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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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State News

State News section

Plat of the City of Zion - And So Fill Up the World

Believers of all affiliations are on the move. Their fluidity to channel into areas where disbelievers are the majority stems from having at their back generations of believers and accrued wealth and power that drives the machinery responsible for their boundless missionary work.

Areas of this country with the least religious Americans are clustered here in the northeast. In a February 2016 Pew Research Center study its writers and social scientists found that in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts only one-third of the populations are religious. Pew measured the extent of religious observance by “worship attendance, prayer frequency, belief in God, and the self-described importance of religion in one’s life.” Meanwhile, Pew also found that an overall growing share of Americans also self-identify as atheists.


16 Story Buildings in Burlington!

In the profiles of the lieutenant governor candidates on Vt Digger: http://vtdigger.org/2016/07/24/smith-focuses-on-downtown-vitality-child-... , Shap Smith states that he supports "the construction of buildings 160 feet high" in Burlington.  Folks, that ttranslates into 16 story buildings! Hardly sounds human scale to this former big city dweller! Just wanted to draw this to peoples' attention.


US Marijuana Party on Nov. 8, 2016 Ballot If Cris Ericson Loses Democratic Primary

My name is Cris Ericson and I will appear on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot for the United States Marijuana Party if I lose the Democratic Primary election on Aug. 9, 2016.I am deeply disappointed in the Vermont Democratic Party because I have been excluded from the majority of candidate debates and forums for gubernatorial candidates, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has refused to debate me for the U.S. Senate seat in this primary election Aug. 9, 2016.

Government should not be of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, but that is what is going on in Vermont because candidates for governor and U.S. Senate without large campaign budgets are excluded from the majority of debates and forums, or denied any participation in democracy at all, as in the case of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy refusing to debate me.


Governor Shumlin Awards $450k to Brattleboro for Bradley House Renovations

Governor Shumlin Awards $450k for Bradley House Renovations

Brattleboro, VT—Governor Peter Shumlin awarded $450,000 yesterday to the Town of Brattleboro for renovations and an expansion of Bradley House, a Level III Residential Care Home located on Harris Avenue. The planned renovations will enhance the property’s capacity, accessibility and safety.

The award, recommended by the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP); and confirmed by Vermont Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Patricia Moulton; was presented by the Governor at a Bradley House ceremony. Approximately 50 people were on-hand to witness the presentation of awards to Brattleboro and six other recipients.


State Economic Review

I received a request from Paul Cillo asking if I would help disseminate this report from Public Assets Institute.  I am pleased to oblige.  I've followed Public Assets for quite a while and it is, as far as I can see, the most thorough and clear-eyed analysis of Vermont economics.  I find the data very accurate and the commentary and analysis quite sharp and insightful.  The particular report to which this note refers provides a wonderfully comprehensive snapshot of what is going on in the state.  Here it is:


Vermont Community Foundation Awards Grant to HCRS

Award will support HCRS’ work to help the severely disabled

Springfield, VT, April 8, 2016Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), the second largest community mental health center in Vermont, announced today that the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small and Inspiring grant program has awarded HCRS a $2,500 grant.  The award recognizes HCRS’ mission to provide creative, collaborative, and compassionate health care services and will support its Shared Living Providers program, which provides homes for clients with developmental disabilities.

“Small and Inspiring projects remind us of the importance of community,” said Jen Peterson, vice president for program and grants at the Community Foundation. “As we are confronted daily with news stories that incite feelings of fear and distrust, we are honored to support work that brings us together and nourishes the social fabric of our Vermont communities.”


Trans Canada Hopes To Sell Dams on Connecticut River

Valley News is reporting that Trans Canada is planning on selling dams along the Connecticut River:

"West Lebanon — As part of its effort to finance a new Houston-based natural gas acquisition, Trans Canada Hydro Northeast is looking to sell its New England power generation business, including its hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River.

At stake are not only some of the most lucrative assets on the river, but control of a critical natural resource in the Twin States. The Wilder, Bellows Falls and Vernon, Vt. dams are among the assets Trans Canada plans to sell."

More here. Seems like they see a future in pipelines instead.


Sanders Announces $1.2 Million in Health Center Funds for Substance Abuse Treatment in Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 11 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,240,794 to four community health centers in Vermont. The health centers will use this new federal funding to expand access to substance abuse treatment.

The Vermont awards are part of $94 million to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services announced today by HHS for 271 community health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The funds were authorized by a Sanders provision in the Affordable Care Act that provided $11 billion in funding for community health centers across the country.


Notes From The Senate - S.241 Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

Last week the Senate voted to pass a bill that would allow legalization and regulation of marijuana. It will be posted on the Legislative website by the end of the week. It is S.241 as passed by the Senate. Here are some of the reasons I sponsored and voted for the bill, and some of the highlights - what it is and what it isn't.

For many years I have felt that our policy of prohibition has not worked - not for youth, for law enforcement and not for the citizens who have become criminals because of it. In 2014 the Rand group was commissioned to report on the potential for legalization in Vermont. In 2015 the Government Operations committee, which I chair, took testimony on the report and how it should be done in Vermont if it was to be done. We heard from everyone who had something to say - no one was denied a voice. From those hearings, Senator Benning (who is also on the committee) and I cosponsored S241. In January 2016 it went to the Judiciary Committee where testimony was taken. At the beginning of the session, Senator Sears, Chair, stated that there was no way he would vote for legalization. After hearing all the testimony and the facts, he changed his mind and became a strong supporter of legalization and regulation. As happens with all bills, it is different than it was as introduced.



The risk of talking publicly before you have all the facts. Apologies for jumping to conclusions about Sen. Balint's vote. She supported final Senate passage.


S. 241 First Senate Vote

Windham County voters- Please look up the first vote on Wed by the Senate on S.241, the marijuana legalization bill. Our Senator, Becca Balint, voted against it. Jeanette White voted in favor and she has championed this bill from the start. We need to remember this at election time


Vermont Senate Update- Marijauna Vote Today

Dear Friends,

I have been working on reforming our cannabis laws for over a decade, including leading the efforts to allow its use for medical purposes. Today S.241, "An act relating to personal possession and cultivation of cannabis and the regulation of commercial cannabis establishments," heads to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.

This bill has passed through many senate committees and been amended many times. While it may not completely represent our goals for cannabis reform it represents a huge shift from no regulation to a regulated and managed product.

Several amendments will be offered today as the bill is debated on the Senate floor. I will be offering one, co-sponsored by Senator Rogers, which would allow for individuals to cultivate for personal use.


Secretary of State Jim Condos Brings Transparency Tour to Brattleboro

Monday, November 9th at 6pm

Montpelier, VT—Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is continuing his third biennial Transparency Tour with a stop in Brattleboro on Monday, November 9, 2015. The presentation, focusing on laws about open and transparent government, will be held at Brattleboro Town Hall at 6pm.

“Since taking office, one of my main priorities has been transparency in government. I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit communities all over the state and discuss open meeting and public records laws with municipal and state officials, local government boards, and the public,” stated Condos.


Bruce Lisman?

Newly announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lisman is calling for a two-year moratorium on new industrial renewable generation projects.

He calls solar arrays “eyesores”. I suppose he sees beauty in nuclear and fossil fuel generating stations.
What is his real agenda?


New VA Program Helps Disabled Veterans

Program Shown to Reduce Hospital Stays, Improve Quality of Life for Veterans Comes to Vermont and New Hampshire:

A national Veterans Administration program that keeps disabled veterans out of the hospital and improves their quality of life is coming to Vermont and New Hampshire.

The Medical Foster Home program, based at the regional VA headquarters in White River Junction, is aimed at veterans who are no longer able to live independently, placing them in homecare settings with a qualified single adult or a family. Sponsored by 113 VA’s around the country, the program has served over 3,100 veterans since it was created in 2000.


Vermonter Derails

"The news" is reporting that the Vermonter, our Amtrak connection, derailed about near Northfield/Roxbury, VT, 10 miles or so south of Montpelier. Minor injuries, no fatalities reported. 98 people on board. Brattleboro rescue folks going to help.


Governor Shumlin Announces He Won't Run For Another Term

Governor Peter Shumlin just held a press conference to announce he will not be running... for governor of Vermont in the next election. He says he's accomplished his goals, according to WCAX.


Notes of Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast - 5/15/12015 - The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)


Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast, May 15,  2015, Gibson-Aiken Center  

The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)
Kate O’Connor, Chairperson  oconnorkatevt@gmail.com

Note: The Next NDCAP Meeting will be held  May 28, 2015, 6pm - 9pm, Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS),  multipurpose room.

The 19 member panel includes six citizen representatives, two Entergy reps, representation from the  Vermont agency and department heads as well as reps from NH and MA.  Since it’s organizational meeting last September 14th, it has met regularly, more often than the legislatively mandated quarterly meetings.  Kate acknowledged Martin Langeveld, of Vernon, also a citizen member of the panel, and elected Vice-Chair.


Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation - May 15th - Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation

The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)

The next Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast is planned for Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.

Kate O’Connor will speak in her capacity as Chairperson of the The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP).

With Vermont Yankee closing by the end of this year, the Legislature and Governor believed an advisory panel with more citizen representation squarely focused on decommissioning and site restoration issues at Vermont Yankee would be helpful.


Ethnocide in the Green Mountain State

While this is an event, it's such short notice I'm posting it as more of a PSA. A presentation by Prof. Fred Wiseman in Bradford, VT tomorrow (Sat., 04/24/2015) at 1 pm... this is a story which has not been told as openly as it merits.

Not just history, this is the ongoing situation of the Western Abenaki, the indigenous people who lived - and live - right here. Vermont, the poster child for tolerance and progressive politics, can do better. Link here.


iBrattleboro Poll

The amount of confidence I have in local (not national, not state) media to get the facts right...