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

Published July 10, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.

Name Blame

I’m looking forward to the name game series this summer. I enjoyed the first story [“What’s in a Name? The Origins of ‘Burlington,’” July 3], but did want to mention that the author of Vermont Place Names is Esther Swift, not Smith, as stated in the article.

Tom Kimball


In ’Toon

Congratulations on your cartoon issue [July 3]! One hundred years ago, before the technology had been developed to allow newspapers to publish action photos from the previous day’s baseball games, cartoonists like Wallace Goldsmith of the Boston Globe illustrated the action to give fans a sense of what it was like to be there.

Your cartoon restaurant review [Taste Test: Juniper], the likes of which I’d never seen before, reminded me of this. By coincidence, I’d been to Juniper the day before I saw the cartoon, and the illustrations were spot-on.

I look forward to seeing more innovative uses of cartoons in Seven Days.

Tom Simon


Guilty of Dogslaughter

Congratulations on your terrific animal issue [June 26]. It was informative and enjoyable. What I noticed missing was the very important information on a Vermont law titled Confinement of Animals in Vehicles, VSA Title 13, Chapter 8, Section 386. It states, “A person shall not leave an animal unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health or safety of the animal.”

Recently, a tragic and horrific death occurred in a Colchester school parking lot. Ace, a 7-year-old greyhound, and another dog were left in a locked and closed vehicle for five hours. The temperature outside was almost 90 degrees, creating an in-car temperature of 120-plus degrees. We know this helpless dog died an unbearable and painful death. These conditions cause brain and organ failure.

The dog’s owner was criminally charged for animal cruelty by the Colchester Police Department. The defendant pled not guilty at the arraignment. Does she think this absolves her of what she did? Ignorance is no excuse. The court must find her guilty and hold her accountable for causing the suffering and death of Ace.

Scotti Devens


Devens is executive director of Save the Greyhound Dogs.

Never Said It

Seven Days published an article last year [“Who Is Lenore Broughton?” October 17] wherein author Andy Bromage alleged, based on an interview with Burlington Telecom interim general manager Stephen Barraclough, that the Burlington Telecom Cable Advisory Council “wants to remove Free Speech TV — a left-leaning network that broadcasts shows such as ‘Democracy Now!’ — from Burlington Telecom’s lineup.” He went on to say that Barraclough added, “That’s simply not going to happen.”

We take exception to this allegation, as it is factually not true. The current CAC had no role in BT’s carriage of Free Speech TV. This CAC learned only during our January 2012 meeting that Free Speech TV was added to BT’s channel lineup. Since I’ve been chair, Free Speech TV has not been an agenda item for this CAC. Nor has this CAC discussed BT’s carriage of Free Speech TV or taken a position either for or against that carriage.

To avoid public confusion, we asked Mr. Barraclough to clarify his position for Mr. Bromage so a retraction or correction could be published. Mr. Barraclough responded in a November 30 email by saying, “I will not participate further in this conversation.” Therefore, this letter serves to set the record straight. This CAC has never taken the position that we want to remove Free Speech TV from BT’s channel lineup, nor has this CAC ever done nor said anything that should give anyone that impression.

Jeffrey Kaufman, M.D.

Sandy Baird

Lenore Broughton

Michael McGarghan


Kaufman is chair of the Burlington Telecom Cable Advisory Council.

Powerful v. Powerless

Thanks much for the article “How Gov. Peter Shumlin Built a $5 Million Real Estate Empire” by Paul Heintz in the June 19 edition of Seven Days. Since I have met both contestants in the now infamous East Montpelier land deal, I will refrain from commenting on the facts of the transaction that have come out in the press.

Since this deal became public, I have often wondered what would have happened if Gov. Shumlin had been someone else instead of the person who resurrected the Putney Tavern building. What would have transpired if Gov. Shumlin had been an a even bigger real estate tycoon, or a developer, or even a different Vermont governor coveting Mr. Dodge’s land? Might Mr. Dodge have been easier prey for the far less scrupulous? Would we all have learned again what being fleeced really means, something like what Wall Street did to us back in 2008?

The answers, of course, will never be known. With luck, the two parties involved can reach a mutual agreement. Perhaps, too, some lessons can be gleaned from this episode about the nature of our views of the relationship between the powerful and the powerless.

Walter Carpenter


Playground for Predators

[Re “Vermont Police Take Hands-Off Approach to Investigating Massage-Parlor Prostitution,” June 12]: Vermont law enforcement mentions in this article that they are not sure how to handle this, and they didn’t charge the women, as they feel it might be trafficking. The women are working by choice because there are no jobs that pay wages they can live on. I spoke at Rutgers University last November on sex work for a human sexuality class. I participated in the upcoming documentary American Courtesans. I am presenting at the Desiree Alliance Conference in Las Vegas in July and will spend another five days networking and learning from activists all over the world. Criminalization has created the perfect playground for predators (sorry to say, many are bad cops) that rob, rape, exploit, threaten and murder sex workers.

Bella Robinson

Providence, R.I.

Robinson is a sex-worker activist, researcher and educator.

Pedal Power

Your recent “Straight Dope” column [June 19] about potentially harnessing the power generated in a gym reminded me of the British TV show “Bang Goes the Theory.” In one special episode they tried to power an average household for 12 hours by having 80 bicyclists in a nearby gym pedaling for their lives. It convincingly showed how much energy we consume every day without even thinking about it. The special is called “The Human Power Station” and can be found on YouTube.

Oliver Dienz