[Re Bite Club, "Organic Farming Advocate Enid Wonnacott Dies at 57," January 21]: Thanks to Seven Days writers for capturing Enid Wonnacott's commitment to Vermont agriculture and her friends and family. She was so excited by your October 30 article ["Good Shepherd"], and she told everyone who was interested to read it! She will be sorely missed by so many people, but her spirit lives on in part because of your journalism.
The Other Side of Sandy
I know Sandy Lewis has a bad reputation [Backstory: "Orneriest Subject," December 26]. However, everyone has some good in them. My one and only experience with him was when I worked at a Realtor's office in Westport, N.Y. He was friends with the owner and called for him, but I was the only one there. He wondered if his friend had a copy of the Wall Street Journal. I said no, but I would go next door and see if there were any left. He sounded surprised and asked, "You'd do that for me?" I said, "Of course!" I went next door to the store and asked them to set the one left aside for him and called him to come pick it up. When he did, he stopped in to the Realtor's office to shake my hand and thank me. I was touched that it meant so much. I thought he was a class act.
[Re Off Message: "Knodell Will Run for Burlington City Council as an Independent," January 18; "What's Left? Young Burlington Progs Forge Ahead Without Jane Knodell," January 16; Off Message: "Longtime Councilor Knodell Loses Progressive Nomination," January 6]: No one can question Burlington City Councilor Jane Knodell's immense amount of experience, but I question: Is it the right experience? Increasingly, voters feel marginalized, and we require elected officials to communicate more effectively. Knodell has continued to vote in a manner that she perceives is the only way to keep the city functioning, but in the process she has failed to educate her constituency about her votes.
Even after narrowly winning her last race, she has not responded to those of us who feel left in the dark on so many important city decisions. Her position as a lecturer may have something to do with this. In Burlington there has always been a strong Progressive activist population, of which she was once a member. Now one of those is Perri Freeman. At a recent meeting she held, I was struck by how well she listened and her grasp of Ward 2 and 3 issues. This left me feeling that Freeman will be more accessible and responsive to her constituents' concerns.
I could only hope that Knodell would have acknowledged her own shortcomings and helped to mentor the new Progressives who will be the city's future. This would help the city transition without losing the experience of a valued councilor and hopefully set a precedent for other councilors. Jane, we still need you, but in a different capacity.
Thank you for the endnote in "Hooked" ["Sister's Keeper," January 16] that "underwriters have no influence on the content."
I value your awareness of this issue and your clear statement regarding it.
As a sauna builder, designer and sales representative for the oldest and largest sauna manufacturer in the world, I have gained some understanding of the Finnish sauna. And the writers have done their best to present a balanced explanation of the different sweat bath modalities we have today.
But one of the difficulties of appreciating the sauna is the lack of accurate information that we have available to us. Sadly, the internet is of little use.
I reread the articles, noting many pieces that would warrant comment but decided to bring just one to your readers' attention, because it relates to safety: Please enjoy the sauna, as well as steam and hot water baths, before eating. That is, always eat after.
When you enter a sauna with a full stomach, your cardiovascular system is at work processing your meal. That means your blood supply is "busy" and unavailable for dealing with the thermal stress that a sauna provides. (This is good stress, of course!)
Your ability to deal with the heat is diminished; the result is nausea, dizziness and general malaise.
All manufacturers of this equipment provide this tip and the caution to avoid alcohol before a sauna. Think globally. Sweat locally!
A Seat at the Table
[Re Fair Game: "The Committee Shuffle," January 16]: What cheering news to find out that a non-car owner is the new chair of the Vermont House Transportation Committee! And what a bold move by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero)! It's about time that bus users, train riders, pedestrians and cyclists got a seat at the table when it comes to state transportation priorities. Oh, yeah, and the Earth gets a voice, too: "We need to cut carbon emissions," said Rep. Curt McCormack (D-Burlington). How appropriate, also, that McCormack replaces the state rep from Colchester, the town that has repeatedly chosen not to be part of the regional bus system.
Now if we can just do something about the current antiquated, dangerous bike- and pedestrian-unfriendly design for the Champlain Parkway.
[Re Fair Game, January 23]: Last year I made the mistake of signing up for the Burlington Free Press' online edition. They had an introductory special: $1 for a year's subscription — well, not quite. Think bait and switch. It wound up being $10 a year and very difficult to cancel. In fact, the Free Press is not even worth a buck a year. What you folks do, giving your readers free access, is amazing to me. Quality-wise, you guys eat the Free Press' lunch. Thank you for being there.