Letters to the Editor (3/11/10)

March 11, 2010


Looking for local

How it is that Mr. Hornberger, the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., had a guest column in our local paper (“The miracle of the market,” Feb. 25)? The Williston Observer would be better served by guest columns written by our own citizens.

The column states, “Every day, people have a wide range of grocery stores from which to choose, each one vying for his business.”

Perhaps that is the case in Fairfax and Williston, but it isn’t the case in many urban and rural areas known as food deserts. Wikipidia says, “A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants. Food deserts are a public health threat for many, and reveal that the market is not always a miracle for us all.

Lynn Blevins, Williston


Editor’s note: The Observer welcomes and encourages residents to submit guest columns for consideration. When the paper does not have any locally-produced columns to choose from, however, the editor must pick a column from a variety of submissions that come from regional or national sources. Guest column submissions should be 750 words or less, and can be e-mailed to editor@willistonobserver.com.


Roy on Town Meeting

I want to thank the voters of Williston for reelecting me to serve as a member of your Selectboard. It is an honor and a privilege to serve, and I appreciate your support.

As we know, the ambulance service and proposed roundabout were two big issues on Town Meeting Day. For your information, this is how I intend to approach these issues going forward.

Regarding the ambulance service, I understand that this new service was adopted on the basis of projected expenditures and revenues that would not increase the financial burden on taxpayers. Rest assured, I will be vigilant in tracking actual expenses and income to gauge whether the projections are borne out by reality.

As for the roundabout, it was clearly demonstrated that Williston voters do not currently support a roundabout solution at the intersection of U.S. 2, North Williston Road and Oak Hill Road. While I personally supported the roundabout option, I will not pursue that approach in light of the voters’ clear preference. Instead, I urge interested community members to get involved in the town plan rewrite process that has just begun. Village character and transportation issues, including a long-term solution for this troublesome intersection, can then be considered as part of a public process and the Williston community can articulate its shared vision for the village.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.

Chris Roy, Williston Selectboard


Health care for all

I would like to thank Dr. Gerald F. Joseph Jr. for his guest column, “Helping those without insurance,” in the March 4 edition of the Williston Observer. Dr. Joseph, who is president of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, illuminates the grim statistics of our brutal free market health care system.

“An uninsured American” Dr. Joseph wrote, “dies every 24 minutes because he or she could not get the necessary care,” and “More than 45 percent of all uninsured people in the United States are women, including 13 percent of all pregnant women.”

What do these statistics say about the values of our nation, our state? If we pride ourselves as a moral nation, why do we continue to commit the daily immorality of an American dying “every 24 minutes” while health insurance company profits suffer no qualms of conscious, jumping up by huge percents whenever they see a chance?

Dr. Joseph does a great service by listing the resources where the uninsured can get help at the end of his column. Yet, the true way to help those without insurance is to finally find the courage within ourselves to treat health care as a right of all of our citizens and not a product to be bought and sold in the marketplace. It is time to urge our legislators to pass health care for all rather than just for a few.

Walter Carpenter, Montpelier


Supporting troops and their families

I’d like to thank the Williston residents for their generous support of the bake sale held during voting at the Armory on March 2.

Your donations will be used to benefit the families of the soldiers of Vermont National Guard Unit HHC Williston.

Thank you also for your kind words of appreciation and support for our soldiers and their families.

Peter Moreman, Williston


Cap & Trade

Next week, the U.S. Senate will start debate on the new “Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade” tax proposed in the Lieberman-Warner bill.

The reasoning behind this bill is to tax Americans into poverty by rationing energy for dairy farmers, ski hills, schools and low-cost housing in a futile effort to reduce dangerous global warming (or is it climate change these days? I find it hard to keep up with the latest catastrophic prognostications) while giving everybody else in the world cheaper and more plentiful energy.

The estimated $50 billion to $300 billion a year tax will be paid disproportionately by lower income earners while an Enron-style carbon exchange will be set up in Chicago to sell off the carbon “credits” of failing businesses. Gee, I wonder if those hard-working carbon traders will also be getting gigantic Wall Street sized bonuses?

There are provisions for tax kickbacks in the tens of billions of dollars so voters can support the continued policy of thinking some other American will pay their fair share (the hallmark of the current administration) while “special” companies can be exempt from the same scam. No increased taxes for anyone earning under $250,000 is turning out like the famous “read my lips, no new taxes” in the George 41 pledge.

As India, China and others continue to out-produce us in carbon dioxide, we can enjoy the benefits of $6 per gallon gasoline, $7.50 diesel fuel and $7 heating oil while producing no detectable effect on the supposed menace of global warming. If Congress gets their way, the shaft the consumer corporate welfare parade will be coming to a town near you … real soon.

Shelley Palmer, Williston


School Board update

Thank you, Williston School District voters.

On behalf of 1,113 students and 207 staff, your Williston School Board members wish to express gratitude to Williston voters for supporting the district school budget. Passage of this fiscally responsible budget allows us to maintain the outstanding programs, increase student access to technology, provide intensive training for math teachers in kindergarten through eighth grade and purchase new science materials as we continue to evaluate our science program to improve instruction.

The school district’s elected officials, appointed officials and Budget Buddies considered many factors when setting the fiscal year 2010 budget for operations. The factors included slightly declining enrollment, the state of the economy and the overall impact budget increases would have on the local tax rate.

Moving forward, the board and administration will continue to focus on monitoring student achievement data with the goal of reducing the achievement gap between subgroups and improving academic achievement of all students in science, mathematics and literacy on state and local assessments. We will continue to promote 21st century learning and technology integration from kindergarten through eighth grade. Finally, work continues to support student/parental options of two- and four-year learning communities at grades five through eight through reconfiguration and to improve communications and equity in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The School Board wishes to express our sincere appreciation to a dedicated and hardworking faculty, staff and administration and a supportive community. We are all focused on the best possible education for all our children.

Finally, if you are an online member of Facebook, please join our Williston School Board Facebook Fan Page.

Chairwoman Holly Rouelle, Vice Chairwoman Deb Baker-Moody, Clerk Laura Gigliotti, Keith Roy, Darlene Worth, Williston School Board