Time To Retool

Now that it is clear that commerce, trade and most of life as it existed prior to COVID will never be the same, it is time to figure out ways to reconstruct the world so we can move on. Rather than re-opening restaurants with changes that reflect government policies, owners should be looking ahead a year or two and developing new business plans.

No doubt there are many forward thinking business owners who are sitting down and making plans for how to move beyond basic survival and how to thrive in the new world that has been thrust upon us. Large retail stores and supermarkets can probably do well with a few simple measures in place such as requiring that employees and customers wear masks and that crowds be controlled.


Governor Scott Extends State of Emergency Through May 15

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today extended Vermont’s State of Emergency through May 15, which also extends the expiration date of all corresponding orders and directives issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original State of Emergency, issued on March 13, was set to expire on April 15, as were the subsequent mitigation measures. As a result of this extension, all measures, including the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, are now in effect until midnight on May 15 (note, schools remain dismissed for in-person instruction through the end of the school year).

“These are incredibly difficult times, and I know this extension is disappointing news for many. But the fact is, Vermonters are literally saving hundreds of lives by staying home,” said Governor Scott. “We are making big sacrifices to save lives, but we cannot let our foot off the gas just yet. We will continue to watch the trends, and as soon as the data shows a downward trend, we can open the spigot, a quarter turn at a time, to get folks back to work in a way that’s responsible and safe. Please know, I will work every hour of every day, for as long as it takes, to see Vermont through this and to help rebuild stronger than we were before.”


Brattleboro Town Manager Statement on COVID-19 Rumors

I have been advised this morning that some rumors of significant COVID-19 impacts are circulating in Brattleboro.  Examples include “hospital staff have been instructed not to report to work” and “police officers are wearing masks whenever they are in public.”  These rumors are not true.  Please continue to monitor the situation on the Vermont Health Department’s website at https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus.  Please also continue to encourage members of the public to use that Health Department site as their source of reliable information about COVID-19 in Vermont.  The link to that site remains posted in the “News” section on the right side of the Town’s homepage.  The Health Department is updating the site at least daily and some days it is updated multiple times.


Governor Scott’s State of the State Address

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. 


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Opioid Lawsuit Hokey-Pokey, Plus FY21 Police and Fire Budgets

brattleboro selectboard nov 26, 2019

At their special meeting this week, the Brattleboro Selectboard decided to reverse a decision they made just last week and instead remain IN a second, national opioid lawsuit. A lawyer told them opting out wouldn’t be so smart.

Health and safety issues at local apartments, an effort to reduce the speed limit in West Brattleboro along Route 9, and discussions of the FY21 Police and Fire budgets rounded out the special meeting.


Film: The People’s Truth

In THE PEOPLE’S TRUTH, Polly and the team travel over 50,000 miles in the USA and around the world. Interviews of parents and doctors with nothing to gain and everything to lose exposed the vaccine injury epidemic and asked the question on every parent’s mind, “Are vaccines really as safe and effective as we’ve been told?” Come find out on Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at the Latchis Theater, located at 50 Main Street, Brattleboro.


Too Big To Fail?

Three years ago Vermont started an experiment to try to improve the quality of health care and to lower costs. A for-profit entity called One Care was created and, from the start, the organization’s complexity and lack of transparency has been an issue.

Those problems surfaced in a recent public hearing before the Green Mountain Care Board, the entity that has regulatory control over One Care. One Care is proposing a budget of $1.43 billion. Those funds come from insurers such as Medicare and Medicaid and private insurers and are then funneled directly to hospitals and providers.


It’s Not Happening Here

An October 18 article on the Medscape web site titled, “Over 700 Doctors Paid More Than $1 Million by Drug, Medical Device Companies”, got me to wondering about how our local doctors compare to some of their greedy counterparts in other areas of the country.

The article noted that, “Back in 2013, ProPublica detailed what seemed a stunning development in the pharmaceutical industry’s drive to win the prescription pads of the nation’s doctors: In just four years, one doctor had earned $1 million giving promotional talks and consulting for drug companies; 21 others had made more than $500,000. Six years later — despite often damning scrutiny from prosecutors and academics — such high earnings have become commonplace.”


Healthcare Jamboree in Brattleboro

On May 9 the Vermont Workers’ Center will host a Healthcare Jamboree. The event will take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Brattleboro Savings & Loan Community Room, 221 Main St., Brattleboro (rear entrance). People who have questions about healthcare or who are struggling with the healthcare system, costs or other barriers to care can get information about local resources and connect with others who are organizing for the human right to healthcare.

The Healthcare Navigator from SEVCA will be on hand to help with health insurance questions. There will also be representatives from the Inclusion Center, VT Psychiatric Survivors, the VT Department of Health, and other local groups sharing their resources.


Inclusion Center Helps Fight Isolation

Everyday living with a chronic disease, developmental disability or other medical issue presents unique challenges. Support from others can help, there is no need to go it alone.  The Inclusion Center, (a nonprofit organization located at lower level, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Avenue, Brattleboro, open Mondays from 10:00 Am to 2:00 PM and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM.), is a drop-in center for adults run by and for people with disabilities. Friendship, learning and fun for all abound. Participants come and stay as long or as little as they like, there are no fees. There is no need to qualify for programs such as Medicaid.


The Health & Wellness Resource Center – At Brooks Memorial Library

February was designated American Heart Month by the American Heart Association, and the first official observance was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963, to raise awareness of heart diseases—the number one killers of Americans, according to the CDC and to tell people about all the steps they can take to minimize their risks and improve their health.


Control Your Weight with Hypnosis  

Do you want to lose weight?Are you tired of diets? Thousands of people are feeling just like you do right now. Maybe diets haven’t worked for you so far, but you can try something that will give you the positive edge you need to control the cravings you have around food.


SeVWA’s 2018 E. coli Monitoring of Local Rivers Continued July 18th

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) continued its monitoring program for the summer of 2018 on Wednesday, July 18th. Volunteers will be collecting samples from 33 sites on nine rivers and streams every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Flood Brook, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Rock River, Williams River (including the Middle Branch), Saxtons River, East Putney Brook, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.


SeVWA’s 2018 E. coli Monitoring of Local Rivers Started June 20th!

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) started its monitoring program for the summer of 2018 on Wednesday, June 20th. Volunteers will be collecting samples from 33 sites on nine rivers and streams every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Flood Brook, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Rock River, Williams River (including the Middle Branch), Saxtons River, East Putney Brook, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

One of the parameters we test the water we collect for is Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli. It is a bacterium that is found in the guts of all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Most E. coli will not make a person sick, but sometimes the bacteria can sometimes become pathogenic which means they can cause illness. Additionally, the presence of E. coli in waters acts as an indicator for the presence of other, more difficult to test for pathogens that may cause waterborne illnesses to those swimming, wading, or boating. We publish our results to the public in order to help everyone make informed decisions about recreating in Vermont’s waters.


Where Why When How What? Ask Anything You Want – It’s Your Chance! Advance Care Directives

Join us on Wednesday, April 18, from 7-8:30 pm for, “Where Why When How What ? Ask anything you want –this is your chance!” in the Main Room at Brooks Memorial Library.

This brief discussion about the benefits of Advance Directives will be led by a panel which will include the perspectives of Cindy Jerome, ED of Holton Home and Bradley House, Dr. Bob Tortolani, Attorney Ed Burke, and Shabir Kamal, ER Nurse. After the presentation, there will be a moderated question and answer session.


VTC Nursing Students To Host Bone Marrow Drive in Brooks’ House Atrium

Brattleboro, VT, March 10, 2018—The Honor Society  and Community Service of the VTC ADN Nursing Program in Brattleboro, in partnership with Rutland Regional Medical Center and Be the Match Registry©, are hosting a Bone Marrow Drive in the Brooks House Atrium in Brattleboro on Saturday, April 21, 9AM-2PM. Donors need to be between the ages of 18 and 44 years old. Register with just paperwork and a cheek swab!

“Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia,” according to the Be the Match© website. The only hope for individuals with blood cancers, like leukemia or other blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, is a marrow transplant. By donating bone marrow one can help save people’s lives, such as five-year-old Kate, whose donor, Lance, was a college student and due to his participation in a campus-drive and follow-through with emails, blood work, and of course his donation, Kate will now lead a healthy life.


Community Meal, Health Fair & Healthcare Meeting

On April 13, the Vermont Workers’ Center will host a health fair and community meeting on health care issues accompanied by a free community meal. This event will take place from 5:15-8:00 pm at the Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro. Blood pressure and blood glucose screenings by registered nurses will be available, along with chair massage as well as other mutual aid and healthcare resources.

Having trouble getting the care you need? Concerned about cuts in services? Questions about healthcare? This meeting will include information and an opportunity to connect with others in the community on the (in)justice of our healthcare system and to discuss how we can make a difference.