July 14th, 2016
VERGENNES — Among other incidents between July 4 and 10, Vergennes police dealt with one case of domestic assault, a few other disputes, stalled tractor-trailer trucks and loose dogs.
In that week, Vergennes police:
• On July 4 participated in a grant-funded drunk-driving checkpoint in Ferrisburgh.
• On July 4 checked out an area on West Main Street after receiving a report about fireworks being set off.
Where are you from?
It’s a question that, even in the most innocent sense, highlights a sense of alienation and non-belonging. Sometimes it’s just a question when you’re meeting someone for the first time and you know that they’ve just moved to the area. You’re just trying to be nice, getting to know them and taking the first step to welcoming them into the community.
What then, when this conversation extends further than is appropriate?
Marriage is not a competition. But if it were, my husband Mark would be winning.
You might get the impression, from reading this column, or perhaps from knowing us personally, that Mark is a taciturn old grouch, while I am sweetness and light pretty much all the time, bestowing upon him laughter, engaging conversation and tasty home-cooked meals.
All of that is true, of course. But when it comes to thoughtfulness, the grouch is way ahead.
I hate him for that.
What can a white man, in the nation’s second-whitest state, say about the tragedies of violence and racism that continue to tear our country apart?
I sat down to write this column in Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe, where the flow of coffee and friends on laptops can stir the creative juices.
But I had to go home to finish this. Because I didn’t want to have to explain to everyone in the cafe why I was crying.
Crying for all the decades of murdered black victims of white police violence — people who died because they were black.
While Vermont will not be joining Massachusetts, Maine and California in allowing the people to vote directly on marijuana legalization via ballot initiatives this fall, legalization is — indirectly — on the ballot in our upcoming August 9 primary, in the form of the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
We enthusiastically support Robin Scheu to represent Middlebury in the state legislature, and encourage fellow voters to do likewise in the August 9 primary and again in November. Why? Because Robin gets things done no matter what she tackles, from managing the Addison County Solid Waste Management District to chairing the boards of key local nonprofits that help all of us. A few of those boards include: United Way, Mary Hogan Elementary and Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op.
The tragic events that unfolded last week highlight racial tensions that have been simmering in many communities throughout our land for decades.
I believe fear is the driver behind violence. We now live in a manufactured, heightened state of fear. The media feeds fear regardless of what the issue is: terrorism, weather events, racial tensions, politics, immigrants, health issues, you name it.
The availability of good housing for middle income Vermonters, near their place of work, is a problem in Vermont. Contractors struggle to build affordable homes for this market.