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Letters to the Editor (3/4/15)

Published March 4, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Design Flawed

In my opinion, the location of the proposed bus station is one of the dumbest ideas of all time ["Back to the Landscape: A Solution for Burlington Bus Hub," February 11]. While it may be convenient to downtown, it is poorly positioned.

My major objection is the pollution, both noise and odor, generated by parked, running buses. The offices and church directly adjacent will have to contend with both when worship services are held or workers are going about their daily business. Further, it removes an access point for traffic to approach parking and the Burlington Town Center. We all know how difficult it can be to navigate through traffic in that area.

Where others see a "balance with historic landscape," my eyes fail me. It's just another modern box that will not withstand the test of time when interesting Burlington architecture is discussed. Sorry, Burlington, this is a failure.

Lydia Foisy


Unpopular Position

It's a shame that Kathryn Flagg spent so much time making sure that everyone knew James Ehlers isn't a member of Vermont's power elite ["Water Warrior," February 18]. Because it would have been better to hear more about Ehlers' work to clean up our state's waterways rather than to learn (over and over again) that "the players" aren't comfortable with him.

The fact that Ehlers isn't invited to insider events only proves that he's doing exactly what he should be doing: making the polluters and their enablers very, very nervous. As they should be, because, with the exception of a steady stream of platitudes, these insiders have been failing miserably when it comes to addressing our critically injured waterways.

Bravo to Ehlers for taking the issue of cleaning up Lake Champlain so seriously that he won't tolerate the empty rhetoric, meaningless photo ops, or weak-kneed and off-the-mark "solutions." Gov. Shumlin says Ehlers is off "the reservation." Well, maybe that's not such a bad place to be, since those on the reservation have been doing little more than punting on the issue for decades.

Instead of pondering whether Ehlers is liked or popular, how about whether he's right or wrong? And, while you're at it, why not report on the track records of those who've locked Ehlers out of the popular club? Because it's been on their watch that the lake has been poisoned, and it has been their policies that have failed.

Michael Colby


Colby is the executive director of the nonprofit environmental group Food & Water.

Straight Shooter

[Re "Water Warrior," February 18]: Great article — as someone who knows James, I think it's very accurate. We need more direct, fearless people in the environmental community like him.

I think many in the environmental center movement the article describes tend to take the "hook and bullet" environmentalists in Vermont less seriously. James is an intelligent and creative member of that group — among many others — and refuses to be pigeonholed as this or that. But most of all, he, and others like him, prove the peril of underestimating what some in the center smugly refer to as "the environmental fringe."

Alex MacDonald


Taking Eggception

In the review of local cafés ["Egg Heads," February 25], you missed a relatively new breakfast spot, the Swingin' Pinwheel Café and Bakery. On Center Street in Burlington next to the Daily Planet, the Swingin' Pinwheel is a great place for breakfast. Its namesake Pinwheels are just one of their many pastries. The cowboy coffee, stuffed waffles and trout are all good. Try them before the line gets as long as the other cafés in town.

Jim Morris


Creative Economics

The article about the joint project between Speeder & Earl's and SEABA ["SEABA and Speeder & Earl's Aim to Create a Coffee- and-Art Lounge," February 25] serves as a reminder of why I love Vermont. Like the new nonprofit organization formed by Old Spokes Home and Bike Recycle Vermont, the proposed SEABA café space is an example of business owners and nonprofit leaders working together to leverage their resources for the benefit of the whole community. Now people can get a bike from Old Spokes or a cup of coffee at Speeder's and know that their dollars are working to create a more vibrant city. 

Vermont was one of the first states to recognize alternative corporate structures like benefit corporations and low-profit limited liability companies that value social good over maximizing profits. With that work being done in the Statehouse, and bright, creative, socially minded businesses and community members like those at SEABA and Speeder & Earl's working together, Vermont is fostering a new kind of economy where GDH (gross domestic happiness) is more valued than GDP. 

I am so proud to call this place home.

Christine Hill


Hill is the outreach director for Old Spokes Home and Bike Recycle Vermont.

Shameful Advice

[Re "Poli Psy: Is Shaming Criminal?" February 25]: What thoughtful, practical advice for women whose personal and professional lives have been destroyed by "revenge porn." Apparently, resisting shame is all it takes to prevent being fired from your job. Why didn't those other women think of that?

I get what Judith Levine is trying to say, but it's not just a matter of women resisting being shamed when their professions, partnerships and reputations are on the line. Society as a whole needs to get over the fact that women have naked bodies underneath their clothes. Sometimes they use them for sexy times, and sometimes they even take a photograph or two of those activities.

Levine puts the onus on the victims, saying, "Resist shame," when all of society needs to be told: "Stop shaming women for this." Until that happens, there needs to be legal protection for women who are harmed by revenge porn.

Lillie Bleau

Essex Junction