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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

Designated Agencies Opposing SSA Medicaid Funding Designation for Pathways Vermont

Vermont State House(cross-posted to Green Mountain Daily, here; original version posted to Vermont Watch, here)

It was recently learned that Pathways Vermont, a housing first program currently serving six different regions within the state, is pursuing Specialized Service Agency (SSA) Medicaid funding designation status as a way to replace the federal grant funds the housing first program will be losing later this year, to the tune of $600,000.

Read the Pathways Vermont SSA designation application letter, here.

It is my understanding that this SSA designation status, if granted, would permit Pathways Vermont to receive medicaid funding the program currently does not have access to and of which the Designated Agencies (DA's: i.e., Community Mental Health Centers: CMHC's) basically have enjoyed what amounts to a virtual monopoly when it comes to these type of program and service funds.


Vermont Official Warns U.S. Senate Panel: Don't Let Transportation Funding Run Out

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27 – Testifying at the invitation of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Vermont Agency of Transportation Deputy Secretary Sue Minter warned a Senate panel today that a looming shortfall in federal transportation funding could put people out of work in Vermont and “tip the balance of our fragile economic recovery.”

Projects slated for this construction season could be cancelled unless Congress acts soon to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to be depleted by July.

“Reducing or eliminating transportation projects translates into job losses in the construction industry,” Minter told the Senate public works committee. “In a small state like ours, this can tip the balance on our fragile economic recovery.”


State Rail Plan Meeting - Increase Passenger Train Service In Connecticut River Valley?

From the Vermont Rail Action Network - a call to discuss additional train service in the region. Is it important? They are having a meeting and would like to know what you think.


"Tuesday's meeting in Brattleboro is an important chance to demonstrate public support for additional trains in the Connecticut River Valley.

The meeting will be 6:30 pm, March 25 in the community room at Brattleboro Savings & Loan (221 Main Street, across the street from the library).


First Major Test Hurdled for Paid Sick Day Legislation

The Paid Sick Day (H.208) legislation that would require all employers to permit employees to earn up to five paid sick days per year has passed it's first major hurdle.  It was voted out of its first committee appearance (Housing and Military Affairs, and don't ask me why there) by a strong 6-1 margin.  It has now moved to the House Appropriations Committee.  


Bill to Hinder Info Gathering in Vermont

A few weeks ago, January 28th, four Vt House legislators introduced a bill to hinder information gathering in Vermont.  

There are four sponsors from four perspectives:  Rep Davis-Hatch Progressive from the NE Kingdom, Rep Zagar, Dem from Windsor, Rep Komline, Repub from Rutland and W. Stevens, Ind. from Addison.  The bill's number is H.732.  It will not have time to get through this session and will have to be re-introduced next year (the slate is wiped clean at the end of every biennium) if the sponsors or others choose.  Here is the link.



Vermont Legislative Pay

(originally posted to Vermont Watch, here)

Received the following information from a legislative council staff member this morning in response to an inquiry of mine from earlier this month that included questions concerning legislative pay and the like for members of the Vermont Legislature:


Governor Shumlin's Budget Address 2014

Budget Address
Governor Peter Shumlin
January 15, 2014

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, and fellow Vermonters:
Good things are happening all across our great state. Vermont’s unemployment rate is the fifth lowest in America, and the lowest this side of the Mississippi. Jobs have rebounded from the depths of the recession, with over 11,000 new jobs created since I first spoke to you three years ago. In the last year alone, we have seen 2,000 jobs created in our manufacturing and professional services sectors, with our wages rising faster than inflation.


VTA Forum On Cell & Broadband To Be Held Wednesday, January 22nd From 10 - 12 Noon

Cell phone, fiber optic, and broadband infrastructure projects are vital to businesses, families and educational sites in the Windham Region. The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) will hold a public forum at the Newbrook Fire Department (698 Route 30) on Wednesday, January 22nd from 10 a.m. until noon. The Windham Regional Commission invited the VTA to explain numerous telecommunications infrastructure improvement projects already underway in the region and those planned for the future. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is also active in the Windham Region. The director of its Digital Economy Project will also be at the forum to talk about what they're working on in the region and to answer questions.


Governor Shumlin's State of the State Address - Full Text

Vermont has gotten a fair amount of attention for the Governor's speech. Here's the full text of Governor Shumlin's State of the State address, which is primarily a discussion of heroin and opiate addiction. 



Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, members of our National Guard, and fellow Vermonters:

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your governor. We are lucky to live in the best state in the Union, where people work hard, trust and take care of each other, and strive to keep Vermont a place where our children and grandchildren will grow up and thrive. The state of our state is strong and growing stronger. Vermonters are working. Companies are expanding. Home values are rising. Opportunities for good jobs are growing. We enjoy the fifth lowest unemployment rate in America. We’ve added over 11,000 jobs since I first spoke to you three years ago. As I crisscross Vermont, most people I meet are hopeful and optimistic about the direction our economy is headed.


Vermont Council on Rural Development honors Orly Munzing of Strolling of the Heifers with 2013 Community Leadership Award

The Vermont Council on Rural Development has presented its 2013 Vermont Community Leadership Award to Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers.

The award was announced on Tuesday, Dec. 17 during the Council’s 2013 Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vt.

Presenting the award was Bob Ackland, VCRD Board Chair, together with Chuck Ross, VCRD Board member and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, and Roger Allbee, former Secretary of Agriculture. 


Proposed Statewide Policy on Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (Tasers): Public Comment Deadline 12/4/2013

Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB) Proposed Statewide Policy on Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs: aka Stun Guns aka Tasers; documents available online via Google Drive; no sign in required; 15 pages, including background information page), here.

Public Comment DeadlineWednesday, December 4, 2013


Tomorrow's White Elephants

Driving through the Texas panhandle en route to southern California last March, hundreds of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) stretch to the horizon, a dramatic addition to an otherwise flat, uninhabited, drought seared landscape. Fast forward to Vermont, where David Blittersdorf and company want to ride roughshod over communities and towns to develop two hundred miles of pristine ridge lines yesterday. The big picture, as I see it, calls for prudence in the face of climate change hysteria, and an appreciation of place. The cons outweigh the pros in terms of wind energy in Vermont.


Windham Region Organizations Testify to 2 Million Dollars in Immediate Needs Due To VY Closure

VERNON - On Monday October 28th, the Vermont House Commerce and House Natural Resources and Energy Committees held a joint hearing in Windham County to hear about community and economic impacts expected from the date certain closure of Vermont Yankee.

The Windham Regional Commission (WRC), Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), southeastern Vermont's regional development corporation, and the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) testified about the need for full decommissioning, urgent economic development needs, and the plans they have developed to meet those needs, in the Windham Region. All three organizations are poised to work on the rebuilding of the Windham regional economy in the face of the loss of jobs, payroll and business activity resulting from the closure. The regional organizations estimate their immediate mitigation financial needs at 2.3 million dollars.


Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast - October 18, 2013 - Notes from - Gun Sense VT: a sensible approach?

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast, October 18, 2013, Gibson-Aiken Center - Brattleboro VT

Notes from - Gun Sense VT: a sensible approach?

Presenter:  Ann Braden - gunsensevt@gmail.com 


“The District of Vermont's efforts to combat firearms violence in the state are shaped by two realities. First, federal law enforcement has a unique responsibility to combat the acquisition and possession of firearms by criminals in Vermont because the state has no laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by persons prohibited under federal law. Second, the most pervasive form of violent crime in the state results from domestic disputes.”


2nd Annual Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future Conference Registration Open

Brattleboro – Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity has opened the general registration for the 2nd Annual Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future Conference. Individuals interested in attending this strategy-sharing event may register on-line at www.vermontpartnership.org .

Beginning at 1:00pm on Thursday, November 7th, Vermont Partnership will convene its signature conference at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center at Mount Snow in Dover, VT. The one and a half day conference will bring together Vermont leaders and interested parties who are working to strengthen business and institutional practices for an increasingly diverse marketplace within the state and beyond. The conference will close at 5:00pm on November 8th.


State Office Building Open House in Brattleboro

The state office building at 232 Main Street in downtown Brattleboro re-opened in September after being closed for renovations.

Members of the community are invited to an open house to see the improvements to the building on Monday, October 21 from 4-6 PM.

State employees will be available to provide tours of the various departments.


Help with the Vermont Health Connect

The federal government may not be operating at full steam today but you can be assured that Vermont is. Today Vermont Health Connect went live - there will be lots of stories and information about it.

Right now I would like to give you some contacts that can give you help. For individual customer support call 855-899-9600. Small businesses can access specific support at 855-899-9800. If you prefer to use the web the site is http://healthconnect.vermont.gov.

Good health to everyone.
Jeanette White


CRT/DVTA Sign One Year Management Agreement

ROCKINGHAM, VT The Connecticut River Transit (CRT) Board of Directors announces that it has negotiated a one-year management agreement with the Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA) to become effective September 16th.

The agreement calls for the DVTA to act as a management company to provide overall management services. The DVTA reports to the CRT Board of Directors which retains full control of the company. CRT is using this period to review and take a fresh look at the company from top to bottom with the help of a neighboring transit agency. All routes, rides, and services continue uninterrupted and unaffected.


Speed Limit Reduction on VT Route 30 Associated with I-91 Bridge Reconstruction

MONTPELIER, Vt.—September 16, 2013--The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is temporarily reducing the speed limit on VT Route 30 from 50 mph to 40 mph for a one-mile stretch of road that extends approximately one-half mile north and one-half mile south of the location where Interstate 91 crosses over VT Route 30.

The speed limit reduction is associated with the Interstate 91 bridge replacement project, and will go in to effect to ensure the safety of construction personnel and the traveling public. The reduction will be in effect from September 23, 2013 to approximately August 2016.


Windham Regional Commission Statement on Announcement by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee That the Plant Will Close in 2014

The Windham Regional Commission has always maintained a neutral position as to whether or not the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee power station located in Vernon should continue operation. We have taken this position so we could facilitate discussions among those on all sides of the issue. The Commission has, however, been very involved in Vermont Public Service Board dockets since 2007, arguing not for whether or not the plant should continue operation, but rather for what is in the best interest of the region when the plant does eventually cease operation, whenever and for whatever reason that occurs.


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