Letters to the Editor, Dec. 1

Posted
Cleaning up Vermont



To the Editor,

I am writing to comment on a recent letter in support of a stronger bottle bill. The current nickel deposit dates back to 1972, and nearly a half-century of inflation has made it almost meaningless. According to the Consumer Price Index, it takes just under 30 cents today to equal 5 cents in 1972, so raising the deposit to 10 cents is a very modest goal - 15 or 20 cents would be better, and as the letter writer pointed out, water bottles, juice drinks, and the like should be included. Remember, it costs you nothing unless you choose not to redeem your bottles and cans. Presently, unredeemed deposits are retained by the distributor or bottler. Additional money resulting from an increase in the deposit amount should go at least in part to the state to pay for more frequent litter cleanups.

Roadside litter has been gradually increasing for years, an unpleasant reality that many Vermonters appear oddly unconcerned with, given that our economy depends so heavily on tourism and second-home owners. Visitors are drawn to Vermont by its scenery and pristine image, and are not expecting to see cans and bottles strewn along the roadsides.

Green-Up Day is worthwhile but a single annual cleanup is not enough to address the problem. For budgetary reasons, state roads are also only cleaned once each year - take a look along some sections of Routes 7 and 30 to see how inadequate that is.

Accumulated litter is often a sign of an area in decline. If we want to preserve Vermont as a beautiful place to live or to visit we had better begin paying attention to this, starting with a stronger bottle deposit bill and more frequent cleanup, both by state employees and by all of us. Please contact your state legislators to ask for 1) a bottle bill that will have more impact, and 2) an increase the VT Department of Transportation budget to allow for at least twice-annual litter cleanup.

David Donnelly, Dorset




Seeing the sense in legalization




To the Editor,

Regarding the letter to the editor, "Legalizing marijuana: A big mistake," by, Robert L. Orleck, I have several points I'd like to make. He says that "enabling their deaths is exactly what will be happening if our legislators pass and the gov signs legalization of marijuana and they will be responsible for their deaths." This opinion of Mr. Orleck's is based on his conclusion (assumptions) that legal pot in Vermont will cause highway accidents. His other problem is that federal law prohibits legal pot.

First off, medical marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2002 and possession has been decriminalized since 2013. There have not been all these horrible deaths he speaks of. Second, The Vermont Legislature (Senate and House) already passed a legalization of marijuana bill last spring, and Republican Governor Phil Scott vetoed it. Mr. Orleck appears to be either unaware of that or omitting it from his letter. Third, over 80,000 Vermonters use pot and they are not causing all these deaths he speaks of. He omits that too. Finally, Governor Scott stated that Vermont will not cooperate will President Trump's immigration rules. That is defying federal law. Is Mr. Orleck concerned about that too? The federal gov expects the states to cooperate with federal laws, but in the case of marijuana and some other things, that hasn't been the case.

With decriminalization and medical marijuana already part of Vermont law, legalization is logically the next step towards ending the prohibition of marijuana. The fact that over 80,000 Vermonters already use it seems to make Mr. Orleck's issues with legalization moot points and outdated. Making possession illegal and outlawing medical pot would be counterproductive.

T. King, Shaftsbury



Trump condones China's press restrictions




To the Editor,

President Trump refused to take reporters questions during his visit to China. He succumbed to Chinese insistence that no questions be allowed from the press.

Communist China, along with other Communist countries, prohibits freedom of the press. The Chinese government controls the press and tells the press what to publish. China is afraid to open up the press to the public because the Communist shortcomings will be exposed, and it could lead to unrest and the pursuit of democratic freedoms.

Unfortunately, Trump went along with the Chinese restrictions on the press as a bargaining chip in his quest to have China eliminate all trade with North Korea.

Trump's views about the press fit in with Communist China's restrictions on their media outlets, because Trump would like to control the U.S. press and its reporting on his presidency.

Freedom of the press is a hallmark of a democracy.

Donald Moskowitz, Londonderry, NH






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