Home Commentary Letters to the Editor, Mar. 6, 2024

Letters to the Editor, Mar. 6, 2024

Image from Vecteezy.

Farmers Market Location In Peril

To the Editor:

We, the Board of the Capital City Farmers Market, received an email from Vermont State Buildings and Grounds (BGS) withdrawing its November pledge enabling us to return to 133 State for the upcoming season beginning in April. This news is not only disappointing, it is UNACCEPTABLE. We are in final planning for the summer market season with over 90 applications to vend in some 50 spaces every week.

In previous communications BGS said “we want to be an ally and supporter of the market,” and that “133 is our first option for next summer.” We don’t understand how so much could change in four months. While we appreciate the support from the Vermont College of Fine Arts after last summer’s flood, the vast majority of our vendors felt that location is not the best.

In November, BGS assured us we could return to 133 but now, BGS says we cannot: “We need to keep a lane open in case the contractor or fuel truck needs to get to the upper lot; there will be a generator running all summer long on the upper lot, and the electrical contractor will have a Conex box nearby.” 

In response to the concerns BGS raises, we have no doubt, with planning, deliveries can be scheduled for a day other than Saturday and, if an emergency arises, we can accommodate it safely as we did once last year. We assume a generator will comply with city noise ordinances, and an electrical box will be safely secured throughout the week. We are unconvinced these reasons are relevant.

We request the Secretary of Agriculture notify the Governor that this change is unacceptable. Please contact your legislators and demand a change so we can continue planning for this summer season.

John Snell, Montpelier

Pass the Homeless Bill of Rights

To the Editor:

The Vermont House of Representatives recently passed H.132, a vastly amended homeless bill of rights legislation (compared to the bill as originally introduced), which is now in the hands of the state Senate.

I wrote to state Rep. Tom Stevens, Chair of the House General and Housing Committee, which had passed the bill out of its committee, to thank him and also members of both the committee, as well as members of the House, for the passage of H.132.

Many years ago, I had been among those who testified before the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee concerning the need of homeless bill of rights legislation and why its passage was so very crucial as well as being sorely needed.

Although it goes without saying that the passage and the signing of this particular bill into law would merely be one small — yet crucial — step on behalf of those living unhoused within Vermont. In my opinion, it would still be an important and vital step.

It is hoped that other equally crucial, important and vital steps will continue to be taken to meaningfully address the various real and most urgent needs of people living unhoused, and ending homelessness within the state, sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I hope the state Senate will also pass the bill as passed by the House and that the Governor will sign it into law. 

For those who desire to have this bill passed by the legislature and become law, please consider urging members of the state Senate to pass H.132 and then, urge Governor Phil Scott to sign the bill into law.

Morgan W. Brown, Montpelier

Hamas Began the War

To the Editor: 

Regarding Ron Koss’s letter to the editor in the last Bridge issue, commenting on the Hamas Israeli war, he wrote “Historic persecutions and the Holocaust have created an embedded fear within the collective Jewish psyche … that becomes an engine for … a rationale for war crimes.”

Makes sense. What may not make sense is the fact that among almost all the interviews I remember watching about the issue, only the number of Palestinian deaths have been mentioned, but none about Israeli deaths. To quote a politician whose name I can’t remember: “After all, Hamas began this war.”

This type of imbalance may be one small factor perpetuating the war. It also smacks of antisemitism. Finally, a psychological attempt at understanding that every reader will no doubt dismiss: could Jewish members in the newly founded “Jews for Palestine” organization be participating because unconsciously they fear that not doing so may someday be dangerous?

Ron Merkin, Montpelier

Ceasefire Now

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Ron Koss’s letter “Jewish in Name Only.” I was taught that Rachmones/Compassion was at the heart of Judaism. That made sense to me as a girl and it makes sense to me now. Compassion is something I can get behind. But if our story is a story of revenge, hardened hearts, deaf ears, we’re the only victims … no. That is not right. Having grown up in the heart of Zionism, believing that Israel was a miracle, the place Jews could be safe and free, I understand Jewish cynicism about anyone caring what happens to us. But it is past time for us to understand and care for the Palestinians and put an end to their suffering. They are suffering at our hands! Ceasefire now!

Miriam Hansen, East Montpelier

Letters to the editor represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of The Bridge. Submit your letter by email to editor@montpelierbridge.com. Preference is given to submissions by those who live in central Vermont, should not exceed 300 words in length, and may be edited for brevity and accuracy.