LETTERS: 8.4.16

Letter to Dot Helling

To Dot Helling:

I was reading your article in The Bridge regarding Toy Town which was originally owned by Marina (my father’s sister) and her husband Joe Angulo.

I remember as a little girl visiting Toy Town with my family and was always intrigued by the miniature Capitol building which they had exhibited on their extensive grass lawn. At the time, they ran Toy Town (with all of the individual cabins and motels) as a business in addition to owning both houses which abutted their land.

Early in the 60s I believe, my uncle developed asthma so badly, they moved to Florida and Marina returned during the tourist season to operate the business. In the fall of 1979, the individual buildings were auctioned off; and only the main house of the business is being utilized today. I have many warm memories of my aunt serving me ice cream as that was also part of the operation.

Additionally, Marina knew that our ancestor, Pedro Menendez, founded the first city in Florida, St. Augustine; and she researched the genealogy to confirm it. Their mother’s maiden name was Menendez; and she was from the Basque region of Spain.

Lynda Royce


Letter Wrong on Lisman’s Record and Character


Thomas Joseph’s letter in the July 11 Manchester Journal viciously attacking Bruce Lisman has no basis in reality and is a classic case of wild innuendo and smear.

The reality is that Bruce is a hard-working, self-made and honest businessman whose career spanned 40 years. He started as a dishwasher and a taxi driver and worked his way into the global equities division at a Wall Street firm, an area which had nothing to do with the toxic mortgage securities that caused such great economic harm.

Bruce has also generously provided scholarships to help 400 Vermonters attend college. He is a passionate environmentalist, serving as Chair of American Forests, a renowned organization for planting trees. Bruce also strongly supports the arts.

Given his business and civic background, Bruce is the best person to serve as the next Governor of Vermont. Joseph’s endorsement of Phil Scott, after his illogical insults toward Bruce, is ironic because Scott sat as the chairman of the Senate’s Institutions Committee, which oversaw state contracts while his construction company reaped in $3.7 million from state contracts. This doesn’t seem ethical, but even if one wanted to check the proceedings of the committee meetings, they can’t because Scott failed to keep proper records of any of the meetings.

Phil Scott’s promise of putting faith and trust back into the government sounds like empty words and more of a desire to fill his own pockets with more state money. The only candidate than can actually restore our trust in the government is the outsider that is championing an ethics board for our state: Bruce Lisman.

Claudia Shapiro, Williston


Lisman For Governor


I have known Bruce Lisman for well over 50 years having been classmates at Burlington High School and the University of Vermont. I have found him to be an extremely intelligent, thoughtful and ethical individual. Bruce is passionate about Vermont and, since retirement, has dedicated his time and energy traveling throughout the State, and meeting with Vermonters in order to ascertain exactly what impacts them on a daily basis and makes their lives in Vermont troublesome and less than adequate.

Vermonters are proud, hard working individuals who find it increasingly difficult to maintain an adequate standard of living in order to provide for themselves and their families. Vermonters are faced with high taxes and fees, an economic environment that is less than beneficial to small business, a health care system that is complicated at best, and a severe lack of government accountability for the problems that face Vermonters on a daily basis. Seniors living in Vermont on reduced incomes are further impacted by excessive Social Security taxes and being faced with inadequate income that impacts their health and well-being.

Bruce has my vote because he has a sound plan for dealing with the economy and tax issues that face Vermonters, for an audit of the Medicaid system in Vermont in order to improve Vermont’s overall physical health and mental health services, and for an adequate hourly wage in order that workers can maintain an adequate standard of living in order to support themselves and their families.

Bruce Lisman is a problem solver. He listens to Vermonters without simply smiling and nodding. Once he listens, he then sets about developing plans to reduce or ameliorate those problems that are negatively impacting Vermonters on a daily basis. Bruce is FOR the people of Vermont. Bruce is a DO-ER and I will be proud to call him my Governor.

Eleanor Hobbs Jenks, South Burlington


Elect Lisman


I’m voting for Bruce Lisman in the August 9 Republican primary contest for governor and hope that other voters will do the same. I feel this is the year that an outsider and non-politician has the best chance of changing Vermont for the better. It would be exciting to have a governor who won’t reward his political cronies but will seek the best quality people to serve our state. Bruce’s opponent, Phil Scott, seems like a good person but he has served years as lieutenant governor and in the legislature without providing meaningful opposition to the one-party system that has kept Vermont in a perpetual slumber.

We need a new vision for improving Vermont’s finances and broadcasting our many benefits. We have an amazing opportunity to attract more residents but we have an uphill battle given the lack of leadership at the top. It’s way past time to take a fresh look at financing education, the unrealistic rate of spending at the state level and the current administration’s fondness for novel and untested programs. Why in the world would a state of 625,000 residents spend hundreds of millions on computer systems that don’t work?

Bruce is a thoughtful person who listens to others’ ideas without being doctrinaire. When I met him (and supported his Campaign for Vermont), I was impressed with his knowledge of Vermont and its challenges. His support for the ideas of others is genuine and I especially appreciate his call to repeal Act 46 and to support school choice for all students and parents. Please take a look at his positions as outlined on his website: www.lismanforvermont.com.

Meg Streeter, Wilmington


Dunne’s The One


The candidates hoping to replace Governor Peter Shumlin all have some very capable skills and I applaud them for putting themselves forward at a time when the costs of elections far outweighs what one will ever be paid. What does that say about the sanity of politics? Having said that, I have from day one, supported Matt Dunne. Every time I have come in contact with Matt there are some consistent things that stand out. He always talks about his family. He recognizes that if we don’t change some things in Vermont that his kids and Vermont’s kids will not succeed.

His ability to be able to work for a worldwide company and do it from home in a redeveloped building tells me that he possesses the ability to use that experience for Vermont. Think Vermont can use his technology connections?

Some people have criticized him for aligning himself with Bernie. I applaud him for that because of his obvious association with the Clintons as the head of the AmeriCorps program. He came out in support of Bernie way before many others. He very much believes in what Bernie has done and what he is trying to do. His support shows his loyalty to the people of Vermont because of their overwhelming support for Bernie.

Matt lost his dad at a very young age. That experience had a profound effect on him because the community rallied to help his family. Matt has never forgotten that. He cares very much about this state and he wants to continue to make it one of the best places to work and raise a family. Matt is one four letter word that will move this State.

J. Guy Isabelle


Elect Bill Doyle


There is much talk today, as there should be, regarding the near-prohibitive cost of a higher education in Vermont and, simultaneously, the exodus from Vermont of our youth. The two are inexorably intertwined, and the “loss” of so much of our younger generation bodes ill for the future of our wonderful state. What to do? Some gubernatorial candidates are promising “free” tuition, a pie-in-the-sky election year promise.

Some 10 years ago, Governor Jim Douglas and Washington County Senator Bill Doyle saw this problem coming, and working with the leaders of University of Vermont, the state and independent colleges, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, and Senator Don Collins (D-Franklin County) developed the innovative Promise Scholarship program. This decade long program would have provided $175 million in scholarship funding for Vermont students at Vermont colleges who agreed post-graduation to stay in Vermont for a period of time. And, this program was to be paid for from unallocated funds coming from the tobacco settlement agreement. It really was an innovative far reaching win-win proposal.

We could now have looked back on those 10 years and celebrated all those Vermont youth who went to college here, who planted their roots here, and would now be productive members of our communities. But alas, partisan politics got in the way, and those very real and unbudgeted dollars were assumed into the Human Services budget never to be seen again.

What a shame. And thanks to Bill Doyle for understanding this issue early on. I urge Washington County voters to return Bill to the senate so he can keep up the good work. The challenges remain.

Tim Hayward, North Middlesex


Upset Over Dog Ordinance Quote


I was extremely distressed to be erroneously quoted in the July 21 issue of The Bridge (“Heard on the Street” section) as saying that  “dog biting is rampant in Montpelier.”  This misquote was in reference to a public discussion about why some people believe a new dog ordinance is necessary.  What I do believe is that you can’t manage what you cannot or don’t measure.

In the last year (6/29/15 to 7/3/16) the Montpelier Police Dept. Media Log reports a total of 11,068 complaints, of which 165 were complaints related to dogs.

  • 97 loose/stray/missing/found dogs
  • 11 barking dogs
  • 1 digging dog
  • 4 aggressive dogs
  • 3 injured/distressed/malnourished dogs
  • 3 dog bites
  • 46 reports with no detail
  • 1 cat bite

(not included are reports of dogs left in cars)

In drafting a new dog ordinance for Montpelier that will effectively protect the general public including dog owners, it is important that it be based on facts.

Danis Regal, Montpelier



The Bridge, in the July 21 issue, published a ‘Heard on the Street’ about the city’s new dog ordinance. The item quotes Danis Regal when she said, “dog biting is rampant in Montpelier.” Her complete comment was clipped. Her quote follows her question to City Manager William Fraser, “What is the entity that will oversee all of this? How is this organized since we don’t have an animal control department …?” and his response explaining that committees handle a lot of issues in town.

Her complete quote is:

“You know understanding with the assumption that dog biting is rampant in Montpelier that … what we want to do is we want to to be able to educate dog owners on proper responsible behavior. So, fine, that’s fine, but there is another component we need … I think it’s crucial (to get a vet or behavior specialist) to begin to educate on proper dog behavior on how to avoid agressive dogs.”

She was, in general, advocating for dog rights. In particular, she was asking city council and the city manager to consider having a process for declassifying dogs who had been classified as an “at risk” dog or a “dangerous” dog if the dog is in compliance with the ordinance for a certain length of time. “There should be something set up for when a dog behaves …” Regal said.

City Manager William Fraser pointed out there is an opportunity to appeal to a court. He also said the dog will not forever “go around with a Scarlet Letter on it” if it commits a violation just as a human being is not forever labelled for a violation once he or she pays the fine. The complete video may be viewed at http://montpelier-vt.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1557

The editor regrets any misunderstanding.


Regarding Larry Floersch’s ‘State of Mind’


To the author of “When You Wish Upon a Star…”

Cheer up you could be cleaning or fixing those stinking toilets all day long, and not be able to afford a trip!

Stuck at home, Dianne Richardson


What Do You Think?

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The Bridge reserves the right to edit and cut pieces. Send your piece to: editorial@montpelierbridge.com.

Deadline for the next issue is August 12

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