Letters to the Editor (7/31/19) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (7/31/19) 

Published July 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated August 13, 2019 at 4:31 p.m.

Next Up: N.H. Issue?

I've been reading your fine publication for about 12 years and enjoy your annual Adirondack Issue [July 24] — to a degree.

While grazing this edition in recent years, I've wondered: If we're going to devote such homage to our neighbors to the west, why not our neighbors to the east in the magnificent White Mountain National Forest?

I understand that the majestic Adirondacks provide a spectacular backdrop to the landscape across Lake Champlain, but let's not forget that many of your readers, especially those of us who reside east of Route 100, likely both visit and identify more significantly with the Whites. New Hampshire is Vermont's "twin state," after all, and both are part of the northern New England region we all are so proud of.

For that matter, how about an issue dedicated to the Green Mountains and/or Vermont's state parks? Many Vermonters are either blissfully unaware of or surprisingly unfamiliar with the supremely bountiful recreational opportunities in our own backyards, and those of us who do enjoy these opportunities revel in any chance to celebrate it in print.

Finally, it would be wonderful to see more coverage devoted to Vermont's amazing network of municipal town forests and the volunteers who help them rival state parks and the Green Mountain National Forest for recreational offerings.

Rock on, and get outside!

Jared Pendak


Pendak, a member of the Bradford Conservation Commission, has been involved in protecting the town forest at Wright's Mountain.

Mayor Should Listen

The Coalition for a Livable City was dismayed by the tone of Mayor Miro Weinberger's letter criticizing Seven Days for not touting a meeting on housing while covering the Pine Street Coalition's legal challenge to the latest iteration of the plans for the Champlain Parkway [Feedback: "Just Say Yes," June 19].

Instead of respect for citizens' legitimate suggestions and well-researched alternatives, what we repeatedly get from this mayor is labeling and name-calling. Those of us who volunteer our time to attend public meetings to testify critically about plans for the city routinely see the mayor rolling his eyes or smirking behind a hand over his mouth.

While espousing the principals of openness and transparency, the mayor and his supporters on the city council actively discourage participation with hostility, incivility and secrecy — for example, in the form of unnecessary council executive sessions closed to the public.

No one expects that all of their ideas will be adopted. But citizens can and should expect serious attention to the points they bring up. Listening to concerns about scale, feasibility and the ability of the developer to perform might have prevented the Burlington Town Center disaster and the disaster-in-the-making that is the destruction of City Hall Park.

We still have a chance with a better design for the Champlain Parkway if the mayor and the council will just listen with open minds instead of displaying Trumpian arrogance and belittling those who would thoughtfully contribute.

It would save us all a lot of hindsight heartache and probably a lot of taxpayer money, too.

Barbara McGrew


Talkin' Trash

High praise for Molly Walsh's objective article about the issues surrounding consideration of consolidating trash businesses in two cities ["Burlington, South Burlington Consider Consolidated Approach to Trash Pickup," July 10]. It was a balanced look at a controversial issue that was rejected by Burlington residents within the past year or two. Our current collector and its competitors — Gauthier and Myers in particular — come early and fairly quietly to our neighborhood. Molly did not mention that, unlike the blue-box recycling managed by the city, the free competition among these collectors seems to mean our garbage gets picked up every week, regardless of holidays!

Let's hear it for private business competition wherever possible over government ownership and control of a concession!

Winifred McCarthy


Water Works

Great article on Brown Novelty ["Toy (Hi)story," July 10]! Here's a clarification on how the water power worked: It's true that the Middlebury River could not have powered that size turbine by itself except at spring runoff or after heavy rain, but the man-made pond made it possible. It was a store-and-release system. The pond would fill overnight, then run the turbine during the workday — which, added to the ongoing inflow from the river, effectively doubled the power available when needed. Neat! The riverbed is lower now because it was dredged to reduce flooding.

David Tier


Tier was Brown Novelty's last employee.

Guns in America

Heather Kennedy needs a history lesson [Feedback: "The Gun Question," July 24]. Hayseeds who took their privately owned weapons of war into battle are the people who founded the USA. There was no government army or weapons. Today, descendants of those very hayseeds are still keeping us free because they have guns and the backing of the National Rifle Association and others.

As for Bernie Sanders: He's just a quack who only represents himself and some left-wing 1 percenters who hate this country and our way of life, like he does.

Alan Hatch


Hear Them Roar

[Re Off Message: "F-35s Diverted to BTV Provide an Unexpected Preview of What's Coming," May 29]: I moved to Winooski nine years ago. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Vermont Air National Guard F-16 flight path was directly over my apartment. There were days when I could see the pilots' heads beneath their canopies — that was how close they came in their flyover returns to base.

On the morning of May 31, I heard the F-35s taking off from the Burlington airport and was surprised at the building roar of them — not comparable to the F-16s; definitely louder. However, I will probably get used to them in time. If without the F-35s there is no VTANG, then let them come. It may have been disingenuous of our politicians to downplay the sound difference, but Vermonters support Vermonters. Like getting used to the sounds of the city in New York, we'll get used to this, too.

Robert Sieviec


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