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Letters: What Do You Think?

This week: Help for New Mothers--Getting Out the Word; Friends Meeting Minute on Nuclear Power Plant; Is Ionizing Radiation a Health Threat in Springfield?; Protect the Quabbin Watershed

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Help for New Mothers: Getting Out the Word

Thank you to Maureen Turner for writing a strong article on perinatal emotional complications like depression and anxiety in a way that truly educates the community and connects all of us with the work that is being done on the statewide level ["Motherhelp," March 1, 2012].

Please contact us at MotherWoman if you are a mother experiencing emotional challenges connected to pregnancy and postpartum, or if you have input for the Massachusetts Postpartum Depression Commission. You can reach me directly at liz@motherwoman.org.

Liz Friedman
via Internet

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Friends Meeting Minute on Nuclear Power Plant

On January 8, 2012, Northampton Friends Meeting passed the following minute:

"As members of Northampton Friends Meeting, we strongly support the closure of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant at the end of its 40-year lifespan as scheduled on March 21st of 2012.

"Nuclear power is a very dangerous way to make electricity and the owners of Vermont Yankee have not earned our trust. We already have decades worth of poisonous nuclear waste stored on the banks of the Connecticut River that will need to be handled with utmost care. It is time to stop adding nuclear waste to those spent fuel pools.

"We support the State of Vermont's actions to close the plant in March of this year and want the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do the same. We encourage those who feel led to take nonviolent action on this issue [see "March on Yankee"].

"We see this as an opportunity to show our stewardship of the earth's environment and prevent its further destruction by supporting the citizen's movement to close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant."

Margaret Arny, Clerk
For Northampton Friends Meeting

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Is Ionizing Radiation a Health Threat in Springfield?

Kudos to Stephanie Kraft for her excellent article of February 23 entitled "Caron Lands on Park Place," regarding the approved expansion of UniFirst/Unitech (formerly called Interstate Nuclear Services) into abutting Hubbard Park in Indian Orchard. This well researched article was followed by an informative letter to the editor on March 1 under the heading "Nuclear Laundry and Local Health," written by Kathleen Conley Norbut from Monson, who states that public education is needed on the medical effects of ionizing radiation and that citizens should know how to protect themselves.

I totally agree and thank the Advocate for reporting this compelling information. I trust that our Springfield Health Department will protect our citizens in this connection because Helen Caulton-Harris, Director of Springfield Health and Human Services, has been quoted in the Springfield Sunday Republican as stating; "We also as a city have high cancer rates; breast cancer in women, high prostate cancer in men."

Stacia Falkowski
Indian Orchard

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Take the Long View: Protect the Quabbin Watershed

The Quabbin Reservoir is a critically important natural and public health resource for the commonwealth. The land surrounding the Quabbin is home to bald eagles, brown bears and other wildlife rare in Massachusetts, and it is the sole drinking water source for 2.2 million people in the state.

Despite the importance of protecting this precious resource, Gov. Deval Patrick is considering reopening the forest surrounding the Quabbin to commercial logging.

Gov. Patrick needs to hear from you. Sign our petition urging him to permanently ban logging around the Quabbin Reservoir (https://secure3.convio.net/engage/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=317, or go to www.environmentmassachusetts.org, click on Action Center at bottom of page, then open "Stand up for the Quabbin").

In recent years, private logging companies were chopping down the forest that surrounds and protects the Quabbin, sending in huge diesel trucks to clear-cut trees, sometimes right up to the waterline. With your help we were able to win a temporary moratorium on logging, but in the next few months, Gov. Patrick will decide whether to make that moratorium permanent or allow more logging.

The 58,000 acres of forest surrounding the Quabbin serve as a priceless natural filter for the water. Logging the forest removes parts of that filter and puts drinking water at risk from sedimentation and other pollutants. Leading forestry experts in Massachusetts agree that leaving the forests around the Quabbin intact is a better strategy to protect the quality of the drinking water.

Join the call to protect the Quabbin, now and for the future! Call on Gov. Patrick's administration to protect the drinking water source for one in three Massachusetts residents by making it off limits to logging.

Ben Wright
Environment Massachusetts

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