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Water Cooler comments target plastics ban, Act 250 dumping mountain bikes, and Bernie's so-called “free college”
By Guy Page
June 28, 2019 - Vermont State House Headliners readers seem to enjoy making and reading comments on Vermont Water Cooler.
Vermont’s newest online news website republishes, with full source attribution, snippets and links from the most interesting Vermont news of the day. Readers are invited to comment – and many do. For example, after reading about how Act 250 killed a popular, not-for-profit network of mountain biking trails in the Northeast Kingdom town of Victory, Mark Maloney of Williston wrote:
“Just another example of how the administrative state oppresses the rights of hard-working Vermonters who are only trying to improve their surroundings. These bureaucrats are not elected officials, and it is not clear who, if anyone, holds them accountable. Land of the free? I guess so.”
Mr. Maloney has some high-powered and politically liberal company in opposition to this decision: Kevin Ellis, co-founder of power lobbying firm Kimball, Sherman, Ellis (now Leonine) and author of a well-read blog, “If I Were Governor.” Appearing Wednesday on the Dave Gram Show on WDEV, Ellis slammed the decision because, he said, Vermont should encourage its outdoor recreation industry. And those young mountain bikers? “They have money,” Ellis pointed out.   
From Rutland County, former Sen. Candidate Terry Williams wonders how farmers will cope with the Pandora’s Box ban by Act 69  on some plastic products:
“Who is going to dispose of all of the millions of feet of the black plastic (I thought it was a banned substance) used in cultivating the marijuana/hemp/sweet potatoes in Vermont? Are they going to recycle this? If they can do it to be able to grow hemp, why can't they recycle plastic bags?”
Act 69 as written applies only to plastic drinking straws, food containers, coffee stirrers, and plastic bags used in retail stores and restaurants. However, Act 69 also creates a study group to ”evaluate current State and municipal policy and requirements for the management of single-use products.” In other words – what else should we ban?  
An argument could be made that agricultural black plastic should be next. According to a 2015 article in GreenBiz, U.S. agriculture uses a billion pounds of plastic (for sheeting and all other uses). Only 10% is recycled. Some growers can get two years out of their plastic sheets. Will Vermont become the first state to ban plastic sheeting? So far there’s no movement in that direction. Stay tuned…..
Bernie Sanders seems a particularly interesting topic for Vermont Water Cooler readers. Of Sen. Sanders plan for free college for all, John Nunnikhoven of Chester wrote:
“Bernie's primary talent is to disguise the symptom, thereby deluding people into believing that he has solved the problem. The underlying questions that need to be addressed are why is a college education so expensive and is it appropriate for so many?”
D. Pilone has an answer:
“I cut a lot of classes when in school because of parties and/or just show up for tests only, especially for elective courses. Can you image if I didn't have to pay. Can I go for six years instead of 4? This is too much fun! I'll have more money to party and buy commercially available THC. Love those vape pens and concentrates.
“This proposal by Bernie is the classic rope technique as opposed to the ladder technique. Progressives have the majority in the Vermont legislature and offer a rope to people who can use a lift up through funded programs. It works but is always contingent upon the Progressives staying in power. If you don't vote for them or if the funding runs out, the rope is lowered and you're back where you started.
“The ladder approach levels the playing field so that everyone gets the same opportunities but YOU have to make the effort to climb the ladder. Climb as high as your talents will take you. If you stall at a rung in the ladder, you get to stay at that level because you earned it and no one can take it away.
Anytime government pays the way, institutions raise the cost sucking the funding dry. "Free" college will deplete the trades and cause arrested development. How about rewarding anyone's mind that can maintain a certain level of achievement at a university with a free senior year or grad school. Let the school absorb the cost! After all our institutions of higher learning are supposed to be the social consciousness of America. Practice what you preach UVM.”
Here are the most recent stories posted on Vermont Water Cooler:
One in five 2018 VT opioid victims died in Windham County 
Montpelier city councilor explains support for 'sanctuary city' 
State offers towns, cities zoning 'help' to reduce parking, create multi-family housing 
Lyndonville nursing home makes national 'poor performer' list  
New pregnancy clinic opens in Rutland 
Diocese wants $8.5 mil for downtown Burlington cathedral 
Mountain bike trail dumped by Act 250 
Hiring unimpaired drivers harder with "expungement" law in place 

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