Saturday December 29, 2012

Christmas Stocking thanks community

Editor of the Reformer:

So many people near and far away (children, adults, schools, organizations, businesses, knitters, sewers, volunteers, donors) are part of the circle of caring that makes the Reformer Christmas Stocking possible. Our focus is quite specific: to provide winter outerwear to children who have been referred by schools and social service agencies within our area.

Christmas Stocking 2012 was able to provide a hands up to 612 families; 1,364 children birth through 15 years of age received winter outerwear.

There are many needs within our communities, the Christmas Stocking remains focused on the children. In difficult times and circumstances, the warm clothing and boots provided is an unexpected and necessary hands up.

In deepest gratitude to all who give so generously of their time, talent and treasure in supporting the Reformer Christmas Stocking in this our 76th year.

Thank you,

Betty Elwell, Chairperson

On behalf of the Reformer

Christmas Stocking Committee

Brattleboro, Dec. 27

Food for thought; thought for food

Editor of the Reformer:

This year’s developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, our environment and our treatment of animals. In January, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat.


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In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13-20 percent increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that prevalence of obesity among American adults will escalate to 42 percent by 2030, with a $550 billion increase in medical costs.

The Humane Society exposed unconscionable atrocities among three pig producers in Oklahoma and a Pennsylvania egg farm.

It’s little wonder that 7 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28 percent are actively reducing their meat consumption, leading to a 12 percent U.S. drop since 2007.

We should all consider following suit for this New Year’s resolution. Entering "live vegan" in a search engine brings tons of recipes and other useful information.

Brent Regan,

Brattleboro, Dec. 21

On the death
of children

Editor of the Reformer:

Listening to the President speaking sadly about the 20 children killed at Newtown, Conn., has made his usual hypocrisy dreadful beyond belief. As horrifying as the Newtown mass murder of small children is, how come Obama’s heart does not grieve for the children around the world whose deaths, he, as Commander in Chief of the United States, has been responsible for, in numbers far exceeding the number 20.

Bombs. bullets, missiles, depleted uranium, starvation due to sanctions, lack of medical care, contaminated water,land mines, cluster bombs, white phosphorus and now, drones, to name only some of the ways the U.S. kills children every day ....

As long as a president can mourn for a few children at home, while turning a blind eye to the millions of children, the killing of whom were and are mostly the responsibility of the United States, there is little hope for children anywhere.

As Howard Zinn said, "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

Norman Emmons,

Charlestown, N.H., Dec. 24

On fathers’ rights

Editor of the Reformer:

Vermont inmates have more statutory rights then fathers do. Under V.S.A. Title 28 Public Institutions and Corrections, the entire Title is dedicated to the Statutory rights of Vermont inmates.Under V.S.A. Title 15 Domestic Relations and in the Vermont Rules of Family Court Procedure, there are no rights given to fathers by the Legislature. The legislative policy is that it is in the best interest of the parents of minor children to have the opportunity for maximum continuing physical and emotional contact with both parents. 

I believe it is time the Legislature create a Fathers Bill of Rights giving fathers statutory rights under Vermont statues. Put it in plain language in writing instead of leaving it up to the court’s discretion.

Heath Fletcher,

Dummerston, Dec. 13