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February 23rd, 2017
On behalf of Sen. Ayer and myself, I want to share news on recent work in the Vermont Senate. As this is my first report, it’s a bit long. Future reports will provide briefer updates.
Here are some of the bills we’ve passed and issues we’re addressing:
S.10 provides for the extension of municipal water systems to homes whose drinking systems (wells and springs) have been poisoned with the potentially cancer-causing chemical PFOA. While many people know that this happened in Bennington, there are 14 towns in Vermont where PFOA has been found.
STARKSBORO — Residents of Starksboro voted last December to expand the town’s three-person selectboard to a five-person board.
With one existing selectboard seat coming up for re-election, the expansion means there will be three selectboard seats on the Town Meeting Day ballot. As March 7 nears, voters face choices in two of those three positions.
FERRISBURGH — Learn more about who is running for local offices in Ferrisburgh next Tuesday evening at an event sponsored by the town historical society.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 7-9 p.m., there will be a Ferrisburgh Candidates Forum for all those running for local office on Town Meeting Day. The Ferrisburgh Historical Society will host the event upstairs at the Town Office and Community Center, a.k.a. the former Grange Hall.
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Ruth Crawford works about 20 hours a week at HOPE, sorting and pricing books that have been donated to HOPE’s resale thrift store. She’s as committed an employee as they come — except she’s not an employee, she is a volunteer. Last year, over 92,000 books passed through her hands on their way to the retail shelf in HOPE’s store. Revenues from HOPE’s store help fund local poverty relief efforts.
This week’s writer is Jane Williamson, executive director of Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum, a stop on the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.
Echoes of 1850
The Trump Administration’s order banning immigrants and refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries reminds us how history can repeat itself. Many reporters and commentators have recalled past bans or quotas — the Chinese in the 1880s, southern Europeans in 1924 and the infamous refusal to admit a shipload of German Jews in 1939.
America’s success in domestic counterterrorism depends on two critical elements: the extent to which the American people descend into “terrorist paranoia” and the extent to which we alienate our Muslim citizens and residents.
Fifty years ago, terrorism was seen primarily in dissident national groups working against the nations in which they lived.
Today the world of terrorism has changed. The primary authors of 21st-century terrorism are found in radical Islam.
I find Mr. Trump’s performance at his Feb. 16 press conference to bedeeply disturbing. He was obsessed with Hilary Clinton, his need to prove that he won the election by large margins, an unrealistic view of his performance and the workings of the White House, Vladimir Putin, and the American press corps. Why does he portray such a disturbing and unrealistic view of the world?