I just wanted to thank Sarah Tuff for the great article [“When the Levy Breaks You,”  September 26]! I am a parent of one of those “rooks,” and he did this race with three others that he has gotten to know over the last six weeks. Since we have very little contact with our son and won’t be able to see him until parents weekend, a lot of details of his rook life don’t make it our way. This article was so well written and descriptive, I felt like for the first time since we dropped him off that I got to share a day in his life! I very much enjoyed the descriptions and the humor. I am so glad that Norwich posted this article on their Facebook page.
Living on Pine Street, I have learned how a four-way intersection works; others, not so much [Whiskey Tango Foxtrot , September 26]. The issue is those who don’t pay attention. Once I was turning left onto Home Avenue from Pine and had a biker — who was on the wrong side of the road and texting — almost run into the broad side of my car for not paying attention. The only reason he didn’t run into me was because I yelled through my window at him to put the phone down. He then apologized after he realized what was going on.
At the same four-way, a car and a city bus on the way to the garage witnessed a New Yorker in a blue truck with a white tailgate run the stop sign. He just continued on through after the car in front of him went. He almost clipped my car as he spun through, cutting me off.
Speaking of all of the problems with four-ways, how about when two or three cars run the red light, ignore the pedestrians in the crosswalks and skirt around buses. How on Earth is this safe, or sane?
P’ed Off About Fusion
[Re “Pragmatism or Purity: Is ‘Fusion’ Good for the Progressive Party?”  September 26]: As a former secretary of the Vermont Progressive Party’s coordinating committee who helped organize the write-in primary campaign for Annette Smith on the Progressive ballot, I suggest the answer to Kevin Kelley’s excellent question about whether the Progressive Party “can maintain its independence and relevance” is a resounding “no.” I do agree with Chris Pearson that “without Prog leadership and uncompromising advocacy, Democrats wouldn’t have advanced” on health care, Vermont Yankee, GMO and same-sex marriage issues. Those were the good old days of the Vermont Progressive Party. Once the Progressive pragmatists changed stripes to become P/D or D/P, such claims will never again be valid.
VPP’s platform states Progressives will “calculate the economic impact resulting from the degradation of Vermont’s natural resources when evaluating the state’s economic development” and will “promote environmentally sound use of Vermont’s natural resources by supporting composting, expanding recycling, reducing hazardous waste, and restoring polluted sites to environmental health.”
Yet VPP stands with Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin and together have green-lighted Green Mountaint Power’s devastation of Vermont’s natural resources, thereby violating VPP core principles that “Vermont’s natural environment is the foundation of our health, quality of life and economy.”
Whether P/D or D/P, there can be no denial that P has been forsaken for political expediency.
Vermonters are lucky to have Seven Days to honor one of our state’s best bands: Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys [“A Tasteful Ruckus,”  September 26]. Maybe luckier, it was written by one of the paper’s best writers, Dan Bolles, who is always articulate and well researched in his work. Grace Potter and Phish aside, there are bands like Banjo Dan that have played every town hall, village green and gazebo from Newport to Wilmington for the people of Vermont. Again, with a nod toward Woody, I repeat: “for the people.”
What Hoffer Offers
As Ken Picard observes in “Crunch Time”  [September 19], Doug Hoffer, the Democratic and Progressive candidate for state auditor, manifests a “quiet confidence” as he campaigns. He is a man of integrity who has 24 years of experience as a policy analyst in Vermont, including five years under contract to the state auditor. And he possesses qualities that are even more important than his impressive résumé: professionalism, high ethical standards and political independence.
As the author of the Vermont Wage Gap Study and other studies that have had a crucial positive impact on legislation in Vermont, Doug has demonstrated a talent for distilling complicated issues into words that ordinary people can understand. That talent will come in handy when he is auditor, and it will benefit us all.
I saw the high quality of Doug’s work when he worked in the Community and Economic Development Office in Mayor Bernie Sanders’ administration, where I served as city clerk. Sen. Sanders has endorsed Doug, saying that he “will make an outstanding auditor” and be “the kind of strong and effective watchdog we need in the auditor’s office.”
I could not agree more. Doug Hoffer is uncommonly well qualified for the job that he seeks, and I am proud to support him.
I saw the article Megan James wrote about swing dancing in the area [“Swing State,”  September 19]. I think it is great that we are raising awareness about how partner dancing is really exploding in Burlington and Vermont.
I actually wanted to mention that, maybe even to a larger extent than swing, salsa and Latin dancing in the area have picked up dramatically!
Dance events are happening weekly at many different venues. I am part of a group called DsantosVT that teaches weekly and runs socials and parties in Burlington every month with 80 to 100-plus people. It is definitely worth writing about!