October 4, 2009

EVEN SOME SLAVE OWNERS WERE RELUCTANT TO SEPARATE FAMILIES:

Canada, U.S. border gates separate, unite towns (John Curran, 10/04/09, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

DERBY LINE, Vt. | For decades, the towns of Derby Line, Vt., and Stanstead, Quebec, have functioned as one community.

Located on each side of the border, they share a sewer system, emergency services, snowplowing duties and the border-straddling Haskell Free Library and Opera House, where a narrow black line across the hardwood floor of the reading room marks the international border running through the property.

Work began Thursday, though, to erect of a pair of 5-foot-tall steel gates across two previously unguarded residential streets - a project that is dividing the towns physically but uniting them in displeasure.

Border authorities call the gates a necessary evil to stem smuggling and illegal-alien crossings. Locals say there's enough security - surveillance cameras and patrols by U.S. Customs and Border Protection - as it is.

"I've always considered Derby and Stanstead like brother and sister," said Mary O'Donnell, 57, of Stanstead, walking into the library to use a computer Friday. "We've always been on friendly terms. Now, suddenly, 9/11 hits and everybody in the U.S. freaks out. So we're now going to get some really ugly things at the end of the streets that I don't think is going to serve much of a purpose."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2009 7:54 AM
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