Forum, May 11: Nursing home project  needs resident support

Published: 5/11/2022 5:01:53 AM
Modified: 5/11/2022 5:00:12 AM
Nursing home project needs resident support

To all Sullivan County residents, please contact Gov. Sununu to make sure he appropriates $25 million of ARPA funds to the Sullivan County Nursing Home Project. It’s a shovel-ready project, and this amount of funding will help keep our county tax from going up significantly at a time when people are struggling.

We are at a critical point in the momentum of this undertaking. Without this money, this renovation, which should have been done three to four years ago, will likely place a heavy burden on us. The residents, staff and the home itself are at stake. Please, just send an email, make a call, make your voices heard.

Vanessa Perron

Plainfield

Give input on Ottauquechee and Black river basins

One would think that an organization that has been around since 1942 would be better known, but odds are those reading this have never heard of their conservation district. Formed in every state by the Soil Conservation Act of 1935, conservation districts were intended to offer assistance to farmers, municipalities and landowners to improve soil and water quality.

The Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District (ONRCD) covers the Ottauquechee and Black River basins, which includes most of Windsor County.

Historic projects by ONRCD include contour plowing on Quechee Fells Farm (now part of Quechee Estates) in 1945, detailed soil description in Hartland in 1968, water quality testing for nutrients and fecal coliform in the Ottauquechee River in 1970, and riparian restoration projects to stabilize streambanks from 1994 to today.

Working with landowners and municipalities is key to success. Cleaning up the Connecticut River after the Clean Water Act in 1972 is a good example. Samples taken in the 1980s from the Ottauquechee River exceeded 1,000 counts of fecal coliform; the state safety standard is 220, which it now meets.

ONRCD works closely with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to reduce sedimentation into waterways. Grants have funded projects such as preventing direct runoff into the Black River at the Springfield Recycling Center; replacing stone culverts on Class 4 roads, allowing for safe recreation use without churning up mud; assisting farmers with manure storage bins; and working with trail user groups to ensure trail design and maintenance to keep culverts and water bars in working order.

ONRCD is always looking for projects in the water basin and welcomes input from landowners. The Basin 10 Tactical Plan is in review this year with the goal of directing projects that will have the most impact in the area. Funding sources use this plan for grants and programs that will affect soil and water quality.

Landowners and municipalities are invited to participate in the discussion on the Black River basin on May 12 via Zoom at 6 p.m. (Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82879899539...) Can’t make it? We would still like to hear from you at https://dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/watershed-planning/tactical-basin-planning/basin10.

Sue Greenall

White River Junction

The writer is district manager of the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District.

Power of SCOTUS must come back into balance

I nearly went apoplectic when I read Politico’s May 2 article, “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows.”

Let’s retool SCOTUS (Snide, Crude, Out of touch, US), and let the PEOPLE vet the judicial candidates by using ranked-choice voting.

The credibility of the Supreme Court has been tarnished; to wit, Alito declared Roe was “egregiously wrong” (reflecting unintentionally on himself). This is consistent with our worldwide backslide in democracy, particularly here in the United States. I contend the current trend began with Citizens United and the “Gingrich Revolution.”

Fortunately Biden won in 2020, and I expected (with a Democratic House, Congress and president) the Putin-Trump axis to turn to shambles. It turned out that Jan. 6, 2021, wasn’t so good for our team; many of the insurrectionists still haven’t been sentenced. Obstructionists such as “SineManchin” continue to undermine progress, and although Mother Nature declines in her dotage, her fury surprises even climate scientists. I wouldn’t be surprised if we violate the tipping point without knowing ... Maybe we have.

Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine details (largely U.S.) exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. The tobacco industry employed that strategy on smokers to obscure health risks. Big oil has profited from that etude for about 60 years so far. Our government, a representative democracy, should protect us ... but it’s the rich, PACs and the Pentagon that are represented. All egregiously wrong!

The fate of our nation must be decided by voters, not they who serve us. The U.S. senate has oft invoked the nuclear option, allowing them to override a rule by a simple majority. Since We, The People ARE the government, maybe it’s time WE rule by that simple majority. Neither myth nor meme has the power appropriate for lawmaking. Science does: It’s based on reproducible evidence — think the law of gravity, the inverse-square law, laws of motion, thermodynamics, etc. Face it: STEM studies matter, and our laws should be products of critical thinking.

We must turn this ship-of-state ’round, charting a course to prosperity. Stack the courts (with kindness), defend women’s rights, save the planet and stop the march to authoritarianism. How? Repeal Citizens United and enact laws for saving the planet.

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Chris Winters for VT secretary of state

I believe that Chris Winters is the best candidate to become Vermont’s next secretary of state. Chris and the entire team at the Secretary of State’s Office have earned an excellent reputation. As our next Secretary of State, Chris will remain committed to ensuring election integrity, effective and efficient government, and public protection through professional regulation.

I have found Chris Winters to be accessible to residents through the “Transparency Tour” program, which teaches residents and local officials to be informed and engaged members of their community. I believe that Chris’ experience, along with his integrity and dedication to public service as the current Vermont Deputy Secretary of State, is why he is the best candidate to be the next Vermont Secretary of State. Please vote in the Vermont primary election on Aug. 9, 2022.

Michael Quinn

Windsor

Democrats are best hope for economy and security

With the recently leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito, it is all but certain that Roe v. Wade will be overturned this summer. Much worse could follow.

According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll on April 29, 47% of registered voters said they were more likely to vote for a Republican candidate in the midterms versus 44% saying they would vote for a Democrat. Inflation was the top concern of voters, who thought it would be better managed by Republicans than Democrats. Republicans were also favored on issues of the economy overall, and, amazingly, national security and gun policy.

If Republicans take back the U.S. House and Senate, they will terminate the Jan. 6 investigation, avoid accountability for their many criminal attempts to overturn the 2020 election and retake the presidency in 2024. With control of all three branches of government, they would not only outlaw abortion across the country but also so corrupt our government and media that they could never be held accountable for any unpopular or misguided policy.

The silver lining to the leaked draft opinion is that it might galvanize apathetic or disaffected Democrats, independents and non-Trump Republicans to get better informed and vote in the midterm elections. One of the biggest misinformed beliefs among voters overall is that Republicans would better manage the economy and national security. A recent thorough and peer-reviewed analysis of the economy under Democratic and Republican presidents between 1949 and 2012 (Princeton University) showed that the economy fared better in almost all categories, including GDP and inflation, under Democrats.

Regarding national security, in 2000, Republican President George W. Bush started a disastrous war because of the myth that Iraq possessed “missiles of mass destruction.” Trump encouraged his “genius” friend Putin to invade Ukraine by withholding military support for Ukraine, weakening NATO and causing unprecedented division within our own country. In stark contrast, Democratic Presidents Obama and Biden captured Osama bin Laden and unified NATO and the world against Putin’s invasion.

My hope is that voters will finally wake up and vote to protect not only access to abortion but also our severely threatened democracy.

William C. Black

Hanover

‘Constitution’ argument is sorely lacking

I’m deeply saddened that the leaked draft majority opinion from the pending Mississippi abortion case concludes that there are no federal constitutional protections for abortion. But I’m not surprised at this brazen assault on a woman’s bodily autonomy. After all, Roe v. Wade was implicitly overturned when a majority of the justices recently allowed the Texas law severely limiting abortion to stand without comment.

The reasoning offered in the leaked draft to overrule Roe appears to turn on two primary factors. First, there is no mention of abortion in the Constitution. Second, abortion isn’t “deeply rooted” in our nation’s traditions. Indeed, until Roe, abortion was subject to criminal sanctions in almost every state. Therefore, the draft concludes, Roe was “egregiously decided” and must be overturned.

I next expect that those who are hellbent on replacing what’s left of our democracy with a Christian brand of theocracy to target same-sex marriage. No doubt some Bible-thumping red state legislators will soon introduce bills proclaiming that marriage is strictly limited between a man and woman, with gender determined at birth.

Using the reasoning of the leaked draft, such hateful laws could potentially survive a challenge. That is, until the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the vast majority of states didn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Thus, same-sex marriage isn’t “deeply rooted” in our traditions. Further, there’s no mention of same-sex marriage in the federal Constitution. Consequently, same-sex marriage would then join abortion as a matter for the states.

What another sad day that will be!

Mark Latham

White River Junction




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