Wednesday March 27, 2013

Wind farms in Vt.: ‘Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should’

Editor of the Reformer:

Kudos to Sally Warren ("Not a Koch Bros. flack," March 23) for calling out the authors of "What’s the origin of Vermont’s anti-wind sentiment?" (March 15).

To the statement of being puzzled by opposition to wind power by Vermonters when, as they imply, the National Resources Defense Council sees wind power affordable, efficient and abundant (The same could be said of other sources). I checked the NRDC website and could not find a single suggestion by them that large-scale wind power is right for Vermont. Many comparisons were made, none however were made to compare wind and solar. Wind looks good compared to fossil fuels and nuclear. Anything would.

Also from the NRDC: "Still, wind turbines and transmission systems need to be sited carefully to minimize their impacts on wildlife and the landscape." And: "Major federal incentives for wind energy include a tax credit for the power a wind turbine generates over its first ten years of operation. This production tax credit expires at the end of 2012, and could take 37,000 renewable energy jobs with it if Congress fails to renew it."

Ultraconservatives against wind energy? Those folk would be pro oil. Alternative energy sources cannot be good for the oil producers.

Without tax credits and subsidies, could big wind survive? Without subsidies and government backing, nuclear would likely disappear.


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When the turbines have reached the end of their lifespan, who is going to rebuild the mountain tops and return them to their original state. I don’t think we can put back the ridge lines blasted away to allow building of the wind farms.

Large-scale wind farms in Vermont? Just because we can, does not mean we should. Take a stroll through Iowa to see the beauty of miles and miles of 400 foot wind turbines. It is a sight to behold. Once is enough.

Energy production can and should be an issue of local control, if we choose not to have large-scale wind farms in our communities, or nuclear reactors next door, we should be able to make that determination.

Liberty, the the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

Nick Partrick,

Vernon, March 25

McLaughry’s narrow vision exposed

Editor of the Reformer:

Thanks to John McLaughry for once again illustrating how his party, and followers, continue on the path of the dinosaurs. In real terms, they continue to lose seats, in the Vermont House and Senate by continuing to follow his narrow vision of the world.

The latest tirade from Mr. McLaughry, in the Feb. 21 Reformer, erroneously suggests that investments in early education are fruitless and there is no research to prove otherwise.

Not so, as a plethora of research supports the reality of those benefits. Starting with the Rand Corporation’s 2005 compilation of studies; "Early Childhood Interventions -- Proven Results," this report states; Early Childhood interventions have shown to yield benefits in academic achievements, behavior, education progression and attainment, delinquency and labor market practices. The studies compiled in this report show, "well designed interventions have been found to generate a return to society ranging from $1.80 to $17.07 for each dollar spent."

Craig Ramsey, researcher at Virginia Tech’s Carillon Institute began his research in 1972. His research shows that children who have received early education to be" consistently employed and less likely to have used public assistance. The benefits of early Ed are so scientifically defensible, that policy should capitalize on President Obama’s initiative, so society can reap its benefits."

And on it goes, if only those who claim not to see would open their eyes.

As Mr. McLaughry et al, continue to remain oblivious to a changing America, (including New Americans) I welcome him to join those who see the reality that is -- not some ancient vision of what he believed, used to be.

The governor and those of us in the legislature who also recognize the societal benefits of investing in Early Ed will continue to present a viable vision for the future. We welcome company.

Mike Mrowicki

state representative, Windham 4

Montpelier, March 1

I remember when ... Sugaring

Editor of the Reformer:

The start of sugaring season at Town Meeting time in Vermont brings back memories of a friend and I trying to make syrup in Connecticut about 70 years ago.

Neither of us knew anything about the process and we proved it by drilling some holes in trees and hanging buckets. We did collect a few gallons of sap which we divided and took it back home.

I put my share in a pot and started boiling. When it started to give off steam, I let it boil and boil thinking I was only a short time away from tasty maple syrup.

However, as it boiled, it filled the kitchen with steam and the wallpaper started to roll off from the top. My wife was not happy with the result so I stopped making syrup right there.

My friend and I continued to worry that the trees we had drilled would continue to leak liquid and die because we hadn’t plugged the holes up.

Warren S. Patrick

Townshend, March 7