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Opinion: Paid sick leave is fair for workers

Posted on January 28, 2016 |
By Richard Hollenbeck



I am writing to express my support for paid sick days for all workers in Vermont.

There are nearly 100,000 Vermonters who don’t receive any paid sick leave. People need a minimum standard of earned leave to use to take care of their own health and the health of their families. If I’m ill and go into work, how many people do I feasibly infect in a day? Sixty?

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Opinion: Rail bridge plan is unacceptable

Posted on January 28, 2016 |
By Sue Hoxie and Lindsey Wing



Dear Gov. Shumlin,

The membership of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce and Better Middlebury Partnership represents more than 200 businesses, organizations and individuals within the boundaries of Middlebury as well as another 200 members throughout Addison County. We are writing on our members’ behalf to express our concern over the Agency of Transportation’s current plan to repair the two railroad bridges spanning Main Street and Merchants Row.

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Opinion: The aesthetics of solar siting must be taken seriously

Posted on January 28, 2016 |
By Merle Schloff



I am writing in response to Gregg Beldock’s Community Forum column on the siting of solar fields (“Solar helps farmers, creates jobs,” Jan. 18, 2016).

What’s wrong with a pig farm if it doesn’t stink?

It’s not just a rhetorical question for me, for I am the owner of the property with what I feel is the ugliest solar field on the Route 7 solar corridor.

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Opinion: It's time to make college affordable

Posted on January 28, 2016 |
By Sen. Patrick Leahy



As Vermont’s college students return from the winter break and begin their spring semesters, college costs continue to weigh heavily on their minds and on their pocketbooks. The price of a college education has steadily grown to become both a personal financial hardship for them and their families, and an emerging national crisis, and we need to tackle it. No student should ever be denied a higher education simply because of a lack of financial ability. That is not how we prepare the next generation to lead our country in the global marketplace.

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Guest Editorial: Give Vermonters a voice in siting renewable energy

Posted on January 27, 2016 |
By Emerson Lynn



A bill that would ban industrial wind projects in Vermont was introduced this past week by Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans, and the effort drew cheers from a throng of onlookers in Montpelier.

Mr. Rodgers’ audience was part of an organized attempt to explain to lawmakers that Vermonters are frustrated with how little their voices matter when it comes to the siting of industrial-sized solar and wind projects.

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Guest editorial: Continuing to invest in pollution makes no cents

Posted on January 25, 2016 |
By James Ehlers



Our governor recently joined the growing call to divest public funds from coal and ExxonMobil. Some folks are asking why we should move away from these assets as the projections of future climate change impacts are still contentious. I believe the real question should be: Given the horrendous environmental impacts from the burning of fossil fuels that have already occurred and are still happening now, why have we stayed invested so long?

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Opinion: Community, not violence, the answer to problems

Posted on January 25, 2016 |
By Patricia Heather-Lea



This past summer, my husband noticed a bumper sticker that said, “I am not a liberal. I support the 2nd Amendment.”

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Opinion: Much to recommend in 'pastoral' Champlain Valley

Posted on January 25, 2016 |
By John-Eric Colley Robinson



I’m taking an online permaculture course through Cornell UniversityExtension, and part of my current assignment is to write an elevator pitch for my bioregion to convince everyone to move here. Here it is, addressed not to us, but to the folk living other places:

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Opinion: Term limits, flat tax rate would help correct our course

Posted on January 25, 2016 |
By Edwin C. James



It seems the older I get the more I become concerned with the direction our great nation and country is going. Things don’t seem to be getting done in Washington as they might, though some of the fault may be our own (the voters) due to who we put in office.

I believe it is time for term limits — instead of the same old life-timers holding down their precious seats. Maybe we should limit their terms in office to 8 or maybe 10 years or less.

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Clippings: Empty nest more vibrant when full

Posted on January 21, 2016 |
By John Flowers



You hear a lot of parents say it during some of their weaker moments, usually after a child has created a crayon masterpiece on a wall or converted a tin can into a drum: “We can’t wait to have the house to ourselves.”

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