Friday June 14, 2013

How do we define a crosswalk?

Editor of the Reformer:

Numerous signs indicate that certain spaces are pedestrian crosswalks. They are painted diagonals with boundaries and usually (always?) have a greenish sign with an arrow. However, well-meaning motorists stop for pedestrians at non-designated "crosswalks." What is a crosswalk?

At the end of my street (Pine Street) on the south side, to cross South Main, there is no designated crosswalk. However, when I approach South Main, frequently a motorist will slow down or stop to let me cross; but, a vehicle coming the other way may not. I am not going to step out to find out whether or not that vehicle will stop, so I wait, holding up the very thoughtful person who stopped for me to begin with.

So, what is a crosswalk? Is it an area that has painted diagonals? Is it any intersection of two streets (like my case)? Should vehicles stop at such places, or not?

Downtown Brattleboro has crosswalks painted almost everywhere, but, where I live, and most other residential areas, the painted types are few. Some degree of definition is needed here; drivers need to be informed of a proper stance relative to the unpainted "crosswalks."

Ken McCaffrey,

Brattleboro, June 12

Library staff deserve thanks

Editor of the Reformer:

I want to sincerely thank the staff at the Rockingham Free Public Library for all their hard work and positive energy during this time of great stress. They are packing to move into a temporary space at the Merchant’s Bank. The staff is doing the absolute best they can and they need the support of our community. If you want to keep the RFPL one of the best libraries in Vermont, let your voice be heard. Tell the staff that you appreciate all their hard work, that the library is important to Rockingham.

Join the Friends of the Library -- only $10 per year for membership. Go to rockinghamlibrary.org/foljoin.html to learn more about the Friends. Attend Trustee meetings to show your support for the library. Read the recent on-line article about the Carnegie Libraries in Vermont, Rockingham being one of the "architectural gems" of those 100-plus-year-old buildings. (vtdigger.org/2013/06/09/in-this-state-celebrating-vermonts-four-carnegie-libraries/) Visit the library at its temporary location. Attend programs.

Sam Maskell has planned lots of great Summer Reading programs. I am eagerly looking forward to walking into a newly renovated, beautiful space at the end of the summer.

Kathleen Michel,

Member of the Friends of the Library, Retired Public and School Librarian, June 12

Sky traffic will increase

Editor of the Reformer:

The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, Mass., is scheduled to conduct evening training flights from June 18 through June 20. The evening missions will launch at or around 8:30 p.m. with expected landings around 10 p.m.

We do not want to alarm the residents around the local area that may be startled by the increase in aircraft activity during the evening hours. The evening missions are a critical part of our required reoccurring training. The night training is required to ensure our pilots are ready to respond to any airborne threat in the northeastern United States, at any time, in any condition.

We would appreciate your help in sharing this news, to help alleviate the local residents from being alarmed. With our 24/7 alert posture, our airmen could respond to an airborne threat at any time, protecting one-quarter of the nation’s population and one-third of the its Gross Domestic Product.

We often do not have the luxury of advance notice, however, when we can prepare for training missions such as these, we will try to share as much information as we can. Thank you for your continued support.

Senior Master Sgt.
Robert J. Sabonis,

Public Affairs Manager,

104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base,

Westfield, Mass., June 12