Forum, Dec. 30: Condescension Toward Vermont

Friday, December 29, 2017
Condescension Toward Vermont

Thanks for the Dec. 22 article about land preservation in Strafford that will help thwart David Hall’s NewVistas scheme for major development and population density in rural Vermont. I encourage readers to also see the Dec. 24 Boston Globe story that illustrates Hall’s arrogant, ignorant, insulting and condescending opinions about Vermont and its residents.

He told the paper, “Vermont is dying, and anybody who looks at it realistically knows that. ... The only thing saving Vermont is that it’s surrounded by wealth.” The article included: “The real delusion, Hall counters, is perpetuating a dying way of life — an economy that works only for ‘hippies’ and ‘artists’ and people ‘on the dole.’”

Kay Jorgensen


How Will I Spend the Money?

This is a letter to inform readers about how some of us retired people on Social Security are getting “rich“!

For two years, I did not get any increase in Social Security because, according to the government, there was no increase in the cost of living.

On the third year, there was an increase in the net payment to Medicare per month of $4.10, but no increase in the net payment to me directly.

On the fourth year, this coming year, there will be an increase of $25 per month to Medicare and $1 per month in money that will come to me.

Watch out, retail stores, I will go on a spending spree each month with my huge one dollar!

Carole Haehnel

White River Junction

Dangers of Legalized Pot

Are you opposed to legalized marijuana in Vermont? You should be.

Legalized pot brings with it more than just pot.

Are any of these things you want to see in Vermont: more traffic deaths, more ER visits, more psychotic issues, more crime, more homelessness, more employers challenged to find workers, even for good-paying positions, and more demand for soup kitchens and food shelves from out-of-state folks. Legalization would also increase the influence of cartels, promote black markets and result in more use among teens.

Check it out for yourself. Download the video Marijuana X from steeredstraight.com for $3. It contains interviews with Colorado leaders — the attorney general, police chiefs, doctors, religious leaders, rehab counselors and others. If you’d rather see it in print, go to www.rmhidta.org to find reports and charts delivering the same message.

Marijuana has been studied at Mass General and Harvard in MRI image studies that show brain impairments in youth. Greater access will bring greater use. And shouldn’t youngsters have a right to clean air in their own homes? For many, marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to opioids. Last year, there were 112 opioid deaths in Vermont, a record. Do we need more? Do we need more expenses to help people get free of addictions? For some, marijuana is addictive.

Vermonters, it would be wise to learn from others’ bad choices. Learn from other states. Are you opposed? Are you willing to help? Find people to participate in a “Say No to Legalized Pot” poster contest. Would you be willing to help put up posters in public places in your community? Would you be willing to arrange a public showing of Marijuana X in your community? Contact nopotvt@gmail.com. Registration forms for the poster contest, posters and instructions, are available. Act now. Your voice matters. You can make a difference.

Vermonters, keep a clear head — say no to pot in Vermont.

Martha Hafner


Keeping Older Adults Engaged

Jim Kenyon’s Dec. 24 column, “Bridging the Divide,” had a wonderful tone and focus. I so appreciate his coverage of Grafton County Senior Citizens Council (GCSCC) and my work to support its great mission and programs that support the health, dignity and independence of older adults living in the community. I’ve worked for many nonprofit organizations, but GCSCC is my favorite and I feel lucky to have been here for more than 18 years.

There is no way that I could have succeeded as executive director without the hard work (and more than occasional heroism) of volunteers and staff throughout the county. We have 100 staff members — bus drivers, cooks, dishwashers, outreach workers, home-delivered meals coordinators, program directors — and close to 1,000 volunteers. Every weekday, we produce and deliver meals to the homes of hundreds of frail adults; we provide accessible transportation to medical appointments, stores and the senior center; we offer outreach and counseling for those who need help with long-term care choices, Medicare and more. Our senior centers function as community hubs. Perhaps our most important work is to help keep a growing population of older adults engaged with their communities.

Thank you to Jim Kenyon for taking the time to travel with me to Plymouth for the culmination of our Experience/Arts photography course — then for following up several times and in several ways to make sure that his column was accurate. GCSCC’s work is important, and the column makes that clear.

Roberta Berner

Executive Director

Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, Inc.