Thursday July 25, 2013

The recycling carousel

Editor of the Reformer:

I meet people from all over the United States. Nobody is more serious about recycling than Vermont. We also make recycling easy. For example, restaurants that provide bins that separate materials, labeled for your convenience. We recently started Curbside Compost.

About two years ago I was stopped at the recycling center by Brattleboro Union High School. "Where do you live?" asked a woman. "You know we pick up in front of your house?" Great! Another way to save on gas and time.

As my recyclables accummalated, I continued to go that place next to BUHS. Months went by before I could find the time to park in the Municipal Center to pick up a bin. "You are in the wrong building," a curmudgeonly woman said from behind a cradled phone. I apologized as she went back to her personal phone call. Finally I received, a brand new green bin with the three arrows in the shape of a triangle, instructions on what to put in the bin and not, and the week in which it is picked up. I am on the "A" week. If I need another bin, I am to pay $5. It is preferred that item types go in a respective bin, for example plastic in one, paper in another. I can use any type of plastic bin from Wal-Mart as long as items are separated. This oxymoron is unacceptable to me so the woman informs me that I may separate my items in my one bin, making sure they are separated by cardboard or anything like it. No problem. I make sure my own bin is separated.

Week A came and went as I lugged my bin up and down the stairs; bringing it to the curb the night before and picking up my empty bin the next day. One week it was not picked up. I call the Town Office and they kindly send TTT back out to pick it up. This seems not only ridiculous but counter productive.

Two more months go by and again: No pick up. Easy solution is to call the Town Office again. Yes, no problem, they can come out. Was there a note? No, there was not a note. The following pick up there was a note that said "No Mixing." OK. It was even separated with a piece of cardboard. What the? Off to BUHS I go with the green bin to empty the contents.

It happened again this week. This time it was a bright yellow sticker. What is the malfunction from week to week that sometimes they take it and sometimes they do not? It is a particular person’s shift and he/she is not in the mood to separate? Is separating not necessary at BUHS because everything is separated perfectly? Is separating part of the job at the main recycling center? Whatever the issue is, I’m back to driving to BUHS with my bin, burning petrol in the name of not creating a footprint and creating reusable materials. Where is the survey woman now?

Christi Sousie,

Brattleboro, July 18

Valley Lions recognizes scholarship winners

Editor of the Reformer:

On June 19, the Valley Lions Club celebrated with the three winners of their scholarships for this year. The scholarship committee had a difficult time deciding who would receive the awards, because all of the applicants were worthy and deserving young people. The recipients and their parents were hosted at the Brattleboro Country Club.

This year’s winners include:

Chelby Nystrom from Brookline. Chelby will attend the University of Vermont and major in Business Administration. Chelby has also received the Vermont Scholars Award from UVM. Chelby has been top of the class in many of her subjects, and she has been on high honors from grades 9 through 11. Last summer, Chelby traveled to Poland and Slovakia with the Experiment in International Living to partake in a community service project overseas. She completed two service projects; one at a children’s outdoor nature park, painting and repairing buildings, the other at an English language camp for Polish students who were eager to improve their vocabulary and speaking ability. Chelby is involved in community activities she helped co-ordinate a successful food and clothing drive for the Townshend Food Shelf. We were greatly impressed with the Raise the Bar campaign, which encourages younger students to raise their own bar and strive for success and community involvement. Chelby is also involved in sports, she was captain of the Varsity Soccer Team in 2012 and captain of the Varsity Basketball Team in 2012-2013.

Jacqueline Hazard of Jamaica. Jacqueline will attend Marywood University and major in Medical Studies. Jacqueline is a member of the National Honor Society and on the honor roll. She has volunteered at her town’s elementary school, Jamaica Village School. Jacqueline assisted in coaching the 5-6 grade basketball team, she found it very rewarding to watch these children grow as athletes. Volunteering at Grace Cottage Hospital only reassured her that her choice of physician assistant as her major was the right one. Right now, Jacqueline is currently taking a course to get her EMT certification, so that while she is in college she can work for an ambulance service. Jacqueline will also do summers at a local service, Rescue Inc. in Brattleboro. By doing this, Jacqueline can fulfill the patient care hours required as part of a PA Program and at the same time make some income to support herself through college.

Bailey Whelchel of Newfane. Bailey will attend the University of Maine and major in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Bailey has also received Saint Michael’s Book Award, and the Superintendent’s Award for Science. Bailey took independent studies in robotics, and could always find ways to make improvements, and implement them in the robotics models that he was working on. Because of this persistence an engineering career will suit him well. Bailey will be involved in the work-study program at the University of Maine, which will help pay off any school loans. Through this program he will be able to decide where he wants to work. Bailey has remained active in theater for all of his high school career, doing both acting and technology. He also was a volunteer at the Summer Performing Arts and Education, and he helped with storm clean up after Irene.

The Valley Lions Club would like to wish the scholarship winners good luck in their futures. We know by their determination and all they have been involved with they will succeed and make us proud.

Natalie Donovan

Secretary, Valley Lions Club

Townshend, July 12 F-35 not needed in Vermont

Editor of the Reformer:

Dear Mr. Nick Germanos (F-35A E15 Project Manager): I write with concern about the possible garaging of the F-35 in South Burlington. As I understand it, a fighter plane in Vermont would be considered as a WW II John Wayne episode. Any enemy attack on this country from the North Pole via Canada would be tracked and shot down by ground controlled missile action. We don’t have a need for fighter plane "protection."

My best friend for 29 years, Fr. John Scully, SSE, has retired to the St. Michael College, and we are very much concerned about the noise the F-35 makes. There is no need to garage a passe fighter plane in Vermont, just so the Vermont Air National Guard can play; no offense to the Army National Guard.

Millie Dupell,

West Wardsboro, July 18