A Word on 'That Bird'
Your WTF ["What's That Bird That Calls 'Dorito?'" June 7] about birdsongs struck a wrong chord. I did not tell your writer that it would be difficult to identify a bird based solely on call or song. What I said was that it would be difficult to identify a bird based solely on someone's description of the call or song. In fact, many of us identify birds based only on their vocalizations. We hear, therefore we know. Tweet-tweet.
Thanks for writing about the many different sounds of the cardinal [WTF: "What's That Bird That Calls 'Dorito?'" June 7]. I love hearing different birdsongs and calls. I myself haven't heard the "Dorito" call, but I got excited when Mark LaBarr described it as "pew, pew, pew!" I hear Storm Troopers every day. (Yes, I'm a dork.)
You Made My Day
[Re "Assembly Required," June 7]: I wanted to thank Seven Days for Ken Picard and Molly Walsh's fine reporting on manufacturing in Vermont — it gave me a much clearer picture of what is going on in our economy. And it answered a particular question of mine. I've driven by the GW Plastics plant in Bethel dozens of times and always wondered: What do they make in there? Now I know, thanks to y'all.
As someone who cares deeply about the protection of Vermont's wildlife, I consider myself honored to have had the opportunity to visit the farm mentioned in ["Chewing the Scenery," May 31.]
This is a place where plants, people, wildlife and some very lucky ducks live in harmony. The women who run this farm embrace the symbiotic nature of various forms of life. Whether it's coyotes that assist with the dispersal of seeds or foxes that help manage white-footed mice populations, they're all welcomed.
In a state where we too often hear about wildlife being trapped and killed for simply trying to survive, it's comforting to know that places like SHO Farm exist. Twenty-first century wildlife conservation demands that we seek sustainable, compassionate and inclusive ways to protect wildlife for the benefit of all Vermonters.
Galdenzi is president of Protect Our Wildlife.
Ingram on Ashe
As a newcomer to the state Senate, I would like to offer a different perspective on the leadership of Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe than was presented in Fair Game: "Rookie Mistakes," [May 17]. My past experiences being new to an organization led me to be wary of whether I would be fully included in the Senate my first year or whether I would have to "earn" the right to be heard and respected. I quickly found out that with Sen. Ashe's leadership, I needed to do no more than I had already done — be elected to the Senate — to fully participate in decision making, be taken seriously when I offered opinions, be respected when I asked questions and be recognized when I contributed.
Sen. Ashe's style has been to keep all senators fully informed and to welcome our input in order to reach the best possible solutions. In my personal experience, he has never been too busy to take the time to explain procedures or answer policy questions that I have as a newcomer. At the end of the session, he was required to juggle coming up with substantive policy recommendations, handling thorny negotiations with the governor, facing challenging inquiries from the press and engaging in painstaking cooperation with the House — which he did admirably, all while exhibiting grace, patience and good humor. In my opinion, senators in particular, and Vermonters in general, are fortunate to have Sen. Ashe as a leader.
Sen. Debbie Ingram
100 Percent Opinion
[Re Off Message: "Walters: Bernie Sanders Made More Than $1 Million in 2016," June 4]: While I can understand how a writer having an opinion about a person they may not hold in high esteem might result in a one-sided take, that is not always the best way to portray something. The fact that John Walters doesn't mention that Sen. Bernie Sanders has the lowest income in the current U.S. Senate is disturbing and makes the article and author lack any credibility. Maybe something of this nature should have a very large, colorful side note or subtitle that states this is a fully, 100 percent opinion piece.
Editor's note: John Walters is a political columnist, which by definition indicates that he is expressing opinions. The tagline on the Fair Game column is "open season on Vermont politics." Every one of his web stories starts with "Walters:" to signify that the piece represents his take on things, and his online photo is captioned "political columnist," as well.
Don't Trash Bernie
[Re Off Message: "Walters: Bernie Sanders Made More Than $1 Million in 2016," June 4]: John Walters' hit piece on Sen. Bernie Sanders is slanted drivel and half-presented truths that would fit well on Breitbart or the Drudge Report — or better yet, written by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary 2020. Either way, trash writing and trash publishing, Seven Days.
Bernie Deserves at Least $1 Million
[Re Off Message: "Walters: Bernie Sanders Made More Than $1 Million in 2016," June 4]: So, biting the hand that feeds you, are we? Sen. Bernie Sanders gave us his all for the election, and now you're criticizing the fact that he's made some money because of his book? He deserves more than that. I expected better of you people, but not of a quasi-"reporter" who writes screed like that.
Do you use misleading titles intentionally to get readers to select articles to read? Your teaser line stated that Sen. Bernie Sanders made more than $1 trillion in 2016, while the article itself showed that he made more than $1 million dollars in 2016. That is certainly a large discrepancy that should have been caught by any competent editor.
Editor's note: We checked all of our platforms — including Facebook, Daily 7, Know It All and Twitter — and the word "trillion" doesn't appear in the June 4 story that was headlined "Walters: Bernie Sanders Made More Than $1 Million in 2016."
[Re "About Face: DMV Lets Cops Search Database of Driver's License Photos," May 24; Off Message: "DMV Suspends Facial-Recognition Program Pending Legal Review," May 25]: In August of 2014, I received notice that my driver's license was about to expire and I should bring government identification to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Montpelier to renew it. This, I assumed, was due to the Real ID Act that created a pseudo national ID card. I was loathe to do this, as I'm a Libertarian and wanted to keep the non-photo driver's license that I had been issued.
I gathered documentation and went to the DMV. I told them that I did not want a photo driver's license. Personnel at the DMV insisted that I had to get a photo driver's license in spite of being told otherwise. Because my license was about to expire, I sat for a picture and was given a photo license.
I wrote a letter to the commissioner of motor vehicles insisting I be issued a non-photo driver's license. The letter was ignored. I then wrote a letter to governor Peter Shumlin's office insisting I be issued a non-photo driver's license. I finally received it in the mail.
I realize now that the Vermont DMV lied to me repeatedly in order to create a database of photos.
It's interesting that the commissioner has characterized us as members of the "tinfoil-hat crowd." I refuse to allow my state to creep ever so slowly toward the totalitarian police surveillance state that many have come to accept as normal.