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Thanks from The Tuscan Sunflower

After 15 years of providing joy and beauty with flowers, The Tuscan Sunflower is closing its doors on May 11.

I am stepping into the next phase of my life, retirement.

It has been an amazing experience operating a small business in our community and I have met so many wonderful people.

It has been a pleasure to provide flowers for birthdays and anniversaries, from prom to weddings, new babies being born and watching families grow. I am honored to have been asked to provide comfort with flowers for the last time as our loved ones depart from this earth.

I have appreciated being able to help support our local organizations, clubs and sports teams.

Thank you for the support from all my customers , friends and family who helped my flower shop flourish .

There will be a new business opening on June 1 at 318 North Street. Please stop by and say hello!

Lynn Frost

Bennington

Good work on a state code of ethics

The League of Women Voters of Vermont congratulates this Legislature for adopting a state Code of Ethics that applies to all branches of Vermont’s government.

The League has worked for good government for over a century.

We seek transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in our public officials at every level.

To that end, the League advocated strongly for the establishment of a state Ethics Commission, which was accomplished in 2017, but with no uniform code to guide the Commission or our public servants.

Vermont’s newly adopted code, which was passed by the Legislature this spring, is the result of collaborative research, drafting and public comment, and is intended to provide a consistent baseline for ethical conduct by our public servants in state government.

In summary, is calls for recusal and disclosure for conflicts of interest, no directing others to act unethically; no participation after recusal due to conflict; avoiding appearance of unethical conduct; no improper preferential treatment; no using state information for improper financial gain; no using state resources for improper financial gain; limitations on gifts to public servants; no making unauthorized commitments on behalf of the state; limits on other employment; must comply with all other relevant rules not included in the Code.

The framework is now there to make the Ethics Commission a stronger, more effective body.

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Kate Canning

League of Women Voters of Vermont

Bennington

Supporting improvements to bottle bill

I am writing in support of H.175, the proposed modernization to the plastic bottle bill that just passed the state Senate.

Too often, discussions of environmental issues begin and end with individual action: encouraging people to use less electricity, buy refillable containers instead of single-use disposables, use metal or paper straws, and so on.

But without policy to incentivize better consumer behavior and/or solve environmental issues at the systemic level, calls for individual solutions cannot affect change at the necessary scale.

The bottle bill expansion is one of those policy solutions.

By incentivizing the recycling of sports drinks, hard cider, wine, and water bottles, the bill would keep these plastics from polluting local flora and waterways, while significantly improving the quality of plastic bottle recycling. Vermont’s conventional “single-stream” recycling system is convenient and effective, but it does result in several different kinds of plastics getting mixed together, which all have to be sorted by hand and recycled separately, as not all plastic is equally recyclable.

Plastics in foam cups or polythene bags, for instance, are nearly impossible to recycle into anything useful, whereas the clear PET plastic in most bottles can be recycled with relative ease.

Separating beverage bottles from the start will make it easier for them to be recycled consistently, keeping more plastic out of landfills and incinerators.

Of course, this will not solve everything.

Plastic food and drink containers pose possible health risks and are made from fossil fuels.

This is hopefully just one step in an eventual complete transition away from single-use plastics.

I hope the state House and Governor approve the bill, and I encourage those reading to contact their local representatives to express their support.

Umang Malik

Bennington


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