Dear Editor:

I am writing to compliment Victor Callirgos on his article “Profits From the Poor” in the current edition. I have read a great deal about this issue both before and after the WTO/Seattle events, but this is the clearest, simplest, most powerful indictment I have read yet. I particularly liked the parallels drawn to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Although this is clearly a moral issue, many Americans are ignorant of the real stakes. They feel pity and horror at the poverty they see in the less developed countries, but few can make the connection between the wealth of our own country and the human misery in the rest of the world. Mr. Callirgos has done an important service by helping us understand that our vibrant economy is at the expense of those least able to contribute.

Georgene Grover

Dear Mr. Mueller,

As an organizer with the Burlington Currency Project, “Burlington Bread”, I would like to thank you for the informative article on local currency in Vermont. Attention and support are vital if the local currency movement is ever going to have a real impact in our communities. At this stage every Bread transaction is an education; All users including businesses and anyone who accepts local currency is a pioneer and I urge all readers to seek out and support movements in your areas. Since your article lacked up-to-date information about Burlington Bread, I wanted to provide that here.

Happily, Burlington Bread is experiencing a renaissance of growth and interest. Thanks to more media attention and volunteer involvement, our Fall Directory experienced its largest expansion since Bread’s inception (the quarterly Bread Directory, listing all members’ services and goods payable in Bread is made available by calling 434-8103, or online at burlingtoncurrency.org).

In August another organizer and myself traveled to Ithaca to study Ithaca hours. What an inspiration! Over $100,000 worth of Ithaca Hours have been issued, translating into millions of dollars of value in trade. Their huge farmer’s market runs from April to December with over a third of the vendors accepting Hours. The fact that the year-round waterfront market idea has been rejected in Burlington reminds us that we can’t simply replicate another city’s model; we are finding our own way by addressing particular needs of Burlingtonians.

Bread is making a concerted effort to draw in businesses, addressing their concerns through “Bread Brunches” and meetings with business owners (please contact BCP to find out particulars). Having major business participation would be ideal, but not vital for local currency to work. On the other hand, local businesses should be cognizant and supportive of all local initiatives that will help them compete in an increasingly global market.

Among our 85 members we have employers paying partial wages in Bread, a member paying rent to her landlord in Bread, many people creatively using their earning power in a multitude of ways. We will keep moving forward toward our goal of local sustainability as long as people spread the word about existing options.

Laura Markowitz
Burlington Bread Steering Committee

Dear Ms. Beal and Mr. Pearson,

My name is Caurie Anne Miner and I am from Cambridge, NY. I have read your publication for quite some time and consider it the literary jewel of the Adirondack/Green Mountain region. The articles in it have helped me find greater meaning and understanding in my own life. I decided to submit an article of my own, a poem called “Into something beautiful” for consideration in your winter “Forgiveness” issue. Much of my writing deals with forgiving others and yourself for obstacles in life—and overcoming these obstacles. Thank you very much for your time and your publication.

Caurie Anne Miner

Hey Gang,

While reading the fall 2000 Planet Vermont Quarterly, I thoroughly enjoyed the article by Judith Joyce on “Life Patterns on the Labyrinth”! The brief biography at the end of the article indicated that Judith also serves as a personal coach. Would you by chance be able to provide contact information for her, please?

Sheldon Hunt
Bloomington, IN

Judith Joyce can be reached at 4507 Main St, Waitsfield, VT, 05673; by e-mail: jmjoyce@spiritmatters.com; phone: (802) 496-9237; fax: (802) 496-9238; or toll-free at 888-372-5209.

We welcome your letters. Send them to PVQ at PO Box 4531, Benningon, VT 05201, or via email to pvq@planetvermont.com

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