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Forum, Aug. 23: Candidates; Rick Perry; the Co-Op; and Bees

The Need Speaks Volumes

To the Editor:

Weathersfield Proctor Library has not been expanded since it was built in 1902. Perhaps more people would use it if it was bigger. I have taken my children there for functions and you sit on top of other people. I cannot think of a better way to spend our tax dollars. The town could host more forums, speakers and children’s activities, and more people would benefit. Do we want to be a town that has a tobacco/adult shop but cannot expand our library?

Chris Magliola

Weathersfield

Library Use Is Growing

To the Editor:

Even a very small increase in taxes is not what residents want to hear, especially for something where the results often appear to be intangible and even more so if they have never made use of its countless services. How can one express that a library is a major factor in making a community healthy?

It is hard to convince someone that what is provided by a library can be just as important and valued as a fire department or a police department, services that no one ever wants to use. However, a public library can be a lifeline to those who are trying to better themselves by staying informed and by taking courses. Today, Internet access is needed to even apply for a job. Others come to the library for the joy that reading brings and for the sharing of ideas through classes and enrichment presentations.

All are welcome at the library regardless of age or income. The library is the great equalizer. It is like a community co-op, one whose cost should be shared by all for the betterment of all. In part because technology is evolving at such a rapid rate, library use is increasing. One never hears of a library closing, but rather how attendance and circulation are on the rise. The overcrowded Weathersfield Proctor Library is not an exception. Please vote in the affirmative for the expansion on Tuesday.

Loraine Shand

Weathersfield

The Brain of Rick Perry

To the Editor:

Let’s extend a warm welcome to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is currently testing the waters in New England for a presidential run. This at the same time that he is facing 109 years in prison for alleged corruption. We should not imprison people whose I.Q. is barely half that number. In 1994, Perry himself told the Dallas Morning News, “My brain is like a chicken pot pie.”

Jon Appleton

White River Junction

Among the Qualified Candidates

To the Editor:

Norwich, Thetford, Strafford and Sharon are fortunate in having four fully qualified legislative candidates. Of these, my favorites are Jill Michaels and Tim Briglin for one simple reason: both would bring specific and unique skills to the legislature. Jill’s special experience has been in the economic development of small towns, and dealing with regulations that are well intended but completely inappropriate for towns of this size. Tim’s focus is on policy issues such as health care and tax policies but looks at these from the viewpoint of an experienced businessman. Both would bring needed experience to Montpelier.

Ned Coffin

Strafford

Two Good Contenders

To the Editor:

Voters in Thetford, Norwich, Sharon and Strafford are fortunate to have four good candidates from which to select its two Democratic nominees for the House. As someone who has served on the Thetford School District Board of Directors for over 16 years, I find that two of them are particularly well-suited for the legislative challenges that lie ahead.

Incumbent Jim Masland, who worked as a regional director for the Vermont School-to-Work/Career Initiative, has always been responsive to the needs of local school boards, and played an important role in helping to navigate Acts 60 and 68 as they were debated, amended and enacted, bringing unprecedented fairness and equity to public school financing statewide. Now in his second term as a Vermont State College Trustee, Jim has earned a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, giving our district an important and persuasive voice on a vitally important committee.

Tim Briglin served on the Vermont Economic Progress Council and Gov. Peter Shumlin’s advisory council on health care funding. In addition to being a board member for Vital Communities’ Corporate Council, Mascoma Savings Bank and Vermont Parks Forever, Tim served for more than 10 years on the board of trustees at Thetford Academy, including a four-year stint as its chairman. We could use his energy, intelligence and enthusiasm in Montpelier.

In the upcoming session, the legislature will be addressing the future and sustainability of public education in Vermont. The schools in our district are very good but, like all schools in the state, face the continuing challenge of dwindling populations, increasing costs and stagnant taxpayer incomes. The coming legislative session will require that our elected representatives address these challenges and formulate solutions that will allow us to retain local control while maintaining fiscal responsibility and minimizing the burden on taxpayers.

Jim and Tim are up to the difficult task that lies ahead. They have earned my support.

Charlie Buttrey

Thetford

Co-Op Members Invited

To the Editor:

Many Hanover Food Co-op members and long-time shoppers (myself included) have never, until now, bothered to learn how our Co-op operates, and that is a dangerous thing. For a Co-op to remain a Co-op, an engaged membership is required.

Some members are now waking and tuning in and asking questions. For the first time in a long time, a group of members is actively working to educate ourselves on how management, employees, board and members all function together. Some of us wonder if management has accumulated too much power and control over the years and if perhaps employees and board (and hence members) have too little.

There’s much ignorance about how board and management function and there are inadequate systems in place to facilitate communication between board and members. Our group would like to help create those lines of communication and we have asked the board’s assistance in doing so. When things aren’t transparent and information fails to flow and communication isn’t occurring, rumor and suspicion will fill the void.

This community must remain engaged on this issue. What is more important than our central source of food? All are invited to come listen, talk, learn, awaken, eat and engage at our Concerned About the Co-op Picnic/Cookout Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Storrs Pond in Hanover. (BYOB).

Sean Thomas Clauson

Hanover

Helping The Hutt Family

To the Editor:

It is with heavy heart that I ask you all to once again help one of our own in time of need.

The Hutt family is trying to pull together and move forward after the death of the mother (Patience) in a terrible accident on Route 4 last year. Through your generous gifts and donations, the family was able to begin constructing a home on the family property for Sierra, her little sister Daisy, and two brothers, Tucker and Hunter. And now a new addition to the family, Sierra’s three-month-old daughter, Lilly.

The focus at this time is to get back to their lives on Densmore Hill, where they all grew up, and continue in the “Hutt tradition” of self-sufficiency.

The overseer of the family and construction project, Chip, has been battling with health issues that kept him out of work for months.

They need our help. An account has been opened up at the Hartland branch of the Mascoma Bank in Sierra’s name for monetary donations. The house is in need of insulation, sheetrock, wiring, plumbing, siding, some sort of heating system and all the fixtures for kitchen and baths.

If anyone can help with construction materials, and/or labor and expertise in any of these fields, call me at 802-738-9346.

Bill Gaucher

Hartland

The Buzz in Hanover: Bees

To the Editor:

What a pleasant surprise to pick up the Aug. 15 Valley News and see an article about bees on the front cover and an article about Sherlock Holmes on page C-1. The timing couldn’t have been better: Howe Library’s sixth annual “Everyone is Reading” series launches next month, and this year’s book is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, a mystery by Laurie R. King that brings Sherlock Holmes into the 20th century.

Upper Valley residents can check out a copy of the book from Howe Library, even if they aren’t library cardholders. We encourage everyone to attend discussions and events related to the book, beginning with a lecture by beekeeper Bill Mares on Sept. 22, in September and October. More information, including a full series schedule, is available on our website at http://thehowe.org/eir.

Heather Backman

Programming Coordinator, Howe Library