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Letters to the Editor 

September 17, 2008


I'm not sure where Jim Gallagher got the impression I thought Tropic Thunder had been widely reported not to be funny [Letters, September 3].

In my review, I clearly stated the opposite: "Ben Stiller's latest directorial effort," I wrote, "is not the funniest film of the summer as has been widely reported. It is not, for that matter, the funniest film of the month."

Mr. Gallagher has every right to disagree with my opinion of a film, of course. However, I'd appreciate his actually reading my review before taking such vociferous issue with it.

Rick Kisonak



One of the great divides of history has been the separation of city life from country life, as if we somehow inhabit two different planets. Though Sarah Palin and her Republican advisors believe in wedge tactics, as Judith Levine aptly pointed out ("Poli Psy," September 10), the seven billion people who'll be on Earth by the next presidential election in 2012 will continue to blur those distinctions, like it or not.

Since Gov. Palin has methodically opposed any rational plan of birth control (including for her own, ever-expanding family), she is fundamentally wrong for any world leadership position. This planet is desperately in need of bridge builders with a clear sense of connecting all of its people and renewable resources.

If the U.S. hopes to lead by any means other than the point of a gun, there needs to be a president and v.p. who are not so cynical as to pretend to be open-minded, while simultaneously selling us out in every conceivable way.

The Democrats may too often be compromising fools, but in the 50 years I've been around they've made more worthwhile attempts at social justice and accountability for human actions (i.e. curtailing pollution, population growth) than any of the conservatives and their "let the market do it all" madness.

A community organizer sounds like just what we need about now.

Greg Warner



Suzanne Podhaizer's articles "Hungry Hardwick" and "Taste Test: Claire's Restaurant and Bar" [Food, September 3] leave the impression that an educated, elite group of folks came in to civilize a backward, uneducated town called Hardwick.

Fact of the matter is, Hardwick and its environs are made up of proud French, English and Abenaki stock who welcomed, accommodated and shared with their newer out-of-state neighbors many decades ago. The Buffalo Mountain Co-op's long history is one example that change didn't happen yesterday. Another is the community-based classes and suppers, which are the basis for a lot of people getting together and strategizing.

And might I add the presence of Claire Fern, an educator, artist, reporter and community organizer in the true sense who gave and shared with all people over the years before her death in 2002. I wish Suzanne added that the Claire's she reviewed is named after her.

I dare say that if she asked each of the folks she interviewed, they would respond that both the local folks often derided in jokes and those activists who settled decades ago are what has brought Hardwick to its apex today. The most recent arrivals are just adding to the positive mix.

Let me end on the note that no town needs to be the butt of bumpkin jokes unless you think you're better than the people who literally keep your town going.

Mark Montalban


CORRECTION: In "The Veal Deal," [Food, August 27], the word "steer" was used to refer to a young male bovine. In fact, a steer is a castrated male bovine.

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