By Guy Page
Five Chittenden County senators voted Wednesday for a resolution “strongly opposing the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system in the State of Vermont.” The sixth senator from the home of the Vermont Air National Guard was absent.
S.R. 5, introduced by Sen. Anthony Pollina, P-Washington, stops short of explicitly condemning the planned siting of the F-35 fighter/bomber at the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington. However, it says a U.S. Air Force official said in 2018 “the variant of the F-35 to be assigned to the National Guard will eventually receive a Block 4 (nuclear capable) upgrade.”
Voting for the non-binding resolution against nuclear-weapon delivery (including the F-35) in Vermont were Sens. Ashe, Balint, Baruth, Bray, Campion, Clarkson, Cummings, Hardy, Hooker, Ingram, Kitchel, Lyons, MacDonald, McCormack, McNeil, Nitka, Perchlik, Pollina, Sears, Sirotkin, Westman, White. Opposed were Sens. Benning, Brock, Collamore, Mazza, Parent, Rodgers, Starr. Sen. Chris Pearson, P-Chittenden, was absent. The resolution will not be moved over to the House.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Vermonters who recall that Vermont Air National Guard fighters protected New York City from further attacks after 9/11 may be interested to know that both Senate and House May 17 approved a resolution honoring the Barre granite craftpersons and industry that produced six monoliths recently installed at the 9/11 Memorial Glade in New York City.
The monoliths produced by Rock of Ages lay flat, measure 15 feet long and 8 feet wide, are of varying heights, and appear “worn, but not beaten, symbolizing strength and determination through adversity,” HCR 178, introduced by Barre City reps Peter Anthony and Tommy Walz and Barre Town reps Rob LaClair and Topper McFaun, says.
Both chambers also resolved to honor U.S. Navy flier Commander Robert H. Eastman, a Shaftsbury native who died of natural causes Feb. 2, 2019. The resolution notes that Cmdr. Eastman “flew over 100 combat sorties in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and his overall flight record totaled 3,000 airborne hours and over 500 aircraft carrier landings.” At age 41, he was on a career path to commanding a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.