Letters to the editor


Historical Gratitude

The Essex Community Historical Society closed out its 2015 Tales & Treasurer of Essex public program series on November 6th with an evening of Pickin’ and Singin’ of American Roots Music. With a dazzling array of vintage musical instruments from mandolins to banjos to guitars to fiddles, Neil Rossi and Tom Akstens gave us a one-of-a-kind journey through the stories of the American people as told in ballads and folk songs. Those of us who heard it will long remember it.

ECHS wishes to thank the sponsors who made our 2015 program series possible. We extend special thanks to TD Bank, and TD Bank Essex Branch Manager, Karen Torrey, for their continued support as our Major Sponsor this year.   Our Series Sponsor was Fort Ethan Allen Industrial Park/Will Parkinson. Our Program Sponsors were Merchants Bank, Phoenix Books and Sweet Clover Market. In Kind donors included Sarah Salatino of Full Circle Gardens of Essex, Sam’s Scoop Shop and West Meadow Farm Gluten Free Bakery. A special thanks goes to Manager Curt Echo at Hannaford’s for donating a toothsome chocolate cake for our Family Day celebration in June.

The Harriet Farnsworth Powell Museum does not have regular hours during the winter, but groups wishing to arrange a tour of the museum may email essexcommunityhistoricalsociety@myfairpoint.net or call 879-0849. Tours are free. In 2016, ECHS will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of both the founding of the historical society and the opening of the museum. For the opening of the 2016 Tales & Treasures of Essex series, we will convene our Third Annual Family Day & Museum Open House on Sunday, June 5th outside on the New Common at Essex Center. We invite the Essex Community to celebrate with us!

Paula DeMichele
The ECHS Board of Directors


How about a cruelty-free feast?

While President Obama is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercise that same presidential power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance that spares a turkey’s life. And here are some good reasons: • You can brag about pardoning a turkey – like Obama. • You truly are what you eat. Who wants to be a “butterball”? • Fruits and vegetables don’t have to carry government warning labels. • You won’t sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip. • You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died. • Your body will appreciate a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones. • You won’t have to call Poultry Hotline to keep your family out of the emergency room. Seriously, this Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our good fortune, health, and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Our own dinner will feature a soy or wheat-based roast, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. An internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” is getting us more recipes and other useful information than we could possibly use.

Emilio Rodriguez


Carbon as means to dubious end

The proposed Vermont carbon tax is a vehicle of control that prevents upward mobility for the masses while protecting a privileged class. It is government picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Carbon is the means to do so.

I’m all for abolishing pollution. I don’t want BPA, MTBE, glyphosate, GMOs, chloramines, hydrofluorosilicic acid, EMF, excessive decibel levels, lead, mercury, fertilizer runoff, pharmaceutical waste and high fructose corn syrup in my food, water or air. These can change the epigenetics of human beings now and in our next generation’s offspring. These are far more of a clear and present danger than carbon emissions.

Everything manufactured or grown needs carbon dioxide. Scientists postulate that the lack of carbon dioxide was the driving force behind the extinction of dinosaurs. The inconvenient truth is that carbon dioxide is necessary for life and is not a “”persistent pollutant” as climate advocates say.

A carbon tax is penny wise and pound foolish. Legislation targets 2050, which is unaccountably irresponsible. John F. Kennedy promised the moon within a decade. A more likely scenario is an electro-magnetic pulse event that will take out the entire energy grid regardless of its sustainability. It happened in 1859 when a solar flare fried all telegraph wires in the United States. This is a more tangible threat than carbon dioxide.

The estimate is 2 billion dollars to secure our grid from damage, but no one talks about it because that project can’t be manipulated to favor special interests.

The carbon tax gives our future to bureaucrats who are exempt from carbon taxes by political means, or to the independently wealthy that pay their way passed all restrictions. A carbon tax doesn’t save the planet for us, it just preserves the privileged few to own more of it.

Ron Coppola

Board not providing Public Service

I am writing to identify what are widely seen as significant flaws with the Public Service Board process and to suggest specific improvements.

Some flaws in the process with the PSB include:

#1 The way the board is seated. The Public Service Board is a quasi-judicial board whose 3 members are nominated by the Judicial Nominating Board.The people who make up this board are directly appointed by the Governor. After there is a nomination it goes to the Senate for confirmation. My problem with this system is it’s very one sided. It allows the Governor too much power to indirectly put in place appointments of his choosing.

#2 The public has little or no input in the process of granting certificates of public good. The state doesn’t benefit from the on-the-ground knowledge of Vermonters that are directly affected by these decisions.

#3 The difficulty in filing grievances. If you don’t have a lawyer,you are in over your head. Just the legal language itself is impossible to understand. Please simplify the process, so ordinary Vermonters (people) don’t feel shut out.

#4 Grievances aren’t responded to in a timely manner(if at all).This gives the offender time to complete whatever they were doing. Too many Vermonters have already been adversely impacted. It is time to address this and provide a process for compensation as well as mediation.

The intention of the Public Service Board is to be a mediator between public concerns and utility companies. Also they grant certificates of public good to these utilities to move forward on energy projects. With our states’ goal of having 90% of our energy coming from renewable energy by 2050,there is a huge push to get these projects moving as soon as possible.

The main issue in my opinion is siting. In the haste of getting these projects on line,we have disregarded our tradition of being good stewards of our land. Rather than take a pause and see if what has been done so far is working for ALL Vermonters,we keep pushing on. Wouldn’t it make more sense to evaluate our accomplishments to date,and make corrections accordingly?

Finally, there should be some type of public advocate board set up with a fund paid for by all of the developers. This would help ensure a fair and thorough hearing for both the developer and the public. With only three people making such major decisions on behalf of the public, there should definitely be more input by local communities also. I would like the PSB to be a nonpartisan entity that listens to needs of all Vermonters,rather than extension of the executive branch.

Steve Woodward