As members of the Board of the Manchester Community Library, we are writing to correct a number of inaccuracies in a letter published in the Banner on Feb. 12 about the Manchester Community Library.

First of all, we are not a private library -- we have proudly been a public library since 2003 and we are always grateful that the taxpayers of Manchester have supported our funding requests for our operating budget. Their support each year allows us to provide of wide range of services free of charge to all Manchester residents. Non-residents pay an annual fee to use the library.

Second, our request to the town is only for operating support and this is the first time in three years that we are asking for an increase. This increase will be used to restore personnel and hours that were cut.

Third, with respect to other public services, we do not see ourselves in competition in serving the needs of our community; we are complementary. Our library will be open to all; and police, fire and rescue services are available to all.

Our Manchester Community Library Board has worked strenuously to present a budget to the town’s taxpayers and voters that is conservative, continuing in our tradition of doing the most we can with each dollar that we receive. We hope that our fellow residents will come to Town Meeting and continue to support the library.

LINDA MCKEEVER, president; BRIAN MARTHAGE, vice president; PATRICIA BENNETT, secretary;
ROB LEMONICK, treasurer

TOM DECK, RABBI DAVID NOVAK, CHRISTINE ROSE, CAROL BERRY, PATRICK BERNAL, STEPHEN
DRUNSIC, MEG SEFF,
MARTHA HEILEMANN

Addiction knows no boundaries

The column by JH Mae on Feb. 10 was a good reminder that everyone struggles, no matter their fame, fortune or lack thereof. She, however, left out a critical piece of information about Mr. Hoffman: He was an addict.

Addiction also knows no boundaries and also takes its victims in spite of fame or fortune. According to recent statistics, Vermont had the nation’s highest rate of illicit drug use in 2010-2011; police are making more arrests for heroin and other drug-related crimes; and 1,000 people are on waiting lists for treatment.

In his State of the Union address, Governor Shumlin indicated just how easy it can be to become addicted to pills by using the example of Dustin Machia:

"Dustin started using drugs in 10th grade, during a 15-minute break between school exams," Shumlin recounted. His addiction to OxyContin, a prescription painkiller, quickly grew from a $100-a-week to a $3,500-a-week habit, leading him to steal more than $20,000 worth of farm tools and equipment from his own parents.

Dustin was featured in the movie "Hungry Hearts," which was screened in Bennington recently. Some of the people featured in the film attended the screening and were available for a Q-and-A after the show.

In spite of Governor Shumlin’s stated goal of increasing treatment for drug addicts, the availability of treatment in Bennington county remains woefully inadequate. There are physicians who prescribe suboxone, which is an opiate replacement therapy. Many people do very well with this treatment, but the waiting lists are too long.

SUE SWEENEY,
Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor;
Licensed Psychologist-Master

Bennington

Violent crimes in Bennington

How many burglaries, how many car thefts, how many rapes, how many drug overdoses, how many drug dealers and how many armed robberies do we have to have before we say enough is enough? How long are we going to let landlords get away with renting to these violent criminals?

Their charges should have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Their charges should not have been dismissed. Their sentences should have been run consecutive to each other and not run concurrent.

Let’s hold the handful of landlords accountable now, by imposing a $10,000 fine for each violation. 

LOYAL WESTCOTT

Bennington