What happened to "Dear Cecil" — one of my favorite features?!
Editor's note: The column was written by the editors of the Chicago Reader and ran weekly in Seven Days for 23 years. Only a few papers were still running "The Straight Dope" when they discontinued it last month. We explained everything in our July 4 issue ["Straight Dope Calls It ... 45 Years"].
[Re Off Message: "Leahy: Trump's Supreme Court Pick 'More Than Terrifying,'" July 10]: Democrats in the U.S. Senate have little or no interest in solving our nation's problems and getting along with others to make our country "great again." As a result, they instruct Vermont's senior senator to oppose a highly qualified individual such as Brett Kavanaugh when the president names such a person to a very important position.
Bernard Keefe Jr.
Congrats to reporter Taylor Dobbs for setting the record straight on Sen. Patrick Leahy's inaccurate and hyperbolic attack concerning past remarks by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh [Off Message: "Leahy: Trump's Supreme Court Pick 'More Than Terrifying,'" July 10].
Kudos, as well, to Seven Days for publishing John McClaughry's letter on this matter [Feedback: "A Closer Look at Kavanaugh," July 25].
I am tired of all the fluff coverage given by most media outlets in Vermont on Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. I'd like to see a story on who has the better prescription plan — Sanders or President Donald Trump?!
It is pathetic that with such a near lock on reelection year after year after year, Sanders, Welch and Leahy can't reach across the aisle to work with the loyal opposition instead of just appearing to be the party of "no" and resistance.
In Vermont, we deserve better!
Robert B. Devost
Climate Leader Christine
John Walters' piece on "Green Christine?" [Fair Game, August 1] works hard to make Christine Hallquist's commitment and commendable experience in tackling climate change look questionable. The fact is, there is no other candidate for statewide office who comes close to her in the practical realities of taking action on climate change.
Hallquist has a strong record of delivering on this issue as CEO of Vermont Electric Coop, the state's second-largest utility. It's nonsensical to paint her as a representative of utility interests, as Walters implies, when in fact she spent the last decade focused on representing the interests of her co-op's members.
Hallquist is very clear about her motivation on energy issues. She wants to reverse climate change and knows the way to do that: Stop using fossil fuels and increase the use of renewables. She understands firsthand the complexity of the climate puzzle and has a history of effective climate leadership.
It's about time we have a governor who is committed to really fighting climate change.
Judging Suzanne Brown
Suzanne Brown is my choice for assistant judge of Chittenden County [story in this week's issue]. Why? It is because she is so well qualified to sit on the complex cases that come before the family court involving children and families. Brown has practiced family law for more than two decades, giving her real knowledge of how the court system works and its impact on families, particularly the kids. On August 14, we will vote for two Democratic candidates for assistant judge. Please give one of your votes to Brown, who will help our judges decide the facts, administer the county budget and work most effectively for Chittenden County families. Brown has decided to give up her law practice and go to work for the good of our community by running for this constitutional office. Please help elect Suzanne Brown on August 14!
Vroom for All?
I noted Robert Herendeen's letter to the editor with mixed feelings [Feedback: "E-Bikes Off the Greenway," June 20]. I absolutely agree that bikes go too fast on the bike path. As a polio survivor with significant disabilities, I find both the pace and all-too-frequent lapses of civility on the path disturbing and hazardous. That said, I do use an electric-assist bike, as I can pedal for only short distances. I also use an electric mobility scooter, and I use both on the bike path.
The late effects of polio can be quite disabling. I prefer the term "disabling" because the term relates to both the impacts of an event — in my case, polio — and the effects of social and political attitudes toward disabilities. In my experience, the most disabling aspect of most illnesses and accidents is the "ableism" of the temporarily abled. Most everyone will experience at least some period of disability in his or her life.
It seems to me that asking everyone who uses an electric-assist vehicle of any sort to prove they are "legally disabled" smacks of the worst sort of ableism. What about all the people who are disabled and have no legal classification?
I can only bike if I use an electric assist, and I know that to be so for others. As a community, we do indeed need a sane policy for the bike path. I suspect we need more policing to control poor behavior. We do not need more disabling of already compromised individuals and families.
The challenge of replacing a longtime nonprofit leader is sometimes referred to as "founder's syndrome." It's very tricky, and your article ["Search and Replace: Hiring New Nonprofit Leaders Isn't Easy," July 18] presented some great advice. What disappointed me, though, was the paragraph in which Nick Richardson said it's nice to have same-age counterparts with whom he can discuss the ups and downs of leadership. Did he really say that? As the new leader of Vermont Land Trust, he needs to be aware of ageism and anti-diversity inclinations. Older, more experienced leaders contribute invaluable diversity and wisdom.