Exercise Is for Everyone
Thank you for publishing the article "Outdoor Voice" [August 12] with "Fat Girl Running" Mirna Valerio's life story. I admit I am somewhat prejudiced against overweight people, and I am always delighted when I find compound information revealing how stupid my values can be. Valerio's experiences and ongoing effort to transition her health while inviting others to read about it along the way ultimately turn this into a success story for many. I love people who take life by the horns. I, too, cringe at how the exercise industry's use of beautiful and shapely models in their advertisements can make "regular" people feel crappy. Mirna has totally called them on it in her blog and through other means by which she confronts the corporatization of exercise.
'MOTEL' Sign Should Go
[Re "No Vacancy," August 5]: The real estate broker and co-owner of the long-shuttered Midtown Motel on Burlington's Main Street, Jeff Nick, is quoted in the story as supporting the city's built vision for his properties, saying, "It's a golden opportunity to have a grand entrance to the downtown."
I would regard that statement as less disingenuous if only he were to remove that black canopy with its five-foot white letters, "MOTEL." It's not a motel, and it's long overdue. If there has ever been a more erroneous, useless and ugly "eye-bait" along the main entrance to our downtown for the past 15 years, I'd be hard-pressed to name it.
I stayed for what seemed like a week one night in the Midtown in 1989, and to help cure my flashbacks I can't wait for at least the sign to come down!
Greg Epler Wood
Better Voting Instructions
Wasn't surprised one bit to hear that a lot of people got confused and messed up their ballots ["Bungled Ballots," August 19]. Vermont needs to quickly produce a TV ad with clear instructions on how to vote by mail. That ad then needs to be run on local TV stations and all the public access channels as incessantly as politicians broadcast their campaign ads.
'Be More Like Lowe's'
As you reported over a year ago, the City of Burlington changed zoning in the South End to allow a music venue to be developed [Off Message: "South Burlington Council Wanted a Say in Burlington Zoning Change," June 19, 2019]. As the project moves forward, Burton Snowboards and Higher Ground appear to be unwilling to adapt their plans to fit into the neighborhoods ["Neighbors Enlist Sound Experts, Lawyers to Fight Burton's Concert Venue," August 12].
They have not proposed any meaningful mitigations for the noise they will make, nor the traffic! For such hip, so-called community-friendly businesses, they are not coming through! When Lowe's moved in, they worked with the neighborhoods, including Queen City Park, to make things work for all of us.
It is more than unfortunate that Burton and Higher Ground are so heavy-handed and unwilling to deal with the traffic and the noise they will inevitably make, which will make the surrounding neighborhoods noisy and congested. As one of the developers from Higher Ground was quoted as saying in your article, when a project was proposed for his backyard, "While we are totally in favor of good mixed use zoning ... we also need to have our homes and neighborhood considered and respected."
We are seeing no evidence of this from Burton and Higher Ground. Perhaps they could be more like Lowe's?
Ashe Turned Off Voters
[Re Off Message: "Zuckerman to Face Scott in Governor's Race, Gray Upsets Ashe for LG," August 11; "Gray, Ashe Take Heat During Democratic Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate," July 16]: Just in case Tim Ashe wonders why he suffered such a humiliating loss to Molly Gray, I'll offer him one reason.
We watched his performance on television and, although Ashe is a most qualified and experienced legislator, he came out as arrogant and condescending, and he made disparaging comments about Gray. He sounded like a typical male chauvinist.
We were immediately turned off, as were several of our friends.
There should be a lesson there.
Henri de Marne
Voters Chose Wrong LG Candidate
[Re Off Message: "Dems Rally Around Primary Winners, Criticize Scott," August 13]: In reference to the Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial primary: As voting Vermonters chose the groomed, no-experience candidate over the independent-thinking, established candidate with tried-and-true experience — well, then, I think we may have a bigger problem than the coronavirus pandemic.
Wants v. Needs
[Re Off Message: "Vermont Schools Face Shortage of Teachers for In-Person Learning," August 4]: We all want schools and businesses to open and things to get back to as near to normal as possible. What we need to do is listen to the scientists and actually use our common sense to guide us, rather than our self-serving wants or listening to self-serving government officials. If government offices cannot be open to in-person, why on Earth would we put our precious children in harm's way and make them "test cases" by even talking about opening schools just yet? We all know they are the biggest germ carriers on the planet!
When did politics become more important than human lives? Who cares what's open when people get sick and die? What's left to learn when people start getting sick again? How stupid have we become? When did schools get tasked with becoming a medical facility? When did this selfish society stop caring about school staff?
These people did a fine job with remote learning, and guess what? It will just have to do until a vaccine comes out. We all know President Trump doesn't care. The question is: Do you?