I read with delight "The New Vermonters" [September 9]. My husband, Paul, and I moved to Vermont in 2013 after many years as residents of Massachusetts. We fell in love with Vermont after one of our kids attended and graduated from the University of Vermont and stayed in Vermont. We had been spending lots of time here on visits from her college days, now almost 20 years ago. It's a perfect fit for us. The pace, compared to Massachusetts, is incredibly slow, which we love. We have never looked back. And now, with the pandemic, we are so glad to live in a state that gets it.
Thanks for an uplifting article.
I'd love to address Maureen Cross' story in "The New Vermonters" [September 9]. While I'm thrilled that Cross is finding celebrity for conveying her utterly tragic misadventure in Vermont, it sounds to me like she moved here for all of the wrong reasons.
Her depiction of Lake Champlain as feeling "sterile" sounds a lot like one of those over-the-top one-star Yelp reviews for national parks that went viral. Being somebody from the New York City area who has also traveled across the country and through 21 national parks, I can firmly state that Lake Champlain is one of the prettiest lakes in the country.
Like Cross, I also own a husky-malamute mix, but I always have him leashed on walks. In fact, I get frustrated with owners who walk their dogs unleashed.
Additionally, perhaps her old friends didn't want to socialize a ton because of the deadly pandemic? Everyone's social life has been impacted across the country — not just Vermonters'. Cross strikes me as the type of person who moved up here to recapture some nostalgia but was disappointed to learn that the city had changed from 16 years earlier.
Here's what it boils down to: Everyone has his or her own tastes, and Vermont isn't for everyone. My experience moving here from New York 11 years ago, however, couldn't have been any more different from Cross'.
[Re Off Message: "Seven Days Files Open Meeting Complaint Against Burlington City Council," September 11; "Burlington City Councilors Admit to Violating Open Meeting Law," September 15]: Thank you for speaking out about open meeting laws on our behalf. I have been alarmed that there has been no action for illegal use of Battery Park by protesters camping overnight.
I have been alarmed that protesters have blocked a major street.
I have been alarmed seeing a video with angry yelling and banging against the entrance of the police department.
I feel that we are being held hostage by individuals who are breaking laws others would be arrested for.
Of course Black lives matter. Yes, there needs to be increased awareness about judicial handling of inappropriate behavior when it occurs. But the behavior I am witnessing feels like jumping aboard the national freight train of protest for legitimate grievances that are quite different from local identified abuse.
Go ahead and protest, but do not block access for families wanting to socialize in the park and city streets that need to be open to all of us. Respect for all, please.
Mary Ann Ficociello
[Re Off Message: "Republicans Sue to Block Condos' Mail-In Voting Plan," September 9; "Judge Dismisses GOP Challenge to Vermont's Mail-In Voting Plan," September 16]: The Vermont Republicans' federal lawsuit over universal mail-in ballots in Vermont is sickening. Former representative Robert Frenier is quoted in your article as saying, "The vote is very sacred." If he believed that, he wouldn't be party to this suit, which attempts to interfere with Vermonters' ability to vote — and attempts to cast doubt on the results.
"[David A.] Warrington and [Deborah] Bucknam assure that their motivations for the lawsuit are not partisan," states your article. They are lying. Their motivation is absolutely partisan, and these bad actors who are trying to destroy our democratic process are examples of unethical people using the same dirty tactics being used all over the country by the "Republican" Party.
Veto Speaks Volumes
The article headlined "Vermont House Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Climate Bill" [Off Message, September 17] says that it is the second time this session the House has voted to override a gubernatorial veto. What I remember clearly is that Gov. Phil Scott has a history of being divisive, not working across the aisle and keeping council with his funders — out-of-state Republicans, as reported, for example, in ["Backseat Driver? In Gov. Phil Scott's Administration, Chief of Staff Jason Gibbs Takes the Wheel," October 10, 2018]: Scott's veto was unpredictable, just like when he vetoed past state budgets.
The Global Warming Solutions Act is not a perfect bill, but it is supported by our legislature. The urgency of the climate crisis is one reason of many I am supporting Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman for governor. He has policy proposals that grow the green-energy sector in the context of our state, including care for the energy burdens of working-class and senior Vermonters. In fact, this is why he is running for governor.
[Re Off Message: "Vermont Lawmakers Strike a Deal on Retail Pot Bill," September 16]: Vermont continues to negotiate S.54 based on the assumption that overall THC content is indicative of potency. Yes, we have thought this for a while, but it's totally wrong. Don't take it from me; please go do your homework. There is a mountain of recent scientific data that confirms long-established anecdotal trends that say potency is an overall function of the entourage effect, with THC playing only one role. Breeders have been saying this for years.
There are some 7 percent THC strains that will "intoxicate" far more than some 22 percent THC strains. Sorry to be the one to tell you! The link between the anecdotal and the clinical should catch the eye of anyone using, selling, buying or making laws about cannabis. Yes, it flies in the face of every single cannabis law, platitude, data point, scare tactic and assumption, but get over it, because they're incorrect. As for the roadside tests, a 2019 University of Sydney study found that roadside THC saliva tests are "wildly inaccurate," with an average of roughly 16 percent false negatives. Happy legalization.