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

Published August 14, 2013 at 4:26 a.m.

Feed the Poor

[Re Fair Game: “Wheys and Meanies,” June 26]: Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, broke with tradition by stripping from the farm bill the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — aka food stamps. What’s left in the bill is billions of dollars of subsidies mostly for farming conglomerates. The U.S. Senate passed a much more balanced bill last month. The farm bill sets U.S. agricultural, food, and resource conservation policy for the next five years.

Over the past 18 years, our government has doled out an average of $7 billion per year of taxpayer funds to support the livestock and dairy industries. Instead, their products should be taxed to reimburse state and federal governments for the uncounted billions in increased medical costs and lost productivity associated with their consumption. Conversely, a sound national nutrition program based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits and nuts can save additional billions in reduced social costs. I am all in favor of reducing our national deficit, government waste and medical costs. But that’s not gonna happen by taking nutritious food from the mouths of 47 million of our society’s least privileged members.

Bob Stanson


Tedious Article

I fail to understand why a difficult and unreasonable neighbor, i.e., Stuart Hill, is the subject of this tedious article [“Why the Son of Jasper Hill Has It In for the Greensboro Cheese Operation That Bears His Name,” August 7]. What is the purpose of the article, to generate sympathy for Mr. Hill or to suggest the Kehlers are bad people? If so, neither was accomplished. It appears the Kehlers have done everything possible to accommodate an irascible neighbor who refuses their generosity. Tough luck.

Ritch Berger


In Our Defense

Paul Heintz’s August 7 Fair Game column quotes anti-F-35 crusader James Leas saying that basing the planes at Burlington International Airport will destroy the health and well-being of Vermonters. Isn’t present-day terrorism in many ways destroying the health and well being of all citizens everywhere? The F-16s are very comparably loud, if not equal, but we need them and more sophisticated jets in Vermont to maintain air superiority in defense of this country because we’re so close to the North Pole and East Coast. The squabble over decibels isn’t important at all; what is — for Vermont and our country — is directing positive thoughts toward the best way to prevent any and all future attempts to destroy the health and well-being of our peaceful lifestyle that all of us take for granted on a daily basis.

Bob Prall

Waterbury Center

Rare Stone

I wanted to thank Amy Lilly for the fine article on the design for Landmark College by Edward Durell Stone [“Modern Landmark,” July 31]. I visited the college a few years ago and had no idea that it was a design by Stone. The aerial perspectival view you published is remarkable, as it presents the concept in its entirety and raise a few thoughts for archi-geeks like myself to consider. As conceived, it’s apparent that Stone looked south and paid homage to Thomas Jefferson’s design for the Lawn on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The defining features of both campi are: a large central building fronting a swath of lawn accommodating complementary “pavilions” connected by an interlacing colonnade — the latter of which are intended to provide cover from the weather. As with the rain (and snow), it seems as if Stone’s design fell from the sky — which is indicative of the midcentury modernist “all-at-once” approach. This begs the question: What do you do with such a thing as this? Over time, I hope that architects, landscape architects, and the users of the Landmark campus will find a way to preserve the ensemble while at the same time make this “Stone” their own.

Richard Silverman

Baton Rouge, La.

“M” Is for Melanoma

As a survivor of multiple melanomas, I was surprised to see the promotion of the use of sunscreen to prevent melanoma [WTF: Why does Vermont have such a high incidence of melanoma? July 31]. The jury is out on sunscreen’s ability to prevent melanoma. Cover up; don’t get bad sunburns. The most useful thing I learned about recognizing melanoma is ABCD. A-asymmetrical; B-raggedy border; C-multiple colors; D-changing diameter.

Lori Barg


Sun Saves

Taylor Dobbs’ “WTF” column [July 31] seeks to answer the question: “Why does Vermont have such a high incidence of melanoma?” I was sad to realize, however, that he never got to the heart of the matter. He comes close when he states, “Those who regularly spend lots of time in the sun are actually less at risk for melanoma than those who spend their days inside...” The mysterious carcinogenic element that Mr. Dobbs was looking for is this: vitamin D deficiency! People who tan (vs. burn) are more likely to gradually build their vitamin D levels. ?Plenty of research shows that one of the greatest correlating factors with cancer incidence is vitamin D deficiency. Please send readers to mercola.com.

Dr. Mercola has reviewed and compiled an incredible amount of research on vitamin D. He writes, “There is scientific evidence you can decrease your risk of cancer by more than half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with appropriate sun exposure.” He also offers a free one-hour video on how to do that. Our Vermont latitude means that our body can only produce vitamin D during the summer months and mostly only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Could it be that Vermont perhaps has a greater pattern of cloudy days during the summer than other states at the same latitude, making matters worse? Instead of “keeping your clothes on and your sunscreen handy” as Mr. Dobbs recommends, readers should be encouraged to research the subject, work on a gradual tan and optimize their vitamin D.

Morella Devost


Tacos Perfectos

In your recent review [Taste Test, July 31] of the “new and improved” Pacific Rim, you wrote, “In place of an appetizer, we started with an order of one of the new items — Asian tacos. Kogi BBQ food trucks popularized this fusion idea in Los Angeles in 2009, but Pacific Rim’s was the first iteration I’d ever seen on a Burlington menu (read about a second in this week’s Side Dishes).”??I hope the second is ¡Duino! (Duende)’s Korean tacos, which were on the menu when I visited there over a month ago.

Haley Mathis