Issue #565

Meeting Waters YMCA says 56th summer of Y day camping will be ‘unique’

Meeting Waters YMCA, now in its 125th year of service to youth and families, will be running its popular day camp program as it has each summer since 1965.

The “best summer ever” will certainly be different than the previous 55 summers in terms of increased safety and health protocols and practices. However, the focus on “building skills, friendships and memories” is still at the core of all that will happen.

“I have spent most of nearly every day over the past two months on virtual meetings and webinars with a variety of experts all over the country to learn everything I could about best practices for running a safe camp program during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Meeting Waters YMCA executive director Susan Fortier said in a news release.

“From taking every camper's temperature before they get on the bus in the morning and having lower enrollment and smaller group sizes, to regular deep cleaning of the camp facility several times per day as well as adaptation of all activities and activity spaces to allow for physical distancing, among many other protocols and practices, we are confident we will keep our campers and staff safe,” Fortier added...

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BMAC plans to reopen on June 18

Eight previously shuttered exhibits to remain on view through Oct. 12

Having been closed since March 15, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) will reopen to the public on Thursday, June 18. The museum will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In recognition of the financial uncertainty faced by many, admission will be on a...

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Obituaries • Emily Chapman, 38, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly on May 25, 2020, following a long battle with depression. Emily, a lifelong resident of Brattleboro, will be remembered as a person of tremendous empathy and compassion who touched so many lives in an understated way. She had a profound...

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What does it take to wake up?

We were living on the base at West Point when my father sat us down to watch the new mini-series, Roots. The nation had just celebrated its 200th anniversary (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men...”). The first female cadets were admitted to the U.S. Military Academy. I watched with my father from our car as women arrived at the barracks. I was 13. The previous year, rape had been deemed illegal, at least on the books...

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Around the Towns

Rec. Dept. still taking registrations for summer camps BRATTLEBORO - The Recreation & Parks Department is still taking registrations for summer camps: Day Camp, Gymnastics Camp, Voltage Soccer Camp, Flag Football Camp, Tennis Camp, Magical Earth Camp, and Mad Science. The number of camp participants will be limited and will be accepted first come, first served, with priority given to Brattleboro residents. All registrations must be made in advance. Participants needing accommodations for special needs should make such requests at...

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We are those racist systems

It's primarily up to people of privilege, especially us white folks, to change what has been going on in our country since its founding over 300 years ago, when the United States was built on the brutal annihilation of the Native American population, followed by the enslavement of people from Africa. We must change the historical injustices that are still very much a part of all our systems today, including: judicial, policing, educational, financial, housing, election, and employment. We are...

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Voice and choice

Seth Andrew, founder of Democracy Builders and the new Degrees of Freedom at the soon-to-be former Marlboro College campus, explained the importance of civil lives and middle-class lifestyles. Andrew said his family instilled in him an interest in public life, civic engagement, and public policy. His family's dinner table conversations often centered on public issues. When Andrew reached college, he realized not all people felt obligated to participate in their democracy. This awakened in him the desire to focus on...

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Absentee voting begins for WSESD school budget

The Windham Southeast School District, the school district for Guilford, Brattleboro, Dummerston, and Putney, will hold its budget vote - postponed from the annual meeting in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic - by Australian Ballot on Tuesday, June 30. Voters will be asked to decide a budget of almost $51.2 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. According to the warning, the budget represents a 4.1-percent increase over the current year's spending. Voters will also select a moderator, clerk, and...

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Our Vermont privilege

After the killing of George Floyd, we have challenged ourselves to look deeper into our white privilege and, in addition, our Vermont privilege. We live in a place surrounded by flowering azaleas - pinks, purples and oranges. We are surrounded by the sounds of songbirds and with the ability to connect with the wildflowers around us. In these ways, we are very blessed, while living far from the day-to-day reality that so many burdened people experience. As we try to...

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Coming together in the streets is one way to show our power

The Brattleboro community stood strong and united on May 31 to remember the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, and all those who have brutality lost their lives to police violence across the United States. For over two hours, through signs, chants, and music, people expressed their solidarity with the outrage and rebellion across the country. The action ended with a short rally on the Town Common, beginning with eight minutes of silence to...

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Laws are only as good as the people who create them

In hisViewpoint, MacLean Ganderstates that this country is “the first nation ruled by law rather than men”. Where does he think those laws came from? It was men - White men - who made and enforced those laws; they weren't unbiased or inclusive. It was White men who made treaties and agreements with the People who were here first - and then reneged on those agreements as soon as it suited their own purposes. Laws are only as good as...

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Governor loosens travel requirements for out-of-state visitors

Southern Vermont Realtors applauded Governor Phil Scott's announcement authorizing interstate travel to and from New England and New York counties with 400 or fewer active COVID-19 cases per million without quarantine requirements. The new authorization, effective as of Monday, June 8, allows those from certain out-of-state areas to come to Vermont to view properties for sale. A map of the approved counties will be updated weekly and posted on ACCD's website. Residents who are interested in purchasing a home in...

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We must remove adversarial police culture

A number of years ago, I worked in a village whose police chief was a man of few words whose body language conveyed an air of dominance and intimidation. My first direct encounter was shortly after I set up my office as a publishing freelancer. My car needed to be moved because of some road construction. He called my place of work and screamed at me, as though I should have known that emergency repairs would be made. I met...

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Slow Living Conference keynoter urges faster climate response

When Vermont author and climate activist Bill McKibben last visited town on Jan. 15, he was looking forward to marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Before that milestone would take place on April 22, the words “coronavirus” and “pandemic” would dominate the front page. The biggest marches of the spring would end up protesting police brutality and systemic racism, not the climate crisis. And the event for which he was to be a keynote speaker - the Strolling of...

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Retreat union, management square off

Donning masks and holding handouts, a group of community members joined former and current Brattleboro Retreat staff at a rally on the Town Common last week. The United Nurses & Allied Professionals Union, Local 5086, held the June 4 gathering to highlight concerns it has about staffing at the psychiatric hospital. Specifically, the union members who spoke say that being among these ranks has “put a target on our backs” and has led to unfair firings of several key union...

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‘I am here, breathing and speaking. George Floyd is not.’

When I was 10 years old - the same age as two of my three children - my mother left me at home alone with my father, who had repeatedly proven that he was a menace to his own children. Probably upset by my mother's momentary freedom, my father quickly trapped me in a meaningless conflict, and in response to my attempt to get away from him, he grabbed me by the throat and lifted me off the floor, pinning...

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Campus buyer seeks to build upon a history of civic engagement

Seth Andrew talks fast. He has a lot to talk about. Andrew, 42, is the founder of Democracy Builders, a nonprofit educational organization aimed at building civic engagement. He is also the force behind Degrees of Freedom, a new hybrid two-year college-level degree program. On May 28, Degrees of Freedom and the Marlboro College Board of Trustees jointly announced that Democracy Builders was in the process of buying the Marlboro campus. Both parties declined to comment on the details of...

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