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 Opinion: Vermont vs. Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor

VermontFrom: Jane Newton

To the Editor,

As the day creeps ominously toward us, with Entergy, the NRC, courts that are surely in the clutches of power and money, and even the Pentagon with its sneaky connection with nuclear reactors, all coming to Brattleboro in one form or another, to not only challenge our state's legal rights but the hearts of the people all around it that are fearful for our children and for the very existence of the planet, I feel afraid.

This has been on my mind and in my letters for so many years that I've run out of words with which to express images such as all those little Japanese school children whose schoolyards and small bodies have already been contaminated, carrying around gieger counters when it's too late..or the image from several years ago when a city in Iraq had been bombed so badly that all was gray except for the pink dress of a little girl lying dead in a road; and what about those nine little boys in Pakistan killed by drones while gathering firewood?... So I've taken to stealing words from those who are better at using them. ...

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"....I don't think that the people give a damn if the planet goes on or not..I know of very few people who are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

“Come away O human child!
To the woods and waters wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”
-W.B. Yeats The Stolen Child

I haven't given up, mind you, but in a world in which all through history, those with power and money have brought about unspeakable suffering to the poor, are busy doing it today and will surely be doing it tomorrow, it's hard to imagine that our voices, our marches and our banners will, in the case of Vermont Yankee, help bring about an end to nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Still, we must try. Let us get together next week in Brattleboro and, if all else fails, gather around Dan DeWalt in 2012.

Jane Newton
So.Londonderry Vt


On Wednesday night, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Brattleboro high school the NRC will be there presenting their usual blather, but after it's over, the public can respond and that should be good since it will surely include Arnie Gunderson, Ray SHadis and others like them. Love Jane


--------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: [safeandgreen] LAWSUIT VIGIL, BRATTLEBORO, JUNE 23-24
From: Safe & Green Campaign www.safeandgreencampaign.org

in the Lawsuit brought against Vermont by Entergy Nuclear, Inc.


The Safe & Green Campaign, a citizens environmental organization based in the Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts towns within 20 miles of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Vernon, VT, is inviting concerned members of the public to take part in the following event:

WHAT: A quiet, dignified, single-line vigil in support of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, and Vermont's Public Service Board, who have been named as defendants in a federal lawsuit brought by the Entergy Corporation, owner/operator of Vermont Yankee (see "background" below).

WHEN: 7:30 - 9:00 AM on Thursday, June 23, and 7:30 - 9:00 AM on Friday, June 24. The court hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM each day. The vigil will end at 9:00 AM so as not to interfere with the court proceedings. Those who want to attend the hearing may want to leave the vigil before 9:00 AM to be sure of getting seats, though this may not be a problem (the courtroom is said to hold at least 75 spectators).

WHERE: On the sidewalks in front of, and across the street from, the Brattleboro Post Office on Main Street. The federal courtroom is upstairs in the Post Office building. Vigilers will be asked to stand facing the street in a single line so as to avoid blocking pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks. We must also be sure to avoid blocking the entrance to the Post Office, cross streets, and driveways.

SIGNS: The Safe & Green Campaign will have a number of signs for people to hold. The signs read, "Entergy vs. Vermont" "We Support VERMONT!" If vigilers choose to bring their own signs, we ask that they be in keeping with the purpose of the vigil, which is to show support for the State of Vermont and its elected officials in their determination to uphold Vermont's democratic process and the will of the people to close Vermont Yankee. Safe & Green will also have leaflets to be given out to passersby explaining why we are vigiling.

BACKGROUND: Entergy is pushing to nullify an important Vermont law that gives the state legislature the authority to determine whether or not Vermont Yankee will be permitted to continue operation beyond the expiration, on March 21, 2012, of its original 40-year license. The law stipulates that permission must be granted by both the Vermont Senate and the Vermont House of Representatives. On February 24, 2010, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (26-to-4) not to allow continued operation.

Until the lawsuit is finally settled, which could take years, Entergy is seeking an immediate "preliminary injunction" that would block any effort by the State of Vermont to close the Vermont Yankee reactor. This means that for years Entergy could continue to operate an aged, unreliable, badly-maintained and accident-plagued reactor. Their request for a preliminary injunction will be the main subject of the June 23-24 hearing. NOTE: Judge J. Garvan Murtha, the Vermont federal district judge who will preside over the June 23-24 hearing, may not hand down his decision regarding the injunction until the following week at the earliest.

POST-DECISION TEACH-IN: As soon as we know Judge Murtha's decision, Safe & Green will hold a public "teach-in"¯ in order to explain and discuss both the legal and citizen action implications of his decision.
Stay tuned!

Safe & Green Campaign

[20 June 2011]


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