Letters to the Editor (8/9/23) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (8/9/23) 

Published August 9, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

Bad Veto

[Re Last 7: "No Deposit," July 5]: We all know that it is folly to put all your eggs in one basket. Except for Gov. Phil Scott, who opted to put any expansion of Vermont's recycling of bottles and cans in the hands of the zero-sort industry. The gov cited that reason in vetoing a bill that would have updated the state's 1972 bottle-redemption system.

Zero-sort and curbside recycling are fine for lots of folks and for lots of stuff. But relying on them for bottle and container recycling, to the detriment of an expanded bottle deposit program, is fraught with defects. Having alternative recycling efforts (i.e., both bottle deposit and zero-sort) assuredly leads to more containers being recycled and fewer being trashed.

The veto takes away the incentive to stop tossing containers from your vehicle onto the roadside or discarding them in parks, at beaches and everywhere. The veto takes away the incentive for others to gather up the discards and cash them in for the deposit refund.

The veto imposes on all residents costs far in excess of the purchase cost of the deposit, whether it is one nickel or three nickels. Consider the costs of litter-contaminated land and waterways, health hazards from broken glass, and contamination of soil and water.

I note that our neighbors in Maine have a successful container recycling program for a variety of containers that current Vermont law excludes. It is also noteworthy that the zero-sort basket that Scott's veto promotes is dominated by one multistate, profit-motivated business.

The Vermont legislature wisely adopted the now-vetoed expansion of the state's bottle law, and I urge it to override that veto at the first opportunity.

Hugo Liepmann


Sensitivity or Tyranny?

[Re Feedback: "Antiquated Terms," August 2]: I would challenge Seven Days reporters to rethink their response and planned action to change their terms used in reporting about the subject of abortion based on one man's opinion of "sensitive" terms.

This is why most people are finding truth and reality harder and harder to find and/or trust. Facts and reality should not be based on opinion.

It seems that manipulating the use of words and redefining their meanings has become a new tyranny for some in our culture. If the reality of what words are saying communicates something a person or group doesn't want to hear, they simply change the terms used or the meaning of words to suit their opinion(s). This is deemed "sensitivity."

News sources such as Seven Days should care about communicating facts and truth in their news and articles. The facts of science tell us a pregnancy is a developing human life. Do we present this fact and reality or redefine the truth for the sake of "sensitivity"?

No matter what a person believes about abortion, where is the "sensitivity" for the value and existence of a human life?

Nancy Gassett


Gun Owner to Blame

This is so absurd ["No Safety: A Toddler Fatally Shot Himself With an Easy-to-Fire 'Baby Glock.' Is the Gunmaker Culpable?" July 26]. I am anti-gun and own no guns but firmly believe that if you own a weapon such as this, you are obligated to store the weapon in a way that is not accessible to children.

John Hutchinson


Trigger Warning

[Re "No Safety: A Toddler Fatally Shot Himself With an Easy-to-Fire 'Baby Glock.' Is the Gunmaker Culpable?" July 26]: The article seems to imply that there is an inherent defect with a Glock handgun, which by design has no redundant "safety switch." Whether someone is a sworn law enforcement officer or a private citizen, when the justifiable need arises to use a handgun, time is usually of the essence, and sometimes darkness, stress or other challenging circumstances can make fumbling for a safety a problem.

As mentioned, these types of handguns are preferred by most law enforcement personnel for that reason; they are ready to use when needed. There is nothing inherently wrong with a firearm that does not incorporate a secondary safety. Any handgun without a safety can easily be rendered incapable of triggering if it is simply de-chambered when not needed for immediate use. Any responsible Glock owner would do this in such a situation where the firearm is left unattended and potentially available to a child or other curious and inexperienced person.

The person who left this chambered gun accessible to a young houseguest is clearly and solely liable in this case. Also, it is stated in the piece that "legislation passed in 2005 made gun manufacturers immune to many civil lawsuits." "Many" is an imprecise word, as this legislation specifically immunizes the manufacturer for cases of criminal or negligent misuse — and not for design flaws, as the lawsuit in this case is claiming. That legislation was thoughtfully passed to preempt frivolous, predatory lawsuits based on the inherent and purposeful danger of firearms.

Rich Lachapelle


Show for the Moment

[Re "Lost Nation Theater Rises Above the Flood," July 26]: Lost Nation Theater opened and closed The Addams Family at the Barre Opera House three weekends ago, performing on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23, for 1,000 flood-traumatized theater lovers. It was a miraculous experience and a transformative one for our central Vermont community!

It was made possible by Vermont College of Fine Arts, which provided rehearsal space — and, without hesitation, so much more — when Montpelier City Hall was no longer habitable. It was made possible because the Barre Opera House welcomed us and trusted us with its grand performing arts venue. And it was made possible because Lost Nation Theater's resourceful creative team, incredibly determined cast and tiny but mighty staff found a way to make it happen.

Prophetically, The Addams Family turned out to be the show we needed to experience at this unimaginably difficult time — a story about two radically different families brought together and united by love; a story about how it often takes the worst of times to bring out the best in us; and a story that says, as Robert Frost put it, "the only way out is through." The times demand we work together, tune out the noise of difference and division, and find a way to care for each other.

In the final number, the resurrected character Lurch finds his voice and sings, "Only at our lowest can we rise above, move toward the darkness — and love!"

Kim Bent


Bent is the founding artistic director of Lost Nation Theater.

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