Letters to the Editor (4/22/10)

April 22, 2010


Running for VEC board

This letter is an alert for the 689 Williston and 3,296 Chittenden County and Starksboro residents who are Vermont Electric Cooperative members and read the Williston Observer for local and regional news. There is an important election coming up.

The VEC is non-profit under the control of a Board of Directors elected by its members. It serves about 34,000 members with almost 10 percent of Vermont’s power load.

VEC is integrally connected with the Vermont, New England and, ultimately, the national systems. It faces many challenges: alternative energy, energy management, nuclear power, transmission, security and, most importantly to its members, the provision of reliable and affordable energy.

VEC members in 2009 voted to reduce the board from 13 to 12 directors: seven directors to be elected from designated districts and five to be “at-large.” This May, all 12 director positions are up for election.

Under the new design, District 5 includes 4,689 Chittenden County and 188 Starksboro members who will elect one director to replace the three directors elected in 2006/2009. Ballots were to be mailed to members on April 20 and must be returned by May 14 to be tallied at the May 15 VEC annual meeting.

I am a candidate for this directorship. Letters to the Editor limits make it impossible to provide my resume other than to state that I am retired, have the time and interest with an extensive professional background in government, regulatory matters, law, management and planning, which will enable me to be a challenging and constructive member of the board. Questions: contact me via e-mail at schuylerjackson@hotmail.com.

Schuyler Jackson, Hinesburg


Nuclear sophistry

The president just finished a big Washington infomercial on a subject near and dear to his heart, nuclear weapons. The meeting was held with 46 national leaders in attendance.

Missing at the meeting was Iran who according to our own State Department is the world’s leading exporter of terrorism. Iran has processed enough highly enriched uranium to flatten several medium sized countries and regularly threaten to incinerate Israel. China insisted that no sanctions be used to stop Iran from enriching uranium and that they can also continue to bar those pesky IAEA nuclear inspectors from looking around.

North Korea missed the meeting too. Those are the folks who have detonated not one but two nuclear devices and keep hundreds of thousands of prisoners in concentration camps complete with gas chambers and lethal chemical human experimentation.

Syria wasn’t in attendance either. Their North Korean designed plutonium production reactor was blown up three years ago and since then they have concentrated their efforts away from nukes to arming Hezbollah terrorists with chemical capable Scud missiles.

Canada, Mexico and Ukraine have agreed to turn in any potential nuclear bomb making material at the non-binding summit. Burma continues ethnic cleansing and plutonium production but they don’t allow foreigners into their country so nobody knows about their super secret nuclear bomb program.

The president did manage to get a few dozen countries with no nuclear ambitions to issue a nonbinding summit communiqué.

We fund the military in Pakistan. Pakistan continues to make nuclear bombs and refused to sign the nonbinding I don’t know what you call it.

The group did agree on a “work plan” and will be meeting again in another two years so we can continue to be free from worrying about terrorists getting nuclear materials from Canada and Mexico.

Shelley Palmer, Williston


From the Senate

As a member of the Senate Institutions Committee, I want to share some highlights of the Capital Bill passed out of committee last week.

The bill appropriates $72 million in bond dollars to make long-term investments in Vermont’s physical infrastructure. This year, the committee also prioritized labor-intensive uses of funds to put the most Vermonters to work.

The Vermont Telecommunications Authority will deploy $5 million to expand broadband and cell phone coverage to nearly 15,000 Vermonters, including Chittenden County residents, currently without service or with inadequate dial-up as the only option.

Building on last year’s work, the committee voted to deploy $3 million to further enhance the state park system. Most notably, many state park buildings will become solar-powered.

Believing that returning service people should return to decent facilities, the committee appropriated $850,000 to improve the armories for the men and women of the Vermont Guard.

These are just a few highlights from the Capital Bill. For more information, contact me at timashe@burlingtontelecom.net.

Sen. Tim Ashe, Chittenden County


Fresh Air thanks

It is with sincere gratitude that I recognize the tireless efforts of Fresh Air Fund volunteers in northwestern Vermont as the country celebrates National Volunteer Week. Their commitment to helping New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2010 National Volunteer Week theme, “Celebrating People in Action.”

Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year in 13 Northeastern states and Canada to help make The Fund’s programs possible. Caring Fresh Air host families open their homes and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air guests. Our local volunteer leaders — many of whom are also hosts — serve on our local committees, plan summer activities, publicize the program and interview prospective host families. Additionally, individuals and businesses give generously of their time and resources to make the Friendly Town host family program throughout this area a great success each and every summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau, Executive director, Fresh Air Fund