Home Commentary Opinion LETTERS: 11.19.15

LETTERS: 11.19.15


An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders


As an American and a Vermonter, I am aware of the local politics as the foreground of the humanitarian movement as an intrinsic backbone of our politics. Vermont was instrumental in the movement to abolish slavery, and Vermont has always served as an example to the country of the profit of fair labor in times of economic hardship.

Your ideas on humanity regarding a basic quality of life as a human right make you the man that the nation favors, as we see far too many people lie in the wake of hardship left by the recession. Watching the war on single mothers and children in regards to wage equality, and reproductive health is particularly heart-breaking. We watch impoverished children enter the world ill-equipped to deal with hardship. We believe in equal opportunity that is not what has been afforded them. We admire you because you have the courage to address these people since there are so many; when many politicians shy away from the long suffering of our nation.

The COTS foundation cites upwards of 1,000 homeless children.

Our only option seems to be to look to the past for things that worked, rather than things that didn’t. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was credited as being the man who was able to draw us out of the Great Depression. I see one flaw in taking this path, and I am writing to you now to share this with you. It was Eleanor Roosevelt’s dedication to humanity, and her ethical pleas to abolish child labor, and the movement towards workers’ rights that served as the foundation of the Roosevelt ideals. Hillary Clinton has made herself an open supporter of your ideas and I urge you now to ensure success as a Democratic candidate, not only as a representative of the Democratic Party but as an upholder of the ideas of a democracy to consider Clinton as a running mate in the 2016 presidential election, as there would be no greater dedication; to compromise in pursuit of the success of our nation. I wish you the best and the best of luck in the coming days.

Abigail van den Noort, Morrisville

(Note: edited for length.)


Eminent Domain Issue: Business Trumps Bike Path


Why is Montpelier’s city council considering removing another building that contributes to the property tax base? We have the highest property taxes in Vermont. Removing Montpelier Beverage would remove those yearly taxes, plus cost property taxpayers paying Mowatt Trust for their loss and again, city lawyer representation. For a bike path? A known factor — we have an aging population. Truth be known, the majority are not riding bikes. The bike path “skirts” the downtown thus no monetary benefit for our city. The city manager, is the one common factor through the many years this process has been going on. He’s been in charge of spending our tax dollars on another debacle. Worse yet, Montpelier is supposedly the “heart” of Vermont.

This attempt to choose bicycles over people’s livelihoods, perpetuates the image that we are a city with “no” heart or compassion. Taking a property by eminent domain is a hideous way to achieve a senseless project. For over a half a century we residents have gotten ourselves around on foot, vehicle or bicycle, quite nicely, on our own. As kids we licensed our bikes and learned to operate our bikes on the streets according to the laws of the road. All these years we have navigated the Barre and Main Street intersection all by ourselves. We now have a crunchy granola mentality running things as if we cannot have common sense enough to get around our own space without manmade paths or traffic controlling devices. Who is more important, bicyclists who add nothing to our economy or people who own or work in a viable, downtown business that contributes to our property taxes? A business that contributes to people of all income status. Should the few people on the city council be making this decision?

William Carpenter, Montpelier


Con Hogan Seeks Kidney


At the first annual Hogan Award at Vermont College of Fine Arts on October 8, Sister Janice Ryan, who was emceeing the program, announced at the very end “Con needs a kidney.” It was a surprise to the 150 people or so at the function and was certainly a surprise for me. For those of you who do not know about the Hogan Award, it is a recently established award to be given to a mid-career leader of $15,000 dollars, honoring their important work improving the lives of Vermonters. The award will be given each year for 10 years.

This surprise caused me to seriously consider my situation.

At the age of 74, I am still working as a member of the Green Mountain Care Board in Vermont. It is work I love, but my health issues are sometimes slowing me down. I’ve been on the transplant list at Dartmouth Hitchcock for over two years and am close to getting on the list at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. But it is increasingly clear that the likelihood of receiving a kidney through this process is getting ever more remote. I’ve had ten related surgeries over the last three years, and some of the surgeries require a wait of six months before I’m allowed to be active on the list again.

I have decided to reach out to a network of family, friends and colleagues to see if there is someone out there who might want to donate a kidney. If I had an independent donor that matched my profile, I could go forward with a transplant as early as February.

Cheryl Mitchell, who worked with me closely over a lengthy period when I was Secretary of Human Services in Vermont, has volunteered to be my third party organizer of this effort. If anyone who reads this note is so inclined they should contact her at cheryl.w.mitchell@gmail.com. She can guide anyone interested through the testing and evaluation process.

I am feeling thankful that I am still alive. I believe I still have much to contribute to our world. I deeply appreciate your sincere consideration of this letter.

Con Hogan, Plainfield

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