Martin the Maverick

To the Editor: I was upset to read Steve Boudahs letter in the Eagle depreciating Martin Harris column. Martins observations are far from being repetitious drivel. In my book, they are a breath of fresh air, for Martins conclusions often run contrary to the areas political grain. Say what you will, Martin does his homework. His tenets are invariably based on mined numerical data. His columns, as well as those of John McClaughry, Kim Callahan and Rusty DeWees, are the meat of your paper. Dont even think about giving one of them up. George T. Murdoch II Middlebury Editors Note: Dont panic, we have no plans to eliminate Martin Harris column. In spite of the overwhelming force of local politics, Mr. Harris has always found support here. Since other area newspapers have either dropped (or refused to carry) Mr. Harris column, this editor considers its appearance here as a red badge of courage. We like mavericks, sweet or sour. Mr. Harris also appears occasionally in the Eagles sister weekly, the Rutland Tribune. Outstanding people To the Editor: Quite often, extraordinary events inspire extraordinary performanceand the Valentines Day snowstorm of 2007 was no exception. .. Patients arrived in the emergency department on the afternoon and evening of Feb. 14 in great numberssome with injuries or illness unrelated to the storm, but many others suffering from overexposure to carbon monoxide from snow-covered exhaust vents or with the effects of overexposure to the frigid temperatures. One ambulance carried six patients at once, and the very long day turned into a very long night. An emergency room physician walked the five miles from his home in Weybridge to relieve his colleague, while members of the Plant Operations Department used trucks, snow blowers and shovels to keep the driveways and sidewalks passable. A member of the admissions staff arrived at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and stayed until 12:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoona 31-hour shift... As the president of Porter Medical Center for more than 20 years, I have had many occasions to be proud of our staff resulting from extraordinary events, and without a doubt the dedication and commitment to our community demonstrated by our entire hospital and Helen Porter staff on Valentines Day, 2007, was a notable example... James L. Daily President Porter Medical Center Middlebury The Douglas Debacle To the Editor: At the Middlebury Town Meeting, moderator Gov. James Douglas shamelessly attempted to control the topics about which the residents of Middlebury could pass resolutions. Previously, the Middlebury select board had decided not to include a non-binding resolution to withdraw troops from Iraq as an article in the Town Meeting Warning. Douglas' interpreted this decision in light of a recent court decision giving the select board the power to decide what to include in the town meeting warning as the final word on the issue. Even when maintained by one of the selectmen present that the board decision was not intended to impede discussion or resolutions about the Iraq War when brought up as "other business," Douglas continued to attempt to guide the attendees. He strongly supported simply a show of hands or a statement of opinion instead of a formal resolution. As a large majority of those present continued to argue with him about his reasoning, Douglas persisted it would be "awkward" or "inappropriate" for the people to pass a resolution in spite of the board's decision, all the while trying slickly to hide the fact that it was completely plausible for just such a resolution to be passed. Douglas' attempted censure of the voice of the people was despicable and undemocratic. It is a tribute to the people of Middlebury that together they were able to overcome Douglas' attempt to wrongly construe a court decision giving the select board the power to decide what articles to include in the Town Meeting Warning as complete power over what issues can be discussed. In the end there was an unanimous decision by attendees to adopt the resolution to support our troops and bring them home from Iraq and a near unanimous vote to support articles of impeachment against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, even despite the governor's objections. Austen Levihn-Coon

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