Home Columns Letters LETTERS: 11.3.16

LETTERS: 11.3.16


Meat Industry Is Scary


I have no fear of all the goblins, the witches, or even the evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me are the latest reports about the meat industry.

Like news of pig farms dumping millions of gallons of pig feces into North Carolina’s water supplies during Hurricane Matthew. Or of saturating their neighborhoods with windborne fecal waste spray. Or of animal farming accounting for more greenhouse gases than transportation.

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Like recurring media exposés of horrific atrocities against animals on factory farms. Or of subjecting slaughterhouse workers to crippling workplace injuries at slave wages. Or of exploiting farmers by controlling prices.

Like repeated reports of studies linking consumption of animal products with elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. Or reports of the meat industry bullying health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines.

Now, that’s really scary.

I fought back by dropping animal products from my menu and my local supermarket has rewarded me with a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams. I am no longer scared, though I still fear for my friends and neighbors.

Maxwell Branset, Montpelier


Scott Beats Minter On The Issues


When it comes to the issues that impact how affordable Vermont will be, Phil Scott beats Sue Minter. Just look at a few of these key issues:

Phil Scott will move us off Vermont Health Connect, which has cost $200+ million in implementation costs (plus another $50+ million annually in operating costs) and still doesn’t work. He’d move to the less-costly federal exchange, or a state partnership. In contrast, Sue Minter has promised, like Governor Shumlin did in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, “to make VHC functional.”

Scott will not raise taxes on already tapped-out Vermonters. In contrast, Minter said she would raise taxes, and her record reflects that. She introduced a gasoline tax, a mileage tax and an income tax hike for middle-class Vermonters making above $46,700. She voted for the 2009 budget bill, which raised taxes on Vermonters by $26 million, during the Great Recession.

Scott will limit the growth of the state budget to economic growth to ensure state government lives within its means. The Minter record is different. In 2009, Minter voted to raise spending well beyond the economy’s capacity, leading to a projected $200+ million budget shortfall the next year. Scott would reform Act 46 to allow districts to preserve school choice and keep what they save from mergers, rather than having to send it back to Montpelier. Sue Minter doesn’t have a specific set of reforms for Act 46.

Scott released a comprehensive, 10-point opiate plan which covers prevention, treatment and enforcement. It will expand the number of counselors and treatment options, and build on community approaches such as Rutland’s Project VISION. Minter has five vague sentences about opiates on her website.

Scott’s transportation plan will oppose a carbon tax; encourage innovation in transportation through targeted tax credits; ensure the Transportation Fund is used for transportation purposes only; advocate for federal flexibility; and update the Transportation Agency’s long-term plan. Ironically, Minter, the former Transportation Secretary, doesn’t have a comprehensive transportation plan.

When you vote on Nov. 8, support the candidate who will make Vermont affordable: Phil Scott.

Colette Dublois, Manchester Center


Jerry Trudell for U.S. Senate


I would like to tell your readers about my Independent Candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Please visit my website jerrytrudellforsenate.com to read about my”10 point plan, “which is a blueprint for prosperity as well as the only comprehensive set of solutions to the problem of climate change.

We are the poorest rich country in the world, and there is no excuse for the permanent recession economy that we seem to be stuck with. Families and individuals are working harder than ever to make ends meet, working for low wages and at part time jobs. Senior citizens on fixed incomes are struggling harder than ever to survive. What we actually have is chronic underemployment, as more and more people work multiple part time jobs to try to stitch together enough income to scrape by. I know what this is like, because I am one of those people! In times like this we need new ideas and innovation, not more of the same old pork barreling approach to solving our economic problems, as this is obviously not working!

That is why I urge you to read my 10 point plan and to please vote for your future when you go to the polls next week. Please also tell your friends.

Jerry Trudell, Chelsea


Scott Milne is the Man to Trust in the U.S. Senate


Like a lot of Vermonters, I didn’t know Scott before he ran for governor.  But I have gotten to know him since then.  You can take it from me — he is a good man in this race for the right reasons. He’s a successful small businessman, father, and community member, with strong ideas and ideals. 

I had a chance to catch up with Scott last week.  He believes that public servants in Washington without big money and special interests best serve America.  And he has designed a campaign to amplify that message.  He hasn’t asked anyone for money.  He and his all-volunteer team are on the road talking to Vermonters, campaigning the George Aiken way.

Imagine the effect of a common citizen defeating a man who collects millions from out-of-state lobbyists, a man who embodies a partisan and dysfunctional Washington, a man who has worked less in the private sector in the last 50 years than Scott does every morning before hitting the campaign trail. 

Scott’s election would show the rest of the country that Vermont cannot be bought by big out-of-state money.

Please join my family and me in standing up, saying that the status quo isn’t serving us well, and voting for Scott Milne. 

Susie Markowski, Florence


Milne is the Man


I will proudly cast a ballot for Scott Milne next week. Not only because I agree with him that we need to put an end to this age of lobbyists drafting our legislation through an elite class of career politicians, but also because I know he is a man we can trust.

I grew up a neighbor to Scott in Pomfret. Only a short walk through the woods separated our homes, and as a friend of his son Keith, I spent a lot of time at the Milne house. Scott was the kind of dad who coached baseball and basketball, came on our field trips and went out of his way to make us kids laugh and feel included. I recall fighting with classmates for who got to ride in Scott’s car on one field trip in particular. Over the years I saw how hard Scott worked. He would often come to a sports practice, or home for dinner, and head back to the office. He grew his family business through tough times. I agree with Scott that powerful special interests writing our laws must come to an end. As a nurse, I see the negative consequences of the pharmaceutical industry lobby firsthand every day. If he defeats the six-million-dollar-incumbent with his grassroots campaign, not soliciting donations or accepting special-interest money, it will signal to the country that our system, and status quo, must change. His election would send a powerful, positive message from Vermont to Washington, D.C.

If we want a Senate to be proud of, we need Senators who are willing to take the road less traveled and lead by example. I’ve known Scott Milne for decades, and trust

him to be that man.

Melissa Potter, Hartland


Loved Piece by Brianna Stallings


I’d just like to thank Brianna Stallings for her essay “The Day I Kicked A Murderer” in the Oct. 10 edition of The Bridge.  This was great writing and storytelling and I hope she had as much fun writing it as I did reading it.

Conrad Boucher, Montpelier


What Do You Think?

Read something that you would like to respond to? We welcome your letters and opinion pieces. Letters must be fewer than 300 words. Opinion pieces should not exceed 600 words. The Bridge reserves the right to edit and cut pieces. Send your piece to: editorial@montpelierbridge.com.

Deadline for the next issue is November 11.