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Opinion: Vermont Gas pipeline formula doesn't add up

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Ross Conrad



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Community Forum: State should price carbon pollution

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Fran Putnam



This week’s writer is Fran Putnam of Weybridge, who is active in weatherization and energy efficiency efforts in the local community.

The recent launch of an effort to put a price on carbon pollution in Vermont is a forward-looking, smart economic strategy. A growing, diverse coalition of businesses, low-income organizations, environmental groups and citizens have looked hard at the benefits, costs and potential policy framework for taking this step.

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Opinion: Those who give help need support

Posted on December 8, 2014 |
By Kerry Kurt



This is the time of year where we pause to give thanks for the riches we all have. We express gratitude for our family and friends, a bounty of food and our health if we are fortunate enough have those. We also stop to express appreciation for those who do big and little things to care for us and those we love.

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Opinion: Changes needed in siting rules for solar projects

Posted on December 8, 2014 |
By Stephen Pilcher



The lower cost of solar PV panels has led to a huge increase in solar projects in Addison County. Unfortunately the current regulatory model to govern the siting of solar projects is based on traditional large centralized power generation, transmission and distribution. This model is not appropriate for small distributed power generation such as solar PV or bio-fuels projects.

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Editorial: City council should approve toddler park in Vergennes

Posted on December 8, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



In Vergennes, the city council will take a vote next Tuesday on whether to support a recreation committee’s recommendation to build a toddler park on city-owned land that is also near the city’s swimming pool and elementary school. The city has a $21,000 state grant to fund half of the project’s $42,000 cost, with the other $21,000 slated to be taken from the city’s water/sewer fund — thus no property tax dollars would be spent on the project.

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Editorial: How to keep school taxes lower via local control

Posted on December 4, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Want to know how to keep property taxes for school spending down and avoid the projected two-cent hike recently projected by state officials?

In theory, it’s not that hard: just keep local spending per pupil the same as last year.

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Jessie Raymond: Christmas memories color reality

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Jessie Raymond



One of my favorite holiday traditions is putting up the Christmas tree.

It’s the same every year: One day in December we head out to the tree farm, where we tromp through the freshly fallen snow until we find the perfect tree. We cut it, tie it to the roof of the car and sing “Jingle Bells” all the way home.

We set up the tree in the corner of the living room, drape it with lights and decorate it, drinking hot cocoa while holiday music plays in the background.

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Greg Dennis: The governor and ungrateful liberals

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



Midway between the November elections and the start of the Vermont legislative hunting season, the question on most political observers’ minds is this: Will Gov. Shumlin get his groove back?

On the answer to that question hangs the fate of liberals’ hopes for statewide action on healthcare reform, climate change and property tax relief.

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Opinion: College can help the homeless

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Randy Kritkausky



I was struck by the juxtaposition of articles on housing in Middlebury in the Thursday, Nov. 27, edition of the Independent. Front-page articles focused on problems of homelessness. Page three reports on Middlebury College’s offer to begin selling some of its 70 homes at a 15 percent discount to faculty. The article on sale of Middlebury College owned homes raised the question of whether or not discounted sales would depress housing market prices.

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Opinion: State fund aids rural economy

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Katie Michels



The Working Lands Enterprise Fund was created in 2012 with Act 142 to “stimulate a concerted economic development effort on behalf of Vermont’s agriculture and forest product sectors by systematically advancing entrepreneurism, business development, and job creation.” For two years, the Working Lands Enterprise Fund has supported our working lands enterprises, with great results. As the governor and his administration are building the budget for next year, I hope they will continue to fund this important economic initiative at $1.5 million.

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