Thursday May 2, 2013

Ag-gag laws and
freedom of the press

Editor of the Reformer:

"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic and mendacious." And that’s just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state’s "ag-gag" bill now awaiting governor’s signature.

"Ag-gag" bills criminalize whistleblowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistleblowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah have enacted ag-gag laws, but such bills were defeated in eight other states, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editors. In 2013, new ag-gag bills were introduced in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming. The language has been invariably drafted by the infamous anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Thirty newspapers and 60 national animal protection, workers’ rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety and environmental conservation organizations have recently gone on record as strongly opposing ag-gag bills.

Each of us who feels that our government must never restrict our right and obligation to know where our food comes from should urge our state legislators and governor to oppose the ag-gag bill.


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Kyle Roberts,

Brattleboro, April 30

Burton Car Wash
clarifies ‘Green’ feature

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to point out an omission that results in a misstatement in Saturday/Sunday’s edition (April 27 and 28) in the article "Staying Green," beginning on Page 13 and continuing on Page 16. The last paragraph neglects to say that benefit at which burton Touch Free Car Wash donated 100 percent of the proceeds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m was held on Friday, April 19. The implication as written is that the benefit is on Green-Up Day, May 4. It never is held on Green-Up Day, but always a couple weeks before.

It’s great that the article ran today along with a couple photos. It needs the publicity. Thanks.

Connie Burton,

Burton Touch Free Car Wash,

Brattleboro, April 29

Brattleboro Farmers’ Market opens this weekend

Editor of the Reformer:

The Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market opens for the season Saturday, May 4. Join us in welcoming new and returning vendors, market friends and customers and the many signs of spring -- including the traditional Maypole Dancing, with Andy Davis and friends, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Families are welcome.

The market is open outdoors on Rt. 9 in West Brattleboro, rain or shine, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EBT and debit cards are welcome. Enjoy our picnic tables, children’s area and take advantage of our ample parking or Frequent Walker/Biker Program.

What’s at the market this time of year? From our new vendors, shoppers find choice products like mushrooms, cheeses, and artful children’s toys. Farmers bring springtime harvests of new maple syrup, fresh greens, herbs, rhubarb, eggs and meats, garden plants and flowers, plus well-stored apples, root crops, preserves and jams. Area chefs prepare hot lunches from around the world, including Indian, Malian, Thai, and Chinese cuisine, wood-fired pizza, and more. Artisans and bakers offer sourdough breads, pastries and treats (many gluten-free choices), granola, fruit wines and sparkling juices, jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, and soaps. And don’t forget the coffee (or chai). There’s something for everyone at the market. For more information, call 802-254-8885.

Brattleboro Area

Farmers’ Market,

Brattleboro, April 25