Cause for concern
over library trustees

Editor of the Reformer:

As a former employee of the Rockingham Free Public Library I would like to express my concern regarding the current trustees of the library. I feel the trustees have not shown good management, and that they have disregarded the wishes of the majority of the public. I have attended some of the public hearings, and the more I see and learn, the more I feel the public needs to take seriously the upcoming election on March 4. Voters have a responsibility to be informed and to vote for trustees who have the public and not their own private agenda in mind. It is urgent that Rockingham residents vote for trustees we can trust to manage the library with competence, concern for its patrons, and support the staff.

Finally I would like to add how impressed I am with the library staff, they have been working under difficult circumstances and never once did they fail to greet the public with a positive outlook.

Alicia Kelly,

Bellows Falls, Feb. 1

Support for ‘Trustees You can Trust'

Editor of the Reformer:

I am so looking forward to voting on Town Meeting Day on March 4, in Bellows Falls. I will be filling in those little ballot bubbles and casting my vote for the new slate of Trustees running for the Rockingham Free Public Library. Doreen Aldrich, Carol Blackwood, David Gould, and Ray Massucco are the names to remember. Finally a way for the community to be heard. "Trustees You can Trust" is their campaign slogan, and it sure rings true.

I hope you will join me in Bellows Falls on Election Day, or obtain an absentee ballot. Your vote counts and this is how we can make a positive change for our library .

Debbi Wetzel,

Saxtons River, Feb. 3

Give youth the right
(to vote)

Editor of the Reformer:

Ben Knapp's recent essay regarding youth voting contained many very strong points in favor of allowing 16-year-olds to vote on local issues. As a Vermont visitor and former teacher of teenagers, I agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Knapp's assessment that students are quite capable of grasping the issues that affect their communities. They are, in fact, most likely more capable than their adult neighbors, many of whom have lost interest in improving the political status quo.

Allowing youth participation in the voting process is a win-win situation for students and towns in Vermont and elsewhere. Given this right to vote, students would be empowered in knowing that the community values their judgment. They would become more positively engaged in their communities. The towns would benefit from a greater number of votes being cast by a well informed population. Youth suffrage would stimulate Social Studies and other subject teachers to make their courses more relevant to their students' lives by including assignments meant to raise awareness of local, national, and global issues, thereby creating a much more highly educated and politically motivated populace.

Why shouldn't these young voters, who will ultimately inherit a world created by their elders, have a stake in the future of our planet? They deserve nothing less. I, for one, applaud Mr. Knapp's courage and fully support his pursuit of youth suffrage.

Brook Andrews,

Georgetown, Del., Feb. 3

Let's get our
priorities straight

Editor of the Reformer:

Editor of the Reformer:

I live in the village of Bellows Falls. I am writing this because I am frustrated and irritated.

You see, I have realized something in the almost 20 years that I have lived here, that this politician and this politician claims that they want to beautify Vermont and fix it up. That's all well and good. In the 20 years that I have been in this state, the only thing that ever gets fixed here is the Interstates.

Instead of financing the rebuilding of the cities and towns in this state, mainly the sidewalks and the roads in the town and cities, because we supposedly don't have the funds to do. However we have the financing to purchase brand new vehicles for the police.

Like I said at the beginning of this letter, I live in Bellows Falls. Our sidewalks on the side streets, and 90 percent of the main sidewalk on Atkinson Street are so messed up that if a mother or father were walking with their child(ren) and they were trying to watch the child(ren), they would trip because of the way the sidewalks are because they were paying attention to their child(ren).

One year, right around Christmas time, I was walking to a friend's house to exchange gifts, and I was walking on Williams Street and fell because there is a crack in the sidewalk that has a bit of a lip in it. I had to take off the boots that I had decided to wear, and walk the rest of the way to her house, because I was afraid I would fall again. Luckily there was very little snow on the ground, I put my boots in the small box I was carrying. Also the sidewalks on that street are way too small, when I am walking with my children I have to walk in the actual street so my children can walk on the sidewalk. It is like this on both sides.

Here is what I don't get. The Bellows Falls Police Department, over the last (maybe) 5 years, give or take a year or two, have purchased at least three vehicles, and have gotten rid of at least two. These vehicles are worth 10's of thousands of dollars. We can afford to purchase a truck, a car and an SUV for the Police Department, but we can't afford to fix our community? Instead, let's fill the pot holes continuously, and forget that in a couple of years' time they will need to re-filled again, wasting more money, and time.

Instead of fixing the problem -- which would last more then a year or two -- we could live here for a while without the fixing of the pot holes.

I think that people need to get their priorities straight.

Tammy Birkheimer,

Bellows Falls, Jan. 26

On hemp ...

Editor of the Reformer:

In reference to your recent editorial "The next agricultural boon?" (Feb. 1). Not only "all our trading partners can grow these crops (but U.S. farmers can't)," that includes communist Chinese farmers and America's largest foreign debt is with China.

It's time to re-introduce hemp as a component of U.S. agriculture. I've been purchasing hemp food products for nearly two decades but the hemp is all imported and I'd rather purchase those products with American grown hemp.

A sane argument to continue banning hemp cultivation doesn't exist.

Stan White,

Dillon, Colo., Feb. 1