Home Commentary Letters Letters to the Editor, Oct. 19, 2022

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 19, 2022

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Blessing of the Animals 

To the Editor:

I just have to say that the photo on the front page of this issue (The Bridge, Oct. 5–18) is so precious. The photographer, John Lazenby, couldn’t have captured a more angelic pose of “Master” and furry “Companion.” They are already so blessed. God bless them.

I love this photo!

Pam Hudson, Montpelier

New Park Trail is Destructive

To the Editor:

By my math, the new trail [in Hubbard Park] is nearly a half-mile long, and when you factor in its width, it’s just over a quarter-acre of park. Will the interpretive signs along the trail outline the environmental destruction and ecological devastation that took place to create this trail in a park that already has an extensive trail system? Will they catalog the species of living beings, and numbers of each plantae, fungi, and animalia (and more) that were killed, injured, displaced, or traumatized, not only by the actual elimination of that stretch of forest, but by the accompanying noise and air pollution there and in the surrounding forest ecosystem from all those diggers, graders, earth movers, chainsaws, trucks, possibly skidders, etc.? Will the signs discuss the long-term effects to the soil from all those machines and their fossil fuels being used for months on top of that earth? Will they talk about the environmental cost of how all those machines were manufactured, shipped, and fueled for use in this project? Will they talk about where the material for the new path came from, and what kind of destruction was necessary to obtain it, relocate it, and put it in Montpelier’s park? Will the signs interpret the cost of all of that destruction, and the resulting increase in car traffic into the park (traffic that is already too much), against the benefit of maybe (maybe) 6 months each year of weather-dependent accessibility?

 Kristian Connolly, Montpelier

Merger Opens VSECU Membership Up to Michigan

To the Editor:

I read the VSECU 12-page Plan of Merger carefully, and found several unwelcome surprises.

It seems that we need more members to remain competitive, while continuing to “offer a local alternative … in touch with the financial needs of its membership.” Just whom would that membership be? The plan states there are 71,106 VSECU members and 95,701 NEFCU members; the total of a combined credit union would be 166,807 members, equivalent to 36% of the Vermont population 18 years or older, representing a significant market share. Therefore, the ‘new’ credit union must look for members outside Vermont. 

We’ve been told the ‘Field of Membership’ would be Vermont, New Hampshire, and perhaps other New England states. Not true. Deep in the Plan of Merger we see that the NEFCU ‘Field of Membership’ includes any “persons who live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school” in four counties in Michigan. These counties are four of the most populous in that large state (including Detroit), and combined have more than 3.3 million residents over the age of 18 (according to recent census data) as potential members. The proposed field of membership also includes an unknown number of people associated with Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield and other entities who could be eligible for membership.

 Why is that a concern? If the goal is to increase membership, where will the merged credit union look? For whom will it tailor its services? Not for little Vermont, but rather for its much greater market potential in Michigan. The “… financial needs of its membership” will become the needs of the potential members in Michigan, not here. I moved away from one of those counties in Michigan; I certainly don’t want to be part of their credit union now. 

 As we see what’s in store for VSECU members, we must vote ‘NO’ on the proposed merger. 

 Barbara Coney, Montpelier

The Golden Age of Vermont State News Coverage

To the Editor:

Vermont underwent great change in the years between 1960 and 2000 in its politics, economy, and culture. It elected the first Democrat as governor in more than a century, reapportioned its legislature, enacted landmark land use controls, completed interstate highways that brought new residents and out-of-state money, and saw its venerable agricultural and manufacturing industries experience seismic upheavals. These and much more happened in those four dynamic decades.

This period was witnessed and recorded by an intensely competitive band of journalists based in Montpelier who worked for wire services, newspapers, and broadcast organizations and whose efforts brought Vermont citizens comprehensive reporting on the important public issues and trends of the times on a daily — and often hourly — basis.

A forum titled “The Golden Age of Vermont State News Coverage” at which four journalists who lived and worked in this exciting time will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, starting at 2 p.m. at the Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier. It is sponsored by the Montpelier Historical Society and will include Chris Graff, longtime Montpelier bureau chief for the Associated Press, Diane Derby, a veteran reporter for the Burlington Free Press, Peter Martin, chief executive of WCAX-TV, and Steve Terry, who reported for the Vermont Press Bureau and later was managing editor of the Rutland Herald.

Mark Johnson, well-known newsman and public affairs anchor with WDEV, will moderate the forum, which is open to all at no charge.

George Edson, Chair, Montpelier Historical Society