Sandy Golden

Wealthy Vermonters could help locally

HINSDALE, N.H.-On the front page of the May 8 edition of The Commons are two articles. One is about Winston Prouty seeking to build 300 housing units, but finding it difficult to secure financing.

The other is about how wealthy Vermonters like Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, and others favored a tax increase on the wealthiest Vermonters to (allegedly) raise funds for housing.

Here's a thought: Instead of turning that money over to the government, why don't wealthy Vermonters concerned about housing help projects like Winston Prouty directly?

Put the money to work instead of advocating for a brand new tax. Help out locally by identifying projects you can put your money into across the state. Problem solved.

Read More

A lung is a lung

I had to respond to Robin Rieske's piece. First, cigarette companies targeted everyone regardless of race or any other factor. (Remember the rugged white Marlboro Man?) Most companies want everyone to buy their product. Second, a lung is a lung, and cigarettes affect every smoker exactly the same way!

Read More

Don't stop people from going about their business

Protesters need to think harder. When you block roads or bridges, when you prevent people from going about their business, who are you winning over to your cause? Not the worker who can't be tardy to work one more time or they'll be fired. Not the person trying to...

Read More


The lessons of tobacco policy

Smoking was once common in the public square - in restaurants, on airlines, in parks, everywhere. Then the health risks (not just to the smoker but to others around the smoker) were made public. After that, smoking was banned everywhere, because it is a public health hazard. The author is onto something here - albeit misapplying the concept to cars. Why not take the approach to banning smoking and apply that to public drug use? Put up signs and outright...

Read More

Democrats have had opportunities to affect housing since Reagan era

Nancy Braus seeks to blame Ronald Reagan for the current housing situation, from unaffordability to lack of options. Haven't we had some Democratic party presidents since Reagan? Haven't Democrats had control of the House and Senate at times since Reagan was president? Don't Democrats run any states, or cities, where, presumably, they have "fixed" the housing problem? In Vermont, the Democratic Party has complete control of the Legislature, yet Vermont has the second-highest homeless population per capita, second only to...

Read More

A tragedy indeed, on both sides of the aisle

This piece weaves an elaborate tale of Shakespeare's Othello and draws a comparison to Trump and his insistence he won in 2020. Regardless of how one feels about Trump, let's recall there are others who refused to accept election results. Remember Al Gore vs. George W. Bush, endless court tie-ups, and people saying Bush was not their president? Stacey Abrams never conceded the 2018 Georgia governor's race and filed multiple lawsuits. Hillary Clinton (and many of her supporters) refused to...

Read More

'Someone else's money' simply ran out

It is unfortunate that motel/hotel vouchers are ending, but it is also necessary. Struggling taxpayers cannot be expected to give someone else a “free” (please read: taxpayer-funded) place to live while they can barely pay their own rent/mortgage/ other expenses. Before they were placed in taxpayer-funded motels, all these individuals and families were living somewhere else. It stands to reason they'll go back where they were before: friends, family, other states. The problem with “funding” this program indefinitely is that...

Read More

Look at all causes for rent increases

I read with interest about Brattleboro’s proposed charter change to limit rent increases to 12% per year to avoid throwing tenants out due to rent increases. I propose an addition to this amendment: since rents may not be increased by 12%, property taxes (which affect renters as well as homeowners) may not go up by more than 12% in a year. Let’s look at causes for rent increases ... all causes.

Read More