Letters to the Editor (1/21/10)

Jan. 21, 2010


Clean up the lead

The recent litany of citizen comments in your newspaper concerning the known lead contamination on the Boutin property located on Old Creamery Road in Williston prompts a response.

Lead contamination has long been a recognized public health problem and it would appear that the magnitude of the lead deposit is sufficient to cause the state of Vermont to take action. The issue should be addressed forthwith by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, though it has been my personal experience that this may not be likely. I have personally observed the uneven (even comical) treatment by the same agency in connection with various environmental issues over the past 24 years.

Consultants retained by us have documented facts leading to a conclusion that the Agency of Natural Resources demonstrates a lack of consistency in addressing contamination issues in different parts of Vermont and may in fact be less diligent than neighboring states in this regard. Further deposits of lead in this watershed area where my own well is located must be stopped immediately. The tons of lead already deposited must be reclaimed, the groundwater professionally tested and the contamination remediated.

Peter Judge, Williston


‘Missing the point’

After reading Mike Benevento’s column last week, I am convinced it should be called “Missing the Point.”

Even if we cannot agree on causes or solutions to global warming, it is undeniable that our addiction to the big, cheap, over-packaged and processed is polluting the entire planet and our own bodies. Even animals are smart enough not to foul their own nests. For an interesting visual, take a trip to the library and check out “What the World Eats.” It’s sobering to see pictures of families from around the world with all the food they would eat in a week.

The idea that individuals cannot have an impact or shouldn’t be burdened with making lifestyle changes is what the conservative spin machine wants everyone to believe because powerful lobbies have a stake in making sure we all stick with the status quo. In reality, my working-class family has made quite a few changes that have a positive impact on the planet and the pocketbook.

To think that shooting sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere is the magic answer is truly missing the point, Mike. The fact is, our lifestyle here in the United States is built like a house of cards with cheap energy, cheap goods, cheap labor and little regard for anything but the bottom line, but the piper will have to be paid, eventually.

We U.S. citizens have been given so much it is not only our duty but our obligation to take responsibility for the impact of our lifestyle on the planet and all the billions of other people on it besides ourselves.

While the rest of us do what we can, you go ahead and dig in your heels, Mike. Drive a tank. Eat a Big Mac every day. Buy a pet elephant before they go extinct!

Rachel Kring, Williston


Checking up on ‘experts’

Once again Mike Benevento has come up with an article citing “experts” that have been exposed as bogus to support his views.

I bit my tongue when he ranted about the ills of “socialized medicine,” wondering if he was receiving medical benefits from his military service as he demonized those benefits for the rest of us.

Now he rants about climate change and opines it is “less about preventing warming and more about controlling people.” Wow. Don’t believe climate change, it is only governments trying to control you!

I encourage you to research his experts. He cites author and geologist Ian Plimer.

From prwatch.org: “All together, Plimer earns a very tidy sum as a director of the three mining companies.

Plimer has argued that the introduction of a cap-and-trade system in Australia could have a major impact on the mining industry, and even “probably destroy it totally” (www.abc.net.au/lateline/business/items/200811/s2416977.htm).

He has also argued that his mining directorships don’t affect his views on climate science (www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,25555783-5018662,00.html).

But it would still be better if media outlets covering his opinions at least disclosed the magnitude of his interests in the industry.

There is a lot of negative information about Plimer on the Web. It makes me wonder how anyone could use him as a source unless they had not taken the time to check him out or did not expect the readers to do so. He also cites authors Dubner and Levitt of “Freakonomics.” Once again, Google exposes the inconsistencies in their chapter on global warming.

Philip Beliveau, St. George


Blame Fox News?

The amount of political polarization here is shocking. I think coming to the defense of the likes of the DHS boss Janet is a losing proposition. Saying mistakes were made requires culpability unless we are utilizing the Rodney King “can’t we all just get along” method.

Not identifying the cause and possible solutions for exploding airplanes, buildings, warships, embassies and shooting rampages is an excellent method for facilitating ineffective solutions. Why are Vermont National Guard members walking around in Afghanistan? (Hint: It is not for the exercise.)

A young Muslim male on the terrorist watch list trained in Yemen by jihadists traveling on a one-way ticket bought with cash and carrying explosives constitutes an act of terror, no matter what the Janet, AP and CBS News call it.

Shelley Palmer, Williston