Kudos to Ben Eastwood for bringing up a point more important than the issue that was under discussion at the Burlington City Council meeting on October 28 [Feedback, November 6; “Last 7,” October 30; Off Message: “In Burlington City Hall, Eyes on the Ball,” October 29]. The whole point of having such a meeting is for residents to have their views heard and factored into the final decision. If councilors have already made their decision before the meeting and are simply ignoring those who have come to air their views, then we have not a democracy in Burlington, but a little kingdom. Whether or not they actually ignored people, they should keep in mind that apathy (or even the appearance of apathy) toward those they are supposed to represent is a danger to democracy. If they don’t care about those who have come to see them, when will apathy turn into feelings of annoyance, resentment and superiority?
[Re “He’s Got It,” November 13]: Dave Keller’s soulful sound is a perfect mix of tradition and innovation. It’s never cliché, always fresh.
The furor over the Cochran Road tower is justified [“Can You Hear Us Now? Richmond Officials, Residents Have Little Say on Cell Towers,” November 20]. AT&T plans to plop this 145-foot cell tower right next to a residential neighborhood, when they could easily move it a few hundred feet on the same site and not affect cell coverage, families’ hard-earned investments in their homes or the area’s natural aesthetics.
What, this $126 billion company can’t afford the extra wire? You’re damn right we’ll complain, as most would about the prospect of seeing an imposing 145-foot structure from their living room windows and an empty field next to it where it could be sited out of the way.
Check the facts before criticizing a legitimate pushback against AT&T’s site plan. We’re not against cell towers; we’re against a thoughtless, unnecessary and irresponsible act, and a problematic precedent for neighborhoods and related scenic corridors. Our hope is that we can alert AT&T and the state to the facts, and they’ll care.
A Closer Look
One of the scenes in Tara Goreau’s new mural at the entrance to City Market depicts a pig that’s about to get loose in the Swiss chard [“Making a Good Entrance: Tara Goreau Makes an Art Portal at City Market,” November 13]. It makes me nervous every time I see it!
For the reviewer to refer to the film Beloved as an “Oprah-ized” film about “indentured servitude” tells me he didn’t see it [Movie Review: “12 Years a Slave,” November 13]. The film, based on Toni Morrison’s novel, was poorly reviewed, I believe mostly because it was so visceral and disturbing, so before the time we were willing to engage the history of slavery on this level. Oprah brought it to the screen, but there’s nothing Oprah-esque about a story based on true events about a mother who murders her child rather than allow her to be sent into slavery, and about the vengeful little ghost who comes back to wreak havoc on the living. As I watched the film with my sister, we agreed that we had met that furious little spirit more than once in the classroom and in the courtroom.
Designing the Story
[Re “JDK (Re)Design,” November 20]: JDK Reinvents Itself in 221 Characters: Marketing man markets himself as design Jesus while firing his employees and hiring them back as contractors so he can throw out their benefits and have them pay for the building they work in. Local newspaper eats it up!
Both Sides Now
There is a huge difference between development and destruction [Last 7: “New Haven for the Needy?” November 20; Off Message, “COTS Plans Services and Housing Near Street With History of Fighting Development,” November 18]. To say that I, or my neighbors, are against development is like saying we are against breathing. Every house that is built, every new hotel or place of business that rises, is a form of development. Development is a natural and necessary consequence of an evolving city.
But picture this: A quiet, residential, family-oriented street finds it has two dinosaurs blocking either end — the already constructed and obstructing, trendy-sounding Packard Lofts at the north end, and the proposed housing development and day station COTS proposes at the south.
Add to that a more than occasional, often late-night, very loud party below: The city wants all-year access to as many events, concerts and competitions as possible on the waterfront, day and night, in all seasons, and will soon be building a state-of-the-art skateboard park that it hopes will draw thousands.
What do we have? Strangulation. Lakeview Terrace cannot absorb this; no street could. Just picture your own.
And another thing, Mr. Kelley: How dare you post the names and address and date of a private meeting of neighbors? This is invasive and intrusive. What are you, the real-estate police? For your information, our meeting was intended to make sure we were prepared to discuss our concerns with Rita Markley so that we did not waste each other’s time, but you have tainted it and stained us.
Pick on the other side for a change, or better yet, hang your head in shame.
An Eye on Walmart
I would like to thank Kathryn Flagg for the thoughtful and well-researched article on St. Albans “adjusting to” Walmart [“After a Decades-Long Fight, St. Albans Adjusts to Its Newest Neighbor: Walmart,” November 27].?She captured precisely the substance of what we in the Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth see as our mission going forward.?We will be watching Walmart’s impact on our community unfold, and sharing the experience with communities across the country and even across the globe, thanks to our ongoing relationship with Al Norman and sprawl-busters.com. In this way, we hope that we can encourage better behavior by Walmart in our community and caution other potential host communities, in real time, about the company’s damaging effects, as they occur.