Shutdown already
having local affect

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m writing today with a story of how the federal shutdown has affected a local organization, Turning Point of Windham County.

As you all probably know, Turning Point has been focused on relocating back to the downtown area for some months now. Last November, we formed a task force devoted to seeking properties and researching funding solutions. We’ve been focused on a property on Elm Street since this spring. It recently was revalued, as part of the foreclosure process, at $88,900 (down considerable from $139,500). We immediately had conversations with Bratteboro Savings and Loan, who suggested the USDA as ideal for our situation. Our discussions with the USDA are now on hold, and a tour of the facility, was scheduled for this week, is now postponed until the government is back in business.

The house is on the open market, and we’re hoping we don’t lose it. We have a lot of exciting momentum, commitment, and support, which has come to a screeching halt due to the shutdown. Thompson Trust is strongly supportive of our plans and intends to support our efforts; they’ve been a supporter of our center since 2008. We’ve done considerable research about disaster-recovery funds that could help us make repairs caused by Irene. And our partners and the recovery community have all been anxiously awaiting our return to the downtown area.


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If you’d like to speak about this, I’d be glad to, as would our board and task force members. Or, if you’re doing stories about the local effects of this government shutdown, please feel free to mention this disruption. We’re meeting our mission to support the local recovery community, people who are living free of addiction, at our Putney Road location, but there’s no question that we reached more people and thrived when we were downtown. I know we’ll get there again soon, but this is disappointing.

Suzie Walker,

executive director,

Turning Point
of Windham County,

Oct. 1

On compromise

Editor of the Reformer:

Impasses seem to rule the day in American politics. This is as true in Brattleboro as it is in Washington. We see the national political scene in a tooth and nail fight over affordable health care (I refuse to use the nickname Obamacare). We also see Brattleboro residents continuing to debate the merits of the skateboard park in the Crowley Park.

Let’s show our national politicians what it means to compromise. We can have a skateboard park and a playground and all will walk away with a win. Let’s simply move the skateboard area to town property 1/2 mile away and use the lightly used parking lot at the corner of Elm Street and Flat Street as a skateboard park. No trees need to be cut down; no playground is lost. The few cars that use the parking lot can easily move to the town parking structure/Transportation Center. If you doubt the feasibility of this, take a look at what exists in downtown Keene, N.H. This is truly a win-win. Skateboarders get their area; current park users get their green space; those parking cars in the Flat/Elm lot get covered parking; and, the town gets better utilization of the parking garage. Issue solved.

Now for dealing with affordable health care ....

Elliott Greenblott,

Brattleboro, Sept. 30