Next week’s Voices to address panhandling issues and questions of anonymity

BRATTLEBORO — Last issue's Open Letter, “A direct negative impact on our economic sustainability,” signed by 20 downtown Brattleboro businesspeople and submitted for publication on condition of anonymity, has generated more than a little bit of conversation and some significant response.

That response has run the gamut - not only because of views the store owners expressed with conviction, but also because of my decision to withhold their names.

I am preparing a special Voices section for next week's paper, in which you will find the letters that have been submitted in response, as well as several longer Viewpoints on the topics addressed in the original letter.

In a column accompanying the letters, I plan to address in more detail my rationale for why I decided to make an exception to our usual rule about anonymity.

I hope that if you're a regular reader of this newspaper, you will know beyond any doubt that I would not have made such an unusual decision lightly, nor without ambivalence. I deeply respect everyone who disagrees and who has reached out to have a conversation about it. I do hear you and absolutely respect those differences.

If you would like to respond for next week's section - and I hope you do - please do so by the evening of Friday, June 7 to [email protected]. -Jeff Potter, editor.

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