November 20, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Shelter from the storm

Thank you to the wonderful staff at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library for providing a port in the storm during the recent widespread power outage. Many people were using the library’s WiFi, charging electronic devices, getting water and staying warm.

I am especially grateful as I was able to charge my insulin pump. All this and they provide such great books, programs and services to the community.

Louise Brooks

Williston

A call to prayer after horror

Once more, we stand on the fortunate periphery in absolute horror as another mass shooting occurs in our country.

I find my horror is mixed with frustration and guilt — frustration that we as a country cannot seem to come together to do anything about this evil plague and guilt that I bear for being part of a culture that fosters such violence. I find myself praying in the words of the song, “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.”

I invite all of us to prayer and contrition. First, prayers for our brothers and sisters who were murdered at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, prayers for those who are recovering from their wounds and prayers for the families and friends who have lost loved ones and are caring for the wounded.

But we also pray for ourselves that we may as a country somehow find a way to have a meaningful dialogue about what is to be done to stop these mass shootings, with an openness to hear each other and to seriously consider new policies and laws to protect people from this horror. Each of us must search our own heart and ask, “What must I do?”

Finally, I ask my fellow Catholics to join me in prayer and fasting out of contrition for the collective guilt we bear for the violence that is so pervasive in our society. May we ask the lord to be merciful on all of us and to help us find our way more deeply into him.

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne

Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington

Act now on health insurance changes

Open enrollment on Vermont Health Connect started Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15. Now is the time for Vermonters to enroll in a 2018 Vermont Health Connect plan or change your existing plan. You will not be able to make changes after Dec. 15 unless you qualify for a special enrollment period or Medicaid.

Our team of advocates is available to answer your questions and help you understand your options.

Subsidies to help with monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs are still available, despite what you may have heard in the news.

To find the 2018 plan that best meets your needs, visit Vermont Health Connect online, compare plans and estimate your costs using the Vermont Health Connect decision tools.

The Office of the Health Care Advocate — a free service for all Vermonters with health care issues — is available to help no matter what your income or health insurance status. We help Vermont consumers with a broad range of problems and questions related to health care services and health insurance. We also acts as a voice for consumers in health care policy matters before the Vermont legislature and before government agencies that oversee insurance and health care programs.

The Office of the Health Care Advocate is a project of Vermont Legal Aid.

Contact us at 1-800-917-7787 or fill out our online help form at vtlawhelp.org/vtlegal_gethelp

Michael Fisher

Chief Health Care Advocate

Gratitude for veterans

We at the Vermont Veterans’ Home desire to express our gratitude to every U.S. military veteran, past and present, for their unwavering service to our country. Let us all remember, if not for their assurance of liberty, we would not have the rights and freedoms their sacrifice bestows on us all. We live in the greatest nation on earth because of their commitment to duty, honor and country.

Please join with me and thank our veterans and their families for their service on this Veterans’ Day.

Melissa Jackson

Chief Executive Officer

Vermont Veterans’ Home

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