September 23, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Sept. 30, 2010

ELECTION LETTERS POLICY

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Please note the Observer will not run any Letters to the Editor pertaining to the vote on Oct. 28, the edition prior to the election.

All Letters to the Editor written in regards to the election MUST be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, and will appear in the Observer on Oct. 21.

Please be aware that normal guidelines will apply, including a 300-word limit for all letters.

E-mail letters to [email protected]

Questioning McCullough’s record

State Rep. Jim McCullough’s ad in last week’s Observer states that he “balances business’ and communities’ needs” and that he is a voice for business and landowners. His record, however, defies his claims.

In the 2009 session he voted to increase taxes by $28 million, including taxes on clothing and satellite television (H. 441), an additional $55 million, including the income tax (H. 442) and an increase in gas and diesel fuel taxes (H. 438).

Mr. McCullough favored passing the cost of decommissioning Vermont Yankee to Vermonters in the form of higher electricity costs in the future (H. 436). He opposed the effort to require the state to consider the impact of all legislation on our jobs (H. 313).

These votes are crippling young families, two income households and retired persons. It’s time for a change in Montpelier. Let’s elect Jay Michaud and Mike Benevento to the Legislature and get our state on the path to sensible government and prosperity.

Bret P. Powell, Williston

First and goal, plenty of time

Under beautiful fall skies this past Saturday we witnessed the match-up between the Champlain Valley Union High Redhawks and the Mount Mansfield Union High Cougars.

Near the end of the game the score was 21-3 in CVU’s favor. The Redhawks had the ball. It was first and goal with plenty of time to score again. The ball was snapped. What did the young men do? They took a knee — twice!

Instead of running the score up to 28-3 and sending the Cougars home with their tail tucked far between their legs (which they deserved, in my humble opinion) they let ‘em off easy.

Coach Jim Provost and the Redhawks: you are a class act! Congratulations on the outcome of Saturday’s game and good luck with the rest of the season.

Tim Platt, Williston

Support for Chief Nelson

I am writing to show my support for Police Chief Roy Nelson. After the cloud of misinformation clears I hope people will see clearly that Nelson’s blood alcohol was well below the legal limit and probably lower than the majority of drivers leaving the parking lot of any of our local restaurants that serve alcohol (“Chief ‘well below the legal limit’ in DUI case,” Observer, Sept. 23). He was not drinking on shift, but rather he was called back into a potentially violent situation. I believe if he had ignored the call and the situation had escalated there would be a lot more public outcry.

I do believe the trooper who asked Nelson to take the test and Nelson himself for submitting to the test acted properly and in the public’s best interest. However, I think the continued investigation and the “back relation analysis” is nothing more than a waste of time, taxpayer money and tantamount to a witch hunt. Rather than rake our police officers over the coals we should thank them for protecting us while we sleep.

Kevin Stephens, Williston

Dissatisfied with NECAP scores

I am writing to express concern regarding Williston’s abysmal 8th grade Science NECAP test results (http://www.education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/pgm_assessment/data/NECAP/NECAP_school_summary_05-10.pdf).

Only 26 percent of Williston’s eighth graders achieved proficiency on this test this past spring. This is alarmingly below the state average of 29 percent and a 10 percent drop from last year and a 20 percent drop from 2008 results! This is unconscionable for one of the wealthiest towns in the entire state. When I think about what all our kids have missed, and will never recover, my heart aches and my blood boils.

Below are indefensible comparisons of other Vermont eighth grades. (The only grossly comparable schools were Burlington’s Hunt Middle School and Milton Jr./Sr. High, which have nearly triple and double the percentage of students on Free and Reduced Lunch.)

It’s time to implore the Williston School District Board to address this science tragedy, and the unacceptable fact that our schools are also in state ”Corrective Action” for our fifth year of not making Annual Yearly Progress in Reading and Math. It’s time to examine true accountability for these problems and what must be done to turn our academic performance around. We cannot afford to “wait and see” any longer.

I sincerely hope this may inspires others to contact the School Board at [email protected] (or attend the next regular board meeting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Champlain Valley Union High) for the future of our children. Let’s stop this downward spiral and get Williston performing at the top, where it belongs!

Ann Smith, Williston
Town/School Percent proficient Percent with free & reduced lunch
Crossett Brook Middle 59 22
Charlotte Central 59 11
Albert D. Lawton 54 22
Frederick H. Tuttle 54 18
Camels Hump Middle 54 21
Essex Middle 53 14
Edmunds Middle 46 39
Shelburne Central 42 8
Hinesburg Community 41 18
Colchester Middle 32 21
Lyman C. Hunt Middle 26 47
Milton Jr. Sr. High 26 23
Williston 26 12

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