Getting Windham County back
on its feet
Editor of the Reformer:
Regarding the Vermont Yankee settlement economic development fund ("Countywide revolving loan fund to be discussed," July 2), everyone agrees Windham County must get the biggest local bang for the buck. With $2 million per year for five years ($10 million total) ready to be unleashed, that bang could -- and should -- be pretty big. A state of Vermont hearing set for July 10 in Brattleboro will provide more direction about how the money will be allocated, and to whom.
The state of Vermont development officials overseeing the fund seem committed to local public engagement. While attending a June 3 public hearing on the grant/loan application process in Townshend, I heard several Vernon and Brattleboro residents say many interested people from their respective towns were unaware of the hearing held 40 miles away in the northern end of the county. In response, the state several days later announced an extension of the public comment period.
Vermont Yankee has been a "public good" for over 40 years because its payroll, local and state government revenue, and volunteerism have powered southeastern Vermont’s quality-of-life engine. At peak operation, Vermont Yankee pays about $89 million in payroll and $15 million in state and local revenue. The transparent, prudent distribution of this generous $10 million economic redevelopment "severance package" should help the county get back on its feet.
Vermont Energy Partnership, July 2
for fair coverage
Editor of the Reformer:
Already you have published numbers of references to the governor’s race. Now, I know that you may think that people only want to hear about Milne and Shumlin, but I remind you they are not the favorites for everyone. Are you able to refrain from coverage that is exclusively along party lines? I am in the weeds and grasses, so to speak, speaking with people daily from all around the state, and I happen to be witness to a profound sense of despair about the future, dissatisfaction with our broken systems of unparticipatory democracy. There is cynicism, denial and anger that there is not much we can do about it.
I run to propose and educate methods for improving our democratic agreement. Yet I am greatly hindered and underserved by journalists and their outlets who decide I don’t deserve the benefit of a level playing field so they fail to cover or name me as a candidate in their pieces and op eds about the governor’s race. Whenever and wherever I am underserved, so are the nearly 6,000 people who voted for me last election, and the rapidly growing number of new people who will be voting for me this election.
I stand out with a competitive platform that includes no support for fracked gas importation under Lake Champlain, no support for F-35s, no support for ridgeline industrial wind, no support for further criminalization of addiction, and little support for continued opiate prescription practices. I include in the Peyton budget $84 million to be spent opening 255 free health clinics September 2015, staffed by a nurse practitioner and a general practitioner (at $89,000, and $149,000 salary respectively) and each clinic be given $7,000 per month for operating expenses for more staff, rent or to be applied at their discretion. It’s my guidance to remove the onus of malpractice from these specific practitioners, and have them available to serve the basic health needs for all Vermonters on a first come, first serve, or triage basis.
I am in support of a good number of excellent proposals and as soon as I am elected I will set about to seeing that we move forward together in an integrated and complimentary fashion to implement those we want. I know at least 6,000 people who want to learn all about them, and that number is increasing everyday.
Thank you for your help to inform people by publishing this letter . However I ask you please to give me (and thereby your readership) coverage with more fairness, balance and comprehensive detail.
Putney, June 18