Michael Bosworth

Kudos for safety report, but it needs a better summary

At over 200 pages, the “Final Report on the Community Safety Review Process” for Brattleboro is now out and it is massive to get one's arms and thoughts around. I have not read it all by any means, though I have read some sections in detail.

I did (via Zoom) sit in on the Jan. 5 Selectboard meeting where co-coordinators Shea Witzberger and Emily Megas-Russell presented the report for two hours, which was followed by another hour of initial discussion.

The Selectboard will be taking this report up again one or more times during the rest of January. Some of what goes into the warning for March's town meeting will likely depend on those discussions.

I found listening to Shea and Emily explain the report to be more helpful than reading the report itself. Despite the wealth of information across many subject areas (police, Dept. of Children and Families, mental health supports, racism, bias against queer and trans people, community supports), the two are smart enough to keep repeating key themes until we get it.

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Kornheiser: grasps the intricacies of policy on multifaceted issues and explains them well

Emilie Kornheiser, a first-time state representative this 2019-2020 legislative term from the Windham 2-1 district (i.e. West Brattleboro), very much deserves to be returned for two more years. She quickly got up to speed in her first session, including grasping the intricacies of policy on many multifaceted questions. Her...

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Sustainability coordinator: can the position be sustainable?

There is growing, though still anecdotal, data out there about other municipalities — including small towns like Brattleboro — that have made such a position work

At the Dec. 11 Brattleboro Selectboard meeting, Tom Franks, a member of the Brattleboro Town Energy Committee, presented an important proposal - that the town create and fund a new position of sustainability coordinator. He did so on behalf of a small group of like-minded individuals (myself included) and...

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Writer’s proposed steps for carbon reduction will help, but not fast enough

I am glad that Milt Eaton has laid out for us the hard realities getting in the way of making progress. I am sorry, however, that he has shortchanged so greatly the need to still do so. Yes, it is helpful to be reminded of the enormity of the challenge, including population growth itself plus having the world moving toward a higher standard of living. No, we cannot back away from doing all we can to reduce greenhouse gases if...

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Which price do we pay?

The draft Windham Regional Commission Energy Plan is disturbing, because its wording and its biases would effectively exclude economically efficient, acutely needed, renewable wind energy almost everywhere in the county where it would be feasible to site. Yet, I have some sympathies with industrial-wind-energy opponents, with those who would like to preserve our ridgelines intact. Is there any middle ground to advocate for both? * * * Though I moved to southern Vermont only 15 years ago, I have been...

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Neither film nor its review tell the full story of biomass

Lisa Merton and Alan Dater's new documentary, Burned, is excellent in many ways, though weak in a few. Arlene Distler's review of the film captures a lot accurately but is also flawed on a couple of main points. Their task has not been an easy one. The film covers a lot of ground: southeastern U.S. clear-cut logging that fuels huge electricity-producing plants in Europe; Berlin, N.H., answering its economic woes by hosting New England's biggest biomass power plant; the community...

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Brattleboro is beginning to think about energy over the long haul

Are we at a turning point in Brattleboro in how we look at budgets and energy? Are we starting to look more deeply at the longer term and at life cycle costs and not just initial investment? Does that approach line up better with energy savings and thus more effectively also address climate change? I believe we have signs of such a turning point, as evidenced by a mixed bag of recent decisions by the Selectboard. Every year there is...

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Brattleboro Selectboard vote continues bad trend toward conservation, emissions

From 2010 to 2016, the town of Brattleboro's heating fuel costs rose by 16 percent, not including inflation. With the methodology used to arrive at this figure, adjusting to FY2016 prices and FY2016 weather (in heating degree days), apples are compared to apples. Said another way, the town, adjusting for weather differences between years, purchased 16 percent more heating fuel in FY16 than in FY10. On Dec. 20, the Selectboard voted 3–2 not to include recommended energy-saving measures (ESMs) in...

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