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Letters to the Editor (3/6/24) 

Published March 6, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

More Heartwarming Stories, Please

Please, more stories like Melissa Pasanen's article about David Corey at City Hardware ["'Mr. Helpful,'" February 21]. It was heartwarming!

Scott Hamlin

Winter Garden, FL

Fifty Years Later

The Lawson's Finest Liquids ad for Black Is Beautiful beer [February 7], with proceeds to "go to the development and growth of Black brewers nationwide," brought back an amusing memory.

Back in the civil-rights 1960s, I had a mentor who happened to be Procter & Gamble's Washington, D.C., lobbyist. I said: "I have an idea for you. In addition to the usual pretty white housewives marketing Comet kitchen cleanser on TV, how about putting the same product in a can, labeling it 'Black Power kitchen cleanser,' with a label featuring a take-charge Black woman extolling its virtues, and retail it in inner-city Black neighborhoods, all profits contributed to Black economic self-help organizations? It would cost P&G almost nothing, and it would win a lot of favorable publicity for both P&G and Black economic development."

My friend conceded that it was original but perhaps too advanced to persuade P&G management.

That was 50 years ago. Best wishes to Lawson's Finest and the National Black Brewers Association.

John McClaughry


Wrong-Way Republicans

"This Modern World" was spot on [January 24]. I will never understand how or why so many Americans are so loyal to someone so undeserving of it. I can understand the 147 Republican lawmakers who have demanded and defended Donald Trump; that election integrity is paramount to our very core beliefs. After all, how many of them, the 147, did the same when Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes? Oh, wait, election integrity is a one-way street. I guess as long as the Electoral College votes are properly counted, millions can be denied their choice.

For more than three years, these same 147 lawmakers, or most of them, have continued to jam our democracy with a seemingly never-ending barrage of complete garbage. As far as I'm concerned, the Republican Party is going in the wrong direction, trying to impeach President Joe Biden for most of his term with absolutely no verifiable proof of any wrongdoing, going after his son, calling him names and, of course, echoing anything Trump says. I can't think of any group of Americans that has ever proven to be so pathetic. It's a disgrace.

In 1945, World War II ended and leaders across the world swore that never again would a Nazi-type regime terrorize the world. How soon we forget.

Mark Maddy

Mooers, NY

Stay Away From Old-Growth

The article "Taking a Stand" [January 24] describes the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation's proposed plan that includes managing 19,000 acres of state forest in the Worcester Range near Montpelier, allowing logging in half the land and conserving the other half.

The big question is: Why permit logging at all in this old-growth area when we know that old-growth forests are the most effective CO2 vacuums on the planet? Yes, we need lumber, but we should not be cutting down our best assets at absorbing CO2. With about 98 percent of the timber cut in Vermont coming from public land, why do we even need to be encouraging logging in state forests at all? Adding limited state acreage should have little to no impact on the logging industry.

Signed in 2023, Act 59 set the goal to conserve 50 percent of all land in Vermont by 2050. With only about half that amount protected now, we need to find ways to put private land under protection. Freeing up more state land for logging would only make that job harder. Act 59 also dictated use of the Vermont Conservation Design document to serve as a guide, and it calls for moving to 9 percent old-growth forests, a big leap from the current 1 percent.

I call on state Reps. Becca White and Gabrielle Stebbins, cochairs of the Vermont Climate Solutions Caucus, to press the forest department to protect our old-growth forests and conserve state forests.

Bob Warrington


'One Bad Apple'

Thank you so much for this well-researched article ["The Fight for Decker Towers," February 14]. I am writing to say that a similar issue, although not so blatant, is taking place in all affordable housing communities for seniors and people with disabilities. Federally assisted apartment living stipulates that a little less than 20 percent of apartments must shelter the unhoused. The concept is good, but it isn't long before one bad apple spoils the bunch. Or, to put it another way: A tenant invites friends and strangers into the building.

I am someone who strongly advocates for housing and shelters. I support U.S. Rep. Becca Balint's proposed housing bill. However, it is misguided for agencies to commingle unhoused people, who often have substance-abuse issues and/or mental illness, with a vulnerable population such as elders and people with disabilities. There is no staff with the skills to intervene in a crisis, especially at night.

Regardless of the cause, we are living in a time and place of drug addictions and homelessness. It behooves us as a community, state and nation to get on with multipronged efforts to intervene. From efforts to detect drugs entering our borders to local treatment centers and warming shelters, we need to move immediately on this. As the article on Decker Towers indicates, the problem moves into all neighborhoods and brings with it a dystopian future for everyone.

Hope Lindsay


Follow the Money

[Re "Online Sports Betting in Vermont Will Start in January," December 12, 2023]: The state has a windfall in tax revenue from online sports betting and cannabis: $20 million wagered in the first three weeks of online gambling. Where is that tax money in the conversation regarding hitting homeowners with a 20 percent property tax hike? There is a similar windfall with regard to cannabis sales and taxes collected.

Remember when the Lotto and Megabucks funds were supposed to cover the education fund? Is that being misappropriated? We need answers.

Kelli Brown Varela


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