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Letters to the Editor 

SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR FLANAGAN?

[“Emails Suggest the YMCA Knew About Sen. Ed Flanagan’s Inappropriate Behavior,” August 5] is the other side of profiling: giving the benefit of the doubt and full letter of the law to someone who is fair skinned, and, possibly, known to have high social status. It’s ironic that Vermonters have ratcheted up sex-offender status and consequences for most folks in Flanagan’s position. I’m sorry for his ailment. Yes, it’s a teachable moment, but no, erring on the side of compassion should apply to everyone.

Elz Curtiss

BURLINGTON

NOT A LIVER LOVER

I feel that I must respond to the “A Taste of Money” restaurant review by Food Editor Suzanne Podhaizer [July 29]. I was disappointed to read that she chose to sample the slices of fattened liver, a notoriously cruel product.

Foie gras is produced by force feeding confined ducks and geese massive quantities of food through an inflexible pipe shoved down their throats. Within a few weeks, the birds’ livers enlarge up to 10 times their normal size. This force feeding causes the painful liver disease hepatic lipidosis. Also, the hugely swollen livers of the birds press against other organs, causing extreme respiratory stress. Most birds have trouble breathing, standing and walking.

The inherent cruelty of these practices has prompted California and more than a dozen European countries to ban foie gras production.

Whenever I am dining out and see foie gras on the menu, I make the restaurant manager aware of the cruelty of the foie gras industry and encourage them not to serve it. In the future, I hope Ms. Podhaizer will choose to do the same.

Pat Cram

BURLINGTON

COUNTRY BOY

Before writing off country music [“Always … Entertaining,” August 12], [Seven Days theater critic] Elisabeth Crean should listen to Emmylou Harris’ “Boulder to Birmingham.” Seriously.

Jeffrey E. Salzberg

JERSEY CITY, N.J.

RELOCALIZATION NATION

Shay Totten’s mention of a third-party candidate being a factor in the 2010 gubernatorial election is a reminder of the diversity of views held by Vermonters [“Fair Game,” August 12].

While liberals, conservatives and “radicals” find a lot to argue about, there’s a lot we hold in common: We all want friends and neighbors we can count on, quality goods and services at a reasonable cost, and a clean and healthy environment.

We’re also all up against the same challenges. Party affiliation doesn’t change the fact that Vermont, the U.S. and the rest of the world are facing an unprecedented “Triple Crisis” of peak oil, climate change and resource depletion.

While our elected officials have their work cut out for them, let’s not forget that the average citizen has a role to play that is just as important.

Whether you’re a hybrid-driving liberal or a conservative dairy farmer, a staunch secessionist or an anti-abortion homemaker, there’s never been a better time for us Vermonters to exercise our legendary independence and self-reliance by uniting on one goal: relocalization. By responsibly providing more of our necessities of life — food and energy, clothing and shelter, arts and entertainment — we Vermonters can strengthen community ties, bolster the local economy, and sustain the natural world that keeps us alive.

Josh Schlossberg

EAST MONTPELIER

MARKET SHARE

I’ve gotta say, I really enjoyed reading about Dan Giangreco’s hometown hero story [“Jonesville’s Long Trail Community Market Raises Its Freak Flag — and a Neighbor’s Ire,” August 19]. I found it inspiring and hilarious. The fact that he has the drive to open up a business in this economy at the age of 24 says a lot for our generation, and I’ve got to say that the older more “experienced” generations of business owners had better get used to it. He’s got his own independent style and drive to create what’s been lacking in Vermont for a while now: a new perspective. It’s time that Vermont embraces the new generation of local business owners and their perspective on what would work well for a business, the economy and a community. The playful nature of his store and the “Jonesville Underground” paired with the stubbornness to succeed against a multitude of bumps and the creativity to be an entrepreneur is refreshing and exciting. I wish him nothing but good things. And I hope to come across the LTCM soon. Hopefully their message can spread.

Sara Ratajczak

BURLINGTON

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