Astronomy Picture of the Day

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eminent Domain Hearing Nightmare

#Eminent #Domain

Are two words just thrown about.
Sometimes seems practical as in condemning a house to build a railroad, or interstate highway.
Condemning is a poor word, a legal term.
Your home may be quite livable,
But
  The Greater Good, The Public Needs it.

The proposed Fracking pipeline
Planned to go through Addison County,
Does not have right of way to lay it down.
Private Landowners defending their property.
You would too.

Letter from a friend who attended a hearing.
I would've screamed or had a heart attack or both.
Mary stayed still as a church mouse,
Then She wrote this synopsis:

(I titled this, Police State)
I’m not sure how to even start this but I feel I need to let you know how I felt when
I attended the Public Service Board hearing on Friday. I went to show my support for the Cueno’s who are facing the challenge of eminent domain.

I walked into the vestibule and was confronted by three armed policeman. It is a small space and they seemed intent on not letting me pass freely. They asked why I was there and they checked me over like bomb sniffing dogs.  I inquired what was going on because the tension was palpable. I received no answer.

I took the elevator up and tried to control my angst over that brief encounter. When I opened the door to go to the hallway, I saw six sheriff department officers. I fearfully approached the end of the hall. There I was overwhelmed by the State police presence.  The State police completely lined the wall that runs parallel to the hearing room. I took a deep breath and walked into the hearing room where the furniture had been arranged to form a blockade of tables between the public seating area and the hearing participants and board. There was a human wall of armed police on the other side of the tables facing me.

I was so frightened and I asked what was going on. Maybe I was in the wrong place. I told them I was there for an eminent domain hearing. I have never seen such a show of force. I have attended countless hearings in that room and I have never witnessed anything that would give cause for this amount of firearms and intimidation. I kept asking for answers to my uncontrollably growing panic. Am I in the right place? What is going on? Why officers from Lamoille and WashingtonCounties along with Montpelier police and an army of State police?

Finally, an officer told me I was in the right room but he wouldn’t explain why they were all there. I sat down alone and shakily thought about leaving. With all the news about innocent people being shot by police, I felt my fears were justified. I told them all that I was not there to do any harm and asked that they not hurt me. No response.

People started filling the room and I was relieved not to be alone any more. Let me explain how great my fear was. I saw a paperclip on the floor under the table in front of me. My instinct was to pick it up but as soon as I shifted in my chair, I felt the eyes of all these armed men on me. I left it there. I did not want to die for a paperclip. I can laugh now as I write this and I can see my tombstone now, “She died while saving a paperclip from being vacuumed up”.

I will continue to attend these hearings. Their intimidation tactics will not stop me. These are public hearings after all. They should not be dominated by police. I do not understand what the point was if not to deter us from witnessing the unjust actions of the board. That was a terrible use/waste of our resources and tax dollars.

I thought I lived in Vermont not a fascist police state where the power is used to dominate and control citizens mentally and physically. They may scare the bejeezus out of me but that won’t stop me from attending. Thanks to them, I am getting stronger.

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