Letters 03 – 20 – 2012

To those who plan to protest at Vermont Yankee this month… 

I served 28 years in the military and I strongly support the freedoms granted to Americans, particularly free speech. We are all entitled to exercise our First Amendment rights, however they should be exercised reasonably. Having said that, I am concerned for the plans for protests that are expected to take place on Vermont Yankee property through the next week.

The Vernon Elementary School is directly across the street from Vermont Yankee. While I do not have children in the school, the idea of several hundred protestors filling the street in front of the school causes me to worry about the safety of the school children. The children should not have to be disrupted or put in harm’s way to satisfy a political agenda.

There are also plans for using civil disobedience tactics to close VY, both at the plant and at the offices in Brattleboro. The neighborhood around Governor Hunt Road is residential, and many businesses are established in the Old Ferry Road neighborhood. During these weekday protests, residents will be traveling as they go about their daily activities and neighboring businesses will be open for customers.

In the interest of the children’s safety, and that of VY employees, neighbors, law enforcement, protestors, and passers-by, I hope that the protests will be well organized, stay within the bounds of the law, and not lead to injuries for any involved. I certainly hope those plans for civil disobedience do not come to fruition.

– Richard January



Physician Assisted Suicide is a slippery moral issue

On March 14 at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on S.103 (Physician Assisted Suicide/PAS), Harry Chen, MD, Commissioner of the VT Department of Health, testified that the bill was “a top priority” for the governor, who views it as a “civil rights issue.” Honestly, I have never before considered that having a doctor write a prescription with the sole intent of killing a patient should be labeled a “civil right!” So, according to Dr. Chen’s testimony, if S.103 with all its “so-called protections” for a person with 6 months or less to live to get a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of medication and a pharmacist to fill it with the express purpose of taking one’s life is a civil right, why isn’t it a civil right for a person who has more than 6 months to live? …Or someone going through difficult economic, social, or family issues? …Or someone depressed? …Or a person who cannot self-administer the lethal dose of medication? …Or a person no longer able to communicate? …Or a teenager who just can’t go on? …Or a person coming to the state/country for the sole purpose of suicide? …Or parents who just had a baby with a disability and decide they don’t want that baby to live? All of the above, and more, would be allowable reasons in Holland to have a doctor prematurely end someone’s life. I consider this murder; and to call S.103 a civil right is a stretch and opens the door to all the other possibilities. When people say there is no “slippery slope” with S.103 (PAS), they are not being honest. Several years ago I attended a Death with Dignity Vermont presentation facilitated by a family physician who stated numerous times that if Vermont passes a bill it will be THE FIRST STEP and may not meet the needs of everyone, but it is THE FIRST STEP. S.103 is not a law that is needed in any State or any Country, now or ever.

– Kathleen Grange





Notes & Events

Thursday, March 22: Vermonters for Economic Health presents: “A Tale of Two Futures” by Robert Maynard and Tom Licata. The event will involve and examination of Vermont’s economic future and will be held at 6-30-8:00 pm a the Grange Hall in Essex. (116 Center Road, Essex Junction, Vermont Next to Frank’s Motorcycles)

Saturday April 14th: Castleton Republican breakfast at the Trak-In on Route 30 in Bomoseen, VT. Breakfast at 8:30 am followed by Guest Speaker Senator Randy Brock. RSVP to Castletonrepublicans@yahoo.com or for additional info contact Al Gustafson at 802-273-3954.

Wednesday April 18: Ethan Allen Institute’s 19th annual Jefferson Day Event, 7:00, Sheraton Burlington – University Amphitheatre. EAI Founder John McClaughry will speak on “Mr. Jefferson’s Economy.”


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