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In the five years that I have lived in Vermont, I have truly come to love the set of values that Vermonters live by: the true sense and support of community, the support for local sustainable businesses, the care and responsibility that is given to the environment and the willingness to help one another. It is very comforting to know my children will be raised with a true understanding of balance in their lives and will grow up with a holistic view of the world.
At times, I think how great it would be if we could share these values with others, especially those children who are struggling and are in the most need of balance in their lives. Those children who need to connect with life and the environment around them before it is too late.
Oh wait…. There is such a program out there. There is a program helping kids connect with themselves and teaching them the values that we Vermonters hold so dear. There is a program that teaches kids to respect and protect the environment they live in. A program that is providing kids with the tools they will need to live a healthy balanced life, teaching them to support their community and giving them a sense of worth in that community. And even better, that program is here in The Valley. What better place in Vermont to teach those values!
Sadly, there are some out there who feel True North should not be sharing those values with troubled kids. There are some out there who feel True North should stop helping those children who desperately need to connect with those values we hold so dear. That they should stop doing the amazing work they are doing with our next generation.
For me, and for any of you who truly believe in Vermont values, it should be a sad day when on the front page of our local newspaper you see that True North has been forced to stop its plans for growth. Unfortunately, it means that we do not truly support local, environmentally and socially responsible business. Unfortunately, it means we are not as supportive of our local community as we think we are. And, most unfortunately, it means that our system is so anti-business growth that even those businesses which embody everything we stand for are unable to flourish.
Michael Riva lives in Warren.