I think Sen. Leahy is the real rock star, with his second cameo in Batman [Fair Game, “Spending Like a Brock Star,”  July 18]! Leahy, Welch and Sanders are more concerned with “keeping” their jobs than “doing” their jobs! Randy Brock is the epitome of an honest, intelligent, successful man who genuinely wants to help Vermonters by doing his job as a former army officer, business owner, investment banker, auditor and senator. No cronyism in his résumé.
Bikes and Bucks
[“Rails or Trails? New Yorkers Clash Over the Future of an Adirondack Train Line,”  July 18]: While the scenic railroaders have made a great effort, the corridor is too valuable to the region’s economy to continue the minimal benefit and huge expense to taxpayers. A recreational trail on the railbed would be an economic and lifestyle game changer for the area.
Eagle Bay, N.Y.
Next Up: Canada?
Kudos. Youse guys musta turned ’round and noticed there’s a whole friggin’ other state across the lake. Great stuff in the Adirondack issue [July 18]. Guess what? There’s a whole nutha country to the north! How about a Canadian issue? Encore une fois, s’il vous plait.
[Re “Figuring It Out,”  December 7, 2011]: I bought Never Play Leapfrog with a Unicorn at the North Hero Farmers Market and, one week later, I am totally hooked. Just hoping I don’t have to wait too long for a sequel!
[Re Fair Game: “Deep Throttle,”  July 4]: I live on a quiet street in Burlington, so noise pollution is a big issue. The effing F-16s already drown out conversation and put 15-second gaps in my phone calls, so, with reason, I am concerned about these new, louder planes being based at Burlington International Airport. Looks like there are people on both sides of the issue. How can we tell how loud the planes will be? Easy: Can we have a sound check? Ask the Air Force to do four flyovers, once a week for four weeks, at an announced day and time — taking off and landing over the Burlington metro area. Everyone could listen and judge for themselves and our fearless/fearful leaders could do their own rating and come to a more informed and less speculative decision about whether to get the big jets — or not.
Keep the Bat in Batman
[Re Fair Game, “Holy Cash, Batman,”  July 11]: Lovers of bats are often Batman fans, but Batman fans are seldom real-life bat lovers. I am one of the former. I am thankful to Sen. Leahy for his good work with bat advocacy on a national level, and last week’s fundraiser at the Majestic 10 was wonderful. I am, however, disappointed that none of the proceeds from that event went to the real-life endangered bats of Vermont.
Bats throughout North America are dying by the millions because of white-nose syndrome. Vermont has lost between 90 and 95 percent of its native bat population over the past six years. Yet, as far as I know, none of the proceeds from the Batman movies have gone toward bat research or rehabilitation efforts and, yes, that includes Warner Bros.
As is so often the case in our culture, we are quick to make money off an animal without having concern or giving support to the animal itself. Let’s face it: Real-life superheroes are those who have a real concern for the well-being of our planet and offer supernatural efforts toward saving sentient beings. If you are a Batman fan with an appreciation for real-life heroes, consider donating to Bat Conservation International or Vermont’s very own Nongame Wildlife Fund on behalf of Vermont’s bats. Perhaps your contribution can be as much as you paid for the movie, be it $250 or $9. Help keep the “bat” in Batman.
P.S. My heart goes out to those in Colorado. This piece is simply to speak on behalf of Vermont’s bats and not to diminish the tragedy of the [shooting at a Batman showing].
I appreciate the review of our restaurant [“Turkish Delight,”  July 11]. However, I feel the article contained some misinformation. It mentioned that none of our entrées comes with vegetables; however, the only entrées that do not come with vegetables are our yogurt dishes. Everything else, including kebabs and guvec, does come with rice and mixed vegetables. Also, I found it a bit irrelevant that writer Alice Levitt mentioned a server dropping one piece of flatbread. I do not see how this represents how our restaurant is run.
Because this is a brand-new restaurant, all of our servers have had to learn a whole new menu and a whole new cuisine. Our American staff is becoming more familiar with each dish. The way that our dishes are prepared and served is very traditional; we are not trying to Americanize our restaurant and want our customers to have a traditional Turkish experience.
I also feel that the reference to “Three’s Company” was a little odd and inappropriate. This is a space that has been vacant for a couple of years, and we are trying to improve the community of Essex by adding some international flair. I do not see how the colors that were painted by the previous tenants reflect anything on our restaurant. This is a family business, and your article could cause us to lose business and have yet another few years of a vacant space.
We have had very few complaints from our guests, and I find it hard to believe that Levitt had a somewhat-negative experience here.
I opened the animal issue with the usual joy associated with perusing the lives of local animals and reading about the enrichment they provide to those who love them.
While I was thrilled to read that poor Nellie was not subjected to cruelty, it seems we are perfectly OK with perpetuating indirect cruelty and cruelty in the name of tradition [“Whoa, Nellie! Essex Equine Got Burned by Unlucky Clover, Not Battery Acid,”  June 27].
I’m sick to death of reading about the acceptable abuse of harness-racing horses here in Vermont [“Horse Sense,”  June 27]. On the educational front, I have learned that this cancer is more rampant in our beautiful state than I realized. I was disgusted to read several years back of the supposed animal “lover” Peter Langrock breeding and racing Standardbreds [“Legal Ease,” May 19, 2010]. Now we are applauding a man who has been furthering such abuse of horses for 40 years?
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a revolution happening in backyards across our country and the world. We are exposing the abuse of such “sports” as horse racing, dressage, rodeo, eventing, etc. We are exposing the ignorance of traditional management of horses, which consists of nailing metal to horses’ hooves, locking them in small boxes for hours and days, and subjecting them to our idea of exercise — mindless circles, leaping painted sticks — all done with no thought to pain or free will. There are alternatives, not for us to choose as we see fit, but that are required to keep a horse healthy and happy.
Let’s break the mold of this dull and pain-riddled tradition and learn something new about horses.
Not All About Genitals
In [Poli Psy: “Put the ‘Sex’ Back in ‘Homosexual,’”  June 20], Judith Levine says the LGBTQ community is becoming too mainstream. Her solution: Remember that “what makes gay people gay is sexual desire.” So, she says, let’s not forget to make the queer civil rights movement about sex, because that’s what people think about when they think “gay.” Excuse me? Isn’t this the same narrowing of the full human experience that we’ve been struggling with all along? Representing the huge spectrum of queer identity as being about what we do with our genitals is demeaning and simplistic — the same is true of any sexuality or gender, whether it’s queer or not.
Being LGBTQ is about sex and genitals, yes, but it’s also about who I love (which is not a euphemism — it’s the truth), who I feel comfortable around, and how I interact with others. It’s about my full experience as a human being. And let’s not confuse sex activism with queerness, though the two overlap and enrich one another.
I applaud Levine for saying that our society should be more openhearted about sex, and that the LGBTQ community should not lose hold of its fundamental values as it integrates into mainstream culture. But I want to be clear that although a fundamental value of the queer civil rights movement supports liberated sexual relationships, being queer cannot and should not be reduced to sexual desire. The queer civil rights movement, like all other civil rights movements, is about embracing the full landscape of humanity.
Audrey D. Clark
Free Press No More
I am sick and tired of the Burlington Free Press’ recent attempt to hold the news hostage from the public on the internet [“Not-So-Free Press,”  July 11]. Really, BFP? Like you own the news. Grow up! Most newspapers at least let you read the daily news. BTW, are you still charging $195 for an obituary?
Our Backyard, Your Backyard
We appreciate Kathryn Flagg’s article [“Solar Flare-Up: Six in Charlotte Fight the Power,”  July 11]. The Vermont Public Service Board process is broken when an affluent town like Charlotte decides to drop out because of expense. Gov. Shumlin’s rush toward renewables is raising more than solar flares, as the growing protests against and objections to industrial wind attest. The legislature and the governor have instructed the PSB to green light SPEED applications, and our beautiful Vermont is beginning to look like the states so many migrated from! More forethought must be given to the placement and size of all renewable-energy projects and an evaluation made of the economic benefits to the state.
The cartoon accompanying the article implies that the East Charlotte neighbors are whiners, but at the multiple town meetings, no residents from any part of town voiced support of the project. If this industrial solar installation covering more than 13 acres with metal is approved for a rurally zoned agricultural field, just hundreds of feet from homes, in a town that has invested millions in conservation and has strict zoning regulations and a solid town plan, no place in Vermont is safe. When a project of this magnitude comes to your backyard, will you, too, not be protesting?
Peter Ker & Meg Walker
Steve & Melissa Colvin
Elizabeth Bassett & John Pane
In the July 18 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, “What’s up with the helium shortage?,”  Corin Hirsch wrote that the U.S. government forecasts the price of helium “will rise from $75 per cubic foot this year to $84 next year.” The unit of measure should have been per thousand cubic feet.