May 27, 2018

Letters to the Editor

Maple Leaf Farm is good for our community

Maple Leaf Farm’s proposed use of the former Pine Ridge School property as a medically supervised substance abuse treatment program is good for Williston and for the state. It should be made clear that the program is not a methadone center and has no similarity to the one proposed in South Burlington.

Instead of closing our hearts, minds and community to people who are struggling with trauma and the devastation that substance dependence brings to their lives, we need to be compassionate and concerned about the people living in our town and surrounding area who are actively addicted to and using substances. The people seeking treatment and desperate to change their lives don’t pose any threat to us. Demonizing people struggling with a drug and alcohol dependence, and actively participating in treatment, helps no one.

Maple Leaf Farm is known and respected for its excellent program and for the estimated 28,000 people it has helped to find recovery since it began in 1956. The fact that the program will bring good jobs with excellent benefits to our town is also an important fact in these difficult times. It protects our open space, offers an easement on 38 acres, including the playing fields at the bottom of the hill and puts a deteriorating facility to good use.

Study after study shows that treatment works. If we really care about our children and the quality of life in our town, we’ll support this essential and high quality service.

Deb Olivetti

Artificial turf benefits don’t justify the expense

For the past several years, CVU coaches have been grumbling about the woes and troubles of playing sports on real grass. Now they’ve gone to the media and will soon go before the school board to replace at least one CVU field with artificial turf. Their claims are that artificial turf will extend the playing season, reduce injuries and require no maintenance. No doubt it would extend the season, but the other claims are dubious.

Studies are mixed on whether artificial turf prevents or causes injuries. Moreover, turf fields are much hotter on sunny days, increasing the danger of heat fatigue, they have a substantially higher risk of causing infections and they contain high levels of lead and zinc. The net effect on athletes’ health is almost certainly negative.

Artificial turf fields are far from no-maintenance. They require infilling every eight to 10 years. They have to be sprayed on hot days to prevent heat fatigue, and they often have to be disinfected routinely to overcome the increased risk of infection. Then there’s the problem of disposal. Because of the lead, zinc and recycled rubber, some communities have found that worn turf had to be disposed of as hazardous material—a very expensive surprise. But even if artificial turf really were zero maintenance, it would still be a bad bargain. Maintaining a real grass field costs about $7,000 a year, while a new artificial turf field would cost $700,000 or more—that’s 100 years to pay back the investment.

The fact that coaches, in this economy, would ask for a high-priced luxury with questionable benefits tells me that we taxpayers have already been too generous.

William Workman

Fox thanks voters

I would like to thank the citizens of Williston for their support for me as one of your senators representing Chittenden County. This was a good race, with a slate of excellent choices, and I feel honored to be reelected.

I pledge to be accessible and responsive to your concerns, and I hope that you will feel free to contact me with any concerns or issues you have with state government.

Sally Fox
South Burlington


Thanks from Macaig and McCullough

Thank you to the residents of Williston who voted in the elections on Nov. 6. Thank you also to those who voted for us to continue to represent all Williston residents as your state representatives in the legislature. We are a balanced team who need to hear from you on the issues of importance to you. Congratulations to our opponents for running a campaign on the issues.

Representatives Jim McCullough, 878-2180, and
Terry Macaig, 878-3872

Nelson thanks Williston

With the 2012 election now passed, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Williston who took part. I enjoyed very much the challenge of being a candidate, and am proud that in Vermont this opportunity is far more accessible than in many other places. I’m personally grateful for all the help and support I received from friends, family, and neighbors in my campaign for the Vermont legislature. I enjoyed speaking with so many people, reconnecting with those I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting many new neighbors. “Biking” for office brought me excellent fitness benefits and is a wonderful way to see the whole town, including the big hills the map doesn’t warn you about! Williston is a special place, and I think that those of us who live here are quite fortunate.

I also want to commend Jay Michaud for his excellent campaign and his dedicated service to us as a member of the Selectboard. We are truly fortunate to have a good man like Jay working hard on our behalf.

And last but not least, congratulations to the incumbents Terry Macaig and Jim McCullough on again winning the honor of representing Williston at the Vermont statehouse! I know that both men are sincere in their desire to continue serving Williston, and that they share my view that Vermonters deserve honesty, transparency and accountability in those they elect. I wish them all the best as they prepare to face the many serious challenges ahead in the next legislative session.

Good luck gentlemen!

Thomas M. Nelson

A heartfelt thank you

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who voted for me and supported my campaign. Congratulations to Terry Macaig and Jim McCullough on their victory and the professional campaign they ran. You have my support and the support of the town to assist the administration in solving some of the issues facing Vermonters. My thanks also go to my running mate, Tom Nelson. It was a pleasure to get to know you, your friends and family, plot strategy for our campaigns and to get you back on a bicycle. Don’t forget to wear your helmet and attach your light.

I want to thank all the folks who opened their doors, greeted me with a smile, shook my hand, voiced their opinions and displayed the passion for issues they believed in. That truly was the reason why I ran for the office of state representative. Every day I knocked on a door, I became more convinced that entering the political arena was a good thing. The people I met and the stories that were shared will always be remembered as part of my campaign. I look forward to meeting you all again, whether it be at a school function, sporting event, town meeting, or the July 4 festivities. I also encourage you to contact me with any issues facing the town as a member of the Selectboard.

One more thank you goes to all the folks who came up to me on Election Day, shook my hand, shared a personal story and thanked me for running. It was truly heartfelt, and it showed the character of our town. All politics aside, fellow townspeople really care. For me, it was an honor and privilege to undertake this experience. I’ve enjoyed the campaign, but better yet the chance to meet the remarkable people that call Williston their home.

Thank you so much for this experience.

Jay P. Michaud


Ashe thanks voters

I want to sincerely thank the people of Williston for your support in the recent election. Since my first election to the Senate four years ago, I have done my best to represent each Chittenden County community with the same enthusiasm and attention as my own hometown. I will continue to try to keep you up-to-date on the Senate with updates in the Observer and in direct calls and e-mails with you. Please stay in touch, and thanks again.

Tim Ashe,

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