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Letters 5.1.14

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Letter Carriers’ Food Drive

To the Editor:
As Saturday, May 10, draws closer, letter carriers in more than 1,200 branches nationwide are full-steam ahead to get ready for the 22nd annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.
Last year, with the help of thousands of volunteers, letter carriers all across America collected more than 74.4 million pounds of nonperishable food—the second highest amount since the drive began in 1992, bringing the grand total to just under 1.3 billion pounds.
In the greater Montpelier area, postal workers will pick up non-perishables on Saturday, May 10, and volunteers will deliver the food to the Just Basics, Inc.’s (JBI) Montpelier Food Pantry where it will be distributed to families in East Montpelier, Middlesex, Worcester, Berlin, Adamant, Calais and Montpelier. Schools, neighborhoods and businesses (that are open on Saturday, May 10) are encouraged to begin collecting non-perishable items now in anticipation of the drive. Unexpired foods such as peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit, soups, cooking oil, pastas and spaghetti sauce are popular and much needed.
Although last year set a national record for collected food items, the number of pounds collected in the Montpelier area has drastically declined. Where once our local letter carriers collected 6,000 pounds of food, they now collect only a few hundred pounds.
Please support the drive by collecting a grocery bag, box or even a few cans for your letter carrier. Simply set your donations near your mailbox for pick-up on Saturday, May 10. And please thank your postal worker for their efforts on behalf of JBI’s Montpelier Food Pantry.
Theresa Murray-Clasen, Montpelier
 

Carr Lot

To the Editor:
I was shocked to read that some of the proposed developments to the Carr Lot include building a chain hotel on the footsteps of a locally-owned hotel and shrinking by more than 50 percent  the available space for one of the best things Montpelier has to offer—the farmers’ market. Do we need another hotel downtown? Can’t folks seeking the chain-hotel experience stay at the Econo Lodge? And do we want to encourage or discourage local farmers, craftsmen, etc., from coming to the center of our community to enrich us with their goods?
On another note, I would love to see a bike-sharing system developed in Montpelier. If there were a lot to park a car, hop on a bike and do errands in town, I think that would partially reduce our traffic issues, not to mention have a positive environmental impact. Maybe Redstone principal Larry Williams would consider this, instead of just accepting the status quo: “As much as they like to talk about it, people don’t necessarily really get out of their cars,” he says in the article.
Hopefully some of the proposals that I see as supporting big-business and not the bottom line of our community will go the way of the State Street McDonald’s.
J.D. Williams, East Montpelier
 

Thanks from GMFF

To the Editor:
Green Mountain Film Festival attendants—first, we wanted to thank everyone who came out to the 17th Annual Green Mountain Film Festival. Your continued attendance, support and enthusiasm was much appreciated and wonderful for the staff and volunteers to witness. Another important “thank you” goes out to all of the businesses in downtown Montpelier and the surrounding areas. We have so appreciated all of your support over the years, and hope that you enjoyed this year’s festival.
We also wanted to thank all of our volunteers! Without all of your dedication, hard work and help, this festival wouldn’t exist. The entire festival staff enjoyed working with each and every one of you and hope that you will return to volunteer next year.
We had a lot of fun planning the program for the festival, and have appreciated reading all of your comments about the individual films, guests and your overall experience.
The Audience Award for the 2014 Green Mountain Film Festival was ERNEST AND CELESTINE! Thank you to everyone who voted for their favorite film.
We are looking forward to next year’s festival. If anyone would like more information about the festival or volunteering please contact us: gmffestival@gmail.com
Green Mountain Film Festival, Montpelier
 

Support H.270

To the Editor:
Research shows that quality early education, intervention and support make huge differences in a child’s life. As my family struggled to decide, this year, whether we could afford to send our daughter to pre-K, I was outraged that quality, publicly funded preschool wasn’t easily and widely available to all kids in our state. During their first few years, when children’s brains are developing rapidly, it’s important to form healthy foundations for future learning. Children with strong mental foundations are more likely to succeed in school, more likely to graduate from college and therefore more likely to become a healthy and productive member of our workforce. So if we want our children to be successful in life, we need to start by building healthy mental foundations during the years leading up to kindergarten! That’s why I strongly support the passage of H.270 and encourage others to do the same. Passing this bill would create universal access to quality pre-kindergarten programs for children ages three to five in Vermont. Please contact your senators and tell them to vote for H.270 so we can give our children every opportunity to succeed.
Aubrey Boyles, Montpelier
 

A Different Way to Deal with Opiates

To the Editor:
It is refreshing to read in the April 17 issue of The Bridge, “We’ve Done Enough Talking,” that Governor Shumlin is making the connection between prescription narcotic use and the rise in heroin use.
The speech again focused on treatment of those addicted with no mention of how to stop the continued newcomers. As long as pain relief with the use of drugs remains the centerpiece of treatment options, how will this change the landscape? Opiates have become popular in part due to the damage caused by the use of NSAIDS, such as Tylenol, Advil and Aleve. So what’s next in the world of wonder drugs? Isn’t it time explore treatments that are very effective, less costly, have a proven track record and do not rely on drugs? Sounds like a no brainer! With the proper utilization of chiropractic services, costs in treatment and problems of addiction can be greatly reduced. So let’s stop talking, as Shumlin proposes, and make the necessary changes.
Medical expenses amount to 17.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) per year, and with musculoskeletal injuries and related disabilities accounting for 7.4 percent of that total, that’s 42 percent. Here is the main use of prescription narcotics and the area where the greatest savings can be realized in treatment of these problems, along with a reduction of drug use. Medicaid currently covers 10 visits per year for chiropractic services no matter what the condition, with no further visits allowed for additional injury. This is gross underutilization and is forcing people to seek care at much higher rates where they will be exposed to addiction.
As for treatment, let’s let those who have caused the problem pay for it. With an annual marketing budget of $600 billion, it seems to me the drug companies could afford to participate in programs designed to help people whose lives have been destroyed by addiction. What’s good for the individual is good for society. Let’s stop talking and act!
James M. Lynch, Montpelier
 

Thanks from Senior Activity Center

To the Editor:
On behalf of the 900 seniors served by the Montpelier Senior Activity Center (MSAC), our staff and board thank everyone who made our April 12 Firebox Dinner Fundraiser a success! We raised $1025 despite changing from a ticketed to a free (by donation) dinner event. We honor the Montpelier Fire Department (MFD) for limiting the damage in the fire that struck our center’s building in 2009. Our silent auction of two antique fireboxes continues through May 19, so there’s still time to bid on one of these pieces of Montpelier history and add significantly to that total.
At our April 12 event, retired Assistant Chief Bob Snetsinger gave a meticulously researched, detailed account of the history of the MFD, including rare slides of historic equipment and fires. The children were delighted to try on firefighting gear and learn about the alarms!
Event support was provided by Chief Robert Gowans who brought fire safety educational materials and led a “guess the fire” challenge; Glen Marold, who displayed antique collectibles; Paul Carnahan of the Vermont Historical Society, who displayed MFD archival materials dating to 1814, Russell and Dan Clar for the firebox postcard project and Good Taste Catering for kitchen support. Food donations came from Applecheek Farm, Gaylord Farm, Greenfield Farm, Tangletown Farm, Black River Produce, Shaw’s Berlin and Price Chopper. Special thanks to volunteers: Lori Miller, Mariah Lane, Sylvia Kingsbury, Sue Stukey, Barb Smith, Rebecca Shepard and Brenda Snetsinger.
The funds raised help us fulfill our mission to enhance the quality of life for older adults through opportunities that develop physical, mental, cultural, social and economic well-being in a welcoming, flexible environment. To learn more about the auction and our services, stop by 58 Barre Street, call 223-2518, our visit www.montpelier-vt.org/msac.
Janna Clar, MSAC director, Montpelier

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