[Re Last 7: “Trigger Tragedy,” December 18]: When a dangerous situation occurs with a person in crisis wielding a shovel, don’t police offices have the shooting skills to stop them by aiming at the legs or arms — especially when the person is within striking distance? Must a person be shot in the chest or vital organs — and then two times more? What happens to individual human beings, on either side, really happens to all of us. How to make changes? Forgive?
Janet Bella Teachout
SEABA to Santa
While I realize that your article [“What Do Vermont Arts Organizations Want This Year?” December 11] was supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek, and knowing that funding for arts organizations is on the decline, we all have multiple items on our wish list. As the executive director of Burlington’s South End Arts and Business Association, a small, nonprofit arts organization that uses every last dollar to support artists and our creative economy, we have a wish for Santa that goes well beyond a new 30,000-square-foot building on Pine Street or a time machine: SEABA would wish for every resident in Vermont to purchase one piece of artwork this year, big or small, expensive or not, hang it or store it, in order to support Vermont entrepreneurs and the local economy.
Purchasing artwork can be used as an investment or to fill that ugly spot above your couch. Plus, it has an emotional attachment. Whatever your reason, know that when you purchase artwork, you are contributing to the betterment of our community, both financially and emotionally. What would Vermont look like without its creativity, its sculpture and murals, its many creative artists? Pretty bland, if you ask your fellow Burlingtonians. ?Arts organizations such as ours, and those in your article, do amazing work in their communities, but we would not exist if it were not for our creative entrepreneurs providing us the opportunity. Almost forgot, Santa: Could you also bring us some more South End Arts District signage?
My mother-in-law, Patricia Belding, beat Jessamyn to this back in 1996 [“Information, Please,” December 18]! Her book, titled Where the Books Are, which was referenced briefly in the story, includes a picture of every library in Vermont, along with its history, architecture and anecdotes. She and my father-in-law, Jack Belding, a semi-professional photographer, went to every single library to gather the information. She still has requests for copies of the book.
In the Drink
Thanks for picking my two favorite libations in 2013 [“The Year in Liquids,” December 25]! I stumbled into Sotto Enoteca, lured by the bar’s very sonorous name, on its opening night and of course ordered the smoked Negroni. I wanted to cry, it was so perfect: the copper cup (Is it really copper? Why?); the big, very hip ice cube; the strong, leathery start; the delicate, fruity finish. I just had another one on New Year’s Eve. It will make you smile — trust me. If it doesn’t, the impeccable bar staff will find the perfect thing for you — just ask. ?
And Eden Ice Cider’s sparkling dry cider! Of course, I am biased, as I do work at the NEK Tasting Center in Newport, but truly it was the best I tasted in Vermont this year — even better than my own several homebrewed ciders. You guys have great taste!
I enjoyed your article about Winooski Circle Arts and wanted to update you on their situation [“A Winooski Pop-Up Art Market Settles In to Stay,” December 11]. I was just there the other day and was told they are getting kicked out of the building on January 15! Seems that the out-of-state landlord wants a lot more rent than they can afford and basically told them to move out ASAP. Worst of all, there really isn’t anywhere for them to go and very little time to find something. So Winooski Circle Arts is not settled in to stay after all — yet another casualty of greedy development in Vermont. Sad.
Editor’s note: WCA co-owner Liza Cowan tells us, to the contrary, that a new location is very likely — and in Winooski. As of press time we’re waiting to hear where that will be.
Leahy’s F-35 Spin Machine
[Re “Plane and Not So Simple: Who Spent How Much Arguing For and Against the F-35?” December 11]: On December 3, 2013, following the F-35 decision announcement, the back-slapping between Sen. Leahy and his supporters had barely stopped when the spin machine started up.
The first yarn spun was Leahy’s comment that he had spoken with “dozens and dozens and dozens” of F-35 opponents. One of the most shameful aspects of the basing decision process was Leahy’s refusal to meet personally with those who would be impacted, in a dereliction of his responsibilities to Vermonters, despite the United States Air Force’s dire predictions of harm to residential neighborhoods. So it comes as a total surprise to me and many others opposed to the basing decision that he has met with “dozens” of us. (Leahy’s office refused a request to confirm names and dates of those meetings.)
The next spin was when Leahy spoke of the proponent’s “grassroots campaign.” But as Kevin Kelley’s reporting revealed, there were huge donations of dollars and great political and business pressure exerted through some of the most powerful private and nonprofit organizations in the state, including the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. These business interests applied enormous influence to minimize, dismiss and turn the public’s attention away from the environmental damages from the F-35s that have been predicted by the USAF.
Grassroots means “pertaining to the common people, especially as contrasted with the elite.” Surely the pro-F-35 crusade that was bought, paid for and delivered by the corporate and political interests in our state don’t deserve such a title.