Last week’s article [“Seniority Rules,”  March 20] included a pull quote from Chris Graff — “He is where no Vermonter has ever been” — referring to Sen. Leahy’s ascent to president pro tempore. How could you forget one of Cornwall’s most famous sons, Solomon Foot, who served as senate president pro tempore from 1861 to 1864? As a proud Cornwallian, I couldn’t let his accomplishment be ignored. And how about George Edmunds of Richmond, president pro tem 1883 to 1885, and Stephen Bradley of Westminster, president pro tem from 1801 to 1803 and 1807 to 1809? All the credit goes to Wikipedia.
St. Mike’s Man
I was pleased to read your insightful story on Sen. Patrick Leahy [“Seniority Rules,” March 20] and wanted your readers know he got his start earning a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College.
Lindau is marketing and communications director of St. Michael’s College.
What’s the Deal?
[Re “For a North Country Paper Mill, Natural Gas Could Be a Lifesaver,”  March 20]: So the headline says natural gas could be a lifesaver, implying that International Paper is dying. Later, writer Kathryn Flagg says IP weathered the recession all right and is now hiring. Why would natural gas be a deal breaker, then?
And the big question is: Why should Vermont be the way they get the gas instead of through New York? The cost versus the number of residences and businesses that will be hooked up in Vermont does not compute. This has got to be about getting that easement in place. Vermont Gas — a division of Gaz Métro, which is a division of Enbridge — wants more pipeline so they can hook up to the grid of pipelines across the U.S., thereby increasing demand and prices. Bye-bye, cheap gas. And who gets to subsidize this pipeline? Ratepayers and landowners who will be forced to host it.
Paper Mill Should Pay
The IP mill seems to benefit greatly from Lake Champlain water, using 14 million gallons per day, “treating” it and then returning it to the lake [“For a North Country Paper Mill, Natural Gas Could Be a Lifesaver,” March 20]. Now they want to run a natural gas pipeline under it. Lake Champlain is in dire straights with phosphorous and other pollution problems. Shouldn’t IP contribute financially in a large way toward the efforts that are being made to clean up the lake?
No Wait at Asiana House
We had one shot to try the new Asiana House in Montpelier [“Inland Fish,”  March 20] and, despite the concerns expressed in your review, decided to try it. We hit it without a reservation at 7 p.m. on a busy Saturday night. What we found was hospitality, comfortable space, instant seating and great service. The food, as you stated, was absolutely fantastic. So all in all, it was great! Thanks for the heads up.
Greg Van Houten
I was disappointed to read Ken Picard’s article, as it seems slanted to the anti-gun side [Re “In Franklin County, a Global Arms Dealer Quietly Makes a Killing,”  January 23]. His reference to military assault weapons is incorrect. An assault weapon must have the ability to fire in the fully automatic mode. The rifles that Picard refers to are not assault weapons, as they are semi-automatic only. Picard also makes mention of supposed illegal arms deals without making mention of the “Fast and Furious” affair. I would like to see that question posed by the U.S. Congress answered.
You have one fine replacement for the jazz host [“Going with the Flow,”  September 19, 2012] on Vermont Public Radio! I had the privilege of enjoying Reuben’s uniqueness when he managed our classical music workshop in Lyndonville. He shared his rich personality with us, broadening our horizons with his kind ways and reading his poetry and encouraging us to try our hand at this less-developed part of ourselves. We loved him and know he will be appreciated wherever he decides to spread himself.
Had Ken Picard’s article, [“Rental Health,”  March 13], appeared next week, I would have been sure that it was an April Fool’s joke. Is he serious when he describes the one-bedroom apartments in the new building on North Avenue renting for $1300 a month as a “bargain”? What planet is this guy living on, and can I live there, too?
Then again, maybe he is writing this article for the average Seven Days reader. I don’t have the demographics on this paper’s readership, but I am a regular reader who, based on this article, cannot relate to his perspective of this state’s overpriced rental market.
With a vacancy rate that is one of the lowest in the country, Chittenden County is a “landlord’s market” that allows these businessmen and women to gouge renters for living spaces that are, from what I’ve seen, barely livable. In this landlord’s market, not only are rentals overpriced, but the situation allows them to use their leverage to charge extra monthly fees and even raise rent for tenants who happen to appreciate and care for the furry, four-legged companions so many of us love.
Interestingly, in the same week this article appeared, two local housing agencies announced cuts to their programs. These cuts lower the amount of the subsidies that they will allow for recipients of Section 8, effectively making it ever more challenging for some renters to secure decent housing. In light of these observations, I believe Ken Picard’s article would be more aptly titled “Rental Illness.”
Pipeline’s a Problem
There is nothing natural about the gas or the pipeline to go under Lake Champlain [“For a North Country Paper Mill, Natural Gas Could Be a Lifesaver,” March 20]. The gas comes from fracking, and the pipeline will destroy communities. The whole thing is an environmental disaster.
Protect Our Food
One of my favorite things about Vermont is the food. I love knowing where my food is coming from, which is why I have a CSA share, enjoy going to restaurants that feature local options like the ones in [Side Dishes, “Leftover Food News: Woodstock Food Gets National Press; Locavore Group in Burlington,” January 30] and try to buy local foods. Vermont’s locavore movement demonstrates how important farmers are to our communities.
Not only do Vermont farmers need our support through our decisions to eat more local foods, but also in our efforts get genetically engineered foods labeled [“Who’s Trying to Kill the GMO Bill?” February 27]. Oftentimes farmers that do not meet organic standards but chose not to use GE ingredients have no way of distinguishing themselves from genetically engineered products. Although the labeling of GMOs has a lot of support amongst Vermonters, big chemical companies have blocked past efforts to enact labeling laws in Congress and the Vermont legislature.
The principles of the locavore movement go beyond just supporting our local farmers; it is about connecting with our food, knowing where it is coming from and what is being put into our bodies. Having GE foods labeled would work to strengthen this. We as consumers need to fight for our right to know what is in our food. I urge consumers to contact your legislature to let them know where you stand on our GMO labeling rights.
In last week’s food story, “Paint It Black,”  writer Alice Levitt gave the subject a little more credit than he deserved. Hinesburg cattle farmer Paul List is indeed a violinist, but he did not play on a 1997 album of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. He “interpreted the music” and produced the CD with the late pianist Susan Halligan.