Bert Picard

In Newfane, three good people to represent us

These are difficult days for the rule of democracy, openness, fairness, and just plain decency. Every day it seems the bar is lowered with no end in sight. This can make us feel powerless, at least at effecting positive change at the world or national level.

Yet we have the important power in our hands to safeguard our values close to home, in our local communities, and that is where we can start.

I truly hope we in Newfane will elect three good people to represent us, two of whom have already shown us the good work they do: Ann Golub and Katy Johnson-Aplin. And Jeff Chevalier will make three. They have my vote.


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Thanks for reporting on antifa

Congratulations on your reporting on antifa and white supremacy in southern Vermont. I appreciate the difficulty of reporting from sources that must remain anonymous. You courageously did not let that stop you, and you brought our community very important information. And you handled the delicate matter of the doxxed...

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James Baldwin foretold Trump's coming

If we as white Americans - presumed, I suppose, to be “well intentioned” toward our sisters and brothers of color -want to understand Trumpism, may I suggest we have but to read James Baldwin, who already in the 1960s and '70s had Trump's number? In truth, he foretold Trump's...

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Changing of the guard

For many, many people, their first reaction to the election in the United States of America, even as it was happening, was shock and revulsion that the U.S. people did not repudiate Donald Trump with a stronger margin of victory for Joseph Biden. After four years, everyone knows what Trump stands for: open white supremacy, authoritarianism, misogyny, white resentment, calls to violence, cruelty, and so on. That he nevertheless received 72 million votes is a clear statement of the sickness...

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Our right to slaughter certain animals is sacrosanct, logic be damned

Vermont Fish and Wildlife says the deer population is too large, and so they will issue more muzzle-loader licenses this year. Good, I get it. Too many deer means both an increase in Lyme disease and over-browsing of young trees, which damages the forests. Now, to meet that same logical objective, how about stopping the wanton slaughter of coyotes? The forests are out of balance not because we issue too few hunting licenses, but because we have killed off all...

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First Nation ancestral land under attack in British Columbia

As I write this letter, the Wet'suwet'en First Nation peoples, on their unceded, ancestral land in British Columbia, are under armed attack by the Canadian government. It is an old story, one as old as the “discovery” of the Americas and as recent as Standing Rock a couple of years ago. Their Unist'ot'en Healing Centre, built in the path of the gas pipeline that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to force through their territory, was surrounded by militarized Royal...

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Revolution — but first, grief

Greta Thunberg was magnificent at the United Nations. Hers was the heartfelt cry of a new generation, one betrayed by the industrial growth society. And we in Brattleboro were inspired by brave young voices at our recent Climate Strike. And then, after Greta's cry, it was, shockingly, business as usual at the UN. Too little, too late: no, capitalist economics would not yield an inch, preferring to continue on a march over the cliff. The contrast was breathtaking. I then...

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Country must face genocides on which it is built

Nancy Braus's voice is always a welcome call to clarity, a call to the best of what “human” can mean. The anguish, the questioning, the pain and outrage were what made this piece strong; there was an open-endedness in it, which was good: it was a raging, a questioning, not a prescription for what to do. She posed the big question: How do we live in a country where 40 percent not only do not apologize for the genocide on...

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