To the Editor: 

Sorry kids, I felt the need to express my concerns at the risk of embarrassing you. I’ve had the complicated blessing of seeing my three girls a little more because of COVID. They had flown the nest but have yo-yoed back around a little more because of circumstances (which I hate to admit, I have really enjoyed having them around.)

The other night I walked into town to meet my twenty-something daughter at Steam Mill for a beer and dinner from Le Mu. I have loved seeing all the young people over the last year gathered around the fire through winter, spring, summer, and now early fall. I asked James, “please tell me that you are going to continue at this spot after you move to the Sunday River Road” “Well…With losing the outdoor seating in November…” What!!! Steam Mill had built a gathering spot for local young people, for local old people, and yes, for tourists in the central village. And that is going away. It is so unfortunate, I had just commented to friends who I ran into under the tent how European it felt with this wonderful sense of Community with the outdoor seating and people sitting at the picnic tables with new people to meet.

I wouldn’t be so alarmed but this is on top of being at the planning board meeting the week before where one of the members expressed concern about the smells of a restaurant. Isn’t that what happens when you make food? I happen to live in the “Village” and I use a LOT of garlic, why isn’t that a problem?

I guess my point is that at times there does seem to be an anti-business sentiment. If we make too many hurdles what will we have left in town but homes and the new center of town will be the Sunday River Road, like another ski town, Killington. Is that what we want? And full transparency, I am working on a business in the “downtown area” and may be creating more problems by expressing my concerns. But, I really loved seeing all the 20-30-year-olds gathering in town around the fire, especially when it was my own kids who were finding adult space to call their own in the town of Bethel. Just wish we would consider more closely what we are at risk of losing with some of the decision-making that is happening.

Kate Goldberg


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