VERMONT'S "LEADERS" RUN AWAY FROM SUBSTANTIVE DEBATE ON F-35
By William Boardman Email address removed
Judging by their behavior, Vermont's highest elected officials don't much care if a thousand or more Vermonters lose their homes to the world's most expensive weapons system.
That level of residential destruction is what the U.S. Air Force anticipates in its own environmental impact statement: basing the F-35 nuclear capable fighter-bomber in Vermont will render at least 1,366 houses "unsuitable for residential use." That's a scale of human disruption on a par with 2011 Hurricane Irene, but the reaction of public officials couldn't be more different.
Given the unresponsiveness of their representatives, numerous landowners in the three cities around the Burlington Airport have hired attorney James Dumont who, on December 12, initiated a legal review of the Airport's plans under Act 250, Vermont's comprehensive environmental land use law.
Where elected officials rushed to help those harmed by the weather last year, the same people won't even engage in substantive discussion of the F-35 base now.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy again refused to meet -- or even speak on the phone -- with Vermonters most affected when more than 100 of them showed up at his Burlington office, as announced a week in advance. Leahy was in Washington, but his aide in Burlington stonewalled the delegation with open hostility as shown on WPTZ-TV.
Leahy to F-35 Opponents: Drop Dead