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Gregory Dennis: Protest gives food for thought

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Greg Dennis



The events around author Charles Murray’s appearance on the Middlebury College campus have convulsed not just the campus but the community.

As news reports and commentaries have distributed word of the unruly crowd that blocked Murray’s speech, the events have taken on national significance.

There’s too much to be said about these events — which included a physical attack upon Murray and college personnel — to fit it all into one column. So I’ll offer just four points.

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College student speaks out: Hate speech deserves no place in discourse

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Adriana Ortiz-Burnham



The voice that tells women, people of color, differently abled, low income, trans, and queer people that we should ask for less, need less, deserve less, that we are less — this is a voice that no longer needs a microphone.

That voice has been an omnipotent presence in our lives since before we were conscious that we could hear it. Those of us involved in the protests at Middlebury College on March 2 earned our place at Middlebury in spite of that voice, by actively fighting against that voice.

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Letter to the Editor: Students acted shamefully

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Ralph Shepard



Perhaps the pampered and privileged Middlebury College students who recently protested against an invited campus speaker need a lesson in Civics with particular emphasis on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution!

I served in the military for 22 years to defend the rights of both the speaker and those who disagree with his message. While I don’t agree with the speaker’s world view, I am very troubled by the lack of civility displayed by the students opposing it.

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Letters to the Editor: Shutting down speaker sets a dangerous precedent

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Erin Ruble



I’m getting a bit tired of hearing about Donald Trump’s hair. Yes, it’s a bad comb-over, and yes, it can have a faint orange tint, but frankly, I wouldn’t care if he looked like an eight-foot tall hamster if I thought he were sane, competent, trustworthy and had the interests of America and Americans at heart.

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Letters to the Editor: Students' behavior disturbing

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Tom Anderson



I was saddened to read about the abuse Allison Stanger endured at Middlebury College. I am the former Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Middlebury. Allison volunteered her time for several years as a recreation department youth basketball coach. She was a kind, sensible woman who was an excellent role model for the children she instructed.

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Legislative Review: Session about to hit its stride

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Fred Baser



The current legislative session has gotten off to a sluggish start. We have a new governor, a new lieutenant governor and a new speaker of the House of Representatives. Each of these positions has a great amount of control over what happens in the Statehouse. We are all getting used to the new dynamic.

Early in the session, Gov. Scott delivered his budget address. In that address the governor challenged legislators to control spending without imposing new taxes. He also proposed new education funding measures:

•  level fund education spending,

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Letters to the Editor: Freedom of the press an essential right

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Susan Shashok



I submitted this email to the White House on Saturday 25, 2017. I doubt he will take my advice. President Trump, The following is from the American Civil Liberties Union website regarding freedom of the press. “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” —U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in New York Times Co. vs. United States (1971).

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Letters to the Editor: Energy costs are driving economy

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By David Van Vleck



Gov. Scott has said (Burlington Free Press, Jan. 20, p. 6A) that Vermont needs more immigrants for budgetary purposes: to pay taxes and produce income for storekeepers. This is good short-term thinking, typical for politicians, but poor long-term thinking and unsustainable over the next 100 years. The reasoning is simple: The population that an area can support depends on natural resources, especially cheap energy, and those resources are decreasing.

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Letter to the Editor: Current minimum wage serves as a ticket to poverty

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Millard M. Cox



At our Ripton Town Meeting last evening, Rep. Peter Conlon did us the service of visiting to bring us up to date on legislative matters. Thank you, Peter. It was much appreciated. Peter mentioned that the effort to raise the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 per hour has been placed on the back burner for now in order to study the effects of that increase. I believe he meant to examine the effects on business and the Vermont economic climate.

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Letter to the Editor: Emphasis should be on regenerative agriculture

Posted on March 9, 2017 |
By Thomas Vanacore



I read with interest John Flowers’ article on Sen. Chris Bray’s legislative initiative S.51 “Consolidated Clean Energy Planning and Economic Opportunity Act.” This all goes back to the Vermont legislature’s stated desire to move away from fossil fuel dependence in order to address global warming, the rationale being that a move to renewable energy would somehow mitigate catastrophic climate change. The problem is none of the favored technological fixes do that.

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