Letters to the Editor
Hooray for Restaurant Week
Just wanted to thank Seven Days for sponsoring Vermont Restaurant Week [April 26-May 5, 2013]. We attended the “Real Cost of Local Food” panel, which was very informative, as well as having great food! It certainly raised awareness of our responsibility to support local foods in our restaurant choices and to encourage more use of Vermont-raised food. Hope to see similar events on your schedule next year.
In the May 1 “Facing Facts,” I saw that a recent important win towards LGBTQ equality got a little face time. I was surprised that this news received one line and that the news was presented as only being related to “gender-reassignment surgery” when it is so much more than that. This new guidance for insurance companies will have an enormous, direct impact on the lives of trans* people and their loved ones all over Vermont, and it is vital that they learn about this change. I know people who have had to go without medically necessary surgery or preventative care, like pap smears, for years because of the trans* exclusions in their insurance policies. The bulletin that was issued makes Vermont the fourth state — plus Washington, D.C. — to say that denying medically necessary care to an entire class of people is unfair and not to be tolerated. This was the culmination of much hard work from the Shumlin administration, community members, and a group of organizations and activists called the Equal Care Coalition. It’s a story that Vermonters can be proud of.
Couillard is the health and wellness program coordinator at the RU12? Community Center.
Just a quick word to Eva Sollberger — you did a fantastic job capturing Buddy and the amazing experience of riding his bus [Stuck in Vermont: “Buddy’s Bus,” May 8]. It was a home run. I’m in awe of your skill!
Money in Maple
[Re “The Vermont Syrup Rush is On, but Is Big Maple a Boon or a Bubble?” May 8]: The comment “Tapping causes a discoloration in the wood that can reduce a tree’s value to that of pulp or firewood” makes complete waste of spalted maple’s financial worth. That “discoloration” is highly prized by knowledgeable woodworkers. Some very high-priced guitar bodies are created from spalted maple. I’ve made a bed, tables, wine racks, business-card holders and picture frames from that incredible wood.
Spalted maple is created by fungus invading maple, as well as a few other woods. It creates gorgeous line drawings and colors within the wood. The tap holes themselves have been featured in paneling made from “worthless” 100-plus-year-old heavily tapped maple trees, creating beautiful tableaus of nature’s dark line drawings on the white wood of sugar maple.
To use such nature-created art as firewood or pulpwood is a sin only possible because so few are aware of the art available deep within a well-tapped, even abused maple. Give me your tired, no longer healthy maples, and I’ll sell you pieces with beauty you never imagined — for a lot of money.
[Re “On Burlington’s Lakeview Terrace, ‘In-Fill’ Housing Leads to Ill Feeling,” April 24]: I grew up at 111 Lakeview Terrace, as did my mother. Back in the ’60s, I played hide and seek with the neighborhood kids in the evenings until the lights came on. Twice our little street came under attack: first by the proposed circ highway, then by condo developers. It was my neighbor Lillian Carlisle who stopped both of those things from happening. She would be horrified by the monstrosity of the complex at the end of Lakeview Terrace. The other day I came around the corner by the back lot of the COTS building. As I turned onto Lakeview Terrace and confronted this huge wall that blocked the sunlight, I felt like I was a rat in a maze! While I was in the Navy, I had an opportunity to visit several large cities; they all seemed hell bent on building higher and denser buildings. I came back to Vermont to enjoy the openness of our landscape. Progress doesn’t always mean more.
Lost in Translation
I was surprised by a bit of illicit Latin in the latest Whiskey Tango Foxtrot [WTF: “What’s the point of giving honorary degrees?” May 8]. The common understanding of “WTF” was rendered in Latin as “quid irrumabo.” Irrumabo, for those in the know, is one of those words that is either entirely omitted from Latin dictionaries or, when it is included, is often translated into French rather than providing students with language a bit too colorful. It is actually a verb for a rather specific act, which, for the sake of decorum, I will decline to translate. It is apparent from the link on the article’s webpage directly to Google Translate that the author’s source was less than academically sound. Many a first-year Latin student has learned the truth about Google Translate: Its Latin is pretty terrible. How would “quid irrumabo” actually be translated? It is a question: “What will I...?”
Lock Them Up
[Re “Many ‘Prohibited Persons’ Still Have Guns Because Cops Have Nowhere to Put Them,” May 8]: If we were really interested in homicide prevention, these prohibited persons would be ankle-monitored or locked up. As your article points out: If they are going to murder, a firearm is a luxury and not a necessity. I have held the belief for years that, if you can’t trust somebody with a gun, you shouldn’t let them roam around free.
This is a great article [“Capoeira Packs a Punch with Dance, Music and Martial Arts,” April 10]. I am so happy to see capoeira and Fabio “Fua” Nascimento getting some publicity! He is a wonderful, welcoming person and, as highlighted in this article, runs a great class. I encourage anyone who hasn’t tried some of the classes at the North End Studio to give it a go. From “hot yoga” and zumba to the African partner dance kizomba and Brazilian capoeira, this studio really represents the world and has something for everyone!