Letter Box


Signs, signs,
everywhere are signs

Editor of the Reformer:

What is going on with all the unnecessary road signs popping up all over the place? I thought the state and towns were all broke?

There have been more than 20 signs put up in the past week on West Hill Road in Putney. I can not believe the residents allow this. Who wants to look at all these signs everyday? I know I don’t. Also why are the signs so reflective? they actually blind you at night when trying to drive by them. If a driver can not see the old signs the way they were, that driver should not have a license to drive.

Please stop this ugly obstruction of our beautiful countryside roads and take down the ones that are already up. This would include all the markers that have gone up this year too. A total waste of money and a huge eyesore.

Derek Doucette,

Dummerston, Sept. 25

Real vs. Replica

Editor of the Reformer:

We at the Chesterfield Arch Bridge Preservation and Beautification Society view with some alarm a proposal to replace the historic Schell Memorial Bridge with a replica bicycle span (See: New Life for Schell Bridge, May 23.)

A proposal calls for replacing the Schell with a span that will be a replica of Keene, NH’s new "North Bridge" which ironically was inspired by the venerable Shell itself.

While we can appreciate the great difficulty and cost in preserving and rehabilitating the original Schell, as well as considering the profound effects of the on-going Great Recession and the weakening of the Historic Preservation Movement, we would like to express doubt over the practice of using replicas to replace authentic heritage.

As we work to rehab the Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Bridge in Chesterfield as "The Blooming Bridge," we had envisioned a series of vintage spans, over the Connecticut River and its tributaries, used as botanical gardens, river viewing platforms and as bicycle-pedestrian crossings.

Our vision started with Shelburne Fall’s famed Bridge of Flowers and included the Schell Memorial Bridge, the Chesterfield Arch Bridge, and the Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge of Simsbury, Ct. But the Schell would serve as the hub of the wheel, the linch pin to this endeavor.

The new bike bridge in Northfield to replace the Schell is a worthy endeavor in its own right, tying into the Northampton rail-to-trail system and connecting both banks of the river for cyclists.

But with the Schell’s demise, the dream dies. No great influx of visitors up and down the river valley, taking in the beauty of both the bridge flowers and the natural splendor of the waters, one bridge after another. No mutual collaboration for the benefit of host communities.

We feel a replica falls short of the grand design of enhancing beauty and aesthetics as well as preserving civil engineering heritage on the Connecticut River.

The Chesterfield
Preservation & Beautification Society,

Sept. 25

Yield to safety

Editor of the Reformer:

Yesterday evening as my partner and I were walking home from "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Latchis, we stopped at the corner of Elliot and Main, waiting to cross diagonally. It was 8:30 and there were no cars in sight, except for one, waiting to turn left onto Main. I stepped less than a foot off the curb, contemplating whether to jaywalk, when I realized that one vehicle at the intersection was a police car. He rolled down the passenger window and told me to step back onto the curb. Incredulous, given the total lack of traffic, I did as I was told, and waited for the signal to cross. Much ado about nothing, indeed.

Janet Wallstein,

Brattleboro, Sept. 25


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