Thank you so much for Ken Picard and Paul Laud's cartoon about Flo Meiler, Barb Jordan and Bill Nedde ["Silver and Gold: Flo Meiler and Barbara Jordan," July 8]. Bill was the assistant track coach under the legendary Archie Post my first two years at UVM. When my wife and I returned to Vermont in 1979, I kept in touch with Bill, who was helping as an interim swim coach. I also knew the Jordans because I was the math teacher for their youngest son, Garry.
During my free period at school, I would often walk around the track at South Burlington and several years ago was pleased to see Bill and his "angels." I enjoyed my many chats with Flo, Barb and the rest.
My last contact with Bill was at the ceremony for the opening of the new track at UVM. He had been having trouble walking for several years, and I was proud that he asked me to help him to get up the stairs and to a seat. I was greatly saddened to find out about his death and hope that his "angels" have another inspirational performance for him.
[Re Off Message: "Bernie Bits: Media Declares Open Season on Sanders' Love Life," July 10]: As a news reporter who covered Bernie's early campaigns as capital bureau chief for the Burlington Free Press, I can testify that back then, none of us ever wrote about the personal lives of politicians except when relevant to their public service.The same ethical stance was taken by mainstream media in D.C. when I first arrived there. (The scandals with Wilbur Mills and Wayne Hays were deemed to affect performance of duties; the drinking of Carl Albert was not.)
That changed dramatically in subsequent years, but the Vermont press was always an exception. Reporters here have respected the fact that we all have private lives that are nobody's business unless they affect public performance.So the craziness in ransacking Bernie's personal past is not surprising now that he is a prominent national figure. That's a shame, but unavoidable in today's climate. I only hope that the Vermont media will not use this as an excuse to abandon the principled conventions they have adhered to up until now.
[Re Off Message: "Weinberger Taps NYC Cop as Burlington Police Chief," July 7]: Now retired in Maine, I lived in Burlington for over 18 years. I have a story about the Burlington police I have always wanted to share. In the late 1990s, a gay couple moved to Burlington from a southern state and joined the College Street Congregational Church. New in Vermont, they were stopped for a minor traffic violation by Burlington police. Noticing that they were a gay couple with out-of-state license plates, the police officer gave them a warning and then said, "You'll be better off when you get Vermont license plates."
Just a Suggestion
Year-round, battered women need safe shelter ["Shelter Skelter: Domestic Abuse Survivors Wind Up in Seedy Motels," June 3]. Year-round, the homeless battle the climate. Why are houses being demolished near the airport?
Eat, Drink and Buy Local
[Re Side Dishes: "Tapped In," July 1]: I see Shelburne Tap House is opening, and they're going to use local foods and have a variety of local beers. They plan to produce pulled pork, ribs, chicken and briskets, as well as homemade pancettas and chorizos. This is wonderful. Finally a tavern that is not cookie-cutter, with new and wonderful specials every day. I can't wait.
The story "Missing Mohamed" [July 1] presented a compelling case for the fact that our police and mental health professionals did everything reasonably possible to save Mohamed. Unfortunately, the extraordinary efforts of the police and therapists were thwarted by the drinking and self-destructive behavior of Mohamed himself. The harsh reality is that short of putting Mohamed in a 24-7 lockdown facility, which, as Dr. Pierattini points out, would have been a violation of Mohamed's rights, he was eventually going to be successful in taking his own life. Sad, but true.
What's in it for UVM?
[Re Poli Psy: "UVM: At What Cost STEM?," June 17; "Malone, N.Y., Hospital Embraces UVM Health Network," June 24]: The articles on University of Vermont/STEM and the UVM Medical Center network extending to Malone renewed my curiosity in the licensing of UVM's name to Fletcher Allen Health Care Partners for what appears to be no fee. It seems implausible that the FAHC trustees approved a major rebranding project that would result in no positive economic impact to FAHC Partners; spend $3 million to $5 million for no return on investment. Considering UVM's "incentive-based budgeting," it's odd that no fee or compensation was required for the use of UVM's name. What's the benefit to UVM for the licensing agreement?
UVM's statement that "this initiative will signal clearly to people in the region that they have access to a very high-quality health network" is an endorsement that UVMMC network care is higher quality than that of other health care providers. Over 15 years, the UVM College of Medicine has been supporting hospitals and practices across Vermont to improve health care quality — not just those in the FAHC Partners. While the UVM endorsement implies high-quality care in the UVMMC network, only a review of health care-quality data comparing practices or hospitals to others will reveal whether that's true or not.
Also, UVM is at risk for any blowback due to something untoward happening in the UVMMC network. In addition, what has UVM done to ensure the integrity of any health research/evaluation that includes UVM Health Network providers is maintained and not influenced by the UVM endorsement?
UVM and FAHC Partners are important health care institutions that have a unique and complicated relationship. Shining a little more light on it might be beneficial.