• Unsustainable spending increases
    December 11,2012
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    I write this letter to update the taxpayers on the activities of city government. Towards the end of October, Mayor Louras released his budget early, on the premise of giving the board an opportunity to take a look at it and have questions ready at the first meeting in November.

    This move, of course, created a story in the press and gave the mayor some time to try to explain the unsustainable increase in spending for fiscal year 2014. The Board of Aldermen is just now beginning to review the budget and, hopefully, will consider some meaningful cuts.

    On top of a 6 percent recommended increase in spending in the budget, we are being asked to consider a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates. If you see a trend here, you are not the only one. Please consider contacting your aldermen and mayor to let them know how you feel about those proposed increases.

    Two last things, as you have probably read in the newspaper, another city police officer is under investigation, again reminding us all of how deep-rooted the issues over there are. And finally, the city has undergone a complete audit by the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration, VOSHA, finding numerous violations in city safety practices and policies across city government. This could cost city government thousands in fines, therefore city taxpayers.

    As we move forward and into the election season, I ask the taxpayers to consider not only these issues, but the state of the city and whether or not it really is time for a change. I am always available at 236-0539, or by email at alls51@aol.com



    Board of Aldermen)


    PSB rulings are

    lot of bull

    Please find below a few rulings that the Public Service Board has made, regarding electric rates that I pay, and some comments.

    1) Allowing the sale of Central Vermont Public Service to Green Mountain Power (Canadian company) and thence to not hold CVPS accountable to the ratepayers for the $21 million that we ratepayers gave them.

    2) Withholding money every month from my electric bill to support the huge Efficiency Vermont program, which does not seem to be very efficient.

    3) Allowing Green Mountain Power to install “smart meters” on our homes that emit radio frequencies.

    4) Notifying we ratepayers that $1.50 will be withheld from future bills to subsidise low-income ratepayers.

    The culmination of the sampling of rulings that you have made, above, raises my dander. Perhaps you think that we ratepayers will apply the “nudist colony theory” to accept the distasteful rulings. That theory is “grin and bare it.” Unfortunately, the humor has gone out of the subject when it comes to our paying for electricity.

    Almost a year ago, we were broken into and the thieves “took” a lot of our belongings without our approval. Now you are “taking” our money in actions that do not seem to be right. Having no competition, we have no choice if we want power.

    When I see your title of Public Service Board, it sorta reminds me of when my dad was farming and the bull serviced the cows.

    Shame on you.



    Welfare and


    The stereotypical welfare queen was described by Ronald Reagan as a woman from Chicago’s South Side driving a Cadillac. I describe the stereotypical welfare queen of today as a woman with unimmunized children.

    In both instances, they are “gaming” the system. In the first instance they are exploiting fellow citizens for a free, luxurious ride. In the second instance they are exploiting fellow citizens for a free, healthy ride. And I am by no means letting the dads off the hook.

    There is risk in everything we do. There is risk in strapping your child safely in a car seat; there is risk in letting a child ride a bicycle; there is risk in letting your child eat anything from the supermarket. The risks may be low, but they are there, as they are there with immunizations.

    The only reason there is a low risk of not having an unimmunized child get an awful, morbid disease is because I (we) took the low risk of getting our children vaccinated. We protected your unimmunized child.



    What is killing

    the fish

    Scientists, journalists and commentators must look to see.

    “Finally, a chance to restore fish runs” (Herald, Dec. 6) notes that American shad runs above Turners Falls, Mass., plummeted when Massachusetts deregulated Turners Falls Hydro and Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage in 1999, but increased in 2010 while the pumped storage was shut down during six months, which is the overlooked clue.

    Since it became a merchant power plant in 1999, Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage nightly buys cheap off-peak electricity from the New England grid to pump 108,000 gallons of Connecticut River water per second from Turners Falls reservoir 800 feet up to the summit reservoir (equivalent to an 800-foot dam).

    This water daily cascades back into Turners Falls reservoir, regenerating electricity during peak demand at peak prices, literally buying low and selling high.

    Pumping 108,000 gallons of river water per second during several nighttime hours sucks in and shreds all passing fish. Generation during several daytime hours blocks them with an equally strong tailrace current crossing the river and bouncing off the opposite shore.

    Migrating American shad and Atlantic salmon are doomed by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage.


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