As a resident in a Shires Housing unit, I support the project that Shires Housing is proposing on Silver Street.

I am a retired senior citizen living on Social Security. I cannot afford a large rent or a mortgage on my fixed income; however, I do not qualify for low-income housing because my social security income is too high. Shires Housing offers exactly what I need, a beautiful happy safe home within my income limits. In other words, affordable housing!

Frankly, I am appalled and insulted by what I have been hearing and reading about residents of Shires Housing such as myself and my neighbors. Please be assured that my income limits do not classify me as a drug dealer, thief, or any type of criminal. I have held an honest, well-paying job my whole life and now am retired and relaxing in a beautiful community. My community is made up of other senior citizens like myself as well as single parents and other hard working individuals.

Not once have we ever had any type of the illegal activities that we have been accused of. We are neighborly and care for each other, just as I am sure the neighborhood on Silver Street does. We may not have the fancy cars and big income that the Silver Street residents have, but we are all citizens of Bennington and strive to keep our community as happy as it can be. I certainly do not feel that because I live on a fixed income, I am not a good person who is worthy of a nice, peaceful, happy home.


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It has been a very long time since America voted out a caste system. Equality for all has been in place a long time. All of this negativity towards the proposed development has been focused on a prejudiced outcasting of equal citizens. Are we truly in the year 2014? I am truly being insulted and criticized for not having the annual income those in opposition feel I should have. Vermont, and Bennington in particular, is a beautiful place to live. No one here has the right to pre-judge our citizens and make unfair accusations based on opinion. I am proud of my life accomplishments, am comfortable with my income, and am very happy in a Shires Housing community!

JOANNE FEBUS

Bennington New England Energy

Observers of the New England energy scene can be forgiven for asking "what were they thinking" when New England’s state energy planners backed building 25 cent/kilowatt-hour wind projects while opposing reliable, existing, low-cost generators like Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

They were thinking New England would have endless amounts of "fracked" natural gas; they were wrong. Contrary to "expert" predictions of just a few years ago, demand has outstripped deliverable supply causing prices to climb steadily and spike drastically when the weather is at its hottest and coldest.

They were thinking New England could always buy more Canadian hydro power; they were wrong. As with natural gas, there’s not enough transmission capacity. Efforts to build new power lines have yielded controversy, spending, but no new cross-border transmission.

And finally, they were thinking that closing a big, base load nuclear power plant or two would push New England utilities into the waiting arms of intermittent solar and wind power; they were wrong. You cannot replace base load power sources with intermittent ones, so electric utilities were instead forced into the waiting arms of high carbon fossil fuel.

In short, they thought their foresight and strongarm regulatory tactics would bend the region’s energy market to their will. The market is bent, but instead of the result they wanted, they got the worst case scenario: higher emissions and higher prices which damage New Englanders’ quality of life and increase costs to businesses.

GEORGE COPPENRATH
former Vermont senator, Caledonia Orange District, Natural Resources and Energy Committee

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