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Letters to the Editor 

Published March 10, 2010 at 8:41 a.m.

Punishment for the Crime

What kind of person intentionally vandalizes trees [“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” February 17]? I’ve wondered that before ,as well. Is it the same jerk-offs who dump their overflowing car ashtrays in a parking lot? Is it the same waste products who knock over planters or destroy flower boxes? Is it the same twats who don’t pick up after their pets? It’s super upsetting when these lowlifes have so little regard for people who actually contribute positively to society. Basically, I believe they’re people who, if caught, should be lashed with the branches that were broken, or held down and have their mouths filled with the cigarette butts they dumped or the feces they neglected to pick up. It’s just common sense. Guarantee, you’d never have to clean dog shit off your shoe again!

Jeff Sanborn


Politics on Parade

I found it very distasteful that Peter Shumlin was on the VPIRG float at the Mardi Gras parade. In Shay Totten’s column [“Fair Game,” March 3], Peter says he got caught up in the moment and jumped on the float at the corner of Church and Main. I find it interesting that we were standing in front of Nectar’s, and he was on the back of the float at that point, waving and throwing beads. I am not a Vermont Yankee fan, but I believe Peter Shumlin is using this for political reasons.

Greg Smith


Don’t Expose Yourself … to a Lawsuit

These kids taking scandalous pictures of others should be very careful [“The Sex Spotters,” February 24]. When someone is pulling up a woman’s skirt and a picture is taken, she could sue them for invasion as it is infringing on her reasonable expectation of privacy. It’s hard to determine whether or not she wanted the person to do that. There is also a lot of gray area around defamation of character. I can see some students with lawyers as parents taking this one all the way. Joke might be on the group leader, not the victim.

Jake Hathaway


Wind or Hot Air?

Seven Days is a “generalist publication” — ergo, not too much into detail? So says Andy Bromage in answer to criticism that his unbalanced and almost propagandist article [“In Yankee’s Wake, Legislators Look to Fast-Track Renewable Power Projects,” March 3] hardly represents informative, comprehensive dialogue. He even still refers to wind “mills” — flour, anyone? — and had never heard of UPC [Wind Management].

The highlighted statement attributed to the leader of this charge to the magical motherlode, Vermont Rep. Tony Klein, “Everybody loves renewable energy in Vermont,” is pure wishful thinking on Klein’s part. Unequivocally, you might ask, or is this just more “generalism?” There are many other views — not necessarily as sexy but far more realistic.

Wind proponents’ palpable frustration that decades of environmental law in Vermont cannot be summarily sidestepped is cause for alarm. Bromage’s report that 90 percent of a “deliberative … sampling of Vermonters” emerged from a PSB weekend retreat content to reside within sight of a landscape covered with 450-foot turbines is suspect. How much of the large body of documented, countering information was presented to these cloistered participants? Where is the statewide public dialogue? Our systems were founded to assist deliberation. Why circumvent them when they are most needed? Any truly good idea can and will withstand an aggressive examination.

Why are the public and their legislators first not examining the substantial volume of countering evidence against industrial wind power? Apart from its inability to fulfill its mission, subjective evidence of debilitating nervous disorders from those who actually do live near turbines suggests cause for great concern, notwithstanding the effects on our more sensitive animal residents.

James Dylan Rivis


“Da” Fleming Show

Reading Kevin Kelley’s art review of the Fleming Museum’s “Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons” saddened me [“Constructivist Criticism,” February 3]. Mr. Kelley is clearly knowledgeable of Soviet art and politics … but to reveal “other contradictions inherent in Soviet art and society” as he suggests, would initiate a less poignant exhibit. For my husband and myself the Fleming’s description of and focus on this extensive collection was both educational and insightful. It is a truly rare opportunity to view such a large collection of Soviet propaganda. We strongly urge everyone to visit this fabulous installation at the Fleming Museum.

Jolene Tritt


Save the Vermont Film Commission

Kudos to Shay Totten for drawing attention to Governor Douglas’ plan to eliminate the Vermont Film Commission [“Fair Game,” February 10]. As a filmmaker and a film fan, I’ve witnessed the power of the commission to bring filmmakers to Vermont and support the growth of the film industry here. The truth is that the modest investment made in the film commission each year produces something that Vermont is hungering for: jobs for its citizens and income for its businesses, not only those in the film industry, but in hospitality, transportation and many other fields. Deep-sixing the film commission would, in fact, make the budget crisis worse by cutting off a valuable source of income and eliminating a new avenue for economic growth. Friends of the Vermont Film Commission is working to help our state keep this valuable asset alive. If you’d like to help us, please join us on Facebook, where you’ll find more information about how the commission can help Vermont build a solid economic future.

Gary Miller


No More “Story Jumps”

It’s true that I am a little particular and get worked up over little things, but still: I found the articles on Vermont Yankee very informative [Seven Days, February 17]; I just wish I didn’t have to work so hard to read them. I usually read my Seven Days cover to cover. I like the new format and like that you’re constantly reworking it based on the feedback you’ve gotten. So here’s some more feedback: Keep the articles whole. Don’t make me flip forward a few pages and then another one, and then back to the original page to read the start of another article and then go through the process again. It’s confusing, and I end up skipping around and not really reading it.

Michelle Geoffrion


PSB Is Biased

Andy Bromage says that Public Service Board Chairman David O’Brien challenges any lawmaker to name specific instances of departmental bias toward utilities [“Power to the People?” February 17]. I may not be a lawmaker, but I was living in Vergennes in 2003 when VELCO petitioned for a permit (the “Northwest Reliability Project”) to upgrade its transmission lines north from Rutland through the western part of the state. VELCO’s request was not permittable under the existing 1998 State Energy Plan, which espoused “bold new policies” aimed at a cleaner and more self-reliant energy future. So O’Brien hired Jonathan Lesser, former economic analyst for Green Mountain Power, to draft the new Energy Plan (which is required every five years). Lesser went into a back room at DPS and drafted a plan, with no public input, which overturned all the initiatives in the old plan and made VELCO’s proposal acceptable to the PSB. The Senate wisely rejected that plan, but VELCO got its upgrade anyway, despite very active opposition from the towns along the proposed line — that is, from “the public” that O’Brien’s department is supposed to serve. Surely suggests bias to me.

Page Guertin


Dean Debate

Regarding “Dean Reloaded: How the Former Vermont Governor Is Firing Up the Health Care Debate” [March 3] you mention how [those] “inside the Beltway” [are] afraid of Mr. Dean

because he speaks the truth, and that he’s really having an effect at the grassroots level. Regarding some of the things he instituted in Vermont, like community rating and ideas like pre-existing conditions, I ask:

If your house was burning down, do you think you should be able to get homeowners insurance during the fire, a pre-existing condition? On community rating, take two 25-year-old males, one who watches his diet, exercises regularly, and doesn’t smoke. Should he pay the same as another who is 100 lbs. overweight, smokes heavily, is a convicted drug user and has five DUI convictions?

Mike Boylan

Essex Junction


Last week’s story, “Bench Mark,” which profiled newly appointed U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss, referred to her as “Vermont’s first female federal judge.” Several astute readers pointed out that while Reiss is the first woman to serve on the U.S. District of Vermont court, technically speaking she is not the first female “federal judge.” In fact, Colleen Brown has been a Vermont U.S. bankruptcy court judge since 2000. Unlike district court judges, who are appointed for life by the Senate and president and can only be removed by impeachment, bankruptcy judges are chosen by the courts of appeals for 14-year terms. Still, Seven Days regrets the error and apologizes to Judge Brown.

Last week’s article, “In Yankee’s Wake, Legislators Look to Fast-Track Renewable Power Projects,” misstated the status of a proposed wind turbine project in the town of Milton. That project is pending approval by the Vermont Public Service Board; it has not been approved.

Also, the last name of a national telecom consultant was in error in last week’s cover story, “City on Wire.” It should have been Craig Settles, not Sessions.

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