A little history about the cover photo for the story "Lucky Bums" [February 22]: The skier is Alan Schoenberger, World Freestyle Ballet Ski Champion in the mid-'70s and an overall silver medalist in the days when the sport was called "hot dogging." I worked with Alan when Mount Mansfield Company/Stowe sponsored him in the mid-'80s. Alan developed a unique ski deck for a theatrical production that traveled to four countries and throughout the U.S. in the '80s and '90s. Alan now uses a deck to train aspiring ski racers in Park City, Utah.
The ski scene of the '70s and '80s was exciting, innovative, colorful and earthy, and I was grateful to be a part of it.
Grill Gets It
[Re "In Burlington, Upward Growth or 'Vertical Sprawl'?" February 22; "Tall Mall Looms Over Central District Council Race," February 8]: I support Genese Grill for Burlington City Council. Opponents of her campaign take the comfortable cop-out of labeling her and her supporters as anti-growth and resistant to change. Both labels are misplaced. Change means opening up the process in city decisions, consistently presenting environmental claims, truly confronting cars, and explicitly handling city housing and growth goals.
Desirable growth means infill, high environmental standards, innovative transportation policy and community-based visioning which actually guides policy — unlike planBTV, which has been largely ignored. The all-growth-is-good approach of many Grill critics is the 20th century now repeated in the 21st. It represents business as usual — not change.
The 21st century demands more comprehensive, harder decisions than the 20th — about climate change, energy policy, immigration, land use, equity. We are all challenged to take the broad view and be more involved than previously. Grill gets that and will promote it.
I am writing in support of Jane Knodell for Burlington City Council ["Tall Mall Looms Over Central District Council Race," February 8]. Having lived in the Old North End for more than 20 years, I have observed firsthand her commitment to and advocacy for the area. Through supporting the schools, attending neighborhood events, advocating for affordable housing and more, Knodell is a tireless champion for the Old North End. She brings leadership and a vision for building a strong and healthy community. Most recently, her advocacy contributed to the development of the St. Joseph's School into the Old North End Community Center, creating opportunities for important organizations such as the Family Room and Very Merry Theatre to continue their important work. I will be voting for Knodell on March 7, and I encourage fellow residents of Wards 2 and 3 to join me!
Yes to Knodell
[Re "Tall Mall Looms Over Central District Council Race," February 8]: I've known Burlington City Councilor Jane Knodell since the 1980s and have fought alongside her for social and economic justice locally and beyond. She always considers opposing views, does her homework, asks tough questions and takes principled positions regardless of political expediency.
Knodell led the efforts in the 1980s to restore banking in the Old North End, paving the way for the Opportunities Credit Union. She organized to improve H.O. Wheeler School, which helped keep Wheeler and Lawrence Barnes open as Old North End neighborhood magnet schools.
During the 1990s, Knodell mobilized the community around the common vision that launched the Old North End Enterprise Community. She was a tireless advocate for the revitalization of North Street that created fertile ground for the renaissance that continues today. She fought back when Mayor Peter Brownell tried to cut funding for affordable housing and created an alternative budget that protected the most vulnerable among us.
Recently, Knodell has pushed for more community policing on North Street. She staunchly defends inclusionary zoning to ensure that all development continues to include housing for low-income residents.
For three decades, Knodell has been a tireless fighter for the interests of poor and working-class Burlingtonians. She always asks how we can meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us. I remain proud to call her my councilor and hope that you will join me on March 7 to support her for reelection.
Steve Merrill has it right [Feedback: "Dairy Deserves It," February 22; "Fear on the Farm," February 15]. Encouraging government-supported slavery is not helping either the immigrant workers or the farmers.
The milk glut that's causing unstable prices needs the Canadian solution — the quota system — and the price stabilization that comes with it. Back in the day of price supports, farmers had no problem making a living producing milk. They could pay their bills and live a life farther from the edge. Price supports lead to government cheese and butter warehouses because there were no production limits, so that was the drawback. Quotas would stop this, as they have in Canada for years.
Let's address the cause of the immigrant issue.
"Fear on the Farm" [February 15] is a good article and one reason I read your newspaper. Just a few comments: I am amazed that rational people can ignore the law with a wink and a nod and somehow believe that it will never be enforced. Don't ignore the law you do not like; work to change it. Where has our crack congressional delegation been?
I am also amazed that people keep on electing folks who don't get the job done. We should have been able to craft a guest worker law that works for farmers.
Eames Come True
The recent article by Dan Bolles about the Eames Brothers Band's new release Now & Then was a welcome breath of Vermont spring [Music Review, January 18]. Their album and music are great, and if you like listening in the car, it's the best driving music ever. As Bolles points out, the Eames Brothers are a bit under the radar, but their music will be around forever.
Patricia Healy-Sullivan, aka "Mamacita"
A Southern View
[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]: Our four children received outstanding educations in the South Burlington schools. However, the only serious reservation that I had was the strangeness of retaining the Rebel mascot. We moved here from my husband's law enforcement posting in southern states, and the connection between the term Rebel, the Confederate flag and their meaning was violently racist and clear. I felt and feel ashamed when I see it related to our school. Change is challenging, and the South Burlington School Board made the right decision — belatedly, perhaps, but after careful discernment.
Kay Frances Schepp