Letters to the Editor (3/9/16) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (3/9/16) 

Published March 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated March 15, 2016 at 10:20 p.m.

Food Flaw

We're hoping you're open to another letter about correct vocabulary. It pertains to those who are hunger-insecure in Vermont. The Side Dishes article ["Around Town," February 17] contains a common misuse of terms. It states, "Getting to the food bank to pick up food during business hours can be hard." But for our neighbors in need, supplemental food can only be accessed at food shelves. They cannot "pick up food" at the Vermont Foodbank. Fortunately, Vermont has 255 food shelves, which directly serve those in need.

We applaud the efforts of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and Emmet Moseley's Good Food Trailer. We knew Emmet when he worked for the Vermont Foodbank's Wolcott facility. Unfortunately, that facility has closed, leaving those in the Northeast Kingdom without a way to easily access packaged food and gleaned vegetables.

We have learned that Salvation Farms will be returning to Lamoille County to continue the gleaning program it started 11 years ago. Salvation Farms is responsible for creating gleaning partnerships statewide. If you would like to help ensure that Vermonters in need have access to gleaned vegetables, please visit salvationfarms.org.

The Good Food Trailer is an excellent way to get fresh food to low-income Vermonters in the Burlington area. Hopefully, the program will be expanded to help those away from the big cities, where populations are more vulnerable and situations more challenging. Until then, we encourage community members to support their local food shelves.

Deb Krempecke


Krempecke is manager of Lamoille Community Food Share.

'Deal' is Doublespeak

Buried in Alicia Freese's Off Message blog post ["City, Vermont Land Trust Close on Former Burlington College Land," February 19] is the very "on-message" news that Burlington's "city council voted on Tuesday to use $500,000 from the city's Conservation Legacy Fund for the purchase ... The city has also agreed to pitch in up to an additional $500,000 from the Conservation Legacy Fund, a possibility the mayor said was likely." This theft of public funds will pay developer Eric Farrell for an undevelopable beach and a collapsing hillside that we already own. Completing the bait and switch is Champlain Housing Trust's agreement to build its own inclusionary zoned units — with Farrell keeping the IZ "credit" — thus exposing the ruse by which Mayor Miro Weinberger and the city council approved the city's development agreement over vocal public objection.

The mayor is now greenwashing his tracks by claiming in Orwellian doublespeak, "Yesterday's closing was a major milestone in the achievement of the city's long-standing goals to preserve open space and create new connections between the Old North End to the waterfront." Farrell is already shifting his lot lines, because the "Seller and Buyers agree that a system which is not financially feasible" for the developer allows him to use the "park" to mitigate stormwater runoff. That's straight from the purchase and sales agreement. Meanwhile, no plan has been floated for the overflow of new students and traffic into Burlington's schools and roads from the biggest development in Burlington's history.

Philip Pezeshki


Uber v. ZabCab?

Re [Off Message: "Council Passes New Taxi Rules Despite Concerns About Uber," February 17]: It is troubling to see the City of Burlington promote and make accommodations for Uber, a corporation that so flagrantly flouts our community values. This is not to place any blame on Uber's drivers, many of whom are driving as a second job to make ends meet, working in an increasingly expensive city with stagnant wages and a low minimum wage.

In a February 16, 2016, memo, "Re: Vehicles for Hire Ordinance," Mayor Miro Weinberger wrote that allowing Uber to operate in the city will send a message "to entrepreneurs and millennials ... that Burlington is serious about embracing innovation." However, by allowing Uber to operate in the city under its own terms, Weinberger is sending a confusing message to local entrepreneurs. By deciding that Uber — a billion-dollar multinational company that pays very little in national, state and municipal taxes — deserves citywide priority over local law-abiding cab companies, the mayor has made it harder for local businesses to trust that the city will always support them.

Also, by promoting Uber over ZabCab, a mobile phone app founded in Burlington that connects local cab companies with smartphone-owning customers, the mayor appears to be supporting our local entrepreneurs inconsistently, embracing innovation even at the expense of our community's best interests.

Hopefully, as more innovative businesses and tech companies continue to compete in the Burlington market and beyond, the mayor will build on the Progressive foundation of promoting locally owned businesses and protecting them from global corporations.

Charles Winkleman


Winkleman is chair of the Burlington Progressive Party.

Pro Crow

I just love crows. They are highly intelligent, both evolutionarily and emotionally. I am not against hunting for food, but it is very apparent that crow hunting is by and large for target practice and trophies. ["Eating Crow," February 24] portrays crows as pests — smart ones. Surely there are people on the flip side of the pro-hunting agenda who could have explained a crow's importance in our ecosystem: eating carrion, controlling garden pests, etc. In a state with wildlife biologists and naturalists aplenty, I was disappointed to see such a one-sided piece on crow hunting in the Animal Issue. But I did love the drawing by Nikki Laxar!

Nicole Carey


Go With the Crow

It was with great delight that I read Sadie Williams' piece "Eating Crow" [February 24]. It is ironic that on November 5, 1833, the Vermont legislature rewarded citizens for killing crows by paying them 10 cents apiece and that, years later, in 1941, this same bird was a finalist to be Vermont's official state bird.

Greg Carpenter


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