Still Supporting Women
A recent article by Paul Heintz about the future of Vermont philanthropy ["Giving It Up," July 18] stated that the Lintilhac Foundation has shifted away from its support for women's health. Though our mission has changed over the years, the foundation continues to be devoted to women's health. Through our legacy-giving program, we continue to support the Midwifery Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center and its perinatal mental health services, as we have for many years. In fact, there will be a celebration this October of the 50th anniversary of the Lintilhac Midwifery Services at the UVM Medical Center and its half century of support from the Lintilhac Foundation and family.
Scoop Your Poop
[Re Off Message: "High E. Coli Levels Force Closures at Two Burlington Beaches," July 27; Off Message: "Making a Stink: Man Protests Burlington's Wastewater Dumps," July 26; "Muddied Waters: No Clear Solution for Burlington's Wastewater Problem," June 13]: As a resident of an upstate New York village, I'm concerned that all the City of Burlington can do about the pollution is to offer apologies. Isn't it about time that something be corrected? The State of Vermont is always on the bandwagon in regard to phosphorous. How about doing something regarding feces? This is our lake to enjoy, as well, and we're hearing the same old excuse time and time again.
Rouses Point, N.Y.
[Re "Hurricane Sandy," July 25]: If I were Sandy Lewis, crusader for antibiotic-free meat and purveyor of grass-fed beef, I'd immediately test my beef for its cadmium and mercury levels and make public the results. If the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's dire warnings against consuming livers or kidneys from deer and moose weren't enough, witness also the similar warnings at all boat launches warning of mercury in all fish. If these insane levels of cadmium and mercury are so high as to prompt warnings against consumption of wildlife that graze the same exact forage that this beef does, do we really think that somehow domestic bovine are exempt?
If I had a choice, I'd eat no beef raised east of the Mississippi — or, better yet, east of the Rockies — thanks to our insane coal burning and its heavy metal drift eastward, blanketing our fields, forests and waterways with these deadly neurotoxins. If Lewis really cares about unadulterated beef, he should test his cows, along with their livers and kidneys, for heavy metals now. Publish the results and warn the public so something may be done, because if it's in the meat and organs, it's bound to be in the milk, too. Wake up, people!
In Praise of Pro Fundraisers
[Re "Professional Fundraisers Keep a Large Cut of the Cash They Bring In for Nonprofits," July 4]: This story's narrow focus on nonprofit expenditures on third-party telemarketer-driven fundraising ignores the important role paid fundraisers play in communities and undercuts the value of a skilled position. While the focus on such a low-revenue organization is distracting, more concerning is reporter Taylor Dobbs' statement that the donations not directly allocated to the benefiting organization during paid fundraising activities "go to waste."
Fundraising strategies that deliver measurable and predictable outcomes depend on strategic, well-trained individuals. When I was a paid fundraiser between 2012 and 2014, my team was responsible for generating up to 70 percent of the organization's revenue at 26 percent of the organization's annual expenses.
During the same conversations I was having with my neighbors, asking for money to support programming for thousands of survivors of sexual violence, I educated folks on the issue, supported the implementation of prevention-based programming and connected survivors with our hotline.
My team was responsible for reaching 120,000-plus households a year. About one in six asked made a donation; most inquired where their funds were being allocated. I made a 43 percent commission on every dollar raised. Admitting this never stopped me from convincing one of my community members to write a check. And I hope it does not lead Vermonters to stop giving the next time a mission-driven organization that resonates with them requests a gift.
If we believe the services nonprofits deliver when the public sector fails are value-added, we should pay for the labor that makes those services possible.
What's in the Water?
[Re Off Message: "High E. Coli Levels Force Closures at Two Burlington Beaches," July 27; Off Message: "Making a Stink: Man Protests Burlington's Wastewater Dumps," July 26; "Muddied Waters: No Clear Solution for Burlington's Wastewater Problem," June 13]: Another week, another toxic untreated sewage dump in Burlington Bay. Recent reports show opioids in Seattle bay waters and in mussels living there. Test Burlington Bay waters after one of these dumps, and you may find that heroin addict urine is poisoning our bay, too!
Yet between Oakledge, Blanchard, Blodgett and North beaches is the tiny lakeside sliver of a beach by Harbor Watch condos, and the waters are full of swimmers from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. But there are no posted signs about toxic waters!
Stop blaming the farmers! The lake was healthier when Vermont's farm economy was at its peak, before wastewater treatment dumps, the opioid crisis, etc. There were hundreds more farms then; now many have closed.
Compare the number of farms declining to toxicity levels in the lake rising! It's the legal dumping of sewage, allowed by state and city, in the lake water everyone's swimming in — elders and children alike!