Found in Translation
I want to applaud the Seven Days team for including a Nepali audio version of the recent follow-up to the tragic events in the Bhutanese refugee community ["Cleaver Attack Stuns Vermont's Bhutanese Community," October 25]. I strongly support movement toward increased language accessibility, and I'm sure many community members will appreciate it as well. I hope these efforts continue and find ways to enrich and inform the lives of those who would otherwise be unable to access your top-notch reporting.
Editor's note: The Nepali translation of the story can be heard here.
I'm surprised at two things missing from your article on Bijou Fine Chocolate's "abrupt" closing ["Bye-Bye Bijou," October 10]. First, no possible explanation for the missing equipment was given — no contractual clause covering confiscation or repossession, no investigation.
Were the Tooheys victims of an unscrupulous investor (and who might that be?)? Or were they, like many artisans, simply unskilled at marketing their product well enough to pay the bills?
Second, there was no apparent effort to explore the Tooheys' background. If memory serves, they had a previous chocolate business, Luna Chocolate, in Hardwick, maybe 20 or 25 years ago, specializing in truffles. They sold that business and the name to someone else, and eventually the brand disappeared.
Where memory serves very well is in recalling how amazing and wonderful the truffles were: pure and clean tasting, a near-orgasmic treat on the tongue and in the brain. I am sorry for their troubles and sorrier still to have missed this incarnation of their art.
Editor's note: Last week the Shelburne Police Department sent a report concerning Bijou Fine Chocolate to the Chittenden County State's Attorney's Office for review, according to Officer Dan Eickenberg. At issue is who is responsible for returning property to the Tooheys, the "complainant" in the case, and how the property will be returned, Eickenberg said.
Kevin and Laura Toohey have started a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $120,000 to start a new chocolate business. They owned Luna Chocolate in Hardwick from 1995 to 1999.
In his recent interview with Ken Picard, New England Coalition spokesman Arnie Gundersen claimed NorthStar has no experience in nuclear decommissioning and that, at Vermont Yankee, NorthStar would "grind the radioactive concrete and leave it on-site" ["Whistleblowers Share Insights on Vermont Yankee Documentary," October 25]. Both statements are untrue.
Over the past decade, NorthStar has decommissioned thousands of industrial plant sites much larger than Vermont Yankee. Additionally, NorthStar has been the decommissioning lead for several small nuclear facilities and has been a contractor at Maine Yankee and Yankee Rowe.
To dispose of radioactive concrete and other materials, NorthStar plans to separate contaminated materials from the uncontaminated and remove them via train to an out-of-state processing site. Only uncontaminated material will be recycled on-site. This plan will reduce the carbon emissions, safety dangers and traffic jams that would be caused by burdening state and local highways with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 truckloads of clean replacement fill over 12 months. When NorthStar's work is done, the estimated radiation level would be so low as to permit a farmer to live on-site 24-7, grow all of his own food, drink the water and raise livestock.
NorthStar's plan to recycle on-site only clean material is detailed in Public Utility Commission findings and on the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel website. This important detail also has been covered repeatedly during many of NorthStar CEO Scott State's frequent appearances before citizen groups, including the NDCAP. Let's stick to the facts about the NorthStar decommissioning plan for Vermont Yankee and consider the alternative: decades without an economic revival for the region.
Guy Page is communications director for the Vermont Energy Partnership, which supports policies for clean, safe, affordable and reliable power. Vermont Yankee is a member.
[Re Fair Game: "Sound and Fury," October 25]: Seven Days columnist John Walters and others who want to rip up Vermont's mountain ridgelines so that we can lay down miles of concrete and build 500-foot wind turbines always remind me of the U.S. Army officer who, after we had bombed the Vietnamese town of Bên Tre into oblivion, told AP correspondent Peter Arnett that the U.S. "had to destroy the village in order to save it."
Climate change is real. Humankind is a major contributor, and renewables are a part of the solution. In Vermont, they make sense — on a Vermont scale. But stripping the trees from our ridgelines, putting up industrial wind turbines and then selling renewable energy credits to other states so they can continue to burn dirty fuel doesn't make sense. Not only are we destroying our landscape and wildlife habitat and degrading the headwaters of our rivers and streams with miles of impermeable cement along our ridgelines, we are actually contributing to climate change by ripping up the forests.
We should be redirecting the tax credits given to industrial wind to incentivize energy efficiency and renewables on a residential and agricultural scale. Instead of paying three times the market price for energy from industrial wind turbines, we could be reducing electric bills, reducing reliance on transmission lines and reducing CO2. We do not have to destroy the village to save it.
[Re Fair Game: "Not Every Picture Tells a Story," October 18]: If these trolls believe they are so right about this issue, why do they have to sink so low? Either the people responsible for this hoax don't understand the pathetic irony here — too complicated? — or, given that they may be either racists or opportunists, they simply don't care.
If Earl Granville is going to succeed in his battle against the conservative social media, he's going to need help from the television news media — CNN, CBS News, NBC News, etc. These alt-right trolls need to be exposed on a national news program to be publicly shamed.