October 20, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Kids and nature

As a parent of a young child, I try to spend time outside with my son every day in one of Williston’s abundant green spaces. Yet unsafe and inappropriate conditions in many places mean that kids spend most of their time indoors, missing out on the richness of the natural world and suffering from what some have called “nature deficit disorder.”

In 2010, Burlington filmmaker Camilla Rockwell made a film about the relationship between kids and nature, and its challenges. On Monday, Oct. 1, Williston Green Initiatives and the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library will co-sponsor a free community screening of this film, “Mother Nature’s Child,” with a Q&A afterwards with Liz Thompson, local mother and biologist who is featured in the film. Refreshments and childcare will be provided, and the event goes from 5:30-7:30. I hope to see you there!

— Allaire Diamond
Wlliston

In support of Tom Nelson and Jay Michaud

Jim McCullough and Terry Macaig stopped by my home recently while campaigning and each dropped off some nice leaflets. Each leaflet touts the candidate’s support of the business community — Jim’s goes so far as to be the first line under his name claiming to be “a voice for business.” I decided I would check the veracity of these claims. Over the past three legislative terms, Jim has averaged just 28 percent agreement on the Vermont Chamber of Commerce Legislative Report Card. Twenty-eight percent is hardly a voice for business. Terry has fared little better, with an average of 36 percent in his two terms. I like both Jim and Terry and have interacted with them on several occasions, but Williston needs new representation in Montpelier. I believe Tom Nelson and Jay Michaud will work to lessen the burden of taxes and government regulation that stifles investment in business and drives our youth out of state to find employment.

Tom’s experience as a state police captain shows he has the leadership qualities necessary to work with and for people with varied interests. He can work to protect our environment, help our schools, and create a better economic climate without further encumbering our taxpayers and job creators.

Jay’s experience starting and running several businesses indicates his understanding of the real economic world. He knows what it takes to make a payroll and also knows which legislation coming out of Montpelier would hinder expansion and investment. He has also proven to be a calm and steady voice of reason on the Williston Selectboard.

I have no doubt that Jay and Tom will each use their background and experience to be superb representatives for Williston and all of Vermont.

— Jake Mathon
Williston

Should marijuana be legal?

The proposition of a medical marijuana dispensary has gotten me thinking about the topic that has been argued over for decades. I haven’t thought about this issue in a long time. The dispensary brings up the question once more: should marijuana be legal for medical purposes? I’ve heard many opinions over this issue in school. Last year, at CVU, I participated in Model UN, a gigantic project where the whole freshmen class debates over issues as if they were the real United Nations. One of the topics was how to stop the drug wars in Mexico. The solution I kept hearing over and over again was to legalize marijuana.

This would theoretically stop most of the violence in Mexico. I agree that if we wish to stop the drug wars in Mexico, that may be our only option. There are a couple problems with this plan, but one of the biggest ones is what this might do to the future of the United States. All you have to do is look around for an example of what could go wrong. Tobacco is a perfect example of a legal drug that is abused. Every year, thousands die from lung cancer caused by tobacco. If we legalize marijuana, I believe the same thing will happen: people will abuse the drug and some will die. Even if it is only for medical purposes, abuse can easily occur. So, do we really want to support this new idea of a drug that has commonly been viewed as a harmful addiction for years, or not? We have to decide.

— Conor Bauman
Williston

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