Letter Box

Friday September 28, 2012

Got wheels? Editor of the Reformer:

West River Habitat for Humanity is always seeking donations, volunteers, applicants, and land suitable for building. One way to help is to donate a car, tractor, boat, RV, truck, motorcycle, (running or not) to Cars for Homes. One phone call to 1-877- 277-4344 may secure you a tax deduction for this unwanted vehicle and the value of it will be given by Habitat to your local affiliate WRHH.

WRHH has constructed four homes in the last 10 years and is anxious to begin the fifth project. Habitat homes are certainly not free or charity. To qualify a family must meet income, credit status, and need requirements. Most of the existing four homes house two income families, solid, local citizens, who benefit from the big plus of a no interest, no down payment formula for purchase. Houses are modest in size but brand new and energy efficient.

Clear your yard of unwanted machinery and help WRHH to start our next home. For more information about WRHH, call 802-464-5156.

Claudette Hollenbeck,

Wilmington, Sept. 24

Bikes are vehicles, too

Editor of the Reformer:

To the lady that passed me going north down Guilford Street hill while I was stopped at a stop sign, blowing through it at 15 to 20 m.p.h., and the man last week, towing a trailer with child in it and your daughter following that also blew through the stop sign going towards the Creamery Bridge ... bicycle riders are required to follow all motor vehicle laws.

Not only that, it is also a bad example for cyclists and setting yourself up for a collision someday. A collision between a cycle and a motor vehicle is not an even match and could end in serious injury. Follow the laws.

Terrance Martin,

Brattleboro, Sept. 24

Vote Progressive
in AG race

Editor of the Reformer:

The attorney general race this year is of unusual interest given the primary challenge to the 15-year incumbent within his own party and given also the recent entry into the general election contest of a prominent Progressive making it a three-way race.

Jack McMullen, one of the three candidates, is the only one stressing what I and my neighbors believe is the key issue in Vermont today: Drug-related crime, including home invasions, armed robberies and serial burglaries. Everyone I speak to knows of someone who has had his or her home broken into.

The current attorney general is not focused at all on this problem. Jack would make it his top priority.

His approach is similar to the one proposed by T.J. Donovan, current Attorney General Bill Sorrell’s primary challenger. It envisions two different courses of action depending on the type of offender. One of Jack’s goals, if elected, would be a statewide policy to get dangerous drug dealers, violent criminals, out-of-state troublemakers and repeat offenders off our streets and into prison as quickly as they can be arrested and prosecuted.

Young, non-violent drug offenders would be treated differently, with an emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation over incarceration and punishment.

I think his ideas have promise and believe his election would curb the recent rapid escalation of drug crimes in Vermont and restore the level of security in our homes and communities we have a right to expect.

George Kuusela,

Bellows Falls, Sept. 24

Future ghost town?

Editor of the Reformer:

Well, the village fathers have really hit the jackpot this time with their unrealistic decision when they announced that they will turn the old Arch Bridge intersection into a three-way stop. (Probably no right turns.)

The estimate by the Vermont Agency of Transportation of more than 8,000 to 12,000 vehicles per day going through this intersection means a backup of vehicles for blocks. I would say lines of at least 30 to 50 cars at the three-way stop trying to get through this intersection between the hours of 10 a.m. through 6 p.m., almost every day. A mess.

New Hampshire made this problem -- make them fix the Vilas Bridge and you will not see any traffic problems at this intersection. Ha! Good luck. New Hampshire has no intentions of ever fixing the Vilas Bridge. Just like the old Arch Bridge, let it sit, deteriorate, and rust, for more than 10 years and then declare it is beyond repair and unsafe for vehicles. Take notice: It took more than three days, plus an expert from England, and still they failed to blow it up. Final decision, we can’t blow it up, constructed too good, so we will cut the main base beam in half. Then guess what? It finally fell. This is what the Granite State calls an unsafe bridge. (Vilas Bridge is next, you’ll see.)

With the closing of the Vilas Bridge, more than 50 percent of the vehicle traffic that used to go through the Square was cut off. Now just look at the closed businesses in the Square.

With this three-way stop, you will stop the other 50 percent of vehicle traffic from going through the Square. Everyone is going to go down Atkinson and School-Green streets, instead of this bottle neck.

Ghost Town Square Bellow Falls.

Sorry, village merchants, BF Square, your days are numbered. No Vilas Bridge, no Arch Bridge, no traffic, no customers.

Fred Yates

Westminster, Sept. 14

Vote for Dunbar

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to share some of my experiences with Emmett Dunbar over the last decade that I have known him. We have worked together as Board Members of the West River Montessori School. During that time the school was facing major challenges that Emmett tackled with energy and enthusiasm. We were dealing with tough issues such as building improvements to meet new compliance regulations and bringing the school’s curriculum and teacher requirements up to a new level in order to receive tuition dollars from the sending towns. The tasks at hand, no matter how challenging, never seemed to discourage him.

Emmett is an invaluable team player who motivates those around him to keep going when times are tough. His diligence paid off when he was able to witness the school’s success first hand. The enrollment has doubled since he joined the board, the building has never looked better and the staff is highly motivated.

I have also known Emmett through his farming career and have been a member of his CSA and regular farm stand customer. I was impressed by the professionalism and organization of his CSA. As members, we received the highest quality vegetables along with monthly newsletters informing us about the farm’s activities. He offered volunteer opportunities for those interested in working on the farm and was eager to share his knowledge.

I am voting for Emmett on Nov. 6 because I know he will work hard to serve our community.

Roseanne Dennan,

Bondville, Sept. 25

Go vegan

Editor of the Reformer:

2012 has not been a banner year for the meat industry.

Extreme drought has doubled the cost of animal feedstuffs. Undercover investigations documented male chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, their female counterparts crammed for life in tiny wire-mesh cages, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and assorted farm animals skinned and dismembered at the slaughterhouse while still conscious.

A study of more than 120,000 people by the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed once again that meat consumption raises the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan, warned that routine use of antibiotics to promote animal growth in factory farms is causing "the end of modern medicine."

No wonder U.S. per capita meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually.

October offers excellent opportunities for dropping animal products from our diet. The month kicks off with World Vegetarian Day and World Farm Animals Day on Oct. 1 and 2, respectively. It continues with World Food Day on Oct. 16, and Food Day on Oct. 24.

Entering ‘live vegan" in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.

Brent Regan,

Brattleboro, Sept 25


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