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Letters to the Editor 

Published December 9, 2009 at 7:06 a.m.

Bad Argument

I’d love to know how banning smoking reduces instances of bad behavior on the street [“Next Up for the Burlington City Council: an Outdoor Smoking Ban,” November 18]. What sort of bad behavior? Where’s the proof?

Nonsmokers wanted to ban indoor smoking, and now make faces and complain about smokers standing on the sidewalks outside as a result of legislation they wanted passed. Driving smokers away from commercial areas (and the streets that they are on) will drive their spending dollars elsewhere as well.

Andy Conlon


Bolles, Bowles and Bernardo

A big thanks to Dan Bolles for his updates on Miriam Bernardo’s latest projects [“Soundbites,” November 18]. It made me run through our music collection to revisit her 2003 CD with fabulous guitarist Michael Chorney entitled, Songs and Music of Paul Bowles. An extraordinary effort, haunting, lyrical, capturing the magic that was Paul Bowles as a composer and writer … Also a second shout out to Mr. Bolles on his guiding us to Justin Levinson’s recent CD release party at Nectar’s for his latest work, Predetermined Fate. Terrific music, great venue, wonderful night. Rock on!

Dave Donohue

South Burlington

Conscientious Reporter?

[Seven Days political columnist] Shay Totten referred to Jon Hausrath, the individual who angered so many people with his remarks at the Battery Park Veterans’ Day ceremony, as a “conscientious objector” [“Fair Game,” November 18]. This individual’s background goes right to the heart of why so many people were offended by his speech and, as such, an accurate reporting on that background would have been nice.

As I understand it, Mr. Hausrath is not a conscientious objector. He was, in fact, dishonorably discharged after serving less than a year for, by his own admission, “doing drugs to get out.” He is attempting to have his status retroactively changed to CO. The fact that Mayor Kiss would send someone with this history to address that group at that ceremony, on that day, is what so many of us find so outrageous. All that was required of Mr. Hausrath was for him to set his politics aside for 10 minutes, stand up and say, “Thank you, we appreciate you” in any way, shape or form he wanted to. The fact that he couldn’t do this (or was too arrogant to do this) has us waiting for (a decent) apology from Mayor Kiss, and I guess some accurate reporting from Seven Days.

Tom Gould


(Ed. note: Totten corrected his error in the December “Fair Game.”)

Not Representative

I am appalled that you would put an article in your paper such as [“Corps Confessions,” December 2], and I believe you should be embarrassed … To begin with, there are far more than 486 people in the corps of cadets at Norwich University, and 144 people represents barely 10 percent of them. I am ashamed and disgusted that a survey of this magnitude would be published in unity with an “assault” situation that was completely unrelated and misrepresentative of a student body whose behavior is far more acceptable as a whole.

I am disgusted that you would make an example of a few students’ poor behavior such as this and make it seem as though there is no hope for our military with the up-and-coming leaders of the future. It is simply untrue.

This article in an insult to the military that protects your right to print such things and the academy in your area which produces fine, outstanding leaders with amazing moral character year after year.

E.S. Moreau

Essex Junction

(Moreau is a student at Norwich.)

Funny Math

As a cadet at Norwich University, I dare say that your numbers are quite askew [“Corps Confessions,” December 2]. I was not surveyed, and you claim to have surveyed all the members in the corps. By the way, your “exact” number of students enrolled in the corps is way off. It looks like you’ve taken answers out of context, and this article is in no way a fair representation of my classmates as a whole. How can any self-respecting journalist publish such nonsense? It seems as though you set out to slander an establishment that you may not agree with. I do suppose that one should expect it, given the sorry state of modern media, but that is no excuse.

Graham Oliveira

Westerly, R.I.


Due to a production error, our survey of Norwich University cadets [“Corps Confessions,” December 2] contained some inaccurate figures. The correct answers are as follows:

Do you consider waterboarding a form of torture?

Yes 54.3%, No 31.9%, Don’t Know/Unsure 13.8%.

Do you think the government should be allowed to wiretap the phones of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism without first obtaining a warrant?

Yes 46.3%, No 48.5%, Don’t Know/Unsure 5.1%

Also, to clarify: The survey was sent to all 486 ROTC scholarship recipients, not the entire corps of cadets.

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