Letter Box

Posted

Thursday July 12, 2012

Playing politics with women’s health

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m not surprised to hear that runners and sponsors in Vermont are boycotting the Komen Race for the Cure ("Race for the Cure hurt by national controversy," July 7-8).

When the right-wing leadership of the national Komen organization dropped funding of breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, they expected nobody to notice. But millions of women, for whom Planned Parenthood is an oasis of understanding and compassionate care, did notice -- and they were not happy. Who would have expected a supposedly pro-woman organization like Komen to start playing politics with women’s health care? But that’s what they did. And all the pink ribbons in the world can’t mask their hypocrisy.

I understand that helping breast cancer patients is important and that the Vermont branch of the Komen organization wants to steer clear of the national leadership’s repugnant actions. But why even stick with such an unsavory bunch? Why not reorganize the Vermont Komen group as an independent organization? I am sure people would love to support a non-politicized, Vermont alternative.

Patience Merriman,

Jacksonville, July 10

A Trojan Horse
about energy

Editor of the Reformer:

On July 1, a group of people opposed to Vermont Yankee protested at the plant gates; their protest included a hollow "Trojan Cow." Some protesters pulled mock solar panels out of the cow, while others held whirligigs representing wind turbines. The cow sculpture included cow plop, representing "Cow Power" -- farm methane. The theme was clear: Vermont Yankee will be replaced with renewables.

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A Trojan Horse (or cow) is the symbol of deception. The event organizers chose this symbol. It was very apt. They attempted to deceive the public that closing Vermont Yankee would bring a burst of renewables to market. It will not.

Closing Vermont Yankee would mean buying more power from the New England grid. Grid power is approximately 58 percent fossil, 28 percent nuclear and 12 percent hydro plus renewables. Wind, solar and farm methane, together, total less than 1 percent of the power generated in New England. (This information comes from the website of the New England grid operator.)

What would closing Vermont Yankee mean? More solar panels? No. With or without VY, renewables are expensive, and they are not coming on line quickly. Fossil plants supply the majority of grid power, but many fossil plants only operate part-time. Closing Vermont Yankee would mean that fossil plants will run longer hours and make more power. If the protesters had been accurate, they would have pulled a model of a gas or coal plant from the Trojan Cow’s belly, not a cardboard solar panel.

However, the purpose of a Trojan Horse has always been deception. This protest lived up to that custom. It deceived people about their energy supply choices.

Meredith Angwin,

Wilder, July 9

Responsible
free speech?

Editor of the Reformer:

Whether comparing President Obama or former President Bush or the American military or Catholic Bishops to Adolf Hitler, it is disgraceful.

I have observed depraved demonstrators in various places in America with these comparisons, and now in Brattleboro, in front of the U.S. Post Office. It is an ugly sight. This is not, in any way, in the spirit of responsible free speech. Indeed, the current demonstration vitiates free speech.

Margaret Everitt,

Dummerston, July 10


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