Letter Box


When will it end?

Editor of the Reformer:

A big injustice of our time is taking place in what we know of as the "Holy Land." The original inhabitants of this land were forcefully displaced for an invasion of European Jews. These Palestinian refugees have been settled in primitive housing in neighboring countries or the West Bank of Israel and, especially, in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have been stripped of their human rights: No travel (checkpoints everywhere and travel restrictions); no industry allowed and therefore almost no jobs; no advanced educational opportunities; almost no housing because much of it has been destroyed and building materials are hard to obtain; and, especially, strict supervision of any import of weapons. So, Palestinians find themselves occupied by Israeli power and limited by all of the restrictions placed on them.

As a result, many Palestinians tend to associate themselves with the Hamas organization that promises them victory over their oppressors. Hamas has obtained many rockets (probably from Iran) that they fire into Israel to no avail as we, the citizens of the United States, have helped to finance an "Iron Shield" to protect the people of Israel while Gaza is being heavily bombarded with more than 600 people -- children, women and men -- dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

When will this terrible situation end?

Trudy Crites,

Brattleboro, July 23

Cookies and ballot boxes

Editor of the Reformer:

Thank you for Becca Balint’s column ("The girls of Sleepy Hollow," July 22) about childhood summers at Girl Scout camp. I, too, loved my summer camp times, lucky to be able to attend an Audubon camp in Barre, Mass., and feed both my independence and my love of nature. It was such a beloved experience that I made my parents miserable when I got home, overcome with "campsickness." I’m sure I was woebegone and obnoxious enough to give them pause about why they continued to give me such a great gift, but -- looking back -- I suppose they were glad to get rid of me for a month per year!

This piece, like most of Becca’s others, focuses on personal experiences, reflections, and emotions integrated with facts and the bigger picture. She does her research and relates it to everyday life and people. Often, there’s a dose of humor as well.

It’s this balance of intelligent discernment, articulateness, and caring about ordinary people that I hope Becca brings to the state Senate. First, she must be elected. The primary is the important step in this particular race, as there is no Republican opposition in the November election. I’m glad to see that there will be meet-the-candidate sessions at four locations in Windham County in the next month, starting on July 24 in Townshend. I hope to see many readers there, and encourage you to find out more about our potential representatives.

Apparently, refreshments will be served. Girl Scout cookies perhaps?

Suzanne Weinberg,

Dummerston, July 23

Where are the sidewalks?

Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing this letter in hopes of seeing a sidewalk put in on Black Mountain Road from the trailer park to Putney Road. With the construction going on there now it looks like the perfect time for this to happen. A sidewalk wouldn’t be a bad idea around the corner just up from the trailer park either, and with all the walking traffic from SIT Graduate Center, there should be one here too.

I have seen groups of people as many as 20 at a time walking along this part of the road, it is very dangerous. I can’t believe no one has been hit yet.

Derek Doucette,

Dummerston, July 22

We are killing ourselves

Editor of the Reformer:

For decades, physicians have been warning that overusing antibiotics is making them less effective, but what most people don’t realize is that 80 percent of antibiotics are actually sold to factory farms and given to animals prophylatically. This is not only a health concern for the animals, it’s also a major health concern for humans. Antibiotics are our best defense against the strongest infections, but these bacteria are developing and evolving to be resistant to the antibiotics. Which means that the next time you or a loved one gets sick, the regular treatments may not work at all.

The CDC has come out many times to say that this overuse is inappropriate and unnecessary. In order to protect the public health we need to limit this overuse on factory farms. Right now many PIRGs (public interest research groups) across the country, including MassPIRG, are organizing the public to show the president that the people are passionate about this issue. We need the president to act now to protect public health.

Jessie Woodcock,

Brattleboro, July 24


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