Let’s close
this loophole

Editor of the Reformer:

Vermont democracy is less than we believe: Crafty candidates can hijack our right to elect whom we choose.

Vermont law is silent about one candidate running for, winning and holding two or more seats on the same school or selectboard.

Elected to more than one seat, a winner does not have to resign the additional seats, presumably casting a vote for each.

A winner can choose to resign the additional seats, joining fellow board members in appointing successors.

A candidate for multiple seats who has just one opponent for a seat can withdraw that candidacy at the deadline, allowing the "opponent" to run unopposed as the candidate’s appointee.

Should Vermont legislators simply prohibit a candidate’s taking out nominating petitions for election to more than one seat on the same school or select board?

Howard Fairman,

Vernon, Jan. 9

A better use
for the VY site

Editor of the Reformer:

In my opinion, it is not a good idea to turn the Vermont Yankee site into a so-called "greenfield," whatever that means. The site is much too valuable as an electricity generating center or hub.

All of the essential infrastructure and components are already in place, most going back to 1972 and before. These include the transmission switchyard, substation, big transformers, cooling water intake and discharge structures, aquatic and terrestrial environmental assessments, geologic and seismic assessments, groundwater studies, the list could go on and on.

The site should remain ready to accommodate future electricity generation possibilities, including photovoltaic solar, natural gas, biomass, a new generation of advanced, passively-cooled/safe, small, modular, standardized fission reactors, or maybe, someday in the distant future, a demonstration/test nuclear fusion reactor.

Yankee has been a good plant, low-impact, virtually zero carbon emissions for the past 40 years, but it is old technology and should retire and make way for the future.

The "greenies" want to put all of their eggs into the smart grid/renewables (wind, solar) basket which I think is unwise. Our near-term electric energy future, I believe, should consist of a wise mix of new-generation nuclear, solar and wind. I am firmly opposed to coal-fired generation. The term "clean coal" is an oxymoron.

Daniel Marx,

Dummerston, Jan. 6

If you’re unhappy with the vote ...

Editor of the Reformer:

An open letter to the residents of Grafton:

A number of you have expressed reasons that you are not happy with the outcome of the vote regarding the proposed highway garage, its $1.2 million price tag and its location.

It is possible to request a revote if 25 legal voters sign a petition and present it to the town within 30 days of the last vote, or no later than Jan. 15. Contact me at 802-843-1035 or by email at jaykarpin@vermontel.net and I will let you know where I will hold a petition signing.

Jay H. Karpin,

Grafton, Jan. 5

A fight for freedom

Editor of the Reformer:

Dec. 23 marked the 100th anniversary of an important event in American history. It is the day that our Congress sold us into slavery by passing the Federal Reserve Act. The Federal Reserve Act was drafted during a secret meeting of bankers and government officials on Jekyll Island off the Georgia coast in November of 1910. Owned by the wealthy of the day -- Paul Warburg, JP Morgan, John Rockefeller -- Jekyll Island was a retreat for the elite.

Although our Constitution clearly states: "The Congress shall have the Power to ... coin money [and] regulate the Value thereof ..." Congress, on Dec. 23, 1913, abdicated its responsibility to its constituents and relegated this task to private bankers known to us as the Federal Reserve. As a result, our government, instead of issuing money, now allows a private banking cartel to create dollars from thin air and then borrow them. To pay the interest on this borrowed "money," Congress passed the 16th Amendment allowing for a direct tax on "... incomes, from whatever source derived ..." Prior to the 16th Amendment, this type of taxation -- the income tax -- was expressly prohibited in our Constitution.

We are now all slaves to the enforcement arm of the Federal Reserve -- the IRS. Well, 99 percent of us, that is. To the top 1 percent, we’re just tools to create wealth. But who are the one percent? They are the Council on Foreign Relations, a group of 4,000 founded by Paul Warburg to strengthen the influence of corporate power on the government. A small but powerful subset of the CFR is the Trilateral Commission. Participants in the TC include, former government officials, key business leaders, Wall Street banksters ... you get the picture. The Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission, along with others, comprise a shadow government that is running this country.

David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, stated in his 2003 memoirs, "Some even believe we [the Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States ... If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

The fox is guarding the henhouse. The Federal Reserve is a Ponzi scheme. This is not democracy. This is not liberty. And many charged with defending our Constitution have become its enemies. Our Constitution set us free. The Federal Reserve Act and 16th Amendment have re-enslaved us. Our Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves.

And so, I call upon my elected representatives to work to repeal the Federal Reserve Act and 16th Amendment and to create a federal bank owned by the people.

The defense of the Constitution is not the job of government. It is the job of the people. Freedom is not a gift, it is a right for which we must fight.

Joe Checco,

South Londonderry, Dec. 2

Take the challenge

Editor of the Reformer:

Home insulation and weatherization projects aren’t as glamorous as remodeling your kitchen or building a new addition on your home. But they’re one of the best investments you can make with your money, as they provide a unique opportunity to make your home more comfortable, to spend less on heating bills, to support the local economy, and to lower your carbon footprint, all of which are important to my family.

My wife and I completed insulation and weatherization work in the early months of 2010. We were motivated to do this work in part because we received a sizable rebate from Efficiency Vermont as well as a federal tax credit, but it also just felt like the right thing to do. It would enable us to burn less wood and less oil, thus lowering emissions that contribute to local pollution and global climate change. It would also mean cutting down fewer trees and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Today, the Home Energy Challenge gives Vermonters the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprints by providing economic incentives to complete insulation and weatherization projects. Brattleboro’s HEC is a community-based effort aiming to increase the energy efficiency of local homes while helping Vermont achieve its goal of 90 percent renewable energy by 2050. It’s rare for a decision to improve comfort, save money, support the local economy, and benefit the environment, but with HEC, people can do just that. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont (1-888-921-5990 or www.efficiencyvermont.com/homeenergychallenge) or the Brattleboro Home Energy Challenge (802-251-8135 or www.brattleboroenergychallenge.org).

Abigail Manookian,

Brattleboro, Jan. 9