I would like to encourage the voters of Bennington and North Bennington to participate in the March 4 Town and School Meetings. In addition to budget requests, we will also be voting on several School Board and Select Board seats.

The ballots are now available at the Town Clerk's Office. The Town Clerk's Office is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may vote in person at the Town Clerk's Office during regular business hours or have a ballot mailed. If you need a ballot mailed to you, you may call the Town Clerk's Office at 802-442-1043. The deadline for voter registration is Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. Vermont State law allows anyone who wants to cast an early ballot to do so without giving any reason.

Voting for Bennington residents will be at the Firehouse at the corner of River and Lincoln Streets. For residents of North Bennington, voting will be at the North Bennington Village Trustees Office on the corner of Main and Depot Streets in North Bennington. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

TIMOTHY R. CORCORAN

Town Clerk

Bennington

Put the wheels back on the town of Pownal

It is time we put the wheels back on the town of Pownal and move forward. The two best candidates for the job are Henry Strohmaier and Hap Percy. Both are experienced selectmen. Henry and Hap bring a huge helping of common sense, management skills and dedication to the job. If you wish to know Hap, go over to the Pownal Transfer Station; he is the manager. Henry owns part of the Strohmaier Farm complex in East Pownal. You do not get to keep and manage a farm the size of Strohmaier's without a plan and managing your money well. Henry has a deep interest in the efficient operation of our town, both financially and in planning for the future; he puts a lot of tax money in the town's coffers each year.

Talk to them! I hope you will be convinced to vote Strohmaier and Percy for selectmen this election day! They will get us headed in the right direction again.

FRANK LAMB

Pownal

What's missing in letter against single-payer

The letter "Single payer promises" by Mr. Rob Roper in the Bennington Banner (Feb. 13, 2014) is interesting for what it is missing, what it implies, and a falsehood which needs to be addressed. This is Mr. Roper's little slam at single-payer advocates who yearn for "unfettered and unlimited access to any and all medical care," whatever this means.

We "true believers," as Mr. Roper snidely phrased it, have never said this.

What we "true believers" do believe is that access to comprehensive and universal medical care, publicly-funded, accessible for all Vermonters in a transparent manner, is a fundamental human right. Access to health care should not be limited to the economically privileged, those with the right employment, or who are a certain age or income bracket. No Vermonter should have to fear losing their health insurance or confront medical debt -- as I once did -- because of illness. This belief is shared by many, many Vermonters and the rest of the democratic world.

Mr. Roper discusses the funding proposal put forth by Sen. Peter Galbraith.

Since Senator Galbraith's bill is still in the works it is difficult to comment on. What is missing here is that even if Senator Galbraith's bill becomes law, it is still less than the tab Vermonters have been paying in premiums alone for private insurance, never mind things like these high deductibles added onto the bill.

Contrary to Mr. Roper's assertions, single-payer will remove health insurance from the backs of employers. No longer will businesses need to be health insurance agents for their employees as well as employers. No longer, for example, will they face dilemmas like 10, 15, or 20 percent or greater annual premium increases, such as happened to my brother who owns a construction business.

Green Mountain Care will insure all Vermonters (all those not covered by the federal programs) at less cost. No Vermonter will be disqualified through this or that barrier or condition. This cannot be denied.

WALTER CARPENTER

Montpelier

Right to organize

I ran a day care called Mother Goose Day Care years ago. I feel that all day cares need to be able to have the right to organize. I hope Bennington legislators rupport this right as well. You can find out more about Vermont Early Educators United at www.kidscountonme.org.

NANCY SANFORD

Bennington

Vermont Reading Partners on Mark Skinner Library

Vermont Reading Partners looks forward to further partnering with the Mark Skinner Library to help achieve the library's goals of being a community hub and learning center.

Meeting all the literacy needs of a community is a challenging endeavor, especially when one realizes that libraries no longer mean just books and the definition of literacy includes computer, math, test taking, or job search skills, as well as reading skills. Meeting these challenges, however, most often results in wonderful outcomes.

As a nonprofit, largely all-volunteer organization, we are keenly aware of the continuing economic constraints. Just as Vermont Reading Partner volunteers invest approximately 1,500 hours annually in tutoring and stocking of bookshares, we encourage Manchester voters to invest in the operating expenses of a vibrant library. The prudent use of dollars for the library will help increase the all-inclusive services the library can provide in the new privately funded, highly functional, visionary building.

VERMONT READING PARTNERS BOARD

Manchester