Darkest Vermont

January 11 2018: Better the dog. I sent a letter to The Commons newspaper for their ‘Voices’ column who rejected it in favor of a dog in Putney and a thousand dollar vet bill before the owners pulled the plug. $1,000 dollars would have bought a lot of chicken this week for hungry folks: I had mentioned in my Commons letter a lack of protein-meat from any source of supply for 3 weeks to 40 needy kids, plus 100 others and their families, the Commons chose instead to put up the dog piece, and a trust-fund gal on spiritual survival in these times, as if that were separate from material matters — like getting off your key board and pitching in somewhere was actually not part of spiritual. They also ran another long piece about their frequent contributor Joyce Marcel about Joyce Marcel at SIT, written by Joyce Marcel, but not quite as we who knew her at SIT remember her.

The ‘liberal’ Commons doesn’t publish this material since implicit in the message they reject is their own record of never actually attending to things: They were invited to attend an event over a year ago which selectboard and town manager attended, and also state representatives, about representation and misrepresentation of the needy, but couldn’t make it the three hundred feet from their offices to the soup kitchen, offering instead that, ‘they had reported on this before’ as if they actually knew everything — whereas they could make it all the way to Boston to accept ‘awards.’ Their last report eighteen months ago was about our kitchen and an ambulance-chaser one about someone once worked in the soup kitchen who died.

Olga, top correspondent to the Commons, reproduced this week what is in effect a 2,000 word press release, without much discernible interaction with it. Is this journalism?

‘Voices,’ the letters column seems frequented by those whose brave and long edified ideas about this, that and the other, are otherwise unexampled by practice.

This all doesn’t seem representative of Vermonters. Better to do it first, talk about it after, if you need to talk about it in public at all, rather than the other way round, eh?

November 28 2017: Let’s compare three things between Malibu, CA, and Brattleboro, VT, or the richest and meanest place in America with the poorest county in Vermont though the most generous.

(1) Median cost of housing in Malibu is $3,422,500, in Brattlboro it is $165,000.

  1. (2)The median list price per square foot in Malibu is $1,125, whereas in Brattleboro it is $84 per square foot.

  2. (3) Malibu has just banned churches from feeding the hungry, whereas in Brattleboro there are two community kitchens providing free hot meals Mon-Fri, and Loaves and Fishes, the one I work at also supports 40 children at a daycare center with weekend meals. Incidentally we are interested in one person who would like to join that program for a couple of hours on Friday morning. Email me: vtviewsinnes@gmail.com

November 15 2017: An unfortunate statistic has emerged about our town — Brattleboro has per-capita the worst pedestrian accident record in the entire United States. It’s not just people flying up Interstate 91 and flying at only just reduced speed through the old brick town, it also has to do with pedestrians who like to dress in black and wonder around the roads after dark. I was not convinced that the second of these reasons was actually true, or in out of proportion to bull-dozing two-ton SUVs from New Jersey — the driver consulting a GPS or cell phone or both — but the other morning on the way to the Community Kitchen I encountered the phenomena, twice. The first time was someone crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing, but not straight across, more at 45 degrees, and dressed in black pants and a black hoodie. The second was an early cyclist belting along the sidewalk where I was about to cross, no lights on the bike. I was relating this in the kitchen 10 minutes later to my colleague when she said she almost bulldozed a black-cladded figure by the Retreat crossing the road not at the pedestrian crossing, and if the figure had not been carrying a shiny coffee mug it would have be another pedestrian biting the dust. For those not familiar with the town ‘The Retreat’ used to be called ‘The Vermont Asylum for the Insane’, except evidently for the hour of the day, these dark flâneurs were staff.