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Letters to the Editor (6/27/18)


Published June 27, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated July 10, 2018 at 7:21 p.m.

Imitating Escher

Last week's cover art will look familiar to anyone who has seen M.C. Escher's reality-bending artwork, but I don't see any credit offered to Escher. Instead the graphic is credited to Thomas James, who has clearly plagiarized Escher's 1953 lithograph "Relativity." It also is not clear that the graphic has anything to do with the article it is supposed to be illustrating about Vermont's nonprofit organizations ["Nonprofit Margins," June 20].

Heidi Champney


Editor's note: Lots of illustrators have played with Escher's motif, as with other iconic works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Andy Warhol. The assumption is that the work is so well known it doesn't require an acknowledgment of the original. James' cover art wasn't attached to any particular story but was meant to illustrate the overarching subject of our special "Give and Take" report on Vermont's nonprofit economy. We thought it succeeded.

Addicts Are Everywhere

I recently read some comments from Shannon Reilly, the owner of Magnolia Bistro [Off Message: "Magnolia Bistro Owner's Facebook Post Sparks Calls for Boycott," June 18]: The comments — specifically "Sorry. So fuckin pathetic employing people spaced out on bupe. Fuckin useless. Let them die" — hit a nerve.

I am one of those "fuckin useless," "spaced out on bupe" employees. I happen to work for a very well-known legal firm. I happen to be in recovery, and I happen to be on a very low dose of Suboxone, tapering lower and lower every month. I suspect I will be done soon.

I have news for you, Reilly: We are everywhere. We are your doctors, your nurses, your firemen. We are the police, we are your chefs, your restaurant owners and your children. Brothers, sisters, wives, cousins. We are everywhere.

This may be really dumb of me, putting my own personal experience out there, but I will not stay silent any longer. This is abhorrent, disgusting and inaccurate. We are everywhere — except at your restaurant.

Jennifer M. Fredette


Climate Action = Strong Economy

[Re Off Message: "Scott Vetoes Vermont State Budget, Tax Bills," May 26]: Carbon pricing has been a hot-button issue in Vermont for at least the past four years. As a Vermonter, student at Bennington College and young person, I feel a dedication and responsibility to supporting my state economically while mitigating the worst effect of climate change. In Vermont, we don't need convincing that maintaining our environment — and major industries such as sugaring, skiing and leaf peeping — means immediate and regenerative action on climate.

For the past two years, I have worked with hundreds of students across the state, at more than 10 college campuses, to demonstrate and advocate for the effectiveness and necessity of carbon pricing in our great state. Through student organizing — including petitions, citizen advocacy and large-scale art installations — we have secured endorsements from four higher education institutions, namely Bennington College, Champlain College, Green Mountain College and School for International Training. These endorsements represent a population of 3,800 students and more than 1,000 staff and faculty.

We love our green state. And while we have earned ourselves the No. 1 spot in 2018's Greenest States by WalletHub, Gov. Phil Scott's refusal to push for this economically and environmentally sound legislation is a missed opportunity for new commerce and as an avenue for keeping young Vermonters in the state after school. Scott, don't delay climate action. Instead, support the Joint Fiscal Office study of the economic benefits of carbon pricing in our state. 

Sarah Fadem

San Jose, CA

Fadem is a student at Bennington College studying political science, environmental studies and art.

Sick of Bernie!

[Re "In a Third Term, Would Bernie Sanders Show Up to Work?" May 30]: Once upon a time, I spent four wonderful years at Dartmouth College. I fell in love with Vermont. As a freshman, I hitchhiked all over your beautiful state. Later, when I had a car, I did short and long trips to Burlington, Rutland and Bennington.

Your mountains were my first; I had lived my entire life in Jacksonville, Fla.

I also fell in love with Vermont people. Is it your crispy air? Something about Vermont always seemed to help people think more clearly. 

Years later, I fell in love with Bernie Sanders. He seemed to have a healthy, unselfish, patriotic progressive view.

Then Sanders ran for president. At first I was for Bernie. But then, on roughly February 1, 2016, the man turned into an unpatriotic, anti-progressive, anti-liberal anti-Democrat making vicious, slanderous attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Now the unusually smart people of Vermont have an unusually obvious opportunity to help the national Democratic Party regain control in Washington, D.C.

I suggest: Vote to send Bernie into retirement from the U.S. Senate.

In retirement, Bernie and Jane Sanders can resurrect Burlington College. Bernie can find his income tax returns. Bernie can figure out where he got the mysterious $10 million. He can finally pay the 10,000 Federal Election Commission-mandated refunds. 

I feel confident that Vermont will replace Bernie with a registered Democrat.

Bernie helped Trump last time. Please, not again.

Andy Johnson

Jacksonville, FL

Scott Free?

[Re Fair Game: "Ethical Charades," June 13]: "Sleaze" rhymes with "disease" — and the disease is spreading from the Oval Office to the Pavilion Building, where sits Gov. Phil Scott. It's becoming a contagion, a plague of corruption. President Donald Trump's sleaziness is endemic throughout the land. The Donald's actions have set a new low standard for ethical behavior.

Conflicts of interest? What conflicts of interest? Making $75,000 last year from interest on a multimillion-dollar loan to his former business partner at DuBois Construction doesn't seem to register on Scott's conscience. That this same construction company is still getting state contracts funded by Vermont taxpayers while Scott merrily vetoes a livable wage, paid family leave and any other legislation that might help hardworking families rubs salt in open wounds. As for our newly established so-called State Ethics Commission with only the power to go "Tsk! Tsk!" — don't make me laugh! 

Al Salzman


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