'These are human beings, and as a society, we are failing them'

The problem is the drugs - my father, last time I talked to him, was living in a tent in Brattleboro.

I live in Maine, where I see encampments in Portland, too. Recently, 140 people were offered shelter and they declined, choosing to live outside.

We can't talk about the homelessness problem without discussing the drug problem - and that these drugs that are out there and are so powerful that withdrawals can kill people, or at best be agonizing.

We have such a different viewpoint when we discuss medications for those with physical illnesses. People who have become addicted to drugs have a mental illness that, when they go through withdrawals, is compounded with real physical pain.

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A squandered opportunity

The Brattleboro Selectboard has failed to grasp that the fire department is primarily a public safety organization, while Rescue is primarily a healthcare organization. Its vote to embrace the fire-EMS model was disheartening but did not come as a surprise.

I have a landline and a rotary phone on my kitchen counter, underneath a kitchen cabinet with an orange sticker on the inside of the door - it's from the 1980s. It has the telephone number for Rescue Inc. I yearn to be able to call Rescue for our...

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Brattleboro town department heads 'blindsided' by

This hearing was supposed to be an opportunity for citizens of Brattleboro to have a voice in their choice for emergency medical care. Instead, those attending were blindsided by a panel of town department heads reading prepared speeches in support of the fire-EMS model. For the attendees, it was...

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Use of ARPA funds can only be seen as evidence of its bad faith

Representative Town Meeting approved a motion in 2023, calling on the Selectboard to allocate American Rescue Plan Act funds only after engaging with the public as to its preferences for use of those funds. In Selectboard meetings before and after, members of the public asked - really, begged - the board not to obligate ARPA funds until the public had been given a meaningful chance to register its priorities, and we were given assurances that such a public process would...

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On false promises and outright deceit

What makes politicians publicly embrace a lie when the truth is staring them in the face? "There is an apartheid state here. In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state." A simple statement of fact - in this case made recently by Tamir Pardo, a former head of Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, referring to Israel's current system of treatment of Palestinians. Pardo is not the only Israeli official to say so.

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Lessons from an old, sick dog's crazy adventure

On Friday, Sept. 8, many in the area experienced an amazing thunderstorm - possibly one of the most intense lightning strikes that I can ever remember. We have a very old, very large, disabled dog. Luke generally spends 23 hours a day asleep - he takes an occasional mosey to the brook to lie down in the cool water. He has severe arthritis and diabetes, and is almost blind and likely deaf, but he still likes his food, swims, and...

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End of an era

Now that it has been confirmed that Sam's Outdoor Outfitters on Main Street will be closing in April of 2024, there are so many ways to think about it. We could think about the big retail hole it will leave on Main Street, where it has been losing business for years. We could think about the dedicated Sam's employees, some of whom have worked for the owners, the Borofsky family, for decades, who will be losing their jobs and their...

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Avoid Covid and flu this winter

Covid will always be with us, and most of us have learned to live with it. Unfortunately, people continue to die from the disease at a rate of 255 deaths per day in the United States. Hospitalizations for the disease are up 8.7%, and the death rate has increased by 4.5%. The U.S. full vaccination rate is 68%. Mask wearing continues to be rare, but it seems to me that a few more people are starting to mask up again,

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