Letters to the Editor (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

Bottles for peace

I would like to thank my neighbors, the people who live in Southridge and Coyote Run, for helping me with my bottle drive on Saturday, May 30. I collected bottles for Vermont Kids for Peace. With my neighbors’ help, I raised $165. Thank you very much!

This money will be matched by a generous donor who supports Kids for Peace. Vermont Kids for Peace is a very good organization which helps kids from Israel and Palestine come to camp in Vermont and talk about their ideas of peace. I went to the first Vermont Kids for Peace camp two years ago and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you all again.

Mikaela Rath, Williston

Pain, and gratitude to friends

I cannot even put into words the devastation that my children and I have endured this past week. The pain is worse than a sudden death.

The outcry of support from the community that my children and I have received has been overwhelming. I especially want to thank our dear friends Julie, Cal, Laura and Kevin for opening their home and hearts to us — thank you so much. The school systems and counselors at Champlain Valley Union High School, Williston Central School and Allen Brook School have done more for my children and I than I could ever imagine. My place of employment has been so understanding and the employers have such a big heart. For the counselors at the crisis center there for us 24/7, we could have never pulled through without your help and support.

I want to thank everyone for the shoulder that we cried on, the tears that they wiped, the heartwarming phone calls, the encouraging cards, the prayers, the flowers, the food, the offerings to go to the store for us, rides for my children and all the support that we received.

I need to be strong at this time for my children and keep things as normal as possible. I love them more than anything in this world. I am so lucky to have such wonderful children.

For all the friends in this community that I never realized that we had, we thank you for the support and deep concern for us from the bottom of our heart.

Cathie Kolibas and children, Williston

Walk safely

It was with interest that I read the article in the May 21 Observer entitled, “Federal grant to teach safety for bikers, walkers.” The article talks about how $14,000 in federal grant money was received by the Williston School District recently to be used to help educate students about bike and pedestrian safety.

Bravo — it is an important topic and needs to be covered. Fourteen thousand dollars sounds like quite a lot to do that, but that is not the point here. Many people probably learned good road and pedestrian safety in scouts or school classes years ago. I know I did. (It didn’t cost $14,000, either. A few lessons, some practice and there you are! How many videos and visits from local law enforcers does it take?)

Be that as it may, the article was in the paper the same week that I had occasion to pass no fewer than five adults, jogging or walking along busy Williston roads, and every single person was on the wrong side of the road! Every one of them was on the side with the traffic, rather than facing the traffic. Several were walking or jogging in pairs, making them stick out even farther into the road, and several were wearing earphones and clearly had no idea that I was behind them in a deadly vehicle. If I were to hit one of them, I would be at fault, not them — yet they didn’t even know I was there. That makes no sense!

Many people probably remember when the author, Stephen King, was hit walking along a deserted country road in Maine. It was mentioned in the articles and broadcasts that he was walking on the right side of the road, with his back to the traffic. (He was also somewhat drunk, true.)

All of that notwithstanding, it is important that folks know the road safety rules, and I think we better start with the adults in this town, not the kids.

Hallery Brunet, Williston

The Floral Gallery thanks Williston

Mike, Marnie, and I would like to thank our dear customers and friends for their outpouring of support and well wishes as we closed The Floral Gallery at the end of May. It was with heavy hearts that we made the decision, as we so enjoyed meeting new people that became friends, sharing in their special celebrations and offering the works of local artisans. We take solace that The Floral Gallery will continue, in a sense, with products purchased from the shop hanging in living rooms, dangling in windows, accenting homes and floral designs forever captured in photographs.

Thank you, Williston. It was a great journey.

Karen Sturtevant, The Floral Gallery, Williston

Roundabout experiences

For more than 10 years I’ve commuted on a route which includes three roundabouts. So, I get to use each twice per week; once heading south and then again returning north.

The first is in Manchester on Route 7A, which would be, I’m guessing, about the size of the one proposed for Williston. A short distance from one of the four entrances to this roundabout is a Shaw’s Supermarket. I’ve never seen any of the large trucks which service the market have any difficulties negotiating the roundabout. This is a heavy tourist area and, even during holiday periods with traffic as far as the eye can see, there is no difficulty at the roundabout. Traffic moves more slowly, but steadily.

About a mile north of the existing roundabout in Manchester, at the intersection of routes 7A and 30, traffic problems have been evident for a while. Currently, a blinking traffic signal is used, with Route 7A given preference, thereby causing traffic on Route 30, in both directions, to back up. The proposed solution as I understand it is another roundabout and planning has already been done for it.

The second roundabout is on Route 7 in Williamstown, Mass. It is the largest of the three and has five entrances. Large trucks are a common sight there, with traffic moving steadily at all times.

The third roundabout is in Goshen, Conn. at the intersection of routes 63 and 4, both major routes in northwestern Connecticut. This one, in size, is between the other two. Again, after more than 10 years of near weekly commuting, I’ve never noticed a problem with traffic at this location.

None of the three roundabouts has traffic lights or stop signs, which, for me, is a visual plus in addition to enhancing the flow of traffic.

Tommaso D. Rendino, Williston