Mr. President, Madam Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, honored guests and fellow Vermonters:
Today, I welcome the opening of the legislative session with the same optimism I had as a freshman senator from Washington County nearly two decades ago.
I come before you to report on the state of the state, to reflect on the work we’ve done and to share a vision and priorities for our future.
The Windham Southeast School District Climate Crisis Task Force will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2019 in the Green Street School Library.
NOTICE OF MEETING
The Windham Southeast School District Climate Crisis Task Force will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23 in the Community Room at the Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street, Brattleboro.
The Climate Strike. What an incredible outpouring of commitment, community, passion and determination.
Hundreds of people-( some counts are as many as 1000!) many of them elementary and high school students took to the streets to voice their fears and anger about the mess adults have made of this earth and the terrible legacy they are left with.
Today there is a world Climate Strike. It is amazing, and amazing that it took this long.
As kids almost 50 years ago, we were already concerned about the environment. Earth Day got started, we read Ranger Rick and National Geographic World, and we knew that littering made an old Native American by the side of the road cry. We knew about animals going extinct from hunting and pollution. We used to plant trees on Arbor Day each June. We read the Lorax.
The postponed Declaration of Climate Emergency will once again be on the agenda for the Brattleboro Selectboard, but the bigger focus for the board will be town finances. There will be a review of the Long Term Financial Plan, scheduling of FY20 budget meetings, yearly and monthly financial reports, and more.
Municipal self-governance, third class liquor licenses, renewable energy projects, grants, and committee appointments will round things out. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard listened to a large crowd of concerned citizens before deciding by a split vote to create a new Sustainability Coordinator position for the Town. The length of this agenda item pushed back most other agenda items, which led to rushed discussions and decision making later in the evening.
Here is the full text and comments of the proposed “Declaration of Climate Emergency” from Brattleboro Common Sense. The issue is on the agenda for the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
Whereas this article, to be known as the Declaration of Climate Emergency, is in accordance with a resolution promoted by the selectboard in 2003, and with resolutions on energy and climate change promoted by Brattleboro Common Sense through votes of the people in 2010, 2014, and of town representatives in 2018; and whereas the youth of Brattleboro are calling on today’s town leaders to formally acknowledge the truth of the emergency;
A climate emergency declaration, sustainability issues, and the celebration of the police are all on the next agenda of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
There will be a discussion of a Charter Review commission being re-formed, business loans, and talk of public art proposals. Continuing the focus on police, the board will approve a police carport, new fingerprint scanners, and new police vehicles. You can, as always, bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.
Before the Brattleboro Selectboard could get to regular business, they heard from many agitated citizens on issues such as the homeless, flowers, and librarians getting paid less than homeless day work program employees. This was interrupted by a climate emergency protest, adding to the list of grievances.
Eventually the board got tho their scheduled business of updates on the DBA and Project CARE, approving of contracts, a short discussion of childcare at public meetings, and more. It was quite an outpouring of interest in local government, from many angles.
Oysters are salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in brackish marine habitats. Shells are highly calcified and irregular in shape. Oysters are consumed cooked or raw and are commonly regarded as a delicacy.
After admonishing the school directors at the Windham South East School Union meeting Tuesday night June 25 for failing to educate students about climate change Kurt Daims of Brattleboro Common Sense (BCS) proposed an advisory resolution to include Climate Crisis in every regular meeting of the school directors. One person spoke against the resolution, and after an enthusiastic debate the resolution was approved.
Had it ever been suggested that the Strolling Fair would improve if it was squeezed onto the Common such a notion would have been summarily dismissed with a great guffaw. Not worth the effort even thinking about. Then the Retreat decided that it could no longer tolerate an entire day of tumult on its front lawn. Its residential denizens became too frazzled and distraught staring out between the iron bars at the frolicking crowd eating ice cream and dripping sausage, oblivious to the fate of those inside. The Strolling was booted. Like it or not it was going to be packed onto the Common. This produced one of the best Fairs ever!
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” was a phrase made popular by Carl Sagan.
We need to modify this phrase to suit our current situation: “Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary action”
Demonstrations alone are insufficient. We need a mass civil disobedience campaign. We need to shut down the operations of the government in order to gain their attention.
It’s already the end of October, and the leaves have just started falling. BUT, they’re almost all still green. What’s up? Is this due to global and local warming?
Join Defend Our Future, VT Lt. Gov. Zuckerman, Senator Becca Balint and environmental leaders for a night of community celebration and fun at our Southern Vermont Fundraising Gala!
With a ticket, gala-goers can look forward to a night of live music, catered treats, and a photo booth! There will be a cash bar with beer and wine from Windham Wines available.
Bill McKibben has a new video series via the Sanders Institute on the subject of a climate crisis. Take a look at episode 1.
So says an 86 year old scientist named Mayer Hillman in a new article at The Guardian. It’s well worth a read.
A few of his quotes about runaway climate change:
“The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”
Brattleboro’s Town Manager revealed the results of his summer explorations of issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He got generally good reviews for the summary of his report, but more than a few requested some additional specifics be included. Brattleboro seems to be in a good position to make progress over the long term, but benchmarks and budgets might help.
The pesky panhandling sign returned in a semi-uncertain form, with wording in question and sponsoring organizations and services asking for their logos to be removed. The private effort was to be a collaboration, but appears to have offended a few too many.
The board also signed a statement in support of other climate agreements being signed around the globe. (For Kate O’Connor’s sake, I’ll say here that Brattleboro has been working on climate issues for a long time, is committed to action, and will continue to be so.)
All this, and possibly more.