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Letters to the Editor 

Published September 11, 2013 at 4:32 a.m.

Syria Error

Good reporting on the hard choices facing our congressional delegation on Syria [Fair Game: “Syria Business,” September 4]. Here’s what I wrote Leahy, Sanders and Welch:?“I hope you will stand in the way of the rush to war in Syria. Hafez Assad is a despicable, evil tyrant willing to mercilessly slaughter his own people to cling to power, but if the U.S. enters this sectarian civil war we will face inevitable unforeseen consequences. In the end, bombing Syria may not serve to protect the innocent, but wind up prolonging the suffering, strengthening Al Qaeda and other Jihadi extremists, and increase anti-U.S. opinion in the region. I would have hoped that by now we would have learned a hard-taught lesson of history from Vietnam, Mogadishu, Iraq and other failed military ventures: that there are evils in the world that can’t be remedied by unilateral military action by the United States. I urge you to vote against bombing Syria.”

Russell Aminzade


Wonderful Windsor

Wonderful article [Side Dishes: “Windsor Station Restaurant and Barroom to Open,” August 14]. We have known both Stacy and Jon Capurso — and kids — for some time and wish them all the success in the world. They are very deserving people.

Phil and Stella Jacobs

Endwell, N.Y.

Anti-Farmers Market?

I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback by Alice Levitt’s article and her negative take on the Burlington Farmers Market [“Slow Food Vermont Debuts a Farmers Market,” August 21]. The mission of the Burlington Farmers Market is to provide a direct marketing outlet for Vermont farmers and artisans and to provide an authentic experience where consumers and producers meet face-to-face. This market has done an excellent job of bringing some of the best fresh produce to the area as well as meats, cheeses and wines; many of these products are organic and locally grown. The quality crafts range from beautifully styled jewelry to functional pottery, well-designed clothing, and handmade soaps and salves. Food producers bring dishes from Africa, Jamaica, Peru, Turkey, Tibet and Nepal into one open-air arena. Every Saturday thousands of people come down for this great event, and the vendors are glad to visit with them. They are welcome to make a quick shopping trip or to make a day of it. For those who don’t know, the market is held every Saturday in Burlington City Hall Park from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. from May to the end of October and in Memorial Auditorium November through April.?

Harold Kaplan


Kaplan is a vendor at the Burlington Farmers Market.

Honest About Allen

I can’t say how much I appreciated Rick Kisonak’s review of Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine [Movie Review, August 28]. How refreshing that someone was independent-minded enough to point out how little feeling Allen had for his characters — none, really. It is astonishing to me how much praise this movie garnered given that to me there wasn’t much substance there at all except lovely photos of real estate.

Janet Wormser


Not Jazzed About Jasmine

I share Rick Kisonak’s disappointment with Blue Jasmine [Movie Review, August 28], but I think he is off the mark in his conclusion: that Woody Allen is old and tired.

From the moment Jasmine climbs out of her cab, it’s evident that something in the film isn’t clicking. What quickly becomes evident is that Allen doesn’t like San Francisco. His other films, from Manhattan on, show such love for the cities — streets, shop fronts, architecture, the ambience — one wonders which came first, story or locale. Watching it is a major pleasure. (And I include To Rome With Love.)

On the same metaphor, I guess that something about San Francisco nudged Allen’s subconscious the wrong way. The place, time, story and characters are lumped together like hobo stew, rather than blended like soup. The bridge, the dock, the precipitous city street, even Chinatown, are postcards borrowed for background, the story itself patchwork, the characters sketchy.

To disagree with Rick on one point: I do see Jasmine’s sister and her “greasemonkey” boyfriend as real. Their apartment is a real living space.

Blanchett throws herself into her roles and is usually enjoyable to watch. Here, though, her effort is too much for the film and too little to warrant sympathy. Neither she nor, importantly, the script accounts for why she married Baldwin in the first place, a nonentity actor playing a nonentity. She’s still good, if painful, to watch, but Jasmine is more puzzling than compelling.

Fred G. Hill

South Burlington

Yankee Independence

Many in the granola crowd are pleased as Punch that Vermont Yankee is shutting down [Last 7, “Fission Accomplished,” August 28], but the jury is still out on the “fallout” from this story.

No one can argue that removing the threat of a nuclear plant meltdown and removing radioactive waste that lasts 100,000 years is, in the words of Forrest Gump, “a good thing!”

But unless you’re living in a cave somewhere, there are other things to consider: First, over 600 well-paying professional jobs will be lost. Second, Vermont needs a safe and reliable source of energy, as Vermont Yankee provided.

The “evil business elite” often scorned by the nuts-and-twigs crowd do help produce jobs that produce wages so we can live here. With Vermont Yankee shutting down, Vermont will be seen as even more unfriendly — if not hostile — to businesses looking to come to this state!

Will we scar more of our mountaintops for the short-term gain of inconsistent wind power? Will Vermonters fight to limit access to natural gas? All of which increases our dependency on Hydro-Québec, so we pray to the gods our Canadian neighbors to the North show us some mercy!

We Vermonters rightly pride ourselves on our independent spirit! Yet we have now increased our dependency for energy  — and for our survival — more and more on out-of-state energy entities. 

Robert Devost



In last week’s cover story, “Designing Women,” we misidentified the Rochester restaurant in which Anjanette Lemak debuted her first corset. The eatery formerly known as Village Porch changed hands shortly before Lemak started wearing her corsets there. It’s now called School Street Bistro.

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