Hartswick and Soul
[Re "Bracing for Impact: The Threat of Normal," April 7]: Please give Nathan Hartswick a regular column!
"Mr. Charlie" Frazier
Why Retire RASTA?
Sasha Goldstein's [802 Much: "Name-Dropping," March 31] about the Rochester/Randolph Sports Trail Alliance was nice — except for one big mistake! Executive director Angus McCusker is quoted as saying "There wasn't a lot of thought" invested in the RASTA acronym, but it's been used for eight years on the website. Local selectboards, school boards and newspapers know the organization as RASTA. The acronym made it what it is today.
So why change it now? Could it be an effort by this trail alliance to promote Velomont, a huge statewide bike trail that would run from Massachusetts to Canada? Do all Vermonters want this running through our wilderness rehab efforts of decades? We as Vermonters need to vote on the project in the 2024 election. Until then, Gov. Phil Scott needs to shelve all startup work.
Profiteers come in many shades. Democracy is the best way for us to decide on this project. Please ask the governor to put it on the ballot.
Loved the description of the King George School and farm [Nest: "Kingdom Jewel," March 17]. As it turns out, my grandfather and grandmother were the owners. Grinnell Martin got his degree in farming from Harvard University in the early part of the century and, as soon as he could, went back to dairy farming. It is true that my grandmother was a tough cookie and lorded it over the area, but our grandfather was a charmer and loved to talk with the other farmers in the area. During the Depression, when folks were losing their farms, Grinnell purchased the eight farms and put them together. He made arrangements for every owner to stay on and live in their house and farm their land as they had before, only asking for support for haying to feed his cows during the winter.
Of particular interest is the name of the place: King George Farm. It wasn't named for any king or for the Martins; it was named for the huge bull they brought in to start their herd of cows. What a colossal beast he was, living in a pen just north of the dairy farm house.
Mill Valley, CA
Thank you, Alison Bechdel, for "Reentry" ["Bracing for Impact," April 7]. You brilliantly illustrated my feelings and experiences of this past year. I felt like you wrote my story! It was such a relief to feel the camaraderie you depicted. I have shared "Reentry" with friends and family who would not otherwise see it and enthusiastically urged my local friends to read it. Alison, you and Holly Rae have lifted my heart, which was carrying more burden than I was acknowledging.
'F' for Condos
Dave Gram and I disagree on many topics. However, in his April 7 Fair Game ["Learning Curve"], I tend to agree with his grades for those in Montpelier on another "kick the can" on pension reform.
Please add Secretary of State Jim Condos to the report card list.
Give Condos what grade you may for his "deer in the headlights" response when town clerks testified, along with an apartment owner in Middlebury, about the lack of enforcement to stop ballot harvesting and other potential voter fraud abuses.
Voter ID and one ballot, one vote make sense! I urge you to watch a 10-minute video provided by the Ethan Allen Institute that presents a strong case for the potential for voter fraud by the mass mailing out of ballots.
Three emails from me to Condos were met with just an auto-generated reply that he or someone in his office would reply.
On another matter, Condos was clearly hesitant to take any meaningful action toward an incumbent reportedly seen sitting and campaigning in the "no-candidate zone" in Jericho two years ago.
Back to Gram's grades: spot-on that pension reform will be difficult but must be done! What is more frustrating is that we are still pumping tens of millions into our state college and university system, which needs support — but also a complete overhaul while on life support.
I would like to congratulate you on bringing back Fair Game with Dave Gram. This kind of analysis has been missing from Seven Days. I also really like the From the Publisher pieces by Paula Routly and Cathy Resmer. I've been reading your paper since its beginnings, but what always seemed missing was any word from the editors-publishers. The pieces that you have put into the paper have been very thoughtful and needed. I hope you continue to include them.
[Re Cannabis Issue, April 14]: Could you imagine what would happen if THC levels got out of control? A Vermont company might come along that makes a product with roughly double the THC content as an "average" product. And what if this product gets sold in single-use containers that are 25 percent larger than traditional containers?
This alone might not bring our state to ruin, but then what if this theoretical new intoxicant also boasts an enticingly pungent and unique flavor profile — say, and I'm just spitballing here, really strong grapefruit? And what if the product also has charmingly irreverent language on the packaging, which, along with the enticing aroma and next-level potency, combines to form an irresistible cultural phenomenon, catapulting the theoretical new intoxicant to the upper echelon of Vermont culture? And, before long, the new intoxicant is in such demand by Vermont residents that it routinely sells out at local vendors within seconds of being distributed?
What will happen when residents of surrounding states start driving to Vermont to get the strong and tasty new item, so companies in Maine and New Hampshire and Massachusetts and Connecticut start making similar uniquely potent and aromatic products, while the Vermont company that started the whole craze brings in so much money that it erects a new multimillion-dollar facility in the most expensive town in Vermont? And then, what if this new product ascends to such unanimous fame that the definition of one unit of consumption gets all but redefined to include that extra 25 percent of extra potent product?