Letter box

Saturday October 13, 2012

Does Mitt equal a downward spiral? Editor of the Reformer:

In rough economic times, or times of war, the people of the United States look to their president. They expect them to pull the country of a recession or resolved a foreign conflict. How then would electing an individual who is of the impression that 47 percent of the nation "believe they are victims entitled to extensive government support," affect this country in a positive way?

While there may be some abusing the system, the problems lie not with those receiving aid but with the lack of opportunities for higher education and employment, and in the organization of the welfare system itself. What is even more troubling than the issue of the welfare system, is the idea that Mitt Romney, who potentially could be the leader of this country, thinks that the position does not require him " ... to worry about those people." Who would those people then turn to?

If the middle and lower classes receiving any type of government aid are ignored and overlooked, the United States could continue in a negative downward spiral.

Taylor Comstock

senior, BUHS, Oct. 5

A successful exchange

Editor of the Reformer:

On Saturday, Sept. 29, 23 students from Brattleboro Union High School’s partner school in Geneva, Switzerland, returned home after a whirlwind stay with their 15 BUHS Swiss Exchange partners and the volunteer families who hosted the extra Swiss students.

While in the U.S., the students shadowed their BUHS partners in class and visited artisans at Cotton Mill Hill and arraignments at Vermont District Court; they interacted with younger students in French classes at Green Street School who impressed the visitors with the level of their French; and, guided by one of the homestay fathers, they climbed Mount Snow to view the changing foliage. With their American hosts, they spent a full day in New York City and a farewell evening carving pumpkins, feasting on potluck dishes, and attending the Homecoming football game.

Their visit was successful thanks to the BUHS faculty and students, especially the BUHS students and their families who shared their homes and their lives with the visitors, and the generous artisans and others in the community who all welcomed the Swiss students. In particular, we would like to thank the following: Stephen Procter, who demonstrated throwing pots; glassblower Randy Solin, who demonstrated her art; Side Hill Farms and the Center for Digital Arts, who welcomed the group; Judge John Wesley and the staff at Vermont District Court, who not only hosted the students but also provided a context for what they observed; and the Broad Brook Grange in Guilford.

We are looking forward to accompanying the BUHS students in the Exchange as we travel to Paris for two days and then to Geneva to stay with our Swiss partners for 10 days.

Maggie Cassidy

and Judy Abascal,

BUHS, Oct. 5

Vote for Illuzzi

Editor of the Reformer:

By now you have probably received several mailings with absentee ballot applications and probably a request to vote "straight up and down the ticket." Wait. Stop. Look. Listen.

Now I won’t tell you how I’m going to vote line by line (unless you ask me), but I do want to advocate that we all vote responsibly. Let’s make each line count. I do want to advocate for your vote on one line in particular, one that’s a bit hidden away -- the Auditor of Accounts. The candidate I am supporting -- Vince Illuzzi -- has a strong working command of the state’s fiscal situation after decades on the Senate Finance, Appropriations and Institutions Committees

In March this year, I met Vince and found him to be someone who really listened to folks and made things happen. I witnessed dedication and hard work with a focus on getting things done. After the hearings were over and the legislative session ended, Vince accurately assessed his own involvement: "People didn’t expect anything to happen, but we listened, and we decided to make a difference." He was absolutely right.

And he’s the man for the job of Auditor of Accounts -- Vincent Illuzzi.

And one other thing -- he’s endorsed by the Vermont Working Families Party, Vermont National Educators Association, Vermont State Employees, Vermont Professional Firefighters, Vermont Troopers Association and Teamsters Local 597 (UPS drivers).

Robert A. Oeser,

Brattleboro, Oct. 7

A real person,
not a maniac

Editor of the Reformer:

The Police Log item in the October 6-7 issue of the Reformer referring to the Brattleboro Retreat’s call to "report an escaped mental patient" caught my attention, mostly because the item reads like a wannabe John Carpenter scenario.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to suggest that anyone who is employed by the Brattleboro Retreat would never, on their worst day, refer to an AWOL resident as "an escaped mental patient." Yes, it’s October, but that’s no excuse for the Reformer staff to reduce a real person to the lame horror film cliché of a wandering maniac.

Fran Hutchinson,

Newfane, Oct. 8

The presidential debate winner was ...

Editor of the Reformer:

Regarding the common verdict, joined in your editorial "And act worthy of Shakespeare," Oct. 6-7), that Mitt Romney won the first debate: Perhaps I don’t see things in the same way as most people. I don’t see how anyone who told as many falsehoods and made as many misstatements as Mitt Romney did could be declared the winner of anything.

It seemed to me that if there had to be a winner in that debate, it was the moderator, Jim Lehrer. He did well in enforcing the rules on two men who were acting like unruly schoolboys without chastising them so severely as to put a damper on the proceedings. More importantly, Mr. Lehrer, at the end of each topic, pointed out that there were clear differences between the candidates (implicitly acknowledging that those differences had been made clear), and, in the process, making it clear that the most important function of the debate was to describe the differences between the candidates, so that voters have a basis for informed and rational choice, and not to "win" or to score points.

John S. Warren,

E. Dummerston, Oct. 8


Editor of the Reformer:

After reading the article on Hinsdale, N.H., considering an ordinance limiting yard sales ("Hinsdale considering ordinance limiting yard sales," Oct. 9), I could only say, "Really?"

I don’t want to demean in any way the efforts of our town officers who give of their time and talents, but with all the many issues challenging us as a town and state, is this really necessary? Many of us are feeling the depressing effects of current property tax rates in particular, and this makes me wonder if adding fees and fines on the backs of residents who only want to supplement their incomes and help with expenses is the answer. I say no. I don’t know Mr. Sprague, who was referenced in the article, but I hear his concerns loud and clear. What’s next on this slippery slope ... fees, fines and limits on home jewelry or craft parties? I have not noticed any crime or traffic-related problems resulting from his or other yard sales, so what’s the problem with it?

I believe it’s our responsibility to not create undue further burdens for our residents.

Lynn Lowe,

Hinsdale, N.H., Oct. 9

Say ‘no’ to Crowell as a skatepark

Editor of the Reformer:

As one of those individuals who has recently voiced my Crowell Lot opinion in the Reformer Letter Box, I have a brief comment on a recent editorial ("Skatin’ by," Sept. 29-30). Since I was unaware of the scheduled public information meeting held on Sept. 27 until the day before, a prior commitment prevented me from attending. However, I do recall reading in an earlier Crowell Lot skateboarding article in the Reformer that design meetings would not be a forum for voicing one’s opposition to the proposed skate park. As a person of conviction, I will make certain to attend the "walk-about" on Oct. 25 and encourage others who share a similar viewpoint, to attend as well.

As a long- time resident and subscriber to the Reformer, I appreciate the opportunity to express my point of view, not only in this instance, but in other matters concerning our community as well.

Susan Avery,

Brattleboro, Oct. 10


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