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Letters to the Editor (4/15/15)

Published April 15, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Clear Boundaries

I want to offer a point of correction to Ethan de Seife's assertion that "the jurisdictional relationship between Cambridge and Jeffersonville is anything but clear, even to locals" ["Tempest in a Silo," April 1]. It may not be clear to all locals, but it is clear.

Jeffersonville, like Cambridge Village, is an incorporated village within the town of Cambridge. Cambridge is one of half a dozen or so towns that includes multiple incorporated villages. Next door to us, the village of Johnson is an incorporated village within the town of Johnson. Jeffersonville isn't even unique in having a village name unrelated to that of the town: Wells River is a village in Newbury, and White River is in Hartford, to name but two.

One further correction: On Town Meeting Day, residents of the town — which includes residents of the two villages as well as those of the surrounding township — cast votes. Residents of the village of Jeffersonville hold their village meeting in mid-May; only residents of the village of Jeffersonville may vote at that meeting. Residents of Cambridge Village hold their village meeting in late May, and only residents of Cambridge Village may vote at that meeting. In other words, there are three separate municipal entities at play here.

While most town services are based in Jeffersonville village, it's worth noting that the Cambridge Health Center is in the village of Cambridge.

Katherine Quimby Johnson


Art Appreciation

I feel that art depicting Vermont life will be a welcome sight to the tourists and visitors to the area ["Tempest in a Silo," April 1]. I pass these silos every day on my drive to work and think how depressing they look standing there in the empty field. How is painting them any different from the painted cows throughout Vermont or the iron "sculptures"? There are some things I object to, but art is never one of them. Especially when it makes a small tourist town even better!

Jessica Lussier


Vision Problems

[Re "By Lopsided Vote, Vermont Senate Approves New Gun Regulations," Off Message, March 25]: I want to thank Sen. Rodgers for finally stating what I have felt over the past 25 years or so. To anyone who moved here with your vision of what Vermont should be, move to a state with your values. I am tired of having to fork over my hard-earned money just to pacify your views of what Vermont should be like. Having to pay out of pocket for your bike lanes on the roads (that less than 2 percent of bikers actually use), your welfare handouts, gun control laws, Agenda 21 ... I can go on and on. 

It is wonderful to finally hear a senator who voices what native Vermonters have been saying for years. Kudos to you!

Kate Hennessey

Essex Junction

Milk Money

"Sacred Cows" [April 1] exposes a fragment of the problem. If we are to tackle water pollution reasonably, then all parties need to be held accountable. The producer, processor and consumer of dairy should take responsibility for the consequences their occupational and dietary choices impose on the tax base. Kathryn Flagg lays out the need for greater enforcement and better land management, and she omits how much this will cost the government and taxpayers in a time of deficit. Further, this theoretical money will be in addition to the epic farm bill already in place. How much money does the dairy industry need from the general public to police and engineer their business? Why do we not treat this enormous industry as a business?

There exists a routine public outcry for an end to runaway government spending. Elected officials talk about the hard choices they face when cutting public programs to live within our means. The line item that sparks the most heated debate is education funding. I bring it up to highlight our fixation with school/property tax costs while we have no problem picking up the Lake Champlain tab for the dairy industry. The federal government dropped $1 million on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to plant cover crops in addition to the $45 million federal response toward lake cleanup efforts. The real cost of dairy must include the enormous load it imposes on society before the industry calculates its profits.

Eben Markowski


Destructive Criticism

Over the years I have been dismayed and disappointed by some of the restaurant reviews your food-writing team has issued, but the recent review of Junior's Rustico ["Roughly Rustic," March 17] really put me over the edge, and I felt the need to write to you directly. Over the years Seven Days has become a well-respected publication in our small community. Your journalists and contributors have become trusted sources for information and opinions. So I really struggle when I read an article that blasts a small business in such a painful and overt way.

The author opens the review by saying that she started off the experience in a foul mood, then goes on to talk about how absolutely horrible the food at Junior's was. Then she goes on ... and on ... and on — paragraph after paragraph about how awful everything about it is. My point? We get it! She didn't like Junior's Rustico. I respect peoples' opinions — I haven't been to Junior's, so I wouldn't know — but the fact of the matter is that in a town as small as Burlington, writers have the power to make or break a small business with one review. I feel like the hurtful tone you take in articles like this one puts small businesses at risk of closing before the public gets to decide for themselves whether they want to spend their hard-earned dollars there.

The disregard for citizens who are trying their best to make it in a competitive market really sours my view of Seven Days and the people who contribute to it.

Peter Goldsmith

South Burlington

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