Letters to the Editor (2/14/18) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (2/14/18) 

Published February 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated February 14, 2018 at 4:58 p.m.

Unfair to Infinite

"Two Against One" [January 31] attempts to summarize Mayor Miro Weinberger's political history and campaign tenets. However, it is clear that Carina Driscoll is the candidate who is tickling reporter Katie Jickling's fancy.

Driscoll's campaign methodology and philosophy are described in detail. The research into her past, interviews with supporters and cross-comparison to Weinberger create a clear view of her campaign.

Infinite Culcleasure's campaign, however, is briefly and abstractly covered. A few words from Genese Grill are given to describe Culcleasure's validity, whereas Driscoll gets entire paragraphs. Culcleasure's history is reduced to his occupation, his residency in Burlington and an ancient criminal violation. There is no detail of his ongoing involvement with local LGBTQA activist groups. His collegiate support goes unmentioned. In general, the words of sources chosen to represent the mayoral race are cherry-picked, obviously skewing the article.

Culcleasure is portrayed as unrealistically progressive, underqualified or otherwise not measuring up to Weinberger and Driscoll. Culcleasure's resistance to privatization of public resources such as Burlington Telecom and Memorial Auditorium and nuanced philosophy on keeping Vermont habitable to all residents are glazed over.

I expect more neutrality from an article of this nature, with sufficient coverage of every candidate. I guess it's become easy to write off individuals who don't fit exactly into the prefabricated political molds we've come to expect. I hope to see future media coverage that accurately recognizes the strengths and ideologies of all potential political candidates.

Ben Zelvis


More Miro?

[Re "Two Against One," January 31]: The outcomes of this mayoral race are the first true test of the public's appetite for the Miro Weinberger administration's take on what Burlington needs to become a first-class city in the next 10 years. He primarily seeks to obtain more revenue for our city by working with larger-scale business, be it the downtown redevelopment he has championed or the sale of Burlington Telecom.

This vision conflicts with major principles of sustainable development to achieve economic growth. It focuses too much on revenue for the city and our credit rating, policies that have demonstrably undermined local control of our key assets.

As a board member of Keep BT Local, a role I no longer hold, I was able to observe very troubling tendencies and behaviors of the mayor. We know he never seriously considered the KBTL bid, as he stated privately that he would not allow a cooperative to take on the role of managing our crown telecom jewel. Once we obtained financing, he called on our board leaders to withdraw our bid, with the claim that it was too debt-laden. This was proven to be untrue. Then he berated our board leadership in an impatient and unpleasant manner when we continued to persevere.  

Burlington needs a mayor who can work with the public on key decisions without using bullying tactics. Weinberger claims to be green, but his approach to developing our community assets does not reflect homegrown Vermont values.

Megan Epler Wood


Who's Responsible?

[Re "#HerToo," January 24]: Does a woman who accepts a man's invitation to his private room to drink alcohol bear any responsibility for outcomes? 

On that fateful night, it might be assumed that Middlebury College student Liz Dunn and her host, like countless college kids across the nation, were taking the opportunity to titillate themselves in the heady atmosphere of intimacy and sexual interest. 

Dunn complains of having been "victimized." Who is actually responsible? Is it a woman's responsibility to set appropriate boundaries while assessing the value of such an invitation — ultimately, as with attaining orgasm, a responsibility only she can assume? Or does Dunn's complaint suggest that women's safety really is a man's responsibility and that an update to assumptions fomented by the sexual and gender liberation movements of the last decades is necessary?

Qualities of nuance and discretion have been thrown out wholesale as voices are raised in the #MeToo movement. Undoubtedly, many of the accused men are highly suspect or guilty. However, a rush to judgment that denies the due process guaranteed by our Constitution, and on which any woman must rely were she accused, opens the way for anarchy. The good intentions of the #MeToo movement must now be tempered with wisdom and prudence so that offenses are prosecuted in a way that ensures justice now and into the future.

Nick McDougal


Have a Heart, UVMMC!

I enjoyed reading your article regarding the University of Vermont Medical Center cardiac rehab program ["Heart Smart," January 17]. My father benefited from this program several years ago, and my mother was able to join him there for support. So when I had mitral valve repair surgery in March 2017, it was only natural that I would go as well. Although I was already an advocate of exercise — I've run 18 marathons — I thought I, too, would participate in this program as a way of getting back to my former self in a safe way.

Unfortunately, the program does not accommodate many of us working people. I was told the first 12-week program hours were 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., when many of us have to be at work. I would think they would offer earlier morning hours or early evening hours so as to accommodate those of us who find it hard to come in during those times. Then there is the cost, which can be high depending on insurance deductibles.

It would be nice if they could develop a schedule that would accommodate us working people. That way, more may be able to participate in this valuable and worthwhile program. I wish I could have!

Laura McHugh


Bernie Bias

[Re Off Message: "Sanders Backs Out of Interview After Failing to Dictate Conditions," January 29]: Yes, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is right. Of course Seven Days wanted to do a gossip column. And why should Bernie waste his time with a biased, consumerist and politically neoliberalish weekly? He's got more important things to do, like address real issues.

So, Seven Days gossip columnists: Get over it.

Lew Friedland


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