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Douglas has busy 'Governor's Day' in Brattleboro

Douglas said he was "surprised" when the town of Sheffield, in the Northeast Kingdom, approved a project for 26 windmills along a ridgeline.

He said he thinks most Vermonters are aware that even a large number of wind turbines aren't going to replace nuclear or hydroelectric power, which provide about two-thirds of the state's energy.

BRATTLEBORO -- Gov. Jim Douglas spent Friday meeting with local residents during the town's annual Governor's Day.

Despite a morning storm that left almost a foot of snow, Douglas visited Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Eden Park nursing home, the Estey Organ Museum and the Putney Inn for a Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce reception.

The governor linked statewide issues with local concerns as he discussed the future of the Brattleboro Retreat, plans for a new YMCA in town, the Putney Road master plan, and Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee's proposal to increase energy production at the nuclear reactor in Vernon.

Many of those issues will come up in the Legislative session that begins in January.

During the annual meeting of the Southern Vermont Health Services Corporation at BMH, Douglas said he spoke with Richard Palmisano, CEO of the Brattleboro Retreat, about "how they may play a role as we seek to close the state [psychiatric] hospital in Waterbury," he said.

Although there are plans to open a new replacement facility in Burlington, he said they hope to open two more smaller "satellite sites" to provide easier access for Vermonters across the state.

He also spoke about aging in Vermont,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

BRATTLEBORO -- Gov. Jim Douglas spent Friday meeting with local residents during the town's annual Governor's Day.

Despite a morning storm that left almost a foot of snow, Douglas visited Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Eden Park nursing home, the Estey Organ Museum and the Putney Inn for a Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce reception.

The governor linked statewide issues with local concerns as he discussed the future of the Brattleboro Retreat, plans for a new YMCA in town, the Putney Road master plan, and Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee's proposal to increase energy production at the nuclear reactor in Vernon.

Many of those issues will come up in the Legislative session that begins in January.

During the annual meeting of the Southern Vermont Health Services Corporation at BMH, Douglas said he spoke with Richard Palmisano, CEO of the Brattleboro Retreat, about "how they may play a role as we seek to close the state [psychiatric] hospital in Waterbury," he said.

Although there are plans to open a new replacement facility in Burlington, he said they hope to open two more smaller "satellite sites" to provide easier access for Vermonters across the state.

He also spoke about aging in Vermont, and the challenge of keeping young people in the state. He said he supported plans for a YMCA in Brattleboro.

"I think the 'Y' can play a key role in youth services," he said.

The organization hopes to raise about $7 million to build a facility, and Douglas said he mentioned possible grants, "that they already seemed to be aware of" in terms of funding.

Douglas said he was also excited to hear about the mixed housing plans for Putney Road.

"We need housing at different levels of income," he said, including affordable homes for the working class, as well as the elderly who want to downsize.

Douglas said the Putney Road plan corresponds to "traditional" Vermont housing, which focuses on "vital, vibrant downtowns surrounded by open space."

Energy was also a major topic, with the Vermont Yankee uprate proposal, as well as windmill proposals around Vermont.

Douglas said he was "surprised" when the town of Sheffield, in the Northeast Kingdom, approved a project for 26 windmills along a ridgeline.

He said he thinks most Vermonters are aware that even a large number of wind turbines aren't going to replace nuclear or hydroelectric power, which provide about two-thirds of the state's energy.

"For the power that would be generated from them, it's that change in our ridgelines that most Vermonters don't support," he said.

Although he has clamored for renewable energy in the state, he is in favor of Entergy's plans for boosting Vermont Yankee's power output by 20 percent.

"Yankee is the cheapest source of electricity that we have," he said.

Douglas said he also plans to maintain a positive relationship with Hydro-Quebec, the Canadian company that supplies much of the energy in Vermont. Although the contract expires in 2015, he said he hopes the state will be able to renew it.

Douglas said he hopes to find some common ground with legislators, and solve many of the state's ongoing, complicated problems, like health care.

Cate Lecuyer can be reached at clecuyer@reformer.com or (802) 254-2311, ext. 271.


Source: http://www.reformer.com/Sto...

DEC 10 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/657-douglas-has-busy-governor-s-day-in-brattleboro
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