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Opinion: Acts 248 and 250 need local input

Posted on November 26, 2014 |
By Paul Stone



Tom Denecker, Denecker Chevrolet, has withdrawn his Act 250 application to build a new car store at the corner of routes 22A and 7 in Ferrisburgh, per the Addison Independent, Nov. 20. Apparently he saw no hope of a permit in the face of opposition from the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, the Agency of Natural Resources, and Vermont Natural Resources Council. The application process was overwhelming and not worth the expense and the fight, per Denecker.

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Community Forum: 'Small Business Saturday' looms

Posted on November 26, 2014 |
By Shawn Shouldice



This week’s writer is Shawn Shouldice of Montpelier, state director of the Vermont chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving started in 2010 as an effort to give small businesses — many struggling to get out of the red after a long recession — a much-needed shot in the arm. Since then, it has become a powerful movement to give back to the brick-and-mortar establishments that line our Main Streets and keep our communities vibrant.

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Opinion: Deception used for single-payer

Posted on November 26, 2014 |
By Valerie Mullin



Some are trying to change the discussion from what we think of what Mr. Gruber has said vs. what he is doing. Vermont Democrat Rep. Browning has been championing the lead to have Gov. Shumlin show Vermonters the plan of how we’re to pay for single payer health insurance.

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Guest Editorial: How do we grow is our political leadership balks?

Posted on November 26, 2014 |
By Emerson Lynn



Art Woolf, the oft-cited University of Vermont economics professor, last week explained the source of Vermont’s economic difficulties to the annual gathering of the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp. It was not lengthy. Nor was it complicated. The prevailing leadership in Vermont, he said, doesn’t like growth.

There are complicating factors. We’re small. We’re geographically isolated. We don’t have a hospitable climate and we’re old and growing older. Even a pro-growth movement would find Vermont tough sledding.

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Community Forum: Make teacher health costs more fair

Posted on November 24, 2014 |
By Stephen Dale



This week’s writer is Stephen Dale, executive director of the Vermont School Boards Association.

Vermont’s school districts provide very generous health insurance benefits to their employees — among the most generous health insurance benefits available to any Vermonter. The current cost of these benefits is contributing to rapidly rising property taxes, limiting the ability of schools to invest in the education of our students.

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Opinion: Parking garage would help Middlebury

Posted on November 24, 2014 |
By Peter Voorhees



A suggestion for more parking downtown would be to construct a permanent multilevel garage at the location of the current parking lot on Mill Street.

Pedestrian access to the second level could be a street level bridge off of College Street where the steps are. The current lot doesn’t get much use probably because it is hard to get to. An elevator would make access to either level handicap-accessible and convenient to downtown.

Peter Voorhees

Middlebury

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Opinion: Help is available locally for those struggling with drugs

Posted on November 24, 2014 |
By Bob Donnis



Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Mount Abraham Union High School student Abby Boss in reaction to the article she wrote (“Battle with Heroin Hits Home, Calls for Prevention”) for the school’s Bird’s Eyepublication, which ran in the Nov. 13 edition of the Independent. It is printed here with permission.

Dear Ms. Boss,

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Guest editorial: 45-cent gas tax? That's nuts

Posted on November 24, 2014 |
By Emerson Lynn



If several Vermont environmental groups and key policy makers have their way, the Legislature will impose a tax on gasoline and heating fuels, raising the price of a gallon of gas an estimated 45 cents. This will be Vermont’s way to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

They are delusional.

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Views from the Vet: Dairy farmers are good stewards

Posted on November 20, 2014 |
By Joe Klopfenstein DVM



Last week when I wrote this column was Agricultural Literacy Week in Vermont — a great opportunity to learn about new methods as our farms continue to grow and modernize. This week is also the week of Thanksgiving. The holiday is traditionally a time to give thanks for the many gifts we’ve been given. In our homes, our churches and our communities we also take time to think about stewardship — how we care for those gifts. Here in Vermont we have no greater gift than our beautiful environment.

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Editorial: The missing point of criticism

Posted on November 20, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Let’s examine the revered role of criticism in our political dialogue.

First, let’s agree that progress is the universal goal and that we’re not in the business of governing to take society backwards. Second, let’s agree that there are multiple ways to achieve progress and as many ways to define it.

The focus, then, is how constructive criticism plays a role in helping create better decisions and outcomes.

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