Loss And Gain

It’s helpful to check in and try to understand your place in the universe every so often. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day madness of the world and move around less thoughtfully than is healthy for us. Taking time to just sit back and reflect can be a form of self-guided therapy.

The older we get the more the ledger moves toward loss and away from gain. As the decades roll by it seems as if we are climbing some sort of imaginary hill adding years and experience to our working and personal lives.

Of course making generalizations is always dangerous and what I am talking about is the perspective from my little corner of the world. There comes a point where the scales seem to tip more toward loss than gain. The changes are subtle at first.


Memorialize USA Lies About Each Mistaken Undeclared War Americans Remembered Today Gave Their Lives

‘Decoration Day,’ a day to decorate the graves of soldiers, who died fighting on either side of the American Civil War is the origin of today’s (changed name) ‘Memorial Day.’ Because America’s subsequent wars have been in other people’s countries, the compassionate idea of a day dedicated to the families and friends decorating the graves in remembrance of loved ones, who were soldiers of either side in a past war, is lost, since one side’s soldiers were not Americans.

So, for instance, loving commemoration of the death of fifty-eight thousand American soldiers during the American war in Vietnam, is not accompanied by commiseration for Vietnamese family and friends remembering their more than a million Vietnamese soldiers who perished in America’s war in their country,


Brattleboro EMS – An Open Public Process Made Murky

At the May 2 Selectboard meeting, the board endorsed a proposed schedule of information-gathering prior to deciding on Town EMS services in September.

The board thought they had a good plan, but what they presented turned out to be confusing to anyone trying to follow along.  Sadly, in an effort to be extra open and transparent, the board ended up making things murkier.

The Official Path – Meetings and Correspondence

Town Manager John Potter presented the official EMS decision-making schedule, which gives time for public discussion on the topic at the second Selectboard meeting of each month. This is the official time for the public to come and weigh in on warned EMS agenda items.  There will also be a public forum scheduled just prior to the board’s vote in September.


No WWII No Victory Parade in Moscow & No War in Ukraine Today If the West Had Not Rearmed Germany

May 9th! Moscow Celebrates Victory Over Nazi Germany’s Most Massive and Genocidal Invasion in History, but with incomprehensibly little or no public condemnation of American corporations having earlier heavily rearmed Hitler’s Nazi Germany as British and French armies stood down in cooperation and in violation of the Versailles Treaty’s prohibition of German rearmament.


Do the Math!

I was advised the link in the other story does not open. Here is the copy I submitted to The Commons which was published 4/26/2023:

An April 7, 2023 Commentary in the Reformer, Brattleboro EMS: Fact vs fiction, asserted that “Rescue notified the town on March 25, 2022, that it would not be providing service to the town beyond the June 30, 2022,” citing Rescue Inc’s letter.

That is misleading. The full statement by Rescue from that letter reads:

“Given your stated position and unwillingness to pay for emergency medical response, Rescue Inc will not be able to continue providing that service to the Town of Brattleboro beyond the June 30, 2022 contract end date. If the town would like to come and speak with me about an agreement for service beyond June 30, 2022, please contact me no later than May 1, 2022, to schedule a meeting.”


Who’s On First? Brattleboro Says Brattleboro

Brattleboro was given a clue, perhaps,  to the problem between the Town of Brattleboro and Rescue, Inc. at Tuesday’s Selectboard meeting. Fire Chief Howard said multiple times that even if another EMS service was chosen to provide first response care in Brattleboro, he would have his department keep arriving on scene “first,” no matter what.


District Caucuses and RTM Information Session Cancelled

Due to the winter storm, which has caused power outages affecting tonight’s Representative Town Meeting District Caucuses and Information Session, this March 15, 2023 meeting has been cancelled. It is expected to be rescheduled to Wednesday, March 22, 2023 and be combined with the other Information Session previously planned for that evening. District Caucuses would begin at 5:30 PM on March 22, 2023, and the expanded Information Session to cover both the FY24 budget and the bond articles would begin at 6:00 PM at the Academy School Gym. Childcare will be available. Town Meeting Members and members of the public are invited to attend and ask questions. Everyone’s patience and understanding are requested as Town staff work to finalize these alternate plans.


WSESD Should Report All Vote Totals

On the WSESD site is reported the unofficial results of the March 7 school director election. For the Brattleboro 3 Year term only the vote for Kimberly Price is reported, though Jaci Reynolds was also on the ballot. A footnote indicates that Reynolds withdrew from the race before the election, but she presumably got some votes, and those should be reported.

I got the chance to do some homework on this issue in our Guilford Selectboard contest on Town Meeting Day. One of the three candidates for the 2 year seat announced before the election that she was “withdrawing,” but her name was already on the ballot, and, in fact, in absentee voting she had even already received some votes.


Brattleboro Unofficial Town Meeting Day Results 2023

Please see attached for Brattleboro’s Unofficial Town Meeting Day election results. These are the results from the ballot tallies, not including write-in votes, and not including other towns’ results for the WSESD races.

We had a total of 2070 ballots cast, with 656 of those voting absentee.

Thanks to the amazing poll workers and the American Legion who made today possible! Considering our number of absentee voters, we had a lot of voters coming through the doors, and high voter participation for a Town Meeting Day election. The day was smooth and safe!


Thanks for Your Support! Vote Tomorrow!

Hello to everyone out there in Selectboard Land, and a big thank you to everyone supporting my electoral efforts. Thanks in particular to those of you who wrote letters on my behalf, and also to everyone for all the positive comments about my signs. People seem to like them a lot.

One thing I think I should perhaps clarify is that I’m running on my own behalf, not for or against any other individuals. You may have seen my name mentioned as part of a team of candidates, but please be assured that I’m running as an individual and I will maintain my individuality if I am elected. I have no agenda to oust anyone or take over the functioning of the board. I’ll consider items one at a time, on their merits, and I look forward to working with whomever else is elected.


Eva Nolan for WSESD Board

This Tuesday, please consider casting a vote for Eva Nolan as one of Dummerston’s 2 representatives on the WSESD school board, which serves Dummerston, Brattleboro, Putney, and Guilford.

Her background as a mother of 2 boys, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and years of professional experience in outreach and support to survivors of abuse, Eva is uniquely qualified for this role.


Defending My Friends and Neighbors

With March 7th – election day – drawing closer, I wanted to take a moment to speak to the defamation of my friends and neighbors that has been going on.

Here are some things that have been said over the past few months by landlords:

“No landlord would evict a good tenant”

“You say they’ve been no-cause evicted but didn’t do anything wrong? Well, I’d really like to hear the other side…”

and the most offensive: “Vote No on Article II It hurts responsible tenants”.


RAD Just Cause Amendment Implies Permanent Homeless Under-class

NOTICE : This doesn’t mean anyone should move out. It only means that the compassion is misplaced.
Imagine you’re homeless, living in a car for five years, and you hear about a new law that says everyone with an apartment can keep it forever.

They say the endless lease is compassionate >> If you already HAVE a place, you’ll be able to stay your whole life if you want, regardless of a signed agreement, regardless of someone waiting to move in, regardless of homeless people waiting in the snow.


Brattleboro School Board Candidate Interview – Rikki Risatti

Rikki Risatti is running for a one year seat on the school board.

….

Introduce yourself – who are you and why are you running for the school board?

I hope time with school administration may enable more respect of students, guardians, and residents practicing self-governance and nourishing quality food access together.

Why not secure alternative funding for learning (like food, tutoring, college exams, internet) so we don’t ask for invasive income verification?

Why not pay and accredit students to host the candidate election debate forums and post the timer on the screen for all to see?


Just Cause Eviction and Decision Making

Next Tuesday, when we vote on Town Meeting Day, we will have an opportunity to support some of our most afflicted in our community: renters vulnerable to unpredictable no cause evictions.  This is Article II on the ballot, the Just Cause Eviction proposed charter change.  This is an issue that has been advocated for on state and federal levels as well.  I support this fully although I recognize that after some use and experience imperfections may be revealed.  This is no different from charter change and if necessary can be rectified with an amending charter change the following year.  In the meantime enactment of this legislation will relieve some of the debilitating stress that so many here in Brattleboro and thousands across the state must endure.  Nothing is apparent in the proposed language that will have dire consequences for the landlords.          

I am a candidate for the Selectboard.  If elected I will, in response to some of the landlords most emphatic concerns, propose further action. I will propose first that the Town add an appropriate number of hours to the office currently doing rental inspections. This would enable the inspector to respond quickly to landlord complaints.  Tenants could also make complaints against landlords.


RAD Just Cause To Create Permanent Homeless Under-class

Section B of the RAD Just Cause amendment demands for tenants the privilege of an endless lease. RAD says the endless lease is compassionate. Let’s be real here. To demand the option of an endless lease while homeless people endlessly wait is not compassion, it is self-interest. To preach it as compassion shows no thought even of the existence of homeless people. Section B creates a class of priveleged landed tenants and an under-class of permanently homeless people.

Section B) “This charter provision excludes from ‘just cause’ the expiration of a rental agreement as sole grounds for termination of tenancy.”


Vote In New Selectboard Members To Mend EMS Relationships

The currently sitting Selectboard in Brattleboro has unfinished business … and it cannot be accomplished by the currently sitting members.

For there to be honest and real “transparency,” three members of the board must change.

Richard “Dick” DeGray stands out first as someone who speaks his mind and — from personal experience, I can say — as someone who will think through an issue and debate it. Dick and I may not always agree, but we will hear each other.

Franz Reichsman is the detail person, I believe, measured and thoughtful. He has the needed background in emergency medicine to do the deep dive into our present quandary with EMS.

And Peter “Fish” Case showed his insight and evenhandedness by bringing together, virtually, the chiefs of the Brattleboro Fire Department and Rescue Inc. during an episode of Vermontitude, “A Path Back.” https://youtu.be/CYi39JDY5-U


Selectboard Notes Feb 21, 2023 – Let Homeless Sleep in the Snow

BCS submitted its Statement to the board by email and in person on paper. The selectboard (health commission) declined to read any part of BCS’ STATEMENT at the hearing.   The selectboard decided to uphold the Emergency Order to shut down BCS emergency homeless shelter in RVs.  As you might note in the Statement (ask for a copy), the Order is legally defective, as BCS was not notified of our right to a hearing within five days of the Order (and for other reasons).  So, the evening’s proceedings may  be declared void.


Brattleboro Annual Town Meeting and Windham Southeast School District School Board Absentee Ballots Available

Absentee ballots for the Brattleboro Annual Town Meeting and Windham Southeast School District School Board vote to be held March 7, are now available for request. Absentee ballots for this election must be requested and are only automatically mailed to all voters for November General Elections. Anyone wishing to vote absentee may apply for an absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 6, although we recommend doing so as soon as possible for mail time purposes.