In response to your blog post titled "An Heirloom Tomato Salad With Mystery Tomatoes" [Bite Club, June 6], we felt it important to respond, clarify some inaccuracies and provide some additional information.
When this menu item was created, we were using tomatoes from Half Pint Farm sourced through the Burlington Farmers Market. When the tomatoes became unavailable, in hindsight, we should have made an adjustment to our menu and respected the seasonality of the product, but we did not.
It was never our intention to mislead our customers and, in fact, the journalist was told during an interview with new chef Brady Patterson that a new menu was going to be released on the coming Wednesday that did not have the tomato salad on it.
Patterson has worked hard on sourcing the best local products he can through local vendors like Black River Produce, Shadow Cross Farm, Cabot Creamery and many more for use in his daily specials and in this new menu release.
At Rí Rá, we are enormously proud of the fact that we have been an integral part of the Burlington community since 1999 and support as many local food and beverage suppliers as we can. That commitment to our community is reflected not only in our product selection but also through the numerous initiatives and charities we support that make our city as great as it is.
We would be extremely grateful if you could update your article to reflect the above so that we are not unfairly misrepresented.
Peaks Island, ME
Soucy is the executive head chef of the Rí Rá Group of Companies.
Dialing It Down
Good article [WTF: “Why Do You Sometimes Have to Dial 802 in Vermont?” June 6], but just a couple of thoughts. It is because area codes no longer need a 0 or 1 in the middle that phone exchanges no longer know your intentions when dialing the first seven digits? For instance when dialing 352, do you mean the area code or Salisbury? Should the computer wait for three more digits or ring a phone here in Vermont? Do you want to wait while the computer guesses? Four seconds? Ten? Regarding the local area, why doesn’t the stupid computer just complete the call if I put a “1” in front? Billing systems can drop the long-distance charges, why not? The Department of Public Service decided that customers need a pricing signal — namely, the 1.
The whole mess was started by dial-up internet consuming exchange codes willy-nilly decades ago, and there’s no going back.
Also on the Waterfront...
We enjoyed the current edition of Seven Days highlighting the Burlington waterfront ["On the Waterfront," June 6]. One important component was missed, however: diving in Lake Champlain!
The Waterfront Diving Center at 214 Battery Street hosts many local and traveling divers year-round on the lake. WDC is a small, privately owned business that has an active dive club and, in its 30 years of business, has taught thousands of non-divers how to dive and has led thousands of local dive trips as well as trips abroad.
WDC is the only dive shop on the shores of Lake Champlain and frequently collaborates with the University of Vermont, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Burlington and many other organizations. Lastly, WDC is committed to the ecology and wellness of Lake Champlain, as well as sharing and access to the lake's vast underwater history of the Champlain Valley.
Robert "Ski" Wilczynski
Wilczynski is co-owner of Burlington's Waterfront Diving Center.
Editor's note: Molly Walsh's story was not about what to do on the Burlington waterfront. It highlighted new and proposed buildings and businesses, policy changes, and other news about the lakeside stretch.
Observing recent negotiations between the University of Vermont Medical Center's nurses' union and hospital management is yet another depressing example of how corporate America is undermining its workers [Off Message: "Nurses, UVM Medical Center Remain at Odds Over Contract," June 1].
The problems seem endless. UVM Medical Center is a chronically understaffed facility with poor nursing wages that have seen little to no growth in more than a decade. The real picture of what understaffing looks like in a hospital is grim. Nurses are left working for hours without breaks. In the operating room, scheduled cases have had to be canceled, delaying patient care. UVM Medical Center's emergency department is currently being staffed by 31 traveling nurses, temporary out-of-state RNs who are paid at higher wages to perform the same functions as staff nurses.
Over the course of this past year, the union conducted an extensive market analysis and identified that nurses at UVM Medical Center are paid 25 percent below the average wage for RNs working at comparable Level 1 trauma centers associated with academic institutions and with a similar cost of living. This analysis has been released to management in hopes of reaching a fair agreement on compensation. However, the hospital refuses to engage in meaningful discussions on wages, stating, "The hospital is confident that its compensation is competitive." Unfortunately the hospital refuses to reveal its detailed market analysis displaying such information, leaving us to wonder if such an analysis even exists.
It's time for a change. I urge the community to insist that UVM Medical Center begin investing in its workers and patients, rather than increasing top executive pay by 20 to 30 percent a year.
Mahoney is an RN at UVM Medical Center.
Best of Both Words
Re Jen Sorensen's strip "The Life Cycle of a Slur" [June 6]: I am such a "fnard," but don't you dare ever call me a "blatch!"