July 31, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Opponents of the Vermont Gas pipeline staged a sit-in protest at the Williston staging area Wednesday morning, attempting to stop work on the pipeline extension project. Look for the story in tomorrow’s Observer.

Letters to the Editor

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Oak Hill wrong spot for public works facility

I read the Observer’s Guest Column (“Residents share concerns with public works location,” June 20, 2013) concerning the town plans to build a public works facility off Oak Hill Road. My initial thought was that the Selectboard must have gone entirely mad. How can the board of our nice village make such a decision with no public notice? And why would they be so secretive as to conceal the location until it was under contract? What kind of public service is this?

When I saw the proposed location was actually in the wildlife corridor of this undeveloped part of our town, I became convinced the entire board must have slipped their collective moorings. Half of Williston is in stages of development and there remains available property in the developed sphere. Why would we want to slam a building into a wildlife corridor and open up a whole new area to truck traffic, noise and environmental degradation?

Could it be members of the board wish to open all the town to development? Is there no wish to preserve local aesthetics, local environment, local wildlife, even local peace and pleasure? Near this proposed building site I have encountered fishers, bobcats, deer, owls and even a moose. Their habitat will be immensely degraded or destroyed.

Please, Selectboard, make a good choice for our town. Help contain sprawl, don’t promulgate it.

Let us please keep Vermont green and growing, preserve a hint of natural beauty and let us live with our environment, not abuse it.

Page Hudson
Williston

 

Public input needed for public works location

My wife and I fully support the views expressed in the June 20 Guest Column (“Residents share concerns with public works location”).

While we endorse everything said by the authors of the article, there is one more point that needs mentioning.

When the vote for the bond was taken in March, there was no indication of the precise location but there were two basic assumptions that drove its approval by the voters. One was that the location would be near the current Chittenden Solid Waste site on Redmond or on the nearby IBM parcel. The second assumption was that whatever location was finally chosen, it would not be in total conflict with the Comprehensive Plan and 2012 Public Works Facility Committee recommendation. The Selectboard asserts that they did not wish to disclose the location until the contract was finalized. This is not an acceptable procedure—it puts the cart before the horse. You can agree on a site and all attending conditions including price and give a good-faith promise to the would-be seller that the contract would be signed once the bond had been approved. Then you go to the voters and ask for their approval, indicating precisely what they are voting for. If it is rejected because the location is unacceptable, so be it and you start all over again. Neither time pressure nor voting deadlines are material in this—you complete one before you go to the other—period. And one thing you do not do is to be less than upfront with your voters.

Lutz Muller
Williston 

 

Where is Vermont?

On July 4, 1863 General Ulysses Grant’s men won control of the Great Mississippi, cutting the Confederacy in half, in the Battle of Vicksburg fought against General John Pemberton’s army. On a recent riverboat cruise from New Orleans, La. to Memphis, Tenn. we stopped in Vicksburg, Miss. My husband signed up for a tour of the Vicksburg Battlefield.

During the tour, the guide asked if there was anyone in the group from Vermont. My husband raised his hand. The tour guide went on to say that Vermont was the only state in the United States that was not represented with some kind of monument here on the battlefield.

I wonder if anyone has an answer to this question? Could this be a project for a Boy Scout group, a student or grad challenge project? I know of someone who said they would be happy to deliver a monument from Vermont to Mississippi if there was one made to right this wrong. This is the Civil War’s 150th anniversary year.

Ginger Isham
Williston

 

Exchange student thanks community

My name is Gaspard Deleplanque and I’m a French exchange student sponsored by PAX. I arrived in Shelburne last August at the Potter’s family. I have been staying with three different families and I learned a lot from it.

I attended Champlain Valley Union High School. Over this year, I learned so much about myself and found out about what my life will be about. I also met formidable people who changed my life in a way or in other.

First and foremost, thank you to my host parents Sarah and Paul Potter, who opened their home for me, did so much for me and helped me to improve my English skills.

I want to thank everyone at CVU high school who made my year awesome. I’d also like to thank my coordinator, Kelley Cartularo, who was there when I had difficulties and cheered me up.

Families who would like to host a student should call Kelley at 373-0011.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone I met in the Champlain Valley. They showed interest and curiosity towards me and I really appreciated it. It really helped me to integrate myself into the community. I hope other PAX exchange students will have the opportunity I have had at Champlain Valley. You are so generous and awesome and I will remember you.

Gaspard Deleplanque
France

Allen Brook Library open

The Allen Brook School library will be open this summer on Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Families in Williston and St. George are encouraged to come to the library to choose and check out books with their children. There will be a story time each week with guest readers. The dates will be every Wednesday from June 26 through August 21.

I hope to see many families, including those with very young children who are not yet attending Allen Brook through next year’s third grade students.

I will be there to help children and parents find interesting and just right books and to make suggestions for further reading. The children who chose five books for the summer are also encouraged to come in and get new ones. This is a great way to find books to keep children reading over the break and to promote lifelong reading.  All children should be accompanied by an adult.

Denise Wentz
Allen Brook School Librarian

 
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