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Kudos on Abortion Story, But … (via FB)

Well written article [“Choosing Abortion In Massachusetts: Stigma and Obstacles Remain,” July 20-26, 2017] discussing very real obstacles. The statement about women in “poverty” being the majority of women seeking abortion services is not exactly statistically correct. I believe the Guttmacher Institute cites “low-income” women account for about half of the procedures in the United States. It’s The Abortion Right’s Fund of Western Massachusetts that serves our area, however, and there is also the Jane fund which serves Central Massachusetts.

— Cara Callahan

Fire on Abortion Story (via email)

Regarding the July 20-26, 2017, Valley Advocate and the article “Choosing Abortion in Massachusetts,” you allow evil to be called good (see Isaiah 5:20, and Proverbs 17:15), and you ridiculously smeared all those who rightly oppose the abortion of the pre-born (which stops a beating heart), as being hate.

— Alexander Scott,  Brattleboro

Too Many Prisoners (via email)

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the U.S.A. Europe’s rate is a third of ours. In Vermont, 10 percent of prisoners are African-American. Just 1 percent of Vermonters are black. In Brattleboro, on Sept. 27, there will be a freedom march. The goal is to get politicians to reduce the prison population. The march starts at 5 p.m. at Pliny Park. Speaking at a 15-minute rally before the march will be Anna Stevens of Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform and Brattleboro resident Ellen Schwartz. Schwartz is president of the Vermont Workers Center, which in recent years organized marches in Montpelier that drew thousands of people. For more information: ewilliams@ValleyPost.org.

— Eesha Williams

Dummerston, VT

More Rutabaga Love (via email)

I wanted to put in a good word for rutabaga, which you disparaged in your recent Advocate column [“What the Heck is That Veggie in my Farm Share,” July 27-Aug. 2, 2017]. I started loving it as a kid, when my dad would use it in New England boiled dinner. Anything tastes good when infused with corned-beef brine. It may not be something I eat year-round, but along with the conventional onions, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage, it adds interest. The slow cooking mellows the vegetable, leaving nothing but what seems to be a more characterful potato.

— Suzanne Farrington

Getting a GED Is Harder Than You Think (via valleyadvocate.com comment)

Many people think that getting a high school diploma is easy. It requires even more work for those who do it later in life [“Persistence Pays Off for Adult Education Graduates,” Aug. 3-9, 2017.] Many Americans who graduated from high school decades ago would not be able to pass the math and science sections, which require knowledge that was not required in most high schools back then. It is important to recognize this if you are hiring someone who passes these test.

— Emma Stamas