Letters to the Editor

Defending Burr and Burton Academy

To the editor,

Last week a disgruntled former employee submitted a letter attempting to make the case that Burr and Burton Academy is somehow sliding backwards. What nonsense. Burr and Burton provides a world-class education provided by an exceptional faculty. It is true that we tweak offerings as we constantly examine the educational needs of our students. Life is full of hard choices and it is no different for a high school carefully tending the dollars provided by the residents of our sending towns. It is also true we occasionally realign our faculty as we strive for nothing shy of excellence in everything we do. The head of school has as part of his or her job the responsibility to make decisions with sometimes unpleasant consequences. Perhaps ironically, the willingness to do so actually improves overall morale at the school as the momentum is only upwards. The board of trustees is pleased we have a headmaster with the courage to do so.

Seth Bongartz, BBA Board Chair

On Board for the Bottle Bill

To the editor,

I am writing in support of Vermont's Bottle Bill. It ensures that bottle containers are properly disposed of, rather than ending up in landfills or on the side of the road. Vermont uses the money from bottle bill redemptions for environmental programs, like funding recycling programs.

Even though we have a strong bottle bill here in Vermont, we can do better! When my children and I join the rest of Vermont on Green Up Day every spring, we pick up more water bottles than anything else. We could further reduce littering by expanding the Bottle Bill to include water bottles, and also juice and sports drinks. We should also raise the deposit from a nickel to a dime, to raise even more revenue and to really encourage people to redeem their containers.

Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association have hired lobbyists in an effort to repeal the Vermont Bottle Bill. Please don't let corporate interests interfere with our efforts here in Vermont to stay the greenest state in the nation.

Jennifer Moore, Manchester Center

Why pardon a turkey?

To the editor,

President Trump is getting his pardon pen ready, as the Muller investigation starts indicting his associates. This Wednesday, he plans to practice on two very innocent Minnesota turkeys.

The other 244 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have not been so lucky. They were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes were clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At 16 weeks of age, slaughterhouse workers cut their throats and dumped them in boiling water to remove their feathers.

Consumers pay a heavy price too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Intense prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.

Now, for the good news: Per capita consumption of turkeys is down by a whopping 34% from a 1996 high of 303 million, as one third of our population is actively reducing meat consumption. Our supermarkets carry a rich variety of convenient, delicious, healthful plant-based meat products, including several oven-ready roasts.

This Thanksgiving holiday, as we give thanks for life and good fortune, let's also skip the gratuitous violence and grant our own pardon to an innocent animal.

Brent Regan, Brattleboro

Legalizing marijuana: A big mistake

To the editor,

On Tuesday, November 14, the Vermont Marijuana Commission met and the chair of the Highway Safety Subcommittee, Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas Anderson, and Dr. Mark Levine, chair of the Education and Prevention subcommittee, reported for their committees.

Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson, in comments during the meeting said: "I don't speak for the subcommittee on roadway safety, I speak as the Commissioner of Public Safety, that based on my review of the research and based on my review of the studies that have been done on highway fatality deaths, that you can reach the conclusion that with the increased use of marijuana and the legalization of marijuana that there will be an increase in the roadway fatalities. The data and the research does support that."

This conclusion by Vermont's top law enforcement officer goes right to the heart of whether there should be legalization of any marijuana for recreational use. Government has an obligation to protect the people and not to enable their death. Enabling their death is exactly what will be happening if our legislators passes and the Governor signs legalization of marijuana and hard as it is to say, they will be responsible for the deaths of people. The evidence is there!

Nor does it make sense that marijuana is illegal to possess under federal law and our legislature is considering violating that law and passing a law that they constitutionally cannot do. Slow down! Other states have flouted federal law and have legalized marijuana. Statistics are coming from Colorado and Washington and they are showing large increases in highway fatalities related to marijuana since legalization. Vermont should wait for a few more years, set their baselines for future comparisons, then wait and watch what is happening in these other states and also on what the Justice Department might decide to do to law breaking legalization states before the Vermont legislature even further considers such legalization.

Robert L. Orleck, Retired Vermont Pharmacist, Former Vermont Assistant Attorney General


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