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Letters to the Editor 

Published August 4, 2010 at 4:14 a.m.

Disc Changer

Though Gogol Bordello’s music was on the soundtrack for Wristcutters, Eugene was not [“The Odyssey of Eugene Nikolaev,” July 21]. I think the other movie Dan Bolles may have been thinking of was Filth and Wisdom, directed by Madonna.

Take care; check your facts.

Jennifer Blair


Protection Against Pedophiles

Rather than couching the ancient debate between rehabilitation and reform in a cheapo left-right modern political framework, Judith Levine should have asked what the science of sexual orientation and/or preference has to say to this issue [“Poli Psy,” July 21]. Years of trying have shown that no one’s sexual preference can be counseled, electroshocked or medicated away. The trouble for human society at large is what exactly to do with people whose sexual preference includes the long-term, secretive torture [and] fucking of little kids. Sexual abuse really happens.

I’m all for public urinators and teen fornicators being taken off the list. I’m also for knowing who among us has proven, through documented behavior, that they possess this terrible curse. I’m not interested in harassing these people. I am interested in keeping my kids out of their reach.

Ben Maddox

Enosburg Falls

Scary Decor

I remember the Harbor Hide-A-Way from family visits when I was a kid [“WTF: What’s Up With the Harbor Hide-A-Way on Route 7?” July 7]. The food, being restaurant food, was exciting enough for someone for whom dining out was a rare treat. But it was the decor that made it memorable. There was the section of the dining room that was styled after a cave. There was the skeleton under a transparent coffee table whose jaw would work up and down if you could find the secret button to press. And, most macabre of all, there was on display a child’s doll that had a .22 firearm hidden in it. The trigger was linked to one of the arms folded across its breast so an embrace of the toy would be lethal. Who could have thought up such a thing?

Andrew Gibson


Message Received

Just moved away from the area, but always loved passing that house [“WTF: Why Does a House Across from Burlington’s Centennial Field Tell Passersby to ‘Cut Consumption, Not Foreskin’?” July 21]. Individual and distinctive, colorful and fun — and an important message, presented cleverly. Bravo!

Alexander Hirka

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Advertising Animal Cruelty

As a volunteer for Green Mountain Animal Defenders, I was alarmed to see an ad for an area restaurant offering foie gras in Seven Days.

The production of foie gras is extremely inhumane due to the cruel, painful methods it requires. Ducks and geese are force-fed several times per day, which causes their livers to become diseased and enlarged. Factory-farm workers force pipes down the animals’ throats to compel them to consume these unhealthy portions.

The pipes can cause painful damage such as bruises, lacerations or sores. Additionally, the enlargement of the liver makes it difficult to walk or breathe properly. Ducks and geese raised to produce foie gras are often kept in cramped, filthy cages, where they are unable to turn around or even spread their wings.

Therefore, I would like to urge not only the restaurant advertising foie gras but others that serve it, as well, to remove it from their menus. Naturally, I also encourage the public not to order foie gras.

Liana Johnson


Ownership Options

I agree with Donald Kreis [“Feedback,” July 21] that the cooperative form of business tends to lead to better and more long-term benefits for community members. However, Mr. Kreis’ claim that “Nothing prevents [Carris Reels and Seventh Generation] from eventually falling into the hands of those who would maximize profit by extracting every ounce of wealth they can from their communities” is wrong in the case of Carris Reels.

Two years ago, Bill Carris completed the sale of that company to his employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Since the ESOP is operated for the benefit of employees, it is very, very unlikely that the company will ever fall into the hands of people who are only interested in maximizing profit. It’s great to hear that Seventh Generation, already 20 percent owned by employees, is considering going the ESOP route.

Mr. Kreis’ bigger point, that it matters enormously who owns a business and what motivates them, is right on the mark. When companies are run for the benefit of investors who are only looking for a good financial return, trouble can’t be far behind. Most businesses in Vermont are not in this category. Selling a company to an ESOP, or converting it into a worker cooperative (an increasingly common path), can help keep it in the community for the long haul.

Don Jamison


Jamison is program director for the Vermont Employee Ownership Center.

A Rider Responds

I’ve been taking the bus to work for almost 10 years, and I take exception with Kevin J. Kelley’s characterization of bus riders [“Seven Years Later, Burlington Is Still Waiting for a Real Bus Station,” July 7] He writes, “Even as the city seeks to discourage homeless and mentally ill people from loitering on the downtown pedestrian mall … nothing is being done to reduce the crowds waiting for buses on Cherry Street.” So, bus riders are in the same category as the homeless and mentally ill? Really?

I also strongly disagree with the quote from Chapin Spencer that failure to replace the Cherry Street terminal … represents “the single biggest impediment to continued ridership growth on the CCTA system. “

A nice place to wait for the bus, when that is almost the only point at which the buses are actually on time, would not contribute to increased ridership. What Chittenden County needs is more flexible, wider-reaching routes (Colchester?) and schedules that reflect the times when buses will actually arrive. This means adjusting the schedules later in the day to allow for traffic.

I’m not surprised that ridership is low when the media groups the existing ridership in with the homeless and mentally ill, and the CCTA itself thinks a nice place to wait (and wait and wait) is the cure.

Allison Rose Bannister


Life Questions

Andy Bromage should be congratulated on his coverage of the six Vermont gubernatorial candidates. The series provided readers with a general sense of the candidates’ personalities and their views.

However, while Brian Dubie was asked to explain how his pro-life position will translate into public policy for the state of Vermont, none of the five Democrat candidates was challenged to be specific about the policies they embrace.

All five Democrats on the ballot have, in past elections, received the endorsement of the Vermont pro-abortion lobby, whose agenda includes opposing parental notification and supporting an expansion of taxpayer funding for abortion.

With the Obama health care plan a reality and the prospect of a single-payer system for Vermont, voters need to know now where candidates stand on expanding taxpayer funding of abortion in our state.

Dunne, Shumlin and Bartlett voted in favor of taxpayer funding of the gruesome partial-birth-abortion procedure — even after a majority of Congress, including Senator Patrick Leahy — voted to ban the procedure. Markowitz and Racine have not cast a vote on the issue. Ultimately, the late-term procedure was deemed so cruel that it was banned by 31 states and the U.S. Congress, and the bans were upheld by the Supreme Court.

Democrats can only appear to be in step with Vermont voters if they don’t have to answer the challenging questions.

Sharon Toborg


Toborg is treasurer of the Vermont Right to Life political committee.

Voting Wrongs

In a recent Seven Days article [“On Your Markowitz,” July 14], Deb Markowitz issued the following quote: “In Vermont we allow felons to vote. So you should register to vote and make me governor.” This response was issued to “Bobo,” who jokingly was seeking a pardon from Markowitz at a public appearance. To me this raises two issues: Why is Vermont one of only two states allowing incarcerated felons to vote? Maine is the other. And why would any candidate seek the support of convicted felons? Surely there are better sources of votes than felons. Hopefully, we won’t see a “Felons for Markowitz” movement anytime soon. If so, Brian Dubie should start working on his victory speech ASAP!

Anthony O’Rourke



Writer and naturalist Bryan Pfeiffer does have a radio show, as noted in last week’s food story, “River Running Away.” But “For the Birds” is on WDEV — not Vermont Public Radio …

Burlington City Councilor Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4) was misidentified as city council president in a news story in the same issue: “Can Burlington Save Centennial Field and the Lake Monsters?” The presidential post is currently held by Ward 5 Democrat Bill Keogh. Our apologies for the goofs.

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