Letter Box


Former Rockingham library director speaks out

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m writing this letter to thank Rockingham residents for the wonderful opportunity I’ve had to serve you as the director of the Rockingham Free Public Library for the last five years.

The library is a tremendous resource for the town and it has been well-used and well-loved by the community since 1909 when it was first built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. This gem of a building has just undergone a thorough renovation so that it can serve the town for the next 100 years, and I am tremendously proud of the leadership role I was able to play to enable that to happen.

Of course, this library would not be the vibrant institution it is, without the enthusiastic support of so many in the community, from the library staff, its Trustees, the Friends of the Library, area organizations, businesses and individuals who have donated to our fundraising efforts, volunteered their time, and advocated strongly to represent the best interests of the Library and its patrons. I want to especially thank the Selectboard and the Town Manager, Chip Stearns, who came to the rescue to help us get this renovation completed. The library is an important landmark in the town, and in Vermont, and we can all be proud of helping to ensure that it will serve many generations to come.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has given me their support during this challenging time, especially over the last year. I want to caution you not to believe the rumors, innuendoes, or slanderous remarks being circulated by some members of the Board of Trustees. I can assure you that I have done absolutely nothing to justify the board’s vote to terminate my employment. Going forward, I will be responding to my wrongful termination in the legal arena, because that’s the only course left available to me. Meanwhile, I will continue to support the library, and I welcome the opportunity to serve the library community once again, in order to provide excellent services to residents and other patrons for years to come.

Célina Houlné,

director, Rockingham Free

Public Library,

2008-2013, Sept. 24

Reignite your passion for activism

Editor of the Reformer:

It seems serendipitous that as the Obama administration pushes for a "limited" U.S. war on Syria, one of the most vocal peace activists ever is scheduled to speak in our area. Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey to the U.S. war on Iraq. One year later in 2005, Cindy came to international attention as she and her supporters camped out in protest on land adjacent to President Bush’s Texas ranch.

We are all weary of war that never seems to end.

A few months ago, I saw Cindy speak and as I looked around the audience. I was struck by the reaction. A few thought she was not "analytical" and she definitely does not fit into a liberal political category. I observed that most, including myself, enthusiastically saw a woman on fire with a passion for ending war -- war that killed her son. I wanted some of her passion to rub off on me because I have never suffered a loss such as Cindy’s and it’s hard maintaining one’s own peace activism in the face of so many distractions. I was not disappointed.

So, I invite you to witness Cindy Sheehan for yourself. She will be speaking on Friday, Sept. 27, between 7:15- and 9 p.m. at Amazing Planet Farm and Justice Center, on Williamsville Road, off Route 30 in Williamsville. Her talk is titled, "Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache and Activism." The public is invited and donations will be accepted to cover her airfare from California. Cindy’s talk is the opening event of the Sept. 27-29 Annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters, to be held at the same location. For information, call 802-387-2798.

Daniel Sicken,

Dummerston, Sept. 20


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