Airpod? How about
a Mudpod?

Editor of the Reformer:

An Airpod that is produced in Hawaii sounds interesting. Even better would be a Mudpod produced in Brattleboro.

It could be designed to drive on muddy roads without tearing them up, so people could keep their cars at central spots on paved roads and use their Mudpods to get all the way home. This would save the towns money on road repairs, maybe enough to give tax breaks to Mudpod users. They would have to hold more than one person, though.

Gretchen Becker,

Halifax, April 3

Support for GMO bill

Editor of the Reformer:

I wholeheartedly support Vermont’s GMO Labeling bill (H.112) and hope my legislators will support it as well. I appreciate that the bill contains a target start date without contingencies, unlike laws passed in Connecticut and Maine, which rely on the passage of similar laws in neighboring states. Vermont is poised to lead the country in mandatory GMO labeling.

I am particularly concerned about the health and environmental effects of GMO crops. We are exposed to many toxic chemicals every day. The introduction of foods that contain their own pesticides, or that can resist very high concentrations of herbicide (eg. Roundup Ready crops) only adds to the number of toxins to which we are exposed. Recent studies have found GMO pesticides in the blood and urine of animals and humans. Since GMOs were introduced, pesticide use has increased by more than 300 million pounds.


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As a former elementary school teacher with more than 35 years experience in the public school system, I have witnessed a dramatic increase in food allergies in children. About a decade after the introduction of GMOs into our food supply, I began to notice an ever-increasing number of students with food allergies, and by the time I retired in 2008, it was rare to find a classroom without a list of prohibited foods posted on the door.

It is not only that we have the right to know what is in our food, but in many cases, as with food allergies, we have a need to know. I encourage all citizens to become educated about GMOs from sources other than the biotech industry. For further information I suggest that you check out www.vtrighttoknowgmos.org.

Marilyn Chiarello,

Brattleboro, April 2

On Shumlin, healthcare

Editor of the Reformer:

There are two fairly obvious conclusions one can draw from the governor’s recent statements:

Statement: A plan for funding ShumlinCare will not be made public until 2017.

Conclusion: The governor is hoping Sen. Leahy won’t run for reelection in 2016. The governor will run against Congressman Welch, and thinks he can win, or, he and Welch have a deal that they won’t compete and Welch will support Shumlin for the seat Welch will vacate. Either way, Shumlin will be out of office when the populace realizes ShumlinCare cannot be funded by the small number of citizens not exempt from the tax for one reason or another (Medicare, Federal and Veteran coverage, self-insured companies (IBM, GE, GMP, Bombardier, Middlebury College, state employees, etc.). Sen. Galbraith’s work has shown that it isn’t fundable even without the exemptions, or it would drive anyone with money out of the state, e.g. 25 percent sales tax or a 30 percent to 40 percent income tax rate or an 18 percent payroll tax.

(Previous estimates were based on a cost of ShumlinCare of $1,6 billion; present estimates are $2,2 billion.)

The proposed 2015 General Fund Budget is somewhat over $1,4 billion. So, funding for ShumlinCare will cost more than the proposed 2015 General Fund Budget. Whoever said Shumlin wasn’t smart and conniving?

Statement: Shumlin is "open to discussing the legalization of marijuana in Vermont."

Conclusion: Kind of speaks for itself.

Dart Everett,

Brattleboro, April 3