Stories by MacLean Gander
Issue of Jun 29, 2022 (#670)
- Don’t mourn. Organize.: June’s rulings are just the next step in creating a minority government with a Supreme Court jury-rigged into place. That has always been the plan.
Issue of Jun 15, 2022 (#668)
- Not how things are done in Brattleboro: Yoshi Manale’s brief tenure highlights a paradox: the town needs quick, decisive action on a number of urgent and difficult problems. But our town government is set up to discourage that approach.
Issue of Jun 8, 2022 (#667)
- After notice of violation, a race for a cure : In response to a citizen complaint of violation of state public information laws, Brattleboro Selectboard publicly affirms Rescue decisions made behind closed doors but changes process for invoking executive sessions, creating a two-vote process
Issue of May 25, 2022 (#665)
- Brattleboro town manager will leave the job after five months: Yoshi Manale asked to resign, with parties saying he was ‘not the right fit’; town to pay severance package of almost $70,000
Issue of Apr 27, 2022 (#661)
- I feel tired, but I resist the idea of burnout: ‘The hard thing for me is this pretense that we are all doing OK. We’re not — or at least most of us are not. These are difficult times.’
Issue of Mar 2, 2022 (#653)
- The dogs of war have been unleashed: People are dying on the streets and bridges of Ukraine fighting off a foreign invader. It has nothing to do with cost-benefit analysis. It is pure human tragedy.
Issue of Dec 22, 2021 (#644)
- Christmas is America doing what it does: Perhaps if we celebrated this moment of our seasons in its actual meaning, rather than through an orgy of consumerism and false good cheer, the pain of the holidays would be lessened
Issue of Sep 15, 2021 (#630)
- ‘A very, very, very hard time — not just in Brattleboro, but everywhere in the world, of course’: For Brattleboro’s new police chief, Norma Hardy, addressing the crime of a drug epidemic will start with building trust with a community
- ‘My daughter’s urn is here on the table’: One victim of the opioid epidemic saw all of it and hated drugs, her mother said — and then she ended up using them anyway
- Amid disruption from Covid, the opioid epidemic still rages on: Deaths by overdose have exceeded the casualties of COVID-19. With the problems and solutions of opioid use even more complicated by the pandemic, a new police chief in Brattleboro, and heightened awareness to shift focus to substance use as a medical condition, can we find a balance between public health and law enforcement?
- ‘My daughter was really smart’: A mother describes a child’s descent into substance use and ultimate death from an overdose
- Statistics don’t tell the story: ‘I came away from doing this project with deep admiration for those who work on the front lines, and deep empathy for those who have suffered the losses of this epidemic. I also came away with a deeper sense of how opioid addiction ravages a community, making people feel unsafe and angry and creating a general sense of disorder and grief.’
- ‘You killed Joe. Enough!’: Two residents of Great River Terrace tell their story
Issue of Apr 28, 2021 (#610)
- Tinder makes a hot flame: The Chauvin verdict came as a relief, but nothing has changed. Black or Hispanic people are four times as likely to have been killed by police as white people — and violence seems inevitable.
Issue of Mar 3, 2021 (#602)
- A national dislocation from reality: People hear or read or watch things that are not true, and then they act on them. The outright lies are a real problem, and the fact that the liars have had platforms so accessible over the past several years is part of what brought us to the state we are in.
Issue of Jan 13, 2021 (#595)
- White terrorism from inside our borders: On antifa, the far-right, and last week’s deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C.
Issue of Jan 6, 2021 (#594)
- Terrorism on the domestic front: Government agencies and experts warn that the major threat of violence comes not from foreign extremists or antifa, but from armed and violent white supremacists and white nationalists from the U.S.
Issue of Dec 16, 2020 (#592)
- Windham County women take power roles in Montpelier: As Sen. Becca Balint and Rep. Emily Long take on new leadership roles in the state Legislature, the two lawmakers reflect on the challenges ahead
- ‘It’s not really about you, it’s about serving your community’: Kate O’Connor prepares to leave Chamber after seven years at the helm
Issue of Nov 11, 2020 (#587)
- An election of racial reckoning: There is no question that race was a central element in the way this last election turned out, even in blue-state Vermont
Issue of Oct 7, 2020 (#582)
- Echoes of lost time: For those of us who find time to live in the moment, amidst the blaze and glory and annihilation of autumn colors, we will remember the historic chaos of these October days
Issue of Sep 16, 2020 (#579)
- For Putney Selectboard, a journey through racial discomfort is far from over: A town administrator’s Facebook posts draw a rebuke from the leader of the Windham County NAACP, who felt silenced by the board’s response. When the national conversation on race lands in a small town’s government, nobody ends up unscathed.
Issue of Aug 5, 2020 (#573)
- The one green state: On a recent Coronavirus map, Vermont stood alone as a green spot in a sea of red, yellow, and orange. We are not an island that can isolate itself from the wildfire on the mainland.
Issue of Jul 29, 2020 (#572)
- College’s assets disperse from Potash Hill: Marlboro College campus sold after contentious process, with academic program now in the hands of Emerson College
- Requiem for a second living room: An economic casualty of the pandemic, Arkham was a dive bar where drinks were cheap, everyone was welcome, and one could meet new friends — maybe even a spouse
Issue of Jul 15, 2020 (#570)
- Hard choices: A professor resumes teaching on a campus, with no choice but to figure out how to make it happen
Issue of Jul 1, 2020 (#568)
- Measuring the economic impact: Vermont artists, arts organizations, and related businesses are among those reeling from an economy hit hard by the economic shutdown — but resources are available, and new state funding could be in the offing
Issue of Jun 3, 2020 (#564)
- The fire this time: ‘As a White liberal married to a reasonable Black American woman, I don’t know how to watch the deadness in the eyes of the White police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck — even after he was handcuffed — until he died’
Issue of Apr 29, 2020 (#559)
- Pandemic frees up shelter for homeless people: As the COVID-19 crisis has unleashed countless consequences — not all of them negative — regional leaders describe the sudden impact on homelessness, drug trafficking, and other civic challenges
Issue of Apr 22, 2020 (#558)
- What we know: Statistics demonstrate that physical distancing is working, and should be continued. The challenge with the pandemic is that everyone wants it to just be over.
Issue of Apr 8, 2020 (#556)
- The geography of COVID-19: The battle to keep the virus from overwhelming southern Vermont heightens well-worn tensions between residents and out-of-staters — a relationship that is becoming increasingly complicated as medical personnel come from afar to help treat a pandemic
Issue of Mar 25, 2020 (#554)
- So. Vt. learns to live with COVID-19 : In this new era, young people are on the front lines, working for low wages, yet trying to figure out how to pay the rent
- A stunned community: From cashiers on the front lines to business leaders, people in the region are reeling with abrupt change in routine and fear for the future
Issue of Mar 18, 2020 (#553)
- Our perfect storm: In this moment when the highest health priority is to find distance from one another, our highest political priority must be to come together as a nation
Issue of Feb 26, 2020 (#550)
- ‘I have to speak up — not only for myself, but so that students start being heard’: Marc Thurman came to Landmark College as a student of color. He now works there, coordinating its diversity efforts.
Issue of Feb 19, 2020 (#549)
- What do you do when a driver calls your wife a ‘dumb n—— b——’?: Racism is so deeply woven into our national culture that it shapes everything about us as a nation — even when, and especially when, you are a progressive White male who is married to a Black woman
Issue of Jan 22, 2020 (#545)
- Marlboro, Wootton at odds over details of ‘challenge’: As alumni ponder further moves to delay formalizing agreement with Emerson College, college prepares for closure
Issue of Jan 8, 2020 (#543)
- ‘Can’t just turn over and die’: Will Wootton, a former vice president at Marlboro College, talks about the painful changes that might be employed to keep the college on Potash Hill. It might not be pretty, and it definitely won’t be the same. But would it be worth trying?
- Raiding its nest egg: Marlboro College’s broken financial picture is common for small and tiny colleges in the United States, where dozens of public and private colleges have closed or merged since 2016 — and that doesn’t take into account the unique challenges of keeping a tiny school solvent
- End of an era: While some opponents of its announced merger with Emerson College continue to fight, Marlboro College’s community girds for the very likely closure of its Vermont campus
Issue of Jan 1, 2020 (#542)
- Amid uncharted waters, the 2020s begin: It is easy to focus on unprecedented political evil. But for those who yearn for a better United States, one true to its founding principles, perhaps there is some space for hope.