Friday June 21, 2013

Speed kills: Drivers need to slow down, be aware

Editor of the Reformer:

I can only imagine this Headline: "Local woman killed while walking on Williams Street." And the story would go on to say ... "Local resident, Susan Avery, 66, of Whetstone Drive, was struck and killed on impact this morning while taking her daily early morning walk. The speeding driver who hit Ms. Avery was estimated to be traveling 55 miles per hour in a posted 25 mile per hour zone. Charges are pending. Subhead:"This was not her first brush with a moving vehicle. While walking on Canal Street in November, 2007, she was struck by a car backing out of driveway propelling her out into the middle of the street. She survived this incident with only a few minor bruises.

"Ms. Avery was a native Vermonter and ‘lover of life.’ She has been a caring and supporting member in her family; to her parents, her children, her sibling and her grandchildren and her first great-grandchild. Remembered by friends, they would say she always had a shoulder of kindness and thoughtfulness. Despite her age, she was a person with youthful thinking who walked quietly in the world making it a better place in which to live."

And I could go on .... This may be a morbid accounting of my own demise, but I feel compelled to speak out about the speed on this and other local by-ways in Brattleboro.


Advertisement

Even though our town has experienced three pedestrian deaths in the past few years, motorists continue to exceed the speed limit time and again.

What will it take for you and others reading this letter to make a difference in our town. Chief of Police Gene Wrinn has promised a stepped up patrol presence through the Click It or Ticket program on our streets. We, as residents and taxpayers alike need to support this effort now.

Speed kills. Spread the word; don’t be a statistic, be a part of the solution.

Susan J. Avery,

Brattleboro, June 19

Time to re-think
summer vacation

Editor of the Reformer:

Your editorial about the negative effects of our long school summer vacation, especially on disadvantaged children ("Stem summer learning loss," June 20), was excellent. There is actually a simple way to eliminate this learning loss: Abolish the long summer vacation. It is a relic of the 19th century, when the United States was predominantly rural and the farmers needed their children to help them with farm work during the three busiest months of the year. We are no longer a rural society, and a three-month summer vacation makes no sense any more.

We are the only Western democracy that has such a long summer vacation. Shortening it considerably would also add strongly needed days to the school year. Again, the United States has the shortest school year of all Western democracies. That is reflected in the generally poor results by American students in international tests. It would help all students, therefore, to organize the school year in a way that reflects the fact that we live in the 21st century.

Reto Pieth,

Grafton, June 20

The blind need help

Editor of the Reformer:

The Vermont Association for the blind and visually impaired has an immediate urgent need for volunteer drivers in and around the Brattleboro area to get blind and visually impaired people where they need to go. Clients of VABVI cannot drive which causes a serious problem for them, forcing them to rely on others. They need to put food on their tables, get to vital medical appointments and run important errands. Our volunteer pool in your area is very low and we greatly need your help so the blind in your community can meet their daily living needs. VABVI’s Volunteer Transportation Program provides free, personalized transportation services.

There is also an immediate need for volunteer readers in and around the Brattleboro area. Volunteers are needed to read mail, bills and important pieces of written material that are not accessible to those with vision loss.

If you are fortunate enough not to need our services, perhaps you would enjoy helping those who are less fortunate. Come and be a part of something wonderful by joining our team of inspirational volunteers.

Volunteer as much or as little as you have time for. Drivers receive mileage reimbursement for the use of their cars. If you can help or would like more information, call De Toll free at 1-877-350-8840. VABVI is a non-profit organization providing a wide array of services to Vermonters with vision loss.

Vicki Vest,

coordinator Of Volunteer Services,

Vermont Association For The Blind

& Visually Impaired,

June 17