Erica Walch

Lawmakers ignore the very apparent problems of relying more on electricity

As I write this on a Tuesday, thousands of homes in Vermont are still without power from a storm that started the previous Thursday evening.

Pre-storm, Green Mountain Power notified customers that wet snow would be coming and they would be out in force to limit disruptions and fix downed lines.

At one point, according to their website, 163 of Vermont’s 251 towns had outages. People were (and are, as I write this) without heat and water and dealing with food spoiled in fridges and freezers.

Such widespread, long-term outages seem to happen at least once per winter and negatively impact people’s lives in fundamental ways.

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‘Language matters. Constitutional language matters very much.’

This piece, and other letters to the editor, in The Commons assert that one must be a lawyer or do research into judicial history in order to understand Proposal 5, the so-called “reproductive liberty” amendment, and that since ordinary people don't have the lawyerly training to understand what is...

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What defines a ‘compelling State interest’ in personal reproductive autonomy?

Abortion isn’t even mentioned in this proposed Constitutional amendment. But the State’s right to determine a citizen’s life course is.

We, the voters of Vermont, have two proposed constitutional changes on the November ballot. One clarifies language already in the Constitution about slavery; the other obfuscates and adds new language that is reported to be about abortion but as it reads is more about the State determining individuals' life...

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White: alternative to social engineering on Newfane Selectboard

Small-town selectboards should be apolitical. Candidates don't run as members of a political party, and the best selectboard is a diverse group of individuals who want to serve their town by managing the budget and listening to the concerns of all citizens. But in Newfane, three candidates who are allied to a political group (West River Valley Mutual Aid) are running together, like a Tammany Hall ticket. This sort of political maneuvering is contrary to the community-mindedness of individual service...

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What is the compelling state interest in killing unborn children?

The first article of Vermont's fine constitution begins: “That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” The Legislature will soon consider a proposal to amend the constitution to include a constitutional right to abortion. Proposal 5's proposed language is as follows: “That an individual's right to personal reproductive autonomy...

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A party for moderate, reasonable people

There are tremendous differences between the Vermont Republican party and the Vermont Democrat Party, and those differences are evident in their platforms and in people's political activities in the state. On the Right, we see a discussion opposing policies like the Global Warming Solutions Act and a desire to reopen businesses and schools, along with truck convoys supporting political candidates. On the Left, we see attempts to drown out opposing voices by screaming into bullhorns in people's faces, burning newspapers,

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Let's see more data on Retreat salaries

I appreciate Rick Cowan's investigative reporting of the Brattleboro Retreat's top brass's salaries. It clearly shows where all that taxpayer money they are asking for would go. I'd like to know what the lowest paid workers (presumably the ones who interact most with the patients and perform the most challenging work) earn. How many patients does a psychiatrist need to see in a week to earn more than $200,000? Do the high earners live in Brattleboro, where they could reinvest...

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