Letters to the Editor (5/14/09)

May 14, 2009

Dedicated to Allen S. Myers

Al, I enjoyed the long conversations with you in Washington D.C.

For The Love Of History: H. J. Barstow (1830 – 1870)

In this cemetery I do wonder

Of uniform soldier that lay under

Tombstone old grey and dirty

A child boy born of 1830

And my mind drifts as I read the words

On cemetery wind laughing children voices can be heard

And life goes on and life goes on

A young boy from Vermont

Herman J. Barstow was his name

Burlington Vermont of which he came

30 years still in his infancy

He was of the 36th Illinois Infantry

1st Lt. of Company G

He traveled far and battles he did see

And life goes on and life goes on

A young boy from Vermont

Through the fields of Chickamauga Creek

And the slopes of Lookout Mountain’s Peek

Many good boys Blue and Grey died that day

The ground swelled rich in blood where they lay

Musket and cannon fire like sounds of thunder

Did Herman survive it all I wonder

And life goes on and life goes on

A young boy from Vermont

The stone letters are faded, chipped and ribbed

And I read he was at Pea Ridge

Perryville was on his list

My mind fogging with thoughts of black powder mist

Yes Herman survived it all

As I stand here like a fool and ponder it all

And life goes on and life goes on

A young boy from Vermont

His headstone sits forgotten in the cedars

As Kathleen and I take his picture

Herman is long gone now as are his peers

His was a short lifespan of 40 years

As I walk away I think of Herman’s plights

My concentration broken as two F-16s take to flight

And life goes on and life goes on

A young boy from Vermont

The evening newscast as I sit back

An American soldier was killed today in Iraq

He left a family and many friends

His blood was spilled on the desert sand

For Country and family he did defend

Lending suppressed people a helping hand

And war goes on and war goes on

He was a young boy from Vermont

Michael P. Dolan

Williston

 

Great turnout at Green Up Day

Saturday, May 2 was Green Up Day in Williston and throughout the state of Vermont. On this, the 39th year for Green Up, over 372 volunteers, more than in 2008, helped Green Up Williston, including Allen Brook and Williston Central school students, local Girl and Boy Scout troops and the Cub Scouts. Volunteers collected 1.44 tons of trash over the weekend, and it was deposited at the Chittenden Solid Waste District. Given the beautiful weather, local Williston residents took time out of their busy weekend to grab some bags and a cup of coffee to get going greening up Williston.

I would like to especially thank Phil Brown once again for his company’s generous donation of delicious refreshments. Without the support of all of our sponsors for Green Up Vermont, this annual event might not be possible.

Thanks for your efforts to make Williston a better, cleaner community. See you next year!

Remember, “Green Up Vermont Every Day!”

Kimberly Richburg

Williston resident

Williston Green Up coordinator

 

Goodbye to Pine Ridge

It is with great sadness that I write today about the closing of Pine Ridge School in Williston. Pine Ridge has been a leader in the nation for educating bright students with learning differences. It is truly a blow to those of us who work with these heroic students!

I visited the campus recently and found the collegial atmosphere almost surreal. To watch this dedicated faculty work with enthusiasm and compassion helping their students while knowing that they would no longer have jobs at the end of the term was a scene I will never forget. This group of educators should be commended for their unselfish and truly professional response to an untenable situation.

The students I met at Pine Ridge were circumspect about the closing. They were terribly sad, but were optimistic that there were other schools that would be able to meet their needs. Students with learning differences are some of the most resilient people I know. Many are beaten down in traditional school settings, believing they are unable to learn. I’ve met a number of students who clearly think that they are mentally unfit because they cannot read or “do math.” The students I met at Pine Ridge were intelligent, thoughtful young people with much to offer any school they may choose. Pine Ridge has made a difference for them; they have confidence in themselves and know they have what it takes to succeed.

It was clear to me that the current administration of Pine Ridge School has worked hard to stave off an inevitable event. Many cost saving measures were implemented during the last two years, but it appears that their efforts were not enough. It is a sad day for the national learning difference community, Williston and Pine Ridge School.

I wish all the best to the faculty, staff, students and families of Pine Ridge School.

Betsy A. Fanning

Associate Head

Trident Academy

President, South Carolina Branch International Dyslexia Association

Mount Pleasant, S.C.