Saturday March 23, 2013

Does Chroma

not count? Editor of the Reformer:

In a March 14 letter, a writer was critical of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies for "having an agenda that may not create and retain the best jobs for Vermonters." To support his assertion, the writer complains that the SeVEDS Board of Directors doesn’t contain representatives of "many more successful Windham County employers supporting many more current and potential good jobs, perhaps not those that SeVEDS envisions."

Among the members of SeVEDS Board is Jill James, both an employee-owner and a Director of Chroma Technology Corp. I venture to say that Chroma is one of the companies in our county that has shown a strong commitment to developing "current and good jobs." Chroma is proud that Jill is a member of the SeVEDS board and we’re very supportive of the work of that organization.

I’m sure SeVEDS will be happy to include representatives of other successful Windham County employers to its Board.

Paul Millman,

president, Chroma
Technology Corp.,

Bellows Falls, March 14

The rent’s
too high

Editor of the Reformer:

"The Cost of Living" (March 12) really put into perspective how hard it is for low income families to afford housing. Vermont continues to be on of the most expensive states for rental housing. This article made me wonder, if other states can offer housing for so much cheaper, why can’t we?

This article also made me appreciate all that single parents do.


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As someone who was lucky enough to grow up with two working parents, I never thought about how hard it must be. Being 17, I don’t personally have to pay for housing and this article really opened my eyes to the struggles involved.

Jennifer Hutton,

Brattleboro, March 15

Not a Koch

Bros. flack

Editor of the Reformer:

There is a sizable group of people around the state and especially in Grafton, Windham, Sheffield who are opposed to large-scale industrial wind production (In response to "What’s the origin of Vermont anti-wind sentiment?" March 15). None of us is on the payroll of the Koch Brothers. To my knowledge none of us is a mouthpiece for ultra-right organizations. We are Vermonters who love our ridgelines the way they are. Act 250 sought to preserve the ridgelines and has stood the test of time. We support Act 250 as a way to preserve the forests and fields of our state. Industrial wind projects do not have to conform to Act 250. Due to undemocratic lobbying by big monied utilities, they are not covered by Act 250 and utility development requires no environmental impact statement. Not only that the permitting process prohibits input from the neighbors.

Aside from their beauty, ridgelines protect us from flooding which global warming is guaranteeing will get worse. So why make the flooding worse by shaving the tops off our ridgelines? In the name of saving us from the effects of global warming, we are making the effects of global warming more disastrous? Not smart.

I understand that getting a PhD requires reading books, getting opinions from other sources and then using them as your own as you create sweeping generalities. Please don’t assume that the rest of the world requires spoon feeding in order to come to a conclusion. We don’t have PhDs and our opinions come from our experience as landowners in Vermont. Wind is fine as an alternative energy when it is sited in a physical location where it doesn’t destroy the land. Without any ultra-conservative input, we have decided on our own that it is stupid to destroy Vermont’s landscape in order to save it from global warming.

Small dams and water power worked here for generations as energy sources. Conservation, public transport still need to be pursued as energy saving options. This makes much more sense to my far left sensibilities. My question to the authors of the column is who paid you to write it? Iberdola? Atlantic Wind? The arguments you make are identical to those made by the industrial wind mouth pieces, but unlike you, I do not assume you have been paid to flog the company line. However, it is a valid question back to the person who questions motivation. 

Sally Warren,

Grafton, March 18

Think again
about bond

Editor of the Reformer:

As a Town Meeting Representative for District 1, I have struggled over next year’s budget because it is clear to me that Brattleboro taxpayers cannot afford another tax increase. The budget, as it is proposed, is way beyond what this town can afford. We need to re-think our priorities and re-visit recent fiscal decisions.

With the additional demands of the $20 million bond for police/fire facilities expansions, the town is scheduled to make an interest payment this year of about $330,000 when no work is scheduled to begin until spring of 2014. The Finance Committee tells us that Brattleboro will enter the fiscal year 2014 budgeting process with a deficit of $1.425 million, while facing nearly $1 million payments yearly until 2033. Brattleboro taxpayers cannot afford this kind of spending. (We are still paying the bonds for the water treatment plant and the high school, I believe.)

Since Hinsdale, N.H., has voted to build a brand new police department for $1.2 million, I believe we, in Brattleboro, can do as well by our police and fire departments and the taxpayers with equally careful and creative research and planning. I strongly urge the town to stop this run-away spending spree and go back to the beginning regarding this bond and the needs of the police and fire departments. Since no work will begin until 2014 anyway, we should not accept the bond this year.

Why pay for something we will not use? That is wasteful and senseless. I believe Brattleboro voters are wiser and more sensible than that. Let the voters decide since the burden of debt falls on them.

Lynn Russell,

Brattleboro, March 22

Say yes to compost

Editor of the Reformer:

I’ve said "yes" to curbside compost pick-up and want to encourage others to sign up for this voluntary program. Our family took part in the "test run" this fall. That showed us it was easy to collect the compost and cut way down on the amount of trash we were throwing away. We found out that our kitchen compost bucket, which had often gotten smelly before, was NOT smelly due to our new container that had air holes in it. And we loved being able to put our meat scraps and tissues in the compost.

Animals could not get into the curbside bins because they’re securely latched.

We joined the pilot project because we wanted to be part of the effort to reduce the town’s waste going to the landfill. (The town pays by the ton to put trash in the landfill, so it saves money to reduce waste by composting.) It also seemed like the right thing to do: Why should compostable trash sit in plastic bags in a landfill when it could be decomposing? Now we’re convinced that it’s a terrific idea.

We have a garden, and had been putting our compost in the garden. For now, we’re putting it in the town compost. If we miss it too much, we’ll put our vegetable matter in our garden and send the tissues, meat scraps, etc. to the town compost.

To sign up for curbside compost collection, go to www.brattleboro.org and click on Curbside Compost Sign Up and FAQ; or e-mail brattleborocompost@comcast.net if you have questions. If you don’t have a computer you can call the town at 251-8103 or use the computers at Brooks Memorial Library.

Connie Green,

Brattleboro, May 22

Gender bias?

Editor of the Reformer:

I am disappointed and offended that you did not print the brackets for the women’s NCAA tournament. You printed the men’s but not the women’s and many of us are highly interested in both brackets. There are many local fans of women’s college basketball who read your paper. Please print the brackets.

Cynthia Payne-Meyer,

Putney, March 22