Forum, May 15: Vermont leaders back public access TV protection

Published: 5/15/2022 6:02:07 AM
Modified: 5/15/2022 6:00:18 AM
Vermont leaders back public access TV protection

I would like to thank Sen. Leahy, Sen. Sanders and Rep. Welch for making Vermont the only state in which its entire congressional delegation has co-sponsored the Protecting Community Television Act introduced by both Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), as S.3361, and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18), as H.R.6219.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is attempting to redefine franchise fees principles that have been in place since 1984. Without this legislation, the FCC will radically reduce the level of monetary support available to run public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels across the United States.

Community access television stations, like Springfield Public Access TV (SAPA TV), could be affected. SAPA TV connects us to our communities, catalyzes civic engagement and keeps us up to date on the local issues and activities that affect our lives.

Please join with me in commending the Vermont congressional delegation’s acknowledgement of the vital need for preserving local information and communication needs.

Martin Cohn

Springfield, Vt.

The writer is vice president of Brattleboro Community Television.

What it means to truly value life

It is outrageous to think about the Supreme Court’s plan to end Roe v. Wade, which has been in effect for almost 50 years. It is also immoral for any man, especially a judge, to tell a woman that she must bear a pregnancy that began with rape, incest or an intimate mistake. Or to tell a woman that despite her individual life circumstances she must continue on with a pregnancy.

The right-to-life people says life is precious, and that is so true. But life must be lived from the start to the finish, not just at the beginning. There are now 400,000 precious children all across this country living in foster care and bouncing from home to home over the course of their young lives. Many of them will never find “a forever home” through adoption.

Then at age 18, these kids are tossed out of the system to forge ahead and fend for themselves in a complicated and sometimes heartless and dangerous world. The men who helped to create them are long gone. The Supreme Court should be focusing on the cause of the need for any abortion and seriously consider the man’s part in pregnancy. If a woman cannot receive a lawful abortion for a pregnancy conceived through the violence of rape, the repulsive act of incest, health issues or financial issues, then men need to be made to take full responsibility for what they participated in.

Also, those 400,000 kids currently living in foster homes could be helped immediately if more people, including the right-to-life people who say life is precious, would to do their part and step up to the plate and adopt these wonderful kids. Give them a secure, loving “forever home” by bringing them into their families and their lives. Then life would be truly precious from start to end.

Jackie Smith


Students are struggling while Hanover housing debate carries on

Some suggest that Hanover should again delay addressing its housing crisis instead of voting for the Main Wheelock District (MWD) ordinance, a plan originally written by the town government after an extensive year-long process, and currently supported by the town planning board and town staff.

MWD passing would not itself authorize any construction or changes: It would only allow Hanover to begin real discussion.

If it passes, construction would still undergo the same strenuous town government review process before anything begins. But if MWD passes, Hanover can finally begin discussing the solutions that could immediately make a great positive impact on reducing Hanover’s housing shortage.

In 2015, some said this proposal, extensively reviewed and designed by Hanover communities, needed more study and preparation. Since then, the town’s site inspections confirmed the benefits of this proposal given how the area’s unique hill geography combined with small lots requires carefully written rules. The town confirmed that current parking requirements — which this proposal would address — are unfairly high since many existing residents do not require personal vehicles, as the area is within walking distance from campus and downtown. Additionally, the town has added sewer capacity to support this street’s population, and improved pedestrian safety.

In the meantime, the limited housing availability has caused significant concerns.

As a non-freshman, I have to wait with bated breath on the day housing decisions are released, praying for a spot. As a student whose family lives internationally, the lack of housing certainty imposes significant practical concerns. There are other students who cannot go home and/or cannot afford off-campus housing. For them, no housing entails months of worry and constant moves, in addition to disrupting their academic careers.

Is the best solution the proposed housing complex at Garipay field, a half-hour walk away from the rest of campus — permanently limiting campus engagement for its residents? Definitely not.

The best solution is the extensively studied, town-written, town-supported Main Wheelock District proposal. In the seven years it has been worked over, the housing crisis has only worsened. Further delays will only perpetuate suffering.

Rohan Menezes


The writer is a student at Dartmouth College.

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