Letter: Turn a negative into a positive

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Editor of the Reformer,

In the word malfunction, the Latin root word mal means "bad" or "evil." The term "malfunction junction," then refers to a place where all these malfunctioning things come together. Seeing how this junction is right at a very strategic, central place in town, one would think that there would be a more positive term to impress upon visitors to Brattleboro who arrive here by either the Vermonter, exiting Exit One off of Interstate 91, or crossing over the Anna Hunt Marsh and Charles Dana Bridges from New Hampshire. It would probably be unrealistic to rename the junction, as it has been written about, discussed at length, and therefore ingrained in the minds of those who live here. Instead, why not take a negative and turn it into a positive by simply making this "malfunction junction" function and the possibilities to do so are endless.

For example, prior to the construction of Interstate 91, travelers would stop at a town's information booth to learn about the services of the community, much like the Chamber of Commerce booth on Putney Road. Would the uniqueness and charm of Brattleboro be better served if the malfunction junction became a central, all-inclusive welcoming place that attracts even the most casual wanderer of the myriad of opportunities that lie within.

With a spark of imagination and then a commitment to hard work, there might just be a way to solve the panhandling issue facing the town and even use this venue as an opportunity to redirect any negative behavior by students whose words or actions cause a concern by providing for them an alternative to punishment in which they make amends in a positive, meaningful manner by serving to inform the public that Brattleboro is above all, a forgiving community.

Roberta M. Crispino

Brattleboro, March 14

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