Take Back Junior's
I agree with Hannah Palmer Egan [Taste Test: Junior's Rustico, March 18]. Junior's has lost its way, and I hope it finds the way back to its original quality heritage and N.Y.-style American Italian food. Prior to opening, they made statements saying that it was going to be high-quality handmade fare. But from their words to the table — it just doesn't happen. Maybe too many maple syrup fumes got to them!
Last Supper at Rustico's
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Cathy DiCecco [Feedback: "Junior's Rustico: Sì e No," March 25]. Took the family; we waited forever for the kitchen to do simple dishes that came out 40 minutes later wrong, and very, very small portions for the price. It was loud. It was cold. And it was the last time. But I love Junior's in Colchester.
In "Sacred Cows," [April 1] author Kathryn Flagg puts too much emphasis on compliance with the accepted agricultural practices, which she notes have been in effect for 20 years and are empirically ineffective. This is just the distraction Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross wants. Flagg asks him if we got 100 percent compliance would that fix it, and Ross says no because he wants the legislature to allocate a few million to his agency so he can hire more inspectors to find those "few bad farmers" out there who are not in compliance. This is a ruse: The AAPs were not written to protect the lake; they were written to shield the industry from the kinds of prescriptive regulations that would.
James H. Maroney Jr.
Kathryn Flagg's article "Sacred Cows" [April 1] keenly illustrated the push and pull between the public's right to clean water and our cultural heritage of a rural economy. Our farms are a proud part of Vermont's working landscape, and we applaud the evolution of agricultural practices that safeguard Lake Champlain. With the recent House passage of the clean water bill, and soon to be allocated funding, it's time to work with the agricultural community to implement and enforce sound policies that can reduce the blight of blue-green algae affecting aquatic ecosystems. Mandatory 25-foot buffer strips between farm and shoreline would go far toward reaching this goal.
While agricultural runoff accounts for 40 percent of the phosphorus reaching Lake Champlain, the remainder comes from our built environment and poor land-use practices. To truly solve the problem, it's critical that we address multiple sources of pollution. One of the most effective ways is to invest in and protect our natural infrastructure, like floodplain forests and wetlands, which act like wastewater treatment plants but at a fraction of the cost. The vegetation in these forests naturally filters pollutants and phosphorous-carrying sediment on their way to the lake.
Nature's resiliency is vividly on display in this ecosystem, with its natural ability to create checks and balances for our excesses. The Nature Conservancy in Vermont is committed to doing our part for clean water by protecting and restoring floodplain forests — a critical part of securing the health of our waters.
Furman is state director of the Nature Conservancy.
In [Album Review: Old Sky, April 1] the reviewer attributes the lyrics of "I Stand Corrected" to Andrew Stearns and is critical of his writing. That song was written by Burette Douglas. It was a cover, as is clearly stated on the website.
I was deeply offended by the questioning of our senator's ethics [Feedback, "Senatorial Double Standards," March 18; Off Message: "Sanders, Leahy to Boycott Netanyahu Speech; Welch to Attend," February 9]. I started the Vermont chapter of Vietnam Veterans Against the War because of politicians' lies; they are not my favorite people. Those who miss the lessons of history are bound to repeat mistakes. The U.S. supported Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who, with his cartel, siphoned off Cuba's wealth as a desperate people turned to Castro. He started as a nationalist, surprising people when he turned to communism. Stop punishing the Cuban people. What they did was out of desperation; we had a hand in that. Many Cubans want normalization. Those most vociferous against it might have lost ill-gotten family wealth when Batista went down.
Sen. Marco Rubio, was your family part of the cartel? Just asking! Normalization will weaken the ties of communism. Don't you believe in our way of life? Communism doesn't cater to people's desire to own "stuff." Look what's happening, slowly but surely, in China. Our ally is Israel, not that weasel Netanyahu! Like John Kerry said, it is apartheid. To win an election, he stated two states would never happen. Really? That many against? Long ago, it seemed clear that illegal settlements scattered all across the West Bank made two states impossible. The land must be returned.
Israel could unilaterally declare Palestine a free nation, withdrawing to its borders. Palestinian hostility results in devastating retaliation. It's not worth it! Get rid of Bibi! Apologize to two honorable men! Compromise! We don't need this in the World Court!
"Threats, Lawsuits and Dead Animals" [March 18] trivializes issues that deserve attention and exemplifies the need for assistance to remedy problems in Victory. I attended the town meeting to learn more about the admission of Elizabeth Brown Humane Society's board member Walter Mitchell, who last year stated he "had shot his jackass" — not something one would expect a board member to boast about. I wanted to see if the town, as a whole, would vote on the tax status of a dwelling occupied by family members.
I also wanted to see if there would be discussion of a resident operating a puppy mill, who is currently engaged in a court dispute with a neighbor regarding the noise level and waste management of nearly 50 dogs, and who has received five DUIs, the last of which resulting in a crash, and why he still drives freely despite specific Vermont laws.
Worried Victory residents have valid concerns that are being ignored. The fact that Essex County Sheriff Trevor Colby "laughs off most of them" is disturbing. Several seniors expressed frustration that they have sought help from law enforcement, fearing for their safety, but have been ignored. A report of a forensic audit revealing over $250,000 of unaccounted money is telling of the corruption in Victory. Follow-up reporting is in order.
"Nasty feuds between neighbors" minimize situations that have had deadly consequences and aren't a tongue-in-cheek matter.