Congratulations on VPA awards

To editor Christina Dimeo,

What a wonderful sweep of the awards you and your colleague, Ms. Lisa Hurdle, made in this year’s press awards!  It is just great to see your skillful reporting rewarded. Your energy as a journalist shows through like a thousand watt bulb!

Felicitations to you and Ms. Hurdle!

Jeff James
Lake Monticello Progressive Club
Don’t shake down residents for pool
Thirty percent of households in Lake Monticello responded to the pool survey. Thirty percent. Now, LMOA will base their June pool vote based on less than a third of households in the community.

Beyond this, the Board of Directors is threatening to close the pool if they don’t get a yes vote for each household to pay an additional $100 on top of the $971 each property owner already contributes annually. I, like many other residents, would love a new pool. I would vote yes in a heartbeat, but I already pay them nearly $1,000 each year to figure these things out. That is why we elected you – to figure these things out. Sometimes you need to make some tough decisions, but you can’t expect to tap into our wallets every time you have a crisis.

The survey presented (again, to less than a third of residents) did not give property owners much of a choice. Perhaps rather than charging us all an extra $100 you could increase fees at the golf course. You could spend less on snow removal. You can prioritize what needs to get done with the budget and income you are given. There are many other options that should be considered before simply taxing residents more.

The Board has put residents in a tough position. Many of us would love a new pool, but do not feel it is worth being shaken down for. I strongly urge the Board to consider other funding possibilities or else they are correct – they will have wasted our money.

John Holt
Lake Monticello


Join the People’s Climate March
According to renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson, the attack on the Earth’s biosystems is fast approaching a point of no return. Wilson has proposed a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: “By setting aside half the planet in reserve, we can save the living part of the environment and achieve the stabilization required for our own survival.”

The severity of our impact on the environment is as if we’d declared war on the Earth and our weapons of choice are militarism, industrialism, capitalism and consumerism. The evidence for climate change is overwhelming and most recently proven by back-to-back severe bleaching events that have affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The two-year proximity of these extremes is unprecedented and scientists fear it will give damaged coral little time to recover.

Nearly 400 top scientists have sounded the alarm by stating in an open letter that “Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality… Our fingerprints on the climate system are visible everywhere. They are seen in warming of the oceans, the land surface, and the lower atmosphere. They are identifiable in sea level rise, altered rainfall patterns, retreat of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and many other aspects of the climate system.”

But our current billionaire-in-chief may prove to be the Earth’s worst enemy. By reversing recent progress in reducing CO2 emissions from coal and other sources, Trump is selling us out to the highest conglomerate bidder.

A recent Gallup poll found that 59 percent of likely voters say protecting the environment is more important than developing traditional energy sources such as coal and oil, and 71 percent said the U.S. should develop alternative energy sources to solve its energy problems. To emphasize this, on April 29 the People’s Climate March will take place in Washington, D.C., and regionally. The more of us who join the march, the closer we’ll get to the People’s Climate motto: “To change everything, we need everyone.”

Julius Neelley
Lake Monticello

Thank you for supporting fire department

On behalf of the members of the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for the support they have shown the fire department at the fundraising effort at Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturday, April 8. The outpouring of patrons was fantastic with customer lines out the door for most of the morning, and a steady flow of customers throughout the day. The day’s receipts were split 50-50 between Dunkin’ Donuts and the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department. Your support and patronage allowed us to far exceed our expectations.

We would also like to thank Dunkin’ Donuts owners Pathik and Amit Patel for their commitment, compassion and generosity toward the fire department in selecting us as a beneficiary for this worthwhile endeavor.

Rich Constantino
Chief of Lake Monticello
Fire Department