Weiland Ross: Three issues that need a reality check
This week's column deals with three topics, (two local), which merit our attention.
First, we have the continuing discussions about the proposed Manchester rail trail. This seems to be an almost done deal, pending some technicalities in the paper work necessary to finalize how to transfer what is now privately owned land to the town so the rail trail can be built.
Some objections have been raised against the project, the most important of which is the cost. Costs are always a concern for taxpayers because costs are one of the few things we can actually question.
The huge local expense is always the ever increasing costs of the education system which keep rising while the student enrollment in the state keeps dropping. The education budget is a sacred cow. We are conditioned to grump a little and then pass it "for the good of the kids."
The rest of the municipal budget is pretty much the same. It is made up of "no contest" items which we know we need to pay for.
So, let's not take out our frustrations with having to fund the nitty gritty items and let this recreational project go unfunded.
A little more recreation might make the rest of it seem less onerous.
Another local matter was the recent admission that a T.J. Maxx store is on the way.
I was a bit confused by the tone of the Journal article announcing this because the writer seemed to be ambivalent about this news. Instead of welcoming the thought of a respected national chain store locating here the writer seemed to treat this as some kind of suspect event, almost in the nature of an undesirable development.
This store should be welcomed joyously because it will fill what has been a gaping hole in the store fronts of one of our major shopping areas.
I know nothing about T.J. Maxx, but am told that it may not have the upscale image that Manchester likes to attract because we are a "shopping destination" for tourists. This is an idea that the planners need to re-think.
Tourists do shop here after they enjoy whatever it is that brought them here, but they don't come here with shopping as their primary goal. Outlet malls and shopping centers are now at almost every exit ramp in the United States.
Some thriving new stores have to create a better impression for visitors than the empty glass fronts that are all too common in town now.
We could begin to let in some chain type venues that might provide the year 'round residents some choices in between the hot dog wagon and Ye Olde (both of which I patronize and highly regard). An Outback, an Applebees or a Trader Joe's wouldn't hurt the neighborhood, either. Affordable shopping is as important as affordable housing to our future.
At the national level, the beat goes on.
The stock market is at the very high levels that our pension plans and 401Ks need to remain solvent.
Unemployment is so low that some businesses are closing because they can't find enough employees to fill their needs. Incomes must be rising because the biggest growth industries in Vermont seem to be craft breweries, wineries and distilleries that need a lot of discretionary spending to thrive.
The administration has negotiated a new North American Trade Agreement and worked out a deal with China that will benefit our exporters.
Two weeks ago we pulled off a raid that eliminated the two most important leaders of the Isis terrorists. This required delicate diplomacy with regional powers as well as precise planning and execution by our military forces to be successful.
Does the administration get any credit for this amazing feat? Not really. The Pelosi-crats and their dump Trump allies in the media spend most of their time complaining that they were not told in advance that the deed was in progress. The finesse and skills demonstrated by our leaders and military are ignored instead of praised.
This paper, along with others in Vermont, have, for two years featured columnists who, when they had nothing else to say, spent their time calling the President a Nazi and comparing him to Hitler.
By some chance, Oct. 29 was Joseph Goebbles' birthday. He was the Nazi propaganda minister whose credo was "the people are more easily taken in by a big lie than a small one, and the big lie repeated over and over becomes the truth."
This has become the modus operundi of the Pelosi-crats. Russia, Russia, Russia, collusion, collusion, collusion, Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, impeach, impeach, impeach has become their mantra. Goebbles would be a proudly happy man to see that his poison has become the new truth for the party of Jefferson, Madison, F.D.R. and J.F.K. Sad. Sad Sad.
Weiland Ross writes a regular column for the Journal.
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