Drivers and pedestrians, please take care

Editor of the Reformer:

Having worked on Brattleboro’s Main Street for nearly 40 years, I have seen a lot. I have seen drivers drive through red lights, and have seen pedestrians cross the street on a green light. I have seen drivers drive by pedestrians standing in a crosswalk waiting to cross, and have seen pedestrians step out into traffic and cross the street outside of a crosswalk. I continue to see people cross Main Street in front of the Brooks Memorial Library (where there is no longer a crosswalk). These people are sometimes leading a child or two and must walk through a median planted with flowers and shrubs -- not an easy task, to say nothing of the fact that what they are doing is illegal and unsafe.

In light of yet another pedestrian fatality in our community, I want to say this: Drivers , please slow down and pay attention. Pedestrians, obey the law and follow simple safety rules: cross only in crosswalks; activate the walk signal and cross only when traffic is stopped. And to everyone, put down your cell phones and focus on what you are doing. Together we can end these senseless tragedies.

Dawn Pollard,

Brattleboro, Dec. 11

Thief ruins holidays

Editor of the Reformer:

As I drive through the the town I was born and raised in preparing for the holidays, the nostalgia brings forth the memory of raising my own children here. But two Mondays ago I was bringing three of my children into daycare in downtown Brattleboro. Carrying a carseat, a diaper bag, two backpacks and corralling two toddlers, it is a juggling act I perform in the morning and the afternoon by myself five days a week. On this day I returned to my truck and realized that my purse was stolen right in broad daylight with all us parents going in and out of the daycare, which I may add is in the basement of a church.

As if life isn’t hard enough, half my rent payment was in my purse, as were two cell phones, seven insurance cards, my bank card, my ID, social security cards and pictures of my infant children while they were in the intensive care unit. I have six children I still financially support. This was a major financial loss for myself and my children. It’s Christmas. I work 40 hours a week to support my children by myself. I reported it to the police with no positive feedback, just "Thanks for your report. Have a great day." I went through the process of canceling and reordering new cards. The fact that whoever would do this clearly saw me that morning juggling the kids, rushing so I could be to work in time, then stole basically my life in a purse.

I no longer feel safe or optimistic about my children’s future in Brattleboro. That fact saddens me greatly. I’ve faced the fact that it’s a loss I have to move on from, and I will be fine. But it’s Christmas. What kind of person do you have to be to act so viciously selfish and destructive towards a single mother and her children? I am now in fear of homelessness and a presentless Christmas for children who did nothing to deserve this.

Serena Baker,

Brattleboro, Dec. 10

SAFSTOR the wrong choice for our future

Editor of the Reformer:

SAFSTORing Vermont Yankee is not the best choice.

Delaying decommissioning up to 60 years overlooks that decommissioning of Maine Yankee to a greenfield was completed successfully within budget in just seven-and-a-half years, the first decommissioning of a large (900 megawatt) nuclear-power plant. Why not here? Experienced, skilled plant employees applied their inside knowledge in consultation with the Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel.

Rapid decommissioning of Vermont Yankee is in everyone’s best interests, even Entergy’s, because inflationary ongoing costs of decades of SAFSTOR will deplete the decommissioning fund, a public trust funded by ratepayers to ensure timely cleanup.

Vermonters and our New Hampshire and Massachusetts neighbors can unite to make rapid decommissioning happen.

Howard Fairman,

Vernon, Dec. 10

A clarification

Editor of the Reformer:

I received an email from a reader last week who was upset by my Dec. 3, 2013 column -- "Rescuing the Rescuer" -- about Polish resistance worker Irena Sendler during WWII.

This reader felt like I did not make it clear that Poland was under German occupation at the time that the events in my article took place. Although I feel that this information is implicit in the column, I am sympathetic to the complaint that I did not make this fact explicit. The Warsaw Ghetto was established by the German Governor-General Hans Frank in 1941; the German army had invaded Poland in September of 1939. Clearly, it was Hitler’s intent to abolish Poland. A government-in-exile in Britain and an intelligence service (established outside of Poland) both contributed to the Allied effort during the war, as did Polish Air Force members and ground troops.

Like so many innocent people in Europe at this dark time, Poles were viewed by the Third Reich as subhuman, and they paid dearly for it.

I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Becca Balint,

Brattleboro, Dec. 9