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Letters to the Editor 

Published July 8, 2009 at 7:51 a.m.


Mike Ives wrote a story about Rusty Gould, a homeless man whose bike was hit by a car, and the community rallied around him to buy him a new bike [“Homeless Man Gets a Lift from Burlington Samaritans,” April 30, 2008]. Rusty is my brother. I have not seen him in over 10 years. If by chance he reads this, or someone who knows him reads this, please urge him to call his sister, Joy. Seven Days knows how to get in touch with me.

Joy Gould Niederpruem



John Craig, Barre City manager, you said you didn’t understand what “they’re telling us to do” about residency restrictions for sex offenders [“Not in Our Backyard,” June 17]. Let me help you out: When the legislature tells you that it doubts the efficacy of residential restrictions for sex offenders, but that they’re not going to stop you from passing them, what they’re telling you is that residency restrictions don’t increase public safety, but if it makes you feel better to pass them, then go right ahead.

It’s really kind of like an invitation to give everyone a false sense of security, to believe that everything that can be done is being done to stop sex offenses.

But guess what? Residency restrictions only stop known sex offenders from moving into certain areas of cities and towns. They don’t erase the offense for which the perpetrators were convicted, and they don’t make anyone safer. Oh — and they could be unconstitutional!

Kate Thomas


Editor’s note: Last week, a Washington Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevents Barre from moving the convicted sex offender featured in our story.


I was so happy to see an article about Girlington Garage in Seven Days [“Vroom With a View,” June 17]. I just took my car there last week and could not have been happier with the service! My Jeep needed some significant repairs, but [owner] Demeny [Pollitt] was extremely transparent about what could wait to be fixed to help me save a little money. I would recommend Girlington Garage to anyone who is looking for a respectful, honest mechanic. Go, Girlington!

Shelly Peitzmeier



I have never known myself to be a woman who is easily fazed or offended. Yet I rolled my eyes in embarrassment for Seven Days, which I peruse religiously, upon seeing “Bliss” [June 17].

We see a scuba-diving couple being tracked by an ominous shark, which seems prepared to devour them. This is thanks to the woman having not changed her tampon and thus luring the shark with her menstrual blood and endangering the couple — seemingly fatally. Unbelievable!

This attempt at sexist humor doubles as perpetuation of a sorry male fear of menses, or the dreaded “period” we women experience each month.

It seems that even the most cultivated and grown-up males are, in effect, afraid of menstruation. Harry Bliss must be one of these men. It is often considered by them to be gross, weird, mysterious and, as this cartoon perpetuates, dangerous.

Ever been in a cranky or uninviting mood and been accused of being “on the rag”? Ever threatened your boyfriend’s life by way of a man-eating underwater carnivore? Because you did not remember to change you tampon?

Poor Adam was ultimately banished from the Garden of Eden by way of silly Eve’s judgments (namely, listening to the deceptive talking snake) and paradise was ruined for all humanity. And still today, women are compromising men’s safety and well being. At least this is what is implied by “bliss.” A primitive, immature and crude way of thinking, wouldn’t you say? Shame on you, Harry.

Sara Garside



Why did Shay Totten feel it necessary to slime the folks at Green Mountain Daily in his June 24 column? “Fair Game” it most definitely was not. He didn’t actually use the word “lie,” but he accused GMD diarists of making stuff up. Why not just go all the way and rant about unemployed wannabes blogging from their parents’ basements?

I’m so sorry your ace political columnist couldn’t verify GMD’s (independently confirmed) rumors regarding potential candidates for lieutenant governor. At least he couldn’t verify them by talking directly to politicians and collecting their coyly worded “denials.” Did any of those pols actually say they were not running for lite-gov? No, they did not.

If the role of journalism — especially “alternative” journalism like Seven Days — is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, then Totten’s got it backwards. He gratuitously slammed a much smaller entity, while uncritically regurgitating the palaver of high-profile politicians. That’s called comforting the comfortable.

Totten owes GMD an apology. Or, if the editors of Seven Days really believe Totten is right, then you should immediately disqualify GMD from consideration for “Seven Daysies.” It’d be awfully embarrassing to give one of your precious awards to a bunch of irresponsible liars.

John Walters


Editor’s note: GMD was right. Ed Flanagan announced his bid for lieutenant governor after telling Totten he didn’t know where the “rumors” were coming from.


I too loved the article [“Dress Code” June 10]. I think Vermont has gotten such a reputation as a casual, laid-back place that hardly anyone dresses up to go out anymore. As a single woman who goes on a lot of first dates, I always take a lot of care with my appearance. I love wearing jeans as much as the next person, but if you’re going to wear them to a first date, at least make the effort to wear a nice shirt — preferably one with buttons. Why not dig that nice shirt out of your closet that you bought for your cousin’s wedding? Your date or mate will appreciate the effort. First impressions are everything; plus, it shows you think enough of yourself to leave the baseball cap at home and save the Birkenstocks for the camping trip. Didn’t your dad ever tell you to take your hat off when you’re inside a building? And the beard thing: Don’t get me started on that. I like to see a man’s face.

Still waiting for that guy who will knock my socks off on that first date when he shows he knows how to impress a woman by dressing for the occasion. It doesn’t have to be a suit or tuxedo, but something other than jeans and T-shirt would be nice. Does anyone wear “real” shoes anymore? Yes, and clean-shaven gets high marks in my book.

Ginger Lambert



I have been excited about the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s arrival for a couple of years and now it is finally here [“What Quad? Sorting Out Champlain’s big 400th,” June 24]. We have volunteered to help out with a couple of the waterfront concerts.

We saw Le Vent du Nord at the Flynn on New Year’s Eve, and they were awesome. We are hoping to meet them when we work on their concert. I think the indigenous people’s encampment around ECHO is going to be fabulous, too. This is a great opportunity to step out of our usual ethno-centric Americanism and learn a lot more about French and native cultures.

I saw Jay Craven handing out festival schedules himself as we came out of the Flynn after the Branford Marsalis concert at the Jazz Festival. Jay is such a good person and has put his heart and soul into this, and I am sure he will do everything he can to make it successful. We should all do the same.

I do hope we will all support the festival in any way we can. I hope we have two weeks of perfect weather with no rain and no cold and no heat and no storms and that every venue is filled to capacity. As you said in the article, this is not going to happen again in our lifetimes.

Paul Engels



I hope your insurance is paid up, since you are giving professional advice that is likely to make the occupants ill [“The Green Standard,” June 24]. There are numerous definitions of green for a very good reason: It is a complex issue.

Your twofold is not good enough since you recommend sealing the building as tight as possible to save energy and do not mention indoor air quality.

What you have done is essentially placed a plastic bag over your head and tied it off.

In a sealed building, in the middle of the winter, particulates build up along with water vapor, CO2, and combustion gasses from the furnace, fireplace and stove. It’s like closing your garage and keeping the motor running.

One of the professional challenges we have is providing filtered and tempered fresh air after the building is tight. The challenge is to use as little fossil-fuel-derived heating or cooling to do the tempering.

My current professional challenge is to use natural ventilation all year round without resorting to a fan.

Oh, and, by the way, opening and closing your windows and doors do not provide enough air changes to keep you healthy. And when it’s 20 below out, you do not want to sacrifice the heat.

There was another inconsistency ... in one paragraph you tout Styrofoam ICFs and SIPs while in the next paragraph you rightfully pillory oil-based products. Styrofoam is a petroleum-based product.

As much as I like Marvin Windows (and have met and spoken with Susan Marvin), don’t you think you might promote a Vermont-based window manufacturer?

The current green lighting technology is heavy towards daylighting design combined with LED lighting on sensors and controls. CFLs have mercury that can be dangerous when broken.

Now, there are a few green building experts in Vermont. How about doing an exposé on all of us?

Jonathan Miller, FCSI, AIA


Miller is a Construction Specifications Institute fellow.


Let me first say thank you for your recent comments in the “Facing Facts” section of Seven Days. It’s nice to see the Community College of Vermont receive some much-deserved kudos for the role they play throughout the state. That being said, I must ask why you felt it necessary to use the quotation marks around the word college in your statement?

CCV is an accredited institution with over 7500 graduated alums. Next year we are celebrating our 40th anniversary as a college, and we have 17 different associate-degree programs available to students. We have transfer agreements with 16 colleges and universities, including St. Michael’s College, the University of Vermont, and several out-of-state colleges. We are a leader in online learning. Our students go on to attend not only the usual in-state colleges, but Tufts University and Smith. This year alone, several of them graduated from Smith’s Ada Comstock Scholars program — no small feat, I can assure you.

We have wonderful, healthy partnerships with other area agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. The Boys and Girls Club and area high schools strongly benefit from these commitments. The class Introduction to College Studies allows students to enroll at CCV while attending their junior and senior years of high school. During this class they learn skills they will need to help them succeed in future college courses, and when they pass the course are given a voucher for a free, college-level class.

In tandem with the Vermont Department of Labor we now offer a Career Readiness Certificate. This course is designed specifically for people not currently attending college classes. By the end of the semester, men and women have developed higher skills in résumé writing, interview techniques and other professional abilities to help them succeed in today’s difficult job market.

So, please, sing our praises! But don’t think for a minute we aren’t a real “college.” We work hard to give students the tools they need to compete in our ever-changing world. And I don’t just work for the college; I’m also a proud alumna, class of 2000.

Karen Geiger


Geiger is an administrative assistant at CCV.

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