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Letters to the Editor (3/22/17)


Published March 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated March 23, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.

Bad Deal for Burlington

In "Size Wise: In Burlington, Upward Growth or 'Vertical Sprawl'?" [February 22], Kevin J. Kelley did not go far enough into what is a very interesting dialogue happening nationally and internationally on the topic of mid-rise, human-scale cities. Not only are human-scale cities far more "livable," they outperform environmentally, socially, and from economic innovation and resiliency standpoints.

The myth that density must be achieved by building up is an old one, and a city like Paris is just as dense with buildings under six stories as Singapore with its skyscrapers. I'm disappointed that Kelley interviewed three people who are on the Mayor Miro Weinberger-Don Sinex payroll instead of innovators who are looking outside the tall box.

Lastly, I ask readers if a mere 55 affordable units out of a total of 270 units in the reported range of $950 per month for a studio and $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom can really be called a boon for our affordability crisis? I notice that Kelley called them "below-market rate." That may be a better way to describe them, yet the project was sold to voters as having 55 "affordable" units.

The article only scratches the surface of multiple important concerns and issues. Readers would benefit from a more in-depth exploration in subsequent articles. How about it, Seven Days?

Amey Radcliffe


Time to Engage

It's gratifying to see that Vermont activists are "ignited" by President Donald Trump's election ["Resistance Is Fertile: How Trump's Election Has Ignited Vermont Activists," February 22]. Any hope we have of minimizing the damage this administration will do to our nation and the world depends on building a strong and vocal resistance. But true reform of our political and social institutions depends on sustaining this activism long into the future. 

All the baser inclinations of many of Trump's supporters — racism, nationalism, misogyny, oppression of minority groups and the rest — have always been present in American society. The man with the bully pulpit is emboldening speech and actions that, not long ago, were considered unacceptable in our democracy, at least in public. Now they are commonplace.

These attitudes can't be turned around in the first 100 days of this administration. And they won't be changed by reading the news and voting. People who have been aroused to public activism by this election need to be prepared to stay actively involved for the rest of their lives.

Spencer Putnam


In Praise of Crash-man

[Re "Life Sentence," March 8]: I swam next to Ed Cashman at Saint Michael's College — my nickname for him was "Crash" because of his propensity for accidentally running into other swimmers — and I saw how good he was with my own kids. I was also a sixth grade teacher to the offender in the article, and we knew back then that he needed help. In other words, I am in a unique position to state that Cashman did exactly what a great judge would do to get help for the person in question, while not ignoring the need to keep the community safe.

John Radimer


Cover Cashman

Judge Ed Cashman's story is a profile in courage ["Life Sentence," March 8]. I admire Seven Days for recognizing that this was worth a cover story.

Peter Rowan

Essex Junction

Hate Breeds Hate

[Re Off Message: "Middlebury Students Shut Down Lecture by Charles Murray," March 2; "'Mob' Attacks Middlebury Prof and Controversial Speaker Charles Murray," March 3; "Middlebury, Police to Investigate Violent Protest of Murray Lecture," March 6]: I don't condone violence, but if Charles Murray wants to spread hate, he ought to be prepared to get it back.  

As for all you white nationalists out there, when you're complaining about how bad you've got it, remember who's been in charge the last 241 years: white men.

Tom Grocki

South Burlington

Lieutenant Lesbian?

It was great to read the article about June Tierney in the March 8 edition of Seven Days ["Former Soldier Set to Marshal Gov. Scott's Energy Policy"]. But does the U.S. Army have a new rank of "lesbian"? Or is this just poor sentence construction? "Tierney's own true grit was tested when she served in the Army as a lesbian..." 

That she was a lesbian when she served in the Army is different than serving as a lesbian — or as a heterosexual, for that matter. The article, about Tierney serving in Gov. Phil Scott's administration on energy issues, has nothing to do with her being a lesbian — nor did her serving in the Army. 

Otherwise, good article. Next time, if you want to weave into the context some piece of extraneous information, weave a little better. 

Kathy Pellett