Home Columns Letters LETTERS: 10.6.16

LETTERS: 10.6.16


Enjoyed The Bridge’s Food Issue


Thank you for your latest food issue. We enjoyed the article on the Woodbury Community Store. The day we read the article was beautiful and sunny. A good time for a ride to check it out.

When we got to the store, my husband’s first words were, “They have clean windows!” Inside was just as clean. Everything was neat and orderly, making it easy to see what products they carried.

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The meat case was appealing. Good looking steaks, hamburg, pulled pork and salads. We ordered the pulled pork and pizza. Both were excellent. The sauce on the pizza had exceptional flavor.

We enjoy riding the back roads and finding Vermont’s off-the-beaten path’s gems and this store is one of them. We will certainly go back.

Brenda Throw, Montpelier


Letter to President Obama


This is a letter I’ve just sent President Obama because I couldn’t stand not to.

Dear Mr. Obama,

My regard for you as a sometimes/somewhat nice guy — a charmer, in fact — is swept away by news of your award this year of an even higher amount than usual of military aid to Israel, a country which I, an  American Jew, along with a few billion other people around the world, regard as a criminal state for its treatment of its Palestinian neighbors and in-dwellers. By your act of support for what is frankly an apartheid and colonialist state, you shame us, again, before the fair-minded people of the world.  Why can’t you be bold, for-chrisake-and-for-once, and flout the all-powerful Israeli lobby that is sustained — but less and less, you will notice —  by my fellow Jews over here.

Jules Rabin

That’s the letter.  Here are some of the facts behind my indignation.

Israel has for years been the largest  recipient of U.S. military aid: in 2014, $3.1 billion, or 52 percent out of a total of $5.9 billion U.S. military aid, worldwide.  (Egypt, a country brutal and unlovely in its own way, was runner up in that year, receiving $1.3 Billion in military aid, or 22 percent of the total granted that year). This year, 2016, it has just been announced, the Obama administration, never mind the President’s indignation at Netanyahu’s incivilities towards him personally and Israel’s obdurate refusal to take account of the world’s judgment of its massive violations of international law and the human rights of its Palestinian subjects … this year the Obama administration is awarding Israel an additional $800 million in military aid; for a total of $3.8 billion. To be repeated every year for the next 10 years.

I consider this move by our government to grant ever greater mountains of military aid to Israel — and Egypt —  both of them notorious violators of the human rights of their own and neighboring people, to be a further disproof  of our easy-going supposition that we, because we’re Americans,  are necessarily and by definition the  chief bearers  of democracy and promoters of human rights in the world.

We should know better. And do better.

Jules Rabin, Marshfield


Sexuality Education Available At Unitarian Church


There is a free, secular, values-based human sexuality education class which is now enrolling 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. The curriculum is part of the Our Whole Lives lifespan education program. Although the class will be held at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier, the content is free of any religious teaching. A mandatory orientation for parents is scheduled for Sunday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the church. Three trained adults will co-facilitate the orientation as well as the class. The class itself will be held twice a month on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Liza Earle-Centers: ucm.dre@gmail.com. This is the class that many adults wish had been available when they were high school students. If you know a youth who would benefit, please spread the word. Thank you.

Nancy Schulz, Montpelier


Is there Life before Death?


It seems like there is always some special observance around the corner. There is even a World Day for Farmed Animals. It’s observed fittingly on October 2 (Gandhi’s birthday). It’s intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food around the world.

My first instinct was to dismiss it. But, I wanted to understand the impact of my diet and my food dollars on others.

Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, laying hens crowded into small wire cages, injured pigs killed by slamming their heads against the concrete floor, and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

As theologians debate whether there is life after death, I wondered whether these animals have a life before death and why I should subsidize these barbaric practices.

I wonder no more, as I have now embraced a plant-based diet — green and yellow veggies, legumes, fruits, nuts and some grains. Occasionally, I indulge in nut-based cheese or ice cream. Although I was motivated by compassion for animals, I have since learned that my diet is also greatfor my health and for the health of our planet.

Moses Belinie, Montpelier


Vote for Me: Trudell For Senate


The number one issue for Vermonters is the economy, according to statistics and surveys of voters.  Let’s start with the problems of survival with long winters as well as more reliance on automobile ownership.  I am advancing specific policy proposals to address these economic issues. First, I am advocating that Vermont homes, farms and small businesses be supplied with grants to finance the  installation and retrofit of solar thermal heating, to greatly reduce fuel bills as well as greatly reduce our carbon footprint.

Second, I am proposing that we create a statewide public transportation system, by connecting existing public transportation systems. The cost of transportation is the second largest expense of the average household, and the cost per mile is an average of .57 cents per mile or 713 dollars per month, according to statistics compiled by the AAA.  I am also proposing that we fix our dangerous roadways as a priority instead of building boondoggle highway projects that accomplish nothing except a large waste of tax dollars.  The cost per mile of new highway construction is exorbitant, and instead we need to fix the highways we already have, as this is a public safety hazard.

Third, I am proposing that we build a 21st century energy infrastructure that is distributed, or decentralized, and community based, instead of centralized and utility based.  This would solve problems of siting of large scale solar farms, and industrial scale wind turbines, at the same time that this approach would greatly reduce greenhouse gasses, as well as having a much greater economic benefit directly to Vermonters and the Vermont economy. 

Senator Patrick Leahy is a 20th century pork barrel power broker who needs to be removed from office. He has outlived his usefulness, and should step aside and retire before his reputation is tarnished any more by the largest scandal in Vermont history, the EB 5 Jay Peak Ponzi scheme. He also betrayed the voters trust for the sake of good old fashioned political cronyism in his sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign with his endorsement of his “friend” and political crony, Hillary Clinton. In addition, his lack of a comprehensive energy plan and his support of the destruction of fragile ridgeline habitat to construct industrial scale wind turbines has to be challenged.  Facts support the position that these large scale industrial wind farms do not actually reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint according to a recent report by the Vermont  Law school. They only benefit the developers, and financiers, who are on the Senator’s gravy train.

I think that we should consider term limits as the ultimate solution to the problem of corrupt pork barrel 20th century politics, and instead spend our money wisely for things that are actually beneficial to their stated purpose.

Jerry Trudell, Chelsea


Vote T.J. Donovan For Attorney General


In the event that voters are asking, “Why should I vote for T.J. Donovan?”  I have some points that are worth a look. In 2004, I was convicted of a crime. I served my time. The experience had an impact on not only the victim, the victim’s family, but to the community to which I belonged. At the time of my release back to the community, I was dealing with the humility of facing my family, friends and community. 

Few members of my circle of friends remained. Fewer still were willing to provide me with an opportunity to re-integrate and give me a chance to look forward in a positive light.  Then I had occasion to talk with Donovan. Donovan was the rare exception to the rule. Donovan showed compassion for me and my effort to rebuild my life in a positive way. While cognizant to the reality that I had harmed not only a person but a community, Donovan took the time to listen to the issues I had with regard to subjects such as the mistreatment of prisoners out-of-state, the problems with distant for-profit prisons, and the obstacles faced by offenders re-entering the community. 

We want an attorney general that will lead Vermont, one who has been on the battle lines  and one who stands tough for the victims of crime. We also want an attorney general willing to listen to those who have committed the crime, who, without being soft on offenders, shows that he will allow one to work hard, to attempt to repay the debt and to mend the harm, restoring that person to the community with opportunities.

Donovan’s honesty and integrity is what makes him a success. Those qualities earn him my vote and hopefully yours.

Timothy Burgess, Waterville


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