Dairy Deserves It
Nice tearjerker about the illegal aliens ["Fear on the Farm," February 15] and the so-called "industry." So I'll bet that the "perpetrators" who crashed "Justicia Migrante" organizer Natalia Fajardo's car in Bridport will not face prosecution then? Ironically and identically, a local up here did the very same thing by crashing his car, removing the plates and then hiding at home, and you can bet the farm he was busted for it!
Vermonters are sick of seeing special treatment for "special" lawbreakers, no matter the bleeding hearts in Montpelier. If your "business model" needs virtual slave labor with "don't ask/don't tell," "plausible deniability," sub-minimum wages and mistreating workers, then you deserve to go out of that "business." Never mind the formaldehyde, a carcinogen used for strawberry hoof warts, dumped into their liquid manure pits and spread around their fields, and the toxic algae blooms they feed into the lake from their constant corn runoff after ruining our rivers and streams — the whole "industry" is a disaster that we must now pay to clean up?
Try living in Mexico, which I did in the early 1980s, and working there with no papers or work visa. You'll get a free bus ride to Tijuana and escorted back to the USA, muy pronto! When do we get our virtual slaves to work for us? We won't, so why do they? The hypocrisy is deafening.
I'm 82 and don't cry easily, but your story about the appropriately named Dr. Solomon and his family was hard to read through my tears [Off Message: "Vermonters Visit Muslim Canadian Family Turned Back at Border," February 14]. There is something wrong with this country when the border guards won't let a family, any family, come here to go shopping. They aren't even immigrants; they don't want to move here. They just want to spend some money here.
Sadly, this is part of the repressive atmosphere fostered by our scumbag president and his capos. It filters down to ignorant power-drunk morons who work for the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and don't have the smarts to man the counter at a fast-food restaurant.
Please accept my apology for the acts of these lumpen.
Help for Ice Fisherman
I was so saddened to read about ice fisherman Richard LeBlanc not being rescued in time, in spite of game warden Mike Scott's excellent response ["Thin Ice Breaks, and a Game Warden Launches a Dangerous Rescue," February 8]. I am not an ice fisherman myself, but I am a sailor, and it is now standard for anyone sailing solo to wear a life vest or personal flotation device. Couldn't ice fisherman do the same?
Life vests have come such a long way from the bulky, orange, around-the-neck kind of decades ago. They are light, comfortable and not that pricey. Plus, they would provide another nice layer of insulation.
I think it would be great if ice fishermen everywhere could start a trend that becomes the norm to wear life vests, just like how it is the norm now for sailors. Or just like how it is the norm now for skateboarders and bicyclists to wear helmets.
Maybe a place like West Marine and bait shops and outdoor sports shops could help by having signage that promotes life vest use, and by having sales at the beginning of ice fishing season, and by displaying them next to the augers.
And maybe if someone comes up with a life vest design that is specifically for ice fishing — including extra pockets for hooks, for instance — it could be called the LeBlanc Life Vest, in honor of Richard LeBlanc. It sounds like he was such a nice, enthusiastic man.
Enough With the Emojis
Your paper has come too far to become self-denigrated by the sarcasm of the emojis and the weird news spots on the Last 7 page, all of which are supposed to be funny. Emoji That, and whatever it's supposed to project, just cheapens your respectable publication.
[Re Off Message: "Rebels No More: SBHS Student Isaiah Hines on the End of the Rebels Nickname," February 2; Off Message: "SoBu Decision to Drop Rebels Nickname Sparks Backlash," February 7]: As a parent from Champlain Valley Union High School, the South Burlington mascot debate takes me back to 2005, when CVU went through the same struggle. My oldest daughter was part of the "last Crusaders" class.
When the proposal was made to change the Crusaders mascot, I felt the change was silly, that maybe people were being too sensitive. In retrospect, my opposition was silly. My middle daughter was part of the first Redhawks class, and I have had two more children go through CVU as proud Redhawks. My oldest is a Crusader — no one can take that away from her — but I realize that changing the name was simply the right thing to do.
The past does not get erased by the future, and "once a Rebel, always a Rebel" doesn't fade if the school chooses to hear and respond to those whose concerns are so often not acknowledged. The students who took on the challenge to change a mascot that can instill pride in some but hurt in others are courageous and should be commended, not shamed.
Our concern with "political correctness" is sometimes better known as "decency."
["F-16 Aviator Must Take Civilian Pilot Exam After Small Plane Crash," February 1] is a mean-spirited attack on a brave warrior defending his country and flying combat missions in Afghanistan. If this happened in South Carolina, the story's author and the disgruntled Federal Aviation Administration employee who was quoted using the word "stupid" would have been fired.
The story's author, Sasha Goldstein, was trying to stir up hatred of our military and doesn't understand the skill levels required of fighter pilots.
Only the best pilots get to fly Air Force fighters, and it costs $6 million for the U.S. Air Force to train a fighter pilot. The annual flight exams in the USAF are demanding and rigorous. Most astronauts were former fighter pilots. It's the pinnacle of aviation.
Your publication should retract this mean-spirited and clueless story!