coronavirus pandemic – Tavistock Devon http://tavistockdevon.com/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 15:19:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://tavistockdevon.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png coronavirus pandemic – Tavistock Devon http://tavistockdevon.com/ 32 32 Lack of information persists for rural communities https://tavistockdevon.com/lack-of-information-persists-for-rural-communities/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 13:00:35 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/lack-of-information-persists-for-rural-communities/

MUTARE, ZIMBABWE – Minutes before 7 p.m. on a cold September evening, Violet Chisango is fumbling around with the little solar-powered radio she bought 15 years ago. After checking that the battery is full, it plugs into “Studio 7” from Voice of America.

She waited all day for local news on this pirate radio station, which was broadcast 13,000 kilometers (about 8,000 miles) to her home in Masvingo province, south-eastern Zimbabwe, via an over-the-air frequency. short from the United States.

“Studio 7 is reliable,” she says. “This is where I got information on the issues with the coronavirus. “

Without her trusty radio, she would not have learned that vaccines had become available – and was vaccinated last summer. These evening broadcasts, on the only signal strong enough to reach her home, also keep her family informed of school closings and cyclone warnings; she also shares everything she hears with her neighbors.

Chisango is one of millions of Zimbabweans with limited access to information due to tight government control over broadcasting licenses, inadequate communications and electricity infrastructure, and the high cost of amplifying the few signals. existing remote. This lack of information may be life-threatening for rural communities – home to two-thirds of the country’s 15 million people – left in the dark about COVID-19 and the spread of the new variant of omicron, natural disasters and other threats.

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Satellite dishes adorn nearly every rooftop in Mutare, ensuring that households can receive a range of local, regional and global information and entertainment. This technology is out of reach in rural areas.

In Chimanimani, a village in eastern Zimbabwe, Moses Muyambo missed the dissemination alerts of Cyclone Idai in March 2019 and seriously injured his legs when floodwaters swept him away. Determined to keep residents safe in the future, community leaders worked on plans for a local radio station, which was licensed earlier this year, said Panganai Chirongera, a city councilor.

In cities, Zimbabweans with disposable income and stable electricity can get information from a range of national television and radio stations, satellite channels and internet services. Satellite technology costs around 9,200 Zimbabwe dollars (ZWL) ($ 100) for a household, with monthly subscription fees starting at ZWL 644 ($ 7). The average urban household earns around ZWL 15,805 ($ 172) per month, according to a December 2020 report from the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee. In contrast, a committee survey in April 2020 indicated that the average rural household earns only ZWL 3,036 ($ 33) per month.

Access to information is a human right, which has been denied to the majority of the country, said Noveti Muponora, lawmaker of Mount Darwin North, a district 160 kilometers (99 miles) northeast of Harare.

“In my area, they turn to Mozambican radio stations or pirate radio stations,” he says, adding that he has continually appealed to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, which oversees the country’s airwaves, for the installation of boosters so that the inhabitants of Mount Darwin can receive TV and radio signals.

After maintaining tight control over broadcast and television rights since independence in 1980, the government of Zimbabwe began to respond to the growing wave of local and global voices arguing for more accessible and affordable sources of information.

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The digital terrestrial television project (known as ZimDigital), which aims to improve Zimbabwe’s broadcast schedule, is 40% complete with 18 of 48 television transmitters updated and five of 25 radio transmitters installed, according to a May report compiled by the government and the United Nations. . The project started in 2015, based on recommendations from the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency specializing in information technology, and was allocated ZWL 684.7 million (7.6 million dollars) for completion this year.

While acknowledging that the project has taken longer than expected, the Acting Director General of the Broadcasting Authority, Matthias Chakanyuka, expresses his confidence that the results will significantly improve access to information for rural Zimbabweans.

“The poor reception from the old equipment is currently being addressed by the digitization project,” he wrote in an email. “However, the full changeover is a gradual process. Some areas that did not have television and radio reception benefited from the digitization project. The government has made huge strides in providing funds for the completion of the digitization project.

Even if the broadcast signals could reach every household, however, not all Zimbabweans would be able to listen. Less than half of those surveyed in a 2019 household survey conducted by UNICEF and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency reported having a television or radio in their home; less than a third reported having internet access on any device.

The cost and scrutiny required for a broadcasting license also deters potential sources of information. The broadcasting authority’s application fee for a 10-year license for a national radio or television station is $ 2,500, followed by a public inquiry fee of $ 7,500; the annual renewal fees cost $ 15,000 for radio and $ 18,000 for television stations, respectively.

“Diversity is needed, especially during the global coronavirus pandemic, where communities need to access information in a way they can understand,” says Patience Zirima, director of Media Monitors, an organization that identifies and analyzes editorial and advertising trends.

“Diversity is needed, especially during the global coronavirus pandemic, where communities need to access information in ways they can understand. “ director of media monitors

In Zimbabwe, the government exercises disproportionate control over broadcasting licenses and station management, according to the 2021 Media Law Handbook for Southern Africa, published by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a German policy research foundation. “International best practice requires an independent regulatory authority to license broadcasting services and associated frequencies,” the report said, noting that Zimbabwe is among countries that have laws “establishing a public or national broadcaster, but those – These do not function as public broadcasters because the boards of directors are all appointed by the members of the executive.

Critics like John Masuku, executive director of pirate station Radio VOP based in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city, lament that licenses are being granted more quickly to candidates with political ties and that rural communities remain underserved.

Yet they agree that the information gap has narrowed over the past decade. Prior to 2012, Zimbabwe had only one licensed television station and four radio stations, all operated by the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Today the country has seven licensed television stations and 36 radio stations, including six campus radio stations.

After two refusals, Masuku says Radio VOP has chosen to focus on using internet platforms, such as podcasts and social media, but he applauds the ongoing advocacy efforts of other stations and community leaders to expand the public airwaves.

“It took ages,” he says. “But we are happy that this has happened.”

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Could the pandemic further erode the New England city reunion? | Local News https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion-local-news/ https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion-local-news/#respond Sun, 28 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion-local-news/

MIDDLESEX, Vermont – The town reunion, for centuries, has been a staple of life in New England – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure of the tradition where people come together to debate everything, from the purchase of local road equipment to multi-million dollar budgets to pressing social issues.

The basis of the town hall meeting is getting everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will debate local issues until a decision is made.

The restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better under control. Others use pre-printed ballots to settle issues, foregoing the one-day debate altogether.

Some fear that the temporary workaround may persist even after life returns to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people think that this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the town hall, which is the opportunity to meet with our fellow citizens, to hear directly to our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting, ”said former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who for 33 years was moderator in his Middlebury hometown.

In this March 5, 2002 file photo, citizens vote in favor of a redistribution resolution at Woodbury’s annual town hall meeting. …

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together in a meeting in town, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day – the first Tuesday in March – is a public holiday, the state has only allowed cities this year to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most of the cities that chose the option held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters on Tuesday will vote on a measure that, if approved, would allow the city to continue with preprinted ballots to decide everything from credits for the local library to payments for programs social – but the city budget.

Vic Dwire, a longtime Middlesex resident, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The point of this is that a lot of people think they can’t ask questions at city meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7am to 7pm”

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need empowered, face-to-face deliberations,” said Susan Clark, Town of Middlesex meeting moderator.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has said he’s not taking a stand on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have kids, a school, anything that interferes with their life. It’s not like it was 100 years ago.

In Maine, the pandemic wiped out town meetings last year for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold spring meetings. Thanks to an emergency order from the governor, many cities in Maine are once again using preprinted secret ballot votes this year to make decisions.

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than they attended in previous traditional town hall meetings.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better, ”he said.

Town halls evolved from the time when the first European settlers in what would become the six New England states would meet in a meeting house, usually the church, and decide all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in New England’s six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Over the centuries, power shifted to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities resort to representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbors. Other communities use a combination of indoor debates, votes and pre-printed ballots for different questions. In large communities, voters are already deciding issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town halls were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 municipalities continue to hold town halls in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Massachusetts lawmakers last year allowed cities to postpone their annual city meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outside after the initial wave of the virus ended.

In New Hampshire, traditional town hall meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the municipal assembly from March was postponed to June and then July, when voters dispersed to a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced as far apart as possible in a gymnasium.

” I hope it will last. If we continue to have things like this then I think we will have to reconsider the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to normal, ”said Cordell Johnstone, moderator of the town of Henniker. “At this point the question is whether city meetings are a viable way to run the city and I think for most cities it is. “

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Could the pandemic further erode the New England city reunion? https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion/ https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion/#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion/

MIDDLESEX, Vermont (AP) – The town reunion, for centuries, has been a staple of life in New England – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure of the tradition where people come together to debate everything from the purchase of local road equipment to several million dollars. from dollar budgets to pressing social issues.

The basis of the town hall meeting is to bring everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will debate local issues until a decision is made.

The restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better under control. Others use pre-printed ballots to settle issues, foregoing the one-day debate altogether.

Some fear that the temporary workaround may persist even after life returns to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people think that this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the municipal assembly, which is the opportunity to meet with our fellow citizens, to hear directly to our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting, ”said former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who for 33 years was moderator in his Middlebury hometown.

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together in a meeting in town, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day – the first Tuesday in March – is a public holiday, the state has only allowed cities this year to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most of the cities that chose the option held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters on Tuesday will vote on a measure that, if approved, would allow the city to continue with pre-printed ballots to decide everything from credits for the local library to payments for programs social – but the city budget.

Vic Dwire, a longtime Middlesex resident, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The point is, a lot of people think they can’t ask any questions at city meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7am to 7pm”

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need empowered face-to-face deliberations,” said Susan Clark, Town of Middlesex meeting moderator.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has said he’s not taking a stand on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have kids, a school, anything that interferes with their life. It’s not like it was 100 years ago.

In Maine, the pandemic wiped out town meetings last year for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold meetings in the spring. Thanks to an emergency order from the governor, many cities in Maine are once again using preprinted secret ballot votes this year to make decisions.

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than they attended previous traditional town hall meetings.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better, ”he said.

City meetings evolved from the time when the first European settlers in what would become the six New England states would meet in a meeting house, usually the church, and decide all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in New England’s six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Over the centuries, power shifted to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities use representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbors. Other communities use a combination of indoor debates, votes and pre-printed ballots for different questions. In large communities, voters are already deciding issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town halls were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 municipalities continue to hold town halls in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Massachusetts lawmakers last year allowed cities to postpone their annual city meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outside after the initial wave of the virus ended.

In New Hampshire, traditional town hall meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the municipal assembly from March was postponed to June and then July, when voters dispersed to a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced as far apart as possible in a gymnasium.

” I hope it will last. If we keep having things like this then I think we will have to reconsider the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to normal, ”said Cordell Johnston, moderator of the town of Henniker. “At this point the question is whether city meetings are a viable way to run the city and I think for most cities it is. “

___

Associated Press reporters David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Phil Marcelo in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Holly Ramer, in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

___

This story corrects the spelling of the town moderator’s name from Henniker to Cordell Johnston, not Cordell Johnstone.

]]>
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Pandemic could further erode New England city reunion https://tavistockdevon.com/pandemic-could-further-erode-new-england-city-reunion/ https://tavistockdevon.com/pandemic-could-further-erode-new-england-city-reunion/#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/pandemic-could-further-erode-new-england-city-reunion/

MIDDLESEX, Vermont – The town reunion, for centuries, has been a staple of life in New England – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure of the tradition where people come together to debate everything, from the purchase of local road equipment to multi-million dollar budgets to pressing social issues.

The basis of the town hall meeting is to bring everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will debate local issues until a decision is made.

The restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better under control. Others use pre-printed ballots to settle issues, foregoing the one-day debate altogether.

Some fear that the temporary workaround may persist even after life returns to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people think that this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the municipal assembly, which is the opportunity to meet with our fellow citizens, to hear directly to our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting, ”said former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who for 33 years was moderator in his Middlebury hometown.

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together in a meeting in town, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day – the first Tuesday in March – is a statutory holiday, the state has only allowed cities this year to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most of the cities that chose the option held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters on Tuesday will vote on a measure that, if approved, would allow the city to continue with pre-printed ballots to decide everything from credits for the local library to payments for programs social – but the city budget.

Vic Dwire, a longtime Middlesex resident, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The point is, a lot of people think they can’t ask any questions at city meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7am to 7pm”

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need empowered face-to-face deliberations,” said Susan Clark, Town of Middlesex meeting moderator.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has said he’s not taking a stand on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have kids, a school, anything that interferes with their life. It’s not like it was 100 years ago.

In Maine, the pandemic wiped out town meetings last year for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold spring meetings. Thanks to an emergency order from the governor, many cities in Maine are once again using preprinted secret ballot votes this year to make decisions.

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than they attended in previous traditional town halls.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better, ”he said.

Town halls evolved from the time when the first European settlers in what would become the six New England states would meet in a meeting house, usually the church, and decide all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in New England’s six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Over the centuries, power shifted to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities resort to representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbors. Other communities use a combination of indoor debates, votes and pre-printed ballots for different questions. In large communities, voters are already deciding issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town halls were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 municipalities continue to hold town halls in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Massachusetts lawmakers last year allowed cities to postpone their annual city meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outside after the initial wave of the virus ended.

In New Hampshire, traditional town hall meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the municipal assembly from March was postponed to June and then July, when voters dispersed to a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced as far apart as possible in a gymnasium.

” I hope it will last. If we keep having things like this then I think we will have to reconsider the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to normal, ”said Cordell Johnstone, moderator of the town of Henniker. “At that time, it is [a] whether the city meeting is a viable way to run the city and I think for most cities it is. “

Wilson Ring, The Associated Press. Associated Press reporters David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Phil Marcelo in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Holly Ramer, in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

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Could the pandemic further erode the New England city reunion? | Vermont News https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion-vermont-news/ Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/could-the-pandemic-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion-vermont-news/

By WILSON RING, Associated Press

MIDDLESEX, Vermont (AP) – The town reunion, for centuries, has been a staple of life in New England – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure of the tradition where people come together to debate everything from the purchase of local road equipment to several million dollars. from dollar budgets to pressing social issues.

The basis of the town hall meeting is getting everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will debate local issues until a decision is made.

The restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better under control. Others use pre-printed ballots to settle issues, foregoing the one-day debate altogether.

Political cartoons

Some fear that the temporary workaround may persist even after life returns to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people thought that this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the municipal assembly, which is the opportunity to meet with our fellow citizens, to hear directly to our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting, ”said former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who for 33 years was moderator in his Middlebury hometown.

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together in a city meeting, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day – the first Tuesday in March – is a public holiday, the state has only allowed cities this year to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most of the cities that chose the option held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters will vote on Tuesday on a measure that, if approved, would allow the city to continue with pre-printed ballots to decide everything – from credits for the local library to payments for social programs – but the city budget.

Vic Dwire, a longtime Middlesex resident, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The point is, a lot of people think they can’t ask any questions at city meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm”

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need empowered face-to-face deliberations,” said Susan Clark, Town of Middlesex meeting moderator.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has said he’s not taking a stand on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have kids, a school, anything that interferes with their life. It’s not like it was 100 years ago.

In Maine, the pandemic wiped out town meetings last year for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold spring meetings. Thanks to an emergency governor’s order, many cities in Maine are once again using preprinted secret ballot votes this year to make decisions.

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than at previous traditional town hall meetings.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better, ”he said.

City meetings evolved from the time when the first European settlers in what would become the six New England states would meet in a meeting house, usually the church, and decide all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in New England’s six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Over the centuries, power shifted to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities resort to representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbors. Other communities use a combination of floor debates, votes, and pre-printed ballots for different questions. In large communities, voters are already deciding issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town halls were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 municipalities continue to hold town halls in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Massachusetts lawmakers last year allowed cities to postpone their annual city meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outside after the initial wave of the virus ended.

In New Hampshire, traditional town hall meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the municipal assembly from March was postponed to June and then July, when voters dispersed to a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced as far apart as possible in a gymnasium.

” I hope it will last. If we keep having things like this then I think we will have to reconsider the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to normal, ”said Cordell Johnstone, moderator of the town of Henniker. “At this point the question is whether city meetings are a viable way to run the city and I think for most cities it is. “

Associated Press reporters David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Phil Marcelo in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Holly Ramer, in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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How the pandemic could further erode the New England city reunion https://tavistockdevon.com/how-the-pandemic-could-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion/ Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/how-the-pandemic-could-further-erode-the-new-england-city-reunion/

Reuniting the town, for centuries, has been a staple of life in New England – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure of the tradition where people come together to debate everything from buying to local road equipment with multi-million dollar budgets to pressing social problems.

The basis of the town hall meeting is getting everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will discuss local issues until a decision is made.

The restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better under control. Others use pre-printed ballots to settle issues, foregoing the one-day debate altogether.

Some fear that the temporary workaround may persist even after life returns to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people thought that this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the municipal assembly, which is the opportunity to meet with our fellow citizens, to hear directly to our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting, ”said former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who for 33 years was moderator in his Middlebury hometown.

In this March 11, 2008 file photo, moderator Dick Kipperman, right, accepts a resident’s vote at the city’s annual meeting in Springfield, NH (Jim Cole / AP File)

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together in a meeting in town, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day – the first Tuesday in March – is a public holiday, the state has only allowed cities this year to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most of the cities that chose the option held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters will vote on Tuesday on a measure that, if approved, would allow the city to continue with pre-printed ballots to decide everything from credits for the local library to payments for social programs – but the city budget.

Vic Dwire, a longtime Middlesex resident, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The point is, a lot of people think they can’t ask any questions at city meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm”

In this March 5, 2002 file photo, citizens vote to support a redistribution resolution at the town's annual meeting in Woodbury, Vt. (Toby Talbot / AP File)
In this March 5, 2002 file photo, citizens vote to support a redistribution resolution at the town’s annual meeting in Woodbury, Vt. (Toby Talbot / AP File)

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need empowered, face-to-face deliberations,” said Susan Clark, Town of Middlesex meeting moderator.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has said he’s not taking a stand on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have kids, a school, anything that interferes with their life. It’s not like it was 100 years ago.

In Maine, the pandemic wiped out town meetings last year for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold spring meetings. Thanks to an emergency governor’s order, many cities in Maine are once again using preprinted secret ballot votes this year to make decisions.

“The point is, a lot of people think they can’t ask questions at city meetings. It gives people a chance to participate in democracy … “

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than at previous traditional town hall meetings.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better, ”he said.

City meetings evolved from the time when the first European settlers in what would become the six New England states would meet in a meeting house, usually the church, and decide all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in New England’s six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

In this June 16, 2020 file photo, residents are waving pink cards to vote on an issue at the annual town hall meeting held on the high school football field to ensure social distancing due to concerns over COVID- 19, in North Andover, Mass.  It was the first municipal assembly held outside since the municipal assemblies began in North Andover in 1646. (Elise Amendola / AP File)
In this June 16, 2020 file photo, residents are waving pink cards to vote on an issue at the annual town hall meeting held on the high school football field to ensure social distancing due to concerns over COVID- 19, in North Andover, Mass. It was the first municipal assembly held outside since the municipal assemblies began in North Andover in 1646. (Elise Amendola / AP File)

Over the centuries, power shifted to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities use representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbors. Other communities use a combination of floor debates, votes and pre-printed ballots for different questions. In large communities, voters are already deciding issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town halls were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 municipalities continue to hold town halls in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Massachusetts lawmakers last year allowed cities to postpone their annual city meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outside after the initial wave of the virus ended.

In New Hampshire, traditional town hall meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the municipal assembly from March was postponed to June and then July, when voters dispersed to a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced as far apart as possible in a gymnasium.

” I hope it will last. If we continue to have things like this then I think we will have to reconsider the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to normal, ”said Cordell Johnstone, moderator of the town of Henniker. “At this point the question is whether city meetings are a viable way to run the city and I think for most cities it is. “

Associated Press reporters David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Phil Marcelo in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Holly Ramer, in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

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Valley News – Pandemic further erodes New England town meeting tradition https://tavistockdevon.com/valley-news-pandemic-further-erodes-new-england-town-meeting-tradition/ Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/valley-news-pandemic-further-erodes-new-england-town-meeting-tradition/

MIDDLESEX, Vt. – The town meeting, for centuries, has been a staple of New England life – but the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the departure from the tradition where people gather to debate everything from buying equipment local truck with budgets of several million dollars for urgent social problems.

The basis of the town hall is to get everyone together in the same room – sometimes a literal town hall, sometimes a school gymnasium – where voters will discuss local issues until a decision is made.

Restrictions on in-person gatherings imposed by the pandemic make this impossible.

Some communities are delaying meetings this year until the virus is hopefully better contained. Others use pre-printed ballots to decide issues, forgoing the day-long debate altogether.

Some are concerned that the temporary workaround will persist even after it’s back to normal.

“I would be very disappointed if people think this is a new model because it would take us completely away from the essence of the town meeting, which is an opportunity to meet with our fellow voters, to hear directly from our elected officials, to question, to challenge them, to debate a budget and public issues in an assembled meeting,” said former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, who served as a moderator for 33 years in his hometown of Middlebury.

But others counter that the challenges of bringing people together at a town meeting, virus or not, limit the number of people who can attend.

In Vermont, where the traditional Town Meeting Day — the first Tuesday in March — is a holiday, the state this year allowed cities only to decide local issues with pre-printed ballots. Most cities that have chosen this option have held remote information meetings to help voters make informed decisions.

In Middlesex, Vermont, voters will vote Tuesday on a measure that, if approved, would force the city to continue with pre-printed ballots to decide everything — from credits for the local library to payments for social programs. – but the city budget .

Long-time Middlesex resident Vic Dwire, who supports the measure, said it would allow more people to vote.

“The fact is that a lot of people think they can’t ask any questions at town meetings,” said Dwire, who is running for a seat on the Middlesex board this year. “It gives people the opportunity to participate in democracy and vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

But others think it would take something away from the process.

“We need face-to-face and empowered deliberations,” said Middlesex Town Meeting moderator Susan Clark.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos said he takes no position on the choices cities make about their meetings, but he understands why some are pushing for change.

Many people cannot attend traditional town meetings, which can last all day.

“They can live in one city and work in another city, and it’s hard to have free time,” Condos said. “They can have children, go to school, whatever interferes with their lives. It’s not like it was 100 years ago. »

In Maine, the pandemic last year eliminated town meetings for more than 400 of the state’s 486 municipalities that hold spring meetings. Thanks to an emergency order from the governor, many cities in Maine are using pre-printed secret ballot votes again this year to make decisions.

Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association said more people voted by secret ballot than have attended previous traditional town meetings.

“This democratic compromise is lost. But participation is better,” he said.

Town assemblies evolved from the days when early European settlers in what would become the six states of New England met in a meeting house, usually the church, and decided all local matters. They are still used in one form or another in all six New England states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Over the centuries, power was transferred to groups of local “selected men” who were chosen to make the decisions of the communities and the system continued to evolve, said Douglas, the former governor of Vermont.

Now, some communities use representative municipal assemblies where residents are elected to represent their neighbours. Other communities use a combination of in-room debates, votes, and pre-printed ballots for different issues. In larger communities, voters already decide issues with pre-printed ballots.

In Massachusetts, where some of New England’s first town assemblies were established in the 1630s, 300 of 351 townships continue to hold town assemblies in one form or another, according to Secretary of State William’s office. Galvin.

Last year, Massachusetts lawmakers allowed cities to postpone their annual town hall meetings until the summer, allowing many to hold them outdoors after the initial wave of the virus subsided.

In New Hampshire, traditional town meetings are held on the second Tuesday in March. Last year in Henniker, the March town meeting was postponed to June and then July, when voters scattered at a school.

This year, Henniker officials decided to hold a meeting on March 13, with voters spaced out as much as possible in a gymnasium.

“Hopefully it will last. If we continue to have things like this then I think we will have to re-examine the situation, but hopefully this is a once in a lifetime thing and we can get back to the normal,” said Henniker Town Moderator Cordell Johnstone. “At this point it’s a question of whether the town meeting is a viable way to run the town and I think for most towns that’s is the case.”

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A city-by-city guide to getting rid of your New England Christmas tree – NBC Boston https://tavistockdevon.com/a-city-by-city-guide-to-getting-rid-of-your-new-england-christmas-tree-nbc-boston/ https://tavistockdevon.com/a-city-by-city-guide-to-getting-rid-of-your-new-england-christmas-tree-nbc-boston/#respond Tue, 29 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/a-city-by-city-guide-to-getting-rid-of-your-new-england-christmas-tree-nbc-boston/

Now that Christmas has passed and all the presents have been unwrapped, it’s time for the annual question of when and how you can get rid of your Christmas tree.

Below are plans put in place by some towns and villages in the area for residents to drop off their natural Christmas trees or have them picked up from the curb. Trees must be free of any decorations, such as garlands, ornaments and lights, and must not be wrapped.

Boston

Boston will be picking up Christmas trees on weekdays in the first two weeks of January. The Ministry of Public Works announcement he will collect trees from Monday January 4 to Friday January 8, as well as from Monday January 11 to Friday January 15.

It’s the most wonderful time of year on Massachusetts Christmas tree farms, even though the pandemic has made it a difficult year for many. Farmers say the number of people staying at home has increased the demand to clear the halls.

Worcester

Worcester Department of Public Works announcement Christmas trees will not be picked up at the curb. Instead, the city has drop-off sites on Chandler Street, Millbury Street, and Clark Street where residents can bring in their non-artificial Christmas trees for free.

The drop-off sites are open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Sunday, January 10. Each site is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while only the Millbury Street site will be open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well. Residents must provide proof of residence in order to deposit their trees.

Foxboro

The town of Foxboro is request residents to place their Christmas trees on the sidewalk on their regular garbage collection days between January 4 and January 15. Foxboro will not be picking up tree stands or wreaths, just the trees themselves.

COVID-19 has made it a holiday season like no other, but that hasn’t stopped the tradition of tree shopping.

Salem

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and size limitations for gatherings, Salem’s annual Christmas tree bonfire has been canceled this year, the city announcement. Residents are not permitted to drop trees at Dead Horse Beach this year.

Instead, residents can leave their trees on the sidewalk on garbage days in the weeks of December 28 and January 4. The city will also be collecting Christmas trees from the Castle Hill Park parking lot (4 Story Road) through the end of January.

Framingham

Framingham Public Works Department announcement residents can place Christmas trees on the sidewalk to be collected on their recycling and recycling days between January 11 and 15.

Artificial trees can be disposed of on city premises recycling depot or by picking up bulky items, depending on the city.

North reading

North Reading will pick up Christmas trees on Saturday January 9, the city announcement. Residents are asked to have their trees on the sidewalk by 6:30 a.m.

Lowell

The city announcement on Facebook that there are nine Christmas tree drop-off points in its neighborhoods, including the Elks Club, North Common, South Common and Gage Field. Each drop-off point is open until January 15.

Residents can also request to have their Christmas trees picked up from the curb by contacting local Scout troops, the town said. Reservations and donations are required.

Jimmy Rider is the owner of Evergreen Delivery, a company that delivers Christmas trees by bike – and for an additional fee, in Santa costume. He says he’s like a glorified reindeer, essentially pulling a sled laden with trees. Rider says it’s pretty obvious he’s not the real Santa Claus (no beard and no belly), but he really enjoys the milk and cookies some customers give him. And there are even elves. “I like to engage with children,” he says. “I ask them to help me and make them my little elves.”

Stoneham

Stoneham will be picking up Christmas trees on residents’ usual trash days January 4-8, the city noted. Trees must be brought out to the sidewalk by 7 a.m.

Weymouth

Residents of Weymouth can place their Christmas trees on the sidewalk to be picked up on trash days during the weeks of January 4 and 11. Trees can also be dropped off at 55 Hollis Street from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents are also allowed to put two additional garbage bags with their household garbage during the weeks of December 28 (this week) and January 4.

Two 12-year-old brothers from Connecticut created a solution to a common Christmas problem: falling decorations. Ayaan and Mika’il Naqvi joined LX News to talk about their invention of the “ornamental anchor” and how their small business helps homeless animals.

Waltham

The city announcement that the Christmas trees will be collected from the curb three weeks after Christmas.

Newton

Newton will be collecting Christmas trees until January 15, starting January 4, the city announcement. The collection will take place on the usual days of the residents’ garbage cans, and the trees must be placed on the sidewalk before 7 a.m.

Residents can also request a Christmas tree pickup by using 311 or by calling city customer service if they miss the original pickup window. Newton residents can even wait until April and prepare the tree for pickup according to the city’s yard waste guidelines.

Revere

Revere will be collecting Christmas trees for the first two full weeks of January, according to Towards the city.

It seems like a simple choice. Real or fake Christmas tree. But here’s why this simple choice could have lasting consequences.

Manchester, New Hampshire

The city announcement that Christmas trees will only be picked up the week of January 17, the same days that garbage and recycling is picked up. Residents with permits can bring their trees to the city drop-off point at any time.

Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua will be picking up curbside Christmas trees from Monday January 4 through Friday January 15, the city announcement. Trees should be placed at the curb and not on snow banks or frozen to the ground.

Concorde, New Hampshire

Concord residents can place their Christmas trees outside for curbside pickup on garbage collection days January 6-17, the city announcement. Trees must be outside with household garbage and recycling before 7 a.m.

Residents can also bring their Christmas trees to the Concord transfer station at 77 Old Turnpike Road during the month of January. The station is open Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but is closed on New Years Day.


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New England Town Just Named North America’s Best Ski Town https://tavistockdevon.com/new-england-town-just-named-north-americas-best-ski-town/ https://tavistockdevon.com/new-england-town-just-named-north-americas-best-ski-town/#respond Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/new-england-town-just-named-north-americas-best-ski-town/

To travel

It’s “the oozing charm of New England.”

North Conway, New Hampshire, has just been named the best ski town in North America. Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

A quaint “New England Charm” town in the White Mountains of New Hampshire has just been named North America’s Best Ski Town by USA Today readers.

  • Here’s what Boston.com readers are planning for the ski season

  • Skiing will be different in the Berkshires this winter. Here’s how.

North Conway grabbed the top spot on the publication’s Best Ski Towns list on Friday, as part of its Top 10 Readers’ Choice Awards. Last year, North Conway placed No.2 on the same list, second behind Bethel, Maine (which fell to No.3 this year), and Stowe, VT, was once again on the list at n ° 4 (up from n ° 7 last year). North Conway, located in the scenic Mount Washington Valley, offers skiing, accommodation, restaurants and shops.

“To be named the first ski resort in all of North America is a huge honor and a feather in our cap, especially when we see the business we are in among ski towns across North America, ”Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

Here’s what USA Today wrote about North Conway:

Nestled in the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire, North Conway is less than half an hour’s drive from over a dozen downhill and backcountry ski resorts. Visitors off the slopes can explore the town’s pastel-hued Victorian architecture that exudes New England charm. The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center is a great diversion for days off.

Other New England winners: The Mountain Room at Sunday River in Newry, Maine, ranked # 2 for best mountain restaurant (Whitehorn Bistro in Lake Louise, Alta., Ranked # 1); Iron Furnace Brewing in Franconia, New Hampshire, ranked # 2 and Wobbly Barn in Killington, Vermont, ranked # 6 for best après-ski bar (Double Diamonds Bar in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, ranked # 1); Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, ranked 7th for best ski resort (Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta, was the winner); Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT, ranked # 4 and Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, ranked # 5 for best ski hotel (Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village, Colorado, ranked # 1); and Waterville Valley Resort in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, ranked # 4 and Jackson Ski Touring Foundation in Jackson, New Hampshire, ranked # 5 for best cross-country ski resorts (Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado, ranked # 1).

Crawford reminded skiers to wear goggles and adhere to new safety measures at ski resorts and other businesses in North Conway this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For Readers’ Top 10 Awards lists, USA Today travel experts select 20 nominees on topics ranging from food to accommodations, destinations to things to do, then ask readers to vote to determine the top. 10.

Check out the full list of the best ski locations and amenities in North America.

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This New England Town Is A Trending Destination On Airbnb For Thanksgiving Travel https://tavistockdevon.com/this-new-england-town-is-a-trending-destination-on-airbnb-for-thanksgiving-travel/ https://tavistockdevon.com/this-new-england-town-is-a-trending-destination-on-airbnb-for-thanksgiving-travel/#respond Tue, 10 Nov 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://tavistockdevon.com/this-new-england-town-is-a-trending-destination-on-airbnb-for-thanksgiving-travel/

To travel

It is one of the five trending destinations in the United States

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. Maine Tourist Office

Travelers looking for Airbnb getaways for Thanksgiving this year are drawn to Maine, according to Airbnb.

Airbnb released a list of five trending destinations for Thanksgiving this year, based on the site’s analysis of search and booking data through November 4. Trending destinations are Bar Harbor, Maine; Big Sur, California; Catskill, New York; Jackson, Wyoming. ; and Kinnakeet, North Carolina

The destinations are great for escaping the crowds, a popular frame of mind this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Airbnb.

“[M]Lone Ore Retreats are attracting more traveler interest this year, with searches over Thanksgiving weekend for each of our destinations trending more than double what they were around this time last year, ” Airbnb wrote.

As for Thanksgiving bookings, 80% are in low-density urban and non-urban areas, according to Airbnb, and group travel is on the rise while solo travel is on the decline. There is a decline in interest in apartments and increased interest in cottages, according to the site.

“Cabins remain a prominent type of space with American guests this Thanksgiving this year, and their quintessentially wintery vibe perhaps reflects a desire to get away from crowded cities and find seclusion in nature with loved ones. Airbnb wrote.

Top destinations for Thanksgiving weekend on Airbnb, according to the report, are Atlanta; Big Bear Lake, California, Las Vegas; Kissimmee, Florida; and Sevierville, Tennessee.

“Local preferences like Kissimmee and Las Vegas seem to suggest that many Americans are looking to get out of their homes and be entertained while on vacation, but may use Airbnb in suitable hotel destinations in an attempt to find affordable accommodation. for groups or private spaces that allow them to control their own environment, ”Airbnb wrote.

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