Gretchen Parlato just needs to get herself another drummer or tell him to play the brushes instead [“Finding Her Voice,” May 29]. His ticketyticketytickety loud rim strikes interfere horribly with her beautiful singing.
James Dylan Rivis
Interesting piece about the good life in the land of Hans Christian Andersen [Last 7, “To Live the American Dream, Move to Denmark,” May 22]. However, before Bernie’s Kroner Kool-Aid gets passed around, it’s worth noting that Denmark has probably the most restrictive immigration, alien registration and naturalization laws on the planet. OK, maybe North Korea tops the list. To channel Milton Friedman, the point is: You can’t have a welfare state with open borders.
J. Paul Giuliani
Giuliani is an attorney at McKee Giuliani and Cleveland in Montpelier.
My Montréal sweetie almost lives on bagels. So of course I had to take him to Feldman’s, recommended by all of your staff as the best [“The Hole Truth,” May 15]. Wow! He thinks they’re the best bagels he’s ever had. (Also pleasant staff, good books, beautiful tables, fine bathrooms.) This is not an ad; just thanks from a reader.
My Kind of Gore
Nice piece on Vermont’s 251 Club [“Hit the Road,” May 22] and, of course, there have been many such articles about it over the years. It’s a great organization and I’m glad so many have participated, including Melanie Considine, who is attempting to complete all 251 (including Lewis) in 365 days! Kind of like trying to hike the entire Long Trail!
But here’s something for someone to attempt: Visit not just all 251 towns, but every city/village/hamlet/settlement within a town, as well as all the unorganized gores plus Warner’s Grant. No idea off the top of my head what that total would be, but it’s staggering. And you better have your DeLorme or Jimapco atlas with you — forget GPS, since it doesn’t work in rural Vermont most of the time.
So let’s not forget all these villages/hamlets/settlements within towns. Nothing aggravates me more than a so-called “Vermonter” who doesn’t know the difference between a town and these locations within a town!
In the article “Bike to the Future” [May 22], concern for safety is expressed by bicyclists who ride between Burlington and Fort Ethan Allen due to the need to ride on Route 15, billed as “that high-speed stretch of roadway.” For the last 18 months or so, there has been an excellent alternative to cycling on Route 15 between the west entrance of St. Michael’s College and Fort Ethan Allen. Simply turn left at the light onto campus, follow the campus road to the back gate (via Canterbury Way on Google map), then turn left onto Johnson Ave., which becomes Hegeman Ave. Johnson Ave. used to dead end behind Dunkin’ Donuts, but the entrance to Camp Johnson was pushed to the west to allow Johnson Ave. to connect to Hegeman Ave. It’s a nice ride; should be a lot safer than fighting traffic on Route 15. MapMyRun says it’s .36 miles longer to go through campus, which is no more than a minute or two difference.
A Bike-Friendlier Burlington
[Re “Bike to the Future,” May 22]: The Burlington “Go for Gold” Walk-Bike Blueprint is not only an “aspirational” document, but a call to action, identifying areas we need to focus on to make our community more friendly for walking and biking. Clearly the biggest needs are for infrastructure improvements, although there are many opportunities to improve in other areas, too. It’s true that the blueprint does not have specific plans in it; our next step is coming up with action plans for addressing the identified opportunities and needs.
The new city administration is already more vocally supportive of this effort than previous administrations. I am cautiously optimistic that this will actually translate into progress in the months and years to come. ?There are certainly many hopeful signs, including current projects in which there are opportunities for making real infrastructure improvements in the near future, for both walking and biking. These include PlanBTV, the Railyard Enterprise Project, the Waterfront PIAP process, the North Avenue Corridor Study and discussions about a variety of other improvements around the city.
Looking ahead, we also need to address some of the tougher infrastructure improvements we need, such as downtown and Shelburne Street. All of these will take continued attention and pressure from public officials and interested citizens to ensure progress. I encourage all interested people to get involved in the ongoing efforts above, and the Burlington Walk-Bike Council (burlingtonwalkbike.org). We meet in the basement of City Hall every fourth Thursday from 5:30 to 7 pm; our next meeting is June 27.
Erik Brown Brotz
Guns Can Be Gotten
[Re “Many ‘Prohibited Persons’ Still Have Guns Because Cops Have Nowhere to Put Them,” May 8]: This law has been around for at least 12 years, and each police department should have a safe place for the firearms to be placed and possibly taken apart. These people get hold of them, and no one is safe. Felons should also have their homes checked out and the articles in question removed.
[Re “Do Flatlander Cows Count as Vermont-Raised Meat?” May 1]: Not wanting to hurt anyone’s precious feelings but the local movement, like the “orgasmic movement,” is logically incoherent and intrinsically stupid. Is excessive pesticide use a problem? Well, work on that. Better a bit of pesticide use than a farm goes under. Do any of you hipster dudes actually understand soil nutrient cycles? Do any of you hipster dudes actually understand the mammalian reproductive process? Research is a tool. Use it.
The More, The Merrier
I read with great interest Taylor Dobbs’ story about the changing demographics of the New North End of Burlington and how they impact the political climate of Wards 4 and 7 [“Burlington’s New North End Looks a Lot Different Than It Did 50 Years Ago,” May 22]. As a person who has lived most of his life in this part of town, I wanted to add a word or two about how these changes have also impacted the culture of this area.
I love walking through Hannaford or sitting in the local bagel shop meeting people of all cultures, countries and colors and hearing a variety of languages spoken. The greater diversity seen in our schools helps to raise the cultural understanding and competence of all students and staff. New citizens have brought us many gifts that we locals can learn from and celebrate. For a small city, Burlington is rich in cultural diversity, and we grow even more rich as people continue to move here and settle in with us. Many come for the same reasons our own families did a few generations ago. We must never forget that, because our common interests bring us together.
I’m excited by the demographic changes taking place in the city — specifically, the northern part of it. I hope that new residents of all cultural backgrounds will find the rest of us to be good neighbors.
Fleury is principal at Burlington’s C.P. Smith School.
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