Letter Box


Vernon could secede to N.H.

Editor of the Reformer:

The people of Vernon are being ostracized by misguided Vermonters who have turned public concern about global warming into an anti-Vermont Yankee theme. Vernon is home to many good people who work at Entergy’s nuclear power station there. The legislature’s current plan is to turn this power producing, tax revenue producing asset into a mothball in a ghost town.

New Hampshire’s Connecticut River waters border Vernon and lap at the edge of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. New Hampshire waters cool the plant. New Hampshire is not seeking to shutter its nuclear plants such as Seabrook.

Vermont Yankee could be in New Hampshire if Vernon seceded from Vermont and joined New Hampshire. The Vermont Legislature would have no say in the relicensing of the New Hampshire plant. Vermont Yankee could continue to provide tax revenues and jobs to Vernon residents for another twenty years. Citizens and businesses in both states would continue the economic benefits of low electric power costs, maintaining good jobs and industry on both sides of the Connecticut River. Vernon would be a vibrant community, not a ghost town.

Robert Hargraves

Hanover, N.H., May 26

Current use bill

Editor of the Reformer:

The governor has an opportunity over the next few days to veto the current use bill. I hope he does.

The land use change tax incorporated in the current use value law is intended to discourage short-term use value enrollment, followed by withdrawal and development of enrolled land. So lets consider how the present law works compared with the bill the legislature passed.

Assume two properties in Wilmington, each of 100 acres, appraised by the town in the grand list at $200,000 and enrolled in current use for the past 8 years. Under the present law, landowner A owner withdraws 2 acres and gives that land to his daughter, paying a land use change tax of $800, 20 percent of the prorated $4000 value of the 2 acres. Landowner B withdraws all 100 acres and develops it, paying 20 percent of $200,000, a $40,000 land use change tax.

Under the bill passed by the legislature, Wilmington would appraise the 2 acres, based on the town land schedule, and landowner A would pay a 10 percent tax on that value. I imagine a 2-acre lot might be appraised by the town at around $65,000, so the tax could amount to $6,500. On the other hand, for withdrawing the entire 100 acres and developing it, Landowner B would pay a tax of only $20,000, 10 percent of $200,000. Half of the tax under the present law.

The proposed tax increase treats minor withdrawals of land far more harshly than major withdrawals. It could actually reduce the land use change tax on major development. I expect the burden for paying the increased tax will not fall on developers who take advantage of the system, it will more likely fall on Vermonters who withdraw small amounts of land for family use. These are sufficient reasons for governor to veto the bill.

George Weir

Williamsville, May 26

Black Mountain Road not a racetrack

Editor of the Reformer:

Please, can someone do something to stop people from using Black Mountain Road as a racetrack? I have seen many people in cars, trucks, motorcycles, work trucks, etc., as soon as they pass the I-91 bridge, they speed up to at least 50 mph.

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There are children on this road and people that like to walk with or without their pets, and bike up and down the road. As twisting as this road is ... they need to be careful and follow the speed limit. I also watched a white box truck pass a school bus that was slowing down to pull into Black Mountain Trailer Park. If this guy tried to stop, he would have hit the bus as fast as he was going. If they are on a schedule to be someplace they should leave a few minutes earlier. Please slow down.

Pam Bickford

Brattleboro, May 27

Help celebrate ACWC 35th

Editor of the Reformer:

The Arts Council of Windham County will be celebrating its 35th anniversary with a free, public event at Brattleboro’s River Garden on Saturday, June 5, from 6-10 p.m.

The celebration will include a display of visual art showcasing Vermont agriculture, as well as a full line up of performing artists including:

* 6-6:30 p.m., Luminz Dance

*6:30-7 p.m., Brattleboro School of Dance

*7-7:30p.m., The Brattleboro Music Center presents a world fusion piece by Derrik Jordan, "Welcome Santo" in three movements for kalimba, shekere, and string quartet and "The Jet Whistle" by Heitor Villa-Lobos for flute and cello

*7:30-8 p.m., Stephanie Petkanas trio, with Stephanie Petkanas on voice, Phyllis Isaacson on piano, and George Adair on bass

*8-10 p.m., Steve Sontag/Dave Shapiro Jazz Quintet, in collaboration with the Vermont Jazz Center.

Cai’s Dim Sum Teahouse will be selling its tasty fare. However, additional food artisans are still being sought.

Since 1975, the Arts Council of Windham County has worked to achieve its mission of to strengthen the environment for artists and arts organizations in Windham County. The Richards Group and C&S Wholesale Grocers have contributed to this celebration of 35 wonderful years of inspiring creativity.

For more information, visit the Arts Council of Windham County Web site at www.acwc.us.

Martin Cohn,

Event co-chairman

Arts Council of Windham County

Brattleboro, May 25


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