Letters to the Editor

Please stop fireworks
Recently our neighborhood has been subjected to sudden but consistent shooting of firecrackers that last approximately 15-20 minutes, which, according to the policeman I spoke with, is an illegal activity without a permit. While this might amuse the people who are doing it, the bombastic noise makes it sound like a war zone. No one wants to be unexpectedly subjected to such noise, and it would be highly considerate of the perpetrators to take into consideration the effect this has on those that actually experienced conditions of war and might be suffering from the now recognized post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), increasingly common among military people returning from war zones. Thank you to the policeman who took action in regards to this issue and thank you in advance to those who will be more considerate in the future.
Patricia Novak, Hinesburg

Fact check please
I am writing to correct some “facts” that Brady Toensing included in a letter to the Charlotte Citizen and the Charlotte News. Accusing a public official of misusing tax dollars for personal gain is a very serious allegation. Honest mistakes can be forgiven, but sloppy research from a lawyer, especially one who is Vice-Chair of the Vermont Republican Party? Inexcusable.
Lawyer Toensing accuses two Selectboard members of unnecessarily sticking the taxpayers with extravagant legal bills for the town’s participation in the VELCO proceedings some years ago.  According to his research, Ellie Russell had a clear conflict of interest. He states that Ellie’s property sits atop a rise and has a lovely view of town farm bay to the west. The VELCO project threatened to “sully” this view, thereby diminishing her property’s value and impacting her directly. This, he claims, is a textbook example of conflict of interest.
Property atop a rise? A lovely view of Town Farm Bay? Not true. I resided in the same neighborhood for 11 years and served as President of the Claflin Farms Homeowners Association, of which Ellie’s property is a part. I know it well. Her house does not sit atop a rise.  It sits at the bottom of a hill where one cannot see even a sliver of Town Farm Bay or any other part of the lake. It looks across a cornfield toward two other residential lots, each with houses and trees blocking a portion of the view. One would have had to be at a much higher elevation to get even a glimpse of the lake or the proposed VELCO towers. These are the facts. If Lawyer Toensing got these wrong, what other errors might one find in his claims or his judgment?
I can think of few people in Charlotte who have devoted more of their personal time to the hard work of town government. I have yet to meet anyone who works harder, is more conscientious, or more thoughtful in their approach than Ellie Russell. She listens, is open to various points of view, always responds to calls and emails, and doesn’t run from difficult decisions, even when she knows they might be unpopular. This is what I call leadership. I thank her for her service, and can only hope that anyone who seeks to fill her shoes if and when she retires, will strive to do the same.
Bonnie Christie, Charlotte