Letters to the Editor | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published June 1, 2011 at 4:33 a.m.

“Dangerous” Territory

I think your article entitled “Dangerous Liaisons” [Fair Game, May 25] was both gossipy and tacky. No one deserves to have private emails splashed on the front page of the paper. There is a difference between covering the facts of a story and deliberately writing to embarrass someone. I felt that your article was tasteless and mean. I would expect such poor journalism from the Burlington Free Press, but I used to believe that Seven Days had a little more class. I guess I was wrong.

Jen Ellis

Essex Junction

Ask the Right Questions

The legitimate concern of Vermonters regarding “Dangerous Liaisons” [Fair Game, May 25] is the question of who granted Michael Schultz a doctorate for that particular thesis project, and who decided this particular expertise was worth $155,408 a year, and when. Dan Fogel’s emphasis on a top-heavy administration, capital-intensive building campaign and out-of-scale athletic plan has damaged, and will continue to damage, our state’s ability to affordably educate our own. A casual, albeit titillated, reader may wonder at the fiscal as well as the academic-integrity questions that naturally occur as one reads the story. It would seem that these are the questions the public has a right to know about, and I, for one, hope Shay Totten pursues that path.

Tom Morley


“Point” of Clarification

I thought I’d take a moment to say thanks for the article on Rock Point in the May 18 issue [Work: “A Piece of the Rock”]. Unfortunately, you got a couple of things mixed up. Rock Point is owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. The Rock Point School is one of the many missions of the diocese on the property. The Episcopal Church runs the diocese from Rock Point and also operates a camp and conference center on the campus.

My employer is the church and not the school, though my heart will always be with the students and staff who call Rock Point their home. The campus is a resource that serves hundreds of schoolchildren — kindergarten through college — and because of its proximity to the city, it’s a resource for the neighbors who might look for an escape into the woods.

Rock Point has a rich history, and the school is an experiment in progressive and experiential education. The students who attend Rock Point come to the school for many different reasons. All leave with an eyes-wide-open education that included exposure to art, music, culture, service and tolerance.

Rock Point is a jewel in the crown of Burlington. If you come for a visit, get a pass, use a leash, pick up your trash and leave your bikes at the trailhead. Thanks again.

Chuck Courcy


Get a Rake

As a 24-year-old professional landscape gardener-designer, I was rather offended by the image you chose to feature on the cover of the Home and Garden issue [May 11]. As the effects of global warming become more and more evident, I question the decision to represent gardening with a power tool — no doubt a leaf blower. These machines use fuel and pollute the environment with toxins as well as noise pollution. I firmly believe that if you factor in the cost of the machine and the fuel, the damage to the user and the environment, and the lack of exercise of and possible related future health care expenses for the user, it is cheaper for all to get a rake. Please think about the subliminal messages of using this image for a gardening issue. Some of us promote and advocate organic, alternative methods with excellent results.

Robin Hall


Hall owns Firefly Farm Landscape Design.

Designer’s note: It wasn’t a leaf blower; it was a weed whacker. And there was a rake in the background. 

One Drug for Another?

The things Fred Holmes is doing for the people of the Franklin County area are great [“Bitter Pills,” May 4]. People who are struggling with addiction and need help now have a person that is willing to help them. But one thing he’s doing may be hurting the people of the city.

Holmes has two strategies to assist his patients with kicking their drug habits. The first is his personality. He doesn’t treat his patients as though they’re just another person he has to deal with; he’ll have an actual conversation with them. Holmes’ second strategy is Suboxone. Though controversial, the doctor continues to prescribe the drug to his patients. In reality, prescribing this to people may be helping them kick one addiction, but is, oftentimes, forming another. The article even states, “Suboxone is one of the most common street drugs in Vermont.” Doctors need to stop fighting drugs with more drugs.

It can be argued that not all of the people being prescribed Suboxone get addicted to it. This may be true, but the fact that people are getting addicted to the drug at all is not a good thing. Doctors should not be prescribing medications like Suboxone to help their patients with addiction. If people want to fight their addictions, using more drugs should not be the way to do it. Fred Holmes is a good man with great intentions; he just needs to find a new way to help his patients get clean and stay clean.

Kyle Noel


Try AA, Not Suboxone

I found your article “Bitter Pills” [May 4] and Fred Holmes very interesting. However, being a recovered person myself for 35 years and also having worked for eight years in the alcoholism field, I am curious why a doctor didn’t simply recommend Alcoholics Anonymous to these people who come to him for help. It is the best resource available. All meetings in Vermont are open, so you may bring anyone you want to a meeting if you are scarred or need moral support.

This is an immensely complicated illness that is physical, mental and spiritual. Professionals do not like to get involved with it because of the confusion of what it really is. The best experts in the case of addiction are the people who have survived it and are abstaining.

I would think that as an educated person, the doctor would be well aware of AA. There is a volume of misinformation out there about the disease of addiction, which, sadly, sends people who are looking for help in the wrong direction. Freedom from addiction can be acquired without any help from other drugs. There are just as many people today addicted to methadone as were previously addicted to heroin. Will Suboxone do the same thing?  This is a Band-Aid, not a cure.

Valerie HawkSpirit


Give Lockheed a Chance

Last month I traveled to Antarctica with an international group of renewable energy developers, financiers and policy-makers. I returned with, among many other things, a new perspective on the Burlington-Lockheed Martin cooperation on climate change [“Up In Arms,” February 9].

The expedition was led by Sir Robert Swan and his 2041.com organization, created to protect the Antarctic continent from development when the Antarctic Treaty expires in 2041. It is now clear that to save Antarctica — and us — from the worst effects of our energy use, action is urgently needed now, and on a scale unprecedented in human history.

Antarctica was heart-achingly beautiful, but also heartbreaking. We sailed through icebergs — the remnants of ancient ice shelves of thousands of square miles — that have broken up during just the last 15 years. We witnessed the accelerated glacier activity due to the warming of the poles, which is far greater than the globe’s average warming. We saw recently changed populations of penguins and humpback whales due to the late development of ice with the oncoming winter.

With us, a Lockheed technologist tested solar panels for an upcoming south pole expedition powered solely by renewable energy. No PR; just an effort to help inspire the world by showing that if solar and wind can power a polar expedition, it can contribute everywhere.

Whatever Lockheed’s motivation, from pure environmentalism to the search for future profits (probably better!), we don’t have the luxury to reject their help. Joining forces to work against climate change is a natural, and urgent, necessity.

Dean Corren


Flour Power

This letter is in response to the “Not So Local” letter to the editor written by Jodi Whalen of Burlington [Feedback, April 27]. Ms. Whalen’s letter focuses on a misconception that King Arthur flour is grown and milled locally. This misconception is not perpetuated by our company; rather, King Arthur flour promotes the fact that our flour is milled from U.S.-grown wheat.

We do strongly support the efforts of local Vermont grain growers to bring wheat cultivation back to the state, both in working with them to develop wheat with suitable baking properties, and in purchasing Vermont-grown wheat (in fact, we buy some from Ben Gleason, who was cited in Whalen’s letter) for use in our Vermont Grains bread — a bread developed in response to demand from customers wanting a truly local bread option, and as a way to encourage wheat farming in Vermont.

While King Arthur Flour may not be grown or milled in Vermont, all of our wheat is grown in the U.S. (not Canada, as indicated in the letter). And we are a Vermont-based company that is owned by our 200+ employees. These employees and their families support and stimulate the local economy. As someone who moved to this area from Minnesota to be a part of King Arthur Flour, I can say with great confidence that continued growth of this company will only help further develop the “passion, effort and, ultimately, livelihood” of area businesses, including grain growers, by bringing new people to the area permanently for employment and temporarily to visit the King Arthur Flour bakery, store and education center.

Terri Rosenstock


Rosenstock is the public relations coordinator at King Arthur Flour.


The title of last week’s cover story, “Choose Your Summer Adventure,” was inadvertently similar to Choose Your Own Adventure children’s books. The publication company, Chooseco, asked Seven Days to alter our title in the online version to avoid any confusion, which we have done. Our story was not based on that book series’ model, nor did Chooseco endorse it.

By the way, Seven Days published a piece about the Waitsfield-based company itself on June 25, 2008, titled “‘Choose Your Own Adventure Is Back’ … in Vermont.”


Last week’s story about the feud regarding storyteller Mac Parker’s film Birth of Innocence incorrectly stated the nature of a copyright dispute. We reported that Horace Williams purports to possess the only existing copyright of the original script of Birth of Innocence. In fact, Williams claims to possess the only existing copyright of the film itself.

In the same story, we noted that filmmaker Art Bell is working on the film. He is not associated with the film at this time.