Home Columns Letters LETTERS: 8.17.17

LETTERS: 8.17.17


Ag Agency Needs To Up Efforts Toward Dairy Animals


I have a few comments about this recent story that appeared in The Bridge.

(Editor’s Note: The story referred to appeared in the August 3 issue of The Bridge by Will Kyle about Anson Tebbetts speaking to the Montpelier Rotary Club.)

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To quote: “Tebbetts spoke about the agency before answering several questions from the audience.

His presentation began by describing the four primary responsibilities of the agency. The first is to ensure that agricultural animals in the state are healthy. The agency investigates reports of diseases and works with veterinarians.”

Unfortunately the Vermont Agency of Agriculture has vehemently refused to fulfill this responsibility. The attachments tell the full story. I have been involved in most aspects of the dairy industry for more than 50 years and few are as familiar with the dairy industry in Vermont and elsewhere as I am. This is my current business: https://bobwhitesystems.com. Everything I need to say is in the attachments. I don’t need to repeat myself here.

I have given this information to the press before but they have refused to do anything with it even though it has been proven that the Leukosis virus can and is being spread to humans at an alarming rate AND researchers are concerned that the infection may be associated with certain forms of breast cancer in humans.

I also attached my resume so you see what I have been doing with agriculture in Vermont.

Steven Judge, Royalton


Protect Earth. Ban Plastic Bags


I recently learned that no Vermont town has a plastic bag ban. Given that Vermont has been an environmental leader since the 70s, I was surprised and disappointed.

After living 35 years in Middlesex, my husband and I moved to Lee, Mass. in 2011, to be closer to grandchildren. We chose Lee partly because it was most like Montpelier in the Berkshires. After our move, I joined the Lee Greener Gateway Committee. In 2015, the committee started the process of writing two bylaws for consideration at our 2016 Town Meeting: a plastic bag and Styrofoam ban. About 24  Massachusetts towns already had plastic bag and/or Styrofoam bans. We presented draft bylaws to our selectboard, held public hearings, and contacted local media. Using community input, the final drafts of the bylaws passed. Businesses and community members were given a year to comply. The committee assisted with pamphlets for businesses and consumers, posters for businesses and reminders in utility bills.

Our committee has promoted consumer use of reusable bags. With grants, we commissioned a student to create a Lee logo for a cloth bag, which businesses sell. We gave these bags to the food pantry, Women and Infant Children program and senior citizens. We have also sponsored “gently used reusable bag” swaps at our library and farmers market.

Now, 55 Massachusetts towns have plastic bag bans. The state legislature is working on a statewide ban. I strongly encourage Montpelier officials, and those in surrounding towns, to pursue a ban. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. uses 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make them. If we all do our part to reduce this source of littering, ocean pollution and drain on resources, our Earth will be healthier, as will future generations.

Valerie Bluhm

Lee, Massachusetts


Missing Coffee Corner


I regularly come to Montpelier in August, to partake of its pleasures, among them the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the Coffee Corner Cafe. As I write this note, I’m on my visit for this August, taking a writing course at the college.  To discover that the Coffee Corner was closed, and closed for good, just about undid me. I love that place, and all the best it represents of Vermont. Ironically, on my last visit (August 2016), I had written a poem celebrating the Coffee Corner, assuming in my bliss that it would endure forever. Alas, it has not.  I attach that poem, in tribute, in hopes that it can be shared with The Bridge readers, perhaps spark a pleasant memory.

Mike Lewis-Beck

Iowa City, Iowa



At the Coffee Corner, notebook at hand,

Madelaine extracts a No.2 from her blonde bun,

penciling my order.

Me asking for two eggs basted,

maple links and rye toast, coffee black.

Nelson, on the next stool, says to Hamilton

Beach milk shake mixers: got a new room,

seven feet jump-up over the auto body.

Nelson, bending his camo cap, says:

motor rotates the beater round and round,

blades cut the vanilla scoops, deform them,

polish the metal cup with them.

Don’t nick the cup, just makes the shake.

Like my lathe,

axle rod turns over and over,

knurls the hickory stick, etches it. Reclamp

the clutch, check the screw threads — the helices —

drill and sand. Got yourself a pool cue.

Madelaine presents me a round white plate face,

two basted egg eyes in their sockets,

sausages making a smiling mouth.

A little maple syrup drool on the side.

A thing of beauty! Says Madelaine,

two rhinestone studs shining from her cheeks.

Mike Lewis-Beck


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