The town that roared

Thank you to the scores of people who came to Sunday’s march and rally to halt Vermont Rail System’s proposed massive rail and trucking operation on the banks of the LaPlatte River. It was inspiring to see so many people (despite the rain) from Shelburne, Charlotte, and all over Chittenden County–so many students and so many families. The long parade down Harbor Road with everyone banging pots and pans, and cars honking back in support, was truly tremendous. There were so many reporters and cameras; the local and Vermont press are watching and covering the story.

Shout out to the Meatpackers for their wonderful music, and for learning our new verses to “This Land is Your Land,” and to Cucina Antica for the delicious pizzas. And much gratitude to the insightful speakers: Gary von Stange (attorney and chair of the Shelburne Selectboard); Neely Fortune (wildlife biologist and current Miss Vermont USA); John Tatlock (senior at Lake Champlain Waldorf High School in Shelburne); and Dr. Lydia Clemmons (international public health expert, Charlotte resident and member of Citizens for Responsible Railroads).

The message to our elected officials and Vermont Rail is clear: there is no room for “reckless rail” in any community in our beloved state.

Many people have asked for the poem that John Tatlock wrote and recited. Here is the beginning, and you can read all of it on

People still say “treehugger” like it’s an insult.
Truthfully, I’ll hug two thousand trees before you sand the land away from me.
Or us collectively,
Connected through our earth and sea
The air we breathe is clean for now, let it be. Please.
This is the statement from the voice of ungerminated seeds.
Decreed eviction before they’d ever been freed.
Salt is the evaporated tears.
Wear on the land, mother earth and her peers.
Years, rings on rings, birthed from seed and water clear.
Snap a finger, pull the saw-starter, the wood’s to dust in mere
Let’s hold a paper vigil in remembrance

Shelburnites, keep roaring! This spectacularly bad proposal is the biggest threat to our safety and environment that we have ever faced. The clear cut land on the LaPlatte river basin is heartbreaking, but we shall not lose heart nor our resolve. The more we know, the more our collective voices will be heard. Thank you for all you do.

Dave Connery, Marna Ehrech, Lisa Espenshade,
Barbara McKay, Roberta Nubile, Derrick Senior,
Elise Seraus, Lisa Winkler, of Vermont United

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