Flags missed
at Athens cemetery

Editor of the Reformer:

I am so sad this Christmas season. For the first time in 67 years there are no flags flying on the veterans’ graves in the Valley Cemetery in Athens. All those years, 24/7, flags were there for friends family and those of us who are neighbors. But now they are gone.

Seems some Athens Cemetery Commissioners decided it was important to remove them. They have allowed grave stones to lay on the ground all year and not be fixed; I guess it was more important to remove the flags.

I personally like the way a cemetery in Naugatuck, Conn., does the flags. Every six months volunteers replace the flags so none are ever faded, torn or in disarray.

I miss those flags. My father (G.W. Stevens) still has his flag flying in Athens. I hope the voters start thinking about replacing some of the cemetery commissioners, the ones that think it’s OK for gravestones to tip over and stay on the ground but more important to remove flags from the graves of American veterans for six months out of the year. In World War II the flags flew in a lot of snowstorms. Am I the only one to miss those flags?

Dolly F.H. Stevens,

Athens, Dec. 3

Merger plan
is a mistake

Letter to the Editor:

Bellows Falls residents -- please read the "merger plan" being presented for what it is, not what it is not. The numbers are bogus, not authenticated. There are no true savings to the village of Bellows Falls, along with a total loss of every asset we possess, including our individuality, loss of all autonomy, loss of choice and control. What we retain is all the same taxes; separating our departments into "districts" while doing nothing to reduce costs only breaks our taxes up into user fees. Since the residents are the users, we pay, and handsomely. What do we gain? Shackles, forced impoverishment, crushing taxes, demagogic authoritarianism from a town board that cannot control its own spending habits.

The "Special Meeting" date is already set for Jan. 21, without even a vote to go forward by the Bellows Falls Trustees. Will not one of them speak up for the residents of Bellows Falls? Did we make a major mistake in voting in to office five people who will roll over without reason? What insidious plan lies behind rushing to move this before the voters?

Clearly town residents will not care about this plan? No additional costs as yet? A savings of only $23,000 to the village budget? Is that how cheaply we will sell our souls? That’s why it is not like the other two merger attempts. It is also the least fair to the taxpaying village residents of Bellows Falls. We can fix our economic problems by facing some hard realities. As Bellows Falls citizens, and with board members who help make those choices, don’t run away from them by handing over the keys to the kingdom.

Use your voices to speak on this issue Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. A joint meeting between Rockingham and Bellows Falls immediately follows the Bellows Falls Trustee meeting. Show up and tell your trustees how it is and what you expect them to do about it.

Deborah Wright,

Bellows Falls, Dec. 5

Christmas is here!

Editor of the Reformer:

Hooray! Christmas time is here according to the Town Band of Hinsdale and the Community Band of Winchester. I was privileged to attend their marvelous concert last Sunday afternoon. From the classics, to jazz, to old favorites the music was toe-tappingly festive.

Thank you for bringing the spirit of Christmas to us.

Martha Rockwell,

Hinsdale, N.H., Dec. 3