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Few contests on local Town Meeting ballots

—As the Jan. 29 deadline passed for candidates to declare their intention to run for public office, town clerks in southeast Windham County reported mostly uncontested races and empty spots on ballots.• In Dummerston, the only contested race on the ballot is for one school director position. Jody Normandeau and Bob Thibault are vying to serve the remaining year of a three-year term.The offices with no candidates are lister, auditor, town agent, town grand juror, and two library trustees.The Selectboard will host a candidates’ night on Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., downstairs in the Dummerston Congregational Church.• In Guilford, all races are uncontested except for one school director position — Melissa Foster and Brian Robinson are competing to complete the remaining year of a three-year term.Guilford’s pre-town meeting event, which gives voters the opportunity to meet the candidates, takes place Feb. 22, at 7 p.m., at the Broad Brook Community Center, formerly known as Broad Brook Grange.• Newfane’s candidates for municipal offices are all running unopposed — except for lister, town constable, and town agent, which have no one on the ballot.On the school side of the ballot, the following positions are in need of someone to run for them: one Newfane School District school director, one Leland & Gray Union Middle & High School District #34 school director, and the West River Unified School District director.“Note the Newfane School District and Leland & Gray District #34 positions will be eliminated in 2019 when the West River Unified School District takes their place, even though they are three-year terms,” Town Clerk Carol Hesselbach said.• In Putney, all offices have one person running for them, but only one person. No race for town or school elections is contested this year.• Vernon has all uncontested races except for the following offices, which have no one running for them: town agent and grand juror.• Aspiring politicians take note: For offices with no candidate, residents can write in names when they vote.

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Tamara Stenn
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Tamara Stenn (Brattleboro, Vermont, US) says...

Thanks for writing this Elayne. I was thinking the same thing myself. The silence we received from the hospital is quite deafening. Unfortunately we\'ve had to continue working with the hospital as other (minor) heath issues come up.

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Judith Skillman
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Judith Skillman (Newcastle, US) says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #445 (Wednesday, February 7, 2018). This story appeared on page D3.

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