September 20, 2018

Around Town

Williston resident is ‘student of the year’

A Williston resident was named Outstanding Student of the Year at Essex Technical Center last month.

Elizabeth Goddette graduated from Champlain Valley Union High School and Essex Tech this year. She took professional food courses at Essex Tech.

“She is one of those students that just makes your day when you walk in,” Essex Tech Principal Kathy Finck said. “She is always pleasant and always respectful and always a very happy student.”

Staff from each of the 15 programs at Essex Tech choose a student of the year, then one student is selected for the school-wide award.

“It made me feel like I was awarded for my hard work and all of my hard work was worth it,” Goddette said.

Goddette said she plans to take six months off, then attend the Culinary Institute of America to study culinary arts management.

Free fitness at CVU

The fitness center at Champlain Valley Union High in Hinesburg will be open to residents in all towns that send students to the school, including Williston.

Rahn Fleming will oversee the fitness center when it is open to the public. Fleming is a certified personal trainer, coordinator of the Learning Center at CVU and a two-sport coach at the school.

Residents can use the fitness center, free of charge, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hours will run through Aug. 20.

“I’ve tried to select hours that will serve the most, best,” Fleming wrote in an e-mail.

Red Cross seeks blood type O negative

The American Red Cross needs to boost its supply of type O negative blood, which has dropped to “critically low levels,” according to a press release.

The Red Cross said type O negative is always in high demand, as it can be transfused to patients with any blood type.

Spokesperson Donna M. Morrissey encouraged donors to contribute to the Red Cross.

Eligible volunteer blood donors can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make appointments.

CSWD acquiring permits for compost site

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

With a plan in place to shut down Invervale Compost Products in Burlington by February, the Chittenden Solid Waste District is moving forward with its intention to open a new compost facility on Redmond Road in Williston.

Last week, the Vermont Attorney General’s office approved a plan to close CSWD’s Burlington compost site. The facility will accept compost material through Feb. 28, 2011, and will be able to sell bulk compost through June 30 of next year. In a press release, the waste district said it then plans to open a drop-off site in the Burlington area for household compost materials and yard trimmings. Those materials would be brought to the new compost site in Williston — assuming CSWD obtains all necessary permits.

“We have several permit applications in,” said Brian Wright, interim facilities manager for CSWD. He noted that the Act 78 solid waste permit is currently under technical review. “We anticipate sometime this month getting a draft certification.”

If approved, the permit will then go up for public comment, Wright said.

The waste district also needs to obtain its Act 250 land use permit for the compost facility. Wright said CSWD planned to submit the application for Act 250 this week.

The waste district already has stormwater and wastewater permits, Wright said, and has completed a traffic study that shows a compost facility would have no impact on peak hour traffic.

Williston Selectboard Chairman Terry Macaig said the board had told CSWD that traffic was the town’s main concern.

Wright said the waste district is scheduled to meet with Williston’s Development Review Board on July 27 for a discretionary permit hearing. CSWD representatives also plan to meet with Williston officials Friday to discuss a host town agreement, Wright said.

Town Manager Rick McGuire said the negotiations would be the first time the town and waste district meet face-to-face since a preliminary meeting this spring about the compost facility.

McGuire has said a host town agreement would offset costs incurred by the town because of a compost facility, including wear on roads from increased truck traffic, any problems with odor and any stormwater runoff issues.

“I feel confident about all of (the permits),” Wright said. “We satisfy all the criteria we’re judged on, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t get permits.”

Wright said the waste district expects to have all permits by the end of September. From there, he said construction of the compost facility should begin in October and take four months.

“The plan is to … get the facility built and operating by March 1, so we can just transition to Williston and not stop the flow of food,” Wright said.

Campaign season under way

Four running for two House seats

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

Jay Michaud

Williston’s Independence Day Parade on Saturday marked the start of the campaign season for many local candidates.

Vermont’s primary elections take place Aug. 24, with the general election Nov. 2. The filing deadline for candidates was June 17, and seven Williston residents came forward to run for various positions. With the field set, nearly all local candidates participated in the town’s parade.

Two Republicans — Mike Benevento and Jay Michaud — have emerged to challenge incumbent Democrats Terry Macaig and Jim McCullough for Williston’s two seats in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Jim McCullough

All four will appear on the ballot for the primaries, though regardless of those results the same names will appear on the general election ballot as well.

Macaig, who also serves as chairman of the Williston Selectboard, has completed one term in the House. He served on the Committee on Corrections and Institutions, where he said tasks included work on the capital budget, bonding for state infrastructure and the corrections system.

“There’s a lot of work left to do for challenges to change, (or) modify the correction system and prisoner behavior,” Macaig said. “Hopefully I’ll be back in the same committee, with a chance to work on those things.”

Terry Macaig

In a press release announcing his bid for reelection, Macaig said, “He will focus his campaign on continuing to make health insurance affordable, environmental protection and fiscal responsibility.”

Fellow Democrat McCullough has spent four terms representing Williston in the Vermont House.

“I’m doing a good job and I’m having fun,” McCullough said when asked why he’s seeking reelection. “I’m doing a good job not only for Williston, but for the state as a whole.”

Mike Benevento

McCullough said he wants to remain in the House as long as he’s enjoying himself and successfully serving Williston and Vermont. Like Macaig, McCullough also pointed to the importance of accessible health care and the necessity of protecting the environment — and balancing environmental needs with those of businesses.

As a member of the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources the past four years, McCullough said he has spent a lot of time dealing with aquatic invasive species and stormwater. He said one of his biggest accomplishments was creating groundwater in Vermont as a public trust.

On the Republican side, Benevento said his decision to run stems from a desire to serve his community.

“The bottom line is, I’ve been doing a lot of community service, basically my whole life,” Benevento said, noting time spent in the military and volunteering with Babe Ruth and Little League baseball leagues. “It’s a way to help out, have more impact in the community.”

A former right wing columnist for the Observer, Benevento said he considered running for the House two years ago. The Republican has never held elected office; he said he decided to run for a statewide position because he already volunteers locally, and follows state politics more than local government. Benevento wants to reduce the size of government and have fewer taxes, which he hopes will entice more businesses to Vermont.

In his outgoing Right to the Point column on May 20, Benevento wrote, “My goal is to represent all Willistonians — no matter what their political leanings are. Together, we can work for a better Vermont.”

Jay Michaud said the reason he’s running is “jobs, jobs, jobs.” As a FedEx ground contractor, Michaud said he regularly meets people and talks about the economy.

“I’m listening to people, and the pain that’s out there, and we need to put some people back to work,” Michaud said.

He called for a multi-tiered approach to revamping the economy, with a plan that includes internship programs and making Vermont more attractive to businesses. Michaud’s campaign is his first venture into politics, and he wants to immediately address his frustrations with government in the state capital.

“I’m just fed up with Montpelier,” Michaud said. “The super majority party I don’t think is listening to all Vermonters, and I think we need more balance in Montpelier.”

Beyond the House

The town has two candidates vying for Chittenden County’s six seats in the state Senate. Incumbent Sen. Ginny Lyons, a Democrat, will seek to retain her seat in the Legislature. Republican Shelley Palmer, after one failed bid for the Williston Selectboard and two for the Vermont House of Representatives, has also declared his candidacy for the Senate.

Lyons will face off against six other Democrats on Aug. 24, with the top six vote-getters appearing on the Nov. 2 ballot. Her fellow Democrats include Tim Ashe of Burlington, Philip Baruth of Burlington, Sally Fox of South Burlington, Frank “Guyer” Geier of South Burlington, Hinda Miller of Burlington and Andy Montroll of Burlington.

In addition to Palmer, the Republican field includes Dennis Bedard of South Burlington, Mike Branon of South Burlington, Annette Roque Renaud of Essex, Charlie Smith of Burlington and Diane Snelling of Hinesburg. All six will appear on the general election ballot.

Besides the major party candidates, the general election for the Chittenden County Senate seats will feature four independent candidates. Larkin Forney of Milton is running with the Justice for Vermonters party. Richard “Terry” Jeroloman of Burlington, Steve Laible of South Burlington and Mikey Van Gulden of Burlington are running as Independents.

In the race for secretary of state, Williston Selectboard member Chris Roy last year announced his bid to fill the position being vacated by Deb Markowitz, who hopes to replace the outgoing Jim Douglas as Vermont governor. Roy faces Jason Gibbs of Duxbury in the primary.

Democrats have two candidates seeking their party’s nomination for secretary of state: Jim Condos of Montpelier and Charles Merriman of Middlesex. Brattleboro Progressive Peter A. Cooper is also running for secretary of state.

Improving Ireland Legion team heads to N.Y.

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Its two-game win streak nipped in a classic 1-0 duel at 8-1 Essex on Tuesday, the S.D. Ireland American Legion baseball team was then host to Essex on Wednesday at the Champlain Valley Union High field.

The game was to be played after press deadline.

Following a trip to Waterbury for a 5:30 p.m. game on Thursday, the Irelands will by and large be in a New York state of mind for the next week as they participate in tournaments in Granville, N.Y. from Friday through Sunday and Glens Falls, N.Y. from Tuesday to Thursday.

On Monday, coach Jim Neidlinger’s crew — which features some Williston players — will be home to Waterbury for a 5:30 p.m. contest.

What started out as a difficult weekend wound up with plenty of positives on Sunday, Monday and, yes, Tuesday in Essex.

After losing a 12-inning marathon 9-8 to then unbeaten Knights of Columbus, South Burlington at showery Hinesburg on Saturday, the Irelands lost another squeaker, 10-9, to the Colchester Cannons at home Sunday morning.

But with bats booming, they then lowered a 9-2 shelling on visiting Montpelier Sunday afternoon.

A Monday trip to Colchester resulted in a 4-3 victory over the Cannons.

Tuesday was a day for the slingers rather than the sluggers. Right handers Sean Rugg of the Irelands and Sam Spencer of Essex just about matched each other — just three hits for each team — until Essex pushed across a run without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the sixth to prevail. The entire test lasted just over an hour.

The lone tally came when Essex’s Bryce Couchier led off with a walk and stole second. He took third on a ground out to second and scored on Adam Picard’s fly out to medium right field.

Essex had come close in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with one out on two walks and a single. But then a suicide squeeze attempt went awry when Rugg grabbed a pop up off the bunt try and threw to shortstop Drew Nick, who alertly hustled over the third to double up the base runner.

Rugg, who carried a no-hitter into the fourth, walked four and whiffed two and benefited from two double plays started by Nick.

Spencer, who tossed a no-hitter for Mount Mansfield Union against CVU in the high school season opener in April, walked none while fanning five. Nick had two of the hits, a two-out double in the first and a single in the fourth.

Ryan Machavern, Ireland’s first baseman, noted Spencer throws hard and his fastballs appear to rise en route to the plate.

Down 1-0 with two out in the top of the seventh and final inning, the Irelands gave Essex something to think about. Rugg snapped a sharp single to right center and second baseman Nick Elderton lifted a high fly to deep center, which got chased down by Jared Benoche to end the scintillating game.

Offensive explosions

Agreeing that the season so far for the 4-8 Irelands is a work in progress, Neidlinger said Sunday’s win over Montpelier was a step up and could lead to more good things.

On Monday, his team made the coach a prophet and found more success. With Shane deLaBruere and Dan French doing the hurling, French picked up the win with three-plus innings of relief.

deLaBruere rapped an RBI double while Nick and Joe Myers socked two hits each, Nick also getting a ribbie.

In polishing off Montpelier on Sunday, the Irelands exploded for 15 hits including four from Curt Echo, who was behind the plate for the day’s second contest. He drove in a pair of runs, as did Elderton (3 hits) and deLaBruere with a double. Andy Kent, Rugg and Myers had two hits each.

Starter Theron Fuller took a four-hit shutout into the eighth before tiring and giving up four hits and two runs. Fuller got the win with help from Collin Teator, who got the final four outs.

In the opening loss to Colchester, deLaBruere bopped three hits. Rugg and Elderton each drove home three tallies.

Former CVU stars appear in Twin State contests

Several Champlain Valley Union High graduated senior athletes made their presence felt this past weekend in a slew of all-star contests.

Two prominent members of the Division 1 boys lacrosse runner-up squad, midfielder Nick Hart and defenseman Cully Millikin, were on the Vermont squad that bowed 18-7 to its New Hampshire counterparts Saturday in Hanover, N.H.

Hart was a scoring pacesetter for the Green Mountain team, knocking in two goals.

In the girls lacrosse contest, also in Hanover, Erika Gobeille tallied for the Vermont stars in a 22-5 defeat by the Granite Staters.

New Hampshire’s boys hockey stars outlasted Vermont 3-1 in the annual Make-A-Wish Senior All-Star Classic Saturday at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse. CVU’s Sam Parent was on the Vermont squad.

Sunday, at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Kelsey Jensen set up Vermont’s second goal by teammate Grace O’Neil of Essex High in a 2-0 victory over New Hampshire in the 27th Annual Twin State Field Hockey Classic.

Vermont has a 5-4-1 advantage over the past 10 years while trailing overall, 15-9-3.

New Hampshire’s girls track and field stars rolled past Vermont 97-69 Saturday in Hanover. Haleigh Smith was a member of the Maple Syrup State team.

In North-South baseball Saturday at Colchester High, outfielder Alec Zullo was on the North squad that split a twin bill with the South, winning 5-4 and then bowing 9-4. CVU coach Tim Albertson was part of the North coaching staff.

Right to the Point

We want spies — just not in the U.S.

By Kayla Purvis

Russia’s suspicions of the United States were cemented by our 1945 dropping of two atom bombs to end fighting with Japan and the rest of the Axis countries. The three major Ally countries were the United States, the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R.

America and the British knew about, and even arranged, the usage of two atom bombs. Russia, under Stalin’s leadership, was left uninformed. By this time the United States knew more about Russia’s conditions under Stalin’s rule than we had before; he had successfully isolated his country from the rest of the world for many previous years. Reportedly prosperous exports gave the rest of the world the illusion that Stalin’s leadership was healthy for the country. In reality, deep social oppression left its people brainwashed, indoctrinated and desperate. The United States, while suspicious, remained at a distance.

It should not be a shock, then, that close to a dozen people in the United States were arrested over the weekend on charges of spying for Russia. The New York Times reported that 10 of the 11 arrested individuals were compiled into five couples living in the suburbs across the country, hoping to crack what they called “policy making circles.” In other words, they wanted to analyze how our societies work by living within and being accepted by them.

It has also been reported that they used technology one might see in a futuristic movie, like secret embedded codes in Internet photos and laptop communication by two passing agents, invisible ink messages and exchanging bags of cash. Desired information included foreign policy toward Iran, nuclear weapons details, Congressional politics and leadership of government operations and organizations, among other things.

The United States used similar James Bond-like tactics to penetrate the spy ring: monitoring phone calls and e-mail and planting microphones.

When I heard the news that 11 people had been arrested for being Russian spies, I was surprised. Not because there are spies, but because I never hear about spies and suddenly 11 of them are being arrested in my country.

Nobody wants spies for another country living in their country, especially inconspicuous ones. But what would we do without our own spies in, say, Russia? Some countries are prone to secrecy and isolation from the world. Sending in spies to these countries could potentially keep our country from being surprised or left in the dark.

In 1991 the United States and the U.S.S.R. signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START, acknowledging that both countries wanted to reduce their numbers of nuclear weapons. In 1993 we signed the second START, banning two more types of nuclear-equipped missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles. I don’t know much about weapons or our more modern military tactics, but when two countries agree not to use specific types of weapons, is curiosity not natural? Curiosity about what they are planning to use instead, curiosity about whether or not they are building said weapons, curiosity about their true intentions behind signing such a treaty. And how do we get the information we want? Spies. Nobody will directly come out and say that we have spies — in any country — but how could we not?

We value our spies gathering information in other countries and dislike the idea of other countries having spies here. But the reality is, America is not as invincible as she sometimes thinks. Many countries are not pleased with us, and many would launch missiles at us just to make a point. We have to remember that there will be people working for other countries; we are not the only country planting spies. We are, however, a huge political powerhouse that needs to prevent itself from becoming a bigger target. How do we reduce the amount of information foreign spies get without limiting the public? I’m not sure there’s an easy answer, but it’s something to think about.

Plus, despite the national security part, the spy toys are kinda cool.

Williston resident Kayla Purvis is a rising senior at Champlain Valley Union High School.

Liberally speaking

The oil spill’s biggest victim: BP?

By Steve Mount

The latest liberal-leaning Internet meme is a new take on the Republican Party’s venerable elephant logo. You know the one — the red-bodied elephant with the blue upper body emblazoned with three big white stars.

The new meme converts the elephant to BP greens, with a dark green body and a light green upper body. The stars are replaced by the BP rosette, and the elephant’s truck has an oil gusher squirting out of it. The meme also renames the “Grand Old Party” to the “Grand Oil Party,” inserting the “B” from BP to make the point painfully clear: GObP.

The new icon comes from the creative staff of left-leaning news show host Keith Olbermann, and is intended to poke fun at (and speak truth to) the Republican members of Congress who have taken to defending BP from criticism.

The most blatant example was that of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who went on record in a House committee hearing on June 17 and apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward. The day before, the Obama White House and BP had announced that BP would set up a $20 billion trust fund to help fund clean-up efforts and to compensate victims of the economic damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Barton called the agreement a “shake-down,” said that the agreement violated due process and that it was illegal. Barton was “ashamed” of the agreement, and apologized to BP and Hayward for it.

What the rest of us might call “the right thing” or “the least BP could do,” Barton was calling an illegal shakedown for which he was ashamed. The only shame should have been Barton’s. What he exposed himself as, as though we couldn’t already tell considering his accumulated campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry generally and from BP specifically, was a shill for the industry.

One member of Congress bending over backwards for the industry does not deserve a whole new logo, though. Fortunately for the logo makers, there were plenty of other Republicans who were more than willing to bend for BP.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. also put his foot in his mouth. After rightfully praising BP for paying out what claims it has already, he also lambasted the president for meeting with BP and coming to an agreement with them. What Barton and Price seem to forget is that it is the president’s job, the government’s job, to protect our nation and its people from all threats, including the threat of irresponsible companies and the threat of ongoing economic damage.

Frequently shrill Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. worried aloud that BP was going to get “fleeced” by claims and that the victims’ fund would end up being just a “redistribution of wealth.” Yes, from the cash-soaked BP to the broke and possibly bankrupt people of the Gulf region whose jobs and even careers were ruined by BP’s spill. If there is to be any redistribution of wealth, this is the place for it.

Finally, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, of “Drill, Baby, Drill!” fame, has been using Twitter and Facebook to come to the defense of BP. Citing an article that equates the trust fund to Nazism, Palin called the agreement “an unconstitutional power grab.”

Who are all these people kidding?

Every day, at nearly any hour, we can still turn on the television and watch as barrel after barrel of oil leaks out of the Deepwater Horizon well. I’m certainly troubled that our federal regulations did not require companies to have better plans for this sort of thing, but that is no excuse for this disaster.

In my last column, I wrote that the time to assess blame for the long-term effects of this disaster was not yet here. But there has been more than enough time to assess blame in the short-term. Any reasonable person would place that blame firmly on BP — heck, BP itself is taking the blame in interview after interview and hearing after hearing.

The attempts by these members of the GObP to deflect this short-term blame by raising the flag of unfairness, illegality or unconstitutionality are so transparent as to be laughable.

So don’t blame yourself for having a small chuckle over the BP-green elephant logo and the new moniker. A little dark humor helps us cope with disasters of this scale. It’s just unfortunate that we seem to need so much dark humor these days.

Steve Mount has been a Williston resident since 1996. He is a software engineer at GE Healthcare and is devoted to his family, his country and his Constitution. You can reach Steve at steve@saltyrain.com or read his blog at http://saltyrain.com/ls.

Letters to the Editor

Dismayed by letters

I’m writing to express my dismay with the Letters to the Editor section, specifically the chronic weekly publishing of letters from the same single writer. I realize that we all have every right to submit letters for publication, but certainly you must have a limit on how many a single writer can have published. If you want to give voice to a particular writer on a weekly basis, perhaps a byline would be more appropriate.

In addition to the weekly printing, the information provided by this particular writer is often misleading and incorrect. As an example, a recent letter tries to explain “dhimmitude” to the reader and contains an assertion that Muslims will benefit without cost from the new health care plan, fondly and derisively referred to by the writer as ObamaCare. This is just not true and that could have been easily picked up by Observer staff with a simple look at FactCheck.org. I find it offensive in tone and troublesome that by its very inclusion in your paper it could be perceived as accurate.

I’d be interested to learn your paper’s policy regarding the frequency of letters from a single source as well as fact checking submitted letters. It would seem to me that the responsibility of any paper that is putting the written word into print for public consumption is to insure that the reader can be correct in assuming that integrity is the passion of those that assemble the communities’ source of information. It would be comforting to know that these high standards are integral to your publication.

George Hubbard
Williston

Food Shelf on parade

Each Fourth of July, families sit down to hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream to celebrate our nation’s independence. But do you know that for many families in Williston that picnic is only possible because of your support of the Williston Community Food Shelf? Your friends and neighbors who volunteer at the Food Shelf are asking for your generosity this weekend to ensure those in need will always have a place to turn.

In between the bands and floats at this year’s parade you will find us with our truck, our red wagons and our volunteers collecting donations of money and food. We are always in need of pasta sauce, canned fruits and peanut butter and jelly. Donations of cash will help us not only pay the rent, but provide fresh eggs and dairy products to our clients as well. Every dollar is important!

Due in part to the continuing economic slump, donations to the Food Shelf in the first half of this year are down 40 percent from last year while the number of Williston families in need continues to climb. We have taken steps to contain our costs but each step takes something away from those in need in the community. Your donation will help us to fulfill our mission of providing fresh, healthy food to all those neighbors who need assistance.

Can you imagine a Fourth of July celebration without a picnic? We can’t. We hope to see you at the parade or come and visit us. We are located in the Taft Farm Village Center off U.S. 2 on the ground floor behind Artists’ Mediums. Have a safe and happy holiday and thank you for your generosity to the Williston Community Food Shelf.

Williston Community Food Shelf volunteers

Ambulance in service

On July 1 at 12:01 a.m., the Williston Fire Department became the transporting ambulance for the town of Williston. I would like to publicly thank St. Michael’s Rescue for its years of service to the town. We have been very fortunate to have had such a longstanding affiliation with their dedicated volunteers.

We, the members of the Williston Fire Department, are excited about this change, and the benefits it will bring to our townspeople. You will benefit from quicker response, and no transfer of care. Williston Fire Department EMTs will respond directly to the scene in one of our ambulances. Patients will be cared for by the same EMTs from the time the ambulance arrives until the patient is safely at the hospital.

We have purchased a 2010 ambulance, manufactured by Osage, in Linn, Mo., as our primary ambulance, and a 2004 Lifeline Ambulance from Odessa, Del. as our backup ambulance. In rare instances, when all of our EMTs and ambulances are busy, citizens may see St. Michael’s Rescue or Essex Rescue respond to a call in Williston.

A long time ago, a group of concerned citizens formed Iroquois First Response to bring initial medical services to Williston and Hinesburg. Then, in 2000, the Williston Fire Department took over the First Response services for Williston. Now, with the Williston Fire Department becoming your transporting ambulance, we will be providing our citizens with the full range of Emergency Medical Care.

Our staff and volunteers have been training long hours over the last several months to make the transition as smooth as possible. We look forward to continuing to serve you.

Chief Kenneth Morton
Williston Fire Department

Suggestions for Maple Tree Place signage

I am pleased a sign is being considered for Maple Tree Place. I also like the directional signs within the shopping center.

My suggestion to our Development Review Board would be that the words “Maple Tree Place” be vertical, with three short lines for the three words. That is, one word under the other. Also, put a maple tree on the same sign to the left side of the three words. Also, make the sign smaller. How about the background of the sign being a dark green with white lettering? We live in the Green Mountain State and the leaves are green on the maple tree.

I was overwhelmed when I saw the new temporary sign because of its size. The impression I get is that the tree will be as large as the sign with words and a separate section of the name sign.

Will the same sign go at the other entrance? Seems like there should be one there also.

Ginger Isham
Williston

Guest Column

The dangers of human cloning

By Eileen Haupt

In the May 13 Guest Column, “The medical solution we’ve been waiting for,” a seventh grade student lauded the benefits of human cloning for the purpose of providing our personal supply of spare organs for transplants, and as a resource for cells, to treat disease without the complication of rejection. I find it troubling that this young student considers something as nightmarish as producing headless human clones for spare body parts as the solution for treating disease.

Treating diseases is a very good thing, but this country has historically respected the dignity of the human person in experimentation. A human clone is essentially a genetic twin of another human being. Using clones for “spare parts” hardly respects the human person. If human cloning ever becomes reality, the “cure” would be more horrific than the disease.

Cloning is fraught with ethical problems. It is unsafe, especially for women. It is also not necessary for the advancement of legitimate medicine.

Because producing human clones requires an enormous supply of human eggs, it will lead to the exploitation of women, as the eggs become a commodity. To acquire the eggs, women are given high doses of powerful hormones to stimulate the ovaries, forcing them to ovulate about a dozen eggs, and then undergo surgery to extract them. This retrieval process can lead to Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which can be life-threatening or lead to long-term health issues.

According to Dr. David Prentice of the Family Research Council, cloning would require about 50 to 100 eggs to produce one cloned embryo. It is estimated that 850 million to 1.7 billion human eggs would be needed to treat those with diabetes in the United States alone! This would require about 85 million women of childbearing age to donate their eggs. Since the demand for eggs could never be met, coercion is a real possibility. It is impoverished women from third world countries who would be most at risk for exploitation.

Producing clones for disease treatment is simply unnecessary, because adult (non-embryonic) stem cell research is already leading to treatments of many diseases. Most importantly, adult stem cells, which are derived from body cells, usually from the patients themselves, do not violate human dignity.

Here are just a few of the many amazing treatments using adult stem cells:

> A 10-year-old British boy recently had a trachea transplant, using stem cells derived from his own bone marrow to cover a “scaffold” created from a donor’s trachea.

> Doctors at Boston Medical Center have treated patients with degenerative hip disease using the patient’s own stem cells, which were injected into the hip to generate new bone.

> Dr. Carlos Lima in Portugal treats patients with severe chronic spinal cord injuries, using stem cells derived from the patients’ own nasal tissue, which are injected into the site of injury. Many patients experience increased mobility, and some are even able to walk with assistance.

> A recent study showed that adult stem cells injected into patients who have had heart attacks repaired heart damage.

> Although not yet used in treating patients, scientists at Columbia University have created a jawbone in the lab using adult stem cells.

Much progress has been made employing ethical science. It is simply unnecessary to go down the road of Frankenstein science to treat human beings.

Incidentally, it is wrongly assumed that pro-lifers oppose all stem cell research. We do not oppose adult stem cell research. We oppose embryonic stem cell research because extracting embryonic stem cells always requires the killing of a living human embryo. Fortunately, all remarkable stem cell advances in disease treatment are the result of ethical adult stem cell research. Despite the hype, embryonic stem cell research has not yielded one successful human treatment!

Another point of clarification: we are misled to believe that so-called “reproductive cloning” and “therapeutic cloning” are two different processes. But they are not. The difference lies in how the cloned embryo is utilized. If the cloned human embryo were implanted into a uterus (not yet possible) for the purpose of being brought to birth, it would be considered “reproductive.” If destroyed for deriving stem cells or for experimentation, it would be considered “therapeutic.” In either case, the cloning process is exactly the same.

Finally, I’d like to address the student’s point about cloning leading to other scientific discoveries. Human cloning will lead to such horrors as fetal farming and genetically engineered human-animal hybrids. This is the kind of “scientific discovery” we can expect to come from human cloning.

Far from being “the medical solution we’ve been waiting for,” human cloning is the science fiction nightmare we must prevent.

Eileen Haupt lives in Jericho.

Recipe Corner

Early summer veggie recipes

By Ginger Isham

Those veggies are so good for us! One member of our community gardens gave me her favorite spring soup to share with readers. I hope you like it too!

Six Vegetable Green Soup

Begin by putting a chopped onion in a kettle — add a cup of water, cover and cook until soft. After addition of each of following ingredients — one at a time — add 1 cup water (or vegetable broth), cover and cook until tender.

1 medium or 2 small leeks, chopped

1 medium potato, chopped

1 tablespoon brown rice

1 carrot, sliced thin

4 to 5 sticks of asparagus, chopped

handful of fresh spinach

When all are cooked, add small amount of light cream and salt and pepper to taste. Heat and serve.

Creamy Carrot Parsnip Soup

(From “Taste of Home’s Garden-Fresh Recipes”)

8 cups carrots, chopped

6 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped

4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

3 cups water

2 teaspoons sugar (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup)

pinch of salt

1 average size onion, chopped

4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon horseradish (fresh grated or already made)

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons sour cream and fresh dill

In large kettle, combine carrots, parsnips, broth, water, sugar, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to just simmering and cover and cook about 25 minutes. Sauté onion, garlic, horseradish and ginger in butter until tender. Add to cooked vegetables and puree in blender in batches. Place in pan, add buttermilk and heat. Garnish with dollop of sour cream, sprigs of fresh dill or both. Serves 10 to 12 people.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.