Letters to the Editor (2/8/17) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (2/8/17)


Published February 8, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated February 9, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.

More on Mosher

[Re "In Memoriam: On the Death of Howard Frank Mosher," February 1; Live Culture: "Howard Frank Mosher's Imagination of Vermont: A Tribute," January 31; Live Culture: "A Reporter's Fond Remembrance of Howard Frank Mosher, 1942-2017," January 29]: Howard F. Mosher had the ability to capture the last folkways and traditions of country people who held out in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Not romanticized, but with all the struggles and poverty and hope of country people everywhere. Yet his novels burst out in humor as well, such as in his realistic account of the "whiskey and rum runners" during the Prohibition era. I first heard of Mosher when his novel A Stranger in the Kingdom came out in the 1960s. I worked in a lumberyard in Glover at that time. The year before last, he kept an audience in stitches at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington.

Tom Azarian


Separate but Not Equal

The Women's March on Montpelier, in alliance with its sister marches, was an historic event of great importance to our continuing democracy ["Democracy's Trump Card," January 25]. So why did Seven Days choose to bury the two-page story in the middle of the newspaper? Why was half of it devoted to representing opinions from four of 20 people who attended President Donald Trump's inauguration?

Your reporting doesn't reflect the immensity of the Women's March and its historical significance. It doesn't put the march in context. In Vermont, 15,000 to 20,000 people attended the march, while 20 people attended the inauguration. You reported these numbers. Yet your article devotes nearly 50 percent of its text to people who represent less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those you're reporting on. Perhaps your argument is that you want to present both sides equally, but what you've accomplished is to water down the side of the vast majority of people who are protesting in unprecedented numbers.

The role of our free press is critical to defending our democracy, to resisting authoritarian methods to disenfranchise millions of Americans. If it is important to your paper that you give equal time to both protesters and Trump supporters, perhaps you can consider writing separate articles. Certainly the issues deserve far more in-depth coverage. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the news each day on the new administration's efforts to dismantle our democracy one government institution at a time.

Kathryn Berk


No-Reporting Zone

I write to express my disappointment in the editor's decision to run a story about Lt. Col. John Rahill ["F-16 Aviator Must Take Civilian Pilot Exam After Small Plane Crash," February 1]. Poorly written and mean-spirited, the article appears to be an attempt to bring negative press upon the Vermont Army National Guard during a time when many of its men and women are deployed in the service of our country. The timing of the article is strange — and cowardly — given that Rahill is one of the brave pilots flying dangerous missions. I, for one, express my gratitude to him and his family for their sacrifices, and I'm outraged that his family had to read this old news while he's deployed. Come on, Seven Days!

Rich Price


Noise Map Needed

[Re Off Message: "South Burlington Councilors Want Airport Buyouts to Stop," January 23; Off Message: "SoBu Council Passes Resolution Critical of Airport Home Buyouts," January 24; Off Message: "Airport Director: SoBu Council Resolution Won't Stop Buyouts," January 24]: There's a big lack of affordable housing in South Burlington. Due to increased decibels from F-16s, the airport has purchased and demolished more than 150 affordable houses in the vicinity of the airport. There are 40 more homes on the chopping block.

The F-35 is four times louder than the F-16, according to what the U.S. Air Force has said in federal court and in their environmental impact statement. Apparently, the shape of the 65-plus-decibel contour is going to be different, too: narrower and longer than the F-16 contour. But no one knows where the F-35 footprint is because the Federal Aviation Administration refuses to give us a projected noise map.

Yet Boise, Idaho, and Great Falls, Mont., each has one. Why were they allowed to have one and we aren't?

The South Burlington City Council wants to save as many affordable houses as possible for people to be able to live in. It understands that without an FAA F-35 projected noise map, no one knows:

1. Whether the next batch of houses to be purchased and torn down actually falls into the F-35 65+db contour.

2. Whether there are houses that aren't in the buyout plan now that will be in the F-35 65+db contour.

3. Affecting construction: Even if you want to build more affordable housing, how can you be sure it won't be in a future tear-down zone without that F-35 65+db map?

Love SBCC for refusing to go blindly into which houses should be purchased and demolished without the 65+db F-35 map!

Ellen Powell 

South Burlington

Vive la Difference

In her response to [Feedback: "Fat Chance," February 1], Suzanne Podhaizer describes what is referred to as "the French Paradox" to suggest that it's high time Americans started eating more animal fat. The French eat a lot of animal fat but have low rates of cardiovascular disease, according to Podhaizer. So, we should follow the French. Hmm! This amounts to wonderful news about bad eating habits and exactly what everyone wants to hear.

The truth is that French doctors report their heart disease deaths in a nonstandard manner, which makes their statistics appear highly enviable. Dr. Michael Greger provides details on this in "What Explains the French Paradox?" on NutritionFacts.org and shows that the French are no different than other nations, entirely within the range of expected death rates per consumption levels of animal fats. Most will not catch this, so Podhaizer goes a long way toward promoting a continued decline in health among Americans. This type of misinformation is standard fare today in the area of "nutrition advice," unfortunately.

Tobias C. Brown


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