April 24, 2018

Letters to the editor

Salting our roads

I will start by saying our town road crews don’t have an easy job to maintain roads in the winter.

I’m writing this in the hopes of passing along some of the frustrations I’m having understanding the use of salt and when and how it’s applied. Salt is recognized as the deicer of choice and is used exclusively for one reason or another based on its ability to turn ice from a solid to liquid.

Problem is, it’s being applied every time there is a chance the road surface could possibly become slippery. There used to be a winter policy of limiting salt use to hills, curves and intersections. It seems that all the town highways (residential or commercial) are given the same level of treatment. Do we really need all roads in our residential neighborhoods that are generally posted at 25 mph to have salt applications to keep the surface free of ice/snow?

This winter has been very cold requiring the use of “treated” salt as an aid to melt the snow. This treated salt is wetted with a liquid chloride that also bonds well with the road surface and our vehicles, which the town likes because it help clears the road. I’m not a fan, but my point here again is how often and where? Is public safety our concern or has salt become the path of least resistance. All the town emergency responders are equipped for winter travel. Safe roads for winter travel, not clear roads at any cost.

Trent Coletta



Thanks for school choice column

I’d like to thank Mr. Campanella for taking the time to write the article and for pointing out that there is more to educating our children than simply putting them on a bus (“The right school for your child,” Jan. 23, 2014).

Finding an educational environment that fits the academic, social and developmental needs of the child is paramount, and his article neatly lays out the process to find the educational alternatives available to us as parents; a process that our family used a few years ago when we moved our children from public school to the Trinity Baptist School in Williston.

I also appreciate that he drew attention to National School Choice Week; his comments prompted me to do some additional research on the subject.

Erika Mellmann



Consider cord blood donation

At work when my office has an obstacle and my boss gives his two cents he sometimes adds, “It’s just not that hard.” We chuckle every time we hear it.

I was at a friend’s baby shower talking to some guests. I was explaining to them at my daughter’s birth I donated my umbilical cord blood. Most people hadn’t heard of this and were intrigued. I explained the banks use the cord blood for stem cell research and it could help children or adults with cancer. One of the ladies asked me where I learned of donating cord blood and I simply replied, “I saw it on Dateline,” thinking, “who hadn’t?” My friend started laughing and eventually the entire group had a rip roaring good laugh where tears were rolling down our cheeks… Dateline!

Every year, around my daughter’s birthday, I think about donating our cord blood and recall the memory of it, but other than that, there isn’t a lot of news around cord blood donation.

Last week my dad sent me an article from his local paper in Florida.

The article was about mothers giving birth and donating their cord blood and whom the blood benefited. It stated that Mother Nature was supplying something priceless and we should use what she was giving us. The blood from newborns umbilical cords could help treat autoimmune deficiencies, cancer and help in stem cell research.  I found the article very touching because it mentioned something I wasn’t aware of when I donated. The cord blood that I donated could help people with an autoimmune deficiency. I have Crohn’s disease and my cord blood could have possibly helped someone who had what I had.

I like to think we pushed science just a little bit further ahead and, “it just wasn’t that hard!”

Annie Reed Spencer



Frustrated with
rising rates

I would urge all Williston taxpayers to attend the annual Town Meeting on March 3 at 7 p.m. at the Williston Central School. If for no other reason, we deserve an explanation to the ever-increasing water and sewer rates that are being imposed on us. When a Selectboard member, in this case Jeff Fehrs, can be quoted in this week’s Williston Observer as saying, “People are going to be somewhat shocked when they get the next bill” (“Property taxes, utility rates  to rise,” Jan. 30, 2014), there needs to be a discussion.

Water bills continue to rise and I have to wonder when someone that represents the residents of Williston and other towns that utilize the Champlain Water District will have the resolve to say “Enough is enough!” In our household, our consumption of water has declined steadily as we have installed more efficient appliances and have had children leave for college and employment opportunities, yet our bill continues to rise year after year. It is the duty of our elected officials to act in our best interest, and to allow this to continue seems to be a failure of those duties. Let’s fill the meeting on March 3 and express the need for control of spending and charges that seem to go without being questioned or contested.

Tony O’Rourke


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