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Forum, June 17: Another Gun Tragedy; Freeing Terrorists; Cherish the Co-op

Another Gun Tragedy

To the Editor:

In the wake of yet another gun assault on our society, I find myself questioning the events.

This time it was Steve Arkel, a part-time police officer from Brentwood, N.H. I knew Steve as a dad. His daughter and mine played lacrosse together. I only knew Steve in that context, but that was enough to know that he was good.

As a father and fellow citizen I watched in horror as the news about Steve’s death was reported. I felt paralyzed and helpless.

What comes into play here is common sense. I am a gun owner, hunter and supporter of the right to bear arms.

It is said that a car is a deadly weapon. Our society fully supports a driver’s license to operate the “deadly weapon.”

But no license to operate a firearm? Is a gun not a deadly weapon? Is it OK to operate your gun while intoxicated?

It’s common sense.

Arthur Stout

Norwich

Mission Accomplished in Iraq?

To the Editor:

Lest we forget, prior to our invasion and occupation of Iraq, Saddam Hussein saw to it that al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists were nowhere to be found in his country. With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now threatening to overrun Iraq, what is the United States to do?

I suggest we dispatch George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice to Baghdad. It was their war, let them sort it out. On the way home they can stop by the International Court of Justice in The Hague for an advisory opinion on war crimes. “Mission Accomplished.”

John Karol

Orford

GMO Labels Make Sense

To the Editor:

It was inevitable that the grocers association and such would sue Vermont over the new GMO labeling law — they are lobbyists who make money by fighting these battles. Now is the opportunity for those who feel strongly about labeling GMOs to donate money to the Vermont fund to fight this legal battle. Other countries have GMO labeling laws. Consumers in the U.S. have the right to know too. If the GMO companies are so proud of what they produce, they should be voluntarily labeling instead of fighting. In the long run this is a battle that the GMO companies are going to lose. Labeling will become the default. The question is how much money will the grocers association and the GMO companies waste fighting rather than doing the right thing, which is to produce a safe product and market it well.

Walter Jeffries

West Topsham

We Don’t Need Fracked Gas

To the Editor:

This was presented to the Vermont Public Service Board June 12 at the Middlebury High School hearing: I respectfully submit that we do not need “natural” gas as a bridge fuel. We have viable energy sources today to power our businesses, heat our homes — renewable energy sources that bring good, local jobs, keep energy money in the state, improving our economy. We need to invest in these viable, available renewable technologies, not in harmful fossil fuel infrastructure. Can businesses invest in renewables successfully? Yes. As an example, I submit the NRG Systems Campus in Hinesburg, Vt. I quote from Anna Grady of NRG: “We are running at net zero on an annual basis and continue to monitor and balance all energy use and conservation. We are growing … and are proud to be one of the few privately owned businesses … in the wind energy industry. Our commitment to making the world a better place remains one of our most important core values.” This is just one example of a growing business that is manufacturing products and providing jobs, all without fossil fuels. Not only can it be done, it is being done. Please do not approve phase two of the ill-intentioned fracked gas pipeline. We don’t need this gas, fracked gas banned in Vermont, to make the transition to 90 percent renewable by 2050.

Dori Wolfe

Strafford

Freeing the Terrorists

To the Editor:

Hillary Clinton claims the five terrorists freed in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl do not pose a threat to the United States. If that’s the case, why did we imprison them at Gitmo for over a decade?

Jeff Lehmann

Lyme Center

Trouble in Moody Park

To the Editor:

I am a former Claremont resident and homeowner. My sons decided to throw me a special birthday party atop Moody Park on June 14. We had fond memories of the Maple Avenue area, often used the park’s trails and picnic areas and had many birthday parties there when my sons were little.

When we drove up to the top of the road, we were horrified at the sight of the lost trees, debris everywhere and no picnic sites. The road was worse than we remembered. Absolutely disgusting. Yes, the top of the park was beautiful and the view breathtaking, but we were sad. Why not take the revenue from the sale of the wood and put it all back into that park. Clean it up, put picnic tables and grills all the way down, and fix that road.

Mary LaPalme

Charlestown

Hanover All In Bloom

To the Editor:

Thank you, Hanover Garden Club, for all the wonderful flowers you planted all over Hanover. It is a treat to drive around town.

Betty Ann Heistad

Lebanon

Many Cherish the Co-op

To the Editor:

A Tribute to the Hanover Co-op: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

First has to be the warmth and goodness that each Co-op employee showed to my husband when he lost the ability to process words by speaking or hearing. Next is the quality and variety of produce, much of it grown by local farmers we all know. Then, I love driving up to the beautifully arranged displays of flowering plants, vegetables and herbs, also most raised locally. The meat and fish offered is fresh, well labeled so we can know what is best for us and for the animals raised for food. The education department is superb, with great written advice and fun classes. The men and women in the cheese and wine departments know their business and share it gladly.

There is a reason why friends and relatives who visit from other states unfailingly make a little time for a Co-op visit and say they wish they had a store like that at home.

Jean Sibley

Etna