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Published October 12, 2011 at 4:24 a.m.

Mexican Enough for Jeffersonville

[Re “The More the Mexican,” September 7]: In response to Corin Hirsch’s review of El Zorro Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, I would like to loudly say, “If you don’t like it, go back to Burlington!” After residing in the quiet and non-populous Jeffersonville area for the past six years, I was extremely excited to welcome El Zorro. After dining there several times, I am willing to stand up for their take on VerMexican cuisine, hospitality and efforts to revitalize an otherwise vacant building in our town.

The people of Jeffersonville are lucky to have more than one restaurant to choose from, and quite often businesses in this area struggle to survive even when they are highly renowned for their food, service and atmosphere. No doubt there are better restaurants out there, but in this neck of the woods, I’m pleased to have some culinary diversity among the standard American fare.

In this economy, I think Seven Days should be a bit more aware of the impact you have on consumers, and instead of potentially devastating a new business in rural Vermont, you should focus on what you can say that might support a small business in a small town. Until then, please keep your harsh critique in the city, where you can compare the multitude of bistros, cafés, steak houses, burger joints, sushi bars, and vegan and vegetarian restaurants; a handful of Mexican restaurants; and everything else that makes up the culinary gamut that is available in the Burlington area.

Leah Szafranski


Drug Deal

The prescription drug “shortage” is akin to other shortages of essentials that we’ve experienced in recent years [“A Nationwide Drug Shortage Afflicts Patients in Vermont,” September 28]. Big Pharma wants bigger profits, so they hold off on the low-priced generics and push the high-priced brand-name versions instead. It’s a case of supply and demand: Create a demand, then make sure you control the supply.

Roger Dobrick

Madison, WI

Drugs R Us?

[“A Nationwide Drug Shortage Afflicts Patients in Vermont,” September 28] is a very shocking article, for many reasons. First, it sounds like most of our drugs are being manufactured overseas in China and/or India. Second, are the words we are looking for but scared to say and print really “lack of sanitation” in these plants? How many manufacturing plants might we build with just a few of the billions spent on the senseless bloodbaths in Iraq and now Afghanistan? Who the hell is making these stupid decisions? Is our pathetic U.S. Congress incapable of making laws stating that our drugs will be produced in our country, by our people? Third, it seems there is always a drug supply for the mentally ill and criminal drug users. I state this because my late brother was a seriously mentally ill criminal who was addicted to bad drugs. He ate morphine sulfate like candy and overdosed three times that I know of. He was on Medicaid and other assistance in Vermont and so got his morphine scrips for a buck. Yes, a buck a scrip! Outrageous, yes. Are you mad yet? If not, get mad.

Lastly, I can only speak highly of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. When my husband had pancreatic cancer surgery, his docs supplied us with free pain and nausea meds. The pills would have cost us $100 apiece — yes, for one pill. Who is ripping off whom here? I will never believe it is DHMC. Most of us will never see the daily miracles performed by the medical personnel in our great country.

Sukie Knight

West Newbury

Biomass Pollutes

[Re “Renewable or Retrograde? A Biomass Plant Proposed for Fair Haven Sparks Controversy,” October 5]: Fair Haven seems eager to have this facility built in their community, but town manager [Peter] Hathaway’s statement about pollution not being a concern is naïve to the extreme. McNeil is the state’s leading source of air pollution! Indeed it is not clearly visible, as many pollutants are not.

Sadly, the state’s Bioenergy Working Group, mandated by the legislature to look at the state’s bio-energy “potential,” has decided to avoid looking at health impacts altogether. The American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others have all stated concerns about biomass combustion impacts on health; Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League just put together a compilation called “Second Opinion.” Concerns about climate and forests are also very troubling. [Deputy Secretary Chris] Recchia [of the Agency of Natural Resources] says it is not fair to make comparisons with coal, but the basic fact is that wood is far less energy dense than coal and releases more CO2 per unit of energy produced. But this is only looking at the emissions from smokestacks and does not even consider the CO2 emissions from harvest, transport, soil disturbance and the loss of forest carbon sink that results. In total, burning trees for electricity is a climate disaster! Of course, so is burning coal, but let’s remember: This is being sold to us, and subsidized, as “clean, green, carbon neutral and renewable.” Not!

Rachel Smolker


Wrong Number?

I’m wondering where you got the 50 MW figure for additional biomass electricity generation that you cite as being in the Comprehensive Energy Plan [Re “Renewable or Retrograde? A Biomass Plant Proposed for Fair Haven Sparks Controversy,” October 5]. The plan, as I have read it, does not make such a specific projection on added biomass electrical capacity. Rather it does mention that, at the time of writing, 50 to 60 MW would potentially be coming online from proposed and nearly completed projects, one of which I assume is the Fair Haven facility.

However, I may be wrong on this, and would like to know if I am, so I would be interested if you could point to your source. Thanks!

Jake Claro


Reporter’s Note: That figure came from Chris Recchia, Deputy Secretary at the Agency of Natural Resources.

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