drinking age bill

Burlington LP News – June 2005

Burlington LP NEWS

 

June 2005

Sponsored by
The Burlington Libertarian Party
www.burlingtonlp.org

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. From the Chair
2. Preservation and Conformity Triumph Over Affordable Housing
3. Forced Medication in Burlington
4. Legislators and the Drinking Age Bill
5. Burlington Libertarians in Action
6. Libertarian Humor
7. Quote of the Month
8. Letters to the Editor/ Submit an Article

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From the chair…


This is our third newsletter. We will to provide you notice of current issues facing Burlingtonians, views of other Burlington Libertarians, notices of events of interest, and more.

In this issue will be covering the affordable housing problem in Burlington, Fluoridation of city water and the drinking age bill. I hope you enjoy the newsletter. Please feel free to send me your comments, suggestions and your own letters and articles to be included in future issues.

In Liberty,

Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Burlington Libertarian Party
contact me

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Affordable HousingPreservation and Conformity Triumph Over Affordable Housing.
By Jeremy Ryan

If you ask anyone in Burlington what they believe are the biggest problems in Burlington, affordable housing will most likely be at the top of the list. Recently, through public input three major barriers have emerged as causing this problem. These barriers to affordable housing are:

 

  • Allowable density does not reflect actual capacity to build.
  • Zoning and ordinances are intrusive and unpredictable.
  • Increasing property tax burdens.

 

A good start to correcting the problem would be enacting a local “anti-snob” ordinance similar to the Massachusetts law (Chapter 40B). In 1969, the Legislature adopted “anti-snob” legislation to make it easier to develop affordable housing throughout the state, especially in communities with little low- and moderate-income housing. This law allows the State to override local zoning restrictions in such communities if needed to allow for the development of low- and moderate-income housing. Burlington to enact similar zoning. Actually, Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) is already considering it by investigating it further. CEDO understands that the city’s current housing policies need to change.

It’s quite obvious that excessive zoning and ordinances inflate the pricing of housing in the city. I’ve lived in communities where zoning and ordinances were very minimal and I was able to get housing for $235/month (utilities included). In the same building, rooms went for $190 month. These were completely private units, no government subsidies.

The city’s current policy of increasing housing standards and code enforcement just makes the costs of housing go up and up. While these policies are targeted at landlords, they only hurt our most vulnerable citizen’s with increasing rental costs associated with keeping up with city regulations.

At a recent planning commission meeting, it was stated that Vermont’s use of zoning is to “preserve our communities” and to ensure “conformity”. This suggests that “truely” affordable housing is not a goal and they intend to use zoning to work against affordable housing. This allows the community to send poorer residents out of their neighborhoods and into one location, such as Northgate in Ward 4, where they can be subsidized by section 8. When a politician says they are for affordable housing but are for increasing “preservation” and “conformity” zoning in their neighborhoods, they are saying that “yes, I believe we should have affordable housing in the city… just not in my backyard… put “them” somewhere else.”

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Fluoridation of waterForced Medication in Burlington
By Jeremy Ryan

An increasing number of individuals are not happy with public water fluoridation. The opposition believes it is very unsafe and should be stopped. The American Dental Association believes it should be forced upon the entire population despite possible harm to people drinking large amounts of tap water or people who get large amounts of fluoride in many other products they consume in their daily lives such as cereals, juices, soda, tea, beer, processed chicken, seafood, etc. I believe it’s extremely difficult for the city to ensure a proper fluoride dosage, as each individual has a different diet. People ask “why does the ADA support it if it’s dangerous?” It’s Simple. They would be admitting they were wrong all these years, losing credibility, and facing possible lawsuits, similar to the FDA and Vioxx.

The “experts” from the pro fluoride side are disrespectful towards citizens when they make comments such as “the lay person doesn’t know better to make good decisions about proper health and sometimes personal liberties need to be given up for their own good… we do it all the time, as with the city’s recent smoking bans.” This is insulting and they don’t give the people enough credit. It’s wrong to take away “personal liberties” for “our own good”. The city often acts as our parents and they are not. They are employed by us to serve us, not to parent us. In conclusion, the city needs to stop the forced medication of fluoride and let the individual decide.

The Burlington Citizens Coalition is taking a stand on the issue and is educating the public on why the public should at least have the right to choose. Michael Connett of FluorideAlert.org has joined the effort of the Burlington Citizens Coalition and has offered to give presentations to NPA groups and public forums.

For more information on the fluoride debate:

Pro Fluoride: http://www.ada.org
Opposition: http://www.fluoridealert.org
Burlington Citizens Coalition: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BurlingtonCitizensCoalition/

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Drinking Age Bill Legislators and the Drinking Age Bill
By Jeremy Ryan

At the last NYRA-Vermont executive board meeting we discussed some of the letters our organization has received from legislators regarding the drinking age bill we are lobbying for.

Interestingly, a good portion, including Governor Jim Douglas, do actually support lowering the drinking age to 18 in theory, but are not willing to part with the $9.8 million bribe in federal highway funds. The only condition is that we must violate the rights of our youth by not allowing them to consume alcohol and punish adults that wish to introduce alcohol to their children in the safety of their homes or restaurant setting.

We have argued that this loss is only 1/4 of 1% of Vermont’s entire budget, which is a small cost to end age discrimination of citizens that have reached the age of majority, which means they can enter contracts, vote, drive, own businesses, but just can have a little beer. We also support removing penalties on parents, so they can teach their teens responsible and moderate drinking behavior in restaurants, pubs, and in their homes, like in Europe. The government has stated that 18 is the age majority… this means they are adults with every right an adult is supposed to have. To say they cannot have a beer just seems hypocritical. Besides, the money most likely would not be an issue as we could easily make up the funds by the increased revenue from alcohol taxes.

Another argument we’ve heard lately are studies show alcohol hurts brain development in youth. These studies being quoted are based on children binge drinking. Not occasional drinking with a meal or social drinking. The FDA has stated that people 12 and up can consume adult dosages of most drugs/medications. This would suggest that anyone 12 and older is capable of handling alcohol at correct dosages, whether you are 18 or 25 or 75 years old. Just check the instructions of a bottle of aspirin or Pepsid and see for yourself.

Disclosure: Jeremy Ryan serves at Treasurer and Webmaster for NYRA-Vermont.

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Burlington Libertarians in Action… (upcoming events)

 

  • June 13th 2005, 7PM
    Burlington City Council Meeting
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium.

 

  • June 14th 2005, 7PM
    Q & A with EPA with Dr. William Hirzy, EPA
    Will be held at Burlington College.

 

 

  • June 15th 2005, 6:30PM
    Burlington Board of Health Public debate on Fluoridation of water
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium

 

 

  • June 22nd 2005, 7PM
    Panel dicussion regarding the Death Penalty in Vermont
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium

 

 

  • June 23rd 2005, 6:30PM
    Burlington Board of Health Public forum on Fluoridation of water
    City Hall’s Contois Auditorium

 

 

  • June 27th 2005, 7PM
    Burlington City Council Meeting
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium

 

 

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Libertarian Humor…

Real ID Bill

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Quote of the Month…

“Few of us seem to want to keep government out of our personal affairs and responsibilities. Many of us seem to favor various types of government guaranteed and compulsory “security.” We say that we want personal freedom, but we demand government housing, government price controls, government-guaranteed jobs and wages. We boast that we are responsible persons, but we vote for candidates who promise us special privileges, government pensions, government subsidies, and government electricity.”
– Dean Russell

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Letters to the editor/ submit an article

For information or to submit news, letters, or articles, contact us .

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Burlington LP News is a publication of the Burlington Libertarian Party, 53 Avenue C, Burlington, VT 05401. All Rights Reserved. Copyright (C) 2005.

Legislators and the Drinking Age Bill

Yesterday, at the NYRA-Vermont executive board meeting we discussed some of the letters our organization has received from legislators regarding the drinking age bill we are lobbying for.

Interestingly, a good portion, including Governor Jim Douglas, do actually support lowering the drinking age to 18 in theory, but are not willing to part with the $9.8 million bribe in federal highway funds. The only condition is that we must violate the rights of our youth by not allowing them to consume alcohol and punish adults that wish to introduce alcohol to their children in the safety of their homes or restaurant setting.

We have argued that this loss is only 1/4 of 1% of Vermont’s entire budget, which is a small cost to end age discrimination of citizens that have reached the age of majority, which means they can enter contracts, vote, drive, own businesses, but just can have a little beer. We also support removing penalties on parents, so they can teach their teens responsible and moderate drinking behavior in restaurants, pubs, and in their homes, like in Europe. The government has stated that 18 is the age majority… this means they are adults with every right an adult is supposed to have. To say they cannot have a beer just seems hypocritical. Besides, the money most likely would not be an issue as we could easily make up the funds by the increased revenue from alcohol taxes.

Another argument we’ve heard lately are studies show alcohol hurts brain development in youth. These studies being quoted are based on children binge drinking. Not occasional drinking with a meal or social drinking. The FDA has stated that people 12 and up can consume adult dosages of most drugs/medications. This would suggest that anyone 12 and older is capable of handling alcohol at correct dosages, whether you are 18 or 25 or 75 years old. Just check the instructions of a bottle of aspirin or Pepsid and see for yourself.

Again, it appears that many reps are unsure on how to vote. Therefore, your comments would make a difference. If you support the drinking age bill, please contact your representatives right now. We at NYRA have put together a system to do just this, quickly and easily. Click here to email your reps right now.

Disclosure: Jeremy Ryan serves at Treasurer and Webmaster for NYRA-Vermont.

Feb 6, 2005 – NYRA-Vermont Meeting

1PM, Fletcher Free Library- NYRA-Vermont February Meeting – Discussion about proposed drinking age bill and smoking age bill currently in the Legislature

(Minutes as recorded by Hardy Machia)

National Youth Rights Association of Vermont Monthly Meeting

Date: February 6, 2005

Location: Fletcher Free Library, Pickering Room, Burlington, VT

Attendees: Ken Boring, Hardy Machia, Jeremy Ryan, Heavenly Ryan,
Kevin Ryan, Jay Leff, and Andrew Thomas.

1. Start meeting:
Ken Boring started the meeting at 1:05 p.m.

2. Approval of January 2005 Minutes:
Approved as presented.

3. Treasurer’s Report:
No incoming money. Nothing to report.

4. Higher Ground All Ages Show:
Jay Leff reported on Aaron Voldman’s discussion with Higher Ground.
Higher Ground said they’d be willing to do an all ages show if
there was support.

5. Drinking Age Bill:
Hardy Machia updated the group on the status of the drinking
age bill (H-139)
Discussion about argument that lowering the drinking age will
cause 0.5-2 more deaths per year…Decided to come up with a list of
100 things to ban to save just one life:
bath tubs, cars, prescription drugs, guns, cigarettes,
alcohol, soap in showers…

6. Approving members:
Andrew Thomas’s membership was approved.

7. Scheduling Alex K-P to speak at UVM on youth rights was discussed.

8. Jay and Aaron are donig road shows:
They will be at South Burlington HS on Tuesday talking about
Youth for Democracy and the voting age, and will list other groups
such as NYRA-VT the students can get involved in.
Hardy will create pamphlets for NYRA-VT.

9. Burlington HS’s school paper’s free speech:
Jay commented that BHS had an editorial about legalizing all
drugs – a sample of the school allowing free speech to exists.

10. Champlain College’s Get Real:
Andrew told us about the “Get Real” meetings at Champlain College.

11. College Outreach Director:
Jay nominated Andrew Thomas as the College Outreach Director,
Ken 2nd. Passed 7-0.

12. NYRA’s policy papers:
Ken reported that national NYRA didn’t require us to adopt the
policy papers because our bylaws stated that we fall under the
purview of NYRA and we adopted our bylaws.

13. NYRA-VT positions on current legislation:
a. S-46, school free speech bill – upon reviewing the bill we
decided to not take a position since the bill seemed to be just
restating the schools current policies regarding a lack of free
speech.
b. H-074, Ritalin bill. Hardy motioned for NYRA-VT to adopt
the following position:
“NYRA-VT supports bill H-074 that would prohibit the public
school practice of suspending students who refuse to take Ritalin and
other psychotropic medications, and would also prohibit public school
employees from recommending that students take psychotropic
medications because it violates students’ civil rights.”
c. H-105,increasing the smoking age bill. Hardy motioned for
NYRA-VT to adopt the following position:
“NYRA-VT opposes bill H-105 that increases the smoking age to
21 because it discriminates against adults in the state of Vermont
based on their age.” Passed 5-1.
d. H-139, lowering drinking age to 18. Hardy motioned for
NYRA-VT to adopt the following position:
“Whereas, the drinking age discriminates against adults in
the state of Vermont.
Whereas, the current law creates attainder in violation of
the U.S. Constitution.
Whereas, the open and legal consumption of alcohol promotes
familiarity and responsibility of such use.
Resolved that NYRA-VT strongly advises the legislature to
enact H-139.”

14. Website:
Jeremy Ryan will take over the roll of webmaster for vt.youthrights.org.
Heavenly Ryan will create some logos to present to the
executive board at their next meeting.

15. Next Meetings:
Executive Committee Meeting: February 20th at 1:00p.m. at Nectars.
NYRA-VT March Meeting: March 6th at 1:00 p.m. in Pickering Room
at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington

16. Expanding membership:
All members are encouraged to bring one new member to the next meeting.

17. Adjournment:
Ken Boring motioned to adjourn. Kevin Ryan seconded. Adjourned
at 3:50 p.m.