Forum, June 29: The Science of Fluoride; Lebanon’s July 4th Offerings; Executive Orders

A Scientifically Sound Decision

To the Editor:

As a member of the Hartford Selectboard, I read the recent editorial on Hartford’s decision about fluoride with particular interest (“Hartford Brushes Off Fluoridation Science,” June 22).

The editor’s claim that the Selectboard did not “wish to go to the trouble of implementing policy based on scientific findings if it might bring them some grief from a dissenting minority” implies that the body of scientific evidence that we currently have on the subject supports the conclusion that water fluoridation at the concentration of .7 milligrams per liter is safe.

In fact, a preponderance of the modern scientific evidence suggests the opposite. The one that I would highlight again is the Harvard School of Public Health’s study, D evelopmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. This study is part of the basis of my views on the subject as it suggests that adding fluoride to our water supply may lower our children’s IQs.

So we can agree that science needs to be brought to the forefront in this decision, and we can agree that the Hartford Selectboard may on occasion deserve criticism, but to say that Hartford’s recent decision about fluoride demonstrates a disregard for modern science is not accurate. Further, to make this claim reveals a lack of awareness of the state of the scientific debate on the subject.

I hope this helps to clarify why I question the editor’s comparison between the decision to not teach evolution in schools (which probably is anti-science) and the decision to not add into the public water supply a substance that the EPA has classified as a neurotoxin (which probably is not).

Simon Dennis


Enjoy July Fourth in Lebanon

To the Editor

While it is true the traditional fireworks for Lebanon have been moved to August, there are still some fantastic reasons to visit downtown Lebanon on July 4th.

1) The Rotary Clubs of Lebanon are holding the 2nd Annual Great American All-You-Can-Eat Pie Buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the air-conditioned senior center.

2) The Lebanon Recreation Department is holding the Red, White and Blue 6.2 (10K) road race starting at 9:30 a.m. in Colburn Park.

3) And SPARK is hosting a flea market from 9:30 – 1 p.m. in the parking lot next to the senior center.

All three events support wonderful organizations and causes, and are worthy of support.

At the Rotary pie buffet you will find tables with all kinds of pies — from the standard apple, pumpkin, pecan and rhubarb, to the exotic, such as tortilla, southern brownie, onion, fruit pizza and homestead. For the really hungry, try the quiche, shepherd’s pie, pizzas. There will be pie for everyone’s taste. The event benefits Rotary’s PolioPlus Campaign, which aims to eradicate polio around the world. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for 10 and under, and are available in advance from Rotarians, or at the door. Take-out of two slices for $7 is available separately.

For further information, contact me at 603-667-8254, or visit

Bruce Bergeron

Rotary pie buffet committee member


It Was No Joke

To the Editor:

Two headlines seemed to run together in the June 20 edition of the Valley News. They appeared to read, “Ex-Chief Sued Obama to Send Advisers to IRAQ to Quell Rising Insurgency.” I tried to figure out who this Ex-Chief was who got President Obama to take such an action, but then I concluded it was either an editorial error or possibly an attempt at humor.

In any case, I understand that Obama is sending 300 additional troops to Iraq. At first I thought he was violating his promise not to put “boots on the ground” in Iraq, but then I realized it was probably a clever trick sending troops without boots so they could creep up quietly on the enemy. I hope they’re taking plenty of socks.

Dick Justice


GOP Should Check the Record

To the Editor:

I was amazed, but not surprised, to hear that House Speaker John Boehner plans to sue President Obama for signing executive orders. Maybe they need to look back.

According to the American Presidency Project, Reagan signed 381 in eight years; the first George Bush, 166 in four years; the second George Bush, 291 in eight years; and Clinton, 364 in eight years.

Obama is at just over 180.

Ted Cruz appears to be running in 2016. Where is the outcry in the Republican Party? He really wasn’t born in the U.S., and Canada doesn’t want him back.

Dot Murphy


Letters From Far Afield

To the Editor:

A letter to the editor printed in the Forum on June 25 comes from the hinterlands — Vernon, Vt. How did that get by your censors? Vernon is twice as far away as Springfield, which doesn’t seem to gather much favor when it comes to your Forum page.

You have an excellent newspaper but treat folks outside your coverage area with disdain unless you want their subscription. The “banana belt” of Vermont does exist, and I can’t wait for your next slip-up. I enjoy your paper, but not your selective policy.

David Shuffleburg

Springfield, Vt.

(Editor’s Note: The Forum publishes letters from outside our coverage area when they address a staff-written story in the Valley News or an issue of compelling interest to our readers.)