I read Seven Days every week, but I am usually far behind in the editions. The "Our Towns" one [December 5] took me much longer to read than most because I read every single article. I just finished and was thrilled with it. Thanks for doing it. It was eye-opening to me.
I grew up in Burlington and moved to Brookfield just over a year ago. Living in Burlington, for me, was like living in a bubble. I knew very little of the Vermont around me.
That is changing now, and this edition was a wonderful way to get to know all the towns around me better. I am passing the edition around to my neighbors. One just recently moved here from out of state. It is a great way to help her understand the special place we call Vermont. Thanks!
Statue to Genocide?
[Re Fair Game: "#vtpoli 2018," December 26]: So much attention paid to the goddess Ceres atop the golden dome in Montpelier ... and none to the nefarious characters beneath her feet. I am not, here, referring to legislators; I am referring to the two sculptures representing Ira and Ethan Allen displayed in full view for the world to see in the portico and on the side entrance.
We are always discovering ourselves as a people, and what we find out can make us change our thinking. We are in the process of uncovering some of the more disquieting behaviors and notions in our society, both historically and in our midst today, especially in the examination of our nation's history of racism.
In Vermont, that history began with the arrival of John Cabot and Samuel de Champlain and the genocide of indigenous populations. Ira and Ethan Allen used every means possible to eliminate Abenaki and claim their territory as their own to sell at will. Those means included murder, chemical warfare and lying to the Continental Congress that there were no Indians in Vermont. Today they are lauded as the founders of now-called Vermont with a place of honor, the only ones in front of our Statehouse.
These images of genocide and racism need to be removed to the interior of the building or another more appropriate site with proper and accurate interpretive labels that illuminate their role in our history of oppressing indigenous people.
Dear friends at Seven Days, and you are my friends, dear and old: I can only wish you all well during this time of grieving the loss of Matt Thorsen [Stuck in Vermont: "Matthew Thorsen & Diane Sullivan, Thorever," January 10; "Thorever and Ever," January 9; Live Culture: "Seven Days Photographer Matthew Thorsen Dies at 51," January 2; Stuck in Vermont: "Photographer Matthew Thorsen Gets the Last Word," October 4].
Expected as it was, inevitable as it will be for all of us one day, death is not easy to accept, understand or rationalize. I think it's because, deep down, you want to know where the person went as much as why. It is almost impossible to deal with as one gets older and the number of passings increases.
Recently, I found myself in search of ways to grieve. I sought the help of the church after the death of my dearest friend. After a long conversation, filled with memories and tears, the minister pointed out that I was doing exactly what I should be doing: grieving. "Grieving is remembering, getting angry and embracing the immense sadness," he said. "Don't fight it. Remember the good and the bad, so you remember the whole person."
As I left his office, still uncertain about how I felt inside, he called out and, instead of "Goodbye," hollered, "Good grief!"
Bernie Is Sensitive Enough
John Walters' Fair Game column "Berned Bridges?" [January 9] is crap and underestimates the discernment of your readership.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) responses to accusations of failed responsibility in regard to gender sensitivity, which Walters mines shamelessly as editorial fodder, reflect qualities which have served Bernie well over many decades, and which inspire myself and others to continue supporting him unequivocally. His remarks are candid, honest and devoid of PC blab, which most of such rhetoric is couched in, including yours.
Get with it — get off the current PC bandwagon and think of something more valuable to contribute to the discussion than another whining complaint against a (white) man (!!) doing good work, whose staff may not yet have ascended the heights of sensitivity around gender issues we ourselves search for in this moment.
The Other Side of Chelsea
[Re "As Goes Chelsea...," December 5]: I'm sure you were attempting to convey a frustration that you thought must accompany residents of this town because they live in a small community lacking the amenities of some neighboring towns and cities. But I find that this article is missing the big sense of community that I see in Chelsea all the time. Just one example I can think of: The chili cook-off hosted by the Friends of the Library last summer drew more than 100 people and contained a wonderful display of love for the community. A local man won a raffle, and he donated all the money, over $100, back to the library!
While this community is certainly upset about the loss of its high school, it was facing a choice — like many towns in Vermont — due to an aging population and a lack of students. And that picture of the kids — I'm sure it illustrated your point well of how sad the kids are that their high school student friends are gone, but I can't believe that throughout the halls of the Chelsea school, you encountered wave after wave and classroom after classroom of sad children.
In short, I think it's unfair of you to lampoon Chelsea in this way when so many towns in Vermont are trying their hardest to solve this exact problem. To me, Chelsea residents seem to do it with a pretty good sense of community, something this article does not show.