I'm so saddened by Mark Syzmanski's letter, "Enough about Addiction" [Feedback, August 28]. He is apparently without any vice of his own. Two biblical passages come to mind: one says that he who is blameless can cast the first stone; the other cautions that we should be hesitant to point out the speck in another person's eye while ignoring the spike in our own. I feel so sorry for this man who apparently has no empathy for anyone else.
"Hooked" Deserves Pulitzer
Writer Kate O'Neill strikes to the heart again. The way she weaves painful and personal prose with well-researched information in "How Far Along?" [August 21] takes journalism to new levels. We may never know the number of people trapped inside the isolation of an addiction who feel less alone or meet those who have been helped and saved by this brilliant series. "Hooked" fits a number of Pulitzer Prize categories for journalism and reporting. I fully expect O'Neill will be getting one.
S. J. Cahill
I was disappointed in Dan Bolles' article praising Dan Savage and his amateur porn productions ["Come Together," August 28]. We have a problem in our country today with people being oversexed and unable or unwilling to control themselves. The fallout from this activity is plain to see: powerful men forcing girls into prostitution, molestation of children by people in positions of influence, sexual harassment and rape. The porn industry feeds this passion and is part of the problem.
There was a time, long past, when sex was for the producing of offspring and bonding of the couple in a committed relationship, but today it is simply an adult pleasure activity. This twisted idea has negative consequences, and, by publishing that article and praising Savage, you become part of the problem. Let's try to be part of the solution.
At What Price?
You say a $2,500 grant to buy 50 solar lanterns for the homeless ["Lighting the Way," September 4]. That's $50 each. But the picture in Seven Days shows a type of lantern commonly available for $10. Who is pocketing the money?
Editor's note: As the story noted, the Howard Center has not yet purchased the lanterns. The photo depicted an approximation of the product.
Your exploration of the delocalization of Vermont's media outlets ["Meet the News Boss," August 7] poses the question, "... who will cover town construction projects, community gatherings and high school sports?" as commercial news institutions continue to shrink or disappear. These hyper-local events will be covered by organizations that have been doing so for decades: Vermont's 25 community media centers, commonly known as public, educational and government access television.
Vermont's community media centers produced 18,000 hours of local programming in 2017, covering municipal meetings, school functions, sports, elections, arts ... the list goes on. As independent, noncommercial entities, they do so without influence from advertisers or parent companies. They also provide training and support for community members and organizations to produce their own content, providing a valuable platform to share messages.
Community media centers are facing their own challenges amid a rapidly changing media landscape and increasing telecommunications deregulation. However, both individually and through the efforts of their state advocacy organization, Vermont Access Network, they're working to continue providing these vital media connections to Vermont communities. Efforts include participation in a legislative study committee charged with finding a path toward sustainability — its meetings are covered by ORCA Media, Montpelier's community media center, of course.
Community media centers provide citizens with their most immediate and comprehensive link to the places they live, act as vibrant digital soapboxes, and facilitate government transparency and a healthy democracy. Centers in Vermont and across the country are working to secure their futures, especially in light of the struggles of commercial media outlets.
Christopher is president of the Vermont Access Network.
[Re BTV: "Getting In Gear," Fall 2019]: If you want to be respected and taken seriously as a media source that Vermonters can depend and rely on for accurate and truthful information, maybe you should get a better understanding of the state you are trying to appeal to. Morrisville is not in the Northeast Kingdom! Please do a bit more research before this information gets out to travelers from other parts of the country — and world!
Recycling or Not?
I was very glad to see this article in Seven Days ["Are Chittenden County Recyclables Getting Recycled?" August 28]. However, some comments gave me cause for concern.
Chittenden Solid Waste District general manager Sarah Reeves' comment that "We're very confident that the material ... is getting recycled ... it's in their best interest..." suggests to me that CSWD does not actually know where the stuff goes once it's sold. I too hope it's being recycled, but who knows? As recent exposés have shown, now that the prices have fallen considerably, a lot of it gets buried or burned, and the rest goes to poor countries that then do the same or worse — such as dump it in the ocean. Is there no audit trail of what happens to our recyclables so we can be sure?
The fact that "CSWD glass is crushed and ... used in engineering projects such as road building" says that our glass is not being recycled, at least not how I imagined it would be. Crushing it does not reduce the amount of glass we produce, although I'm glad it's not simply being buried.
It would have been helpful to have an outside point of view from someone who monitors the Vermont recycling industry. CSWD employees have a vested interest in presenting their work in the best light, but they might not present the entire picture, such as how much is going into the dump due to market concerns?
Thanks again for covering this important topic!