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Friday, May 25
Per-person nuke stat is specious

Editor of the Reformer:

Vermont has more nuclear waste (and more of many things) per person than other states, because only Wyoming is home to fewer people ("Vermont has most nuclear waste per capita," May 19).

Entergy Vermont Yankee is next to New Hampshire and Massachusetts, much nearer to Boston than to Burlington. Dividing its nuclear waste among 8,193,710 residents of all three states instead of 608,827 Vermonters (U.S. Census 2000) is 2.6 ounces per person instead of 2.15 pounds. Which number is correct?

Neither of them.

Per-person statistics are meaningful when they show differences between groups of people, such as their preferences or access to services. They are not meaningful when they divide something among an arbitrary number of people who do not and cannot have any of it.

Opponents of nuclear power have ably presented many meaningful arguments and statistics. "Nuclear waste per Vermonter" is not one of them.

Howard Fairman

Vernon, May 23

Let 'em ride nude

Editor of the Reformer:

After a long, confusing night of drinking scotch and determined to try and solve the constant problems in our town of both public nudity and cyclist vs. motorist, God gave me an epiphinette.

The nudists must be encouraged to ride bikes instead of lounging around downtown where everyone can see their ooky nether regions, thereby speeding up the sighting of personal parts for those who are squeamish.

Also, cyclists, and you know who you are, show off that toned body! Riding naked may be uncomfortable at first, but will surely command the motorists' attention. There, I did it. Man, does my brain hurt.

Cindy Coble

Brattleboro, May 23

Roundabout thinking

Editor of the Reformer:

Right on Kim Noble! I'm another driver that's glad to see someone that knows how to enter a roundabout.

Forrest "Zip" Jacobs


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Reformer nails it with op-eds

Editor of the Reformer:

The two pieces on O'Reilly and Falwell in the May 17 Reformer were spot on. Bill O'Reilly does some great work helping get child protection legislation passed but I lose him when he starts making personal attacks on those who disagree with him; if not with his words, then sometimes with his tone of voice and/or facial expressions. (But they're harder to prove). And even he will sometimes refer to himself as a "bloviator"... I'm being kind.

Falwell? He may have done some good work with his schools and churches, but how much was at the expense of his frequently poor and uneducated flock who may have believed everything he spewed at them? His reputation as a hater was very well-deserved; even conservative Republican presidential candidate John McCain referred to him as an "agent of intolerence."

The Bushies and the lefties can hem and haw at each other until the cows come home, but come next November, I hope Americans will see the folly, corruption, greed and incompetence of the current administration and not vote another Republican to the White House.

Jay A. Knickerbocker

Brattleboro, May 23

River is a floating traffic jam

Editor of the Reformer:

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The article in Saturday's paper, "Miles and miles of flat, open water awaits," states that the Connecticut River is 30 miles of low-traffic water. This is not true. It is a very high-traffic area with power boats, canoes and kayaks competing for space.

The canoes often ride in large groups and can be found in the middle of the river and extending to both sides, making it difficult for a powerboat to pass. The powerboat is more limited in where it can travel than a canoe or kayak, as the powerboat cannot navigate in shallow water near shore.

The proposed clinics on rowing should include a course in courtesy and respect for other boaters.

All boaters, power or rowing, should be able to enjoy the Connecticut River.

Elaine Davis

Brattleboro, May 22

Thinking young

Editor of the Reformer:

Think Young! The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated our 100th anniversary last year by acknowledging a century of progress, and chose "Advancing a Century of Promise" to forecast our 101st.

As we considered a theme for our 2007 Fourth of July parade it became immediately clear that if it's the promise of a brighter future we're working to realize, in whose hands is this promise if not those of the young people of greater Brattleboro?

So come Wednesday, July 4, as we take our first steps in this year's parade, the chamber, the bands, the color guard and the scores of marching units representing the best of who we are will parade alongside those who work day in and day out to help our young people.

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This demonstration of the chamber's commitment to the future of our community will not end as we reach the Brattleboro Common. Rather, the 2007 Fourth of July parade will be the first step in an ongoing chamber campaign to keep our young people front and center in the community consciousness.

I've been strutting my stuff for a few years now. What keeps me (and I suppose many of us) going, is knowing that we've help make it possible for the young folk marching behind us to live sustainable lives and dream attainable dreams -- just as many of us have been able to. Sure, their future is in their hands. Yet it's also in ours -- at the chamber and throughout the business and social services communities.

As we gear up to celebrate our nation's 301st birthday on July 4, we invite you to join the parade. For an application, call the chamber at 802-254-4565, or e-mail info@brattleborochamber.org Applications must be in by Friday, June 1.

Between now and then, think young. Think of how your business or organization can honor the young people of our community, and help them build a brighter future, by participating in the high-stepping-est, red-white-and-blue-est Fourth of July parade Brattleboro's ever seen.

Jerry Goldberg

Executive Director

Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, May 21

Impeachment would end war

Editor of the Reformer:

I attended the public meeting at the Hartford High School on May 12 to discuss impeachment with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. About 50 people from the crowd of several hundred stood in line to speak. Almost all favored impeaching the president and vice president.

Welch patiently listened to them all and agreed that there are ample grounds for impeachment, but stated that his priority is to stop the war in Iraq.

It is unclear to me how anyone is going to stop the war while Bush and Cheney remain in power. The war in Iraq is part of the "worldwide war on terror" that could go on for many years. What's at stake is that country's oil.

An Iraq oil law could be ratified next month. It would cede control to U.S. and British oil corporations for 30 years. The war will go on until this law passes. We wouldn't have constructed all those permanent military bases and that billion dollar embassy if we had any intention of withdrawing.

If Iraq's bationalists, who are opposed to the oil law, wrest control of the Iraq government from the U.S.-backed separatists, the war will certainly continue. The fact that the United States maintains 737 military bases in 130 countries is instructive here. All are for protecting the economic interests of the U.S., under the guise of "national security," of course. Why would Iraq be any different?

If congressional efforts to actually stop the war appear to be working, for example by using the War Powers Act to de-authorize the war as Gov. Richardson of New Mexico is advocating, it would be a simple matter for the White House to stage some "false flag" operation (IEDs, dirty bombs, another airliner hijacking) and blame it on al-Qaida (or Iran).

Then Mr. Bush could invoke the Defense Authorization Act of 2006, which gives him the power to impose martial law, aka military dictatorship. Anyone opposing such a move could be labeled an enemy combatant and detained, tortured or killed. And that would be that.

Impeaching the president and vice president seems the more pertinent course. Arresting them for war crimes and crimes against humanity, in addition to failure to preserve and protect the Constitution, wouldn't be a bad idea either.

We must stop Bush and Cheney now, before more damage is inflicted upon Iraq, this country and the world.

Bill Pearson

Brattleboro, May 16


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