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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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"Prosperity is much more complex"

I would like to respond to Mr. Richichi's letter published in The Valley Reporter's September 24, 2009, issue.

From the perspective of a business owner, it is clear Mr. Richichi has a great deal of frustration. Given the state of the U.S. economy, I believe it is abundantly clear that people are finding alternatives in how they spend their money on recreation, if they can afford it at all. I just spent a week traveling through Colorado and Wyoming. I like to engage the staff and owners of businesses in general conversation. From their anecdotal testimony, it is clear that they are feeling the stress of a sagging economy. Things ain't good, folks. I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully it is not a train. So, there is more to the issue than Mr. Richichi's anecdotal testimony.

Prosperity in The Valley is much more complex. It can't be solved with a public tirade towards one town, Waitsfield. That's being a part of the problem instead of part of some possible solutions. Like it or not, success is more dependent on what can be done as a singular unit (The Valley towns of which Moretown is a part). Let me be clear, I don't know what the answers are, but I don't agree with and am offended by most of Mr. Richichi's negative shotgun blast at what he feels is the target of what ails The Valley (Waitsfield as he puts it). To say people don't care whether businesses succeed is irresponsible. Most know only too well that every business lost is a detriment to prosperity as a whole. As far as taxes are concerned, it is obscene that we continue to spend way beyond our means and expect our citizens to keep giving. The complaints are very valid and quite normal, thank you!

What is a local? I'm a fourth and fifth generational Valleyite, respective to the paternal and maternal sides of my ancestry. Is that local or is someone who has been here for perhaps a year, let's say? Whatever the case, I am not inhospitable to folks visiting our area. I've helped many of them over the years from giving directions to pulling them out of snow banks. In general, I don't think I'm ignorant. Perhaps about some things, but we can't all be experts in all areas of life. I frequent many stores and businesses here in The Valley and have found everyone to be mostly cheerful and helpful. I've not witnessed whatever it is that Mr. Richichi seems to be concerned with.

Then there's the "low-end bohemian counter culture." I know what all the words mean, but I'd like to know, more specifically, what members of the local society fall under that crude and rude category. Awhile ago, I told someone in jest to "shut their pie hole." I was told that sounded like trailer trash talk. My response was that I am a proud graduate of the trailer trash society having spent five years in the Verdmont Park before being able to afford a house for my family. Some of my fondest memories are of the good times with my fellow trailer trash neighbors.

I don't and can't disagree that we need tourism dollars. By our own hands, we have become a tourism-dependent state. Gone and going is the agricultural base that made Vermont the beautiful pastoral magnet that attracted people. We need to mine ideas from our diverse "local" citizenship to find entrepreneurial solutions to a very complex problem. Casting stones on the "locals" isn't a good way to start.

Kevin Eurich lives in Warren.

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