Fix It, Don't Close It
I'm one of the artists who previously had a show in this wonderful gallery space ["Closing Time: A Security Breach Leads to Gallery Shutdown," November 19]. What a shame to see it closed down! It seems like yet another case of those concerned with security driving the decisions. I suspect there were big holes in the whole security system and this was a quick and dirty way to close them up — the cost being public access. We could keep things really safe and just put the governor in a steel lock box.
I don't blame the demonstrators who were simply exercising their vigorous free speech. Hell, art is also dangerous, and yet art has been shown there for years! I challenge the governor to push back and have security work out an effective and viable solution that also allows the public to visit these spaces and the gallery.
We were excited to see Seven Days devote an issue to the resurgence of cider culture in Vermont. The article titled "Pressing Time" [November 5] was of particular interest to us, as we, too, operate a commercial cidery through gleaning a diversity of abandoned and wild apples found throughout our local hills. We are farmers turned winemakers from Barnard, where we operate Fable Farm and Fermentory. We've been making cider with a blend of wild, abandoned apples since 2009, but just started selling commercially.
I'll never cease to be amazed by the power of the collective consciousness; not only in the widespread regrowth of the cider industry throughout Vermont, New England and the U.S., but also in the rediscovery and making of cider from neglected cider-apple trees. In the last two or three years, a handful of Vermont folks have independently turned to making commercial cider with abandoned apples, embracing an age-old tradition of cider as wine.
We've been busy grafting cider-apple trees now rooted in nursery beds, awaiting transplantation into orchards, and we'll have to wait patiently for a yield. But in the meantime, we're blessed to live in a hotbed of century-old apple trees, steeped in a rich history of cider lore, from which we draw in propelling our fermentory forward. As the cider industry continues to grow around the country, Vermont has a unique advantage in being home to a fleet of cider-specific trees — remnants of a time when cider was celebrated by all.
I expected more from Seven Days than the fluff piece about retiring Rutland police chief James Baker and his Keystone Cops in Rut-Land with hardly a mention of the cops being drunk on the job, discharging firearms inside cruisers, being drunk at the firing range, etc. ["Leaving 'Rut-Vegas': Influential Police Chief Has a New Gig," November 19].
There's a "drug problem" in Rutland — and Vermont — and that drug is alcohol, perfectly legal, and am I the only one who sees the racist application of "justice" for drug users (white, who get treatment/diversion) and so-called drug "dealers" (black/brown who get federal mandatory sentences)?
U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell and others think nothing of jailing these kids at $50,000 a year, but we cringe at "free college," which costs half as much? And maybe some Rutland Police Department problems could be averted with an alcohol ignition interlock that would only allow the sober to start and drive the car.
And, of course, you just had to mention the huffing fatality that killed 17-year-old Carly Ferro, but no mention of the "occupants" seen throwing beer cans and bottles from the vehicle. The "aerosol" seems to take precedence — sensationalism works!
It's good to see the Peter Principle working for Baker, now going to D.C., where he'll truly rise to his level of incompetence! The "drug laws" are racist and insane, the cops are drunk, paranoid and insane, and we are clinically insane for continuing a prohibition policy that doesn't work and never has. Witness the gentle hand of "justice" that shuffled a shifty drug-and gun-stealing cop off to rehab for breaching the public trust. Remember the "missing" cocaine in Williston last year? They should test all "evidence" for purity at the time of confiscation to keep cops from "cutting" it and helping themselves to a free and lucrative supply.
Will we lose some people to legalization? Sure, and we're gonna lose 'em anyway. Time to end the "drug war," once and for all. Stick a fork in it; it's done.
Respect for Rutland
Rutland police chief James Baker forbade officers from referring to Rutland by a pejorative moniker because it devalues the city ["Leaving 'Rut-Vegas': Influential Police Chief Has a New Gig," November 19]. Police officers must respect the community they serve. Seven Days has the same responsibility. Your headline is offensive and contributes to perpetuation of a negative view of Rutland — a small city struggling with the same economic and cultural issues that affect many communities in our state. Give Rutland a break. The community is shining a light on problems and developing solutions.
Rutland is Vermont's hometown. Your headline indicates what you want readers to think of when they think of Rutland. Why deliberately run down Rutland? It's not funny, edgy or cool. The article was positive and highlighted progressive leadership and community-led efforts to create a city even Seven Days readers would find attractive.
Would you use a pejorative term in a headline to refer to any other Vermont city or town? If so, you should reconsider your policy. Readers who never heard that term are now provided with a dim view of Rutland, thanks to that dismissive moniker. Why perpetuate negativity? The city and its inhabitants deserve respect. Please grow up and take responsibility for your power as a thought leader. You may offer an apology using the same size font as the headline.
In last week's Side Dishes story titled "Hoppin' Hills," Hannah Palmer Egan incorrectly reported that Upper Pass brewer Chris Perry "spent time" at Smuttynose Brewing and the Norwich Inn. In fact, Perry brewed at the erstwhile Perfect Pear Café in Bradford, and collaborated with brewers at Smuttynose and Norwich Inn, but was not employed by either.