Letters to the Editor (4/6/16) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (4/6/16)


Published April 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated April 12, 2016 at 2:21 p.m.

Kitchen's Open

In a 2015 issue of Seven Days, you reported that the Kitchen Table Bistro was closing in December. Imagine my surprise when I saw the restaurant listed in participating restaurants for this year's Vermont Restaurant Week. I called Kitchen Table and was informed that the restaurant was for sale — not closed! Seven Days has done a huge disservice to this exceptional restaurant by inaccurate reporting. Although you probably will feel differently, I think you owe this fine establishment a half-page ad in your paper correcting this misinformation.  

Alan M. Gladstone


Editor's note: Kitchen Table sent a press release to Vermont media outlets last July announcing that it was for sale. In a September story, Seven Days noted it was on the market. But some readers jumped to the conclusion that the restaurant was closing, according to co-owner Neal Johnston. So Hannah Palmer Egan set the record straight with another short piece on December 22, in which she wrote: "So let it be known, without equivocation, that both Kitchen Table Bistro and its sister café, Parkside Kitchen, are still open!"

Update: According to a news release received the morning after
Seven Days went to press, the owners of Kitchen Table Bistro are taking their restaurant off the market and closing Parkside Kitchen. The latter will close after brunch on Sunday, April 10. 

Liver Dangerously

Bite Club's recent recipe for Liver Pâté en Terrine [Bite Club: Farmers Market Kitchen, February 9] recommended that readers cook this dish to a dangerously low internal temperature. The recipe called for the terrine to be cooked to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that is far too low to prevent consumers from getting sick. Beef and pork livers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. The recipe goes on to note that chicken livers can be substituted for pork livers without mentioning that poultry livers must be cooked to an even higher temperature — 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pork, beef and poultry livers are frequently contaminated with Campylobacter — a type of bacteria that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. Campylobacter infections are the leading cause of foodborne illness in Vermont, and approximately one in six Vermonters with a Campylobacter infection is hospitalized. Over the last four years, Campylobacter outbreaks caused by undercooked chicken livers have been responsible for more foodborne outbreaks investigated by the Vermont Department of Health than any other food item.

The only way to be protected from Campylobacter and other bacteria found in livers is to cook this organ to the appropriate internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Readers who will be preparing the Liver Pâté en Terrine or any other dish with pork, beef or poultry livers should follow the guidance on the USDA-FSIS website for safe cooking temperatures.

Bradley Tompkins


Tompkins is a foodborne epidemiologist with the Vermont Department of Health.


Regarding the feigned concern about the loss of pollinators ["Bee Here Now," March 23]: If we found that the mercury-cadmium drift from coal plants not only poisoned our fish but all the critters that drink rainwater, would we stop burning coal or just sue American Electric Power and put the money into Vermont's General Fund? (Did that.) And if it was discovered that nonionizing radiation from cell towers and phones was harming them along with birds, bats and even people, would we stop using them and return to landlines? Of course not! Industrial wind can be seen and (barely) heard, so suddenly it is "harmful," yet unseen radiation goes unnoticed and is embraced while more succumb to their digital dream state, addicted to tracking devices doubling as communication devices. Say goodbye to the pollinators; we really don't care as long as we get cheap power and can yap at will.

Steve Merrill

North Troy

Heintz for Hillary?

I am really tired of Paul Heintz's cynical, mocking coverage of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Obviously a Hillary fan, he regularly picks apart and denigrates Bernie and his supporters — no matter how learned or experienced. Ever since Bernie entered the race, Heintz has been bent on proving that he can't win and that he is foolish to try. Not only is this mean-spirited, but it is disheartening to those voters who are undecided. No doubt this is Heintz's goal. Maybe he should rename his column Unfair Game.

Louise Watson


Forest for the Trees

[Re "Legislators Seek to Secure the Future of Vermont's Valuable Forests," March 23]: Bills moving through the Statehouse show that legislators recognize the importance to the state's economy and ecology of maintaining healthy, intact forests. Nancy Remsen's article gave considerable space to a segment of the forest industry that would sooner object to the legislation than seek positive ways to improve it. Foresters and loggers who are practicing enlightened silviculture and who are helping landowners to maintain the long-term productivity and sustainable stewardship of their woodlands should and do support such legislation. The bills under consideration will increase the professionalism of forestry in Vermont, offer greater protection to landowners and forestry operations, provide notification and information on timber harvesting, and prevent fragmentation of our forests that are so crucial to Vermont. The legislation deserves wide public support.

Jonathan Gibson


Police Had to Shoot

Firing upon Ralph "Phil" Grenon was the right decision ["Police Killing of Mentally Ill Man Raises Questions — Again," March 30]. The officers had a crisis negotiator on the scene, who attempted to call Grenon 12 times; they also tried a nonlethal way to subdue him, but multiple stuns didn't do anything. By taking these actions, they did everything right.

Some might say that alternate actions would've avoided anyone getting killed, including Grenon: He was mentally ill; he didn't know what to do when police officers went to his home with weapons; he could have been scared or had a flight-or-fight moment. Officer David Bowers could have shot to wound or disarm Grenon, instead of killing him.

But in the heat of the moment, an officer needs to think quickly to protect himself and others. Chief Brandon del Pozo states that, "If someone would present me with a perfect plan that could guarantee ... safety ... we would implement it." I believe that Bowers did what he had to do to prevent himself or anyone else from getting hurt. He reacted the best way any Burlington officer could have.

Connor Prouty


Women's History Lesson

[Re "Leaders of the Backpack," March 23]: Although I enjoyed the piece on the first three women to hike the Long Trail end to end, I must object to Sarah Tuff Dunn's opening statement about women being "given" the right to vote. Women won the right to vote, after a hard-fought, 72-year campaign.

Many women over three generations contributed to that effort, including two who were denied their rightful seats on the floor of the World Anti-Slavery Convention — solely because of their gender. Outraged at the inequities women were expected to tolerate, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott met again in 1848 to plan the first women's rights convention and to draft the Declaration of Sentiments, which declared that women and men were equal and that women had the right to vote.

In 1870, Victoria Woodhull created the Equal Rights Party and ran for president. Susan B. Anthony crisscrossed the nation speaking on women's rights, deciding in 1872 that it was time to vote; she was arrested, jailed and fined.

In 1917, Alice Paul founded the National Woman's Party. She led suffrage marches and protests, and she and her followers often chained themselves to the White House fence. Arrested and jailed, many were put into solitary confinement and force-fed through their noses when they went on hunger strikes.

After these and numerous other actions by our many heroic foremothers, the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, and women had finally won the right to vote. As Carrie Chapman Catt wrote, the struggle for the vote was "costly. Prize it."

Jennifer Matthews

Mount Holly

Matthews is a former director of the Burlington Women's Council.

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