Letter Box

Tuesday July 9, 2013

Riding for a reason

Editor of the Reformer:

The rains stopped on Saturday, June 29, and 62 cyclists rode 30, 60, or 100 miles from the Marlboro College Graduate Center in support of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro.

"We had worried about the weather, but it didn’t rain, and a south wind helped push us back to Brattleboro. It was a perfect day for the Ride," said Dr. Robert Nassau, president of the club’s board.

This was the fourth Going the Distance Ride. Riders included a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old who both rode 60 miles with their respective parents. There were six riders over 70 years of age rides and 37 riders were doing their first fundraising ride for the club. Most riders were local, others came from New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York City to do the ride and support the club. Over 20 volunteers and Boys & Girls Club members staffed the rest stops and drove the routes to support the riders and help with the occasional flat tire.

This was the first Century (100 mile) Ride for Sharon Snider, a nurse at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and several other riders.

"I found that my friends who donated were happy to support me and the Boys & Girls Club. The laughter, support, and camaraderie of my fellow bikers (and the great rest stop volunteers) throughout the long ride provided the fuel I needed, but seeing those smiling club kids at the end of the ride was a cherry on the top of a perfect day," Snider said.

"The ride has become the major fundraiser for the club. This year’s ride has raised almost $47,000 and donations are still coming in" said Nassau.

As in past years, The Marina Restaurant provided lunch for the riders. Donations from Hotel Pharmacy, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Richards Group Insurance cover most of the ride expenses, so that the money raised by the riders goes directly to support the club’s programs for area youth.

According to Beth Baldwin, the executive director of the club, "The ride is important to the club in many ways. The financial support allows us to serve all youth with quality summer programming. The ride introduces the club and our services to those who participate and their donors. Most people have heard of Boys & Girls Clubs but do not know what we provide for youth at the local level. This event helps us let people know what their fundraising efforts support. And, most importantly, it communicates to our members that they matter and that other people, most of whom they have never even met, are invested in their success."

Donations to support the Ride are still being accepted at the Boys & Girls Club, 17 Flat St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. You can also donate on line at: https://www.firstgiving.com/bgcbrattleboro/2013

John Bentley,

Brattleboro, July 3

They’re back!

Editor of the Reformer:

On this Fourth of July I am sure Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago they risked their necks to free us from the tyranny of royalty.

They are not called princes and princesses or dukes and duchesses, but senators and representatives. They are compensated $175,000 a year plus as well as numerous privileges for life including their title making them members of the elite 5 percent of the country.

It has become painfully clear over the last decade that they represent no one except themselves and those in their class and above who pay them tribute. Don’t tell me I am talking class war. That war has long been over; the rich won when the present day royalty, with the help of the Supreme Court jesters, passed laws resulting in Citizen’s United.

Jefferson had said we might need a revolution every generation or two. We are long, long overdue.

I do not propose a revolution, but fireworks with some Constitutional Amendments.

First: Change the form of government from a Democratic Republic to a Democracy. Ever time I hear the new royalty or their jesters saying our beloved country is a democracy. If that were true, AL Gore would have been president. Don’t start me on the time space continuum -- just beam me up Scotty.

Second: Make all elected terms six years with no consecutive terms

It has been reported by Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker that the new royalty spent 70 percent of their time raising money for their re-election.

Third: That the new royalty have their compensation set on the mean income of their constituents. In that way they would understand the problems of the people they are charged with representing.

Have a Happy fourth of July; run those ideas up the flagpole; have a hotdog and think: What would Thomas do?

Dean Lynch,

Putney, July 3


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