[Re "Curb Sides," September 11]: Another important factor to consider in the design of bump-outs is the level of complexity they add to the blind and visually impaired traveler's ability to make a safe, independent street crossing.
Typically, a white-cane traveler, when arriving at a corner crossing, will line up perpendicularly to their line of travel to cross the street to their side. Unanticipated bump-outs not only make finding the actual curb edge for the crossing a challenge — when it blends to a wheelchair ramp farther into the street than expected — but, often, a rounded curb edge also complicates the process of lining up for a straight crossing.
There are local groups such as the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired that should be consulted, as these bump-outs must be designed to take the needs of independent, visually impaired travelers into account. And, to state the obvious, with cars and trucks jumping the curb at these Burlington intersections as described, all pedestrians waiting to cross the street, including visually impaired pedestrians, are at greater risk.
Over the Hump!
In regards to Thomas Prindiville's letter [Feedback: "Porn Problem," September 11] about the August 28 article "Come Together," I can simultaneously express happiness over the fact that Prindiville actually reads Seven Days despite his Pilgrim opinions of us depraved, animal-like humans, and sadness over his 17th-century hang-ups that were clearly handed to him by his obviously Catholic education. Hopes and prayers.
Incidentally, I went to Dan Savage's Hump! Film Festival and didn't go out of control once.
Jobs v. Lives
[Re "Century Armed: Vermont Importer's Guns Used in Mass Shooting," August 28]: Here's a question: What's worse, losing your life or your job? Here's another question: What's worse, losing a partner, parent or sibling to random violence? Yet Vermont lawmakers are having a hard time deciding whether they should make better gun laws or protect 100 measly jobs? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Isn't capitalism great? No more questions.
It has been six weeks since the last "Rachel Lives Here Now" appeared in Seven Days. I sigh every week when I come to Rachel Lindsay's former page and see ads. The absence of her voice is palpable. Seven Days gave up the opportunity to publish a voice that reveals Ed Koren sensibilities with loving irony for the next generation. Rachel still lives here now, just not in Seven Days.
Editor's note: Lindsay chose to stop running her strip in Seven Days.
Second Opinion on Slavery
[Re "A Sense of Holy Scrappiness," September 4]: The otherwise excellent article on Vermont's new Episcopal bishop unfortunately contains an inaccurate description of Bishop John Henry Hopkins' views on slavery. What Bishop Hopkins said repeatedly was that 1) The Bible does not condemn slavery; therefore it is not a sin; 2) Nevertheless, it is an evil thing and must be abolished; and 3) The best way of abolishing it is to negotiate with slave owners and persuade them to sell their slaves. Like Abraham Lincoln, he thought the slaves could be relocated to Africa.
That wasn't practical, but at least it showed a humane intention. It is not accurate to say that he "defended slavery."
So, so sad is my initial reaction to Mark Szymanski's letter [Feedback: "Enough About Addiction," August 28]. Mark thinks all addicts should not be saved. Sorry to disappoint you, but addicts are your neighbors, business owners, doctors, nurses and anyone you pass anywhere. I'm not sure you would feel the same if you were watching your son, daughter, brother or sister literally die before your eyes. I have seen this, and the pain is beyond comprehension. It's people like you who continue to see addiction as a behavior only. Behavior is the symptom, Mark; addiction is the disease. You need to educate yourself and step out of your little bubble in Ferrisburgh. I will pray for you today when I pray for my daughter and all addicts suffering and in pain.
As a retired spouse of a City Market, Onion River Co-op employee, I appreciate Don Schramm's comments and support for City Market [Feedback: "Cherish Your Co-op," September 4], but I felt his complaints regarding Courtney Lamdin's articulate and appropriate article ["City Market Rate," August 28] were lacking in fact and clear judgment.
City Market is an employee-supportive organization, from managers to CEO and board members. However, they are lacking in two important and crucial areas: salaries and benefits — specifically health insurance. A purchase discount for staff, helpful training, active community and customer involvement, respectful and supportive supervision, and some staff involvement in store policy and decision making are all meaningful efforts. But Lamdin accurately described some of the burdens City Market is unable or unwilling to address.
Is City Market responsible for staff housing, full health care and a Cadillac benefit package? Certainly not. It is, though, up to the company to arrange the very basics of employee support. In her 17th month at City Market, my wife was offered and accepted a new position. She's a highly regarded staff person who loves her work and her coworkers and is a City Market believer. She makes $12.40 an hour and has a VW health plan with huge deductibles. The health plan is geared toward single young people, sadly neglecting middle-aged and older workers and their dependents. We all hope management and employees can progress.
Arms, Not Farms
[Re Off Message: "Citing Email About Afterburners, F-35 Critics Want New Noise Study," August 29]: Why not make an air base on the dairy lands east of Swanton? There are fewer people to disturb, and we know that the farmers are whining about their low incomes. The farms are mostly disgusting, smelly and ugly. Selling to a new airport could bring them monetary relief. Just thinking...