Thank You For Publishing B. Lambek and B. Floersch
I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading Bernie Lambek’s “Lunch With My Father at the Tao” and Barbara Floersch’s “Every Precious Thing.” They are beautifully written and touching reminders of what is most important in life, especially as we get older. Thank you to the writers for sharing their talents and to The Bridge for printing the fruits of their pens so we all could enjoy them.
Nancy Price Graff, Montpelier
We Need To Curb High Cost of Roxbury Students
During the budget presentations, the Montpelier Roxbury school administration offered figures to show that it costs about $10,000 more to educate each student in the Roxbury school building each year than in any other school in Montpelier. No, that is not because the education in Roxbury is superior to the Montpelier elementary school. It is because a small school with only 30-something students is very expensive to run.
I was part of the merger committee, and we knew that was the case as we investigated the merger. Therefore, I am not surprised by the added expense per student for education at Roxbury. What is disappointing is that the school board has not had any discussions about how to solve this problem.
There are many possibilities other than closing that school. What we need is imagination. How could we use that building to improve the education for all students in the Montpelier Roxbury school system? (A magnet school, a language-immersion school, a project-based middle school, etc.) My concern is that none of these or other better ideas will be possible unless we begin discussing it! And in the meantime, we are all paying $10,000 more per student each year at Roxbury. And we wonder why a budget might come to us with close to a 10-percent increase?
There are many people in town who own houses that are paid for. However, they are now paying more per month for their taxes than they paid for their mortgage payment. Do we want a city where only wealthy people can afford to live? I love this town. I love the people who live here. And, yes, I love our children. Roxbury’s taxes have consistently gone down since the merger. It is time for the school board to start discussing if they are going to keep the Roxbury School open, how they will make it more affordable for all of us.
Tina Muncy, Montpelier
Support Our Neighbors and Local Businesses
With the strain this year has brought, long-time Montpelier resident and Just Basics donor Cameron O’Connor wanted to do more than write a check this holiday season. Local businesses are seeing much lower numbers than usual, and more Central Vermonters are struggling with food security now than in years. Cameron was intent on helping with both.
After a busy shopping spree downtown, she delivered a bevy of gift cards, sweets, and pet supplies on December 22 to the Montpelier Food Pantry at Trinity Church where volunteers and staff filled food orders for patrons. Patrons picked out gifts from shops all over town: Namaste Indian-Nepali Kitchen, Three Penny Taproom, Woodbelly Pizza, Skinny Pancake, Mad Taco, Quirky Pet, Capital Stationers, The Drawing Board, and Bear Pond Books. It was a wonderful surprise — neighbors who came for pantry staples left with gifts that help keep folks supporting downtown businesses. Though we’ve felt the hard economic impact of the pandemic, residents like Ms. O’Connor remind us of the incredible giving community that is Montpelier.
Jolynda Burton, Development and Communications Manager, Just Basics, Inc.
Just Basics, Inc. runs the Montpelier Food Pantry and structures programs that work with members of greater Montpelier to address their basic needs and confront cycles of injustice.