Home Commentary Letters to the Editor, Oct. 5, 2022

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 5, 2022


Humor Column as Therapy

To the Editor:

Larry Floersch’s columns are a treat, sometimes just the therapeutic zing needed to smooth out a rough day.  Please keep ‘em coming, Larry.

Mary Carlson, Montpelier

Parents: Please Get Kids Polio Vaccine

To the Editor:

I appreciate Mary Mello writing about how the polio epidemic was addressed with good success in the 1950s. I too remember both the line for vaccinations and the iron lung machines of those who contracted the disease.

One of my sisters-in-law, despite being vaccinated, was infected and ended up with severe damage to her leg muscles, requiring her to have a number of operations just to be able to continue walking. Seventy years later she is included in the group called “post-polio.” Because there are so few in this group, their situation is not well understood or researched. She must be very careful about what medications she takes and continues to have significant pain and tiredness. 

Of course the worst news about polio, a disease that has been nearly wiped out, is that it is showing up more and more often. This is mainly because of the use of live vaccines (safe but not used in the United States) in some places in the world and, more importantly, the fact that many children are not receiving their basic vaccination; this means they are vulnerable to contracting polio, and in locations around the world, including the United States, that is exactly what is happening. Parents, please make sure your children have the protection they need from this deadly virus.

John Snell, Montpelier

Vote ‘No’ on the Merger

To the Editor:

Several days ago, all members of the VSECU received paper ballots for voting on the proposed VSECU-NEFCU merger. My family and I vote NO on the proposed merger despite the many “benefits” that the VSECU and NEFCU leadership teams anticipate from the merger.

As a former VSECU Board member, and as a decades-long member, I’ve given this a lot of thought and read the many merger materials put out there by the VSECU. I feel strongly that “bigger is not better.” The many promised “benefits” will not benefit VSECU members and Vermont. It’s my belief that as the world spins faster and faster, a small and “more personal” VSECU will be a magnet for many Vermonters who are weary of a big, out-of-control, world. 

Be sure to carefully read the “Notice of Special Meeting of the Members of Vermont State Employees Credit Union and Plan of Merger,” the 12-page booklet that accompanied the paper ballot in your mailbox. Page 7 was especially interesting — and alarming. One, if merged, the new credit union will be governed by the NEFCU’s charter and bylaws. This does not benefit VSECU members. Two, “The continuing [newly merged] credit union’s FOM [Field of Membership] will not be based on geography or residency, but on multiple common bonds related to membership in certain Select Employee Groups (SEGs) or certain associations described below.” 

What does this gobbledygook mean? It means a lot of people in a lot of organizations in many states, from Maine to California, will be able to join the new credit union. 

The former CEO of the VSECU and three former VSECU board chairs, experienced and knowledgeable financial experts, are also voting NO to the proposed merger. They believe that the merger is a bad idea for VSECU members. Visit their website at callingallmembers.org. 

Be sure to vote: paper ballot, on-line, or in person on Nov. 8, at 5:30 p.m., at the Barre Opera House. Vote NO and keep our VSECU local. 

Giovanna Peebles, Montpelier

Suicide Prevention Walk  Oct. 29

To the Editor:

As part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Central Vermont Out of the Darkness Walks, I will be participating on October 29 at the Statehouse in Montpelier to draw attention to the importance of suicide prevention. I won’t be walking alone. Last year, over 550 Out of Darkness Walks took place in communities and on campuses across the United States, attended by a quarter of a million dedicated people who share my passion. Our movement is growing.

Like many, I walk because suicide has affected me personally. In May of 2020, I lost my 14-year-old son to suicide. The pain, shock, grief, numbness, and guilt are indescribable. Since then, I have dedicated my time to educating others about suicide prevention and mental health. Our goal is to spread awareness of what is currently the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the second leading cause of death for Vermont children as young as 10. Please help us to ensure that mental health is looked upon in equal importance to physical health and continue to bring hope to those affected by suicide. Join me in this walk. We need you. 

Brandi Tracy, Williamstown