LETTERS: 11.20.14

Cemetery Commission Seeks Candidate to Fill Vacancy

Dear Editor,

We are lucky to have such an engaged, community-spirited population in Montpelier. Those of us serving on the Green Mount Cemetery Commission hope we can tap into that energy. The commission is seeking a Montpelier resident to fill a vacancy. The appointed individual would serve until March 2015, and may run for election at the 2015 Montpelier city meeting for a term of five years. If you are interested, please send a brief letter of interest to Patrick Healy, cemetery director, to c/o Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main Street, Montpelier VT 05602; or via email to cemetery@montpelier-vt.org. Thanks!

Jake Brown, Montpelier

The writer is the chair of the Green Mount Cemetery Commission

 

Opinion Piece Had an Error

Hello Montpelier Bridge,

I wanted to point out an error in the Op-Ed from Nov. 7 drafted by Brent Ehrlich.  In his letter, Brent incorrectly credits the letter to The Bridge titled “A Thank You and A Plea,” which appeared in the Sept. 25 issue, to Tim Shea.  The original letter was written by Tim Flynn.

I believe a correction is in order.

Dan Voisin

 

Vermonters: Take Back Our Inmates!

Dear Editor:

It’s been reported two groups are working to bring Vermont inmates back to Vermont. I’ve not seen a report on the reason I believe inmates have been sent to industrial/commercial prisons in the first place.

We don’t need a study to tell us an offender’s best chance not to re-offending is community support.  Reasons not to use commercial prisons are many, but a few might be: Rapes occur at a rate of 1 in 5 inmates, prisoners are forced to join gangs to survive, inmates teach fellow inmates on bigger money-making crimes and out-of-state criminals visit “friends.”

Review of the Constitution says we shall see them at their labor. This make the supreme court’s decision WRONG when it ruled it is constitutional to send prisoners to these profit-making prisons.

Those able to stop this unconstitutional action have great incentive to NOT keep inmates in Vermont. Dick Sears, judiciary chair for years and years, received in 2004: $200; 2008: $500; 2006: $500 from Corrections Corporation of America. Money well spent? Sears isn’t alone. Government’s most powerful received campaign contributions: Brian Dubie (’08: $250) and Jim Douglas in 2006 received $2,000 and money in ’08 and ’04! Peter Shumlin in 2012 received $1,000 from CCA. Secretary of State document titled Lobbyist Employer Information include Susan Bartlett, Vincent Illuzzi, Koch, Mullin, O’Donnell, Severance to name a few.  14 lobbyists are listed in this document.

Yes, there’s probably a newer list; however, dealing with Jim Condos and crew is too grueling!  They don’t understand who pays their huge salaries/benefits and this information is NOT secret.

Laura Brueckner

Waterbury Center

 

Mountain Biking in Hubbard Park: Neither ‘Wedge’ Nor ‘Ploy’

Editor,

I write in response to Brent Ehrlich’s opinion piece entitled “Say ‘No’ to Regular Mountain Biking in Hubbard Park.” In the spirit of full disclosure I am a member of MAMBA (Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association) and an avid mountain biker who wants a place to ride on trails with my kids in Montpelier. I am not writing to engage in a point-counterpoint on the serious concerns Mr. Ehrlich has raised, but I look forward to that dialogue during the public process to be conducted by the Parks Commission in early 2015 because, unlike Mr. Ehrlich, I don’t believe that I’ve “heard all the talking points” on this topic.

I was inspired to respond to the claim in the third-to-last paragraph of the piece that this issue “boils down to” two things: mountain bikers wanting an in-town training ground and Onion River Sports wanting to sell more bikes. As to the first part, I, and the group of Montpelierites I ride with, have no particular interest in seeing trails in Hubbard Park for our own use, as we have plenty of amazing trails within a short drive in just about any direction that offer cardio-vascular and technical challenges far beyond anything we could get, or would want, in Hubbard. Our desire for a kid- and family-friendly place to ride is real, not an “emotional wedge” or a “questionable ploy.”

More importantly, Mr. Ehrlich offers no factual basis for his attack on Onion River Sports — not surprising given that ORS’s community commitment and generosity is well-documented and plain to us all, supporting valued institutions like Kellogg-Hubbard Library and the Lost Nation Theater. Andrew Brewer and his fantastic team give many thousands of dollars in goods, services, actual money, and staff time to this community every year. Of course ORS wants to thrive and sell as many of its goods and services as it can. And I hope it always does, so it can continue as a pillar of our downtown and a supporter of our community. That does not in any way, shape or form suggest that the desire of Montpelier citizens to see riding in the park is actually a money-making “ploy” engineered by ORS. Mr. Ehrlich should either lay out the facts that led him to that conclusion, or back away from it.

Mike Donofrio

 

Green Mountain United Way Seeks Information

Dear members of the community:

In collaboration with E911, Vermont 211 and the United Ways of Vermont, Green Mountain United Way is participating in a new statewide initiative to identify those in our community who would need special assistance in an emergency or evacuation. This could include, but is not limited to people who need the use of a wheelchair, have unique transportation needs, are blind or hearing-impaired or have a service animal.

If you know someone with a disability, whether physical or mental, we are asking you to help us gather the information needed so that it can then be turned over to E911 for entry into their database. This will enable all first responders to have the information immediately upon receipt of a call to particular homes in an emergency situation. Those first responders will know firsthand if special equipment or transportation or any other considerations will be needed.

For reasons of privacy, the information provided will then be destroyed and only E911 will have the data in their system. The forms that need to be completed can be found at www.gmunitedway.org/e911.shtml where you will see links for three different geographic areas. They can be completed online and emailed to us at info@gmunitedway.org or printed, completed and mailed to us to the address shown on the bottom of the form. Please encourage your disabled family member or friend to complete a form, or you can assist them with the form. If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, please contact any one of our offices in Montpelier at 802-229-9532, in St. Johnsbury at 802-745-0101 or in Derby Line at 802-647-2148.

Thanks for your help in this very important project.

Nancy Zorn

Executive Director

Green Mountain United Way

 

Tax-Aide Volunteers Needed

Dear Editor,

While many of us are preparing our Thanksgiving shopping lists, AARP’s tax-aide volunteers are also preparing our schedules for income tax return preparation at several central Vermont sites including Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, Randolph, Morrisville and, new this year, Twin Valley Senior Center in Plainfield. We work primarily with older and low-to-moderate-income clients (but accommodate people of any age) as part of this nation-wide program sponsored and supported jointly by AARP and the IRS. Last year we served 200 clients just in Montpelier plus many more in the other communities, and we all feel that this is a deeply satisfying volunteer opportunity. This will be my eleventh year in the program, and I write this with absolute conviction and with deep regard for the good, hard-working people we see every year.

We’d love to be able to serve even more people, especially with the additional filing requirements of the new Affordable Care Act, but we need more volunteers! Formal training takes place in January, but educational materials, many online, are now available, and we’re willing to meet with new people for preliminary orientation or just to tell more about what we do and how we do it. We do need your commitment to get to your site for at least a half day per week from early February through mid-April. You will team up with an experienced preparer throughout the season. You will need to be comfortable with and have access to, internet communication for training and continuing support, although our January training session takes place in a group setting with a professional tax preparer.

To learn more, and to be referred with a tax-aide volunteer in your area, go to AARP’s volunteer site: http://www.aarp.org/tavolunteer.

We’d be delighted to have you join us!

Georgia Valentine

Montpelier

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