Gino Palmeri

A valuable lesson in civility

You published a statement from the Aug. 23 Putney Selectboard meeting by Chair Aileen Chute. I can't think of a better example of a highly competent leader in local government explaining to people that their behavior cannot change the way town policies work. By simply reading her statement, I learned a lot about how good town planning protects people.

While strong housing trusts and land trusts are far from perfect, I am grateful that we have them providing alternatives to for-profit slumlords or to people having to live in tents.

I, too, have some fears about public housing, but fear shouldn't power public discourse.

Thank you to all the town Selectboard members and others who donate their time to make government work - and especially to you, Aileen, for your valuable lesson in civility.

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A bill of goods that turned out to be a lie

We do actually have the ability to save life on our troubled planet. We need a strong enough movement to overtake the power and money, and doubt and denial sown by the enemy.

For the last century or so, we Americans have been taught that we can live better lives by relying on a fossil fuel economy. We were sold a bill of goods, but it turned out to be a lie - and now rapid changes in the climate are, in...

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It’s getting hot

This planet is getting crowded, and it's getting hot. There is no free lunch; there is no free ride. The prices are going to keep rising. The rules are going to keep changing. It is not a good time to hide your head in the sand. Every freedom has...

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Ben Coplan helped countless people find meaningful employment

I couldn't read about Ben Coplan's passing without saying at least this: While at the Vermont Association of Business Industry and Rehabilitation (VABIR), Ben helped countless people, including myself, find meaningful employment because he understood people and deeply understood our community. He helped me find work twice. The second time, I was a very discouraged single dad with two children, out of work again and feeling worthless. Ben sat down with me and started making phone calls one afternoon. He...

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Chute: engagement, leadership, and drive

The first time I met Aileen Chute, she was exploring the town by bicycle with her daughters and husband. Since then, Putney residents have noticed that her engagement with the town, especially its governance, is way beyond respectable. Aileen (a fairly recent transplant from New Hampshire) is serving as a lister, as a member of the Planning Commission, and recently as chair of the Energy Commission. She also works in the Brattleboro Assessor's office, which gives her deeper understanding of...

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Our Climate Emergency is ‘a worldwide, ticking time bomb’

The Climate Emergency is rapidly emerging as the most important issue in human history. It is a worldwide ticking time bomb that, if not justly and expeditiously dismantled, directly threatens our own grandchildren's future. A devastated ecosystem would rain injustice upon all earthly life for many generations to come. It's clear that this Climate Emergency, the greatest existential problem that humanity has ever faced, is also a social justice issue - much like the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19...

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Reconsider wind-turbine opposition for the greater good

When a wind-power project like Stiles Brook is planned, property owners will be concerned about their lovely ridgeline views and their property values. That is normal self-interest. On the other hand, some opponents go on to say they are concerned about endangered species, such as our bats, or about black bear corridors. That seems like hypocrisy. What's missing here is the bigger picture: The greatest threat by far to all living things in Grafton and Windham is climate change! Spinning...

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‘My family came here to escape the fascist state, not to create one’

My mother is a refugee, and my father is also an immigrant. Whenever I see refugees coming to the USA, I identify with them. Even though this is a country made up mostly of immigrants, xenophobia - like racism - still lives deep inside all of us. Many won't admit it, but it's true. Hard economic times tend to fan the flames of racism and xenophobia. So does certain kinds of rhetoric by politicians. Certain types of charismatic leaders -

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