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As a former menswear retailer, I applaud your article “Dress Code” [June 10] in general and Clarence Davis in particular. Would that I could have had him for a customer!

I must question, however, his #1 “fashion don’t.” A man should, in fact, use both a belt and suspenders when wearing a suit.

The belt is purely a fashion accessory and hides both the otherwise empty belt loops as well as the fabric overlap at the top of the fly. The belt should not be cinched too tight, as one might with a colorful sport belt and jeans.

Suspenders are designed to allow the trouser to hang properly, with the correct drape. This is ensured when expert tailors, like Mr. Rigo, make the perfect adjustments in length, waist and seat.

Joseph “Bud” Kassel


Kassel’s menswear business started as a family apparel store in Port Henry, N.Y.


While I as well as most are responsible for the dress down of America, I enjoyed the article about Clarence Davis and his great feeling of dressing up [“Dress Code,” June 10]. Let’s face it: Look at old video — of sporting events, political events, cultural events — and look at the participants. Well dressed. Look at current video: not so well dressed.

It’s nice to know that someone out there takes pride in their dress.

I will close with this fashion statement I witnessed after reading the article on Clarence: A gentleman wearing gray sweatpants similar to what I wear at times, with a gray matching sweatshirt, which I wear at times, with yellow, pink and blue striped suspenders hitched to the sweatpants, which I do not wear at times. I wear suspenders daily — but with sweatpants? I don’t think so.

Dale Tillotson



[In response to “Poli Psy: Babying Bristol,” May 27]: When frustrated with the lack of surprise by how the media, her mother, even the indecisive mindlessness of Bristol reacted to and dealt with this equally unexciting event, it’s both refreshing and relieving to have someone say outright how it all should have been dealt with.

Kelsey Crelin



Rick Kisonak is perplexed as to why Sam Raimi, the director of the revered Evil Dead trilogy, would make such a silly movie [“Drag Me to Hell,” June 3]. If Mr. Kisonak had actually bothered to watch Evil Dead, Evil Dead II or Army of Darkness, he would know that they are slapstick horror movies. If he’d watched these movies he chose to reference in his review, he might not have been so surprised and disappointed by Drag Me to Hell. His ignorance regarding Raimi’s past work might also explain why his review is in disagreement with DmtH’s current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 93 percent fresh.

Please stop letting Rick Kisonak review horror movies. Let [Seven Days film critic] Margot [Harrison] do it. Find a Waterfront employee to do it. Let someone, anyone, who is remotely in touch with the genre do it.

Molly Hodgdon



I don’t have much respect for golf, with its manicured, often chemical-ified greens and little carts that carefully prevent golfers from getting even a modicum of exercise. Frisbee golf, however, is a sport worthy of Vermont. I’m not an experienced Frisbee golfer, but I have been several times to the course in Waterbury. As you ramble over the course from tee to tee, the woods turn to meadow and back; old apple trees and a brook provide interesting obstacles to throw around. The tees are simple pairs of painted wooden stakes, and the metal baskets standing inconspicuously among the trees or in the long grass could hardly be called eyesores. You don’t need to be good at the game to have fun out there and, what’s more, it’s free! What a great addition such a course would be to Burlington’s recreational offerings!

In my opinion, the debate on Frisbee golf at Leddy Park featured a lot of hysterical shouting on the part of the opposition about the Destruction of Forests and Huge Concrete Slabs. I was disappointed in Seven Days’ snide comments dismissing the whole affair, as though it was clearly only a very small group of lunatics who thought the idea was a good one in the first place.

How about some balanced reporting on an issue Burlington appears to understand very poorly?

Marisa Keller



I just read the letters to the editor deriding the Vermont Arts Council. Not having read the article, I clicked on the link to read what all the fuss was about [“Wise Council?” May 20]. Then I encountered the comments by Mark Waskow, and I laughed and laughed. I found it hysterical that this man who heads an organization that produces the “Flamingo Fling” (South End Art Hop) would find palettes paternalistic.

This collector is more interested in quantity than quality; his aim is to create a museum with his name on it, so who is he calling narcissistic? I’ve seen the Waskow collection. What struck me were his comments: He boasted about how cheap he got the work — not what the work represented — so, tell me, how does this serve the local artist?

Kered Alexander



I read with great interest your recent story of organic dairy [“Organic Dairy, Once Considered the ‘Answer,’ Feels the Squeeze,” June 10]. I found it curious that the article did not explore the reasons behind the plummeting retail price of nonorganic milk. I can’t help but wonder if this price adjustment is an effort by nonorganic agribusiness dairy to edge out the competition from independent organic dairies, many of whom are just now beginning to enjoy some of the economic benefits from their decision to switch to organic.

Monique Hayden



I just wanted to say I thought the article about Helena Binder, the fashion consultant, was so well done [“Fitting Image,” June 10]. I’ve known Helena for years, and Margot Harrison’s piece really captured her personality. It also did a great job describing the range of things she can do for Vermonters with her new business. I’m grateful Seven Days continues to find interesting people and projects to tell us about.

Michael Carrese



I love this guy [“Dress Code,” June 10]!! Why can’t more men in Vermont be like him and care about how they dress and present themselves? It’s quite funny that the local paper has published an article about the city’s best-dressed man, and he simply stands out as the best-dressed because he wears suits and knows how to dress like a gentleman — if you put him in a city like Montréal, he’d just fit in with the population as a regular dude. Guys in Montréal dress like him, and it’s normal.

This guy reminds me of a younger version of my father, who I’ve never in my life seen dress in jeans. He wore a suit every working day, and on weekends, and now that he’s retired, he wears khakis and a dress shirt. He uses shoe trees, and his closet is organized impeccably. My maternal grandfather was a tailor, just like the gentleman in this article. My father had a very close relationship with his father-in-law, so perhaps that is why the wearing of a good suit and dressing well has stuck with him.

Why, oh why, can’t Vermont men dress so well?? At the very least, it would be nice if more men in Vermont shaved daily! It drives me up the wall that 99 percent of the straight men in this state have facial hair of all shapes and lengths … Get a haircut, shave daily, dress respectably — that’s all I ask. The only sad part of your article is that this guy is already married. He’d be a great catch!

I used to work at a store downtown that sells men’s and women’s clothing, and I always did best selling to men. My coworkers wondered how I could be so successful selling fashionable clothes to men, and I said it was quite simple: In a place like Burlington, I quickly picked up that men tend to know nothing about fashion and could really care less.

So when they walk into that kind of store, they’re usually on a mission (suit for a wedding or job interview; parents coming to town; big date, etc.) and want to get out as quick as possible. So I’d ask them what the occasion was, make a suggestion, get them into and out of the fitting room as quick as possible, and BAM, got the sale. They aren’t like women who like to browse and try lots of stuff and … buy for the hell of it.

Thanks for this article reminding me that it’s rare to find a well-dressed man in this state. Vermont is the best state — has tons going for it and I love it here — but man, is it hard to find a respectable-looking gentleman.

Sarah Cundiff


Seven Days only runs “letters to the editor” that respond to content that has appeared in the paper or on our website. In this case, however, we made an exception, because there would be no other public forum for Michael Conley’s story. Fletcher Allen Health Care declined to respond to his version of events because of strict patient confidentiality laws.


My partner of 15 years, Dr. Glen Elder, died on May 21, 2009, at the Fletcher Allen emergency room. He had been jogging, and collapsed. The following week his death certificate listed long-term heart disease as his cause of death. I spoke to the doctor who had seen Glen on May 19 to see how this could have happened, and his answer was, “It happens.” Glen had been a patient of Dr. Mark Pasanen for 15 years, and Glen’s medical chart always indicated that he was at high risk for heart disease due to his family history. I do not understand how a supposedly perfectly healthy 42-year-old can just drop dead.

When I went to the emergency room to see Glen’s body, a social worker, Tim Stamatis, escorted me to the morgue. He motioned for me to go around a wall and see the body. When I did, I was euphoric. It was not Glen. I knew then that a horrible mistake had been made, and that somehow, Glen was still alive. However, then the social worker said he had the wrong body, and then brought out Glen’s body. It really made me wonder how Fletcher Allen cares for the dead. I really felt as if there were a stack of bodies in the back room, and he just brought out the one on top.

I went to Dr. Pasanen’s office to get Glen’s medical records in hopes of learning more about why Glen died at age 42. His receptionist told me that since Glen was dead, he could not give me permission to get his records. And as I was leaving his office, the lady even mocked me! Thirty minutes later, as I was driving back to Derby, I received a call telling me that if I provided a copy of our civil-union certificate, I would be given the records, but only on Tuesday, since that is the only day Fletcher Allen makes copies. How many times have the majority of readers been asked for a copy of their marriage license? I guess this is just a special rule for homosexual couples.

On the suggestion of one of the trustees, I wrote to Fletcher Allen CEO Dr. Melinda Estes. Her response was to have one of her employees call to tell me that Dr. Estes was preparing to leave on a business trip, but wanted the employee to express her condolences. Thank you, Dr. Estes, for your compassion!

Michael Conley


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