Leters to the editor


Thursday, November 20
Election night coverage on community radio

Editor of the Reformer:

Election night 2008, with no television reception nor high speed internet service, I wondered where I might catch the results of this year's exciting election. On election day, I received an e-mail from a fellow DJ from Brattleboro Community Radio asking for help from any and all volunteers at 107.7-WVEW to report live coverage on election night. Instead of passively watching the news, I could be part of it and potentially part of history in the making.

A few members of the WVEW team phoned around and were able to coordinate both citizens and politicians from throughout Windham County and the state to call into our station to report live coverage.

As we waited for the outcome of the evening we joined together in lively discussion, encouraging community members to phone in and participate. We received phone calls from listeners as far as Hawaii and one audibly relieved voter from Florida. A little after 10 p.m., DJs Wayne, Rip Van Winkle and Mr. Apocalypse headed downtown for local festivities of the Brattleboro Democratic Headquarters (and beyond) that took place at the Riverview Cafe and the streets of Brattleboro. They then phoned the station to continue with their live coverage which included local community members and their perspectives on the happenings from throughout the county, state and nation.

We heard from Floyd Meese Assistant Majority Leader of the Vermont House who called in from Burlington to give us a statewide update; Anthony Pollina, Independent candidate for Governor and his campaign party called in from Montpelier; a local volunteer named Cindy who helped to organize the festivities for the local Democratic Party along with Betty Frye, Coordinator of the Brattleboro Democratic Headquarters as they began dancing up Main Street with the band Simba. During the on air conversation with Betty, at around 11:15 p.m., the computer screen began to provide an update of electoral votes, showing Obama had jumped from 220 to 324. My surprise leaped from my mouth over the phone, hit Betty's ear, and soon she was gleefully screaming those results to the crowd on Main Street.

WVEW also had late night communication with Penny Harrington, Town Clerk of Brookline who reported record voter turn out and results. DJ Rip Van Winkle went to great lengths to reach out to people from different political affiliations, including the Republican Party, unfortunately, by air time, we had not heard back from representatives from either the Douglas or McCain offices. This may have given our coverage a huge imbalance, but it was not for lack of trying.

If you listened to our broadcast, you were able to hear how a small group of community members could access local news and events. Maybe not so polished, but definitely worth a listen.

Special thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of Aaron Ryan, Wayne Griffis, Jay, Tom Grasso, Deb Witkus and support calls and feedback from VEW's own Cam Goodwyn in making Live Election Coverage 2008 so much fun. Just one more example of what community radio can do for you.

Lori Greenberg,

Brookline, Nov. 6

Cowardice in anonymity

Editor of the Reformer:

In regard to Gerald Cohen's letter of Nov. 12 and clarification of Nov. 13:

I'm glad Mr. Cohen was given the opportunity to correct his letter as originally published; it would be a shame for a decent person to have such statements credited to him.

Regarding the undisclosed (read: cowardly) writer who did post the quoted comments, you'd think that someone who laments that he or she is surrounded by people who "deny god at every turn" could come up with at least one or two moral and/or ethical reasons why the president should not be assassinated.

Fran Hutchinson,

Newfane, Nov. 14

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Participate in learning

Editor of the Reformer:

This week, the U.S. Department of State invites us all to participate in the ninth annual International Education Week. This is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This year's theme, "International Education: Fostering Global Citizenship and Leadership," recognizes the importance of programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

This worldwide celebration offers us a unique opportunity to reach out to the foreign students in our community and to develop a broader understanding of other cultures and languages. I know that many in our community share the conviction that the enduring friendships and partnerships created through international exchange are important in securing a peaceful future for our world.

As a community coordinator for PAX-Program of Academic Exchange, an international high school exchange program, I want to applaud the high schools in our area that are hosting foreign exchange students this year. They include Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Twin Valley, Leland & Gray, Compass and Green Mountain in Vermont and Fall Mountain, Hinsdale and Keene in New Hampshire

International education broadens our perspective, both as individuals and as a nation. As Nelson Mandela says, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." I am proud to represent PAX and to work with schools and host families who are committed to making international exchange possible for high school students both at home and abroad. I invite anyone interested in knowing more about how to become involved in this exciting venture to call me for more information (802-257-4710).

Ann Newsmith,

Brattleboro, Nov. 17

Don't drill away our nation's beauty

Editor of the Reformer:

We have travelled all over the world, visiting every continent except Antarcita. The most beautiful scenery we have seen is in southern Utah and northern Arizona. The national parks are gorgeous, with graceful natural arches and multicolored strata beyond belief. We therefore were shocked to read that the Bush adminstration has plans to drill for oil and natural gas within sight of these places. These lands are to be leased on Dec. 19, 2008 prior to Bush leaving office. We can only hope that the Obama administration cancels these plans.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Russel Dawson,

Jamaica, Nov. 17

The last hurrah

Editor of the Reformer:

It really isn't until you actually see it and have been there -- I'm speaking of the new out patient building at brattleboro memorial hospital. I have visited many hospitals to see friends or family members and I must say now that this new building is just that. A new building that is now housing many health departments that took up valuable space in the older main building. To see it is believing that wonders do exist and they do. I'm hoping many of you will take advantage to either visit to see or visit as an outpatient after a procedure has been done. The enthusiasm of the staff is not only glowing but glowing with halos because they are so proud of this new facility and it is clearly visible to anyone be they a patient or not.

By window at Thompson House does not show the work that has been done on the front part, but riding by has proven that it is as well done as the back part that I could see. These work people are as proud of their outstanding workmanship as their contractor is of their performance. Upon entering or just going by everyone should sing out "hurrah" -- really -- it's that good. A job extremely well done and a hospital Brattleboro should be so very proud of. I know I am.

Nita Lowrey,

Brattleboro, Nov. 18


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