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Letters to the Editor 

Bernie Sanders

Published September 28, 2011 at 4:31 a.m.

Burlington’s Bahamian Connection

Some misinformation was provided at the end of [Fair Game: “President in Peril,” September 21]. The Bahamas trip was a college botany class, and payment was for airfare, meals and lodging. It is true that the rental arrangements were done through the Leopolds, because they owned property down there, and it was assured that it would be inexpensive. I resigned from my position at the college over two years ago but was working there during the Bahamas trip.

I worked at the college for better than 16 years as staff. Jane did not ever present any real meaningful leadership skills throughout her stay, and her ability to fundraise was poor.

David Joy


Enough National Coverage

I was amazed to hear that people think Vermont did not receive enough national coverage about the damage done by Tropical Storm Irene [“Fifteen Minutes? How the National Media Reported on Irene in Vermont,” September 7]. Not only do I work in the hospitality industry here in Vermont, but I also am obtaining my degree in hospitality and tourism management at CCV. From this perspective, I would say that the media got out of control with the coverage of the damage, and then failed to report on our cleanup and restoration progress.

While the storm did do great damage, the media coverage is doing even greater damage by way of tourists that we need during fall foliage, our high season. They are canceling reservations and trips because they fear that their hotels are inaccessible or destroyed. While people may gripe about tourists during fall foliage, we need them — and their revenue. I don’t understand why the media can’t do a good-news news story for once. They only report the bad things because that is what gets ratings.

Desiree Roberts


Rock Steady

Thanks for the fabulous article about John Rouleau [“Getting the Point,” August 17]! I’ve been lucky enough to work at Rock Point for five years, and his smiling face in Seven Days came as a wonderful summer surprise. The article completely captured John’s brilliance, humor and generous spirit. I’m impressed at how well you summed up what happens at Rock Point and grateful that you’ve helped make public one of Burlington’s best-kept secrets. Thanks!

Abbey Baker


Beyond Lockheed

I read with dismay the letters Seven Days received [Feedback, September 14] with regard to the paper’s limited commentary on the “breakup” between the City of Burlington and Lockheed Martin. My dismay reflects the reality that America is a very polarized nation. Ask Vermont Progressives what they think of conservative Republicans who advocate reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to make them sustainable, and they will scoff at you with malevolent disdain. Ask conservative Republicans what they think of Progressive calls for increased taxes on the very rich, and they will look at you as if you were a parasite.

The central question we face at personal, local, state, national and global levels is: How do we find common ground? I personally have no enthusiasm for spending $125 million dollars for one F-35 fighter airplane, but many Americans do. Am I likely to change their mind by telling them they are wrong and only my view is correct? I think not. Will I have more success by working with them on nonmilitary endeavors in areas where we might have common ground, so as to establish some degree of trust and respect? Maybe.

James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Applauding the breakup between B-town and Lockheed Martin, as liberal Progressives have done, is not a sign of victory but yet one more example of our polarized dysfunctional society.

Gerry Silverstein

South Burlington

Steakhouse Stakeholder

I am outraged at the owners of the Shelburne Steakhouse for closing their doors without notice to those of us who have purchased gift certificates for their establishment. In [“Entrées and Exits,” September 21], it stated that persons who purchased the Jumponit deal would receive a credit back on the Jumponit account, but what about those of us who purchased a gift certificate directly from the restaurant? I am the proud owner of a $75 piece of paper. I would like the contact information of the lawyer to get my money back from these people.

P.S. I love your paper!

Jim Duval

South Burlington

Post-Panel Review

Re [“War of the Words: Chris Hedges on 9/11, Qaddafi and Sen. Bernie Sanders,” September 7]: What was so interesting about the program previewed in Kevin Kelley’s Q&A was the vast difference of opinion displayed by the three speakers.

Hedges was brilliant with his observations and conclusions gained from many years of direct experience in the Middle East. If you had just listened to him and not the other two, you would have been convinced that “our brutality and triumphalism, the byproducts of nationalism and our infantile pride, revived the jihadist movement. . . . The sad legacy of 9/11 is that the assholes, on each side, won.” His only solution was to return to the streets in massive civil disobedience.

Maryann Cusimano Love, on the other hand, said, “Peace building works. In the past 20 years the number of major active armed conflicts in which more than a thousand people have died has gone from 33 to 16.” She stressed the need to do more conflict prevention, education and economic development — things that keep a country from falling apart. She said there’s a lot of good news out there that we don’t get from the media.

Anas Malik told of a very important document that I’m sure most of us in the audience had never even heard of called “The Amman Message.” In July 2005, an Islamic convention brought together 200 Muslim scholars from over 50 countries who issued a three-point declaration that stressed the need to reemphasize Islam’s core values of compassion, mutual respect, tolerance, acceptance and freedom of religion. Malik stressed that meetings and conversations should be held all over the world to heal the wounds between Muslims and non-Muslims to show that we all have more in common than most think.

Malik and Love never openly disagreed with the very persuasive and depressing logic of Hedges. It was very informative and good planning to have a variety of viewpoints on the panel.

Offie Wortham


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