Letters to the Editor (9/14/22) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (9/14/22) 

Published September 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated September 14, 2022 at 10:24 a.m.

Negative Portrayal

[Re "Dis-Connected," September 7]: From the teaser on the front page ("911 Callers Told Police Were 'Defunded'") to the subhead on the article inside ("Burlington dispatchers blame 'defunding' when police don't respond quickly, crime victims say") you would think every caller was told about "defunding."

But when you see the numbers, it appears that while it does happen, it isn't necessarily happening with a majority of calls. So why make this such a negative article about the dispatchers?

The apparent bias against the Burlington Police Department is evident from statements that are extremely critical and judgmental while disregarding the damage the 30 percent cuts did to the department, the city and the citizens of Burlington. It was more building a case than reporting on a severe problem currently impacting the police's ability to respond to citizen issues.

Did Derek Brouwer attempt to contact any dispatchers to hear their side of the issue? To hear about the short staffing or the nature of the calls they have to deal with on a daily basis? (They have to answer all calls, regardless of the issue and the personality of the caller.) This might have given a more balanced tone to the article.

Simply because funding has been restored, the current delays we are experiencing because of short staffing don't just go away. And it isn't realistic to think that these issues simply have gone away with no lasting impact on how all this is viewed.

It will take many months of hiring, training and on-the-job orientation for all the positions approved to function as planned. Let's give this a chance. 

Pat Burns


'A Wonderful Little City'

[Re Feedback: "Shopping in Rutland From Now On"; The Seven Days Guide to Art Hop 2022, September 7]: I spent a real nice day in Burlington on Saturday. It was the annual South End Art Hop along Pine Street, which is basically open studios and lots of small vendors. It was overwhelming but completely fascinating. Such variety and imagination! The larger studio venues were highly interesting warrens of little cubicles and lofts. Friendly artists were happy to talk about what they were doing.

The farmers market was going full speed, too. It's huge and much better than when it was near Burlington City Hall.

There was also a boat show down by the lake with many beautiful vintage speedboats, beautiful handmade wooden canoes and rowing boats ["Beauties at Berth," September 7].

I took the bus in from Shelburne, as I usually do. It's free, pretty quick and runs on time. No parking worries.

Thousands of people were out and about — at the Art Hop, the market, the waterfront, City Hall Park, Church Street. People were having fun. This all comes at a time when there has been some mayhem in the city and, this week, even an anxious editorial in Seven Days [From the Publisher: "Summer of Strife," September 7]. I felt perfectly safe and at ease. Burlington is a wonderful little city, and I hope people don't start thinking of it as a dangerous place.

Use common sense. Don't go alone into City Hall Park at 1 a.m. Don't try to close the bars on Church Street in the wee hours. Go during the day or early evening, when regular folks are about. Be a participant. Enjoy this nice little city.

Jim Wick


Essex Education

In the August 24 issue of Seven Days, on page 44, there is a short article headlined "Burlington Bagel Bakery Takes Over Bagel Market in Essex Junction." This business is in Essex Town, not in Essex Junction. With the Junction's decision to leave the Town, many of your readers will appreciate it if you get locations correct when you report on Essex or Essex Junction. I understand that the shared zip code and the prior situation — where most Essex locations used the U.S. Postal Service-recommended Essex Junction in their mailing addresses — make getting this correct difficult, but with a little effort it can be easily sorted out.

By the way, with the help of Bernie Sanders' office, the USPS no longer recommends Essex Junction over Essex for correct mail delivery within Essex Town.

Also, full disclosure here, I work for Seven Days and am chair of the Essex Town Selectboard.

Andy Watts


Watts is circulation deputy at Seven Days.

Ratepayer Responds

[Re "Power Plant: Vermont's Electric Ratepayers Are Providing Generous Subsidies to Indoor Cannabis Growers," August 31]: I need someone to tell me why, as a law-abiding citizen and an electric ratepayer, I have to subsidize a business that, under federal law, is not legal.

Paul Couture

South Burlington

Almost a 'Gibbs Girl'

[Re "Flower Powerhouse," August 31]: I found it both humorous and fascinating that Melinda Moulton's dad insisted she go to the famed Katie Gibbs secretarial school. For years, I used to tell all my feminist friends with horror that my dad suggested Katie Gibbs for my educational path. I still remember the conversation vividly, but I was a young teen at the time and too timid to say anything in response. I just discovered this summer that my dad suggested the exact same thing to my older sister, who was a math whiz, a Shakespearean actress at age 16 and a musical savant with 800s on her SATs. She and I had a good laugh about it and thought it was shocking!

The idea of living at the Barbizon (for ladies), wearing white gloves and learning shorthand was just beyond the pale! Unlike in Melinda's situation, our dad never insisted. I admire Melinda for turning that training into a fantastic plus. My sister and I went on to get graduate degrees and wonder what my dad could have possibly been thinking! He never mentioned it again, once it became clear to him that young women had the opportunity to rise up in the world and claim their own futures, without being secretaries. But in the early 1960s, it made sense to him!

Megan Epler Wood


'Privileged White' Story

I found ["Flower Powerhouse," August 31] to be both a bit disturbing and disappointing. The article was a deep dive into the life of yet another privileged white person using that privilege to do whatever they want. Why do I need to know about or celebrate this?

Further, the way the story about how she met her husband was being romanticized in the article was pretty disturbing. "'He was very grabby'" — why do we think this is cute or worth reporting? Being "very grabby" back then has the same meaning it does today: aggressive, inappropriate male behavior that seems to be coupled with a belief that women are simply objects for male pleasure.

Anyone who cultivates or celebrates this type of behavior is just as guilty as the men who do it. I was very sad and disappointed to see Seven Days feature this story, especially on the cover. I don't mean to be negative or harsh here; I just think if we are ever to see some real change in the world, we need to be more mindful of the things we give voice to.

Dawn Holtz


Editor's note: In her 40-year career as the CEO of Main Street Landing, Melinda Moulton helped shape the built environment of Vermont's largest city — at a time when few women held comparable leadership positions. We think that constitutes "real change." Two more reasons for the cover treatment: Her story is newsworthy and of significant local interest.

'A Lovely Journey'

Thank you for bringing us along for the ride in "On the Road" [August 24], about what Route 100 says about Vermont. 'Twas a lovely journey; the photos and stories were diverse, interesting and fun. I have only one request: Please bring back a doggy bag — or a few of them — with a sampling of all that great food produced and served along Route 100.

Bernie Paquette


Seven Days Turns 27

[Re From the Publisher: "Women's Work," August 31]: Hats off to Paula Routly and Pamela Polston for their tenacity and drive making Seven Days such a success! As the son of a strong woman who battled the "old boys" as a marketing exec and pro, I can vouch for the obstacles they all overcame. Growing up in the early 1960s, we were taught that women could do anything, so many actually did, overcoming their foot-dragging, mouth-breathing male detractors.

We used to have friends bring us Seven Days "over the mountain" from Franklin County, but now, luckily, it's available to us in Orleans. So many wait for the Wednesday deliveries of Paula and Pamela's "dream" to arrive as the premier Vermont weekly.

Twenty-seven years? Happy birthday, Seven Days!

Steve Merrill

North Troy

Gray No 'Carpetbagger'

[Re Feedback: "In the Light of Gray," August 31]: Michael George's letter implying that Democratic primary Congressional candidate Molly Gray was a "carpetbagger" misses the mark. That term originated to describe the Northerners who went down to the South following the Civil War to take advantage of Southerners during Reconstruction.

Webster's defines "carpetbagger" as "a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics." That term certainly does not apply to Vermont native Molly Gray. It might more aptly define the primary campaign of Sen. Becca Balint and its use of $1.6 million in out-of-state PAC money to defeat a local candidate. Sad.

Michael Duane

East Montpelier

'Uneducated' Answer

[Re "From Pandemic to Endemic," August 24]: Once again, school policy and department recommendations completely ignore long COVID, from which 20 percent of people who get COVID-19 are now suffering. Foisting a potential lifetime disability on children in the name of getting on with education is, well, very uneducated. Simply requiring a mask, as in hospitals, would make a substantial difference. The governor and departments of education and health are simply engaged in magical-fairies-and-rainbows thinking, oblivious to reality or safety.

Christopher Moll


Lakes and Wakes

I read ["Water Wars," August 24], regarding the potential regulation of wake boats. I believe regulation would be a positive step.

Scientists have recommended that wake boating be avoided on any body of water with a depth of less than eight meters or 25 feet. The enormous waves churned up by wake boats stir up sediment and phosphorous. This can enter local groundwater and encourage algae blooms and invasive species. This can also disrupt plant, fish and insect life cycles, thus affecting the entire food chain.

Unlike regular motorboats, designed to produce a minimal wake, wake boats are designed to create the largest wakes possible.

Many friends, neighbors and strangers signed the petition asking for regulation for the environment and future generations.

I write to honor my now-92-year-old dad. Many decades ago, when I was a teen, he issued a farsighted warning. As we stood looking at Lake Raponda, he said: "They aren't making any more lakes. We've got to take care of the ones we have."

I can't think of a better legacy than to do just that.

Laura Winter



Last week's story "Beauties at Berth" misidentified the restorer of Susan Haigh's 1940 yacht tender. Snake Mountain Boatworks of Weybridge did the work.

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