Regarding Judith Levine's opinions regarding the "Hobby Lobby" decision by the Supreme Court [Poli Psy, July 16]: She states, "Some women don't get the birth control to which they are entitled, and those women end up with a growing life they do not want inside their bodies," concluding that this is the only outcome. May I respectfully point out just three of what I'm sure are several more options:
No. 1. She may do the responsible thing and take advantage of the 16 other methods of birth control covered in the Obama plan and Hobby Lobby's to avoid the pregnancy in the first place.
No. 2. She could pay for an abortion or go to a clinic where they are paid for by others in the community who are not morally opposed to abortions.
No. 3. She could find employment where abortions are covered by that company's insurance.
The U.S. has enjoyed religious freedom since its founding, and people who start or own a business should have the freedom to operate it according to their values as the people seeking jobs are free to work where their personal values are honored.
Rooting for the Onion City
[Re "A Boutique Hotel Proposed for Winooski's Roundabout," July 23]: I'm not against the hotel, though I would heartily welcome a modest grocery. If the parking is solved — preferably underneath the hotel — it might actually give another reason (in the form of tax profits to the state) to improve pedestrian traffic safety (as would a grocery).Thankfully, the state is already planning to do work to modify the roundabout and, basically, put in place the engineers' original design. Winooski is a vibrant and eclectic area. Anyone who avoids it is probably doing a service to those of us who go there to enjoy all it has to offer.
Far From Nearings
[Re "Survival Mode," July 23]: My husband and I moved here in 1990 with a goal of providing for ourselves and three sons. Both of us were working at UVM at the time but are now putting all of our energies into producing our basic needs at Birch Hill Sugarworks in Jericho. Over the years, we have learned from our missteps in food production and land use and are now able to produce most of our food, fuel and shelter. We learned how to log, mill and build with wood from our land. Our hot water is solar in the summer and heated in a wood loop in our wood cookstove in winter. We have extensive rainwater storage, heat totally with wood — including one of the greenhouses that we built — and preserve food for the winter.
Using a method from the 1800s, we have a year-round egg supply with no refrigeration: a 10 percent solution of sodium silicate, "egg glass" is used to keep eggs, collected in the summer, fresh until January through March. We gained much information from our neighbors and are appreciative of their continued patronage of our farm products. Now we are in a position to help younger families who wish to learn how to take care of their needs.
Although preparedness is certainly a Vermont tradition, no one family enterprise or microcosm documented in popular literature is a definitive prescription for surviving in the future. Helen and Scott Nearing had substantial savings that afforded them the time to build infrastructure. Additionally, financial solvency depended upon their marketing savvy; their maple products were purchased by consumers in larger cities. Their Vermont neighbors, on the other hand, had to survive on much less and do more with tools and equipment that were available. These Vermonters, however, not only shared their knowledge with the Nearings but also became part of a cooperative network of neighbors. So the "prepper" in Charlotte must not fully understand the story of Helen and Scott Nearing.
From your description, his paranoia is certainly justifiable, but I hope that people will think of better ways to respond to challenges.
Ann Gnagey and Tom Baribault
Same Old, Same Old
If Bob Niemi wants to criticize Mr. D'Souza for loving America, he should at least be original [Feedback, "Odious America," July 30]. His Obama-isms are drinking from the trough. We who think are tired of what we have become. Look around and see what Vermont has become. Government is the only one that can do something for you.
Great job on the Daysies section; any nitpicking is merely personal preference. For example, I believe Luis Guzmàn should have cracked the top five for male actors. I think that Best Mexican should be renamed Best Mexican/Tex-Mex. How about a new category: Best Dinner for Two for Under $40, Tax and Tip Included?
Last week's Fair Game column misplaced Democratic Rep. Mike Fisher. He represents Lincoln, not Bristol, in the Vermont House.
A feature story, "Zeroing In," incorrectly attributed the design of a highly efficient mobile home to Maclay Architects. In fact, Shelburne-based Pill-Maraham Architects designed the project.