Letters to the Editor, Jan. 12

Correcting a mistake

To the Editor,

In last week's Manchester Journal you published my commentary entitled 'Tooting the Horn' about being proud of our town. Towards the end I said that the Visitors' Center is manned by volunteers and in Spring when the Center will need to be open more often, the more people on the list to share the load, the better. Unfortunately the point of contact was omitted. If anyone wants to offer, please contact anniehh@comcast.net or call 362-1502.

Derek Boothby, Manchester

'Thank you' from the MCL

To the Editor,

During the recent holiday season, Northshire residents and visitors enjoyed a glorious reception and an Evening of Holiday Music with the Taconic Chamber Players at the Manchester Community Library. The free event was the Library's gift to the community, but made possible through the generosity of many.

We are indebted to the event sponsors, Christmas Days and The Roberta and Russell Housman Charitable Foundation. In addition to generously underwriting the program, Christmas Days added a delightful touch to the reception by lending their holiday decorating touch. Bistro Henry, Dutton's Farm Stand, The Equinox Resort, Kilburn's Convenience Store, Mother Myrick's Confectionary, Mulligan's Restaurant & Pub, New Morning Natural Foods, Nikki Niles, Stephen Niles, The Perfect Wife Restaurant & Tavern, Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant, The Silver Fork, Sushi Boat, and Ye Olde Tavern are to be commended for graciously donating various sweet and savory bites for the reception. Please support these local businesses that support your public library.

We'd like to thank volunteers Dick Coss, Sharron Kropa, Frank Kropa, Angie Merwin, Curt Merrow, Chic Murphy, Pat Murphy, and Jerry Skapof for their assistance with planning and facilitating this event.

Last but not least, we'd like to thank the Taconic Chamber Players for sharing their talent with us on that cold winter night and enhancing our celebration of the holiday season.

Betsy Bleakie, MCL Executive Director and Cindy Waters, Adult Programming Coordinator

Community sharing shines on

To the Editor,

I'd like to thank all the individuals and organizations who donated their time and resources to the Community Sharing Project this year. We are an organization of volunteers who help our fellow neighbors in need living in Dorset, Danby, Rupert, Pawlet and Wells. CSP helped 159 families this Christmas season, an effort made entirely possible thanks to donors like you. Every holiday season, we provide families with brand new boots, clothes, toys and a bountiful food basket that includes a turkey, potatoes and so much more. We also provide gift certificates to Price Chopper. During the week of December 11, it was as though the magic of Santa Claus had turned the Dorset Church vestry into his little workshop, brimming with the bounty of our community's generosity.

On behalf of my fellow committee members Karen Allen, Meg Mithoefer, and Jane LoBrutto, our most heartfelt thanks go out to all the organizations, families and corporate donors who either made monetary donations or purchased clothes, toys or food. We thank the businesses that hosted our Angel trees, which provide community members the necessary "shopping lists" to provide for the specific needs of our recipients. We also thank those who held toy drives and all the schools and businesses that provided food baskets. And, to all who donated their time to the planning and organization leading up to and including our distribution day on December 15, we cannot thank you enough.

Having worked with CSP for 16 years, I never cease to be amazed and delighted by the acts of kindness and the magic of the season that converge right before our eyes in the true spirit of giving. I've learned that through each of our own small gifts and contributions, our little community continues to overflow with abundance for the benefit of all. On behalf of CSP, I thank you.

Beth Eyre, Dorset

Combatting Lyme Disease with foxes

To the Editor,

Lyme Disease has spread at an alarming rate in Vermont and continues to grow. According to the Vermont Department of Health, in 2015, Vermont had the highest rate of reported Lyme Disease in the United States. Currently, according to the CDC, Vermont is listed #1 in the country for confirmed cases of Lyme and is designated as an "Endemic State". In a study done by Doctor Marie J. George of the Infectious Disease Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, upwards of 63 percent of ticks are infected statewide with at least one tick borne illness, with some carrying two at the same time.

Ticks and Lyme Disease are an enormous public health concern that must be addressed immediately. An efficient and cost effective solution is to work with Mother Nature rather than against. That means stopping the recreational and commercial killing of foxes , who are the main predator of white- footed mice who are a major transmitter of Lyme Disease.

Research studies show that there is a link between the increase of mice populations and activity and the decline of predators that hunt mice, such as foxes. Mice infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them and are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme Disease in the Northeast. If a moratorium is placed on the recreational/commercial killing of foxes in Vermont, there is a likelihood we will see a decline in the spread of Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses. When there are more foxes on the landscape preying on mice this results in fewer mice transmitting Lyme Disease.

It also must be noted that hundreds of foxes are likely killed each year in Vermont, yet the VT Fish & Wildlife Department has inadequate data on this since little to no reporting is required. The Department also lacks data on population trends of foxes, which means they cannot give an accurate estimate if fox populations are healthy and thriving. These animals are viewed as throwaways and I would like to see more value placed on them for the vital role they play in our ecosystems.

This safe and sensible policy of halting the sport killing of foxes may have tremendous and lifesaving results for the health and safety for Vermont residents.

The health benefits of establishing a moratorium on the sport killing of foxes to the entire population of Vermont far outweigh any recreational benefits experienced by a small fraction of Vermonters who kill them. No one can equate the paltry price of a fox pelt to the cost of bearing Lyme Disease or other tick borne illnesses. Taking a modest, evidenced-based step to combat the rapidly growing rate of tick borne diseases is well worth the time and effort of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board to consider.

Lindzey Beal, Wolcott VT

Our manipulated President

To the Editor,

President Trump continues to believe Putin's comments, and questions the U.S. intelligence agencies' analyses about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump does not want the validity of his election as President to be questioned, but his criticism of out intelligence agencies and the FBI poses a risk to national security. The new FBI Director, Christopher Wray, is reassigning the top echelon in the FBI to purge it of agents who trump dislikes, and it is quite similar to the operations of past and current foreign despotic rulers.

Trump, and the country, have to rely on our intelligence agencies and the FBI to provide information on our adversaries in the world. If the agencies do not trust the President, they might be adversely affected in doing their jobs. I heard that morale takes a hit at the agencies every time Trump criticizes them. Trump is disrupting our intelligence agencies and the FBI.

Unfortunately, Russia, China, and other countries know that Trump likes to be flattered, which they are happy to do in order to receive favorable treatment by our insecure President.

Our adversaries in the world are manipulating Trump to obtain concessions, and our national security is in jeopardy.

Donald Moskowitz, Londonderry, NH


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