December 19, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Fire Department appreciation

In response to Ginger Isham’s letter in the Jan. 31 issue (“Issues with our fire department”), I’d like to relay my recent experiences with our fire department. Last month, our complex had the need of the fire department’s services three times over one weekend.

The first incident was approximately 3:45 a.m. on a cold, snowy, blustery night. I would not even have known the firefighters had arrived, had it not been for my neighbor telephoning me to make me aware in the event we might need to evacuate. While the truck lights were on directly outside my bedroom window, there were no sirens used. I appreciate that the response was swift and fully staffed. I live in a multi-unit dwelling and had it been an actual fire, with the blowing winds the entire building could have burned while waiting for “backup” to arrive.

The next incident was two days later and a repeat of the first. Again, the fire department arrived promptly and quietly; this time it was a little later in the morning but the only noise was the rumble of the fire engine out front. The third incident involved not only fire but police response, at an hour they could certainly have used their sirens and again there were none. It is my experience the sirens are only used when necessary.

At the risk of stirring up a hornet’s nest, I am much happier with the value for my tax dollar of the fire department than our school test scores.

Every year, our school tax dollars increase as our community grows. It only seems to be common sense that the budget of our fire department also needs to increase. Public safety should certainly be as important as public education.

Jennifer Allard

Williston

 

Sick and tired of being sick

As an employee at Allen Brook School, I cannot tell you the number of times sick kids are at school (and shouldn’t be!) Please… if your child is sick (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or just doesn’t look good) please DON’T send them to school.

Ally Roberts

Williston

 

Co-teaching in Williston

A group of parents of students with special needs are concerned about the line item in the budget for a new co-teaching model at Williston Schools. We have several questions that we have asked the school district and would like to see discussed with the entire community. The school district is unable to hold a meeting before the budget vote so we are asking the community to consider thoughtfully: What will this model mean to all students (not just special needs students) in their classrooms? How will this change the delivery of education in each subject area? What are the strengths of this model and what are its weaknesses? How will the success of co-teaching be assessed in Williston, are we using any assessment tool besides the NECAPS? How will this affect students who need individual teaching time on IEPs or 504s? This method has been used in some schools to benefit students with special needs and improve inclusion—what is the training being provided to teachers and staff to ensure its success in Williston? Is cost savings a consideration in the proposed changes?

The school intends to publish some information about the co-teaching in this week’s issue of the School Bell.

Marla McQuiston

Williston

 

Voting ‘yes’ on Article 6

Regarding my recent letter of concerns about the proposed new Public Works building I would like to update my thoughts. I had the privilege of meeting with the Public Works Director Bruce Hoar and getting a tour of the existing buildings as well as some insight on how the road crew goes about its work. He showed me the current design concepts and discussed the potential new sites they are considering. The town has worked hard to revise the design, the location and substantial cost reduction of the new building and I’m pleased to say that they have addressed many issues I had. I can now fully support the new building and its proposed budget and I recommend you should also. While spending my hard earned dollars on more taxes is not easy I realistically cannot see the road crew working from their present spot any longer, there is barely room to walk around the equipment, spending more money there is a waste. I still nitpick a couple of design issues but will vote yes to Article 6 on the ballet and say thanks to the town for being sensitive to the tax payers.

John Marcotte

Williston

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