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AM I VENTING - "YES"

I feel it necessary to express my dissatisfaction with the handling of the recent Bomb Threat at BFA Fairfax, particularly with the cancelling of the St. Luke's Turkey Dinner. The annual Turkey Dinner has been held for the last 40+ years, except for 1 year without exception and has become a tradition for many people, not only to attend and enjoy, but also to work as a family to insure it's success.

I received notes from individuals connected with St. Mary's Parish in Cambridge and non-catholics here in town offering their support and help............Would it not have been better, instead of cancelling the dinner on the spur of the moment, to get a few parishioners together to come up with a plan. We have some very capable and smart individuals here in our Parish and our non Catholic friends and neighbors, I am sure would have come to our rescue as well as our neighboring communities. It was like, "Whew, now we have an excuse not to have the dinner, let's cancel it."

When Bellows Free Academy burned in 1942, the community as well as neighboring communities gathered together to insure that we remained a whole community with a school. It is quite obvious that our Town Leaders also made some hard decisions when they decided to have the voting in the school on the day of the bomb threat.

As you read this, you may be wondering, "Why didn't you do something about it?" Maryann and I worked for many, many years on just about all of the parish functions, however, for many reasons neither of us are able to participate in most of them for reasons that are private and personal. I have stewed about this since I heard of the cancellation last Friday night when I was told, "It's cancelled, do whatever you can with your cooked turkey." As we get older, it probably still isn't the proper thing to do, but we become more outspoken regarding our personal opinions. I was told by the Security Guard at the Polls yesterday that it was necessary to turn away hundreds of people as they arrived last Sunday, who were not even aware that the Annual St. Luke's Turkey Dinner had been cancelled. We should have at least been able to use the media to do that, even if it would have cost us a few bucks.

We had an opportunity to use our ingenuity to overcome a bad situation and we muffed it. Hopefully, we will do better in the future.

Threat closes Fairfax school;

polls still open

By LEON THOMPSON - Messenger Staff Wnter

FAIRFAX—A bomb threat has forced Bellows Free ~ Academy-Fairfax to close again today, but voting will commence in the school gymnasium.

BFA-Fairfax Principal Scott Lang discovered the written threat in a bathroom Friday afternoon, but school remained open for the remainder of the day, because there was no immediate threat to students. The author of the note mentioned Tuesday—today—in his or her note.

School officials consulted with Vermont State Police and decided to close the school throughout the weekend. A middle school dance, drama program and the annual St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church dinner were canceled.

The buiiding was searched Friday and deemed safe. A guard was posted on campus all weekend.

School resumed Monday, but after-school activities were canceled.

On Monday, the school response team met and decided the school should be closed again today, because that was the day specified in the original threat.

"We are aware that there were pros and cons to this decision," the team wrote in a letter to parents yesterday, "but the final determination was that we did not believe that we could guarantee the safety of children, even though we believe it is likely a hoax."

School will reopen Wednesday morning.

Police are still investigating and made no arrests, Lang said. He has dealt with bomb threats before and found it unusual that this one mentioned a specific day, and that it was written four days beforehand.

"It's unsettling," he said.

Fairfax voters will be allowed to access polls today at just one entrance on Hunt Street.

"Typically, voters have several ways to get in," Lang said. "There will be a security guard there, too."

BFA-Fairfax has 952 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.