Letters: What I learned about TAM’s owner

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As you reported, TAM Inc. recently withdrew its application for a commercial composting facility on Route 7A in a residential area of North Shaftsbury. I think that it’s very important for the residents of the area to recognize what this means for our past and our future.

For the future, we must see that commercial composting will be evident. It is our ethical responsibility to find more environmentally friendly methods of waste management, and this is one of them. As the Shaftsbury Planning Commission reviews the town bylaws and addresses this issue, we must make sure that we responsibly limit the potential size and location of future facilities, but do not make requirements impossible to meet.

In regard to the past, the people of Shaftsbury have spent almost five months arguing TAM’s proposal in public meetings and the media. In October, I had a face-to-face meeting with Trevor Mance and Mary Beth Maguire of TAM. It was an opportunity for me to ask them questions that couldn’t be asked in a meeting, and it was an opportunity for them to ask me questions.

During our meeting, I heard a lot about how much the town of Shaftsbury means to the Mance family. I heard that this project was supposed to benefit the town and that they were shocked to hear all of the negative feedback. One question remained though: Why leave the application active if the residents of the area are so opposed to this project that is supposed to "benefit" them?

That question was answered a week or so later when I received an email from Trevor that he would be withdrawing his application. He stood by his word and not only considered the concerns of his community, but reacted to them.

He showed character that was evident of a strong moral upbringing -- character that is absent from much of today’s society.

What I’ve learned from the past is that I wish I had called Trevor in June rather than wasting my summer researching statutes and bylaws that could prevent this project. In the future, the next time I have a concern about anything TAM Inc. is involved in, I think I’ll give Trevor a call a little earlier than I did this time.

BILLY OBENAUER

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Shaftsbury We need energy but not this project

In the spring of 2010, Green Mountain Power Corp. (now owned by multi-national corporation Gaz Metro) submitted a 1,200-page petition to the Public Service Board for a certificate of Public Good to put wind towers on the top of Lowell Mountain in Northern Vermont.

Despite evidence that this project would cost more than other renewable energy projects, a certificate of Public Good was issued by the PSB.

As a result, GMP is hauling heavy equipment up to the top of Lowell Mountain and is blowing the top off the mountain in order to level it for construction of twenty-one 450-foot towers.

Viewing the appalling destruction of forest and trees and the ruination of the mountain’s environment, I cannot believe this is the way we should go in Vermont. Unfortunately, Governor Schumlin is in favor of this project and is planning 10 more such projects on 200 miles of Vermont ridgelines.

This is a giant corporate response to our need for alternate energy. GMP stands to make 45 million dollars in Federal Energy Credits if they finish the project by end of December 2012.

We need alternate energy, but we don’t need corporate take-over of our Vermont landscape. We need to oppose projects like Lowell Mountain and instead support small local energy projects, adapted to the unique situation of each region.

ANNE G. WALLACE-SENFT

North Bennington


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