Interesting how the request for us to vote on a Burlington flag does not include the option of the existing one [Live Culture: "The City of Burlington Is Seeking a New Flag," September 7]. The current one represents peace, education, the environment, the arts and a global world-class city. What's wrong with that?
The new ones (plus or minus eight samples out of more than 100 submitted) all look the same with minor differences, so it's very hard to vote on varieties of the same thing. Perhaps we've lost something key in our local identity — we've become even more homogeneous and generic overnight, if I were to interpret from these examples. They are all green/white/blue with similar graphics and no distinguishing features. I wish for something more evocative of us and what we believe in, something with depth and character and diversity, even.
And so, I want to choose the existing one against any of the new ones. But that's not even given as a choice. Really? Why? Please check out the current one as you review the proposed new ones. See for yourself!
Down to Earth
[Re Off Message: "State Launches 'Think Vermont' Marketing Campaign," October 20]: I worry about the planet a lot. As a mom, the daily news about global warming makes me wonder what the future holds for my daughters. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of stories about harm to the planet. Vermont can, however, choose to act by adopting a tax on carbon pollution that will make a difference on Vermont's emissions. Furthermore, such action will boost our economy and is in keeping with such policies the governor promotes in your recent article about the Think Vermont campaign.
I've recently begun to use carbon offsets when I fly and have found the experience to be fairly user-friendly and financially doable for my family budget. This practice further helps me understand the cost of my actions on the planet and is part of my decision making when I travel now. If we as a state don't look into doing something similar, how will we know the cost of our actions on the planet collectively?
As an individual, I can only have a small impact on the planet, no matter how well intentioned my choices. As a state, we can do so much more to slow the impact of global warming. Vermont should put a price on carbon pollution to help ensure both an environmentally sustainable future for our children and a strong economic future with Vermont green energy businesses front and center.
Mary Beth McNulty
There is a smell of hypocrisy emanating from Montpelier that overshadows the burning desire of our legislators to legalize marijuana use. As Terri Hallenbeck points out in ["Vermont Legislature Poised to Approve Legal Weed in 2018," November 8], opponents feel that marijuana can pose risks to the developing brains of young people. It appears that the same state senators who voted in favor of making young people wait until age 21 to use marijuana had no problem arguing that by age 18 one was mature enough to smoke cigarettes. Given the extensive research that exists showing the dangers of tobacco and the limited research that shows the dangers of marijuana use — what gives?
Senators stated that the marijuana bill needed to be passed, as neighboring Maine and Massachusetts had already done so. Maine recently passed a bill to raise the smoking age to 21, and Massachusetts has more than 120 communities restricting sales of tobacco products to those under 21. The decisions our representatives make will have major consequences for generations to come. As of this writing, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon have raised the age of the sale of tobacco to 21, along with New York City, Boston and Chicago.
I realize that logic and science do not always prevail in the creation of laws, but I feel that our state representatives do want to do the right thing. If the legislature insists on passing a marijuana bill, it also needs to increase the age of using tobacco products to 21 at the same time.
Dr. Nevin Zablotsky
Leave Williams Alone
I am disgusted with the "news" story disparaging Scott Williams and his efforts to respond to a violent tragedy ["Questions Arise About Heroic Response to DCF Worker Shooting," November 8]. To call into question his intentions is ridiculous. The article itself points out that Williams never said that he actively disarmed Jody Herring. He did in fact run toward gunfire, and he did try to render aid to the victim.
The reports of the confessed murderer's disarming came from the local police. When asked about it, Williams has always said that he is not certain what happened that day — a believable scenario, given the horrific nature of the events amplified by his personal relationship with the victim.
Williams did not seek the spotlight or to benefit from this tragedy. He is a witness in the case and is limited in what he can discuss, but he is certainly not hiding anything or wrapping himself in the cape of a hero.
I believe reporter Mark Davis' time and efforts would be better suited to unmasking Carina Driscoll, stepdaughter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as she makes a possible run for mayor of Burlington. As she seeks the spotlight and power of that position, questions need to be answered about the sweetheart deal she had with her mother, Jane O'Meara Sanders, when the latter was president of Burlington College. If that isn't juicy enough, try looking into the money she has received from the Sanders campaigns.
I usually enjoy reading Seven Days, but it is beginning to look like fake news to me.
["Comedy Off Limits," November 1], a Q&A with comedian Adrienne Truscott, featured bold, center-page profanity — a dirty word that I am surprised you'd publish. Shame on the author. Using profane words is not a measure of excellence or intelligence. In fact, it is proof of the opposite. Your paper should not be propagating such trash.