Prominently placed statues of famous racists are no longer acceptable, just as policemen shooting African Americans has finally become unacceptable. Why not dispense with the far out illusion of a racist colonial capitalist USA being worth celebrating. Meanwhile left undone is the protecting of non-American Black lives from killer American GIs invading and bombing their beloved countries.
My understanding of President of the WSESD Board David Shoales response at the Public Ballot Information Meeting about boycotting passing the budget was that recovering from COVID was his exclusive priority, separate from and against this opportunity to motion with prison abolition, labor union empowerment, and enslavement reparations.
Spoon Agave: There are no obvious signs of leadership in Brattleboro so I can only conclude that the collective vision in the Municipal building is that the pandemic will end someday and everything will be OK. If anyone reading this has seen something different please share what it is. At the moment it feels like the town is simply marking time (just filling potholes) until whatever happens happens and we’ll deal with it then. That is one strategy, anyway.
Dot Lenhart: Do you have any suggestions?
Earlier this month I released a public statement addressed to People in government organizing slavery reparation movements’ legislation to recognize that People incarcerated and People employed in the military have both been and are currently treated as property denied both constitutional and life protections of freedoms, rights, and liberties. We can and will change such insanely brutal conditions with prison abolition and labor union empowerment. The newspapers have not published my letters and I have not been allowed access to participate at official reparations meetings which say no one is denied entry.
Recently, the Chief of Police wrote a letter to the people of Brattleboro, referencing the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
He mentioned that the police have a professional duty to protect and serve everyone in the community with dignity and respect. He also related that “We have made de-escalation tactics a priority in use of force trainings. Once the resistance stops or the situation is under control, the tactics need to evolve with the situation.”
It was not always that way here in Brattleboro.
The attached image illustrates surveillance cameras installed in a street in Communist China. Fortunately we live in a free country where such things don’t exist (except on Main Street in Brattleboro).
I always thought very highly about Humane Societies and animal rights people in general. It’s not always the case.
In the film “The Stand At Paxton County”, I got an entirely different view of the whole situation. (It’s currently available on Netflix)
Though the film is fiction, it’s based on reality.
Homelessness has been stopped in its tracks in Brattleboro. As I write this, there is not a single person that I am aware of that does not currently have shelter. This is an incredible achievement. What’s more incredible is that it was accomplished within the last 30 days.
As we saw COVID-19 advance toward Vermont, we at Groundworks Collaborative worked closely with our State partners to establish and enact guidance that eventually led to everyone that was without housing, or who was precariously housed, being able to access local motel rooms. It is quite remarkable that a vision Groundworks has held for our community—that everyone has their basic needs met with dignity—has become a reality during this crisis. This need not be an anomaly.
Groundworks’s staff have answered the call when needed most and I have to share my deep appreciation for their work—especially as they put themselves and their families at risk to come to work each day. Without them, we would not be able to be so effectively meeting our community’s basic needs.
On behalf of some of Windham County’s more vulnerable citizens the Windham County Heat Fund would like to thank all of the generous people who donated to the heat fund this year. We raised $27,020 and gave out $28,770. We carried over a small surplus from the previous year.
The fund received $8690 in local corporate and church donations from the Brattleboro Elks, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary, Clear Solutions, Broad Brook Grange, American Postal Workers Union 3535, First United Methodist Church and the Insight Center. They are all perennial supporters of the heat fund, as is iBrattleboro who provides free advertising during the heating season. We could not do our work without them.
There’s something very unifying about a global crisis — a great inescapable event that affects us all at the same time. Such crises seem rare but in modern times, they happen often. We have world economic crises, a global climate crisis, and a crisis of faith in our leaders that’s led to widespread social uprisings around the world. These sorts of crises affect everyone to some extent, but the effects are hard to gauge. Some people are affected disproportionately, others not at all.
Strange times, eh? And such a quick, sudden shift for just about everything. Aside from whiplash, how are you holding up?
I find myself going back and forth between trying to continue some semblance of business as usual, and being in shock at how this is not business as usual at all.
Super Tuesday is over and the air waves are quiet. As you can imagine, I was very disappointed with the results; both with Bernie’s unexpected losses in Texas and here in New England but also when Pete And Amy precipitously threw their support to Biden along with Betto O’ Rourke. And even more when I heard that there had been a meeting of the party leaders before all that where I’m sure they pressured the moderate candidates to give their support to Biden. And Obama weighed in and Harry Reid and others. Then, in the “unkindest cut of all” Bloomberg bows out and moves to give Biden the use of his money! And now I here that the party is pressuring Warren to stay in to take votes away from Bernie. What kind of an election is this?
Being the first Tuesday in March, it is Town Meeting Day in Vermont. Here, unlike much of the world, there are only two layers of government; state & local. And for the vast majority of our 246 towns & cities, local government is composed of a legislative branch that includes EVERY citizen as may gather at an annual (and special) Town Meeting. Most communities introduce, amend, and pass all agenda items (like the town budget, tax rates, election of officers, ordinances, etc.) through a (public) floor vote by all the assembled citizens. This is our traditional Town Meeting system. And having ALL the citizens included in the legislative branch of local government lends itself to working people (who are the great majority) being more informed and more thoughtful about the positions they take (as their opinions, under such a system, very much matter). Vermont is a better place for it.
Many endorsements for the Brattleboro selectboard tout the candidate’s open-mindedness, integrity, intelligence and compassion. If you have heard David Schoales’ positions on the board over the years, or if you read the long list of issues that he has championed, you know that he is all these things plus much more. If you’re a public employee you may remember that David led the board in support of a successful effort to negotiate a much better health insurance plan for town workers. More recently, he supported the successful effort for the town to hire a Sustainability Coordinator, a position critically to address the challenges ahead that go well beyond climate change. David also spent many cold days with others campaigning for the ban on distribution of single use plastic bags in Brattleboro. By any measure, he is a true champion of the environment, local businesses, and fiscal responsibility.
At the last two meetings of the Brattleboro Selectboard, members of the board and the Chief of Police implored people NOT to use social media for official business, such as reporting crimes.
“Don’t rely on social media,” said board member Tim Wessel. “Social media has never been a form of reporting things,” added Chair Brandie Starr.
Where could the public have gotten such a crazy idea as to use social media for town business? Perhaps from members of the Selectboard?
On Election Day in March, Brattleboro voters will have the opportunity to tell the Selectboard to consider replacing the five-member Selectboard with one mayor.
The complete wording of the article which will appear on the ballot: “Shall the voters of the Town of Brattleboro advise the Select Board to amend the Brattleboro Town Charter to replace the Select Board form of governance with that of a mayoral form of governance?”
I encourage voters to reject this proposal for a number of reasons.
Millions of Americans have been under attack since Trump and his thugs took power. The list of inhumane, racist and xenophobic actions is long and most of the people who have been targeted are low income, vulnerable because of their health or socio-economic status or because they live in fear of having their families torn apart.
The vulnerable among us are experiencing a type of bullying never before seen in this country, but this kind of cowardly action has become the norm for our rogue government. One of the more recent assaults on Americans who are working hard and trying to get ahead is a proposed rule change that would cut food stamp (commonly referred to as SNAP) benefits to about three million people.
Some members of the Brattleboro Selectboard appear to be having private communications during public meetings.
On a few recent occasions, some Selectboard members have looked at their phones, read some form of communication to them, and have made comments about it. Just the other night, Daniel Quipp said that Tim Wessel had texted him. Until that point, no one knew that Wessel was a participant. He had been presented to the room as absent.
We moved our web design business to Brattleboro in 2001. People around Brattleboro were mostly using modems, and Sovernet was just beginning to sign people up for (relatively slow) DSL connections. We limped by, overpaid, and designed local web sites for low bandwidth knowing most people were stuck at low speeds around here.
As time went on, things didn’t really speed up much here, but friends (and competitors) in bigger cities were leaping ahead. While we were lucky to get 3-7 Mbps here, they were enjoying 200 Mbps or more.
The Deep State Is Assassinating Him!
“Wiki Leaks founder and journalist Julian Assange appeared in court to fight his extradition to the United States, sluggishly reciting his name and date of birth in a zombie-like state — displaying signs of either sleep deprivation, torture or poisoning.”