Letters to the Editor (9/17/14) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (9/17/14) 

Published September 17, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Everyday Error

While it might be an everyday occurrence for Russ Weis to see the words "every day" misspelled as "everyday," I'm sure he will allow that — as an adjective — it cannot be spelled otherwise.

Now, if only it were nutritionally sound to make bacon an everyday indulgence.

Nelson Caldwell


Back to Unschool

In reading "School's Out Completely" [August 27], I found myself concerned. I find it difficult to believe that in today's age, or any age, parents would even contemplate the notion of non-schooling their children. As the father quotes, "the more freedom and autonomy I allow my children to follow their passions and to learn on their own terms, the more passionate and eager they become." What is this man thinking? How much freedom and autonomy does one give to a 9- and 12-year-old? Sounds as if the parents are allowing the children to forage their own paths of learning sans exposure to outside thoughts or ideas. Are these kids given any challenges?

The more you that you read, the more things that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. — Dr. Seuss

Suzanne Szermer


Don't Forget Science

The recent cover story on the Vermont State Colleges ["College Try," September 3] stated, "Johnson State has largely cast its lot with arts." Inclusion of the sciences in this statement would have more accurately reflected the dynamic environment of our learning community.

JSC is leading the Vermont State College system in developing and sustaining a culture of research that focuses on the education of our undergraduates and promotes the scholarly activity of our faculty. Faculty members are engaged in externally funded research that impacts human health, behavior and our surrounding ecosystem. Our research projects actively engage undergraduates at all stages of scientific inquiry, including presentations at national meetings and publications.The high quality of science education offered at JSC is clearly illustrated by the receipt of a major grant from the National Science Foundation that provides scholarships and enhanced advising for science majors.

This past summer, over 20 JSC undergraduates received paid assistantships to work with faculty on research projects. They initiated the JSC Lab Rats, a bimonthly summer research seminar that was so successful, it is continuing this academic year.

We have renovated our science facilities, and Bentley Hall is a major hub of activity on campus. Our teaching laboratories are well equipped, and all science faculty members have research laboratories to carry out their projects with ample space for student participation.

Elizabeth Dolci


Dolci is chair of Johnson State's Department of Environmental and Health Sciences.

Planning for What?

[Re "Burlington's Changing South End Looks Way Into its Future," September 3]: I remember with clarity the excitement that I felt recently, standing still for a brief moment on the opening night of the Art Hop. The South End Arts District, fueled by SEABA member artists and businesses over the past 20-plus years, has emerged as one of the most creative and energetic arts communities in New England.

The South End Arts District is an outstanding neighborhood and incubator space filled with entrepreneurs and artists who have scrambled to obtain workspaces for fair prices. This area has a unique pulse that many organizations and cities vie for but rarely achieve. It is authentic.

Unsurprisingly, the South End Arts District (SEAD) is viewed from the outside as a land of opportunity. A major grant was recently landed by an organization located outside of the SEAD for planning within the SEAD. Odd. No crystal ball is required to see that this planning effort will result in higher rents and the requisite blend of bland suburban real estate that already occupies too large an area in downtown Burlington. Shouldn't the grant funding be channeled in part to SEABA for a planning process that would assist the organization's artist and business members in continuing to bring even more vitality to the South End?

Think and act local — head to the South End Arts District to experience art, innovation and random acts of creativity. Afterwards, get involved in preserving the qualities of the South End Arts District that are deeply rooted in local involvement and that community members cannot afford to lose.

Sue Higby


Higby is executive director of Studio Place Arts in Barre.

'Tiny' Problem

It was great to read about the tiny house that was built in Montpelier recently for the reality-television show "Tiny House Nation" ["A Montpelier Design/Build Duo Lands a House on TV," August 20]. In a culture that for the most part emphasizes that bigger is better, it's good to see a shift in attitude toward smaller and more efficient homes.

I'm writing mainly to correct a few factual errors in regard to your reporting of the actual construction of the home. While Anomal deserve credit for being the ones to take on the contractual aspects of the project as well as working above and beyond the normal call of a contractor to design, manage and build the project, my company, SteepleChase Design/Build, was significantly involved from day one, when the Watts first called me, until the final reveal of the home. Due to the unique circumstances of the job and an already busy and complicated summer unfolding, I passed the lead contractor role to Chris [Kiper] and Damian [Taylor] while I stayed involved in the design, permitting, and mainly the on-site build part of the project, spending 14-hour days for three weeks straight working on the build while putting just about everything else on hold.

It's great to be able to partner with such quality folks as Chris and Damian, especially on a project such as the Watt home, where a unique camaraderie is formed. I just hope that in the future when a project of this nature happens that credit is given where it is deserved.

Will Schebaum



There were two errors in last week's cover story, "The Trials of Vermont Law School." VLS was founded in 1972 — not 1978, the year the American Bar Association gave its approval. John Miller is the assistant dean of admissions, not the associate director.

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