Finding compassion

Letter to the Editor:

Thank you, Lynn Russell, for your beautifully written, heartfelt and deeply touching letter to the editor ("A search for compassion," July 17) about the Charter for Compassion which you learned about at the noontime community gathering at the River Garden on June 25. We thank the nearly 30 members of the community who attended that meeting to learn about the Charter for Compassion and how we in Brattleboro can share in this global effort to grow the compassion that our world needs.

In the presentation initiated by members of the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative we learned that the Charter for Compassion was begun when well known author, Karen Armstrong, won, in February, 2008, the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) prize, which is awarded each year to an outstanding innovator. She stated that she wished for help with the creation, launch, and propagation of an effort to bring the world together through compassion. In response to her invitation, world leaders helped to develop the four paragraph Charter for Compassion, which in November 12, 2009, was formally launched worldwide.

The following year a Compassionate Cities Campaign was begun which now has over 230 cities, 120 of which are in the United States. A number of people are enthusiastic about having Brattleboro, a community with many compassionate services, to join the Compassionate Cities Campaign. To do that we need to develop a grass roots process to form a Brattleboro Charter for Compassion initiative which would include persons willing to do the planning, networking and connection building to carry out this effort.


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For information or If you are interested to work on this important and inspiring process, please contact us -- Compassionate Brattleboro Initiative at CBIYES@comcast.net.

To learn about the Charter for Compassion, please go to www.charterforcompassion.org. There you can sign in to become a Charter member and help the global compassion movement grow.

Rupa Cousins,

Brattleboro, July 22

Where are the mowers?

Editor of the Reformer:

I cannot believe that the medians of Interstate 91 and Interstate 89 have not been mowed this year. It really has taken the beauty out of our beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont. What’s going on with this?

Edna Detch,

Brattleboro, July 17

Enforce the laws

Editor of the Reformer:

Last November I came home from work to find my house was broken into. After calling 911, the Vermont State Police came and secured my home (they were very professional ). After reviewing home security footage, arrests were made and signed confessions were obtained. Three men were charged. One was a Brattleboro resident and if I am not mistaken he is a convicted felon and had a prior arrest for breaking into another home.

My first deer rifle was stolen (my son and I both shot our first deer with it). Two hand guns in a safe were also taken, as well as other items.

The Brattleboro man is not being charged with being a felon in possession or stealing firearms. Apparently it is up to the feds to prosecute gun charges and they are to busy with "big" cases. This July 31 he will be in court and I believe a plea deal will be made, which includes no jail time.

I contacted Gun Sense Vermont to see if they could help, but no. They are more interested in making new (feel good laws and restrictions for law-abiding citizens.

I am shocked a felon will be serving no jail time. If people truly want to stop gun crime, no new laws are needed, enforce the laws we have.

Tim White,

Guilford, July 22

Be sure to vote

Editor of the Reformer:

Elections. It seems that elections come earlier and earlier. This year we will have a primary on Aug. 26. The primary is a party function, allowing the major parties -- in Vermont that means Republican, Democrat, Progressive, and Liberty Union -- to determine their candidates. Voters do not register for a particular party so the primary is open. When voting, you will be given four ballots; you will use one and discard the other three. No one will know which party’s primary you voted in.

Primaries are important. You can register for the primary anytime before 5 p.m. on Aug. 20 (your town clerk is required to be open that day). If you have move, you must register in your new town.

Although the primary is Aug. 26, the ballots are at the town clerks’ offices now. You can call and request an early ballot or you can just go in and vote; you do not have to wait until election day. The reason ballots are prepared so early is that the federal government requires they be mailed to overseas voters 45 days before any election.

The general election is Nov. 4 and even if you didn’t vote in the primary you can still register until 5 p.m. on Oct. 29 to vote in the general election.

Who can register to vote? Anyone who resides in Vermont. If this is your primary residence you can vote; if you are homeless, your address is wherever you lay your head at night; if you are a convicted felon you are still a citizen and you can vote; if you are a college student you can vote; if you are away for an extended time but maintain your residence and plan to return, you can vote. In Vermont we believe that this is an important right that should be given to all residents.

Voting is both a right and a responsibility. Many people have fought very hard for the right to vote -- don’t take it for granted. While it might seem that just one vote doesn’t matter, it does. Don’t let decisions be made by others -- make sure your voice is among them.

Vote on (or before) Aug. 26, and on (or before) Nov. 4.

Sen. Jeanette White,

Brattleboro, July 23

Diplomacy needed

Editor of the Reformer:

As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continue, I hope my senators and my representative will seize this opportunity to publicly speak out in support of diplomacy. New sanctions or other saber-rattling measures could undermine the progress our diplomats have made toward a multi-year agreement that guards against a nuclear-armed Iran and the risk of another war over this issue.

Ronald vanderBosch,

Wilmington, July 21