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BROMAGE NAILED IT

I really enjoyed Andy Bromage’s piece, “Unfair Market?” [September 2]. I want to applaud Seven Days for running it and also to offer my congratulations to Mr. Bromage: (1) for successfully finding an apartment that fit his needs and (2) for telling a story that absolutely needs to be heard.

My property management company owns apartments in downtown Burlington. Many of my tenants have told me stories like the one that opened Mr. Bromage’s piece, of having to negotiate a path through “dingy carpeted stairs, over the warped floors and through the grimy kitchen” of the few apartments shown to them. I know the other side of the coin, too; that some tenants will randomly trash the apartments they live in. Even so, I felt that “Unfair Market?” was an accurate portrayal of the current housing situation in Burlington, and it fairly articulated the frustration that apartment hunters have experienced in trying to locate safe, affordable housing.

Rental properties may well be at a premium in Burlington, given the city’s incredibly low vacancy rate. But they only have real value to anyone when they are properly maintained by the owners and are respected by the tenants who live in them.

Peter Cammann

WAITSFIELD

TODAY’S “DEATH PANELS”

As Dr. Deb Richter points out in the “Fair Game” column [August 19], the real “Death Panel” is not the right-wing version, but the current health care system we have now. This is in reference to what is probably the most outrageous lie concerning the public health care option that is meant to confuse and scare the general public, especially seniors. The medical counseling is voluntary and concerns such provisions as living wills and other issues seniors face and is endorsed by the AARP.

Of course this doesn’t stop the extreme right wing, such as Sarah Palin, from exploiting such fears, by calling the public option an “evil” bill that will kill off various segments of the population! In fact, if one wants to find real evil, it’s the current employer-based system of segregated health care coverage that results in over 100 million Americans either uninsured or underinsured and leads to premature death. In contrast, virtually every other industrialized country in the world has a universal health care plan that costs less, and their citizens have a greater life expectancy!

It is also shameful that normally moderate, responsible conservatives have been virtually mute on this issue.

Jerry Kilcourse

MONTPELIER

OHHH, ONE MORE THING

Thanks for the “Story of Ohh,” [August 19]. Stuff about sex is fascinating, ain’t it?

Why, in your article and in other public comments, does the notion that Viagra is a sexual stimulant, a medication that increases desire, go unchallenged?

It pumps up wimpy penises, usually those of old men, when the person feels desire and then arousal. The feeling he must do by himself. I know. I use Viagra. Even the manufacturer says it treats erectile dysfunction and that the person must first bring desire and some arousal to the Viagra…

What’s wanted is something that reduces inhibitions, keeps nerves keen, and increases thoughts of the joy of sex with X or Y. Ms. Ober’s article suggests that’s impossible. Desire, as several people she interviews suggest, is an elusive entity, a mystery that resists our brain chemistry research, our sociopsychological research, our very minds. The fun is watching the drug companies’ antics, the rub is getting expectations aroused.

Jim Wallace

MONTPELIER

CORRECTIONS:

In our story “Of Tomes and Tommes” last week, the Inn at West View Farm was mistakenly referred to as the Inn at Mountain View Farm.

The article “Did Vermont State Troopers Go Too Far When They Shot Paranoid Schizophrenic Joe Fortunati?” [Sept. 9] states that the state police also shot Robert Woodward in an earlier incident; in fact it was the Brattleboro Police in that case.

Former Peace & Justice Center board member Ed Everts pointed out a computation error in our story “Peace of Work” [Sept. 2]: “Having reached age 30 we have entered our fourth decade, not our third as was stated…”

Finally, in our “State of the Arts” piece about Vermont Stage Company’s gala [“Vermont Stage Celebrates 15 and Looks to the Future,” Sept. 9], an actress should have been identified as Afton Williamson.

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