June 23, 2018

Letters to the Editor

Maple Leaf Farms concerns

This letter is in response to the article about Maple Leaf Farm wanting to move and expand its current drug and alcohol rehabilitation operation (and open an outpatient clinic) from Underhill to the Pine Ridge School (“Residents weigh in on Maple Leaf Farm proposal,” Sept. 6). What the article failed to convey was the legitimate concern about such a facility moving from its current rural setting to a more populated area in Williston. As Bill Young, Executive Director of Maple Leaf Farm, stated, most of the patients who seek drug rehabilitation have opiate- or heroin-based addictions. It was also mentioned that the facility currently does not have any security on site. Because of this, there were numerous concerns raised in the meeting about safety and possible risks of having these patients next to a family community and only a mile and half from Williston Central School. Mr. Young also mentioned that some patients need to be transported to the hospital and in “a lot of cases” the State Police was asked to respond to help with “uncooperative” or “disoriented” patients. In order to change the current zoning on the property, the purchaser would have to present a “substantial benefit” to the town. Maple Leaf Farm offered to keep the current wooded area as open space. Most of this wooded area would be difficult to develop and the Agency of Natural Resources has deemed part of this area as a deer wintering area, rendering it undevelopable. I believe that the potential risks, problems, increased traffic and strain on our emergency services would outweigh their proposed benefits. I also find it interesting that the South Burlington School Board unanimously approved a resolution to ask that an application for a methadone clinic near its schools should be withdrawn. Perhaps we should be as diligent about protecting our schools and community.

— Bruce Allen



Too liberal

I know I live in a very liberal state but must I see nothing but liberal cartoonists? There is a reason conservatives complain about moderators. They are always from liberal TV networks. Candy Crowley (Clinton News Network) should have been wearing an Obama tee shirt. She sure did not hide her feelings.

— Ralph M. McGregor



‘Here comes the rain again’ response

It was great to see Deb Markowitz’s guest column in the Observer last week discussing stormwater and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ new effort to promote and implement green infrastructure solutions (“Here Comes the Rain Again,” Oct. 25). The article points to the role of green infrastructure in controlling stormwater runoff that impacts the health of our waterways. This is particularly important as we learn about the cumulative effects of non-point source pollution from a variety of sources, including residential developments.

With many Williston residents living in the watershed of the stormwater-impaired Allen Brook, the role that each of us plays in protecting water quality literally starts at home. Secretary Markowitz suggests residents consider installing a rain garden or rain barrel on their properties to control the amount of stormwater runoff leaving their properties. The Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District is pleased to offer incentives for property owners to do just that. Through our new stormwater program, Let it Rain, we can provide technical assistance and financial reimbursements for the installation of a range of green infrastructure improvements including permeable driveways, dry wells, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns and green roofs.

To learn more about the program and to take advantage of the benefits, visit uvm.edu/seagrant/let-it-rain or email me at rebecca@winooskinrcd.org.

—  Becky Tharp,
Water resources manager,
Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District

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