Cost is more than dollars and cents

Editor of the Reformer:

When I recently read Mr. Gartenstein’s comments, referring to "quality of life issues" concerning the siting of the skatepark, it was exactly the point I had wanted to make when I e-mailed these comments to the town’s Skatepark Site Selection Committee in April.

"My mother was born in Brattleboro 92 years ago and at that time, Mr. Crowell’s mansion still stood on what today is referred to as the Crowell Lot. By 1944, with the buildings gone, the area became a park. The title to the property was transferred from the Vermont National Bank to the Brattleboro School Board to possibly build a new high school. The high school ended up being built elsewhere and the property has been a neighborhood park ever since. When I was little, my mother took my siblings and me to play in the park. When I became the mother of three girls, I took them to the park, and now that they have children of their own, all of us go to the park to the very spot where my Mom took me. This lovely shaded area that is now being proposed for the skatepark has been a playground for generations of young children and I would say it is the most used area of the park. I see that one of your site criteria is ‘how is the site currently being used.’ The current use of this portion of the Crowell Lot is and has been, since the 1940s, a children’s playground and I know my family is not alone in hoping this does not change.


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Sometimes the ‘cost’ of something (one the committee’s criteria) cannot be determined by dollars and cents."

Midge Gembarowski,

Brattleboro, Aug. 25

Parking and pedestrian safety

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m a casual driver on Route 30, and over the past several summers, I’ve seen situations along this road which I believe are potentially dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers. The "swimming hole" at the Williamsville bridge is one -- when did Route 30 become a legal parking lot there -- so many people from out of state parked along the shoulder on any given day and so many people walking/strolling across a busy highway. Also, haven’t they heard that the water here is contaminated, especially since Tropical Storm Irene, and can’t they see for themselves how very low the water depth is. Why would they want to bring their children here when they could become ill from the water?

A new situation I started noticing the past three years is all the out-of-state cars parked anywhere along Route 30 wherever they want to stop, and the occupants are down in the water spending the day. I think most of us who live here don’t consider Route 30 a parking lot, so why don’t these people get tickets and big fines or at least told to move on?

This summer is showing me that there are ever more out-of-state cars parked on the shoulder of Route 30 and playing in the river. Monkey see -- monkey do. I think the situation needs to be addressed and stopped. It is a hazard to other drivers using the road, and always a potential fatal situation.

We all want folks to be able to come to Vermont and enjoy her splendors up to a point, but this situation looks to me like it could be hazardous to one’s health, and possibly lead to more pedestrian fatalities in our area. Can the illegal parking at least be prevented?

Jan Hull,

Wardsboro, Aug. 28