Thursday May 16, 2013

Library’s closure will be ‘hardship’ for community

Editor of the Reformer:

I attended the open meeting of the Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library yesterday, May 13, and I’m beginning to wonder why I did. It seems to me as if the decision to close the Library for most of the summer had already been made at the May 1 meeting of the Trustees. At this meeting six of the nine Trustees were present, and the decision to close the Library was approved by a four-to-two vote -- less than a majority of the entire board. There was a vote taken at the May 13 meeting which I thought voted down the closure, except for a few days for asbestos removal, but apparently I was mistaken.

The library continues to be a vital intellectual and social center in our community, and to do without it during the better part of the summer, when schools are on vacation and many of us have more leisure time, would be a real hardship. Under the leadership of Célina Houlné, the library has become more welcoming than ever. Youth Librarian Samantha Maskell helps to provide outstanding programs for young people of our community. Historical and Reference Librarian Emily Zervas helps to make Rockingham Library a place where serious academic studies can take place. My son did much of his research for his Ph. D. thesis at Rockingham Library. Public Service Librarian Ed Graves helps to make the library programs available to the larger community.


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These and all the staff of the library provide a wonderful service to our people, which would be sorely lacking should the library close for most of the summer.

I would like to urge the Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library to do everything possible to keep the Library open during the spring and summer months.

Rev. Robert Deacon,

Bellows Falls, May 14

Stolen bike seat sours resident on local police

Editor of the Reformer:

I’ve been a Brattleboro resident for the past four years, and feel like this town is going down the drain. Last night, I went to unlock my bike from the rack in front of the BTC on Flat Street and discovered someone had stolen my bike seat and post. I always park my bike in view of the security camera, so I can feel safe leaving it. The camera should have captured the theft, and led to the arrest of whoever stole the parts. That would send a message to all the other criminals in Brattleboro that theft has consequences, and that we have some degree of law and order.

Unfortunately, I was informed by a member of the Brattleboro Police Department last night that the camera hasn’t been working for the past week, and hardly ever works. Is the state of our town’s security cameras really that bad? Why can’t they keep them working? Or are they working, and the police department is just too lazy and apathetic to investigate?

Oliver Marston,

Brattleboro, May 12

Editor’s Note: We contacted Police Chief Gene Wrinn who confirmed to us that the cameras are, indeed, in working order.

Wright defends,
explains campaign

Editor of the Reformer:

Having read Jiggs McAuliffe’s recent letter about me ("One candidate for two positions? Just say ‘no’," May 14), I have this to say:

He’s right, I am seeking power -- the power for Bellow Falls residents and families and taxpayers to have greater control over the quality of life here in the Village, to have more say in the decisions made for their neighborhoods, to have a greater sense of security as citizens invested in a common future, and to demand better and faster attention from our elected officials concerning the local issues that trouble us.

And it’s true; no one should vote for me -- no one who’s satisfied with the highest rate of taxation in the state of Vermont, or is comfortable with remaining locked in to a continuing dependence on fossil fuels and their escalating costs, or feels complacent about the stranglehold that municipal unions have placed on the coffers of Bellows Falls, or sees no problem with neighborhoods deteriorating from the apathy of absentee landlords.

But, I must admit, I am perplexed by Mr. McAuliffe’s decision to joke about my name -- after all, the traditional definition of a wright is a skilled worker who crafts useful objects from raw material, whereas a jig is just a tool used to repeat the same pattern, over and over again.

Deborah Wright,

Bellows Falls, May 15

On one candidate running for two positions

Editor of the Reformer:

With reference to Jim "Jiggs" McAuliffe’s letter to the Editor ("One candidate for two positions? Just say ‘no’," May 14), I consulted the Vermont Secretary of State’s office about a similar situation.

Vermont law is silent about one candidate running for and holding two or more elected positions on the same governing body. If candidate Deborah Wright is elected Village President and Bellows Falls Trustee, she does not have to resign one position, presumably giving her two votes. She can choose to resign one position, joining her colleagues in appointing her successor. If she had just one opponent for a position, she could have withdrawn her candidacy by the deadline, allowing her "opponent" to run unopposed as her appointee.

Vermont democracy is less than we believe.

Howard Fairman,

Vernon, May 15

Litterbugs ruin effort
of Green Up Day

Editor of the Reformer:

Blessed with a beautiful morning on Green Up Day, the volunteers who cleaned up the accumulated detritus along Greenleaf Street and the Hinesburg Road had already finished the job before I arrived to help at 9 a.m.

Alas, the pristine state in which they left that stretch of road didn’t last long. Apparently some people not only didn’t appreciate their efforts but just couldn’t live with the improvements judging from the new round of beer bottles and plastic trash that has appeared there already.

Who are these jerks anyway?

Larry Simons,

Halifax, May 9

Balint lauds Blue Moose

Editor of the Reformer:

I recently had a delicious Italian dinner at the Blue Moose on High Street in Brattleboro. I had no idea the Blue Moose was now serving fine Italian food in the evenings until my hair stylist mentioned it to me between my wash and cut. It was the perfect place to celebrate my recent birthday. Consider supporting this local joint; the service and food were both top notch.

Becca Balint,

Brattleboro, May 14