Letters to the Editor (3/22/23) | Seven Days Vermont

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Letters to the Editor (3/22/23) 

Published March 22, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated April 25, 2023 at 1:36 p.m.

No Easy Save

[Re "On Life Support," March 1]: Your excellent article on the plight of rescue squads and EMTs highlights another crisis point in our crumbling health care system, and any solution will, necessarily, be complex. We must be realistic about what we need and how much we're willing to pay in both dollars and time. It will require hard choices and, likely, unpopular regulations to change our overall trajectory.

The challenges facing ambulance services speak volumes about our eldercare, self-care, challenges of scattered family units, volunteerism, earning power and inequities in access, to name just a few.

The remedy will be slow and require a seismic shift in attitudes, behaviors, and the collective will to make the change and endure the bumpy road of transformation. We need to begin yesterday and do more than just throw dollars at the problem(s).

Monique Hayden


Reynolds 'Very Deserving'

I mentioned to my friend Mike from Cornwall that my cousin many times removed, Jan Reynolds, was in Seven Days ["Woman Wonder," March 15]. He remembered her as "a great skier and adventuresome" at Middlebury Union High School!

Congrats to Jan on a diverse group of accomplishments. She's a very brave lady with an incredible legacy. Very deserving!

Stephen Halnon

West Lincoln

Counting Trees

[Re "Burlington Considers Kicking Fossil Fuels to the Curb," March 1]: The Burlington Electric Department's claim — that over the past two decades, 20 million tons of carbon have been added to the forests from which the McNeil Generating Station gets the wood it burns — is meaningless without context. Let me give it some.

1) BED does not say how many trees were cut down and when they were harvested to achieve the 20 million tons. It has been harvesting for 37 years, not 20. It is also claiming credit for the regrowth of trees that were not used to fuel McNeil.

2) Trees take 80 to 100 years to reach maturity. The first trees harvested for McNeil in 1985 have not even regrown to half their mature size.

3) Burlington says it will be carbon-neutral by 2050. All the trees harvested from today through 2050, around 27 years, will have a net regrowth of less than 15 percent over that time span.

4) The forests that have regrown over the past 37 years since McNeil started up have a net regrowth of about 20 to 25 percent. That is what the 20 million figure represents.

5) The loss of mature forest carbon absorption capabilities, as well as the slow regrowth of harvested forests, also needs to be accounted for.

6) Taken in context, burning wood on an industrial scale to generate electricity is not a renewable activity in any time frame that is relevant to the efforts to address CO2 production and slow down climate change.

Steve Goodkind


First Step to Carbon Neutrality

In ["Burlington Considers Kicking Fossil Fuels to the Curb," March 1], Burlington resident Nick Persampieri claims that the carbon fee is a false climate solution because the electricity used for the buildings would be generated by biomass. While I agree that biomass is a nonideal electric source, he misses the point that electrification as a climate solution is inherently a two-step process. You need to electrify the buildings, cars, etc. that currently use fossil fuels, and you need to ensure that the electricity is generated cleanly.

Expressing opposition to a measure that would very explicitly solve one part of the problem is just kicking the can down the road to some hypothetical future. It is a tactic widely used by fossil fuel-backed entities to delay climate action. Furthermore, even if all the electricity were generated via natural gas or biomass, it would still be more efficient and climate-friendly than burning the equivalent fuels in individual buildings.

Griffith Keating


'Read Your Bible Again'

"Love your neighbor as yourself" has been warped so that Mid Vermont Christian School can refuse to recognize the trans athlete of another school as legitimate ["Religious School Booted From Sporting Events for Refusing to Play Trans Athlete," March 14, online].

Bravo to the Vermont Principals' Association for banning this school from competing.

Read your Bible again. You are getting a giant F.

Sean Moran


Don't Persecute Christians

[Re "Religious School Booted From Sporting Events for Refusing to Play Trans Athlete," March 14, online]: Hooray for the Mid Vermont Christian School for standing up to the insanity that comes from the LGBTQ movement — and being persecuted for it! Not to mention for believing that God simply made us all male and female.

The so-called "transgender" player is simply a male who is so sexually confused by this invasion of our culture that he thinks it's OK to pretend he's just another girl out on the court. Do you think the real female athletes like this new arrangement, and would it matter to the school boards if they don't?

There is still freedom of speech in America (until somebody is offended)! If you want to hear hateful words, then just speak up against the LGBTQ folks. They invented words like "homophobic" and "transphobic" and use words like "bigot" to make you back down, hoping you'll publicly confess the sin of thinking for yourself.

So, instead of persecuting us Christians, join up! If you don't eventually do so, you are forfeiting not merely a game or a season, but your forever! Jesus Christ paid the death penalty for our sins, and no one is excluded! (Is that considered inclusion?)

Chris Leicht


Left Doctor-Less

As a person with UnitedHealthcare and now no doctors in network in the University of Vermont Health Network, I was surprised to learn about the rate contract falling through. I was not notified by UnitedHealthcare or the UVM Medical Center. I read it in Seven Days ["UnitedHealthcare, UVM Health Network Fail to Come to Terms on New Contract," February 21, online].

The resulting hours of phone calls between UVM and UnitedHealthcare, spent trying to find a doctor who is in network, were ridiculous. I've been wait-listed for six months to a year to see a primary doctor, or I will need to travel over two hours to New Hampshire. When insurance companies and health care networks break contracts, the patients pay the price and their health is compromised.

What sort of monsters are these decision makers who leave people without care?

Jennifer Barr


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