It was unfortunate to read Paula Routly's recent editorial about her inability to see a doctor at the University of Vermont Medical Center until February of next year regarding her extremely serious migraine attack in May [From the Publisher: "Brain Drain," July 7].
Our family has encountered many fine doctors and nurses at the medical center over the years, but there now seems to be a culture there of inattentiveness and indifference, which would seem to be a product of poor leadership.
When our family encountered a situation similar to Routly's at UVM, we made our way to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, where we found a profoundly different patient experience. None of the buck-passing and scheduling snafus rampant at UVM, but rather a pervasive can-do attitude, which we found refreshing.
We were expertly led through a timely and effective process, and everyone we encountered there seemed intent upon making our experience a fruitful one.
They seem to have a much more patient-friendly culture there, and we would not hesitate to return.
Roy C. Towlen
Thank you for your article on the F-35s ["Sound Effects," July 7]. I live in Williston. Last week I was working in my plot in the Williston Community Garden when five F-35s not only flew over the garden but turned in wide circles over it, going around in the air above the garden at least four times. Eventually they flew in formation off north, but the two other seniors there and I all covered our ears and wondered why they had to circle and circle over one place. It was deafening. At my house, we go inside when the jets fly over.
B-52 Versus F-35
The outrage over the F-35 noise and its effects on children are outrageous ["Sound Effects," July 7].
I know, because in 1961 I lived on the flight path of Strategic Air Command Base McCoy, outside Orlando, Fla. I was 6 years old. B-52 bombers fully loaded and fueled took off daily until the early '70s. They were so loud, with eight jet engines straining to lift over 400,000 pounds, that they rattled our windows and shook the house. Us kids would run outside to watch. Those older jet engines smoked a lot, too.
I am 66 now, and I hear well. I have been to Burlington International Airport to watch the F-35s three times this summer, and I don't understand the criticism. Yes, they are loud, but not for long. And they don't even come close to the B-52 in shaking the ground. Those bombers flew over my school, too, and I don't even remember them interrupting anything. Children who are freaked out here with the F-35 are that way because the parents made them that way.
[Re "Sound Effects," July 7]: As a kid, I learned that in big cities, like New York, one must go indoors to seek quiet. Now, with the noise from F-35 flyovers, we are supposed to do the same in Burlington. That doesn't jibe with the Vermont lifestyle I know and cherish, but it is touted as the solution by Gov. Phil Scott, senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Rep. Peter Welch, and Mayor Miro Weinberger.
Forget for the moment that the proposed retrofitted residential soundproofing will take more than 20 years to implement and cost at least $100,000 per residence, based on numbers in the article. Let's get an idea of how noise-proof this technical fix really is and what everyday indoor-outdoor strategy is needed to avoid exposure. Please, Seven Days, give us an article on the purported and likely details of living in sound bunkers.
F-35s Inflict Trauma
Thank you, Colin Flanders, for your well-written feature article ["Sound Effects," July 7]. Living at the north end of North Avenue in Burlington, my husband and I get plenty of the F-35s' jarring, searing roar over our heads, several times a day. It is much worse when there is cloud cover. The noise is mentally and emotionally disrupting and must be traumatic for people who have experienced war, either as a soldier or as a refugee.
How can our leaders, who don't live with the effects of F-35s, be so willing to inflict trauma on their constituents? I find it outrageous when there were alternative sites for the planes.
In an area with increasing air traffic, the additional F-35s bring high risk of a devastating crash and poisonous fire in a highly populated area. Living with F-35s is putting us in more danger, rather than making anyone safe.
I feel a sense of betrayal by our leaders in their blindness to the obscene expense involved and the profligate use of petroleum in flying F-35s, while our communities are working to reduce man-made CO2 emissions during a global warming crisis. Is there a spiritual disconnect from and disregard for the whole community of life — Earth Community — that enables such blindness?
It is time to choose life and respect for Earth Community — the amazing, interrelated, interconnected community of life in Earth's biosphere — and dismantle preparations for war, which are madness.
[Re Staytripper: "A Novel Retreat," May 25]: The vagaries by which historical figures get "canceled" are baffling to me. Dorothy Canfield Fisher's association with the eugenics movement (though she was not a known eugenicist herself) and her portrayal of characters who express racist views contributed to the removal of her name from a Vermont literature award. Yet Rudyard Kipling, proud colonialist and white supremacist, continues to enjoy his reputation as a beloved children's author.
This is the man who wrote the non-ironic poem "The White Man's Burden," which urged the U.S. to start building its own empire in the style of Great Britain. After the 1919 Amritsar massacre in India, when British general Reginald Dyer commanded his troops to open fire without warning on a peaceful protest in an enclosed courtyard, slaughtering hundreds (including dozens of children) and stopping only once ammunition ran out, Kipling lauded him as "the man who saved India." (Dyer was widely denounced in Britain and removed from duty.)
I don't necessarily think people should feel required to stop reading Kipling's books, staying at his house or reading about staying at his house. But they should at least be made aware of his repulsive views when they do so.
[Re Off Message: "One of Winooski's Only Black Teachers Resigns, Calls Out Culture of Racism," June 15]: Upon reading Alison Novak's article about the resignation of Thierry Mugabo Uwilingiyimana, I was reminded of several things.
First, I recently viewed a documentary about basketball great Bill Russell in which he elaborated on the ordeals he endured as one of the first Boston Celtics. He and Bob Cousy formed what still stands as the greatest guard/center tandem in National Basketball Association history. They won more championships together than any other team. Yet Cousy never knew the depths of Russell's racial ordeals. Many years later, Cousy was brought to tears upon learning what the ordeals were.
Second, I would not be surprised if Uwilingiyimana has an accent. That reminded me of the third-generation French Canadians I have met whose grandparents told them to talk very little and to never use French. As a side note, about a year ago I met a man from England who said that he was nearly assaulted, and the only thing he can think of as the reason is that he still has a thick English accent.
Finally, I will add that I was one of two individuals who were the first African Americans to teach at what was then Mary Washington College. I never had a person of color in any of my classes. My colleagues interacted with me largely based on racial stereotypes. What else did they have to work with?
If only the spectators who spit at and throw water bottles at Black NBA players now knew the history. If only the men who almost assaulted my English-born acquaintance knew a little of the history. If we only could know what it is like to have to walk in Uwilingiyimana's shoes.
James Robert Saunders
I don't think acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad knows what he's doing or talking about ["Midnight Blues?" June 30]. He has enough police patrolling the other parts of the city, and he said he has the other ones at the police station, so what are all of the other ones doing besides drinking coffee and not doing anything? I'm pretty sure the ones at the station could be out patrolling the downtown area. If Murad wants to become the permanent chief, he better start doing better and thinking about things.
Paula Routly's publisher note ["Offensive Lines?" June 30] states, "No politician should be off-limits." And "Let us know when we make a wrong move." Seven Days should be praised and rewarded for these two statements. Democracy works best when the fourth estate holds elected officials to account for their actions, and when the public holds the media to account for its promises about politicians. It's a strong contract of civil responsibility. I wonder if all Vermont newspapers have printed, fully accept and honestly practice Paula's two vows.
The late Peter Freyne of Seven Days was unafraid to hold politicians' feet to the fire. And he particularly and courageously faced up to those at the top of the food chain. Let's encourage Seven Days to continue building upon his legacy and patiently assist them to fully meet their two pledges to its readers.
'Do Not Change'
[Re "Offensive Lines?" June 30]: I just want to state that I am relatively conservative, and I do not find anything offensive about the comic strips that are published. In fact, I enjoy a little tit for tat, and I find that some of the strips give us a better understanding of how society in Vermont is changing. Please continue as you have. Do not change.
Last week's Fair Game column misstated when the Vermont Council on Rural Development helped Front Porch Forum expand. It was in 2013.