Thursday March 14, 2013

Kudos to compost;
In my own back yard

Editor of the Reformer:

The article about curbside composting in the Friday (March 8) paper reminded me that I needed to share about my experience in the curbside composting pilot program.

I wanted to do something close to home that would make an environmental difference. Participating in the pilot program meant I would help save landfill space and reduce methane gas. Moss Kahler and Triple T made the process easy. I was easily able to store one week worth of compost and having it picked up curbside was a great benefit. I reduced my trash to one kitchen size garbage bag and again I have to say that the whole process was easy. I feel great that I am able to make a difference in my community. I encourage people to sign up for this great service by e-mailing your name, street address, phone number and e-mail address to brattleborocompost@comcast.net or call the town office at 802-251-8013

Jane Wheeler,

Brattleboro, March 8

Constituents reach out to Sen. White on wind

Editor of the Reformer:

An open letter to Senator Jeanette White from her Windham constituents:

Dear Senator White:

As your constituents in Windham, we write to ask you to support the revised bill S.30. We feel that if you will stop and think about what we are facing, you will understand why your support for this bill is so important to us. The tract of land to which the multi-national wind giant, Iberdrola, has obtained rights is in the heart of our town. Some one third of our households are within a mile or less of the site leased for an industrial wind installation. Due to noise and health considerations, the current recommended setback is at least 1.2 miles, with greater distance recommended for turbines sited on ridgelines. Our elementary school is less than a mile from the leased site.

There are several reasons for you to support the bill for the sake of our community:

S.30 would make town plans binding. Windham’s town plan specifically prohibits industrial wind installations. We consider it particularly unfair that, having resisted a previous effort by a developer to place industrial wind turbines in our town, Windham spent considerable resources drafting and enacting a protective town plan, a plan with the overt support of a large majority of town residents. And yet our town plan was disregarded by the Public Service Board. (As you are no doubt aware, in December the PSB ruled in favor of Iberdrola’s request to place measuring towers here as precursor to an industrial site.)

S.30 would improve the review process for community concerns. One concern of many in our case: the headwaters of the Saxton’s River originate on the tract of land leased by Iberdrola. That Iberdrola will be allowed to cover headwaters, streams, and wetlands with concrete pads and impervious roads is insupportable. The costs to our town in dealing with storm water run-off alone will bankrupt us: 36 percent of the culverts for which Windham is responsible will be directly affected by this project. And these costs don’t include the degradation of our water supply and the loss of habitat for species we all cherish. How can we receive a fair hearing for our concerns? The present review system is prohibitively cumbersome and expensive for communities like Windham.

S.30 would place a short suspension on the permitting of industrial wind projects in order to allow for study of the effects of these projects on Vermont communities like ours. As more information becomes available about the true costs and the true output of industrial-scale wind turbines, more questions about them are raised. We all need to be better informed.

We would be pleased to sit with you and go over the facts in our case against the siting of an industrial wind installation in our town. We ask you to cast your vote for S.30 in demonstration of your willingness to take the time to learn more and to understand what is at stake for your constituents. We are sending this note to others at the forefront of this struggle so that they will also be aware of our position.

Frank Seawright and Nancy Tips,

Windham, Feb. 27

The Community High School is invaluable

Editor of the Reformer:

The potential closing of the Community High School of Vermont should be a shock to us all. The service provided to this community as a whole is invaluable. I am a 46 year old male who had much trouble in high school. Though I struggled for many years, I excelled in my efforts when it came to career endeavors. I have been with the same institution now for years but have always had the looming shame and a gnawing pit in my stomach in the knowledge that I lacked a high school diploma. After all this time I finally made the leap and received my diploma in 2012 at the age of 45.

I was having dinner the other night and a program came on the television. There was a story about an adult in high school. My 6-year-old daughter said "grownups can’t graduate from high school." I got up from the table and grabbed my diploma, showed it to her, and asked her what the date on it was. She read it with surprise. I then explained how important the document was and it became for my family very important lesson. Thank you Community High School of Vermont. Don’t let these experiences fade from our community. Don’t let these opportunities pass us by.

Don’t let the Community High School of Vermont close it’s doors.

CHSVT Graduate,

March 6

SeVEDS concerns

Editor of the Reformer:

Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies seems to have an agenda that may not retain and create the best jobs for Vermonters ("SeVEDS receives widespread approval around Windham County," Reformer, March 7).

The board of directors represent two regional planning commissions, three towns, two economic-development agencies, a tourism event and just seven employers: a bookstore, two-man computer-repair, savings and loan, "smart design" engineering firm, insurance agency, mental-health and addiction hospital and ski area.

We all know of many more successful Windham County employers supporting many more current and potential good jobs, perhaps not those that SeVEDS envisions, at least not until these employers join the SeVEDS board.

Howard Fairman,

Vernon, March 11