Trio of bills address safety of spent fuel storage and decommissioning plans
Washington (April 15, 2015) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reintroduced three bills today aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel at nuclear plants across the nation.
When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Spent nuclear fuel is too dangerous to be removed from the spent fuel pools for five to seven years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. However, NRC regulations allow spent fuel to remain stored in spent fuel pools until the reactor completes decommissioning, which can take as long as 60 years. Current NRC regulations also allow the NRC and the nuclear plant operator to adopt a decommissioning plan without considering the concerns of nearby states and communities. The three bills introduced today will address all of these problems.
State Awards $1.6 Million to Fund Conversions from Oil and Propane
BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT: A new state-funded initiative will help Windham County convert the heating systems in schools and municipal buildings from oil to locally sourced, renewable heat from high-efficiency wood heat systems. Windham Wood Heat’s near-term goal is to convert 20 schools and public buildings to wood heat, while its long-term goals are to make the county a hub of advanced-wood heating technology and strengthen the local forest economy.
On Tuesday, April 21, there will be a formal inspection of the I-91 Bridge. Daylight is needed for the inspection, so the bridge will be closed from approximately 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. At the same time, the PCL team will repair potholes that developed over the winter. I-91 will be closed between Exits 2 and 3 both northbound and southbound. Traffic will be detoured onto VT Route 5.
Northbound I-91 traffic has been relocated onto the southbound bridge. Traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction on I-91 until completion of the new bridge. The new bridge will be 104’ wide and is designed to carry all four lanes of traffic –two northbound and two southbound.
Brattleboro, Vermont - On May 3rd, an expected 40 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) volunteers will get dirty and have fun planting organic potatoes at the first “Earth Gay” Vermont.
Earth Gay Vermont’s 2015 host is queer owned Circle Mountain Farm. The event is co-presented by Green Mountain Crossroads, a Brattleboro, Vermont based nonprofit supporting rural LGBTQ communities in becoming stronger, healthier, and more visible, and OUT for Sustainability, a Seattle, Washington based nonprofit mobilizing the LGBTQ community for social and environmental action.
WASHINGTON, April 14 – At the urging of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has agreed to investigate how sudden price hikes by generic drug makers are driving up the cost of taxpayer-supported health care.
“It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs. We’ve got to get to the bottom of these enormous price increases,” said Sanders.
The benefits of local food go well beyond energy savings and local economics, say organizers of the fifth annual Slow Living Summit, a unique conference taking place June 3-5 in Brattleboro, Vermont.
"When people connect with healthy local food and with farmers and food producers, they also build stronger, more resilient communities." says Shanta L. Evans-Crowley, the conference coordinator. "It's about being mindful, and strengthening the connections between food, body, mind, spirit, and community."
Subtitled “Food, Mindfully,” the Summit will explore “the journey of food”, with topics including nourishment and wellness, food entrepreneurship, food systems, food justice and food policy.
Evans-Crowley said “the Summit aims to bring together experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, students, farmers, artists and concerned citizens, in order to foster cross-sector conversations and collaborations.”
Today, in 1893, the Estey Organ company was putting the finishing touches on their organs to be shipped to the World's Fair in Chicago. The Phoenix reported on it thusly:
FOR THE WORLD’S FAIR
The Estey Organ Company’s Exhibit
A Description of the Beautiful Instruments Comprising their Display
Today the finishing touches are being put to the large and beautiful exhibit of instruments which the Estey Organ company are to send to the World’s Fair at Chicago, and it is the present plan of the company to have the organs en route to their place in the great exhibition to-morrow. Many workmen are very busy upon them, and our glance at the instruments was necessarily hasty and imperfect, but a short chapter of notes will be of general interest.
On April 18th, 2015, the Vermont Jazz Center welcomes the Holopohonor Sextet, a group of young musicians representing the future of jazz. The pianist of the ensemble, Miro Sprague is well-known in this area. Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, he has earned the deep respect and admiration of the entire jazz community. Since leaving the Pioneer Valley, he has lived in New York and Los Angeles where his talent, ability and humility have contributed to his rising star status. The great pianist and educator, Armen Donelian says “Miro Sprague is among the most talented young composer/pianists of his generation.” Other members of Holophonor include Josh Joshnson on alto saxophone, Eric Miller, trombone; Diego Urbano, vibraphone; Dave Robaire, bass and Jonathan Pinson on drums.
Has the arrival of spring given you inspiration to start or grow your business? Community Capital of Vermont is a nonprofit, small business lender with loans ranging in size from $1,000 to $100,000. CCVT specializes in providing loans to business owners who lack the collateral or credit history to qualify for traditional bank loans.
Loan proceeds can be used for working capital, to purchase equipment, vehicle or inventory, or to refinance debt.
On April 3rd, a second in a series of community discussions regarding a community response to homelessness took place at the Works Bakery in Brattleboro. Attached are the notes from the evening, including several themes and action steps. The notes are also available in hard copy at the Brooks Memorial Library. Please share widely.
The next community forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 30th from 5:30-7:30pm at the Works Bakery, 118 Main St. Brattleboro. All are welcome. Details to follow.
There is a very lengthy and continuing thread about what constitutes a real co-op. There is the modern Big Store (food) co-op and the Little Buying Club. There would have to be a lot in between but we'll leave it at that for now.
The debate seems mostly to center around prices. Big Store has high prices. Little Buying Club would have cheaper prices (how much cheaper unknown). Actually, Little Buying Club prices aren't too much cheaper because they can't get the volume discounts. In fact the food itself is more expensive for that reason. It can be sold cheaper because it has so much less overhead. A private garage to receive and break down orders, all volunteer labor etc. It can be cheaper still if it limits itself to bulk buying, avoids refrigerated and frozen foods and limits the selection to a couple hundred basic items and ordering just once a month.
WASHINGTON, April 13 – In a speech tonight at American University, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will call for overhauling how college education is financed by allowing students to refinance loans, eliminating federal profits on loans, making 4-year public colleges tuition-free, expanding work-study programs and providing incentives for colleges and universities to keep costs down.
The senator also will call for expanding Pell Grants to help more students afford college through a program targeted for steep cuts by Republican budget makers in Congress. Sanders also said student loan programs must be overhauled to reduce crushing debt loads which now exceed American’s credit card debt.
Do you know what threats, both global and local, face our forests and our forest economy? Are you concerned that climate change and invasive species could change the composition of our forests as we know them? Is Windham County really the “Timber Capital of Vermont?”
The Windham Regional Commission’s recently-released report, “Landscape Based Forest Stewardship,” provides insight into topics such as these, including what strategies exist to preserve the region’s forestlands. The report, available at www.windhamregional.org/forestry, is the result of several years of work by WRC, with support from a project steering committee made up of area natural resource and forestry professionals.
BRATTLEBORO – On Friday, May 29 the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter will host the third annual Camp for a Common Cause on the Brattleboro Common. The collaborative fund- and awareness-raising event has been a great success for the last two years, raising nearly $10,000 in 2013 and nearly $9,000 in 2014. All funds raised are evenly split between the two organizations, both of which work to alleviate homelessness in the greater Brattleboro area.
“We couldn’t believe the success of last year’s campout!” said Lucie Fortier, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center; “people kept coming out in the rain to join us for the barbecue and live concert. Everyone had a great time despite the weather, which only made the campout all the more poignant.”
The Brattleboro Parking Department would like to announce the lifting of the winter parking ban. Starting 04/14/15, at midnight, overnight parking will be allowed on all streets EXCEPT in the downtown area. The following streets are never available for overnight parking:
Elliot Street (from School St to Main St)
Canal Street (from the Plaza to #63)
Marco Rubio has announced his attention to run for president.
He told donors he is "uniquely qualified" to represent the Republican Party and that the 2016 race will be a choice between the past and the future.
The Brattleboro Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) Advisory Committee/Working Group will meet on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 5:00pm in the Selectboard meeting room at the Municipal Center.
Brattleboro Town Manager's Office
Vermonters know global warming is happening now, and they are concerned about the impacts of climate change on future generations. Extreme weather events like Irene – which exacted a huge price on people’s lives and their pocketbooks – portend the kind of devastation we can expect from a warming world. Solutions that match the magnitude of the problem – and can turn this challenge into opportunity – are needed now.
There is a growing, diverse coalition – Energy Independent Vermont – working to do just that by calling for putting a price on carbon pollution. A fair, strong, carefully crafted tax on carbon pollution can accomplish three important goals:
As part of the Wellness in Windham Spring 2015 calendar, BMH certified orthopaedic physician assistants Maureen Mahoney, PA-C, ATC and Wayne Temmen, PA-C, will present a program on Monday, April 27 at 6:00 PM in the Brew Barry Conference Center. Their topic of discussion will be living with osteoarthritis.
“Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is a chronic condition in which the material that cushions the joints, called cartilage, breaks down,” says Maureen Mahoney. “This causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement. About 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis.”
BCTV Ch. 8 Schedule for the week of 4/13/15
Monday, April 13, 2015
12:00 am NSA The Law And Snowden
1:35 am Brattleboro Food Co-op Shareholders Forum 3/15/15
4:15 am The Benefits of Acupuncture at Morningside Shelter
4:30 am An Untrodden Route to India
6:00 am Abydos Egypt - Uncovering Egypt's Ancient Past