Letters to the Editor (10/3/18) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (10/3/18)


Published October 3, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated October 16, 2018 at 1:12 p.m.

Why I Post My Land

[Re "Up to Here in Deer," September 26]: Regarding your recent article concerning our growing deer herd and the increase in land that is posted: I was a hunter myself for many years. I grew up in Vermont, and my family hunted every deer season. But my wife and I recently posted our land because we got tired of guys driving up our road with dogs with radio collars and sending them out to chase bears across our land, especially when some bears in our area had recently had cubs. These guys sat in their trucks with tracking devices to tell them when and where the bear was treed. We are grateful to live among healthy populations of wildlife. We have great respect for those who still hunt their own food with skill, care and respect, but we don't want people using our land to torture wildlife with steel traps and high-tech tools for "the fun of it." I don't think Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett would want those guys on their land, either.

David Kelley


Natural Solution

Katie Jickling's article about the growing deer herd in Vermont told an engaging story about the decline of hunting in our state but did not really address the main point about deer population control ["Up to Here in Deer," September 26]. Coyotes are a primary predator of young deer and an effective check on their population, yet Vermont maintains an open season on coyotes. Just as the reintroduction of the wolf in Yosemite had a dramatic positive impact on the health of the flora and fauna there, a healthy predator population in Vermont could have similar results here. The trend of declining numbers of hunters is likely here to stay and will be much more difficult to reverse than simply ending the coyote hunt. Ending the coyote season in Vermont may prove to be just what is needed to reverse the deer population explosion. It is certainly worth a try.

Tom McMurdo

East Montpelier

Redoing the Math

On September 24, the Burlington City Council supported the school district's request to put a $70 million bond question on the November ballot to transform our ailing high school. We want to clarify that if this bond passes, at the peak of borrowing for this project, the owner of a home assessed at $250,000 would pay an estimated $302 more per year. 

Some readers have told us they were confused by the Seven Days article covering the city council vote [Off Message: "Burlington Voters Will Consider $100 Million in School, Wastewater Bonds," September 24], which stated that "Under the city's proposed borrowing for these projects and others, a resident with a home valued at $250,000 would pay additional property taxes that would gradually increase to $550 a year by 2028." 

By combining the city and school district projected tax implications in this article and rejecting the Burlington School District's request to clarify the numbers for readers, the paper does a disservice to taxpayers by not adequately representing each project on the table, thereby not allowing voters the chance to really distinguish between each project and its own proposed tax implication. We would like to invite readers to visit www.bsdvt.org/bhs-renovations to learn more about the project and its projected tax implication schedule.

Yaw Obeng

South Burlington

Obeng is the superintendent of the Burlington School District.

One Citizen, One Vote

[Re "Vermont's Most Diverse City Rejects Noncitizen Voting — for Now," September 19]: We had this same discussion in Fort Lee, N.J., years ago. There is a large noncitizen population there, as well. In the end, we read the U.S. Constitution that forbids voting for noncitizens. That was the last word. It's not up to the local voters to decide.

Judith Hishikawa

West Burke

Karma for Child Molester

I started reading the article ["State Withholds Report on Inmate's Final, Agonizing Cancer Fight," September 19]. Initially, I felt bad, but then I read further and saw the inmate was in prison for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. I am glad he had an agonizing death. I know that sounds heartless, but what about the child? That child and his or her family have to live through the horror that he inflicted on them for the rest of their lives. I think he got off easy. Karma came and got him. May he rest unpeacefully, for eternity.

Laura Campo

Essex Junction

Disrespectful Review

Rick Kisonak's September 5 movie review — "'Operation Finale' Proves That the World Didn't Need Another Adolf Eichmann Movie" — is disrespectful and lacking in depth. 

His question "Can we agree it's time to knock it off with the Holocaust movies already?" is blatantly anti-Semitic. No, we cannot agree! Putting aside any bit of meaningful analysis, that query begs 6 million answers. 

Any means of transmitting and teaching accurate historical narrative is necessary and welcome. John Anderson's Wall Street Journal review of the film states: "It's good to be reminded now and then of the insidious nature of fascism and how it can pop up everywhere you're not looking." From the New York Times' A.O. Scott: "It's a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations." CNN's Brian Lowry: "While 'Operation Finale' might not be a huge hit now, as another glimpse at a history that loses those capable of first-person testimonials daily, it's the kind of movie likely to have a long shelf life."

I take strong issue with Kisonak's so-called "review." More than 75 years after the Holocaust, there are still lessons to be learned from it. His comment is biased and prejudiced in the extreme.

Kisonak needs to learn how to effectively review a film's merits without insulting his publication's readership.

Debora Steinerman


Steinerman is president and cofounder of the Vermont Holocaust Memorial.

Fixing the 'Injustice' System

[Re Off Message: "Walters: Leahy Elicits Striking Answer From Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford," September 27]: One of the salient questions in the recent hearing was why Dr. Ford did not report the sexual assault when it happened. Why do most victims of sexual assault avoid reporting this crime? 

I discussed this issue with eight educated female friends and acquaintances, all of whom had experienced unwanted sexual behavior and two of whom had been raped. Needless to say, we were shocked to learn about their rapes. None of my friends reported these crimes to the police. Why? Because they felt that they would be blamed for causing the sexual assaults. And no one would believe them. They would be called "sluts" or worse. They would be ridiculed. So they internalized their trauma, which stays with them to this day. As does the psychological damage.

As a former Vermont prosecutor, I certainly can confirm their concerns. Rapists do not serve adequate sentences. As an example, recently a Vermont man who raped an 83-year-old woman with dementia received a 15-month jail sentence. Every 98 seconds, sexual assault happens. Every eight minutes, a child is sexually assaulted. Only six out of 1,000 perpetrators end up in prison. Where is the justice system? Out to lunch?

Tens of thousands of rape kits are never analyzed, so the victim never gets justice. What kind of message is this to the rape victim?

After watching the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing, a huge number of women have come forward to reveal their sexual assault experiences. This is a positive reaction. Women will no longer tolerate sexual abuse. The judicial system and the political system had better be paying attention.

Peggy W. Larson