Spoon Agave

The bigger picture: Racism is the source of poverty, instability and, often, homelessness

Gee. Who would have thought?

A better headline for Joyce Marcel's thorough and revealing story on homelessness might have pointed to the actual conclusion of the studies of researchers Colburn and Aldern: Homelessness is one of the consequences of institutional racism. "Systemic discrimination across multiple systems, education, housing, criminal justice, etc. produce these disproportionate outcomes [...]," as Colburn said in the state treasurer's forum.

In all aspects of our society, people of color fare worse than whites. Discrimination in hiring and promotions, poorer quality public schools, lower rates of acceptance to colleges, and generally the failure to be treated justly almost everywhere - all this channels a life toward poverty, instability and, often, homelessness.

Who owns all the unaffordable housing? As a white male, it has been a lifelong process learning to even recognize the institutional racism that I swim in. It's everywhere around me but I don't feel it, and thus I don't see it since I am white.

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Spoon Agave: ‘We must raise the value of community’

I take a humanist or human rights approach to what I believe is a genuine and appropriate framework for community planning and problem solving. In this light, assistance goes first to those who need the most help. As I was taught when I was a kid: Everyone gets firsts...

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It’s time for Brattleboro to stop subsidizing suburbs with Rescue Inc.

If we insisted that change should never be attempted, if there isn’t a guarantee that nothing will go wrong, then there would never be change or progress

The Selectboard made the correct decision to jettison Rescue Inc. Brattleboro is spending far more than it should on an ambulance service. Nor are there really, in fact, many people challenging it and of those almost none who offered any reason other than feeling offended by the way Town...

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Heller, Schoales: intelligence, knowledge, and capacity for leadership

There is an old saying about how, when asked to explain what one means by what one says, nine out of ten people will become angry or silent. The one who does not become offended or feel attacked but, rather, becomes stimulated and eager for an opportunity to learn would be a person like Oscar Heller, candidate for a one-year Selectboard seat. The desire and ability to listen and learn is also a strong indicator of self-confidence and thoughtfulness, both...

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Sweetness and light — and well-executed disruption

I suspect that if someone suggested at any time in the past that the Strolling of the Heifers Expo would be better if it were all squeezed onto the Town Common, such a notion would have been instantly and summarily dismissed with a great guffaw. It would have been considered next to impossible and not worth the effort to even think about. Then the Brattleboro Retreat decided that it could no longer tolerate an entire day of tumult on its...

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Spoon Agave: Brattleboro Town School Board (incumbent)

Upon joining the Brattleboro Town School Board two years ago, my first question was: Why do we educate children? That question needs to be asked because the education we provide our children is the most important factor, outside of the home, that determines the decisions they will make as adults. The country we have today closely reflects the education that U.S. schools have poured into children for generations. Our country today reflects what our public schools have been teaching for...

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Zuckerman: the essence and personification of a public servant

As I checked the news just before sitting down to write this letter on behalf of Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, I learned that the Republican State Leadership Committee, funded by big pharma, the Koch brothers, the National Rifle Association, and many others, has begun dropping $186,000 into television ads attacking Zuckerman, Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe, and Speaker Mitzi Johnson. A short while back, the National Association of Realtors approved a contribution of $54,000 from the organization's political action committee...

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The noise and the hurry

Defending in an editor's note your reporter's assertion that the Elliot Street high rise is not technically downtown must have been a notion that occurred with the sixth cup of coffee and five minutes before going to press. A factual correction by “sources,” no less. Technically, the reporter wrote “downtown.” The official zoning map indicates an Urban Center. The high rise is well within that. There is no official downtown as such. There is, however, a smaller overlay called the...

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