Letters to the Editor (5/8/19) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (5/8/19) 

Published May 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated May 21, 2019 at 8:16 p.m.

Waiting Game

[Re Fair Game: "Wait for It," May 1]: Let's try to retire the phrase "You are in our thoughts and prayers" in Vermont, regarding gun violence, by proactively requiring a measly 24-hour waiting period for buying a handgun in our state. The legislators who are delaying a vote on this bill need to be replaced in the next election. Lack of backbone is not an admirable quality in a politician, and inaction to avoid tragedy is unconscionable.

No sane person would have reason to object to such a short waiting period. Certifications to get licenses for any number of skills most likely take longer than 24 hours — for skills that are not life-or-death matters.

Rep. Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington), the House majority "leader," claims, "It's a piece of legislation that people need some time with." Columbine happened 20 years ago. How much more time do our representatives need to think about that? How many deaths does it take?! Vote for the bill, for heaven's sake! Not in 2020, but now.

Melinda Gale


Folk, No!

Peg Tassey here, as referenced in the April 17 article ["New Trick for Flynndog: A Station"] — except for one thing ... and no offense to folk artists everywhere, but I am definitely not a folk scenester!

Quite a few articles in this esteemed paper attest to this [Soundbites: "How a Vermonter Founded FXFU," March 13, 2013]. And here's this as a bit of proof, too: Note the lyrics about not being a folk singer in my song "Rock and Roll Queen" — wink, wink!

I may not be one of the "younger artists" the article refers to (and proud of it), but I will always be a rock musician and rock producer. And I'm psyched to go sing really, really loud at the new venue, Flynndog Station, since only folk singers can responsibly rehearse in their apartments! 

Peg Tassey


Touching Base

I just read your article and appreciate a cynic's view ["Touch Sensitive," April 24]. I do wish, however, that your article included evidence-based research or interviews with local experts on touch and the human body.

There are legit therapeutic responses to touch, with a variety of touch types that elicit those responses. Brain development rapidly occurs during infancy and early childhood. When a caregiver is unable to meet the needs of a child, their nervous system develops stress responses that carry into adulthood.

The Burlington Cuddle Collective is one method for healing the central nervous system. And, to answer your question, scheduled touch is an answer within that community's context. I am not a member of their community; I am a mind-body psychotherapist. You missed the link on therapeutic bonds that develop over time.

Shaina Levee


Hot and Cold

I bring bad news to Robert Devost from Jericho [Feedback: "Good One," April 24] regarding the erroneous idea that scientific recognition of "global cooling" ever got any traction.

Fact: From 1965 to 1979, there were seven scientific papers that speculated about possible global cooling, 19 papers that were neutral on the topic and 42 scientific papers that predicted global warming. In no year were there more global cooling papers than global warming papers. The term "global warming" was essentially coined by Wallace Broecker in 1975, the same year as the infamous Newsweek story about "global cooling." And by the way: In 2006, Newsweek issued a correction, stating that it had been "so spectacularly wrong about the near-term future." 

Of course, by now there have been tens of thousands of scientific papers that have moved far beyond a basic understanding of the physical-chemical underpinnings of global warming. Research now focuses on not merely documenting the biological consequences of a warming climate, but also to trying to make cohesive sense of the myriad long-term consequences of human-caused climate change. Long-term consequences to ecosystems remain largely unpredictable, which is just one big reason climate change, as a great big "uncontrolled experiment," should terrify everyone. 

I draw attention to these historical facts for the benefit of reasonable people who may wish to know the history of climate research and/or to possibly enlighten climate deniers to the fundamentals of what I refer to as "reality." I am optimistic regarding the former but, sadly, pessimistic about the latter.

Rick Weinstein


Uncle's Lament

[Re "Man Who Died After Fight With Cop Had Broken Jaw, Eye Socket," April 24, and related coverage]: I am Douglas Kilburn's uncle. I strongly believe that Douglas was severely beaten and that Burlington Police Officer Cory Campbell used excessive force. I further believe that the American Civil Liberties Union is right and that Campbell should not be allowed to review bodycam footage before he gives testimony on this incident to the Vermont State Police. 

Douglas was a frustrated and outspoken person, burdened with caring for his diabetic invalid wife. He was also all of the other things identified in the autopsy report. He was obese, had cardiovascular disease, had high blood pressure and was a diabetic. But the coroner correctly put homicide at the top of the list of causes/contributors to his most unfortunate, untimely and premature death.

In my opinion, there has been and continues to be an organized effort to downplay this homicide, to sweep it under the rug and make it appear to be totally unrelated to the beating at the hands of Campbell. Now there is yet another effort afoot to allow him to better formulate his version of the events, facts and actions before he gives testimony to the Vermont State Police.

The horse is out of the barn, Officer Campbell, and it is far too late to close the barn door. 

Albert Kilburn


Editor’s Note: The medical examiner listed homicide as the manner, not the cause, of Douglas Kilburn’s death.

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