Green up every day
Green Up Day is a service day held near and dear to many Vermonters’ hearts, and while there are unarguably many benefits to this communal cleansing of our environment, one must also stop to think of the damage done on this first Saturday in May.
After all, where do all of the old carburetors, beer bottles and tire rubbings go directly after being picked up by a concerned citizen? That’s right, a garbage bag. Thousands of these bags are used in a single day, not only adding to the undecomposable mass in landfills, but to the tons of pollutants released into the atmosphere when they are manufactured.
All of this waste for a single day of environmental awareness.
When Green Up Day was created in 1970, there was a critical need for it — to raise public concern over the increasing destruction of our planet. In this interconnected age, we already know the dire consequences of our actions. This day has long outlived its usefulness and I propose an initiative to make every day Green Up Day.
Why not stress the importance of responsible waste disposal in our schools? How about focusing on future technologies that could make use of our waste in a beneficial manner? The health of the natural world is not a once annual concern but a yearlong issue, with us every minute of every day. Let’s not backtrack on our work but rather move forward.Katie Burke Essex . . .
Inspiration in the auditorium
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. — Anne Frank
Please consider this an invitation to attend this inspiring event. Essex High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) is proud to announce that we will be holding the second annual Senior Community Capstone Presentation and Celebration on May 30 at 6 p.m. in the EHS auditorium. What is it? All seniors enrolled in AVPA must create, facilitate and complete a Community Capstone Project in which they identify a need in the community and give back in some tangible way. This culminates in a panel presentation and prepared speech in which they share the results of their year -long project and learning. In order to be successful students need to: demonstrate time management skills; problem solve obstacles and barriers; work on effective communication skills; persevere and maintain flexibility; be resourceful; and practice active compassion.
Why does AVPA require this of our graduating seniors? Because it offers graduating students an opportunity to contribute to the community that has supported them. It gives them the experience of taking on a project and managing it by themselves, with the aid of a community consultant. It helps acquaint them with the incredible feeling of making a difference. It fits with Essex High School’s mission of fostering a sense of civic and social responsibility among our students. It emphasizes learning over teaching, and giving over receiving. It also engages students to be active participants in the learning process; encourages students to give back to the community in some way, including the world community; gives students a chance to choose the manner in which they make a difference; allows students to learn about themselves by moving an idea or dream forward toward a community need.
So please mark your calendar for Thursday, May 30, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the EHS auditorium. This evening promises to be inspiring and rewarding. If you have any questions, please contact me, Bonnie Destakasi, AVPA Planning and Outreach Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-857-7000 ext 1599.Bonnie Destakasi Essex Junction . . .
A place for bikers
There’s a subtle sweetness in the tempted air of spring, even with commuter traffic passing down South Street in order to bypass the Junction. Unlike the through riders or IBMers, I relish in the opportunity to cross the Five Corners because for me, the chirping of the crosswalk and the musical chair stoplight of the Five Corner is what makes Essex Junction, Essex Junction.
Most residents are aware Essex Junction is a hub for transportation. It’s literary everywhere. The word junction means connection, or intersection, often referring to the movement of vehicles, people or livestock. Here in Essex we have lanes and crossings for everything from trains to cars to boy scouts. We have right-turning lanes, left-turning lanes, lanes that stop, lanes that go. We have lanes that take us into the parking lot of Big Lots.
There are pedestrian lanes too, yet something’s askew. There is a path missing amongst the many driveways, byways and intersections, and that’s a practical bicycle lane.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I must confess I too have frustration with bicyclists. But the truth is this frustration comes from lack of infrastructure and road design. This issue cannot be blamed on the bikers, and if you were to only look at how poorly designed and lined the bicycle lanes are painted in Essex you might have a greater understanding of why these recreationists are constantly swerving in front of you.
What I propose is we simply paint a line for bicyclists that is a little longer, and that coincides with the rest of Essex Junction’s traffic. This will lessen the risk of these bikers denting the hood of your car. This is something that does not need to be sent to Montpelier, but can be decided here is Essex.Christopher Ricker Essex Junction . . .
I regularly fitness-walk into Essex Junction from my home just south of the Winooski River bridge off Vermont 2A. Several times I have extended the walk along Route 15 with hopes of going as far as the Firebird Cafe, but it is a no-go because the route is too unsafe for walking. It reminds me of the single night I spent holed up in a Plattsburgh hotel and the attempted walk I made there before bedtime. Clearly, much of the North Country remains unfriendly for walking.Alan Gregory Williston