Saturday May 11, 2013

Jamaica should think twice

Editor of the Reformer:

I am hoping that the town of Jamaica thinks twice about the generous offer proposed by Marlboro College to secure a space to plant itself for future generations of students.

Jamaica is an ideal location for a school such as Marlboro College whose priorities are in order. The residents and businesses have much to gain from the presence of such a fine educational institution.

The town of Jamaica and its establishments, predominately the historic Salmon Hole, the Three Mountain Inn (circa 1780), and the Historical Society would benefit considerably. The small businesses like D&K’s General Store and the Jamaica Coffee House might flourish as well under such a transaction.

Community planning has been on the table now for some time as the Jamaica Selectboard can testify. I believe it is time for the state of Vermont to alter its priority from a tourist driven economy to an one with an emphasis and focus on education. We do, after all, have so much to offer.

Kelley L. Murray,

Brattleboro, May 8

Start composting today

Editor of the Reformer:

My family and I were skeptical participants in the Brattleboro Composting Pilot Project. We already composted for our garden, so we felt like moving our compost to a bin on the curb would just increase our work without actually reducing our trash load. We were quite mistaken.

During the pilot, we were stunned to see how much less trash we produced. We were able to put all sorts of items in the town compost that we never put in our backyard composter, such as meat remains, cat litter, and milk cartons. It was incredibly satisfying to see how each week we found more items to compost and had markedly less trash. Moss Kahler has started an efficient composting program that helps each family feel like they are making a meaningful difference.

Debra Loevy-Reyes,

Brattleboro, May 8

Don’t close
the library

Editor of the Reformer:

Keep the Rockingham Free Public Library open. Our community has one of the best libraries in the state of Vermont, staffed by a highly qualified director and staff. The construction company that is finishing the renovation project is prepared to work while the library stays open.

All facts and logic lead to keeping the library open. Let’s support the library that continues to bring excellent service to the community, and follow the advice of the Library staff, the Selectboard, community members and some of the Library Trustees. Their recommendation is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the library open.

Kathleen Michel,

Saxtons River, May 9

GED: Ticket to better earnings

Editor of the Reformer:

Scores of local adults are in danger of losing, in some cases, years of effort towards over a half million dollars ($500,000) of additional lifetime earnings. Beginning in January 2014, a completely new and computer-based only General Equivalency Diploma test will be introduced. Any prior GED testing begun but not finished will be invalid, forcing people to begin testing all over again. The testers at risk have passed one or more of the five GED tests (a major achievement) sometime in the last 10 years, but have not yet completed the remaining tests. We need your help to find these partial testers.

Each year, approximately half a million people receive their GED credential certifying attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills. This credential enables recipients to go on to further education and improved employment prospects. Roughly 50 hard working adults completed their GED testing and earned their diploma at Windham County’s Vermont Adult Learning just last year, and every year we help approximately triple that number in our Brattleboro and Bellows Falls locations build their skills preparing for the GED and other high school equivalency programs.

The clock is ticking. We need your help to find the deserving adults who could be just one 65 or 90 minute test away from completing this ticket to, by all measures, a more secure and satisfying future.

A high school credential is crucial not just for success but for survival in 2013 and beyond. Over the course of a lifetime, an adult with a high school credential earns on average $568,000 more than an adult without a credential. If you or someone you know needs to complete (or begin) their GED, please contact Vermont Adult Learning today at 802-275-4073 or 802-275-4079 or jeverest@vtadultlearning.org.

Join the 18 million adults nationwide who have passed the GED and changed their lives.

Janice Baldwin
and John Everest,

Educational Advisors, Vermont Adult Learning,

Brattleboro, May 9