Letters to the editor

Tilley’s Pub — the full story

My wife Susan and I were very disturbed by the article about Tilley’s Pub in your most recent issue (‘Bad luck’ for Tilley’s Pub). The article painted a negative and incorrect picture of our business, while taking the liberty of portraying our personal feelings even though you did not speak directly with either of us. Some statements were taken out of context, and we would like to clear up these misconceptions.

While being vigilant checking ID’s (we have turned over dozens of fake ID’s to liquor inspectors over the years), we maintained a great rapport with St. Michaels students who are of legal drinking age — the vast majority of whom have been nothing but perfect ladies and gentlemen. Since day one the proximity of Tilley’s to SMC has been a main point of contention with the town and the Department of Liquor Control. The points Susan made at the recent meeting of the Colchester Board of Liquor Control were not to suggest that SMC students are somehow worse than any other group of customers, but to support that we face the same difficult challenges that all establishments that sell alcoholic beverages face.

The statements were also made to point out that the sum of the violations we received was not as serious as they appear at first blush — certainly not as serious as the article intimated — and they did not set a pattern of disregard for regulations. The server with a lapsed license had eight years experience, and this was a case of not realizing her two-year certification had recently lapsed. The fines were paid late, but 1 day late, and were paid in full. The majority of the 13 Colchester Police Department calls cited were in response to a security alarm set off by a bird in the building.

Tilley’s is not a trouble spot but was portrayed as one. Our goal was to create an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable, and we have been reassured many times that we achieved that goal. Intoxicated patrons, fights, etc. do not constitute a comfortable atmosphere, and we have not tolerated that behavior. We self-reported the few incidents we had to our liquor inspector to ensure these incidents were known, and that our response to them was made fully open for review. We wanted to make it known that we were doing things the right way.

We faced many challenges during our time in business, but they have not been related to our patrons or to our location in any way. The desire expressed to sell the business does not come from any of the issues discussed at the meeting or alluded to in your article, but from health issues that keep both of us from spending as much time as needed to run the business successfully. This has laid too much responsibility on our bar manager, and all of our employees.

In the future I would hope that you would contact the subjects of your articles for their perspective — especially before intimating that you are communicating their feelings.

Michael and Susan Thweatt
Owners of Tilley’s Pub, Colchester

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More hunting is for the birds

About a week ago I found out there was a crow hunting season in Vermont. Crows and ravens are very smart and they have complex family relationships. They are not generally on the menu. They may sabotage some crops but they also eat destructive insects. So why would anyone go after them? Worse still, why is more murder of crows on the agenda?

Vermont Fish and Wildlife is proposing to extend the existing crow hunting seasons; they want to add three more months of pointless crow shooting!

If you feel for these highly intelligent birds as I do, please let the Fish and Wildlife know your thoughts.

Be warned, though, they are not much of a wildlife conservation group. Rather, they represent the consumers, the hunters and trappers. Those of us who just want to enjoy wildlife as it is — after all, it is a public resource — are of no use to Fish and Wildlife, which benefits from selling hunting and fishing licenses.

Still, if you want your children to get a glimpse of some of the beautiful animals that grace our state, please let your voice be heard. That goes for the birds, too. The crows and ravens are clever but they have not yet mastered email or phone. You are their voice and the time is running out.

Julia Behrens
South Burlington

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Illuminating LED effect

I live on a cul-de-sac in Essex, and before the LED lights were installed, the old lights would illuminate an area about 200-300 feet from the light pole. This included some of my back yard, which was a good thing.

The new LED lights, which are brighter, only illuminate an area about 50 feet from the light pole, which in turn makes the whole neighborhood darker, everywhere except around the light poles.

Less cost, less light.

Tom Kanya
Essex

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Guard gratitude

I would like to thank the very kind lady who came around and gave all of us crossing guards a certificate to Dunkin Donuts. We had a very cold and windy winter standing out there twice a day, and it’s nice to know how much we were appreciated. It was so thoughtful, and you really made our day.

Sandy Plant
Essex