Support H.501

Editor of the Reformer:

Since the tragic crashes in September that resulted in hospitalizations of cyclists in Vermont and deaths in New Hampshire, many of you have contacted the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition to express support for legislation that would address the major problem of impaired driving in Vermont.

We now are asking you to send a brief e-mail message to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bill Lippert, via WLippert@leg.state.vt.us to express your strong support for two bills that will help provide important protections to bicyclists and pedestrians. H.707 lowers the current blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05. The U.S. is well behind the curve as most other nations have recognized the wisdom of the change and have adopted the .05 limit. Note that this legislation is not designed to prevent someone from having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. On average, one beer or one glass of wine would raise blood alcohol content to .02 and would be "cleared" by the body in about one hour.

H.501 creates a uniform standard of impairment so that motorists who are driving impaired due to prescription or over-the-counter drugs will be treated by statute in the same manner as motorists who are driving impaired due to consumption of alcohol.

Both of the above bills will provide law enforcement officers with helpful tools to keep impaired drivers from Vermont’s roadways, will deter some citizens from making poor choices, will draw attention to the growing problem of impaired driving in this state, and will offer additional protections for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Thank you for emailing WLippert@leg.state.vt.us to say you would like the House Judiciary Committee to take up these two bills and pass them out of the Committee. Please be sure to provide your full name, the name of the town where you reside, and why these bills are important to you.

Nancy Schulz,

Executive Director, Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition, Feb. 12

Time for a change

Editor of the Reformer:

I am a concerned citizen of Rockingham who is frustrated with the lack of openness and transparency that the majority of the trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library has demonstrated over the past year. I have attended several meetings of the trustees since May 2013 and have been appalled at the authoritarian attitude of the current chair and vice chair of that body. At the meetings I attended, public comment was not allowed until all the decisions had been made and, even then, was limited or stifled.

Fortunately, Vermont citizens do have the basic democratic right to vote for representatives to public bodies. Rockingham residents have the opportunity to vote for library trustees that support positive, transparent leadership at the upcoming town elections on March 4. I will be happy to vote for four candidates who will work to restore positive leadership to the Trustees of the RFPL. The four candidates are David Gould, Doreen Aldrich, Carol Blackwood, and Ray Massucco. Each of these candidates is very well qualified and believes strongly in open, transparent leadership for our library.

We have a wonderful, beautifully restored library that deserves responsible stewardship. If you are a Rockingham resident, you can register to vote up until Wednesday, Feb. 26. If you won’t be available on election day, you can call the town clerk for an absentee ballot. This election is too important to sit out; please join me in voting for trustees you can trust.

Susan W. Brace,

Bartonsville, Feb. 13

From my cold,
dead hands ...

Editor of the Reformer:

I am a Vermont citizen who is opposed to any gun control in Vermont. I an a retired corrections officer and a Vietnam veteran. It seems that all the gun laws you want to pass are always directed at making criminals out of people that are law abiding and respect the law. The current laws that legislators are trying to pass are no more than registration resulting in confiscation after people can’t pay the draconion fees. Not only are you trampling on our Second Amendment rights, you are violating private property rights, which our vets have fought and died for. You should take heed to what is happening in other states like Colorado and Connecticut where politicians are disregarding not only the states’ constitutions but also the U.S. Constitution. The oaths you took were to uphold the constitutions of not only your state but also the United States, not the progressive agenda you are trying to push. I took the same oath you did and I for one will not comply with any laws that I know violate the Constitution. Myself and my family will not vote for anyone that will not uphold our rights under the Constitution. The word "infringed," which is in the Second Amendment, was only used once in the Constitution for a reason.

James Lanese,

Newfane, Feb. 13

Come visit The Gathering Place

Editor of the Reformer:

The Gathering Place, Brattleboro’s only adult day center, located at 30 Terrace Street, will be celebrating 25 years of operations with a Silver Anniversary Open House on Wednesday, Feb. 26, between the hours of 3 and 8 p.m. Members of the community are invited to visit and meet with friends, caregivers, volunteers, staff members old and new and members of the board of directors. Visitors are invited to tour the facility and there will be an art show and food and drink will be provided, free-of charge. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Gathering Place provides specialized adult day services to promote empowerment, independence and quality of life for elders, adults with disabilities and their caregivers. Services include nursing assessment, physical therapy, transportation, social activities including arts and crafts, word games, special events, live entertainment and music and companionship.

David M. Warner,

Secretary, Board of Directors, Feb. 12