Forget Photog?

As a photographer — albeit an amateur one — I’m interested in seeing the credit for an image or series of images. “The Unkindest Cut” [June 29] credited the reporter, Ken Picard, for his part, but I had to hunt to find the name of the photographer. I did find the name of Jordan Silverman in teeny-tiny print with the photo on page 30, but no credit was given for the other images.

I went to the Seven Days website, where I learned that all of the photos were by Silverman. Normally I wouldn’t bother; but I was impressed by a couple of his shots.

I think that the photographer’s name should be listed with the writer’s byline. After all, how effective would the article have been with the images not included? (And don’t forget the cover shot).

Luke T. Bush

Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Editor’s note: Point taken, but in fact there is a standard photo credit on the first spread of the story that says PHOTOS: JORDAN SILVERMAN (page 29), as well as the one on page 30. Cover images are always credited on page 9, under the table of contents.

Credit for Caricatures

Great article [“Run, Someone, Run,” June 22]. But the caricatures were even better. But no artist’s name?! Who drew them? Give credit where credit is due!

Laura Brown

Burlington

Editor’s note: Burlington artist Marc Nadel drew the amazing caricatures of the potential contenders in Burlington’s upcoming mayoral race. The illustration was signed, but we should have given additional credit.

Leave Schenk Alone

George Schenk has been maligned unfairly for the graduation speech he gave at Colchester High School a couple of weeks ago [“What Did George Schenk Say to Colchester High School Grads? We May Never Know,” June 22; Blurt: “Schenk’s Seven Dirty Words,” June 25]. I don’t know Schenk personally, but his written and spoken words are always intelligent, compassionate and ahead of their time. He was talking about local food and community responsibility long before it was popular. He was baking American Flatbread long before any of us had tasted it, and he has always been willing to host “charity bakes” so that different organizations in his community can raise money. He is a generous person.

The public has been robbed of the chance to make our own decisions about his speech because we cannot read it or hear it in its full context. The newspapers and the television have pulled out the “offending” language and published it. No context; just words powerful enough to smear Mr. Schenk, plus a few public comments from the highly offended.

Colchester High School is an educational institution and should understand the importance of reading an entire manuscript to derive its full meaning. However, in their questionable wisdom, the authorities at CHS have had that speech erased from the video as if it had never been made and have refused to make it available to read…

The person with the most integrity in this story so far is George Schenk, who humbly apologized publicly for offending anyone. I’m sure his goal was to make the graduates think, and no doubt he achieved his goal that day. He just didn’t realize he’d get so much assistance from the media and the powers that be at CHS.

Pamela Dever

Waterbury

Pro Progressive

Andy Bromage’s comment that “it’s a bad year to be a Progressive” [Run, Someone, Run,” June 22] sadly reflects a “horse race” mentality about politics, ignoring that Progressives have imbued our political culture since Bernie was elected — through values, policies and programs — with something unique in America that is widely recognized as being very good for residents.

One value Progressives fostered is that Burlington belongs to us all, not just the privileged few. The downtown waterfront is not a private enclave for the rich but a public, free park. Thirteen community gardens … the bike path, and Church Street Marketplace also reflect this value. Burlington City Arts was created specifically to bring the arts to all, regardless of income.

Another value Progressives have fostered is that government has a key role, especially when the private sector cannot and does not meet people’s needs. Burlington Electric is a legacy of the early-1900s progressive era; the social housing sector is a legacy of the 1980s. Inclusionary zoning, the housing trust fund and land trust have created affordable housing for over 2000 households in Chittenden County at a time when the vacancy rate has been incredibly small.

Progressive values drive economic development policy by putting people and the community first, while progressive tax policy found alternatives to the regressive property tax and environmental policy, improved recycling and efficiency in government and the community. It is no wonder Burlington has been rated such a livable city.

Wendy Coe

Burlington

Cable Fable

It upsets me that so many play the game that cable companies want them to play by claiming that “ratepayers foot the bill” for cable access stations [“What Did George Schenk Say to Colchester High School Grads? We May Never Know,” June 22]. This makes it seem like funding the access stations is, and should be, optional — like the stations should stay or leave depending on whether or not ratepayers want to continue to pay a little extra for them.

That’s just not how the stations originated, or how the funding should rightfully be viewed. The cable companies fund public access stations in return for being given sole rights to wire up a municipality’s population of cable subscribers. Yes, of course, the cable company adds a bit to its bill to cover expenses, but no one talks about the ratepayers funding the cable company’s trucks that drive around maintaining the system, even though those, too, are paid for through subscription fees.

So, why are the revenues that are applied to cable access stations broken out as “extra” fees? They’re not. They’re part of the cost of doing business, just like the trucks. Cable companies should pony up for access stations in return for their wiring monopolies, and playing into their attempts to cloud the issue by saying “ratepayers foot the bill” is, to my mind, just wrong-headed. And, to be clear, I felt this way long before my own son worked at an access station.

Pat Goudey O’Brien

Warren

Rights Complicated

In his letter [Feedback, “Health Care? Humbug!” May 25], Mr. Mellar doesn’t offer an objective definition of what he means by “rights.” He simply states that without “civilization,” there would be no human rights. Well, as everybody knows, no one asks to be born. Consequently, in a noncivilized environment, humans would have become extinct simply because a newborn baby is not self-sustaining and would soon die without the care of its mother. In fact, any child under the age of, say, 10 could not survive on its own. Thus, without some sort of civilization with a belief that everyone has a right to live, none of us would be here.

When I was a student, in one of my classes a physics professor announced that there was no objective definition of “time.” He made his point by asking, “If the universe was a limitless void, how would we know what time it was?” Likewise, in the case of “rights,” if there were no civilizations extant, how would we know what human “rights” were? For centuries, coffee-house philosophers have pondered this sort of thing with no success. So Mr. Mellar should not feel disgruntled.

Raymond E. Leary

Shelburne 

Clarification:

We published a letter last week that came to the defense of UVM Provost Jane Knodell [“Feedback: “Misdirected Missive,” June 29]. The author, John Davis, should have been identified as Knodell’s business partner at Burlington Associates, a locally based national consulting cooperative.

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