Monday April 1, 2013

My new hero, Jim Carroll for suggesting pay increases for some of our local working poor. Probably the "BEST" idea I’ve ever heard coming from our select board.

It is wonderful to hear a board member standing up for our least represented faction. Put more money into the hands of the people. The arguments against increasing the minimum wage are stale and absurd.

Jim thanks for your courage.

PAUL MOONEY

Bennington

Time to change how we’re treating the planet

With every government crisis, whether fiscal cliff, government shut down threat, or deficit or debt reduction quarrel, we are reminded of the burden we are building to weigh heavily on the shoulders of our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. Because we are not willing to make the sacrifices and changes needed and just "kick the can down the road," they will be forced to make much greater sacrifices. This is serious.

Unfortunately, debt is probably not the most serious burden and danger we are creating for them. The most serious is likely to be the unsustainable way in which we are treating our beautiful planet. The fact that there are still a few scientists who disagree with the overwhelming majority, in our country and around the world, who insist that it is a real and growing danger allows many of us think of it as a "controversy" rather than a recognized problem an "kick the can down the road" until there is unanimity among scientists. Meanwhile the situation grows more unavoidable and threatens future generations with dire consequences -- increased flooding, drought, extreme storms, spread of disease, economic distress, and ultimately, hundreds of millions of hungry flooded-out migratory people desperate to survive. We, and the populations which preceded us, have fought war after war over the bountiful resources of the world. Can we afford to allow a future in which an even larger world population fights more desperately over much diminished resources.

Each of us can make small sacrifices in the way we use resources and contribute to the increase of greenhouse gases, but that that plus advocacy is needed. We must do all we can as we vote, write letters, and speak out until the United States takes effective action such as a carbon tax becomes the leader in international cooperation to stem this menace.

DAVID A. DURFEE

Bennington

Need to appreciate and respect creative ideas

Over the past two days, the Banner has had two articles and one column dealing with large retailers in Bennington, specifically regarding the settlement between Jonathan Levy and VNRC/Citizens for a Greater Bennington as well as Selectman Jim Carroll’s suggestion for a minimum wage hike for employees of large retailers in town. I write not to address specific points of either topic, but rather the acerbic tone of the conversation(s). In Wednesday’s article, Selectman Justin Corcoran refers to the settlement as "a joke." Not to be outdone, Mike Bethel refers to it as extortion, a term typically associated with the mafia and jail time. Finally, Jason Morrissey suggested that Jim Carroll’s wage hike proposal "may be the worst idea I’ve ever heard."

I know Meg Campbell personally, and through their positions in town government and as a community activist/columnist for the Banner I know of Jason Morrissey, Jim Carroll, Justin Corcoran, and Mike Bethel. I believe that I can say with a high degree of certainty that each and every one of them wishes for our community to prosper, despite the fact that they all may have different ideas as to how that best may be achieved. Bennington needs for these conversations to take place, we need people to continue to want to be involved in creating and growing our community, and we need people to continue to come forward with creative, even crazy, ideas. Some, probably most, of them will not work -- that’s the nature of the game. But a few might, and we’ll all be better off as a result. If we continue to berate those with ideas that for one reason or another we think won’t work, or are simply different from ours, what is the liklihood that people will continue to offer up new ones, or otherwise be involved? The current tone does not lend itself to a bright future for Bennington.

BRAD DEBOER

Bennington