Friday December 7, 2012

Unfounded accusations do not help the process

Editor of the Reformer:

At the Brattleboro Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a member of the public informed the Selectboard that some of the "Re-Site the Skatepark" signs had gone missing, had later turned up at a party and were subsequently returned to the police. One of my colleagues then questioned aloud, to those present (including the media and those watching at home), whether members of the BASIC Committee were at that party and if they were, then they were complicit with theft. My colleague did not have any evidence of any wrongdoing nor was she stating that she would be looking further into the matter. Understandably, members of that committee feel insulted and maligned by such unfounded statements.

Are we really at this point? It just seems to be extraordinarily inappropriate for elected officials, with no evidence, to openly and casually implicate Selectboard-appointed committee members with actual crime.

I have been candidly public about my support for the skatepark at the Crowell Lot should some previously specified conditions be met, but I have also tried my darndest to be an advocate for process. Regardless of your feelings on the site of the skatepark, I urge us all to continue to explore options presented to us in both the Brattleboro Charter as well as the laws of common respect and fairness. First and foremost, this must be role-modeled by the Selectboard and we owe it to the community to work harder to rise above the baseless speculation and wild conjecture that damages the path through the process.

Ken Schneck,

Brattleboro Selectboard member,

Brattleboro, Dec. 5

How ironic

Editor of the Reformer:

On Page 1 of the Keene Sentinal (Friday Nov. 30), is an article about how the time needed to process veterans disability claims has shot up nearly 40 percent in the last year, and on Page 3 is a brief, mentioning the Bearcat "open house" on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 to 11 a.m., at 350 Marlboro St., Keene.

Yes, 9-11 in case you need another reminder of 9/11, just to reinforce the need for this vehicle. The Bearcat, as you might recall, is the armored vehicle purchased with a $285,933 federal grant. Thank you Homeland Security for this "gift," paid for by us the taxpayers. How sad it is that we send people off to war then make them wait for claims to be processed and at the same time we are showing off a military type vehicle, meant to keep us safer here in Keene. So, the hell with the vets. Let’s use what limited resources we have to buy an armored vehicle and support the Military Industrial Complex and further the culture of war we live in. Will the next "gift" be a drone?

The hell with the vets -- let them suffer 40 percent longer then necessary. I am all for the safety of our police and fire personnel, but where do we draw the line? Not where it comes at the expense of care for our veterans. And let’s stop believing the lies being perpetrated upon us that have resulted in so many veterans -- Gulf of Tonkin, WMD to name a couple. Let’s stop going to war which ultimately results in more veterans and the perceived need for military type vehicles in our streets.

I would like every Keene City councilor who voted for the Bearcat (four voted against it -- thank you ), starting with Mitch Greenwald, chair of the finance committee (who, by the way, was the only councilor to vote against Councilor Dale Pregent’s recommendation that the city of Keene go on record as being opposed to the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to try to effect the results of elections), to go to our local VA clinic at 640 Marlboro St. and tell a veteran why they voted for the Bearcat, instead of saying no, that those funds would be better served taking care of our veterans. We had an opportunity to send a message to the rest of the country by saying that our priorities are in the right place, that we are not going to participate in the insanity of sacrificing liberty for perceived security.

Go, finance committee, go meet some veterans. Listen to their stories, feel their pain, help them to put the war behind them as best they can. I’m a veteran. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to stand by silently while money is being spent on unnecessary, illegal, immoral wars and war related items while veterans are in need of help. Yeah, I’m mad!

Jeffrey Scott,

Spofford, N.H., Dec. 2

Headline comment

Editor of the Reformer:

"Board faces $785K budget shortfall" (Dec. 4). Ah shore feel bad for that there board (sic).

Augusta Bartlett,

Brattleboro, Dec. 4

Editor’s note: Huh?

Dear Mom ...

Editor of the Reformer:

(I am sending this letter to my Mom as we move into December and our journey into the holiday season.)

One of the greatest joys to experience is the joy of unconditional love, especially from one’s family.

Recently, I returned to Albuquerque for a birthday visit with my 89-year-old mother. When I arrived, there she was at the door, greeting me with a smile, a hug and a kiss. As the visit progressed, she kept me very busy with odds and ends of errands and projects. During this time, she mentioned to me how she and her weekly companion and helper, Michelle, had gassed up the car and brought in groceries in anticipation of my arrival so that I would not have to take care of "those things."

The next morning, when I awoke for the day, the coffeepot was all ready for me to make my coffee along with my favorite mug, a plate for my English Muffin and even soft butter. These are the things Moms do for "us kids." As I ate my breakfast, I began to think about my relationship with my Mom. She has loved me since that flutter of movement in her belly 66 years ago. In her own way, since I was born, she has continued to love me through all of life’s challenges, hers and mine.

Family is the bedrock from which we operate, conduct ourselves and to a large extent, develop our eyes on the world. The love and peace and comfort that family should offer to us often gets lost, goes astray. Resentments and anger build over conflicts and sometimes those close relationships disintegrate under the strain.

Saying "I love you" is complicated because those words are oft accompanied by so much baggage. We can say "I love you" in so many ways -- a radiant smile, a readied coffeepot and yes, even soft butter for a toasted English Muffin.

To other moms ... so much love, and to all, best wishes for a festive and joyous holiday season.

Susan Avery,

Brattleboro, Nov. 30