Making The Rounds - Ken Brown


Stop the violence, end the unfairness

The recent devastating shooting in Connecticut is a reminder that we as a human race have always been violent, and children most often bear the brunt of that violence. There do seem to be clear answers, however: a real discussion of online purchases of weapons, the proliferation of assault rifles, realistic waiting periods and a more conclusive background check. A major job here is to provide a safety net of mental health programs, not cutbacks and red tape boondoggle BS.

If you read my column you know I am a believer in the responsibility the government has to their citizens. I am certain this wake-up call will bring about some of what’s needed, but it’s really up to all of us, too. We are our brother and sister’s keeper. Lets begin acting like it.

I am a devoted Friday Farmers Market guy. Each and every Friday, year-round, a wonderful array of farmers, artists and informational booths fill up the parking lot of Depot Park on First Street West. The bike path runs through it, too. Starting at 9 a.m. and going strong till 12;30 p.m. it’s a great way to shop for the weekend’s food needs (and right now, a place to shop for a special Christmas present), and gather information on issues that are crucial to our community and planet. There’s plenty of parking and good coffee. Hilda the Market Manager and her crew are doing an excellent job. Go and enjoy.

Congratulations to Judy and Les Vadesz our new Alcaldessa and Alcalde. The lineup of supporters who came to the podium was a powerful group who spoke of the dedication of the Vadesz’s to make life better for all of us. More details on the Passing of the Cane Ceremony to come.

There is a petition for clemency and commutation of life-without-parole sentences on behalf of John Knock, Paul Free, William Dekle, Larry Duke and Charles Cundiff. Each is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for their common crime: selling marijuana. These crimes and the criminal histories of these men involve absolutely no allegations of violence. Petitioners are well into their sixties, the age of normal retirement. Each has served at least 15 years in prison, exclusively for selling marijuana; Indeed, the average length of incarceration is 19 years. Without presidential clemency, each will die in prison. Please access this website and sign your name to support fairness in sentencing policies:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/relieve-five-elderly-federal-prisoners-life-without-parole-sentences-marijuana/nRkGWXx6.

We all have to evolve into love over evil, sharing instead of hoarding, caring not hurting. Love is inside all of us and it calls out for nurturing. Here is a song that says a lot to me:

“The Rose,” by Amanda McBroom

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

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