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Letters to the Editor


Bones About It

Ken Picard did a super job in telling the story of the rediscovery of the War of 1812 Burial Ground in Burlington’s North End [“Lost and Found,” April 14]. It’s a complex, interwoven story of 200-year-old MIAs, a little-known chapter in Burlington’s history, archaeological methods and history-altering discoveries, and the importance of partnerships. Kudos to Ken, the great researchers at UVM’s Consulting Archaeology Program, and the City of Burlington! Many of us look forward to learning more and honoring the still-unknown soldiers and civilians who died in Burlington during what Ken called “America’s first forgotten conflict.”

Giovanna Peebles


Peebles is the Vermont state archaeologist.

Faulty Formula

[Re: “Open Wide,” April 21]: As a pediatric nurse practitioner, what I have observed since DHA and ARA have been added to [infant] formula is a virtual epidemic of gastroesophageal reflux disease. I do not think it is a coincidence! I must admit my bias, however, as a promoter of breastfeeding for over 40 years.

Pat Young

Sewell, N.J.

“Obscure” No More

In his article, [“Conscious Consumption,” April 21], Kevin Kelley characterized the former location of Home Ecology as “an obscure locale in the rear of an art gallery.”

Obscure? Yeah, well, sure, if you don’t bother to mention the name. Waste Free Living, now Home Ecology, started in the beautiful West Studio at Pine Street Art Works, Burlington’s only retail art gallery, at 404 Pine Street. Not really so obscure: Pine Street Art Works is rather prominent on Pine Street in the heart of Burlington’s arts district.

Liza Cowan


Cowan owns Pine Street Art Works.

Toughcats Territory

From a Fox Islander: Although we are happy that Dan Bolles has honored The Toughcats by claiming them as honorary Vermonters [“Reviews, Run to the Mill,” March 31], I’m afraid that back here in their own territory, we are too fiercely proud of them to ever let them be adopted by another state. We are happy to share, however!

Lisa Shields

North Haven, Me.

Another Take

It is important to understand the influence that Lou Soteriou, the acclaimed “spiritual leader” and silent partner, had over Mac Parker’s life [“Is Mac Parker the Hero or the Villain in His Film-Financing Drama,” April 7]. A “spiritual leader” asking for millions of dollars to impart [his] spiritual “wisdom” should in itself be a bright “red flag.” How could anyone with common sense and intelligence miss it? But, the same question applies to people who blow themselves up, or drink fatal Kool-Aid, or cook themselves in a hut in their quest for truth.

We should remember that evil is, at times, disguised as good and the draw can be intoxicating. A message that sounds good, coming from a confident and strongly charismatic personality, and especially coming from a person held in high regard, can have a powerful influence over a person’s thinking and, in turn, actions. I met this “spiritual leader” Soteriou, and I remember him using the word “outrageous” numerous times. I observed Mac Parker looking swept away by what Soteriou spoke about, which to me felt rather disingenuous and, frankly, theatrical. There is no doubt in my mind that Mac Parker is neither hero nor villain, but rather a very honorable, good man who succumbed to an outrageous man.

Sharon Gutwin


Gutwin is an investor in Parker’s film, Birth of Innocence.

Douglas the Destroyer

Vermonters shouldn’t really be surprised that the intrinsic values that distinguish our unique quality of life are seriously at risk, owing to the Douglas administration’s so-called cost-cutting attempts [“Fair Game,” April 14]. From his early efforts to “streamline” Act 250, to his current intention to deconstruct our mental health care network and dismantle regional planning commissions, Jim Douglas has consistently been willing to sacrifice human and social values for perceived business interests. As he finishes his last term, it seems he’s intent on finishing off Vermont.

There he was rooting for Entergy even as Yankee nearly turned our watersheds into another Love Canal. Meanwhile, he cut funding to our local mental health agencies so that unstable and potentially dangerous people are discharged without adequate care, or thrust on families who lack the capacity to meet their needs. It is inevitable that there will be (preventable) violence, followed by the demand for (expensive) incarceration.

Now, after cutting funding to aid local planning efforts, he is moving to deprive us of the valuable guidance and resources our regional planning commissions provide that help [encourage] Vermont sustainable rather than destructive development. It is widely acknowledged that Vermont’s rational planning under Act 250, as well as local and regional planning, have insulated Vermont from the worst of the present and recent recessions. Clearly, the legacy Douglas wants is to leave Vermont with an environmental and social lobotomy, with no long-term savings.

In the future, let’s remember that elections really do have consequences.

Barry Kade


Hope in Hsiau

I appreciate Shay Totten’s view of health care at the Statehouse [“Fair Game,” March 24]. It was inspiring to hear the testimony of Dr. Hsiau, who has designed successful health care systems for several countries. I believe there is help for Vermont, and it may be in the hands of this gifted man. Hard decisions have to be made, and change can benefit us all.

Denise Connally



Bobbi Perez, I feel your pain caused by an ad in this newspaper [“Feedback,” April 14]. As one who holds Jesus Christ very dear, let me offer another perspective. Many of us are offended by the sexual abuse of innocent children and subsequent cover-up of those crimes by the Church, the slaughter of millions of people in the name of Christ, the Inquisition, the Crusades, slaughter of indigenous people who refused Catholicism, the massacre of the Christian Cathars of France, the Vatican and Papal support for Mussolini and Hitler, the lies, myths, distortions and dogmas that the Church fathers have perpetrated on the world for almost two millennia. Read about the Nicea ecumenical council of AD 325, for example.

How many child-raping priests are serving jail time? How about the bishops, cardinals and pope who are documented as having protected and saved the offending priests at the severe expense of the children?

Don’t take my word for any of this; do the historical research yourself. Enjoy reading The Messianic Legacy by Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, or The Vatican Exposed by Catholic historian Paul L. Williams, or The Expected One and The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan, and many other historical accounts of the early Judeo-Christian “church.”

Anyone can still love Christ and at the same time be aware of the historic truths about his life that the “Church” considers to be heresy. If we blindly follow the mythic teachings and dogmatic fairy tales that are so frequently espoused by the charlatans and the false-prophets preaching Christianity, we miss the open-minded, open-hearted way of life taught by Jesus Christ, simply put: love and forgive.

If there was anything offensive about the ad Red Square placed in this newspaper, I feel certain that Jesus will forgive the offense and continue to love all parties concerned.

Don Kass



Ken Picard’s April 21 story, “Shelburne Farms Experiments with ‘Biochar’ to Clean Water and Revitalize Soil,” erroneously referred to “environmental studies” students from the University of Vermont who are assisting on the project. In fact, they are UVM’s environmental science/plant and soil science students. Seven Days regrets the error.