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Letters to the Editor 

Use Goats, Not Chemicals

I was saddened to read that Burlington routinely grants exemptions to its ordinance prohibiting the use of pesticides and herbicides within 500 feet of the lake and its tributaries [“Can the City of Burlington Toughen Its ‘Lawn Care’ Regulations?” October 27]. Why anyone, anywhere, still uses or allows the use of these known pollutants near a lake, or elsewhere, for that matter, boggles my mind. Have none of these legal polluters ever heard of using goats to safely take care of a localized infestation problem? Surely there must be someone in Vermont or neighboring New York who has a herd of hungry goats who would be willing to lend them out for cash?

If not, here’s a great opportunity for someone to make a real difference in our community by offering a safe alternative to toxics, thereby challenging the ancient and dangerous mindset of “the answer to pollution is dilution.” Mindful communities elsewhere have adopted this concept. We can do better!

Kai Mikkel Forlie

Burlington

F-35 Fan

I was in New York on September 11, 2001, and there was absolutely nothing comforting at any moment during that day except when the Green Mountain Boys flew over the city — the first to arrive. Because of Vermont’s proximity to the Canadian border, our border along the Atlantic Ocean, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other landmarks and heavily populated areas, it is a critical asset in our nation’s defense. Please do not be selfish and close minded with such a crucial resource [“Vermont’s Stop the F-35 Coalition Recruits a Veteran Spokesman,” October 13]. Every state, and every citizen, should do their part in protecting our country.

Laura Conti

Wallingford

There’s the Beef

Contrary to what has been said in [“Side Dishes: Meat of the Matter,” November 3], the Shelburne Meat Market does offer a large selection of all-natural beef. Much of the beef is certified humane as well as grass fed and can be verified by consulting the butchers who work there. I have been shopping there since the store opened and have never been disappointed. Go, meat!

Christie Bronder

Burlington

Veggie Option?

Ah, Alice. Once again I have finished reading one of your food articles [“Saigon Subs,” November 3] and am left wondering the same tired question: What’s in it for me?

With the frequently delicious descriptions, this vegetarian reader is often left teased, tortured and unsatisfied. I’m not looking for an article about vegetarian food; I just would like vegetarian options to be mentioned. Or even tasted — gasp! — in the food articles.

Dani Fuoco

Winooski

Truth About Traffic Court

Lauren Ober calls traffic court “the most entertaining theater in the region” [“Tickets, Please,” November 3]. What a shame. As a citizen, it is your right to defend yourself. It is the state’s responsibility to prove your guilt — not the other way around. When you go to traffic court, you’re ensuring that proper procedures are followed, you’re not taken advantage of, and the officers are doing their job. On top of that, you are not guilty until the judge says so.

Further, many speed limits are set too low. They were put in place by municipalities without proper traffic and engineering investigations. Limits are decided by ill-informed town boards based on the complaints of a few…

Rita Flynn Villa is correct: Speeding is not a moral failing. Yet we treat as criminals those performing a fair and judicious act based on questionable regulations and little science. More collisions occur near home, below 40 mph, and are the result of bad judgment, be it drinking and driving, driving distracted or inexperienced, than specifically speeding.

I understand the physics. Vehicles moving at higher velocities will cause greater negative outcomes, but a person can still die in a crash going 12 mph.

I don’t advocate reckless driving. But I do think that better education behind the wheel, more appropriate speed laws, and a better attitude about driving will go further than some hackneyed story about the “fun” of traffic court.

George Rooney

Starksboro

CORRECTION:

Last week’s story on remediation of the Vermont Asbestos Group mine in Lowell and Eden [“Mine Over Matter,” November 3] misstated the estimated cost of the cleanup. The correct estimate is $129 million to $200 million under the scenarios offered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Also, trucking asbestos-laden material off site is not an option currently under consideration.

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