Just another excuse
Editor of the Reformer:
Is claiming to be afflicted by bipolar syndrome the new get out of jail free card? This excuse is used for so many things these days, it just blows my mind that some genius came up with a way to keep them from going to jail by using it as their defense.
There are two such incidents in the Reformer today (Sept. 11) where bipolar is the culprit. If everybody in today’s society is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I feel sorry for the next generation. You people are doomed from the start. Somebody best be getting off their butts real soon. Time waits for no one. Gotta love medical terms.
Roger L. Andrews,
Brattleboro, Sept. 11
Library trustees should rethink decision
Editor of the Reformer:
At a meeting of the Friends of the Rockingham Library on Sept. 4, members present were shocked to learn that on Aug. 29 the Personnel Committee of the Rockingham Free Public Library Board of Trustees recommended to the Trustees the dismissal of Celina Houlne as Director of the library. The Trustees adjourned the meeting to be reconvened on Sept. 18 to give Ms. Houlne time to respond to the charges against her.
The leadership of the Friends of Rockingham Library, an organization of patrons and citizens designed to support the library in its mission, is appalled by the actions of the Personnel Committee. Many of us on the Friends board have worked closely with Ms. Houlne and know that she has served with the utmost professionalism during her tenure, has the full and abiding endorsement of the library staff, the support of a large number of library patrons, and the respect of other librarians throughout the state of Vermont. She has done an outstanding job of providing library services to the library patrons and the general public throughout the very difficult period of the library building renovation, and has overseen the relocation of the library into temporary space during the final phases of the renovation. Ms. Houlne has provided stellar leadership with grace, charm, and integrity. Rather than seeking to dismiss Ms. Houlne, the Personnel Committee should be writing letters of commendation and recommending a salary increase in appreciation for a job well done.
As a result of our firsthand knowledge and experience with Ms.Houlne, we feel the Personnel Committee has made a grievous error in judgment and that the error must be rectified. Therefore, at the reconvened meeting of the Rockingham Free Public Library Board of Trustees on Sept. 18, we the undersigned, as officers and other board members of the Friends of the Rockingham Library and as concerned citizens, call for: A) the Personnel Committee to withdraw its recommendation for Ms. Houlne’s dismissal, and/or B) the library Trustees to vote down the committee’s recommendation. For the Personnel Committee or the Trustees to do otherwise will be a miscarriage of justice that will affect our library for years to come. We ask that members of the Personnel Committee and all of the Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library set aside any personal issues that may be involved, and do what is right for Ms. Houlne, the library, and our community at large.
Elayne Clift, Arnold Clift, Nancy Kovaleff, Susan Warner, Betty Haggerty, Susan Lampe-Wilson and David Gould,
Rockingham, Sept. 11
Look out for beaver traps Editor of the Reformer:
For well over a decade now I’ve enjoyed regular strolls along the West River Trail just past the Marina. The trail is written up in the Audubon Society due to the wide variety of wild birds. In the spring and early summer the path is often crossed by turtles off to lay their eggs, until recently a very common sight. Unfortunately, I only saw two turtles this year, and both had been run over by the utility trucks working on the I-91 bridge. Over the last few years (probably for a number of reasons) there seems to be a lot less animal and insect life. Tropical Storm Irene certainly played some part in the lower numbers of wild life.
One common sight was the river beavers who make their homes along the river, on the little islands and in the marshes. A very common experience, while walking along the trail, is the sound of the beavers smacking their tails on the water, as if to let you and others know they’re not too far away. Toward fall, one could witness their well worn paths from the river, across the trail, to the abutting corn field. Small little circles of missing corn stalks, as well as a few tell-tale stalks laying waste, indicated their mission. The beavers use the stalks to winterize the huts.
After Irene, a lot of the wild life, including the beaver population along the river, has dwindled greatly. It’s been fun and amazing over the last couple of years to watch how these industrious creatures, like so many Vermonters, have bit by bit rebuilt their small community and resumed their previous lifestyle.
Last week along the edge of the river my small dog came very close to stepping into what turned out to be a beaver trap. I soon learned that the owner of the corn field was able to get the state of Vermont to finance a trapper, and eradicate all these beautiful animals that had co-existed with this situation for years. According to a person involved with this process, it was decided the beaver were acquiring way too many cornstalks for the comfort of the landowners. If you have ever walked the circumference of the field, or walked it diagonally you would know what a massive field this is. I believe I can safely estimate on a very good year these animals kept their harvest under 2 percent. Since this corn field encroached on what had been a natural habitat for these animals, doesn’t it seem it only far that they be allowed this small portion of corn stalks? Aren’t there more pressing things our state could be investing our money in. Since this is a trail used by families with small children, and pet owners shouldn’t there be a public warning about all these vile traps laid along these animals’ trails from the river to the fields?
I’m greatly saddened by this terrible event, and the use of our tax dollars , and hope this land owner and the state will reconsider before doing this sort of thing again. Thank goodness that no pets or children have been harmed. I hope these amazing animals return and are protected.
Brattleboro. Sept. 12
Things for which to be grateful
Editor of the Reformer:
Entergy Corporation announced it will be closing the Vermont Yankee reactor after the current fueling cycle. This is clearly great news. Why should the state of Vermont wait to close this reactor on the corporate timeline? According to the sale agreements Entergy negotiated at the Public Service Board in 2002, Entergy’s time was up on March 21, 2012.
Following the closure announcement, the New England Coalition continues calling for increased safety margins, closure on the state’s terms, and prompt decommissioning over the next decade.
The big news locally is all about trying to foresee the future. There sure are a lot of doom and gloom scenarios being promulgated. The fact is, Yankee employees will receive retention bonuses to stay put until 2015. Meanwhile, Brattleboro is a vibrant community. Our downtown is about to host two colleges. Windham County welcomes the plentiful energy of the sun as new solar projects have the support of just about everyone. The schools, art, music, theater, local clean food, in-town hiking trails, the river, the nearby mountains -- what is not to love?
Brattleboro continues to be one of the best small towns in the U.S., according to national lists. Without the nearby reactor scaring away families, retired folks and businesses, our ranking is sure to increase.
For years I believed that Vermont Yankee is closing. That belief makes it come true on some level. I encourage local residents to focus on the opportunities and initiatives that living free from the shadow of the reactor provides us. Yes, even though the sun may be no brighter, I believe we will feel its grace more fully with one big sigh of relief.
There is so much to be thankful for, let’s celebrate our lives here in Brattleboro.
Brattleboro, Sept. 1
Editorial was right on the mark
Editor of the Reformer:
Your editorial "12 years of drift" (Sept. 12) was absolutely superb. I wish it could be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The editorial should be required reading for all the policy makers in Washington, D.C. While this country has so much private wealth at the top that evermore lives secluded from the rest of us, it can’t even keep the post office open any more for eight hours. The public be damned!
Grafton, Sept. 13