Autumnal Rites

We got the predicted rain last night.  Sometime after midnight, in the darkest hours of the night, the rain began to pour.  It was hard not to notice.  Even the cat was intrigued, opening the curtains to look out despite the fact that it was before dawn.

We Are Pawns In A Deadly Game

The American people have become pawns in a deadly game being played between the pharmaceutical industry and Washington politicians. This should not be news to anyone who has to pay for prescription drugs, especially those who struggle with medications such as insulin and other life-sustaining drugs that they have to ration in order to pay all their other bills.

News of this horrific situation is surfacing again because there are a few legislative initiatives in Washington aimed at lowering U.S. prescription drug prices. Our drug prices are the highest in the world because we do not allow negotiation for prices with the drug manufacturers.

According to the Center for American Progress, “Legislation such as H.R. 3—the Lower Drug Costs Now Act—would allow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices directly with drug companies to the cost of drugs. The bill ensures that both Medicare enrollees and privately insured patients will benefit from these prices, and it establishes an upper limit of 120 percent of the drug’s average price in several peer nations if drug companies refuse to come to the negotiating table.”

Progressive United! Slate Wins Third Straight Election with Mandate at Vermont AFL-CIO Convention

Northeast Kingdom, VERMONT: Today the progressive UNITED! Slate overwhelmingly won their third straight election for leadership positions within the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO at their annual Convention. United! prevailed in winning 18 of 19 Executive Board positions including David Van Deusen for President (2nd term), Dwight Brown for Executive Vice President (1st term), and Danielle Bombardier for Secretary-Treasurer (2nd term). United! also won elections for the Chair of the Rank & File Presidential Advisory Committee (Damion Gilbert), and for President of the Green Mountain Riders Union Motorcycle Club (Dan Brush). The election results are viewed as a mandate by the incoming leadership to keep moving in a more progressive direction.

UNITED! was formed in 2019 in response to the continuing decline of the labor movement happening all over the country, including right here in Vermont. Union density — the percentage of workers who belong to a labor union — has been hovering around 10% nationally, a record low. In Vermont, union density is 11.8% as of 2020, but has climbed in 2021 due to new organizing by UFCW, AFSCME, and AFT. The Vermont State Labor Council now has over 11,000 members.

Brattleboro VFW Breakfast/Turkey Dinner Info. Public Welcome to All Meals

Breakfast at the VFW every Wednesday and Saturday from 6 am – 10 am. Public welcome to our meals!

Remember, breakfast will be served on our hall side from now on for more spacing. Slight differences between our Wednesday and Saturday breakfast. Every Wednesday there is a breakfast special offered, and Saturday has sausage gravy and biscuits.

Brattleboro VFW Fish Fry Friday Sept. 24th 4pm-7pm Public Welcome

It’s back! Friday September 24th at the Brattleboro VFW located at 40 Black Mountain Road. Hand breaded fried haddock with fries and coleslaw for $13 a person. Also having burgers for those of you who don’t like fish. Public is welcome. Serving 4pm-6pm. Please be aware we have one fish fryer, and this is a big piece of haddock that takes time to cook. In other words, you could be waiting for your meal. Have some patience. Sit and stay awhile.

Bernie Sanders’ New Political Life

The longevity of the political life of Bernie Sanders is nothing short of amazing. I think too many of us tend to take him for granted as our lone voice in the wilderness for what is just and fair for the American people.

Bernie is a political anomaly because he does what he says he will do and he has never wavered from his core principles over the decades of his political career. There are not too many Washington politicians who fit that profile and Vermonters, as well as the rest of the country, are lucky to have such a mensch in office.

We need to remind ourselves from time to time just how valuable Bernie has become to the national political process, especially during these times of political rancor and turmoil. I have always been amazed at Bernie’s ability to stay above the fray and forge straight ahead, despite the fact that Washington power brokers have tried to marginalize him at every turn.

Another Shopping Day at Swap Shop

Another SHOPPING ONLY DAY at Swap Shop at WSWMD on Old Ferry Road, Brattleboro!  Saturday, September 18, 8:30 am to noon. ALL ITEMS ARE FREE

Shopping Days- 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month
Donation Days- 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month
If a month contains 5 weeks, the Swap will be closed
Hours are 8:30am-12pm.  (Large donation loads may not be accepted after 11:30am)

Free Burgers and Dogs for Vietnam Veterans Friday Sept. 17th at the Brattleboro VFW

On Friday September 17th, the Brattleboro VFW Post #1034 located at 40 Black Mountain Road will be offering free hamburgers, natural casing hotdogs, chips and sodas for any Vietnam veteran who come to the VFW from 5pm -7pm. The public is also welcome to come in and purchase burgers and dogs. Again, if you are a Vietnam Vet, this will be free. All others are welcome to come in and purchase food. You do not have to be a member.

Empty Bowls Fundraiser for Foodworks Remains Virtual in 2021

BRATTLEBORO, VT — In recognition of increased COVID case numbers, the Empty Bowls Steering Committee has opted to go virtual again this year as opposed to returning to an in-person dinner.  For 18 years now, local potters have created and donated beautiful and functional bowls to raise funds for the food shelf that has now grown to be Foodworks. In that regard, this year is no different.

“We experienced incredible support last year, putting on Empty Bowls in the time of COVID,” explains Groundworks Board Member and Empty Bowls Co-Chair Beth Kiendl. “The tweaks we made last year—shifting to selling bowls in local storefronts—were so successful due to the community support for our work providing emergency food to all who need it in our community.”  

Some Progress In Climate Legislation

The Climate Crisis Committee of the Windham Southeast School District is advocating bold legislation..
Two years ago BCS started a Climate Crisis Committee in the school district in order to create a standing forum for climate issues and to keep climate issues in the board directors’ attention. The school district is larger than Brattleboro, and people are more sensitive and protective about it. So, it is a good venue.

In steady times the purpose of education is the transfer of culture and society. The Greta Thunberg Resolution addresses climate crisis through the schools. Realistically, scientifically, in the ultimate crisis the purpose of education must be to prepare students for life in that crisis, and to encourage serious action for survival and rescue. Since we all recognize Greta Thunberg as an exemplary influence on our students and society the WSESD should reduce the school week to four days, so that students have time to pursue climate rescue following Greta Thunberg’s exemplary activism. Many people who say they admire and support Greta Thunberg will oppose the resolution. So, the resolution illuminates latent denial.

Turkey Dinner at the VFW is Back! Public Welcome. Oct. 2nd Let Us Cook For You!

Saturday October 2nd the Brattleboro VFW located at 40 Black Mountain Road is having their turkey meal. Eat in or get a to-go. For $12 you get turkey, mashed potato, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roll and pumpkin pie. Serving 3 pm- 6 pm. Public welcome. Call 802-257-0438. When calling in please let us know the time needed for dine in or to-go pick up.

Keeping Windham County Safe for Immigrant Communities

Join the Windham County No Más Polimigra campaign and Migrant Justice for an on-line information session on loopholes in the county’s Fair and Impartial Policing Policy that allow the Sheriff’s Department to collaborate with federal immigration authorities–and what we can do to close those loopholes. We will be joined by a farmworker from Migrant Justice who will talk about why this is important to the human rights of their community and we’ll hear about how this affects our local asylum seekers. Aug. 30, 6:30-8:30

Register at to get the Zoom link.

No Easy Way To End A War

I am not a military strategist. I am not a diplomat and I make no claim to knowing anything about how to end a war. I do possess a functioning level of common sense and I use that as a guide to try to understand the events that have unfolded in the last few weeks as the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan.

Most estimates indicate that over 80,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan as the Taliban seize complete control of the country. I have to wonder what the American evacuees were thinking over the past year or so when it became clear that the United States was on the brink of pulling all of its troops out of Afghanistan.

Batten Down the Hatches

Early Friday, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for parts of New England. Tropical Storm Henri will likely develop into a hurricane before making landfall on the northeastern U.S. coast this weekend, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.