Letters to the Editor (4/1/10)

April 1, 2010


In search of smart politics

The health care fight points directly to what is wrong with American politics.

The health care bill may (or may not) be a total mess but it’s a start. The bill hasn’t even been signed into law as of the writing of this letter and already we have 30 states poised to fight the bill in court. Instead of taking the opportunity to implement the bill, see where the problems are and amend it as needed, the Republicans want to sue the federal government now and revoke the bill if they gain power in November! No wonder nothing ever gets done and our country is in such a hole! Democrats are guilty of this idiocy too!

If the founding fathers acted like this we would never have had a constitution! It only took them two years before they realized that the Constitution needed some changing and clarification, and because our Constitution is a “living” document we have the Bill of Rights, women vote, and slavery was abolished. Twenty-seven times this sacred document has been revised over the years. Where is the wisdom of our founding fathers in today’s politicians?

It’s a shame that money and power has corrupted government to where our Congress can barely function!

Bob Miller, Williston


Thanking the police

My neighbor and I were walking two weeks ago along the sidewalk in the village. We had two young children on bikes and my neighbor’s daughter; we also had three dogs we were walking.

We got to the crosswalk in front of the school and a person in a white SUV traveling southbound had stopped to let us cross, we waited as we saw two other vehicles coming northbound. The first vehicle coming northbound did not stop to allow us to cross, needless to say we were really upset as the person looked right at us and smiled and kept going. My neighbor and I were saying how we wish there would have been a police officer there to catch this person, as we walk quite a bit through the village and on numerous occasions we have come across people who just don’t stop for people in the crosswalks. We have had people yell at us because we have made them stop so we could get across.

Well last week the person in the white SUV was one of Williston’s finest at the right place and time, as he saw the person not stop for us and he turned the unmarked SUV around and proceeded to stop the person. I hope it made the person think the next time he drives through the village maybe he will stop when he sees people waiting by a crosswalk. My neighbor and I really want to say “Thank you” to Eric Shepard, the police officer that was in the unmarked car, as we did not know ourselves that you were a police officer. So, thank you.

Melissa LaFrance and Kelly Allen, Williston


Setting the facts straight

In her opinion piece of March 25 (Guest column, “Closing Yankee is the right choice”), Elizabeth Skarie declares, “For those who aren’t familiar with the Ethan Allen Institute, it receives funding from the Cato Institute, a national free-market think tank that denies the existence of global warming and takes money from ExxonMobil.”

This is a complete falsehood.

EAI has never received a contribution from the Cato Institute, or for that matter from ExxonMobil or any other fossil fuel company.

I wish we had, because we could then become more effective in puncturing the false claims, phony science and outright lies offered up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore, Bernie Sanders and Ms. Skarie.

John McClaughry, Vice president, Ethan Allen Institute


Energy and health

I hate to take issue with Zeke Benshirim (Letters to the Editor, “Cap and trade,” March 25), lest he consider my opinion an attack. But then again facts are facts. If you raise the price of any commodity by increased taxation and government oversight you will end up with higher costs and a lower standard of living. If you believe that dramatically increasing our cost of energy is necessary to fight global warming then we will have to disagree there.

When 2,500-page bills like the new Obamacare bill get passed (without a single Republican vote) before our legislators or public have a change to read or debate them, then we can only discuss what has been crammed through after the fact. A good example where this is untrue is the amendment to the health care bill submitted by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to prevent sex offenders, rapists and pedophiles from receiving Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs paid for by federal funds under the new health care exchanges. Luckily, opposition led by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., defeated the amendment in time (57-42, pretty much along party lines) thus ensuring that sex enhancing prescription medication can now be paid for by our taxes and freely provided to sex offenders under the new Obamacare bill.

Fidel Castro applauded the president and Congress for managing to socialize one-sixth of the U.S. economy with this single piece of legislation. Castro boasted that his government was able to take over Cuba’s economy including health care for all and it was about time the Americans emulated their success. The Cubans don’t share the same commitment to civil rights our president does but still it was nice to have some positive feedback from Havana. One day our health care system can be just like theirs.

Shelley Palmer, Williston


Drugs at CVU

What is wrong with the morals and priorities at Champlain Valley Union High School? After the Ben Brooks fiasco, where CVU would rather win a basketball tournament than punish their star player for drugs to the extent of asking the courts to go easy on him, it leaves me sick that something more wasn’t done. He’s continuously in trouble with the law still because he wasn’t held accountable the first time.

It’s clear that the administration doesn’t take drugs seriously enough to actually do something about them in the school.

A student entered the school after smoking marijuana. That student was stopped by a faculty member. The faculty member asked the student if the student was drunk, to which the student replied, “No, high.” The faculty member replied that he would tell that student’s teacher that the student wasn’t feeling well and had a headache. The student went on to class. End of story.

At this point, no one can hold the student responsible for this incident. The administration must take a good, long, hard look at themselves and come up with some sort of desire to do something to curtail the selling and use of drugs at CVU.

If you ask me, there are some things that just plain need to be taken care of. Drugs are rampant in our high school and NOTHING is being done about it. In fact they are nearly encouraged. Does the state need to get involved? Do the police? What is it going to take to get some accountability at the administration level to do something to get drugs out of CVU?

Students have told me that kids sell drugs right in the hallways during school hours.

Kimberly Townsend, Williston


Picture this

Can you picture a room holding 1,000 children, with more standing at the door to come in? Let them, because there are enough to go around for all — used children’s books, that is. Every child in that room will leave with a book they can call their own, their hands wrapped tightly around their treasure, smiles on their faces and an extra skip in their steps as they leave that day, realizing someone’s kindness made it possible for them to have this new book. Their words would be simple, but the meaning goes far beyond; “Thank you,” they’d say to any of you who helped make it happen.

A local literacy program put out the word that they were collecting books for their program “Read Across Burlington,” and the word spread to Allen Brook School and Williston’s Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. What happened after that was incredible. Parents and children combed through books on their shelves at home and gave them a new life.

A special thanks to Sharon Davison’s kindergarten class at Allen Brook School for bringing in over 200 books! Another special thanks to Jill Coffey at Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, who helped go through the shelves of the library and pull off duplicates or books that haven’t been “loved” for a long time. All the efforts produced over 1,000 books that will be placed in the hands of each one of these children across Burlington. The goal is to someday place books in the hands of children worldwide to promote literacy.

So, don’t ever stop donating to Dorothy Alling Memorial Library or to any cause that asks for your help; you never know how far your kindness will reach. When you read to your child at bedtime, someone else will be reading to theirs — thanks to you — or, maybe, the child will be reading to themselves!

Margie Dunki-Jacobs, Williston