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Opinion: Time for Shumlin to take correct position on pipeline

Posted on February 19, 2015 |
By George Klohck



 It is way past the time when Gov. Shumlin should have caught up with a fast growing segment of the public, which realizes now that the so-called Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project has been a “pipe dream” all along. This pipeline never made sense.

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Opinion: Middlebury solar array exceeds projected output

Posted on February 16, 2015 |
By Greg Pahl



Regarding the article “Vergennes solar array output comes up short” that ran in the Monday, Feb. 9, issue of the Independent, it’s unfortunate that you used an image of the Acorn Energy Solar One community solar project located off Lucius Shaw Lane behind the Middlebury police station to illustrate the story. That’s because this locally owned, 150-kilowatt array has consistently exceeded its original annual electricity production estimate of 172,000 kilowatt hours by an average of 6.7 percent over the past three years.

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Community Forum: Payrol tax wil benefit companies by lowering heath insurance costs

Posted on February 16, 2015 |
By Lawrence Miller



This week’s writer is Lawrence Miller, chief of Health Care Reform for Vermont.

As someone who for the past 25 years has owned, advised or worked closely with a Vermont business, I know firsthand how confusing our healthcare system is for employers. But here’s the most confusing aspect of all: Over the past three years, hospital budget growth has been kept at 3 percent, the lowest rate in 40 years. However, many private insurance premiums have risen way beyond that rate over that same time period. How can that be? The answer is the cost shift.

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Clippings: Valentine's Day, transatlantic style

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Evan Johnson



On Sunday night, after an evening in the office, I drove home in the latest snowstorm. As I normally do, I swerved my car as close as possible to the mailbox at the end of the driveway so as to retrieve my mail from the comfort of my warm car. Inside the ice-encrusted mailbox was crammed a cardboard box wedged in so tightly I had to use two hands to pry it out. Inside my house, I sliced open the tape with a folding knife and peeled back the lid.

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Jessie Raymond: Getting 'back' to normal takes time

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Jessie Raymond



I threw out my back while shoveling snow the weekend before last, leaving my husband, Mark, to finish my share of the labor. He called it “convenient timing.”

True, shoveling is my least favorite winter chore. But the injury was real and the timing, in my opinion, was entirely appropriate. Who tweaks their back while resting quietly?

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Greg Dennis: The intricacies of male hugging

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Greg Dennis



Hugging is a wonderful way to express affection. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

But when it comes to men hugging their casual male friends, I’m sure I speak for many men when I say:

Can’t we just go back to shaking hands?

I’m not sure when it was that hugging among men became the New Normal. Maybe it started back in the Seventies, when feminist-oriented women (rightly) started pounding it into our feeble male brains that it wouldn’t kill us to show some public affection to other men, now and then.

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Opinion: Vermont needs affordable childcare

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Amethyst Peaslee



I’m writing in support of new legislation to support the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to research financing options for high-quality, affordable childcare in Vermont.

As an employee in a community childcare support agency, I am well aware of the true cost of quality childcare and the limited ability of most families to afford to pay for quality care. Most childcare programs do not charge what it really costs them to offer high-quality care, and instead rely on fundraising.

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Opinion: Sharpe right on ed. finance reform

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By George Jaeger



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Opinion: Solar investment needed in county

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Bill Miller



In response to your news article dated Feb. 2 and headlined, “Backers see solar as moneymaker”:

I am CFO for Green Lantern Development in Waterbury, a small, growing solar developer. We focus on the public sector. We develop and finance solar arrays for customers unable to use tax credits: towns, schools, hospitals and nonprofits.

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Opinion: Senate gun bill a sensible plan to protect Vermonters

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Terry Amrhein



On Feb. 10, a public hearing was held at the Statehouse to discuss requiring background checks for people purchasing firearms in Vermont. This is an important issue for all Vermonters.

In 1689, one hundred years before America’s independence, the English Bill of Rights already established the right for citizens to bear firearms. The Second Amendment just codified what every American already knew, that Americans have the right to own firearms. No one is suggesting that this right be repealed.

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