Natural Sound Barrier
[Re Off Message: "After Buying Airport-Area Homes to Raze, Burlington Wants to Save Some," October 16; Last 7: "Home Again?" October 17]: Why not replace all of those torn-down houses with evergreen trees? This would muffle the noise of the airport from the remaining houses and get better and better as time goes on. The cost would be minimal compared to the money already sunk into this project.
Scott or Trump?
Human life is precious. So, too, are wetlands and clean water. While President Donald Trump soft-pedals the apparent killing by the Saudis of a journalist, Gov. Phil Scott soft-pedals the apparent flagrant violation of wetland laws in the Lake Carmi watershed ["Drain the Swamp? Scott Wades Into State Wetland Dispute," October 17].
It confounds me that Scott apparently inspected the site without the investigative support of any professional from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation or Agency of Natural Resources. Again in the style of Trump, Scott's overt interference in ANR enforcement actions — under established Vermont law — and his efforts to secure a retroactive change in that law promote government by vested interests rather than by law. Further, Scott bemoans the possible financial impact of enforcement action on the apparent perpetrator of the wetlands destruction, yet that owner acted with advice from lawyers and engineers. The governor apparently overlooks the many millions of taxpayer dollars our state has spent to remediate pollution of Carmi and Champlain waters.
I hope this egregious affront to Vermont's waters prompts folks to vote on November 6.
Just for Fun
Enjoyed the article about David Macaulay [Talking Art: "Show and Tell," October 17]. At the end, he said he would like to illustrate something fun. How about amusement parks — the carousel, the roller coaster, etc.?
[Re "Up in Smoke: What Turner and Zuckerman's Pot Plan Says About the Lt. Gov. Candidates," September 26]: Vermonters have an important decision to make when they vote for lieutenant governor on November 6. History tells us how easy it is to vote for the incumbent or to vote the party line. I want to urge you to vote for the best man for the job at this critical time in Vermont's history: Don Turner Jr.
I grew up in Milton. I've known Don my entire life. I've witnessed his long list of successes. Each was the result of hard work, talent and persistence, but most importantly caring for others and always seeking effective, frugal solutions to problems.
In Don's role as fire and rescue chief, he excelled at molding and leading two critical town departments, keeping the rosters full of talented volunteers ready to provide community emergency services 24-7. Lives were saved under his leadership.
Don built a strong team as Milton town manager and in one year has accomplished a long list of critical tasks and projects that for many years had only been goals. He's a problem solver with a unique skill set who finds solutions where others can't and always remembers his duty to serve the taxpayer. He fully respects where funds come from in our municipality and spends them wisely.
He worked tirelessly and rose to leadership during his 13 years in the state legislature. Vermont truly needs his continued service to the state. Please vote for Don Turner Jr. He is the best choice.
'No' to High School Bond
[Re Off Message: "Burlington Voters Will Consider $100 Million in School, Wastewater Bonds," September 24; Feedback: "Bond for BHS," October 17]: I'm sure I am not the only one who has assumed that necessary renovations and repairs over the last many years have always, at least somewhat, been funded by the exorbitant and always-rising yearly budget dollars with which the taxpayers have been increasingly saddled. Now we find out they have simply let the place go in order to fund yearly salary and benefits increases. And they come crying.
It is time for the school board and, more importantly, the voters to send a message that enough is enough — to finally stand up to the teachers' union and change the current higher-than-the-national-average pay and benefits rate here to be more in line with the national average, which it is not. Only then do we, the overburdened taxpayers of Burlington, finally get out from under the crushing tax bills levied on us by the union and school board. With those line items finally in check, the board can then direct the monies they should have spent on repair and renovation to finally fund the projects that they have avoided for years. Remember, it's only a matter of months before the next inevitable budget increase for fiscal year 2020 rears its ugly head.
Stop Domestic Violence
[Re Off Message: "Burlington Book Festival Cancels Garrison Keillor Appearance," October 1]: Whether or not Garrison Keillor was welcome at the Burlington Book Festival this year, the controversy his planned appearance sparked is aptly timed: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sexual assault and sexual harassment — alleged or otherwise — are crimes of domestic violence, a public health problem that's been repeatedly exposed as a nationwide epidemic in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
The good news is that, for Burlington, the thought of hosting a guest who may view others with a type of disrespect that has subtly pervaded generations has raised a rallying cry among people chafed by the thought of salt in the wound. Whether through empathy or compassion, this community has become vigorously aware of its members who have been mistreated and silenced.
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of control passed from one generation to the next through intimate relationships: Everyone knows someone who has been affected.
Steps to End Domestic Violence assists in the transition to a safe, independent life for those who have been affected by abuse, and it offers educational programming to raise awareness about the complex effects of this preventable public health problem. A hotline provides free, confidential access to services and support at 802-658-1996.
Consider supporting the annual Take Steps in Their Shoes event, setting up an educational opportunity in your community or making a donation in honor of the people you know who have the right to live without fear of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse.