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Letters to the Editor 

Trail Marker

While I won’t argue one way or another as to the overall point made by Mr. Goldsmith in [Feedback, July 4], I wanted take a moment to clarify that it is the Green Mountain Club that established, built and maintains the Long Trail — not our friends at the Appalachian Mountain Club. Our 10,000-member, 102-year-old Vermont institution is very proud of its role in building the nation’s oldest long-distance hiking trail over the spine of the Green Mountains. While, as Mr. Goldsmith said, the Long Trail is free and open to the public, it’s worth noting that we can only do the work required to maintain 500 miles of Vermont trails with the support of 10,000 dues-paying members. This support empowers the Green Mountain Club and its partners to do the heavy lifting (often literally) needed to maintain the Long Trail as well as the Appalachian Trail in Vermont and the new Kingdom Heritage Trail.

Will Wiquist


Wiquist is executive director of the Green Mountain Club.

Pickleball Plus

The local pickleball community appreciates the recent article about our beloved sport [“In a Real Pickle,” June 20]. Having read the article, some new people showed up at the Vermont Senior Games in Shelburne on June 23 to watch and to connect with us. Beginners are welcome, and we love to teach.

Louise Rashleigh


Helmets Off

Two things need to happen in order for Vermont to live up to its “motorcycling nirvana” potential [“Hello, Moto,” July 4]. First and foremost, we need to repair our roads and bridges. It is embarrassing to have to warn motorcyclists away from certain roads and downright dangerous to travel on some of them on two wheels.

Secondly, Vermont should join the 31 other states that allow adult riders to choose whether to wear a helmet or not. Only then will Vermont maximize its potential and live up to its cherished “freedom-loving” society. Spend an hour riding up one side of the Connecticut River and another hour riding up the other side. Count the motorcycles on each side and you’ll understand what I mean.

Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia)


Animal Magnetism

Thanks for your article on communicating with animals [“Conversing With Creatures,” June 27]. I wanted to add to it that I have successfully used one of your animal communicators — Cathy Wells — to encourage a family of seven foxes living under my deck to move on. This is a fabulous and very humane way of evicting pesky critters from our living space, whether they are ants, mice or raccoons. It certainly can’t hurt! It’s interesting that the previous article was about the trials of Paula Routly trying to get a raccoon out of her house [“Rocky’s Revenge,” June 27]. I thought that if the two articles could meet, she might have had a much easier time! Next time you need help getting rid of unwanted houseguests, try your local animal whisperer. It worked for me!

Nathalie Kelly


Climate Control

[Re Facing Facts, July 4]: “Should we feel bad about the amazing weather we’re having while others on the East Coast lose their AC and broil? Maybe ... not.” Where are the compassion and the sympathy involved with this type of mentality? Should those folks suffering now in the heat have thought the same thing when they were dry and we were bombarded with horrible weather during Tropical Storm Irene? People without electricity are dying, literally broiling alive, as you write such flippant and ignorant commentary. And that traditional smiley face placed above certainly adds insult to injury.

Travis Martin


Crowded Conditions

I can’t believe the city’s associate planner, Mary O’Neil, and the Development Review Board think 25 units of housing on that little spot of land is good for anybody but the developers [“Weinberger’s Condo Project Not the Fresh Start Some Neighbors Were Expecting,” July 4]. I have lived in Burlington for 50 years, and I am disgusted with the ridiculous amount of housing that has been allowed to be shoehorned into areas where it simply does not fit. This development is the epitome, however.

We need more housing, do we? So if we take it to the extreme, if 100,000 more people decide they want to live smack in the middle of Burlington, we should simply build the housing for them? Our roads and infrastructure simply cannot handle what we already have. Have you ridden up Pine Street or Battery Street at rush hour — or any other local streets, for that matter? It is simply starting to be a chore and a task to get around this town at almost any part of the day now.

Developers use all the right language, obviously: We need more housing, better affordability, etc. But they are after one thing and one thing only: a huge profit. We, the public, on the other hand, have to continually put up with the onslaught of inconvenience that they inflict.

Additionally, the board’s notion that more high-density housing projects within the city will lead more residents to abandon their cars for buses, bikes and sidewalks is woefully shortsighted and reckless. The board members need to rediscover the meaning of the word “no.”

Dave Parker


BBQ Smackdown

With all the hoopla surrounding Prohibition Pig [“Pigging Out,” May 30], I wanted to make sure readers are aware of another, far superior BBQ restaurant on Route 2 in Waterbury: the Cider House BBQ and Pub. The Cider House was also damaged in Irene but fortunately has made a comeback. The proprietors have always been friendly and accommodating, and you’ll never have to wait an hour and a half for an underwhelming meal (as we did at Prohibition Pig). There are numerous creative vegetarian dishes and a variety of barbecue options.

As a Carolinian (North and South) for 24 years, I almost cried after tasting the (South) Carolina mustard sauce at the Cider House, because it tasted just like home. Their corn fritters are unreal, and in a matchup would slaughter the Pig’s bone-dry balls posing as hush puppies. Instead of half a bottle of Cheerwine for $4 at the Pig, you can choose from an array of fabulous local hard ciders at the Cider House for about the same price. The Cider House is unpretentious and never disappointing; I try to get there as often as possible. Can’t say I’ll make the same effort for Prohibition Pig.

P.S. What’s up with the stereotypical toothless rednecks from South Carolina in Tim Newcomb’s illustration for “F-35 or Bust?” [May 30]. Last time I checked, there were plenty of people fitting that description in Vermont, or anywhere else, for that matter. Not cool, Seven Days. Not cool.

Ashleigh Ellsworth-Keller


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