[Re “In Montpelier, Empty Storefronts Could Be a Thing of the Past,” September 5]: So often the changes we want to see in Vermont downtowns come as the result of hard work, preparation and then ... I’d say the most important element is simply generational change.
Don’t Forget Barre
[Re “In Montpelier, Empty Storefronts Could Be a Thing of the Past,” September 5]: Has Seven Days considered also running a feature on the changes happening in Barre City? As someone who grew up here, and yes, prefers Montpelier over Barre, I am still very impressed with the effort Tom Lauzon is making and think it will do much for the city. Check it out!
In response to the wind project article on Georgia Mountain [“Chittenden County’s First Wind Project Is Small, Local and, of Course, Generating Opposition,” September 5], I would just like to state that the “golf-ball-size” flyrock should be seen before one describes it. Flyrock that is larger than a football, closer to the size of a basketball, should not be considered minor. We not only have our own pictures to prove our observations, but the Department of Public Service has also witnessed this fact on its own visit to the site. Kathryn Flagg should investigate the facts she is reporting about.
No Sympathy for Blittersdorf
Cry me a river [“Chittenden County’s First Wind Project Is Small, Local and, of Course, Generating Opposition,” September 5]! Poor David Blittersdorf’s dream of Vermont being energy independent has a slim chance of driving him bankrupt, and we are supposed to feel sorry for him? How about the dreams of all the people who chose to call Georgia Mountain home, only to have those dreams become a living hell due to Blittersdorf and the Harrisons? Is this what makes Vermonters special, their ability to ruin the lives of their neighbors to fulfill boyhood dreams and profit opportunities?
Any environmentalist who supports big wind in Vermont is a hypocrite. The Georgia project is an environmental disaster. The mountaintop has been totally reconstructed to accommodate an inefficient source of energy. There is now a road up the side of the mountain as wide as a two-lane highway. Not to mention the carbon this project is producing. Yet no environmental organization in Vermont will dare speak out. Blittersdorf practically owns VPIRG. He’s got a government he helped pay for. Yet he wants our pity?
Here’s an idea: If these developers are really not in this for the money, why don’t they funnel all profits into residential green energy systems for those who live on Georgia Mountain? This would support Blittersdorf’s goals and the Harrison’s stated goal of leaving a cleaner environment for the children. And it will cause no additional environmental destruction. Of course, this might mean Blittersdorf has to talk to the residents instead of having his lawyers sue them for using their own property. So that will never happen.
Thank you for Kathryn Flagg’s article on Georgia Mountain’s wind project. She really captured the project’s size and scope. For the many Vermonters who say they are for wind, just not industrial wind, this is the ticket: locally owned and locally sold wind power. Burlington Electric has agreed to buy all generation, thus keeping the lights on in 4200 Burlington homes. So one could call this your electric share of a power locavore movement. Winooski One will be our hydro share. Burlington Electric has been the leader in the state in building an energy portfolio on renewable sources and avoided use through conservation.
O’Sullivan is a state rep and a Burlington Electric commissioner.
Had high expectations for this article [“Chittenden County’s First Wind Project Is Small, Local and, of Course, Generating Opposition,” September 5], but am disappointed. A lot of people spent a lot of time talking with reporter Kathryn Flagg. Some points were covered pretty well, but others were missed completely. “Golf-ball-size” rocks. Try basketball. It’s all well documented. Their blasting call was automated. Eight o’clock every day saying we will be blasting today sometime. Pretty useless. Don’t really care for Blittersdorf’s whining about the trampled-on neighbors trying to interfere with his making millions.
Who’s Bernie Backing?
[Re Fair Game, September 5]: At this year’s Labor Day rally in Burlington, a speaker described Bernie Sanders as the best senator in Congress. I thought, Yes, Bernie really is the best senator. But during Bernie’s speech, I raised a sign that said, “Bernie Don’t Betray Us / No F-35.” The other side said: “F-35 = Military Industrial Complex.”
Why isn’t Bernie defending people who live, work and go to school in the zone that the official Air Force report says will be unsuitable for residential use if F-35s are based here?
Low- and moderate-income residential areas and industrial zones, where thousands of workers spend their days, are most affected. These are not affluent NIMBYs; they are the very constituents Bernie prides himself on defending. Why put F-35s here? The Air Force study acknowledges that jets increase air pollution, but since Vermont’s air quality is better than average, it’s OK to add more pollutants to our air. In other words, Vermont is under-polluted.
Vermonters oppose war more than average. People in other places depend more on weapons factories and military bases for their livelihoods. They don’t oppose the military-industrial complex; they think they benefit economically from war. So maybe Vermont is under-militarized. It’s risky for a senator to stand up to the military-industrial complex to defend constituents and to resist the state becoming more entangled in the war economy. Maybe a lone senator can’t stop the war machine from doing whatever the generals want. But it would be sad if even the best senator in Congress won’t try.
There was an incorrect clue in last week’s crossword puzzle. The capital of Maryland is Annapolis — not Baltimore. Whoops.