Forum, Aug. 10: A Better Plan for Westboro Rail Yard

Wednesday, August 09, 2017
A Better Plan for Westboro

In the matter of Lebanon, West Lebanon and the Westboro Rail Yard, how about going back to the original plan, which made terrific sense 20 years ago. The idea was to renew rail service from White River Junction into Twin State Sand & Gravel, where a variety of services — fuel, scrap metal, quarry materials, etc. — could be added to the ongoing industrial activity there. After political pressure was put on the then-owner of the rails, the B&M Railroad, the state acquired the corridor, but for a variety of reasons service never extended beyond Westboro, which has become a de facto industrial park.

At this point it’s pretty clear that no big box or office park development is likely at the proposed Iron Horse Park, whereas riverside Westboro is as choice a mixed-use development site as exists in the region.

Get the fuel distributor out of Westboro and up the hill where it belongs, and where such uses were supposed to be. At the same time, the Mascoma River Greenway can be extended rail-with-trail style to where it’s supposed to be — the White River depot.

Dick Mackay


City Must Weigh Costs, Benefits

Thank you for your very important editorial about Lebanon’s future (“Lebanon’s Future: It’s Time to Evaluate City’s Growth,” Aug. 9). I urge the city council to be sure the information about the ability of our infrastructure to accommodate future growth is up to date. And then to publicize it so that developers know the capacity of sewers, etc., before they start to develop plans. The cost-benefit analysis then can be included in the developers’ plans.

This gives the developers, various boards and the City Council the information needed to make a reasonable decision as to the feasibility of development plans.

We can’t deny all growth. In this world we grow or die. But all plans for growth must be carefully researched to determine their feasibility.

Developers should be responsible for researching their ideas before they present them. Can the need for their proposal be demonstrated? How will it benefit the city? These are just two questions that should be considered and documented with evidence, not just a developer’s wish.

Babette Hansen


Where are the Giants of Yore?

Coming of age in the 1940s and ‘50s as I did, we recognized that there were certain giants in our midst. On the national and world stages, some of them excelled in theology, others in government. We knew their names and were inspired by the depth of their speeches and the goodness of their deeds.

If you read this and know of such leaders today, tell us their names and describe for us their visions. We need to know who they are!

Jean Sibley


Umpires Love the Game

Most fans come to baseball games with lawn chairs, video cameras, coolers and umbrellas. The ballpark is abuzz with players warming up before each game and fans staking out their favorite spots.

Concessions stands are cooking hamburgers, hot dogs, serving cold drinks and selling souvenirs.

In the background are two umpires who have arrived early to spend the next three to four hours umpiring the day’s contests. They leave behind for the day families, loved ones and friends to officiate. Most umpires are passionate and dedicated about the game of baseball, and make a few bucks in the process.

With expensive protective gear and uniforms looking like the pros, they sort out pregame details. Umpires travel many miles during the course of a baseball season, costing them car expenses and fuel costs that are not reimbursed most of the time.

Most don’t realize what umpires endure throughout these games, the constant scrutiny of calls made without the use of video replay. Try watching 150-200 pitches per game at 70-95 miles per hour, behind some decent catchers, in either extreme heat or cold weather.

So next time you venture to watch a ball game while sitting in your comfortable lawn chair, remind every one that those arbitrators are “real people.” Maybe you can give them recognition for the job they do game after game, because umpiring is not for everyone.

Brewster Gove

GraftonThe writer has been umpiring for more than 30 years.

Watch Eclipse Safely

The total solar eclipse (partial here) will occur on Aug. 21, and many people will choose to view this rare event. It is very important that people use appropriate, certified-safe solar viewing glasses to view the solar eclipse, and not view the sun directly with the naked eye.

My friends and I purchased solar viewing glasses from a large online vendor, and we found that our shipment of eclipse viewing glasses contained both certified-safe and non-certified-safe glasses in the same package. We examined each set of solar viewing glasses we received and discarded the non-certified glasses.

Please check in advance any solar eclipse viewing glasses that you plan to use. We looked on the inside of the temple of the glasses for the certification text.

NASA and other authorities state that the certified glasses should have somewhere on the glasses the letters and numbers ISO 12312-2.

Let’s all be safe under the sun on Aug. 21.

Michael T. Quinn


Listening to Police at Work

Just a follow up on my last letter on Police Scanner 5-0. Like I said, it’s great little app! Except for the garbled, unreadable broadcast of one particular Hartford dispatcher and two police squad cars. Her broadcast does seem to affect whoever she talks with: fire, rescue, etc. I don’t know if it’s an equipment issue or if she talks too close to the mike, but it seems to have nothing to do with the volunteer who is supporting the app.

It’s such a relief to listen to the police; they for the most part do a phenomenal job keeping our community safe. Kudos to them.

Joe Gaudette

South Royalton