Voices In The Week’s News: March 22, 2013

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Looking back at other stories this week, environmentalists were split over ridge-top wind energy projects. The Vermont House approved gas tax increases, and passed a bill to address opiate addiction.  Senator Patrick Leahy expressed concerns about domestic use of drone surveillance. The lights on the Champlain Bridge aren’t working, and Brattleboro continues it work on pedestrian safety.

These were some of the voices in this week’s news:

Energy Bill Splits Environmentalists

(Ridgeline wind opponent Steve Wright) "The environmental groups have effectively become land developers and the public suffers from that because they don’t get good information."

(Paul Burns, executive director VPIRG) "We’re standing with real champions on climate and energy issues like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben, and virtually all the environmental organizations that have played a role on energy policy in the last decade."

House OKs Gas Tax Restructuring

(House Transportation Chair Pat Brennan) "This downward trend in gasoline consumption is not going to stop, it’s going to increase. This kind of puts us between a rock and a hard place in the fact that we need to generate money to reconstruct our transportation system."

Leahy Says Judiciary Committee Will Examine Domestic Drones

(Sen. Patrick Leahy) "I’m very concerned about the increasing domestic use of drones by law enforcement and others, the invasion of privacy involved with that."

House Advances Anti-Narcotics Bill 

(Health Commissioner Harry Chen) "It’s clear that we have a challenging problem with opiate addiction and substance abuse in Vermont. This bill is really going to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency and essentially require physicians to use it at a time when we all agree they should be looking to take better care of their patients."

NYSDOT To Investigate Lights Out On Lake Champlain Bridge 

(VTrans spokesman Bryan Viggiani) "It’s driver safety for one and visibility. Obviously these things are important lights. At some level it goes into the aesthetics of it as well."

Brattleboro Works To Improve Pedestrian Safety

(Matt Mann, Windham Regional Commission traffic planner) "Drivers coming into Brattleboro get a feeling that you need to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. You need to share the road with cyclists. It becomes something extremely apparent even though they’re not from this community."


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