by Guy Page
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security seems to think it’s winning the war on fentanyl smuggling.
In an October 26 statement, the DHS announced it has “released an updated, comprehensive approach” to the fentanyl crisis. The release included this eye-raising paragraph:
“The Department of Homeland Security is combating the scourge of fentanyl and other illicit synthetic narcotics with every tool at our disposal,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We have stopped more fentanyl in the last two years than in the previous five years combined and continue to optimize our intelligence and field operations to stop these deadly substances from hitting our streets. At the same time, we are cracking down on the ruthless cartels and criminal organizations that are responsible.”
The new approach seems to emphasize inter-agency coordination and public education. There’s nothing specific or implied about building more border wall. Meanwhile, Border Patrol ‘gotaways’ in the Swanton Sector opioid overdoses in Vermont are at an all-time high.
Trapping season starts tomorrow – Vermont’s regulated land and water trapping seasons open Saturday, October 28.
Traps can be set on land for species such as fox, coyote and raccoon through December 2023, and in the water or under ice for species such as beaver, muskrat and otter through March 2024.
It is extremely rare for pets to be caught by law abiding trappers during Vermont’s regulated seasons. The department’s website has information on how to free pets from traps in the unlikely event they are caught. Anyone whose pet is caught in a trap should report the incident to a game warden after freeing their pet. It is illegal to interfere with lawfully set traps in Vermont. Anyone who finds a trap that appears to be in violation of Vermont’s trapping regulations should contact a game warden.
$20 million more in heatin assistance – Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Peter Welch, and Rep. Becca Balint announced that Vermont will receive more than $20.7 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. The funding will help low-income individuals and families pay their home heating costs and also help with cooling bills in the summer. LIHEAP can also be used to weatherize homes to make them more energy efficient, and used during disasters and extreme weather to mitigate energy emergencies.
Flood recovery $$ info at Wheels for Warmth tomorrow – Visitors to this weekend’s Wheels for Warmth tire sales in Barre and Mendon tomorrow (Saturday) can talk to experts about financial help for losses tied to this summer’s storms. The deadline to apply for Individual Assistance aid is October 31st.
To further help with flood recovery, Wheels for Warmth organizers will accept and waive disposal fees for flood debris tires at the Barre and Mendon locations. The events are from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Barre Granite Museum in Barre and Casella Construction in Mendon. You can find details at www.wheelsforwarmth.org.