Letters to the Editor (9/27/22) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (9/27/22)


Published September 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated October 25, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.

Respectful Reporting

I've been reading Seven Days for a couple of decades now, and I have to say "Upward Mobility" [August 17] is one of the very best stories I've seen.

The writing and the photographs were a fantastic humanistic portrayal of some people living in the trailer parks. There are so many stereotypes out there and so much dehumanization in regards to people living in trailer parks — to the point that I imagine it must be difficult to write a story such as this in a way that avoids playing into those stereotypes.

The article was handled in a documentary-style way that focused on the people, their lives and their challenges, all without undue editorializing, overexplanation or academic frameworks — and with great respect.

Bravo! Keep up the good work.

Greg Wallace


'Great Show'

[Re "Calling the Shots," September 14]: An aspect of Lost Nation Theater's Both Eyes Open, about Annie Oakley late in life, might deserve more attention. It was a great show — well written, directed and produced.

The solo acting performance by Maura O'Brien, however, was more than great, beyond superlative. For 95 minutes, she held forth, seemingly without amplification in a fairly large room, speaking in all directions to an audience almost surrounding her, expressing emotions, conversing with invisible associates and acquaintances, energetically circling the stage, commanding it with her voice and body. During those 95 minutes, she walked a tightrope without a net. As the only person onstage, she had to keep the theater alive, crackling with her energy, no one else's.

The first thing was to remember her lines. It's a basic assignment for any thespian with a spoken role in a play, of course. But O'Brien did so employing a broad range of feeling and memory, entertaining and engaging an audience, projecting and performing. Some of us believe we are capable of 95 such minutes at a summer picnic, a bar or a dinner. Yes, it would be a feat of nature to do so, but imagine how unpleasant for everyone observing.

In contrast, Lost Nation's production and O'Brien's performance were a triumph. Sort of amazing. And really delicious.

Ned Farquhar


Right Way Forward?

[Re "Friends Mourn Tony Redington, Burlington's Most Outspoken Transportation Advocate," August 25, online]: For the past six weeks, a group of residents in the Queen City Park neighborhood of South Burlington has been standing at the corner of Pine Street and Queen City Park Road passing out flyers, informing motorists about where Pine Street will dead-end at Queen City Park Road. This planned closing is part of the design of the Champlain Parkway.

The drivers who stop to take a flyer — about two in 10 — say they are angry that Pine Street might be closed. About a third don't even know about the Champlain Parkway. They ask, "What's happening to our communities?" and "What are the alternatives?" and "What can we do?" The flyers provide information about those alternatives with the Champlain RIGHTway project.

There has been no significant change in the Parkway design since it was solidified in about 2010. There is a better way, though! The Champlain RIGHTway alternative, as proposed by the Pine Street Coalition, would place a roundabout where Pine Street meets Queen City Park Road. Other improvements include adding additional roundabouts, wider walkways and bicycle lanes. The Railyard Enterprise Project would relieve congestion from the Maple-and-King-streets neighborhood by cutting over before Curtis Lumber. What a relief, hey!

If you want to get involved or sign the Champlain RIGHTway petition, please contact me at woodchuck37@hotmail.com or 658-9974.

Ron Krupp

South Burlington

Portraits of 'Perseverance'

I was delighted to see the recent Seven Days cover article on Melinda Moulton and her work to transform the Burlington waterfront ["Flower Powerhouse," August 31]. Thank you, too, for covering the passing of Tony Redington ["Friends Mourn Tony Redington, Burlington's Most Outspoken Transportation Advocate," August 25, online]. The Webster's definition of "perseverance" should list both Melinda and Tony. Both of them exemplify what individuals can do to make big impacts, leveraging their skills with public policy to create real, lasting change.

Tony started his roundabout advocacy from a position in state government — it was not actually his job — in the early '80s, leading to the first roundabout in Brattleboro and now dozens across the state. In his eighties, he biked Burlington, continuing to demand transportation changes that would put people first.

And I had the privilege to rent space from Melinda three times at 1 Main, participating for more than two decades in her efforts to bring Amtrak back to the Queen City. None of that was easy. But Melinda never gave up. And the vision is now reality.

We have a lot to thank her and Tony for! All aboard.

Richard Watts


Bring Back VPR

[Re "What's in a name?" advertisement, June 29]: The new name Vermont Public has fallen flat with listeners questioning, "Vermont Public what?" The explanation is that "public" is a noun, and the subject is "you," meaning all of us. Now, the last time I diagrammed a sentence was in middle school, some 48 years ago, but I am pretty sure that my English teacher would have had a problem with that.

I am dismayed that Vermont Public's response to its lousy new name is to say it once every minute or two during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." I have been tuning my radio to 89.5 for 40 years now. I know 89.5 is Vermont Public Radio, or used to be. I don't need to hear how each sentence uttered on 89.5 has been "brought to me by Vermont Public." It is kind of like encouraging people to keep sniffing a corpse flower because, after enough sniffs, it will stop smelling like a corpse and start smelling like dirty old socks.

Vermont Public still stinks to me, no matter how many times I hear it. I have actually started to listen to other stations on the radio just to avoid hearing it 30 times an hour. The other stations are really quite good, and there is a plethora of them on SiriusXM.

I suppose Vermont Public could do what Meta, another ridiculous name, did with its Facebook and Instagram brand names. That way, we could keep VPR and Vermont Public Television, and the big suits at Vermont Public could keep their new baby: Vermont Public what?

Douglas Friant

South Londonderry