HAPPY WITH BOLLES
I liked Dan Bolles’ short piece a lot — [“Not Happy? Blame Myspace,” January 14 ] really captured the feel of Radio Bean and the winter-weather-hindered show going we’re all experiencing right now. Rock on for getting out to see the show; [the article’s] assuming title, “Pretend You’re Happy,” made me a bit angry. I’ll use that as my excuse for not going out that night.
I was so happy that you took some time to devote space to our new fearless leader [“Obamamerch,” January 14 ] but was so disappointed that in your search for Obama items, you did not mention us. We are even in your classified ads, at www.2017old.etsy.com . We are local and are giving a portion of our proceeds to Heifer International. Let’s keep the positive energy moving.
Like Sue Shein [Letters, January 21 ], I, too, chose to get my home mortgage with Chittenden Bank because I believed I’d have local servicing. And I, too, am now feeling cheated and bitter that the higher rate I paid, and the good-faith effort I made to keep my business local, have been cast aside by corporate greed [Local Matters, January 14 ].
In 2004, I was a newly divorced, single mother of two when I had to refinance my house. Having been forced in the past to deal with mortgage companies that changed every six months, all with absolutely wretched customer service, I found Chittenden’s promise to keep servicing my mortgage very attractive. Though I could have found a better rate elsewhere, I chose stability and the security of knowing that I would be dealing with people in my community — not some faceless, distant megabank or shady, fly-by-night company.
Judging from the reaction I got when I called the mortgage-servicing center to complain about being suddenly being switched over to some company in Florida I never heard of (EverHome, yeah, right), they’d been getting lots of angry calls. I did some research online and found out Chittenden was sold last year to some bank in Connecticut called People’s United. Guess they didn’t think much of the faith and trust the “people,” like me, had put in a community-based bank.
It’s time to demand accountability, folks. My congressional representatives will be hearing from me.
SO LONG, SODA
About six months ago, I greatly reduced the number of diet sodas I was drinking [“So Long, Aspartame,” January 21 ]. Instead of three or four 12-ounce cans a day, I now drink three or four a week. I’ve noticed no difference other than a reduction in my grocery bill, and a lot less empty cans to take back to the redemption center.
GUV SHOULD CUT HIS PAY
I have been following Governor Douglas’ announcements of state employee layoffs [“Fair Game,” January 28 ]. He continually mentions that “we” all have to make sacrifices, and then defines how state employees must lose jobs and state residents must lose services. He has yet to mention what he will personally sacrifice to the effort. Governor Douglas is one of the 10 top paid governors in the nation. He earns over twice the pay of the governor of Maine (which has twice the population) and the same as the governor of Texas, which has a population exceeeding 23 million. He also has substantial meal allowances and other perks. Yet I have not heard him outline what pay cuts or perk sacrifices he plans to make. This lack of participation takes the “we” out of the sacrifice.
When difficult times hit, everyone must indeed make sacrifices. Yet, morally and ethically, the example must be set at the top and trickle down. When Governor Douglas announces a pay and perks cut for himself and his top executives, he may gain some credibility.
In our story “Judge Awards Lakeview Plots to Burlington Couple” [Local Matters, January 28 ], we stated that the Katsnelsons’ daughter, Alla, died in 2005. She died in 2004. Our apologies.