Deborah Lee Luskin

Grace Cottage needs a new building — now

Plans for the hospital’s new primary care clinic were submitted in April to the Green Mountain Care Board, which has yet to issue a Certificate of Need

I recently participated in the Townshend Community Conversation about "Vermont's healthcare system to support hospital transformation." For two hours, residents of rural Windham County testified to the extraordinary way medical services are delivered at Grace Cottage Family Health and Hospital.

It was a remarkable expression of gratitude and pride for an institution that delivers essential health care services to the rural community it serves. And for good reason.

People can access a lot of primary care in Townshend, including pediatrics, adult medicine, gerontology, hospice, mental health, and substance abuse treatment. Wraparound services include laboratory, imaging, occupational and physical therapy, emergency care, in-patient care, social services, and end-of-life hospice care.

There's a pharmacy where patients can pick up prescriptions without adding an extra 40 miles to fetch medicine at the cost of an hour's time and two gallons of gas. For many in our rural hilltowns, transportation is a barrier to accessing health care.

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Rethinking a huge (and neglected) toll to our environment

Working online has underappreciated carbon-emissions consequences

I thought I was so environmentally virtuous by working from home and sending my words out into cyberspace. But a reader who responded to my recent piece about the carbon footprint of road building [“Our roads, at what cost?,” Column, May 10] burst that bubble. She called my attention...

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Our roads, at what cost?

It's now 2023, and I'm becoming aware that the “good” mileage I get in my hybrid doesn't account for the carbon emitted in building, maintaining, and rebuilding the roads

The torn-up miles of Vermont Route 30 between Brattleboro and Newfane is no mere repaving project, but a full-depth reclamation (FDR) of the road surface. FDR requires making several passes over the 10 miles that run from the corner of Cedar Street in Brattleboro to about a mile south...

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Three hours for democracy

Newfane will return to an in-person town meeting at Williamsville Hall on Tuesday, March 7, and I’m glad of it. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and most likely end by noon. Three hours. It’s true that attendance at Annual Town Meeting has been dwindling in recent years, and many voters blame this decline on the time and day of the meeting — a morning in the middle of the work week. It’s also true that there’s been robust...

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Harrison: an up-close-and-personal knowledge of how municipalities work

With 10 of Vermont's 30 state senators stepping down - including both senators from Windham County - we need someone with experience in government to represent us in Montpelier. That would be Wendy Harrison. Since moving to Vermont full time in 2015, Wendy's had firsthand experience as a municipal manager and/or administrator in the small town of Vernon (pop. 2,141), the medium-sized town of Rockingham (5,034), and the city of Winooski (7,320). She also has eight years' experience as an...

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A pleasant journey

When I boarded the train in Brattleboro on a recent Friday, gas was approaching $5 per gallon, and my ticket cost less than making my 300-mile round-trip in my Prius. When I returned home that Sunday, gas had hit the $5 mark. If I calculated the cost of purchasing, registering, insuring, and maintaining the car, the train was an absolute bargain. It was also a pleasure. After boarding, I settled into a seat the size of a Barcalounger, which would...

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A stranger in the grocery line turns forgetfulness into a blessing

I was recently the recipient of a random act of kindness, and I want to thank the stranger who helped me. I'd driven to the grocery store during my lunch break to pick up last-minute needs on a frantic Friday before leaving on vacation. It wasn't until the cashier rang up my items that I realized I'd left my wallet on my desk. I could picture it sitting next to my keyboard as I tried to figure out how I...

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It doesn’t have to be this way

This month marks 10 years since Tropical Storm Irene swept through the state, washing away roads, bridges and homes, downing power and phone lines, and leaving behind a mess. And in Newfane, in the face of this natural disaster, residents pulled together to help one another. We held nightly potlucks at Williamsville Hall, where we shared food and news and where we stockpiled donations of essentials for those who lost everything. We set up a phone line and Wi-Fi so...

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