It’s not a competition ...

Editor of the Reformer:

Please take the time to see the spectacular Vermont bridge replacement now going on on Sunset Lake Road.

I-91: Eat your heart out.

After the flood we have had a one lane bridge which has added to a sense of community. We wait blink our lights and coordinate crossing while waving at a neighbor. Time "lost" -- 30 seconds.

But now we have a temporary bridge which any third world country would envy.

We have 32 signs. I-91, 12.

We have 85 feet of fiber walls. I-91, none.

We have four traffic lights. I-91, none. No good that blinking and waving at a neighbor. And we can still see if there is on coming traffic. One of the lights is coordinating a drive way. I don’t know how over the years that person possibly exited their drive without the light.

We have a nice stone drive leading up to the construction trailer and the port-a-potty which has a seat for those waiting. I-91, no waiting seats.

When asked if all this a bit over the top one worker replied, "And then some. Your taxes ...."

Imagine the final bridge. Golden gate watch out!

Stewart McDermet,

West Brattleboro, June 24 Liquid Gold!

Editor of the Reformer:

I expect that few know the Rich Earth Institute by name, but most have heard about our work -- collecting urine, using it to fertilize some local hayfields, and saving some of the 1.2 trillion gallons of potable water we use to flush small amounts of urine down our toilets. Lots of you saw us strolling with the Heifers and joined us in the memorable cheer "Give us a pee!"

This work may be frivolous in how it sounds -- we get lots of giggles when we talk about what we’re doing -- but we are very serious in our mission and intent. Think about the drought conditions that much of the country and the world is currently experiencing, and then ask why we waste so much drinking water in flushing urine -- which also has very significant value as fertilizer! And, diverting these nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorous) from the waste water stream can improve water quality for all of us.

You should all be proud that the Rich Earth Institute is a local organization, made up of people from this community. Local endorsements and participation are at the heart of the project. Our community is to be commended for stepping forward on this critical part of environmental sustainability.

The Rich Earth Institute is the first permitted pilot project in the US, and we have been featured on radio and website news nationally and internationally. Many, many entities, from governmental agencies to municipalities are watching what we do with serious interest. The Rich Earth Institute is collaborating nationally and doing rigorous scientific enquiry. Field trials are yielding results critical to widespread adoption of nutrient reclamation.

Please go to our website: www.RichEarthInstitute.org, to read more on this important work. Sign up for our newsletter, and learn how you can get involved!

Urine IS Liquid Gold!

Rich Earth Institute Board of Directors & staff:

Peter and Marion Abell,

Jennifer Atlee,
Molly Dowd,

Ben Goldberg,
John Hatton,

Dan Marks, Kim Nace,

Abe Noe-Hays,
Rebecca Rueter,

Konrad Scheltema,
Tatiana Schreiber

and Emily Wergin, June 27