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March 24, 1982     Journal Opinion
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March 24, 1982
 

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Page 4-The Journal Opinion-March  1 PUBLISHING COMPANY, Inc. Publisher of Journal B Opinion Wetly mlmp0r imblhll in Ik, aNttord, oo, mmt. lkdmm, llpoto, ranoo. Vomol qmd Nqu, w Sempddro. $.oe pet l;Oer; $1.10 tabr lira amtks; q q14 a4ql $1|.S0 Ir yeor mid $7,fl fw |ira nNtho; Sedr ltizom dm SLOe. Socoad cless poop paid et |mdh,d, ormo OI0$$. Pld0od by Nortkqo PvblhMq Compen v. Inc.. P.O. hi $71, lmdfenl, Robert F. Huminski President & Publisher An Independent Newspaper Editorial J Public hydro could work Saturday's Wells River meeting between Newbury officials, representatives from a community minded energy consulting firm and representatives from POWR Valley (the People's Organization of the Wells River Valley) provided all parties involved with enough in- formation to either make or break any plans for public hydro in our area. Judging from the information provided at the meeting, the road to a municipal or cooperative owned hydro plant in the Newbury area would be an enormous undertaking. But we believe that those members of POWR Valley who have worked to carry the issue this far have provided the townspeople of Newbury and their municipal officials with an op- portunity too great not to warrant their interest if not their support. Hydro-power technicalities Mide, the issue boils down to a question of alternative revenues and whether these kinds of projects are worth the effort. We believe they are. Communities throughout this region are finding that it is getting painfully expensive to fund their municipal governments by relying solely on property taxes and state and federal aid that is drying up quickly. Sooner or later most of our towm may find themselves forced to look for some kind of alterative revenue. Alterative revenues do not necessarily have to come from projects such as hydro-power dams. For example, the Haverhill precinct of Mountain Lakes owns its own ski area. But after considering the question of alterative revenue, the thing that Newbury residents should keep in mind is that, for a number of basic business reasons, hydro-power is a pretty sound investment. At any rate, it is certainly a safer investment than a skiarea. We suggest that if the question of public hydro power is to be pursued further, a public meeting should be set up soon for a larger body of area townspeople to hear roughly the same information from the same people who spoke at Saturday's Wells River meeting. None of these people are now calling for the take over of someone else's power plant. Their idea is for the town, a public cooperative, or both, to initiate an independent project. The sites are available and ap- parently at least part of the in/tial funding. It is an opportunity worth looking into. 00Letters to the Editor__00 Does not deserve increase To the Editor: Recently, Central Vermont Public Service Corp. requested a 25 percent rate increase; the Public Service Board has already granted a 12.5 percent temporary in- crease on this filing. Does this upset you as much as it does me? Aren't our utily bills high enough already? The Public Service Board will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m., at the Old Bradford Academy Auditorium. The Board will hear comments on the proposed 25 percent increase, as well as such related issues as rate structure, investments in the scrapped Pilgrim II nuclear plant, purchased power costs, planning costs for the high voltage powerline, tax deferrments, and use of future test year. You don't have to be an expert to attend the hearing -- just take a look at your electric bill and you'll see why it's so important to attend this hearing! There are so many reasons why CVPS doesn't deserve this increase. I urge everyone to go to the PSB and show them that we care ? Charlene Stebbins Bradford, Vt. Contact +our representative To the Editor: Outraged by your electric bills? Now we can take actinn together to stop the electric companies from surcharging us until we are broke. The House Commerce Committee is considering S. 220, a bill that would ban recoupment. Utilities would no longer be able to collect their rate in- creases retroactively. Walter Brunette from Lunenberg (892)5525) William Farrell from Newport (334-24444) Lloyd Selby from Derby (873- 3174) are on the committee and need to hear [rom all of us that electric rate increases must be controlled. Call then and let your voice be heard. Vermont is the only state in the country that gives utilities recoupment. In the last year, the PSB has allowed Green Momltain Power to collect $8.4 million from us. CVPS is taking $12.3 million in recoupment, although the Public Service Department thought only $9.2 million was justified. New England Telephone is charging us $7.3 million. Enough is efiough ? Both PSD Commissioner Saudek and PSB Chair McCarren support passage of $220. The Serrate passed the bill by a wide margin of 19-10, Now it's time for the House Commerce Committee to approve this utility reform quickly. Contact your Representatives and tell them to ban rccoupment, They've heard from the utility lob- byists, have they heard from you? Gary Murphy ('hair, Executive Board Vermont Alliance ln00n of ualit00 rates To the Editor: business if they are in public annually several years ago, so In my 1948 college economics course, I learned that people invested in utilities for security, not high per- centages of interest. This was considered necessary for the economy to encourage all other businesses, to provide necessities for all from the poor on. I am horrified to find CVPS determiaed to do all they can to destroy the local economy. The inflation of electric rates will crucify many. To hold inflation down one cannot raise rates and subsidize the poor. (That is greed. ) I can see budgetary measures that CVPS should take and others will see more. I am angry when [ see TV programs sponsored by CVPS. Whether they call these in- vestor's or * rate-payer's monies is immaterial. Their reason for existence is to provide power, not an in- vestment service. If they have money to put into TV programs - those monies should come as a rate decrease instead. Nor should they spent rate payers money to print an extra flyer included in your bill, I do not want to pay for receipts for "Finan Haddie" to be mailed with my electric bill and feel it is an offense to these rate-payers who must pay for that which they did not choose to buy. I don't want any extra print- outs with my bill. Administrators (of $89,000 salary) who want to be more creative are in the wrong ilities. It is unfair to the rest of us who wish to use any spendable income to keep the house warmer or eat other than turkey hot dogs rather than have those funds forced into the utilities... A comparison with other sections of the country is in- -valid. Our producivity is limited by our rugged winters in particular, and absence, (thank heaven) of a strong manufacturing base. Nor would a difference in our productivity make it valid for CVPS to charge more than the bare minimum essentials to providing the basic service needed by local customers. Businesses pay a higher rate than residences. I found my electric bill over $1,000 l had to put each tenant on their own electric meters. Last month my households paid over $1,000 together. One apartment only has electric heat. I urge all who are as con- cerned as I am about the 25 percent rate rise wanted by CVPS to take the time to protest at the March 25th hearing in the Old Bradford Academy. The 25 percent rate rise "requested" is incredible. May I urge even those who invest in utilities to join those who do not. May I urge all those who felt whipped when they saw their last bill to appear. The other side of the ixfflationary coin is greed. tlelen Pierce Swetland Aloha Manor Fairlee, Vt. Enough, Mr. President To the Editor : of answers. We are tired of , Now is the time to say, image making instead of 'Enough, Mr. President, action. enough." At long last the Vermonters have spoken out people are speaking. We are in town meetings and now tired of CIA schemes and "from sea to shining sea" our deceptions. We are tired of the representatives are echoing murderous meddling in the cry, "Enough? " Central America. We are tired Storm clouds of unrest are of seeing the poor. the old, the gathering over the cities and handicapped, and the millions the winds of discontent are of unemployed being used as blowing off the hills. Take sacrificial lambs for the in- heed, Mr. President, before it satiable Pentagon. We are is too late. We have had tired of the endless nuclear enough? arms race which can result WinniePineo only in a world holocaust. We S. Ryegate, Vt. are tired of anecdotes instead New Federalism Returning power to the people "Our citizens feel they have lost control of even the most basic decisions made about the essential services of government, such as schools, welfare, roads, and even garbage collection. They are right... Let us solve this problem with a single, bold stroke...'" pmsm aon/I Iwn T$tote of tho Unkm 12 The single, bold stroke which President Reagan promised is "New-Federalism," the most dramatic shift in state and federal relations since the New Deal. Actually, while the action is bold, the goal is not new. New Federalism ia designed to put government "back on track;" returning power to people and restoring the gavern- mental balance created by the founding fathers. If approved by Congress, the New Federalism will unfold during the next decade, with the first major changes beginning in 1984. The two major elements of the plan occur simultaneously, with one element being a "swap" by which the administrative and financial responsibility for Medicaid would be assumed completely by the federal gover- nment, while in return, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Food Stamps would become state and local responsibilities. The second element, developing over an eight year period, beginning in 1984, will turn back to the states full responsibility and funding sources for more than 40 categorical grant proams currently administered by the federal government. THE PROBLEMS "A maze of interlocking Jutions and levels of government confronts the average citizen in trying to solve even the simplest of problems. They do not know where to tam foe answers, who to hold accountable, who to blame, who to vote for or agaimt." --Pcmmt R The need for New Federalism is perhaps best illustrated by the skyrocketing growth in the number and complexity of categorical grants-iwaid during the past decade. TEXT AND PHOTOS PRINT[D WITH I@AIS$;ON FROM NmT MOI{IAY Categorical grant programs, such as job training grants, are designed to combat specific problems. Categorical grant money is earmarked for each program's specific purpose, so decisions about how it can he spent--and what it can be spent for--are, in effect, controlled by the federal bureaucracy. Regardless of whether a state has such a problem, and regardless of whether the regulations fit the needs of the state, under the categorical system, the state can only comply with the federal bureaucrats or refuse the grant. In 1960, federal grants to states and localities totalled only $7 billion. By 1981 they had grown to an annual cost of $95 billion. During that period, their funding rate grew by 13 percent a year--faster than the growth of the Gross National Product, the federal budget, or the public sector as a whole. Grants-in-aid now finance 27 percent of all state and local government, and their share of the federal budget has doubled to 14 percent of all federal spending. While growing in budgetary impact, categorical grants also grew in numbers, nearly tripling during the last 20 years. In 1981, there were more than 500 categorical programs. Of these, more than 160 ad- ministered by the Department of Health and Human Services, deal with health alone. There are 76 separate grant programs just for elementary, secondary and vocational education. The typical categorical grant imposes between 300 and 500 separate requirements on states and localities: (spread over 500 grants awarded to fifty states), the bureaucratic demands posed by categorical grants are astronomical, resultingin mountains of paperw.ork, a wasteful expenditure of the taxpayer s dollar and needless bureaucracy at the federal, state, and local levels. Consolidation of categoricais into block grants addresses some of the problems im- by categorical grants. It provides. states and localities with federal money and fewer regulations, but block grants are limited to specific categories of federal grant spending. Congress attaches "strings" even to these; in some cases, for example, minimum expenditures out of block grams funding are required to be spent on a specific problem. POWER TO TIlE STATES "As one Democratic governor put it recently--the national government should be worrying about 'arms control and not potholes" --PreskJemt Re.on President Reagan's New Federalism seeks to restore the traditional balance among state, local and federal authority without subjecting the states and localities to difficult or unfair financial burdens. By shouldering Medicaid responsibilities, the federal government saves the states from risk and hardship. From 1975 to 1980, total U.S. health care spending doubled, while Medicare and Medicaid costs rose even (please turn to page 5) Thetford From 1848 to 1875, Thetford had a strawboard mill known as the Noosuc Mill. It was on the Ompompanoosuc River, about half a mile below the covered bridge, and on the old road from Thetford Center to Union Village. In an article in the Town of Thetford Annual Report, 980, Charles W. Hughes presented all the information he could locate on the Noosuc Mill. Its chief product was a thick, tough, yellowish paper made from straw and waste paper, these materials being stored in a large barn nearby. The mill also made binder's board for book covers, and a coarse brown wrapping paper. The paper or strawboard was manufactured by a paper machine in a continuous sheet, but was cut into large rec- tangles and in the early years was spread out on the grass to dry. Later on, the mill acquired a "patent drier," which made it possible to manufacture paper year- round. At one time the mill was selling its strawboard for as much as $124 a ton in 's strawboard dismantling of old houses in the Thetford area, workmen have discovered squared of the old strawboard, which has been used as insulation in the outside walls. One surviving piece measur 22 by 31/ inches. The strawboard mill was built by Stephen G. Rogers, who came to Thetford from Plymouth, N. H. in 1848. Rogers operated the mill until about 1866, when he shifted his attention to building and operating a woolen mill far- ther downstream. In 1866 the Noesuc Mill was taken over by Horace E. Brown, S. M. Gleason and J. B. Cram. Mr. Hughes tells about these men: "Born in Thetford, Brown had a dif- ficult childhood and later worked in various places as a mason and then as a con- tractor before returning to Thetford in 1861. After serving in the Civil War with the rank of captain, he managed the strawboard mill and later established a shoe factory. Gleason was a lawyer and later a probate judge who is now Route 113. had previously .storekeeper m broke, N. H., 1870 to the old opposite corner became 'Cram's daughter, Helen states that he had voice, led the Timothy Frost Church, and school in the "The last strawboard mill and H. M. acquired an mill in 1872. Their destined to was destroyed 1875. An article ford Opinion loss as eight to dollars, of thousand was covered by later entry 'the Lovejoys Center have Northfield and there Jan. 1, known as the best makers in New was the end of the proposed revision of the Superfund National Contingency Plan (NCP) for managing hazardous material spills and abandoned hazardous waste disposal sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drawn up a plan that reflects the administration's policy of straightforward, flexible regulation and careful resource management. It should go far to speed the actual cleanup of wasta sites and spills under the five-year, $1:6 billion Superfund program. The plan sets out guidelines for coor- dinating federal and state responses to immediate or long term threats to human health and the environment from hazar- dons waste. In announcing the NCP, EPA Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch said, "The Reagan Administration believes that a policy of straightforward regulation and careful resource management, combined with an unshakable commitment, is our mandate from the American people. And I believe that this policy will result in a swift cleanup of existing environmental hazards. This cleanup will be our en- vironmental legacy to future generations." I share this commitment and this belief. Already--even before the proposed NCP goes into effect--we have made real progress. EPA has taken removal actions at 54 hazardous waste sites across the country, including five in New England at Nashua, Kingston, Epping and Raymond, N.H., and Coventry, R.I. Remedial actions or field studies and engineering design to contain or treat hazardous substances on site have been started at 37 sites, including Nashua, Coventry, Winthrop, ME, Smithfield, RI and Woburn, MA. Ten cooperative agreements have been signed with states for cleanup at Superfund sites, including two in New England, at Nashua and 00Letters to the Edi To breathe clean air To the Editor: The Clean Air Act, that critical piece of en- vironmental legislation which has, year by year since it was passed in 1970 (with amen- dments in 1977), brought the nation cleaner, healthier air and clearer skies, is currently facing a double threat in Washington. Scheduled to he reauthorized in 1981, delays in Congress have allowed action to carry over into this year, and even now it is not clear when the "new" Clean Air Act will eme'ge. What is clear is that a strong delegation in Congress has targetted the Act for legislative destruction, and furthermore, that the Reagan Administration is quietly dismembering the Act's enforcement team, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the guise of cutting the federal deficit and providing regulatory relief. In each case, many of our leaders in Washington reveal an ap- palling disregard for the health of their constituents and the ecosystem which supports them, while ignoring the undeniable connection between environmental degradation and the economy. In late December, ReD. Tom Luken (D-Ohio)introduced H.R. 5252, a bill which, if passed, will severely damage the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act. it attacks virtually every important aspect of the Act, and includes the following provisions: (1) slips deadlines for at- taining health standards, while repealing most of the effective tools for progress towards those standards. (2) weakens the federal auto emissions control program by doubling carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emission standards, which the vast majority of 1981 cars had already met, and easing the standards for diesels, while also gutting the premarket certification procedure. (3) essentially repeals the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program, which currently protects our remaining "clear Jr" areas. t 4) blocks necessary federal action to protect the ozone layer which guards against cancer-causing ull a,iolet radiation. Perhaps than its H.R. 5252 fails ignores that cancer-cuasing p011utan, and the problem among the threats to ' ecosystem. H.R. Revised Plan The revised contingency plan the scope of the existing NCP to additional chemical substanceS transfer media, air, land Forthcoming from EPA will be guidance manual for Superfund from the site through preliminary engineering be guidance, not regulation. emphasize this. net dictate to them. A total of 13 New England EPA's interim priority list of sites throughout negotiate with res; for site cleanup. We have learned that industry, rather than paid the greatest dividends, Agency is prepared to take action wherever cooperation fa results. We have also learned that no are alike, and cleanup needs On one site drums may be the surface scaled, graded Or a system may be built for contaminated leacbate on the remedy will depend on many such as the substances hydregeology, climate and population, the iS't Therefore EPA has taken , approach in revising the NCP i 1.:  give full play to invention al[ ""- back the limits of waste mam] technology. There are no easy    the problems confronting us. ],10 quoting Administrator Gorsuch, the NCP can be used to usher in  _ of environmental technologY plication." support of the and a great many hope. Waxman tered the Luke comprehensive package, H.B. man's bill h deficiencies while allowing amount of tuning", and million ton rain-causing ten years 'similar to that ! Moffett-Gregg (House) and (Senate Action before Should reauthorze Act, the battle (please Boston and Springfield. "lived at the junction of the old During renovation or Union Village road with what -- WO00Wb00-00 SPEED CLE00-UP by LESTER A. SUTTON Coventry. _ J ': U.S. Environmental Prottctioa Agon of federal funds for_..m - Regional Administrator and remedial action totals $54 .m'_ The commitment of the Reagann m" t:,': cost-effective Administration to effieient, - ' Superfuzation. The !''; environmental cleanup is exemplified in authorization for 1983 is$233 Page 4-The Journal Opinion-March  1 PUBLISHING COMPANY, Inc. Publisher of Journal B Opinion Wetly mlmp0r imblhll in Ik, aNttord, oo, mmt. lkdmm, llpoto, ranoo. Vomol qmd Nqu, w Sempddro. $.oe pet l;Oer; $1.10 tabr lira amtks; q q14 a4ql $1|.S0 Ir yeor mid $7,fl fw |ira nNtho; Sedr ltizom dm SLOe. Socoad cless poop paid et |mdh,d, ormo OI0$$. Pld0od by Nortkqo PvblhMq Compen v. Inc.. P.O. hi $71, lmdfenl, Robert F. Huminski President & Publisher An Independent Newspaper Editorial J Public hydro could work Saturday's Wells River meeting between Newbury officials, representatives from a community minded energy consulting firm and representatives from POWR Valley (the People's Organization of the Wells River Valley) provided all parties involved with enough in- formation to either make or break any plans for public hydro in our area. Judging from the information provided at the meeting, the road to a municipal or cooperative owned hydro plant in the Newbury area would be an enormous undertaking. But we believe that those members of POWR Valley who have worked to carry the issue this far have provided the townspeople of Newbury and their municipal officials with an op- portunity too great not to warrant their interest if not their support. Hydro-power technicalities Mide, the issue boils down to a question of alternative revenues and whether these kinds of projects are worth the effort. We believe they are. Communities throughout this region are finding that it is getting painfully expensive to fund their municipal governments by relying solely on property taxes and state and federal aid that is drying up quickly. Sooner or later most of our towm may find themselves forced to look for some kind of alterative revenue. Alterative revenues do not necessarily have to come from projects such as hydro-power dams. For example, the Haverhill precinct of Mountain Lakes owns its own ski area. But after considering the question of alterative revenue, the thing that Newbury residents should keep in mind is that, for a number of basic business reasons, hydro-power is a pretty sound investment. At any rate, it is certainly a safer investment than a skiarea. We suggest that if the question of public hydro power is to be pursued further, a public meeting should be set up soon for a larger body of area townspeople to hear roughly the same information from the same people who spoke at Saturday's Wells River meeting. None of these people are now calling for the take over of someone else's power plant. Their idea is for the town, a public cooperative, or both, to initiate an independent project. The sites are available and ap- parently at least part of the in/tial funding. It is an opportunity worth looking into. 00Letters to the Editor__00 Does not deserve increase To the Editor: Recently, Central Vermont Public Service Corp. requested a 25 percent rate increase; the Public Service Board has already granted a 12.5 percent temporary in- crease on this filing. Does this upset you as much as it does me? Aren't our utily bills high enough already? The Public Service Board will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m., at the Old Bradford Academy Auditorium. The Board will hear comments on the proposed 25 percent increase, as well as such related issues as rate structure, investments in the scrapped Pilgrim II nuclear plant, purchased power costs, planning costs for the high voltage powerline, tax deferrments, and use of future test year. You don't have to be an expert to attend the hearing -- just take a look at your electric bill and you'll see why it's so important to attend this hearing! There are so many reasons why CVPS doesn't deserve this increase. I urge everyone to go to the PSB and show them that we care ? Charlene Stebbins Bradford, Vt. Contact +our representative To the Editor: Outraged by your electric bills? Now we can take actinn together to stop the electric companies from surcharging us until we are broke. The House Commerce Committee is considering S. 220, a bill that would ban recoupment. Utilities would no longer be able to collect their rate in- creases retroactively. Walter Brunette from Lunenberg (892)5525) William Farrell from Newport (334-24444) Lloyd Selby from Derby (873- 3174) are on the committee and need to hear [rom all of us that electric rate increases must be controlled. Call then and let your voice be heard. Vermont is the only state in the country that gives utilities recoupment. In the last year, the PSB has allowed Green Momltain Power to collect $8.4 million from us. CVPS is taking $12.3 million in recoupment, although the Public Service Department thought only $9.2 million was justified. New England Telephone is charging us $7.3 million. Enough is efiough ? Both PSD Commissioner Saudek and PSB Chair McCarren support passage of $220. The Serrate passed the bill by a wide margin of 19-10, Now it's time for the House Commerce Committee to approve this utility reform quickly. Contact your Representatives and tell them to ban rccoupment, They've heard from the utility lob- byists, have they heard from you? Gary Murphy ('hair, Executive Board Vermont Alliance ln00n of ualit00 rates To the Editor: business if they are in public annually several years ago, so In my 1948 college economics course, I learned that people invested in utilities for security, not high per- centages of interest. This was considered necessary for the economy to encourage all other businesses, to provide necessities for all from the poor on. I am horrified to find CVPS determiaed to do all they can to destroy the local economy. The inflation of electric rates will crucify many. To hold inflation down one cannot raise rates and subsidize the poor. (That is greed. ) I can see budgetary measures that CVPS should take and others will see more. I am angry when [ see TV programs sponsored by CVPS. Whether they call these in- vestor's or * rate-payer's monies is immaterial. Their reason for existence is to provide power, not an in- vestment service. If they have money to put into TV programs - those monies should come as a rate decrease instead. Nor should they spent rate payers money to print an extra flyer included in your bill, I do not want to pay for receipts for "Finan Haddie" to be mailed with my electric bill and feel it is an offense to these rate-payers who must pay for that which they did not choose to buy. I don't want any extra print- outs with my bill. Administrators (of $89,000 salary) who want to be more creative are in the wrong ilities. It is unfair to the rest of us who wish to use any spendable income to keep the house warmer or eat other than turkey hot dogs rather than have those funds forced into the utilities... A comparison with other sections of the country is in- -valid. Our producivity is limited by our rugged winters in particular, and absence, (thank heaven) of a strong manufacturing base. Nor would a difference in our productivity make it valid for CVPS to charge more than the bare minimum essentials to providing the basic service needed by local customers. Businesses pay a higher rate than residences. I found my electric bill over $1,000 l had to put each tenant on their own electric meters. Last month my households paid over $1,000 together. One apartment only has electric heat. I urge all who are as con- cerned as I am about the 25 percent rate rise wanted by CVPS to take the time to protest at the March 25th hearing in the Old Bradford Academy. The 25 percent rate rise "requested" is incredible. May I urge even those who invest in utilities to join those who do not. May I urge all those who felt whipped when they saw their last bill to appear. The other side of the ixfflationary coin is greed. tlelen Pierce Swetland Aloha Manor Fairlee, Vt. Enough, Mr. President To the Editor : of answers. We are tired of , Now is the time to say, image making instead of 'Enough, Mr. President, action. enough." At long last the Vermonters have spoken out people are speaking. We are in town meetings and now tired of CIA schemes and "from sea to shining sea" our deceptions. We are tired of the representatives are echoing murderous meddling in the cry, "Enough? " Central America. We are tired Storm clouds of unrest are of seeing the poor. the old, the gathering over the cities and handicapped, and the millions the winds of discontent are of unemployed being used as blowing off the hills. Take sacrificial lambs for the in- heed, Mr. President, before it satiable Pentagon. We are is too late. We have had tired of the endless nuclear enough? arms race which can result WinniePineo only in a world holocaust. We S. Ryegate, Vt. are tired of anecdotes instead New Federalism Returning power to the people "Our citizens feel they have lost control of even the most basic decisions made about the essential services of government, such as schools, welfare, roads, and even garbage collection. They are right... Let us solve this problem with a single, bold stroke...'" pmsm aon/I Iwn T$tote of tho Unkm 12 The single, bold stroke which President Reagan promised is "New-Federalism," the most dramatic shift in state and federal relations since the New Deal. Actually, while the action is bold, the goal is not new. New Federalism ia designed to put government "back on track;" returning power to people and restoring the gavern- mental balance created by the founding fathers. If approved by Congress, the New Federalism will unfold during the next decade, with the first major changes beginning in 1984. The two major elements of the plan occur simultaneously, with one element being a "swap" by which the administrative and financial responsibility for Medicaid would be assumed completely by the federal gover- nment, while in return, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Food Stamps would become state and local responsibilities. The second element, developing over an eight year period, beginning in 1984, will turn back to the states full responsibility and funding sources for more than 40 categorical grant proams currently administered by the federal government. THE PROBLEMS "A maze of interlocking Jutions and levels of government confronts the average citizen in trying to solve even the simplest of problems. They do not know where to tam foe answers, who to hold accountable, who to blame, who to vote for or agaimt." --Pcmmt R The need for New Federalism is perhaps best illustrated by the skyrocketing growth in the number and complexity of categorical grants-iwaid during the past decade. TEXT AND PHOTOS PRINT[D WITH I@AIS$;ON FROM NmT MOI{IAY Categorical grant programs, such as job training grants, are designed to combat specific problems. Categorical grant money is earmarked for each program's specific purpose, so decisions about how it can he spent--and what it can be spent for--are, in effect, controlled by the federal bureaucracy. Regardless of whether a state has such a problem, and regardless of whether the regulations fit the needs of the state, under the categorical system, the state can only comply with the federal bureaucrats or refuse the grant. In 1960, federal grants to states and localities totalled only $7 billion. By 1981 they had grown to an annual cost of $95 billion. During that period, their funding rate grew by 13 percent a year--faster than the growth of the Gross National Product, the federal budget, or the public sector as a whole. Grants-in-aid now finance 27 percent of all state and local government, and their share of the federal budget has doubled to 14 percent of all federal spending. While growing in budgetary impact, categorical grants also grew in numbers, nearly tripling during the last 20 years. In 1981, there were more than 500 categorical programs. Of these, more than 160 ad- ministered by the Department of Health and Human Services, deal with health alone. There are 76 separate grant programs just for elementary, secondary and vocational education. The typical categorical grant imposes between 300 and 500 separate requirements on states and localities: (spread over 500 grants awarded to fifty states), the bureaucratic demands posed by categorical grants are astronomical, resultingin mountains of paperw.ork, a wasteful expenditure of the taxpayer s dollar and needless bureaucracy at the federal, state, and local levels. Consolidation of categoricais into block grants addresses some of the problems im- by categorical grants. It provides. states and localities with federal money and fewer regulations, but block grants are limited to specific categories of federal grant spending. Congress attaches "strings" even to these; in some cases, for example, minimum expenditures out of block grams funding are required to be spent on a specific problem. POWER TO TIlE STATES "As one Democratic governor put it recently--the national government should be worrying about 'arms control and not potholes" --PreskJemt Re.on President Reagan's New Federalism seeks to restore the traditional balance among state, local and federal authority without subjecting the states and localities to difficult or unfair financial burdens. By shouldering Medicaid responsibilities, the federal government saves the states from risk and hardship. From 1975 to 1980, total U.S. health care spending doubled, while Medicare and Medicaid costs rose even (please turn to page 5) Thetford From 1848 to 1875, Thetford had a strawboard mill known as the Noosuc Mill. It was on the Ompompanoosuc River, about half a mile below the covered bridge, and on the old road from Thetford Center to Union Village. In an article in the Town of Thetford Annual Report, 980, Charles W. Hughes presented all the information he could locate on the Noosuc Mill. Its chief product was a thick, tough, yellowish paper made from straw and waste paper, these materials being stored in a large barn nearby. The mill also made binder's board for book covers, and a coarse brown wrapping paper. The paper or strawboard was manufactured by a paper machine in a continuous sheet, but was cut into large rec- tangles and in the early years was spread out on the grass to dry. Later on, the mill acquired a "patent drier," which made it possible to manufacture paper year- round. At one time the mill was selling its strawboard for as much as $124 a ton in 's strawboard dismantling of old houses in the Thetford area, workmen have discovered squared of the old strawboard, which has been used as insulation in the outside walls. One surviving piece measur 22 by 31/ inches. The strawboard mill was built by Stephen G. Rogers, who came to Thetford from Plymouth, N. H. in 1848. Rogers operated the mill until about 1866, when he shifted his attention to building and operating a woolen mill far- ther downstream. In 1866 the Noesuc Mill was taken over by Horace E. Brown, S. M. Gleason and J. B. Cram. Mr. Hughes tells about these men: "Born in Thetford, Brown had a dif- ficult childhood and later worked in various places as a mason and then as a con- tractor before returning to Thetford in 1861. After serving in the Civil War with the rank of captain, he managed the strawboard mill and later established a shoe factory. Gleason was a lawyer and later a probate judge who is now Route 113. had previously .storekeeper m broke, N. H., 1870 to the old opposite corner became 'Cram's daughter, Helen states that he had voice, led the Timothy Frost Church, and school in the "The last strawboard mill and H. M. acquired an mill in 1872. Their destined to was destroyed 1875. An article ford Opinion loss as eight to dollars, of thousand was covered by later entry 'the Lovejoys Center have Northfield and there Jan. 1, known as the best makers in New was the end of the proposed revision of the Superfund National Contingency Plan (NCP) for managing hazardous material spills and abandoned hazardous waste disposal sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drawn up a plan that reflects the administration's policy of straightforward, flexible regulation and careful resource management. It should go far to speed the actual cleanup of wasta sites and spills under the five-year, $1:6 billion Superfund program. The plan sets out guidelines for coor- dinating federal and state responses to immediate or long term threats to human health and the environment from hazar- dons waste. In announcing the NCP, EPA Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch said, "The Reagan Administration believes that a policy of straightforward regulation and careful resource management, combined with an unshakable commitment, is our mandate from the American people. And I believe that this policy will result in a swift cleanup of existing environmental hazards. This cleanup will be our en- vironmental legacy to future generations." I share this commitment and this belief. Already--even before the proposed NCP goes into effect--we have made real progress. EPA has taken removal actions at 54 hazardous waste sites across the country, including five in New England at Nashua, Kingston, Epping and Raymond, N.H., and Coventry, R.I. Remedial actions or field studies and engineering design to contain or treat hazardous substances on site have been started at 37 sites, including Nashua, Coventry, Winthrop, ME, Smithfield, RI and Woburn, MA. Ten cooperative agreements have been signed with states for cleanup at Superfund sites, including two in New England, at Nashua and 00Letters to the Edi To breathe clean air To the Editor: The Clean Air Act, that critical piece of en- vironmental legislation which has, year by year since it was passed in 1970 (with amen- dments in 1977), brought the nation cleaner, healthier air and clearer skies, is currently facing a double threat in Washington. Scheduled to he reauthorized in 1981, delays in Congress have allowed action to carry over into this year, and even now it is not clear when the "new" Clean Air Act will eme'ge. What is clear is that a strong delegation in Congress has targetted the Act for legislative destruction, and furthermore, that the Reagan Administration is quietly dismembering the Act's enforcement team, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the guise of cutting the federal deficit and providing regulatory relief. In each case, many of our leaders in Washington reveal an ap- palling disregard for the health of their constituents and the ecosystem which supports them, while ignoring the undeniable connection between environmental degradation and the economy. In late December, ReD. Tom Luken (D-Ohio)introduced H.R. 5252, a bill which, if passed, will severely damage the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act. it attacks virtually every important aspect of the Act, and includes the following provisions: (1) slips deadlines for at- taining health standards, while repealing most of the effective tools for progress towards those standards. (2) weakens the federal auto emissions control program by doubling carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emission standards, which the vast majority of 1981 cars had already met, and easing the standards for diesels, while also gutting the premarket certification procedure. (3) essentially repeals the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program, which currently protects our remaining "clear Jr" areas. t 4) blocks necessary federal action to protect the ozone layer which guards against cancer-causing ull a,iolet radiation. Perhaps than its H.R. 5252 fails ignores that cancer-cuasing p011utan, and the problem among the threats to ' ecosystem. H.R. Revised Plan The revised contingency plan the scope of the existing NCP to additional chemical substanceS transfer media, air, land Forthcoming from EPA will be guidance manual for Superfund from the site through preliminary engineering be guidance, not regulation. emphasize this. net dictate to them. A total of 13 New England EPA's interim priority list of sites throughout negotiate with res; for site cleanup. We have learned that industry, rather than paid the greatest dividends, Agency is prepared to take action wherever cooperation fa results. We have also learned that no are alike, and cleanup needs On one site drums may be the surface scaled, graded Or a system may be built for contaminated leacbate on the remedy will depend on many such as the substances hydregeology, climate and population, the iS't Therefore EPA has taken , approach in revising the NCP i 1.:  give full play to invention al[ ""- back the limits of waste mam] technology. There are no easy    the problems confronting us. ],10 quoting Administrator Gorsuch, the NCP can be used to usher in  _ of environmental technologY plication." support of the and a great many hope. Waxman tered the Luke comprehensive package, H.B. man's bill h deficiencies while allowing amount of tuning", and million ton rain-causing ten years 'similar to that ! Moffett-Gregg (House) and (Senate Action before Should reauthorze Act, the battle (please Boston and Springfield. "lived at the junction of the old During renovation or Union Village road with what -- WO00Wb00-00 SPEED CLE00-UP by LESTER A. SUTTON Coventry. _ J ': U.S. Environmental Prottctioa Agon of federal funds for_..m - Regional Administrator and remedial action totals $54 .m'_ The commitment of the Reagann m" t:,': cost-effective Administration to effieient, - ' Superfuzation. The !''; environmental cleanup is exemplified in authorization for 1983 is$233