Issue #553


• Joseph Engel, 82, of Saxtons River. Died March 5, 2020 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born at home to George B. Engel and Edna Ashbridge Engel on March 8, 1937, in the coal region of Pennsylvania. Following the death of his father at an early age, his mother moved her growing family to New Jersey, where she lived the rest of her life. After beginning his education in the local elementary school in Rocky Hill, N.J., he went in third grade to the Milton Hershey Industrial School in Hershey, Pa. He graduated from Milton Hershey in 1955 with a certification in the field of meat preparation. Following his graduation in 1956, he married his first wife and the mother of his children and began his quest of 11 years to obtain his B.S. degree in engineering at Drexel University. His engineering career began at Ditmars & Carmichael in Princeton, N.J., where, over a number of years, he designed wastewater and water facilities in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. In 1977, he and his second wife moved to Maine where he worked for Wright Pierce in Topsham, Maine, and again, was instrumental in the design of many treatment facilities throughout New England. His last move was to Vermont where he completed his engineering career with Dufresne Henry in North Springfield. During that time, he and his wife lived in Saxtons River, and much of his spare time was involved with the Saxtons River Trustees for several years, including his term as chair. One of his greatest joys was the time he spent at the family home at Coles Pond in Vermont, where he and his granddaughter, Samantha, spent several years volunteering for the state as water quality monitors for the lake. He was...

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The class of <strike>2020</strike> coronavirus

Our high school seniors are strong, intelligent, and resilient — and their grief over their lost milestones is real

Remember your senior year of high school? And the very real feelings of excitement and possibility and nerves? Now throw a pandemic on that. No prom, no senior trip, no graduation - these are just a few of the things the class of 2020 is facing with the onset...

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Our perfect storm

In this moment when the highest health priority is to find distance from one another, our highest political priority must be to come together as a nation

We face a crisis that is like nothing the United States has encountered in the last century. The world changed for us last Wednesday, March 11, sometime between the morning, when Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health warned that the COVID-19 crisis would get much worse,

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Absolute adjustments

Margie Serkin Harsh, I know, but I believe it is true: As horrible as the global pandemic is, I have to believe that Mother Nature knows exactly what she is doing. We, especially those of us in this country, have been in dire need of an equalizer among all peoples - something to remind us of our shared human vulnerability, and this is it. Clearly, people of privilege are the ones in need of this reminder, and it is so...

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What would a functioning federal government be doing?

Ever since the Reagan administration, and probably before that, we have been subjected to the Republican/right-wing Democratic dismantling of the role of government in the lives of ordinary people. Progressive activists have spent decades struggling for the sort of country where ordinary people could have some agency at a time when the U.S. was becoming more of a playground for the wealthiest every year. It was abundantly clear that we would never be able to rely on Washington to use...

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Reshaping the nest

I left home on Sept. 1. It wasn't a divorce or even a trial separation, but it was time. Time for she who so dutifully tended the nest over the course of 25 years to fly. I left my younger son behind. I thought my flight might lend itself to his. It did. On the very same mid-October weekend that he spread his wings, however, his older brother returned home, taking up residence here alongside his partner. By Christmas, we...

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We’re looking at a recession on a par with the Depression

Back on Jan. 15, I visited my financial advisor to see how our nest egg was doing, as I do every year. As usual, the conversation included speculation about whether a recession might happen sometime soon. As usual, we decided that nobody knows, so we should maintain the same investment strategy. I observed that in past recessions, the trigger has usually been some major policy or regulatory failure (like subprime mortgages in 2008 or the savings and loan crisis in...

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Governor: ‘Worst is yet to come’

Hoping to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the state of Vermont has ordered the closure of all public schools. This closure will last at least until April 6, but it might be extended depending on how the virus moves through the state. “This is a moment of service for all of us,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a press conference in Montpelier on Monday as he outlined the new measures. “We have to slow the spread down to...

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Cancellations, postponements, and curtailments from around the region

Foodworks to start deliveries to clients BRATTLEBORO - Groundworks Collaborative has moved its Foodworks food shelf to a delivery model. Households needing food will need to call 802-490-2412 or email [email protected] to arrange delivery. Groundworks is actively preparing a list of volunteers willing to make deliveries and reports it is “in urgent need of volunteer support for this effort,” Groundworks' Executive Director Josh Davis said in a news release. “We have set up protocols to keep staff, volunteers, and clients...

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Brattleboro defers town meeting

As it set its sights on slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the Selectboard held its March 17 meeting as scheduled - and then its members decided what community events would not follow suit. • The board decided to cancel Annual Representative Town Meeting scheduled for March 21. This decision was based on the prevailing theme of social distancing and avoidance of multiple people gathered in public places. But it was also the result of Governor Phil Scott's executive order...

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Vermont artist Wolf Kahn dies at age 92

Wolf Kahn, a German-American painter known for his vivid southern Vermont landscapes, died on March 15 at age 92. According to ArtNews, Kahn's New York representative, Miles McEnery Gallery, confirmed his death. Kahn's work is exhibited in galleries worldwide, but it has been Brattleboro, where he has spent each summer and fall since 1968, that has been his muse. When a friend drove him around the region in the late 1960s, he recognized and followed a real estate agent's vehicle...

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VPA postpones spring high school sports season

As it has on so many other aspects of our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the Vermont high school sports scene. The Brattleboro Union High School Unified Basketball team was to have opened its eight-game season on March 16 against Burr & Burton. However, it was announced on March 11 by the Vermont Principals' Association that all Unified Basketball games were suspended until March 31. The suspension affected upcoming scheduled games for Brattleboro against Hartford (March 18), Springfield (March...

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