Toney’s lasting legacy in Brattleboro

Editor of the Reformer:

A few weeks ago the Brattleboro area lost a big fan of this community.

If it weren’t for Theresa Toney, the t-bar at Living Memorial Park would be gone and long forgotten. In the mid-’90s she heard the town of Brattleboro would no longer be operating this local treasure; she rounded up some pretty heavy hitters in this town and they gathered to come up with a plan to save the ski area. She made phone calls, she spoke to people on Main Street and she wrote letters to the Reformer. She ruffled a few feathers but many hard-working volunteers formed a board, raised money, painted towers and t-bars and sold tickets and incorporated in 1997. Theresa served as president for a couple of years.

The next time you drive by the park on a wintry evening and the lights are on and the t-bar is humming and people of all ages are skiing and snowboarding down the hill, please remember her hard work all those years ago. And remember the hard work of the current board and volunteers that operate something that makes Brattleboro a bit richer. And they do it without town funds. That’s pretty wonderful.

Biz Dana,

Hinsdale, N.H., Dec. 9

Creating a safe, healthy future for Vermont

Editor of the Reformer:

Palisades, Pilgrim, Fitzpatrick, Indian Point and Vermont Yankee are all merchant generators owned by Entergy corporation. If Entergy does not treat Vermont well (i.e. if Entergy continues to make agreements and break them), then Entergy’s name will be as good as toxic sludge in its dealings with other states.

Currently all wholesale generators are a thorn in the side of Entergy, particularly those that may not have contracts with utility companies.

Atomic energy used to tout itself as "low cost." The expenses of decommissioning disproves any notion of "low cost."

The stage on which negotiations occur is the gray area long seen as the space between Federal oversight (safety) and that of the state (economics, environment, aesthetics, and reliability).

I want the state to know we have a place of power because Vermont may be the first state to decommission a merchant generator reactor.

If Entergy does not decommission soon and does not put the waste into dry casks, every other state will know what we have quickly learned -- Energy is not trustworthy.

Our negotiators have a tough job.

Entergy and its moles are professionals at getting what the corporate shareholders want.

Our state negotiators have this one opportunity to create a safe healthy future for all New Englanders. For Entergy, it is yet one more chance to save money as that is the corporate way.

Gary Sachs,

Brattleboro, Dec. 6

Pedestrians must also take care

Editor of the Reformer:

In regards to a recent letters about how drivers need to pay better attention. Let’s bring this to fact on how the pedestrians here in Brattleboro walk out from between parked cars, cross the streets when the crosswalk sign says do not cross and wear dark clothing at night while walking along the side of the streets.

I had a recent incident on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8, when an individual walked right out in front of my truck with a child in tow when I had a green light and the crosswalk clearly showed not to cross the street.

It seems like the pedestrians here in Brattleboro think that they can just jump into a crosswalk at any time or cross the streets at any location without any regards or looking in both directions to make sure the path is clear and the driver of any vehicle sees them. Let’s use our heads and eyes when walking and shopping in town.

Mark McAvoy,

Brattleboro, Dec. 10

On merger talks ...

Editor of the Reformer:

I feel obliged to write as I am confident my late husband, Fred Athearn, would be doing so. Fred fought the earlier merger attempt with a spirited letter-writing campaign that surely the readers of the Reformer recollect. His was a lone voice for many months until finally the League of Cities and Towns came down against the merger with its manager-as-dictator proposal.

The same issue has come around again. Bellows Falls wants the unincorporated residents to share some of their costs without any added benefits. Quoted in the Reformer, Mr. McAuliffe says "He believes the Rockingham tax bill would go up a couple of pennies while the tax bills of Saxtons River and Bellows Falls would drop a penny."

The towns have sewer and water services that we do not and never will have. We shouldn’t be helping to shoulder the expense of those services that the towns provide themselves.

Eleanora Eden,

Rockingham, Dec. 10