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Letters to the Editor (3/18/20)

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The Virus Is a Symptom

[Re Off Message: "Middlebury College Closing Campus Amid Coronavirus Fears," March 10]: The coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is clear evidence of the United States' lack of preparedness for health crises and pandemics. As a student at the University of Vermont, where courses have just been switched to remote instruction, I find it discouraging to see the education of thousands across the country threatened by the mismanagement of health regulations. 

As diseases continue to cross boarders, threaten economic stability and put millions at risk, we need to make bold steps in protecting global health. The Global Health Security Act is one. We need to support it. 

The response of the Trump administration to the coronavirus reveals these distinct and clear cracks within the American health care system. And while it may be difficult to implement, the universal health care proposed by Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is necessary to provide Americans with adequate health care. As a student and supporter of the anti-poverty efforts of the Borgen Project, I urge people to see this pandemic as a sign that health care in the U.S. needs to change — now.

Vivian Priestley

Burlington

Seven Days Goes Native

Paid posts among your top stories? Say it ain't so!

Bill Mitchell

Portland, OR

Editor's note: Like many other media outlets, Seven Days creates "paid posts" or "native advertising" for clients. This content is always clearly labeled: The teaser images include the client's logo, the words "paid post" appear alongside links to the content, and a line at the end of each piece explains that the content was commissioned and paid for by the client. These campaigns help fund our award-winning journalism, and we're grateful for every penny!

Bad Air Day

[Re Feedback: "No Burn," March 4; Off Message: "Burlington Announces Scaled-Down District Energy Plan," February 17]: The Joseph C. McNeil biomass plant is the largest wood-burning power plant in the United States. Local reports put its pollution output at 300 percent of a modern natural gas power plant. When are we going to clean up Burlington's air?

Bruce Vic 

Shelburne

Renewable Landfill?

Your article "Solar Flares" [March 10], about how the solar industry is in a decline in Vermont, was very interesting. I live in an area east of Montpelier that is served by Washington Electric Coop. We installed solar panels at our home several years ago with the understanding that our investment would be paid back in 10 to 12 years, based on the savings on our electric bill. WEC has now adopted a rate schedule that, when fully implemented, will make our monthly bill about the same as it was prior to installing the panels. This will render the installation of new grid-tie solar systems in the WEC service area no longer economically feasible. 

One of the reasons WEC claims to be taking this action is that it is generating electricity from a 100 percent renewable source, and the state regulators have agreed. The 100 percent renewable source is the burning of gas, from the landfill in Coventry, in diesel-powered generators. If the purpose of using renewable energy is to reduce the amount that we are contributing to climate change, how can the burning of fuel in an internal combustion engine be considered 100 percent renewable?

While the burning of the landfill gas may be somewhat better than venting straight into the atmosphere, perhaps the greatest benefits are to the landfill operator, who is no longer responsible for the gas discharge, by helping to perpetuate the practice of landfilling employed by our disposable society.

Lee Cattaneo

Orange

The Marxist Messiah

[Re "Unvetted?" February 25]: Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders would be a disaster as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 2020, which would only ensure a second term for deranged President Donald Trump.

Are we American adults actually supposed to buy into Bernie's BS that he has supposedly turned over a new leaf and is now a so-called "democratic socialist," whatever that's supposed to mean? The fact that revolutionary Marxist socialist Eugene Debs is Sanders' professed personal hero says otherwise, folks. 

Sanders is now and always has been a Marxist socialist. Why do you think that foolish, far-left communist caricature publicly calls for revolution constantly? Bernie is no Michael Harrington, that's for sure. Sanders is a Marxist socialist of the old-school, Soviet Stalinist variety.

If Sanders is really a "democratic socialist," as he falsely claims, then why is there so much publicly available videotaped documentation of pro-Soviet Sen. Sanders proudly and passionately praising anti-American, totalitarian communist dictatorships?

As the vast majority of Americans over the age of 40 are already well aware, the political label "democratic socialism" is like the oxymoronic phrases "military intelligence," "business ethics" or "Stalinist variety" — a contradiction. Socialism is not democratic! Get a clue, Bernie crew.

Jake Pickering

Arcata, CA

You Don't Have Mail

[Re Off Message: "Snail's Pace: Mail Delivery Lags in South Burlington Neighborhood," February 25]: We live at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Dairy Lane in South Burlington. We have the worst mailman/letter carrier in all of Vermont. We have complained to the office at 320 Pine Street, as well as the U.S. Post Office itself. Nothing comes of our complaints. We have missing packages, misdirected mail and late delivery. We are at a loss as to how to get this problem addressed and resolved.

Michael Paustian

South Burlington

Transphobic Agenda

Regarding Peggy Luhrs and her Gender Critical Vermont group [Feedback: "Equality Rules," February 12]: I'm not done yet. Luhrs and her group say that trans people can be protected under gay and lesbian protection laws. Do they not know that there are no federal protections for trans people anymore, thanks to the Trump administration? Do they even care?

Her group also seems to believe that trans people are always easily identified. This is simply not true and shows her ignorance. She is also not recognizing that when a license has an F and a birth certificate says female, you are female. Refusing to acknowledge this and calling it a "transgender agenda" is transphobic, whether you want to admit or not. 

Christian Herrick

South Burlington