Story Behind the Ad
I pity Miss Johnson’s lack of vision [Feedback, “Irony on the Menu?,” October 19]. Her letter last week shows that when she looks at our ad featuring a 10-year breast cancer survivor — my wife, Betsy — she sees irony. I see more than that. I see happiness, gratitude, community, generosity and humor.
Betsy’s diagnosis opened our eyes to the physical and emotional pain caused by the diagnosis of cancer. It also exposed us to the great people at the Breast Care Center at Fletcher Allen and the compassionate and professional care they provide. All of us at Leunig’s needed a way to show our appreciation and say thank you.
In the restaurant business we don’t feel competent to cure cancer. Our focus is on the comfort and happiness of our neighbors. To that end we have been fortunate in being able to partner with Trinchero Family Estates, Farrell Distributing and many of the finest restaurants in Vermont. During the past 10 years we, as a group, have donated over $125,000 to the Breast Care Center and the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network. This money has been directed to the support of local patients dealing with cancer treatments. Patients and their families have been provided wigs, post-surgical brassieres, educational material and great mental health support. We leave it to the caregivers to decide where the need is greatest, and we help them fill that need.
Each year, the staff at Leunig’s volunteers one day’s work to host a fashion show and wine dinner with all proceeds donated. Local stores dress our models, and Stephen & Burns does hair and makeup. All our models are men and women who are breast cancer patients. We all feel that the recognition of the courage, determination and inner beauty all our models display is even more important than the money raised at this fashion show. We are proud of how our business community has come together in support of these patients.
In our culture, “raising a glass” to toast success is tradition. We will not let the limited vision of one person stop us from celebrating, contributing and being grateful for the added time we have with our loved ones. We “raise a big glass” because our gratitude is so big.
Conlon is manager of and a partner in Leunig’s Bistro & Café.
No mystery here [“Vermont Tourism Officials Lure Asian Visitors — With Tasha Tudor?” October 12]. The Japanese absolutely go bonkers over Welsh corgis, which are a regular in Tasha Tudor’s work. Tasha Tudor is why I have two myself.
Powell v. Nature
Ken Picard’s article on Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell [“Green Mountain Powell,” October 12] was a fluff piece glorifying an aggressive, cutthroat capitalist who smiles for the camera while facilitating the destruction of nature for profit. Powell calls GMP “fast, fun and friendly” while slapping lawsuits and restraining orders on people trying to save the mountain they love in Lowell.
Wake up, everyone! Utility-scale wind projects are just more greenwashed industrial development, abetted by a complicit media that leads the public into stupefied complacency and blind us to what the corporate exploitation of nature really is: psychopathology. Join us on Lowell!
Proud of Powell
Over the past year I have seen Green Mountain Power and its CEO, Mary Powell, in the media a lot, but not until your “Green Mountain Powell” [October 12] story have all the pieces of the company’s success been so clear to see. Obviously, Powell deserves a ton of credit for all that she has accomplished since joining GMP in 1998.
She has displayed the type of leadership we can only hope for from the rest of corporate America. The fact that the company’s headquarters were restructured to be more inclusive and less lavish speaks volumes about her business ethics — ethics that are seen far too infrequently in our country’s current corporate culture.
It also appears as though the staff at GMP is following her lead. The response to the very small but vocal minority objecting to the wind project in Lowell has been much more professional than the opponents’ use of personal attacks on Mary. It’s fair to say that Annette Smith and Lukas Snelling could learn a thing or two about real leadership from Powell.
It just seems to me that she has a keen eye for making a good deal and knowing what the majority of Vermonters support, whether it be Kingdom Community Wind, the merger with Central Vermont Public Service, or the favorable contracts she negotiated with Hydro-Québec and Seabrook that will help keep utility rates low for businesses in our state.
We should consider ourselves lucky to have such a well-run company in the Green Mountain State.
The Problem Is Us
[Re “Is Irene to Blame for Vermont’s Rising Unemployment? Yes and No,” October 12]: The answer to that question is no! We the people have to stop blaming Mother Nature for our shortcomings. We the people are the ones who can change our outcome. We the people are the ones to blame for all of the wacky weather we are having, and we the people are the ones who need to do something about it. I think the government officials need to look back on the Constitution and remember why they created it. It’s time that we the people stop blaming other things for what we are doing wrong. Only we the people have the power to do anything about it.
Sierra St. Francis
Sen. Tim Ashe, a candidate in the Burlington mayoral race, is the domestic partner of Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly. Routly is not assigning or editing stories or columns about Burlington politics for the duration of the campaign. Andy Bromage now has that role.