Letters to the Editor (5/29/19) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (5/29/19) 

Published May 29, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated June 3, 2019 at 12:11 p.m.

More Perfect Union?

[Re Off Message: "Community Health Centers of Burlington Unionization Effort Ends With Mixed Results," May 10]: As a longtime patient at the Community Health Centers of Burlington, I'm proud to hear that my health care providers have decided to organize and form a union. 

The pressures faced by these workers — short staffing, low wages, high turnover and burnout — aren't localized to CHCB. These are systemic challenges rooted in demographic shifts, federal attacks on public programs and transformations in health care delivery. 

The medical providers, registered nurses, and behavioral health and psychiatry staff who voted yes recognize that systemic challenges must be met with a systemic response: a formal seat at the table to ensure that patients' and providers' needs remain at the forefront as CHCB navigates this new and difficult terrain.

Last year's University of Vermont Medical Center nurses' strike received an enormous amount of support from a public who understood that nurses were fighting for their patients and our community. To all of my neighbors who rely on CHCB to care for our bodies and our families: Let's show the same amount of support for the CHCB providers as they begin bargaining their first contract in the weeks to come.

Keith Brunner


Parkway Plan B

[Re Off Message: "Champlain Parkway Construction Could Begin by Year's End," May 20]: Is approval for this Champlain Parkway dependent on the same group of councilors that is responsible for the great big hole in Burlington where Macy's used to be? I'd think twice, based on that fact alone. Not a good track record.

Daniel Curtin

South Burlington

A Taste of Morocco

I have not been back to Morocco, a place I fell in love with, since 9/11. I don't know if you realize how special it is to have Little Morocco Café in Burlington.

I want to thank you, because had you not written about it, I would not have known it had opened ["Express From Marrakech," March 12].

The atmosphere, service and food fill my heart with joy. Eating there transports me — and all of my senses — back to my time in Morocco. It is a gift!

My most recent meal was the melt-in-your-mouth chicken tagine with an almond-rose-water pastry for dessert. Everything on the menu is traditionally what would be found throughout the country.

A most sincere thank-you for your commitment to all the food news.

Jill Smith


Talkin' 'Bout My Cannabus

The doodle that goes with Seven Days' "Smell No Evil" article [802much, May 15] depicts a Volkswagen Bus with cannabis leaves spilling out the windows. That could end my immunity to vehicular profiling, even as a privileged, white, college-educated, middle-class male who has to search for something to complain about. 

I was 30 minutes short of being born in a '64 Splitty, according to my mom. Four buses followed for my parents — rust, ya know — while I've now owned an '86 Vanagon for 17 years. And never have I, nor my family, smoked the devil's lettuce, let alone in our V-Dub buses.

Quintessential stoners Cheech & Chong drove assorted U.S.-made vans. Meanwhile, Subaru is the Vermont-identity vehicle, and so the likely Green Mountain toke-mobile. But Seven Days passed those over. Likewise, no electric vehicles, showing they might not be zero emissions after all.

I haven't been offended by Seven Days recently, so I was looking for a reason to be. You guys just gave me one. 

Alan Cote


Clap Trap?

The foothold and conibear traps are the tools of choice for wildlife-control professionals and are legal in 44 states and Canada [Feedback: "Ban Trapping," May 1]. Airports have wildlife-control specialists assisting in the removal of problem animals. Vermont towns remove beavers to reduce flooding of roadways, basements and septic systems.

After banning most traps in 1997, Massachusetts wildlife officials cited an increase in the beaver population from 20,000 to 70,000. Complaints of beaver damage grew from 400 to 1,000. In 2018, the city of Framingham, Mass., hired trappers to control flooding caused by beavers. In 2018, there were coyote attacks in Montréal. In 2019, coyotes attacked people in Addison County, and a bobcat bit three people in White River Junction. These folks were treated for rabies.  

Forty-one million dollars have been spent over the last three decades on science-based trap assessment. The foothold trap is designed to avoid injury to the captured animal. Foothold traps apply pressure on two sides of the foot to hold, not harm, the animal. Data collected during field trials confirmed that animals are only slightly distressed by a trapping experience. Foothold traps allow release of nontarget animals.  

Trapping regulations consider best management practices developed to improve traps and trapping methods. Veterinarians, who participated in the development of these practices, examined thousands of trapped animals for signs of injury. Best-management-practices recommendations include only those traps that cause the fewest injuries and minimal distress, and that also pass rigorous tests for welfare, selectivity, efficiency and safety.

Jerry D'Amico


Word to Weaver

[Re Off Message: "Media Note: Sanders Aide Accuses VTDigger of 'Systemic Racism,'" May 10]: For an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Weaver seems a bit ignorant and thin-skinned about the media. His complaint about Chuck Rocha's union financial misdeeds being "previously reported" and note that Sanders believes in giving people "second chances" was OK, right up until he completely missed the point about Rocha unionizing the Sanders workers (thereby becoming a media note again). 

Toughen up, Buttercup; the best is yet to come. And for Bernie's sake, make some better decisions about whom to whip out the racism comments to. Throwing mud at one of Vermont's two unbiased media outlets is just, well, stupid.

Christopher Maloney


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