Valley News Forum for May 20, 2023: Read the writing on cursive

Published: 05-20-2023 6:16 AM

Read the writing on cursive

A recent letter to the editor by Richard Milius decried the passage of bill HB 170 by Chris Sununu (“Cursive bill is a waste of ink,” May 14, Page C3). It is now mandated that students be taught cursive writing by the fifth grade.

Whether this should be a law is debatable. But I think an ex-Lebanon School Board member should know that it is not a “ridiculous move” but instead a very important component of brain development. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and communication between the left and right hemispheres. Learning cursive will enhance fine motor skills, tactile and visual processing abilities.

Cursive writing is not a silly relic of the past. Research via the internet will give you article after article that cursive writing helps the brain learn and remember better. I would hope anyone connected to our education system would know that.

Rebecca Leake



The Valley News continued its “reporting” as a junior affiliate of the Washington Post and followed WaPo’s lead on burying its feeble discussions of the Durham report in VN’s inside pages ... in two cases on the obituary page and another in the opinion section below one of VN’s typical noxious cartoons, instead of headlining it on Page 1 as the multimillion-dollar four-years-in-the making report deserved. The fourth estate is supposed to be a check on government, not an associate. SHAME.

Al Rossow


Farm bill wish list

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America’s food and agriculture system has been largely taken over by powerful corporations that control industrial food production. A new food and farm bill offers an opportunity to protect Americans’ health and the planet, by taking back control of our farming system from giant agricultural corporations that will always put profits over people.

To fight the destructive impacts of climate change and protect farmers, communities, and our food supply from extreme weather, the new farm bill must also be a climate bill that helps all farmers make farmland more resilient to the effects of climate change.

That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists argues that the bill should:

■Protect midsize farmers and the food supply by curtailing huge monopolies so America isn’t dependent on just a few huge food producers.

■Reverse and repair racial discrimination by the Department of Agriculture that has cost farmers of color their land and livelihoods.

■Protect the millions of workers who grow our food but often have terrible conditions and extremely low pay, especially if they are people of color.

■Invest in research, technical assistance, and financial incentives to enable farmers and ranchers to protect our soil, air, water, and climate.

■Protect consumers by shifting subsidies and incentives to encourage production of healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.

Please urge your members of Congress to ensure that the new food and farm bill takes these important steps.

Steve Gehlert

West Newbury

Bad polling

I recently answered what turned out to be a biased telephone survey. Some questions were straightforward. One was so convoluted as to get respondents to answer contrary to what they really think.

The last question was if I supported an increase of billions of dollars in taxes for the state of Vermont. Of course everyone will say “no” to a question worded that way. How does that increase affect the average taxpayer? Will the government be taxing the rich more? What is the money for? Would I benefit from more government services paid for by more taxes?

A lot of the questions were similarly vaguely worded, and I answered that I do not know (without more information) to many of them.

Any political party that wants to cut taxes can look at this survey and say that the majority of respondents said “no” to higher taxes. A majority of people think the rich should be paying more tax.

Alice McDonald

White River Junction