Letters to the Editor (8/16/17) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (8/16/17) 

Published August 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated August 29, 2017 at 3:58 p.m.

Thanks From the Kibabu Family

Re ["Deaths Prompt Review of Swimming, Safety Programs for New Americans," July 19]: From the bottom of our hearts, the Kibabu family would like to thank everyone who supported us during the difficult time of the loss of our son and brother Christian Kibabu Poso, who drowned in Lake Champlain on July 10, 2017. We thank you for your love, prayers, lovely cards, expressions of sympathy and for keeping the family in your prayers and contributing in many ways.

It will be difficult to include the names of everyone who supported us. Chittenden County and the City of Burlington have once again proven that we are a united community. From old to young, we say thank you. To employees and students, we say thank you. To Vermonters and those who joined us from out of state and other countries, we say thank you.

Our special thanks go to: the Burlington Police Department for security provided at our funeral ceremony; Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger; superintendent of Burlington schools Yaw Obeng; Burlington High School principal Tracy Racicot; the many Burlington students who joined us, and the soccer team; North Avenue Alliance Church for donating their magnificent space for our celebration of Christian's life; all the people who initiated and supported the GoFundMe campaign, through which we received enough financial support to cover all expenses; All Nations for Jesus Christ worship team and Pastor Joseph Kasongo; the Cathedral Church of St. Paul; and many volunteers.

Thank you!

The Kibabu Family


Disputing a Daysie

[Re "All the Best," August 2]: Rusty DeWees is a Vermont icon. He's very funny, charismatic and points to all our cherished Vermont stereotypes. I love him; Vermont loves him. He is not, however, what I would call a skilled actor. He's playing the same role he always has, and, presumably, it's a character that simply accentuates his own characteristics. I question how much rehearsal and preparation this takes. I question how often he changes his material. A talented fellow and a kind man, but is he an actor? Maybe. Is he the best actor in the state? Absolutely not.

This year, the Seven Daysies competition was highly contested. Bob Bolyard, aka Amber LeMay, is the genius behind House of LeMay, one of the most celebrated drag shows in the state. If you've never met Amber, you have no idea what you're missing. The shows are hilarious, smart and many times politically poignant. This is art enriching the community. Serena Magnan O'Connell is one of the major divas of Lyric Theatre Company. She has had countless stellar roles over the years, and her ability to capture an audience is unparalleled. She could belt the stubble off Rusty's face.

Last and certainly not least is Kim Anderson. Also a Lyric actor, her stunning charm and killer voice rock the Flynn stage. She is a philanthropist and works tirelessly for her art. I'm writing on behalf of these three incredible artists, unbeknownst to them, to say: They — not Rusty — should have won.

Grady Shea


Editor's Note: DeWees had a long and fruitful acting career before he created his popular "Logger" show. He appeared in numerous Jay Craven films and plays such as David Budbill's Judevine and a Vermont production of Buried Child, by Sam Shepard.

No Bull

Ray Duquette Sr., president of the Rutland County Farm Bureau, wrote to Seven Days that he inspected the farmer's fence [Feedback: "So Many Tragedies," August 9]. He is clearly one of many who fail to grasp the important picture related to the farmer-caused fatality [Off Message: "No Prison Time for Man Whose Loose Bull Caused Fatal Wreck," June 28; "Farmers Riled Over Decision to Charge Bull's Owner in Fatal Crash," June 15, 2016].

The motorist's death had nothing to do with whether the farmer's fence was intact. The causal factor in the fatal crash was that a passing trucker told the farmer of the escaped bull before the motorist was killed, and the farmer did nothing to ensnare the loose animal. The farmer is guilty of nonfeasance, minimally, and a good bit more. End of story.

Dan Cohen


'Weird' Comment

It's hard to take seriously the food critic who calls organ meat "weird" ["Middlebury's Coriander Aims to Please," July 25].

Alyth Hescock


Lawn Gone

[Re Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: "What's Up With That Unmowed Yard in Burlington's South End?" August 2]: There are many reasons why Linus Owens' decision to let his grass grow makes sense here, anywhere and everywhere. I applaud him and his housemate Jessica Evans for choosing to save on greenhouse gas emissions, allowing for pollination and biodiversity, increasing the quiet in the neighborhood, and abstaining from toxic chemicals and fertilizers which manicured lawns often rely upon, albeit unnecessarily. It's time that more property owners follow his lead and vote for the planet by way of eliminating gas-powered mowers, supporting pollinators, and increasing the peace and serenity of our neighborhoods. Many environmentally friendly alternatives to lawns are available with a little bit of planning. One could plant a vegetable or flower garden, native grasses, low-growing ground covers, a rock garden, a variety of trees, a meadow, etc.

According to Lakis Polycarpou, a freelance writer who blogs for Columbia University's State of the Planet website, American lawns take up 30 to 40 million acres of land, accounting for approximately 5 percent of air pollution, pesticides and fertilizers causing runoff and water pollution, and 30 to 60 percent of urban freshwater use. It seems highly worthwhile to come up with more sustainable uses for our neighborhood properties, as Owens did. I am happy to support city officials who can offer incentives and new ideas to encourage and support homeowners who want to transform their monoculture lawns into a true "green" biodiverse landscape for themselves, future generations, and for the overall health of the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

Sharon Kelly


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