Home Commentary Opinion Letters to the Editor: 6.26.14

Letters to the Editor: 6.26.14

To the Editor,
I like the parklet in concept, but not in its execution by the State Street (Rialto) Bridge. I don’t bemoan the loss of parking there so much. If a public project attracts people to a town like ours, people will walk a short distance to available parking. I wish the city could focus on and fund one well-planned downtown parking project, which includes convenient resident winter parking, before moving on to other things.
Don Grabowski, Montpelier
To the Editor:
You asked for comment on the pilot “parklet” project on the Rialto Bridge in downtown Montpelier. I hesitate to criticize anything like this created by our community’s kids. Youth participation needs to be encouraged and appreciated. However, this structure is in the wrong place. Not only does it take up valuable parking, but it looks downright tacky in the historic downtown setting. The colors, the signage and the structure itself do not in any way blend in with the downtown architecture or ambience. I recently returned to town after an extended time away. I love Montpelier and have worked and/or lived here since the early 1970s. But when I came home this time, the city struck me as run down and in great need of a face repair. In my view, the parklet is out of context and looks hideous where it stands. Once again I ask, why does our City Council keep supporting “cutesy” projects and not focus our community’s funds and energy on our degrading infrastructure?
Dot Helling, Montpelier
To the Editor:
Sustainable. Really?
One way or another, our understanding of sustainability bears on all our choices, large and small. An accurate definition of the term can help inform those choices, and thus directly impact the long-term health of our families, our communities and our planet. So what is true sustainability?
Populations in a given politically or geographically defined region become truly sustainable…
– when living within the limits of that region’s renewable resources, both in inputs (energy and materials) and outputs (food, goods, etc., and the region’s capacity to regenerate when damaged or depleted).
– when such populations purchase or trade only with environmentally responsible sources for those necessities unavailable locally.
– when population density and manner of living support the health and well-being of all species and habitats in a given region, for the present generation, and all those to come.
May we learn to live within our means as wise stewards to a world that gives us everything.
Neville Berle, Montpelier
To the Editor:
More parklets?
I’m a bit bewildered at the logic behind this endeavor. Who, exactly, does the City Council have in mind to generate all this extra foot traffic? Are we assuming that the pedestrians will be created from residents of Montpelier who already walk into town to avoid having to pay for the meters? Commuters from surrounding towns who come into our city to work and play must necessarily park in town; they can’t be expected to walk from home. The minimal public transport options via bus service certainly won’t support this concept. Are more “parklets” resulting in even fewer parking spots really in the best interest of the residents/taxpayers of Montpelier?
Maybe we can just cover up all the potholes with parklets.
Concerned Resident
To the Editor,
On the 15th of May, my wife Claire and I had the privilege to visit your wonderful town. We enjoyed the shops, had a nice lunch at the student cooking school and enjoyed the sights.
Returning to our car we found a ticket on our window, put there by one of your law enforcers. What did we do wrong? Didn’t we put enough money in the parking meter? No, it was still green. Reading the ticket, it appeared we had parked the car backwards, and for some reason that is not allowed?
During our holidays in the States we do our utmost to adapt to American culture and American law. As tourists from a far away country, we don’t want any problems. Your law enforcer did see that we put enough money in the meter. He could also have seen that we drove a rental car and conclude there were tourists involved.
If this is the way the town of Montpelier wants to fill up the town’s bank account, then we think it’s the wrong way. This letter is not about money (In Amsterdam, we pay 15 dollars for one hour of parking). This is about how to treat tourists.
What if you were in my country and the same thing happened to you? You would be disappointed and not feeling welcome.
I hope you can do something about it and prevent future letters from other tourists.
Rob and Claire Brouwer, The Netherlands
To the Editor,
In response to the letter in the June 5 issue of The Bridge by Nate Smead concerning access to the Berlin Pond for paddlers (and I assume those who fish), he remarks that no one could give him an actual example based on science that paddling the pond would introduce a contaminating substance. (Mr. Smead’s letter stating that he feels it is a “right” to have access to the pond may have also appeared in other local newspaper publications as well.)
I don’t think that is really the issue. The issue is that a pond which had been a haven of unspoiled use by species other than humans is forever changed. Humans are such an arrogant species in thinking that if it’s there, and we can get to it, we should, and even feel we have the “right” to stick our big feet in whatever it is. Untouched by humans? Hey, let’s just get in there are show the world that we can! A sort of reinventing of the 19th century’s Manifest Destiny—it is our duty to access this pond! (Some might call it imperialism.)
So, here is this wonderful pond that is very active with birds, fish and other wildlife, yet we just cannot allow it to remain as such. We need to get those canoes, kayaks or any other craft in there, no matter how benign, and have our way with this pond! We do this over and over with wild places. Yes, you may be a responsible outdoor enthusiast, picking up your trash (and maybe even other people’s) when you hike or paddle or bicycle, but there are always those who take advantage of the situation. People sneaking in a small motor boat, people over-fishing the pond, people wanting to get really close to wildlife who end up disrupting a nest or creating a threat to that animal. Contaminating substance? WE are the contaminating substance on the Berlin Pond. Not the geese, or ducks, or beaver, or deer.
Kay Schlueter, Northfield Falls