Letter Box


A disheartening victory?

Editor of the Reformer:

It is with great reserve that I write now that the Vermont Public Service Board granted Entergy yet another Certificate of public good purchased with Entergy’s good ole corporate cash. Every decision involved millions to the state. In response to the decision, my thoughts led me to "next stop is shutdown."

It has been many years since the reactor went a period of months without something significant occurring. Be it, Entergy finding a radioactive leak, or Entergy sitting on some event until the last moment. It is the secrecy of the atomic industry that is its double-edged sword. By many accounts Entergy behavior towards the state would be considered slimy and dishonest. That suspected pipe-bomb incident of November 2013, where Entergy did not expose it during the recent PSB hearings: The Vernon Police Department suggested calling the bomb squad, yet Entergy’s hired security team tried and succeeded with a de-fusing of the suspected bomb using string and duct tape. With Entergy claiming that the 2007 spectacular cooling tower collapse as a "small leak in one cooling tower cell," those of us who live near Vermont Yankee know with whom the state deals.

As we currently lack a state nuclear engineer, Entergy is even freer to flaunt protections of the locals and state land. I fully expect their site assessment offered to the state by December of 2014 to show only the bare minimum of contamination.

Truly what the PSB approved in approving the CPG could be paraphrased, "look, for eight or 10 months we’ll let Entergy burn up the fuel they put in the reactor in 2013, the assumption is that Entergy will stop misleading the state, and that nothing so gross as to endanger anyone should occur before next year."

When I heard the PSB decision, I was disheartened. And I thought, next stop -- shutdown. When it closes, it is our victory.

Gary Sachs

Brattleboro, April 11

One size does
not fit all

Editor of the Reformer:

Once again I find myself responding to what I see as another rather intense, one-size-fits-all, polemic about mental health treatment ("Make your voice heard before it’s too late," April 30). Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion, hence mine. I worked several years as the social worker on two different locked inpatient psychiatric units -- one in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. I am also the family member of a severely mentally ill relative who has struggled (not successfully) with paranoid schizophrenia for almost 29 years. I talk openly about my relative’s condition without feeling I am "outing" anyone because we live in different states, have different last names, and because mental illness is just a broken brain. It isn’t different from epilepsy, dementia, Parkinsons or some of the other broken brain disorders and does not deserve to be spoken of in whispers.

I really want to know and I hope the opinion writer will respond with an answer: What do you do when you have tried everything else and the person in question has become assaultive and dangerous to themselves and the larger community? The author’s statistics are probably true that involuntary medication requests happen in only 10 percent of cases and are granted for less than 5 percent. Courts do not want to take away people’s civil rights, especially in Vermont, the nation’s capitol of civil libertarians. Those requests are the last-ditch attempt to solve a problem that has become intractable. Would you prefer that these folks with no insight about their illness be sent to jail? God knows, we have a gazillion mentally ill folks in our prisons because we closed all their other options.

Claudette Hollenbeck,

Wilmington, April 30


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