Race to the Bottom
[Re Off Message: "Protest Leads to Confrontation With Police Brass," May 31]. The obscene public execution of George Floyd on Monday night, May 25, by Minneapolis police has brought about righteous indignation and protests not only in Minnesota but across the country as the American public has finally had enough of the continuous system of non-accountability and protection from serious prosecution afforded to brutal thugs posing as police officers. We have even seen it here in Vermont, where these systemic patterns have been manifested in similar occurrences.
George Floyd's murder is part of a racist pattern that permeates both U.S. domestic and foreign policy. And the American police and military have become the repressive agents that enforce this racist system both here against its own citizens and against citizens of foreign lands. People must make it known loud and clear through their words and actions that the insidious economic, cultural and political militarization of American society that establishes the power base for racism both here and abroad must stop and will no longer be allowed to operate.
Corbo is a Democratic candidate for governor and U.S. Congress.
Watch Your Words
Dear Seven Days, a newspaper I love and enjoy: Please pay attention to your headlines [Off Message: "Protest Leads to Confrontation With Police Brass," May 31]. This headline in these times can make it sound as if violent actions occurred. The article makes clear that this was not the case, but that headline could be very misleading to some, because "confrontation" is a word very easy to misinterpret due to the way it is currently being used in much of the media.
Lucky for Leffler
Thank you for the article on Dr. Steve Leffler ["Doc Star," May 27]. It was a joy to read about a "higher-up" who is actually well grounded.
When Steve started practicing in Vermont, he and I worked together for a few years on the admissions committee for the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. His insight and fairness were well evident then, and in that sense I don't believe he has changed a bit. The medical center is very lucky to have him here.
More Info, Please
After reading your short piece on the local food bank [Bite Club: "Burlington Street Becomes Food Distribution Site," May 26], I wanted to make a donation. But alas, you gave no information helping me find out where to go. Tsk, tsk. By the way, it is feedingchittenden.org/donate.
Just Doesn't Look Right
[Re Bite Club: "Burlington Street Becomes Food Distribution Site," May 26]: Some things just do not add up, folks. There's a photo of a woman and her puppy, for which she drove almost 3,000 miles to pick up the week before, and she has no money for food? In other words, she spent maybe $280 on gas and how much for the puppy — $700 to $1,000? Five hundred cars lined up for upwards of four hours? Talk about leaving a carbon footprint!
Face Mask Store?
[Re Off Message: "Burlington Council Passes Mask Mandate, Orders Controversial Mural Removed," May 19]: While I fully agree with the Burlington City Council's requirement for all who visit Church Street to wear a mask, we suffer from a lack of places to find them. Could a street station be set up where free, or low-cost, masks would be readily available for all who visit but do not have a face mask? Thanks for considering.
Not Rolling With It
[Re Off Message: "As Retailers Tentatively Reopen, Vermonters Shop for Sense of Normalcy," May 18]: What's up with the local bike shops? The COVID-19 restrictions for retail have been lifted and bike shops can be open to customers, but most are not. Why? They will provide curbside service and are willing to sell you a bike through an online sale, but you can't go in the store, look at bikes, touch the bikes or take a test ride. These restrictions are the bike shop's choice, not any mandate from the state.
Are bike shops more dangerous than other retail stores? I don't think so. Since the retail restrictions were eased, almost all other stores have opened. Restaurants have opened. You can go to a big-box store and shop for a bike without any restrictions. But if you want to support your local bike shop, you have to do it online or through curbside pickup. Why?
Many major biking organizations and advocates, like the League of American Bicyclists, have pushed to have governments declare bike shops essential services, like hardware stores, car repair shops, grocery stores and drug stores. I would assume that our local bike shops would like to think of themselves as essential, too, but apparently they do not. If they did, they would be open like hardware stores.
Remember, these restrictions are self-imposed. Other stores are not doing this. Why are bike shops?
Editor's note: A quick survey of some local bike shops shows that at least some are open (such as the Alpine Shop in South Burlington), while others are scheduling test drives by appointment (Burlington's Skirack and Old Spokes Home). Policies are subject to change.
Every Voter Counts
[Re Off Message: "Lawmakers Move to Sideline Scott From Vote-by-Mail Decision," May 26]: I'm having second thoughts about who to vote for in this next election period. If Gov. Phil Scott doesn't recognize the importance of this mail-in balloting, then I wonder what else he is missing. Protection from COVID-19 should be of the highest priority, especially for senior citizens.
When I was voting absentee, my 102-year-old neighbor could not get an absentee ballot unless he came to the town clerk's office in a previous election. He was physically unable to do this.