Summer at the Senior Center

Editor of the Reformer:

The Bellows Falls Area Senior Center is the place to be this summer, with air conditioning, good food, good company, and interesting things to do. A few of the regular programs are taking a summer break (Quilting, and the First Friday Art Club), but we still have Bone Builders, knitting, card games, bingo, swimming, blood pressure clinic, and foot care clinics. The foot care has become so popular that we have added another day, July 11. Space is limited so call for an appointment at 802-463-3907.

We’ve got some good trips pending. The first is a special center van trip on July 21 to Lake Champlain for a lunch cruise, sign up as soon as possible. Your reservation must include your payment of $35. The next offering is a day trip to the yacht club in Danvers, Mass., for an Oldies concert by the Straight Lace Oldies Band. This trip is by Best of Times and it includes a great meal on July 23, for $90. Sign up as soon as possible.

The annual Maine trip is an overnight on Aug. 7 and 8, with lobster, Nubble Lighthouse, "Mary Poppins" at the Ogunquit Playhouse, and a two-hour boat ride on the Piscataqua River on a restored boat. We will stay overnight in Portland. Some people have already reserved, but there are a few spots left so come in as soon as possible to reserve and make your deposit, the price is a very reasonable $289 for a double.

On Sept. 26 we will depart for a three-day trip to Montreal. If you have never been, do not miss this one. Stop by the center at 18 Tuttle St. for more information. We will be looking into a possible foliage day trip. Last year was a hit. Do not miss our upcoming fundraiser at the Moose Family Club. It is our annual Jamboree, with raffles, cash prizes and more: lunch, bake sale goodies, and the old favorite, "Playing Possum Band."

Save the date of June 29, from noon to 5 p.m., with doors opening at 11 a.m. Admission is $5, and all ages are welcome. Have you ever been out danced by a senior citizen? This could be that time. Remember to pay your Tattler subscription next month so you won’t miss anything and be sure to come for a free lunch during your birthday month. Bring a friend and meet some new ones.

Alice Cobb Rogers,

Bellows Falls, June 18

Support the quarry

Editor of the Reformer:

I want to write to give my wholehearted consent to the proposed quarry in Halifax. We need more industry, especially rock mining and quarries that provide jobs to local people and give us something to be proud about. My father, who was an executive of TWA, bought land in Vermont when farming and industry were strongly encouraged by the local and state governments. Since then, many NIMBY people have moved to the state pushing aggressively to prevent many forms of traditional farming and industry that they falsely believe will negatively impact their idyllic concept of rural living, many of whom have never worked in blue collar jobs, but rather gained money from investments, some in questionable investing. Also there has been precious metals and copper mining in parts of New England that should be encouraged as much as possible, however the NIMBY people as well as certain environmentalists fight such useful business activity as well. I will be attentive to how the quarry issue gets advanced and give it my total and unequivocal support.

Fred Bump,

Halifax, June 23

If it’s good for
the goose ...

Editor of the Reformer:

I rarely agree with anything Ms. Deborah Wright says in her numerous letters to the press, so I was very surprised to find myself in agreement with much of what she wrote in her letter on the Vermont Open Meeting Law (June 18).

Ms. Wright refers to the frequent machinations of public officials behind closed doors designed to keep the public in the dark or thwart the democratic process. She is undoubtedly an authority on this matter. For a year until she was ousted from the Board of Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library in an overwhelming defeat at the Town Elections in March, Ms. Wright was the Vice Chair of the Library Board of Trustees. During her tenure there were numerous complaints to the Board of Trustees themselves, the Secretary of State and the Vermont State Attorney General that the chairwoman had violated Open Meeting Law, and in December last year the Attorney General publicly reprimanded the chairwoman for several such violations. Never during this whole period did Ms. Wright, the vice chairwoman, herself voice any complaint about any of these violations; indeed, on one occasion she even went so far as to publicly deny that the Board of Trustees was being investigated by the Attorney General for the violations.

How ironic it is that a person who herself may have been complicit in so many violations of Open Meeting Law should now complain about others for the same crime -- a perfect example of "the pot calling the kettle black."

Arnold Clift,

Saxtons River, June 23

Keeping an eye on Santa’s Land

Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing on behalf of Green Mountain Animal Defenders, Vermont’s largest volunteer-run animal protection organization, to convey our appreciation to the Windham County Sheriff’s Department for investigating the welfare of the animals at Santa’s Land in Putney and for keeping a close eye on the current situation.

We are especially relieved that criminal charges have been filed against the owner and the caretaker and that a trial is imminent. GMAD strongly urges that the outcome of this trial be that the owner is required to surrender all the animals at Santa’s Land, and that she not be allowed to have animals in the future. Our request is based on the apparent and ongoing gross neglect that has taken place at this facility.

This is a clear example of why law enforcement must take animal abuse cases seriously, as the public clearly does not tolerate the abuse or neglect of animals. GMAD’s hope is that these animals are given the humane care that they deserve and that justice will be done by prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Deborah Cianca-Mayer,

Green Mountain Animal Defenders Board of Directors, June 23

Bittersweet graduation

Editor of the Reformer:

I write as the former executive director of the Austine School -- Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from 2003-2008.

I attended the Austine School graduation on Tuesday, June 17. While the graduation was bittersweet, I commend the Executive Director Bill Gurney, Principal Karen San Soucy and Austine alum, Mike Carter for such a nice ceremony and positive message to the graduates and to the community.

Austine and the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing played a vital role in educating and providing quality service to Vermont’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing low-incidence population. As the VCDHH Board leadership and community face continuing challenges, they will need the support of the Brattleboro and state of Vermont community. Vermont Center continues to provide a wide array of educational and support services to the deaf community and that good work cannot be overlooked despite the recent Board decision on the Austine School.

To the Austine School staff, often led by consummate professional Dr. Ray Stevens, I offer kudos for a job well done. Your passionate work is appreciated and has resulted in Vermont’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens finding employment and post-secondary education opportunities and the ability to enjoy a good quality of life. Community members, continue to keep connected and support VCDHH.

Edward F. Peltier,

West Hartford, Conn., June23

Get well soon

Editor of the Reformer:

We wish David Gartenstein a peaceful and effective path to recovery and wholeness after his unfortunate and traumatic bicycle accident.

Adrasteia Andrews, Peter Diamondstone, Greenough Nowakoski and Lynn Russell

Brattleboro, June 23