Friday January 11, 2013

Gun laws
don’t work Editor of the Reformer:

I have a question for a recent letter writer who in her letter she said Vermont needs gun laws. Then why has Vermont been deemed one of the safest States in the country to live in and raise a family?

And if the writer feels that strongly about highly restrictive gun laws than I have suggestion: Detroit will fill the bill for this country’s most highly restrictive gun laws. Yet Detroit has been deemed one of the most dangerous cities on the face of the earth. Now one would surmise that shouldn’t be so because restrictive gun laws work. Oh, yes, Detroit has a population of 100,000 gang members and they are all armed to the teeth but that cannot be possible with Detroit’s highly restrictive gun laws, you would think.

Take a look at Washington, D.C., with its highly restrictive gun laws. Should be perfectly safe there, right? But that city has earned the title of murder capitol of the country. And there is a large population of gang members there and they are all armed to the teeth. But then again, that cannot possibly be true with D.C.’s draconian gun laws.

We have a saying in Vermont: If it doesn’t need fixin’ we do not fix it. And I am very proud of the fact that we Vermontahs received a Big F by Sara Brady’s anti-gun crowd.


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Gary Mosher,

Saxtons River, Jan. 9

Vermont’s
Death Valley

Editor of the Reformer:

No cell phones. Poor radio reception. Sketchy satellite radio.

That’s why I call the stretch of Route 30 from Brattleboro to Jamaica Death Valley. Grace Cottage Hospital and Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend, plus the sheriff’s base in Newfane, are but a few strategic areas being affected. Thankfully, the cell tower in the church steeple in Jamaica powers up to five bars but the signal soon fades as one heads farther out towards Bondville. Broadband certainly adds to computer speed and web access but what about these other areas of mass-communications? Would repeaters help? Your thoughts?

Morty Fink,

Jamaica, Jan. 9

The devastation of Lyme disease

Editor of the Reformer:

We have a growing need for support for people with Lyme disease. We no longer have to look to the developing nations for destitute, disenfranchised people, we have people right here in our home town. One woman I met with yesterday is a good example. Beautiful, in the prime of life, she is suffering from unbearable pain and handicap, and can no longer afford to live in her apartment. Too sick to work, deserted by her partner, she has exhausted all possibilities for medical support in our area, because when the antibiotics didn’t work, her doctors gave up on her and suggested that she see a psychiatrist, abandoning her to be consumed by a debilitating disease. Other Lyme sufferers are misdiagnosed with an "auto-immune" disease, like chronic fatigue, Parkinsons, or MS.

According to the Vermont Lyme Network, the numbers of cases of chronic lyme are growing at a frightening rate.

Lyme is very quick to become resistant to antibiotics so it is crucial to get sufficient primary care for each and every tick bite regardless if there is a bull’s eye rash and regardless of how long the tick was attached. Lyme is easy to eradicate during the first weeks of infection. Be sure to ask for the common co-infections to also be treated.

It is high time our community takes a bold look at this; it is not going away. Lyme can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus via the placenta. Some believe it can be transmitted sexually. The documentary "Under Our Skin" presents evidence for these claims. Lyme is on its way to becoming an epidemic and it will cripple our health care and welfare systems.

I have no idea who is going to step up and try to stop this. The people who care most are too sick. Every spring through fall, more children and adults are getting tick bites and will not really know if they are infected because standard testing is only 50-percent accurate. The most accurate tests are available at Sojourns Community Clinic in Westminster. Lyme disease threatens the entire spectrum of our community from hunters to hikers to dog walkers to environmentalists, but especially the children who all play outside. Lyme symptoms in children differ from those in adults and are primarily emotional and behavioral, including inability to concentrate on schoolwork. Anyone interested in this issue can contact me at mpivar@sover.net.

Marjorie Pivar,

East Dummerston, Jan. 10

Development not good for Walpole

Editor of the Reformer:

Thank you for covering the lawsuit pending in our little town ("Walpole residents sue to block development," Dec. 20). Many townspeople don’t know what local town boards are doing, and are surprised when a building or business pops up along the stretch of Route 12 that is so popular with developers lately.

The 22 residents who signed this challenge to the town deserve thanks from the rest of us. Everything about Avanru Development’s scheme, which your newspaper termed "the largest housing development in town history" is wrong for Walpole. The Planning Board meeting of Dec. 13 should be proof enough of the townspeople’s opposition to this project, when the final vote was "met with jeers and even some curse words."

Avanru first came before the Planning Board over two years ago when its president, Jack Franks, thought that Walpole needed another supermarket; and said that he was tired of driving to Keene to buy diapers. The next thing we knew, Avanru was proposing not a supermarket, but a 48-unit two-bedroom condominium complex for people 55 and older. Failing to sell any condos, Avanru decided to convert their proposal to 67 one-bedroom rental apartment units.

Mr. Franks was quoted in your publication as saying "There is a select group of individuals that have the mindset ... that this is going to be something other than 55-plus housing -- and it’s not. They don’t want any growth. They’re opposed to any and all growth. They’d prefer it to stay a cornfield at Avanru’s expense." While their plan is to continue marketing these units to older folks, by their own admission, Avanru reserves the right to rent to anyone they choose; with no guarantee that they will be 55 or older.

It’s unfortunate that Avanru has "several millions of dollars tied up in land purchases for the development," but no one forced them to buy this property, and one should do their homework before purchasing acres of prime agricultural land and planning to build an urban-sized development there without any feeling for what Walpoleans truly want.

In your article Mr. Franks also says "These (meaning Walpole residents) are the people who pride themselves on being champions of the poor, the elderly and the disadvantaged, but then throw their arms up and say ‘Not in my backyard.’ It’s beyond heart-wrenching. It’s disgusting." Avanru has never indicated that these apartments will benefit the poor or disadvantaged. Mr. Franks himself is again on record at the Planning Board meeting of Nov. 13 as saying that his apartments will be renting in the $800 to $850 per month range." Hardly affordable to the poor or disadvantaged. Plus, this enormous project will not be built anywhere near Mr. Franks’ backyard.

Mr. Jack Pratt, also quoted in your article, is correct in calling this a "bait-and-switch" situation; and while much of the lawsuit involves potential wrongdoing on the part of the Planning Board et.al., the bottom line is that this entire project doesn’t benefit Walpole, and will result in a burden on all of our town services; from police, fire and schools to water, traffic, light, parking and noise issues. It’s not development that Walpoleans are against. It’s this development.

Cathy White

Walpole, N.H., Jan. 10