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Category Archives: Good Government

Robberies in West Brattleboro

“During the past weeks, several thefts have occurred in West Brattleboro. A purse was stolen from a truck on Meadowbrook. And an iPhone was stolen from a car at another address. A resident on Pleasant Valley Road also reported seeing a car parked in front of his house “sizing it up.” When the owner came outside, the car rapidly departed. Please lock your cars and homes and report thefts or suspicious activity to the police. Thank you.”
• Valerie, Brattleboro Front Porch Forum





Local TV news… fear-mongering or reporting on crime? (Burlington burglaries)

One day and 3,000 miles apart, two local TV newscasts took diametrically opposed approaches covering crime and local online forums.

KGET20160310KGET-17 in Bakersfield, CA asked multiple times in their story (Neighborhood safety apps and websites, are they actually safe?) if services such as Front Porch Forum, NextDoor, EveryBlock and AmericanTowns are safe to use.  While a local police sergeant advised caution about what a user shares — which is good, common sense, advice — his point that the Bakersfield Police Dept. has “only seen the programs used in a positive way” was buried in the closing sentence.

WPTZ20160311Meanwhile, in an unrelated story the next day in Burlington, VT (Police see city-wide spike in burglaries), WPTZ-5 reported that the local police chief had just posted on Front Porch Forum — to which more than 75% of local households subscribe — about a string of burglaries.  The Chief provided details and told his FPF readers that “the department is using plainclothes, unmarked and patrol units to track down those responsible.”

We’re pleased that law enforcement in Vermont finds value in Front Porch Forum, and that local media here mine FPF for story leads.  FPF is part of a healthy local media ecosystem and we’re glad to play our role.



Vermont radon program reaches annual goal in just two weeks by using FPF

Typically, the Vermont Health Dept. devotes a lot of staff time and resources to meeting its goal of distributing 2,000 radon test kits per year. Following its recent Front Porch Forum posting, the Health Dept’s Radon Program received more than 2,100 radon test kit requests in just two weeks.

The effectiveness of this outreach will allow the State to focus on other important initiatives to protect Vermonters from the health risks posed by radon.

The State estimates that for every 2,000 radon test kits distributed, there will be approximately 10 fewer cases of radon-related lung cancer as people identify and fix radon problems in their homes.

Click here to learn how your program, business or nonprofit can use FPF to raise awareness of your services and products.


Public Outreach 101 in Vermont…

“I sat in a line of traffic on the south end of the bridge in Vergennes for 45 minutes this morning because they were paving Main Street. If before the construction started there had been a traffic sign or it had been posted here on FPF… I would have taken another way around Vergennes… I drive to Burlington many times a week and I never saw a sign. I look at FPF daily. I didn’t see a posting for it.”
• Laurie, Vergennes FPF

“To everyone affected by the paving of Main Street this week, please be understanding and patient. Business owners received a letter from the city notifying them of the project. The decision to not use FPF was a mistake and for that I apologize. This project was long overdue and the scheduling came together quickly. Please do your best to avoid the bottlenecks and keep patronizing your local businesses. I assure you, everyone will be proud of the finished product.”
• Bill Benton, Mayor, City of Vergennes