The headline for your cover story "Just What the Doctor Ordered" [June 28] is cute but misleading. The new regulations constrain doctors, in some cases overriding their reasonable medical judgment with that of politicians and bureaucrats. Personally, I'd rather take the medicine my doctor orders. No more, no less.
[Re Live Culture: "Vermont's Capital City Gets a New Flag, Because Why Not?" July 3]: Glad to hear Montpelier is joining the European Union. Maybe it can take Great Britain's place!
Judging del Pozo
[Re "Cop on the Tweet: Chief's Social Media Posts Draw Criticism," July 5]: As taxpayers, we expect police to protect us. If the police chief thinks blogging helps keep us safe, let him blog. Chief Brandon del Pozo craves publicity. As long as one of his officers appears on my doorstep if I need a cop, let him crave. Police work is measured by crime, so del Pozo can do all the talking he wants as long as he's reducing crime.
Del Pozo genuflects whenever he's rumored to have mistreated an easy target for abuse — racial or otherwise. Evidence: the article's reference to him leaving a concert to challenge a rumor about police abuse. The chief seems extra sensitive if a critic accuses him of mistreating a member of the minority community or of prematurely firing a gun, whether or not the police behaved professionally. His paycheck depends on a liberal mayor who is more interested in mollycoddling supposed "victims" than fighting crime.
Chief del Pozo has hired additional training-coordinator and crime-analysis people, arguing that he needs more behind-the-scenes personnel to support the mission. He ought to use his money for hiring cops.
We pay cops to enforce the law, not to serve as social workers finding housing for Church Street's loungers. As long as those in blue stick to the real mission, they have our full support.
What we all want is to be safe — for a cop to come running when we are in crisis. Even alleged victims of police mistreatment do one thing when they are afraid: They call a cop.
It's Social Media, Folks
[Re "Cop on the Tweet: Chief's Social Media Posts Draw Criticism," July 5]: Last September, the @OneNorthAvenue account tweeted something stigmatizing mental illness; I retweeted and criticized the way they portrayed the incident and was pleasantly surprised to find a message in my inbox from the department itself, reaching out to discuss my concerns constructively. Since then, I've kept an eye on the tactics the Burlington Police Department has used to become a more transparent and communicative organization, specifically under Chief Brandon del Pozo. I have to admit to being a supporter of those tactics. That's why I think it's strange when people who are posting on social media — whose posts must be somewhat public to attract the attention that they do — are alarmed to receive responses. To quote Haik Bedrosian: "By personally commenting on an individual's Facebook post, the chief sends a message that he is personally watching you."
That's certainly one perspective. I interpret the chief's actions more as an attempt to reach out and have a conversation in the very medium that our society has become so accustomed to using when airing complaints. Why is it "intimidating" to receive a response from the head of the department you're deriding? Why post on social media if you're not looking to engage others in the conversation? It's one thing to surround yourself with like-minded people who will share your thoughts and concerns, but if that is all you're looking for, again: Why have your critical posts be public? Del Pozo seems like a guy who would take your suggestions under advisement.
What About Brattleboro?
[Re Vermont Food Truck Finder 2017]: There are some good food trucks in Brattleboro, too, but I haven't seen them mentioned in "Vermont's Independent Voice." You manage to cover our drug overdoses [Off Message: "Seven Opiate Overdoses Rock Brattleboro on the Fourth of July," July 5]. How about covering our alimentary news?
BTW, you just listed a Jamaican food truck, Jamaican Supreme. Are these the same people who were in Brattleboro two years ago? If so, they are among the best. I will drive up to Burlington for their goat curry.
Wild About SHO Farm
Melissa Hoffman and Shawn Smith are amazing ["Chewing the Scenery," May 31.] They are devising ways to not only utilize all of the natural elements of the forest that surrounds them but to help the environment and the wildlife, as well. As stated in the article, "By deriving food from the forest that dominates the property, she pointed out, rather than cutting it down for cultivation, she and Smith can protect animal habitat and avoid soil erosion."
My only big concern, though, is that no matter how hard she tries to keep a natural balance in her forest, it could potentially be destroyed in a heartbeat with the ability of trappers and hunters to come on her land, posted or not, and disturb the natural balance that she has so diligently created. Since June 2, Vermont bobcats, foxes and other wildlife have been harassed by hunting dogs, separated from their young, and possibly injured or killed. Bobcats are tending to their newborn kits this time of year, which makes this activity even more egregious.
Even if she posts her land, there is nothing the Fish and Wildlife Department can do about it. Seems like an excuse to allow hunting and trapping wherever the hunters or trappers decide that they want to go. It would be a benefit to see Hoffman and Smith have the ability to restore their land and help bring back needed predators for the forest and wildlife.
[Re Soundbites: "The Best Albums of 2017 ... So Far (Part 1)," June 28; "The Best Local Albums of 2017 ... So Far (Part 2)," July 5]: Did I miss the disclaimer, or was it a deliberate editorial decision to exclude local works of jazz from this two-part feature? It'd seem both recently released works of Robinson Morse and Brian McCarthy deserve your readers' attention.