Not a scoundrel

To the Editor:

You owe Bob Patton an apology. In the editorial "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" on Dec. 19, you write falsely that he "demanded" free room and board at Lyndon State College. Then you call this 72-year-old man names: "perp" and "scoundrel."

Bob did take classes at the college for free, a perk available to all Vermont citizens 65 and older. And he did live in a dorm for a semester or so, but was charged the same rate as any student. He never asked for a meal plan at the dining hall. Why would he? His residence hall had cooking facilities.

As your editorial notes, the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees acted two weeks ago to limit the number of free classes 65-year-olds can take. It also barred those students from living in the residence halls without specific permission of the college president.

Obviously, Bob's case prompted those decisions. Does that make it okay to call him "shameful" and imply he's a criminal -- especially when you don't have your facts right?

Dan Williams

assistant professor, Journalism

Lyndon State College

Lyndon, Vt.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: We didn't call him a scoundrel. We said, "it's because of scoundrels that no good deed goes unpunished." We have apologized to Bob Patton for our factually inaccurate statement that he "demanded free room and board." We were misinformed and a correction is in the paper. Patton's response will run on Monday.


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