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Opinion: Vergennes resident explains opposition to playground proposal

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By Heather Simons



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Opinion: Middlebury College earns thanks for recent event

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By Anne Friedrichs et al.



Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz, faculty and students.

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Opinion: State has not followed law in review of solar projects

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By John Madden



Concerning the solar industry and Public Service Board effect on Addison County, beginning with PSB 7645:

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Opinion: Middlebury Airport improvement plan makes sense

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By Art Remick



Remick letter image 2.jpg

In response to the article “Residents wary of airport upgrades” in the Dec. 4 Independent, safety at the Middlebury Airport is the focus of ongoing and upcoming improvements.

Several years ago, I attended a public meeting hosted by J&M Aviation at Middlebury Airport, where the Vermont Agency of Transportation announced many long term plans to upgrade safety at many state airports, including Middlebury Airport. The meeting was attended by many local residents, pilots, and several state representatives.

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Editorial: Vermont bucks 'popular' politics to invest in its kids

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



It’s popular today to be critical of politicians in Washington, D.C., and in Montpelier. It’s popular to be against government spending and for tax cuts. It’s also popular to be against spending more on education — both at the state level and federal.

But what’s popular is not always smart.

What’s smart is to raise and spend money in ways that make our society stronger, enrich the individual and reduce the need for spending more on the back end.

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Editorial: Decommissioning solar: A common sense measure that makes good business sense

Posted on December 11, 2014 |
By Angelo Lynn



The explosion of solar arrays in Vermont, in particular Addison County, has spawned the twinkling of what could be the downside of any boom-bust cycle.

The upside of solar power is its sustainability and near-zero admissions into the atmosphere. In that manner, it is a fuel source to be developed and exploited.

The downside of its rapid deployment, however, is in the rush to cite the projects (sometimes in places that are less than ideal) as well as lax rules that govern the life cycle of any energy project.

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Clippings: Facts on taxes, health care, schools

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



As every politician reminded us in November, the hot topics as lawmakers return to Montpelier next month will be school funding and health care.

With that in mind, it’s time for some facts and figures, presented as context and without comment.

•  Vermont in 2011 stood at ninth among U.S. states in the level of state and local taxes as a percentage of residents’ income, at 10.5 percent.

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Opinion: Per-pupil cost info would help

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Ken Wilkins



The Dec. 4 editorial outlines the burden of tax for Vermont payers. Understanding of the reason for high tax rates per pupil is different. However, I do understand relative comparisons of expense.

If the school department would publish a comparison chart of cost per pupil in the other New England states, we would have a better understanding that you are doing a good job.

Ken Wilkins

Middlebury

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Opinion: State needs new solar-siting rules

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Paul Stone



A front-page article, Dec. 4, Addison Independent, states that, “solar firms have eyed Addison County as a prime location for solar projects, owing to the area’s abundant, flat farmland.” Well of course they have, no trees to cut down or brush to remove, just drive in and start planting solar.

This thoughtless waste of prime agriculture soils is an egregious act against the environment and our future food production. And a degradation to the beautiful state of Vermont.

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Eric Davis: Education funding debate looming

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Eric L Davis



House Speaker Shap Smith recently said that the Legislature’s highest priority in the 2015 session should be changing Vermont’s system of financing and governing K-12 education. Smith noted that the large number of school budgets rejected last spring, and the concern about high and rising property taxes demonstrated by the November election results, mean that the Legislature must address the education issue soon.

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