Letters to the Editor
Can’t Read the Calendar
We love the service Seven Days provides with listings of the week’s activities — who else but you? But please, please, please, two formatting changes would make it so much more user friendly: First, the dates on the edges of the pages are hardly legible, especially to us 50-plus-year-olds. Could you increase the font so we don’t mix up the current Seven Days with last week’s or last year’s?
Also, it is frustrating to be forced to look for a day’s event location and info on a previous date some pages back, in other words, referring the reader to a previous date’s listing for details. Even if an event’s info were repeated over more than one date, it would not cost the newspaper more than an extra page’s worth of listing space. Surely other readers besides us have been frustrated at not having the info printed on the date of the event. I wonder if some people have not attended events because they didn’t know what they were and didn’t have the time or patience to flip back through previous dates to find out.
Seven Days’ creative director responds: We would love to print the compete details of each calendar event, but we unfortunately do not have the space to accommodate this change. We’ve published the calendar in its slightly inconvenient format for the past 16 years and hope that our readers have grown used to the page-flipping routine. The page folios — page number, date — shrunk during our format change a couple years back. If we redesign our templates in the future, we will be sure to beef up the folio for the conscientious and weary eyes of our valued readers.
[Re “Occupy Lowell Mountain? Despite Court Order, Opponents Camp Near GMP Blasting Zone,” October 19]: Concerning wind power — making money is the name of the game, right? For instance, on the Lowell Mountain wind turbine project, Green Mountain Power will receive $44 million in federal production tax credits over 10 years.
I have two great ideas on how to make more money on the Lowell Mountains Range. First, sell advertising space on balloons or streamer banners (or both) attached to the giant wind turbines. This would give us the ability to see how we’ve made wind produce dollars. (And this would avoid the anti-billboard law.) Think of all those banner streams and balloons waving at you from every corner of the state!
My second great idea is to have a dead bird lottery. This would probably only be feasible during the spring and fall migrations. Here’s how it would work: Someone would pick a turbine, and you would bet on how many dead birds will be found at the foot of it in a given week.
To keep the lottery on the up and up, perhaps Green Mountain Power would volunteer to be honorary chairman. That way, it would ensure no underhanded business would be going on.
In my opinion, the state of Vermont does not have any idea of the actual Lyme exposure to the residents of Vermont [“Lyme Time? A Single Scientist Proves Vermont’s Tick Problem Is Growing,” December 7]. The data reported in this article is for test-positive cases reported to the CDC; the test criteria are very narrow, which produces many false negatives. There have been no tick collection projects by the state of Vermont, which in my opinion is really the first step in knowing what the exposure risk is to the population of the state.
Tick Tick: A Matter of Time
This is a very well written article [“Lyme Time? A Single Scientist Proves Vermont’s Tick Problem Is Growing,” December 7], and I applaud Seven Days for continuing to report on Lyme disease, as this is a very serious disease, particularly in its chronic stages. I’ve had this disease for eight years, and can easily attest to how debilitating it is. Lyme tends to be underreported, which is why it is surprising to many people that Lyme cases are skyrocketing in Vermont. If there are so many reported cases of acute Lyme disease in Vermont, imagine how many unreported cases of chronic Lyme disease there are! Your readers may not know this, but doctors following the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the CDC protocol are barred from reporting chronic cases for fear of losing their medical licenses. This is not right, and causes so many sick patients to be left in the lurch — no medical care and no compassion shown.
In talking about Orwell’s “Homage To Catalonia” [Poli Psy: “Is Greed the Enemy,” December 7], Judith Levine concludes that the anarchist commune did not survive — it did! Today the Mondragon worker cooperative federation in the Basque region of Spain is flourishing. Founded in 1941 on syndicalist (anarchist) principles, it employs 83,859 people in the areas of finance, industry, retail and education, and exercises full democratic process as a worker-owned enterprise. For instance, the compensation for its CEOs is voted on by all workers, not to exceed nine times that of the lowest salaried worker. It is currently at five times that amount, in contrast to the obscene compensation of American corporate gangsters. Also, Mondragon has weathered the EU economic maelstrom in better shape than most companies based on the bottom-line-über-alles-capitalist model. I’m not surprised that this extraordinary social-economic construct is not more widely discussed because it fundamentally undermines the lies of the neo-liberal gospel.
Shopping for Stereotypes?
I’m all for shopping local, supporting Vermont business, and learning about cool and interesting gifts I can get right here in the Green Mountains, but I’m getting increasingly offended by the stereotypes you’re tiredly following in your holiday Shopper features [November 23 & 30, December 7 & 14]. Dad is outdoorsy and sporty when he’s not at the office, Mom cooks and knits, girls like gossip and fashion, and boys prefer construction sets, rock guitar and skateboarding. Really?! Surely you must know — as I do — women who bike, guys who love baking, girls who grew up in love with their LEGOs and boys who were more fashionable than their sisters. I expect more from your forward-thinking, nonconformist publication. Guess y’all are, sadly, straighter than I thought.