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Letters to the Editor (11/18/15)

Published November 18, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated November 20, 2015 at 2:34 p.m.

Howdy, Partner

Thanks for shedding the light on the Parent University ["Enrolling Mom and Dad," November 11]. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program is a very proud partner in this program, and it was not recognized in the article. Through our volunteer teachers, we provide the English learning component for the Parent University participants in order to facilitate the path for new Vermonters with limited English proficiency to understand and participate in the school system in Vermont. The ELL department at VRRP has been providing English classes for 35 years, and we have more than 17 different classes in Chittenden County.

Ashraf Alamatouri


Alamatouri is the ELL coordinator at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.

Is There a Doctor?

[Re "Doctor Yes: Vermont Improvises to Attract Physicians," November 4]: Physician recruitment is one important avenue for improving access to medical care in Vermont. A change in mind-set would also help. In Burlington, I have openings in my direct-pay, fee-for-service private psychiatric practice. After paying the fee at each visit, a good number of my patients can claim insurance reimbursement for my services as an out-of-network doctor. I also see four patients a week at no charge.

I have openings because my fees reflect the real-market value of my services. Realistic fees enable me to keep my caseload smaller, and I do not participate in the state's program of electronic data collection, both of which mean more quality time with my patients. Because I avoid the overhead associated with billing insurers, my fees are about 50 percent of the fees quoted by hospital-based practices for the same services.

The insurance-driven part of the medical system is subject to shortages in physician supply that are created when prices are fixed far below real-market value. When I need to make referrals, I can find openings for patients in other independent private practices. For now, public policy in Vermont does not recognize that fee-for-service practice, coupled with payment out of pocket at the time of service, can solve the problems of cost, quality and access for a significant part of the medical market.

In the meantime, patients who need treatment today and can't find it will do well to look for care outside "the system."

Robert S. Emmons, MD

South Duxbury

Lots of Lomax

I enjoyed Ethan De Seife's article on the Lomax project ["Jayme Stone's Lomax Project Is an Origin Story for American Popular Music," November 4]. Readers might be interested to know about the treasure trove of Lomax recordings now available at culturalequity.org. Among the many things one can hear: a live recording of a Calypso concert in New York City in 1946; interviews with Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim and other blues greats; New Orleans jazz interviews from 1947; and radio shows that Lomax produced from 1939 to the early 1950s, when he was blacklisted and relocated to England. One such radio show I listened to recently features Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, and Burl Ives.

Rick Winston


Animal Magnetism

I want to praise Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography for the amazing portraits of adoptable pets at the Humane Society of Chittenden County. I'm confident that the beautiful shots of future furry friends have won the hearts of potential adopters and animal lovers alike. The revealing and engaging portraits display Kelly's love of these pets and put a smile on my face every time I open to the classifieds in Seven Days. Fantastic job, Kelly and Seven Days for featuring these deserving pets every week.

Peter May


Hell With Hillary

After reading Judith Levine's article on Hillary Clinton, I felt as though the author could not be more wrong [Poli Psy: "Waiting for Supergirl," November 4]. Trying to portray Clinton as this hip, down-to-earth, funny politician is not a correct portrayal of a real villain. Let's not forget that Clinton lied about her vote on the Iraq War, lied about the location of Chelsea during 9/11, lied about being under sniper fire while landing in Bosnia, lied about her personal emails, lied about the Irish peace process, defended a child rapist and illegally took money from foreign governments. And then there's the Benghazi matter. What we need in the White House is not a superhero or someone who is hip, but an honest leader who will be there for the American people and their interests. If this is what a superhero looks like to Levine, I would not want to be in her universe.

Matt Hyde


Out of the Wheelchair

In Facing Facts ["Out of the Fire," November 11], a woman is referred to as "wheelchair-bound," which is an insensitive, antiquated, totally non-PC term. Please review your style guide. Otherwise, keep up the great work. I love Seven Days!

Scott Bascom

Barre City

Wish It Was Walken

Reading Rick Kisonak's review of the new James Bond film, Spectre, I at first misread the name of the actor who plays the criminal mastermind [Movie Review, November 11]. I inadvertently thought it read Christopher Walken, and thought, What a stroke of casting genius! I was even prepared to fork over the cash at the movie theater to see one of my favorite actors do evil — and maybe a couple of dance moves as well. But, alas, after my eyes refocused, I realized that was not the name. Too bad, as Walken would have made a great evildoer with the class only he can bring to a film. Maybe with the next Bond film?

Kay Schlueter

Northfield Falls


Last week's story, "Planned Parenthood Faces Hostility in N.H., and Vermont Solidifies Defenses," suggested that Planned Parenthood receives Medicaid reimbursements for abortion services provided in Maine and New Hampshire. That is the case in Vermont, but not in Maine or New Hampshire, where the organization gets reimbursed only for preventative services such as birth control and cancer screening.

There were multiple errors in last week's story titled "Funding Loss Undercuts a Popular Family Program." Former Sen. Janet Munt is alive and well, as is the renamed maternal child-health division she directed at the Visiting Nurse Association. She created the Family Room in 1987.

A November 11 story [Side Dishes: "Sugared Start"] about Monarch & the Milkweed incorrectly stated that pastry chef Andrew LeStourgeon owns the Little Sweets line of pastries. In fact, that brand is owned by Hen of the Wood co-owners Eric Warnstedt and William McNeil.