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Letters to the Editor 

Published March 6, 2013 at 5:18 a.m.

Shirt Shrift

Thank you to Ken Picard for doing an amazing job retelling and condensing the complicated story of my “Cure for the Blues” T-shirt design [“After 20 Years, a Graphic Designer for Clinton-Gore Gets His Just Rewards,” February 27]. However, readers may have come away with the impression that Connie Fails sold counterfeit shirts back in 1992. To my knowledge, Connie has never sold anything but the real McCoy. She first sold my shirts when she owned a popular apparel company in Little Rock, Ark., and was a designer of several inaugural gowns for Hillary Clinton. In 2003, she became director of the Clinton Museum Store (not affiliated with the 1992 Clinton/Gore Store that counterfeited my design).

I’m thrilled to work with Connie again. She was excited to learn that the original shirt helped build two Habitat for Humanity homes and is committed to buying American and union-made shirts for the commemorative edition. Connie is also pleased that a minimum of 10 percent of my royalties will help build more homes. In her words, “Let’s build a house.”  

Doug Dunbebin


Wood Not Waste

A recent article described Goddard College’s wood-chip system as an “incinerator” [“For Some Near Goddard College, Wood Heat Isn’t Good Heat,” January 16]. It is inaccurate and misleading, as is opponent Karen Bouffard’s “particulate-spewing monstrosity” [Feedback, “Biomass Boondoggle,” February 13]. Their characterizations are not shared by the Vermont Air Quality Control Division or the many communities in Vermont and New England — including Hanover, N.H., Middlebury, Barre, Newport and Montpelier — that have wood-chip systems, some right downtown. The new wood-chip system will burn hardwood chips, similar to those used to heat our homes. Twenty-one percent of Plainfield and Vermont residents heat their homes with wood. The small institutional size will have computer-controlled 995-plus combustion efficiency and state-of-the-art air-pollution-control technology similar to the system at National Life that provides heat to 1800 National Life and state employees.

Incinerators are defined by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as a unit that burns waste to dispose of it. We correctly use “incinerator” to refer to plants burning garbage, tires, construction materials, medical wastes, etc., not our wood stoves, fireplaces, and pellet or wood-chip heating systems.

The short story is, wood chips are not a hazardous material; they are wood from our forests, burned to heat our homes, businesses and institutions in place of burning fossil fuels. Goddard College should be commended for replacing 22 older oil burners with a wood-chip system that has a combustion efficiency of 99-plus percent and for voluntarily choosing the best available pollution-control technology, exceeding any required state and federal requirements for a smaller system.

Barry Bernstein

East Calais

Bernstein is president and cofounder of Better World Energy, the Northeast representative of Michigan-based Messersmith Manufacturing, the company that would build the wood-chip system proposed for Goddard College.

Lawyer’s Lawyer

Nice article by Kevin J. Kelley [“Lawyer Jim Dumont Fights for the Little Guy — and Takes On Some Big Ones,” February 27]. I am a retired insurance adjuster and I worked for years with many lawyers in resolving bodily injury claims. Many were brilliant lawyers or close to it, but Jim Dumont stands out. He was always fair and, more than anything else, thorough. He was like a dog with a bone when he worked on a case. Indeed, he is a lawyer you would want on your side. He is a lawyer’s lawyer.

Harland Howard

St. Albans

Extra Credit

I appreciated Kathryn Flagg’s feature article on Barbara Vacarr’s presidency [“Presidential Appeal,” February 27]. I have been associated with Goddard in several capacities since I was on the faculty from 1959 to 1965 — as a federally funded project director from 1965-69, board member during the Lindquist and Kytle presidencies, and as special assistant to president Mark Schulman. So I have experienced many of Goddard’s good times and bad during the last 53 years, firsthand and from a distance.

I agree that Barbara is a dynamic, energetic, articulate leader and an “adept ambassador” who has mightily strengthened the college’s visibility and working relationships locally and regionally. In addition, she has strengthened the board with a new chairperson and strong local, regional and national members.

But Flagg’s historical overview totally ignores Mark Schulman’s presidency. Mark came in 2003 after the board shut down the residential undergraduate program. He pulled Goddard back from the brink of extinction. During his tenure, several new undergraduate and master’s programs were created. Enrollments grew steadily. The highly successful Port Townsend collection of programs began in 2005. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges that had been concerned about Goddard’s stability and future granted full accreditation for 10 years, its standard time interval.

When Mark resigned in 2010 to assume the presidency of the Saybrook Institute in San Francisco, Goddard was a thriving, educationally creative college that had been steadily in the black after years of decline and red ink. Terry McCauliffe’s acclaimed book on “turn-around colleges” recognized Goddard and Mark’s leadership as a signal example. So those of us who have, and are, invested in Goddard owe Mark a strong vote of thanks. I do not want his critical contributions to go unrecognized.

Art Chickering


Hinesburg Homework

Please do your research next time [Taste Test: Hinesburgh Public House, February 20]! To say that the nearest dining option is Subway is not correct, and as a food critic, Alice Levitt should know that. Subway is seven-tenths of a mile from the Hinesburgh Public House, while Good Times Café, Papa Nick’s and Paisley Hippo are within a half mile. Levitt owes these establishments an apology. Shame on her for adding that last paragraph without checking her facts, as it calls into question the entire article.

Dan Schillhammer



A work of art was misidentified in last week’s spotlight about Drew Peberdy’s Main Street Museum exhibit, “Cheap Thrills.” The image was from a previous show by Drew’s brother, Ben Peberdy. Our apologies for the

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