The Real World: Victory
[Re "Threats, Lawsuits and Dead Animals," March 18]: As I was reading about the town of Victory in Seven Days, I couldn't help but think that eventually some investigation will lead to the discovery of who is responsible for all the alleged misdeeds in town, and that any individuals responsible will be brought to justice. And we'd all get to read about it in a subsequent article.
Then it occurred to me: That is the last thing that should happen. Instead, build a fence around the place so that nobody can escape, and then bring in the movie cameras and make a reality TV show. The revenue produced would pay all the reparations and penalties, and the whole town would get rich.
Or, more likely, with all that money flowing around town, they'll have a new order of magnitude of resources to fight over, and the entire kerfuffle will escalate to the next level, to a self-perpetuating and self-sustaining orgy of orneriness.
You can't make stuff like this up, and this is, indeed, the genuine article — all-natural, 100 percent organic and sustainable, pure Vermont vilification, venom and vitriol. Package it, sell it and tax it — just like craft beer, maple syrup, artisan cheese and spring water!
It has been a while since I bitched and moaned about something — say, about 15 minutes — so I would like to make a comment concerning last week's Fair Game ["Date Certain," March 25], in which Paul Heintz commented on the danger of crossing the Speaker of the House. He wrote, "If you cross the speaker on a vote like this, pack your bags for legislative Siberia. Otherwise known as the House Fish and Wildlife Committee."
If I were a legislator, I would probably be permanently appointed to fish and wildlife, as I would always cross the speaker. And it would not be a bad appointment, as I could spend the time lobbying for the elimination of the fake deer entrapment method used by game wardens to incite irresponsible use of firearms by stupid individuals — a safety issue for all.
Bottom line: Retire fake deer from the fish and game budget and encourage proper use of firearms and not improper use by entrapment. Fish and wildlife is not all bad in Vermont.
Senator Say Sorry
[Re Off Message: "By Lopsided Vote, Vermont Senate Approves New Gun Regulations," March 25]: Sen. John Rodgers (D-Essex/Orleans) owes a majority of Vermonters a public apology. I am insulted and infuriated at his comments during gun legislation debates in which he said people "who moved to Vermont because they liked the culture are welcome. Others, who have stated that they want to change our culture here, may want to seek another place that has a culture that they like."
How dare he say I should leave the state because I do not agree with his view of Vermont culture? I was not aware that we had a culture czar in Vermont who determined what is and is not "Vermont culture." I live here, pay my taxes and I do not sit in the back of the bus. My opinion and views are as valid as anyone else's.
Sen. Rodgers owes me, and all Vermonters who support gun safety, a public apology. He is representing a vocal minority of anti-gun safety activists. Seventy-seven percent of Vermonters — a majority — favor extending background checks to all gun sales, which is not even being considered by the current legislation.
BCA Gets an A
In "Big Heavy World Director Challenges Burlington City Arts" [March 11], I found myself confused by James Lockridge's assertion that "A spirit of inclusion and collaboration has been missing from the city's arts missions." As someone who has been active in the Burlington arts community for nearly 40 years, I have watched the BCA grow and expand to be an organization that takes its responsibilities seriously and has repeatedly attempted to be supportive of all art forms.
The BCA not only financially supports and assists programs that serve an expanding Burlington community, it acts as a remarkable umbrella organization for new art projects. This was the case with the Architecture + Design Film Series, of which I was a founding member. BCA enthusiastically embraced this project and provided remarkable support — physically, technically and creatively.
BCA programming itself is broad and attempts to reach all types — pre-school though elderly, teens and new Americans — and branches out into all areas of the city. Not every community member is served, but I have observed BCA proactively stepping into new undertakings throughout the city and keeping an eager ear open for ideas and possibilities. The BCA does have open meetings. Jim Lockridge and I attended a recent one. I spoke and felt "heard." I am hoping he did, also.
Listen to Lockridge
Your coverage of James Lockridge's work to improve the transparency and breadth of Burlington's arts administration was disturbing ["Big Heavy World Director Challenges Burlington City Arts," March 11]. From the first sentence you suggested that artists who had received money from Burlington City Arts would probably have no criticisms of the arts organization, as if individual personal profit could buy artists to ignore possible problems with arts governance.
Further, you presented BCA, an office partially funded by Burlington taxpayers, as virtually above criticism — a dangerous precedent. Citizens should be thanked, not ridiculed (Is Lockridge obsessive? Why not passionate?) for making sure that city departments follow public-meeting rules.
Most discouraging was your representation of a BCA still unwilling to welcome board members from the local artist community, whether by incorporating them into their current board or establishing a better election process. As for BCA's listening tour and involvement in planBTV South End, I am afraid that many South End artists — even ones who got grants — do not feel that BCA has been working in the interest of preserving the arts district from the threat of a change to residential zoning and its inevitable accompanying rise in rents. I hope that your reportage is incorrect, and that BCA and the rest of city government is really beginning to listen to Lockridge and a growing group of supporters advocating for reform.