Coronavirus: Vermont AFL-CIO Crisis Demands & The Need To Rebuild The Economy Through A Green New Deal

Much progress has been made in the Green Mountains since the start of the Coronacrisis. And we should all recognize the rapid pace at which it was achieved. Together, as Vermonters, we have:

* Unemployment Insurance: Greatly lowered the qualifying thresholds for unemployment insurance;

* Worker Safety & Health: Seen most unionized cities and towns take meaningful steps to better protect the health and safety of workers;

* Feeding Low Income Children: Secured food for low income children;


Vermont Cases of COVID-19, April 2020

Here are the daily Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Updates for April, 2020, as they are released. Also, surrounding county information for the Brattleboro area. Also, as of April 3, we’re including numbers from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.


Blood Drive at Winston Prouty on April 14

Winston Prouty and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, from 12 – 5 PM in the Prouty Gym in Brattleboro.

Blood levels are historically low. Red Cross protocols will ensure a safe environment for this essential event.


Don’t Forget The Support Staff

Everyone treating COVID 19 patients are risking their lives. Doctors, nurses, respiratory, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, lab techs, social workers and a host of other professionals are on the front lines of an unprecedented health care battle and they are making do with dwindling resources. It’s as close to a worst case scenario as there can be.

There is also another group of health care workers that never get enough recognition or pay because they are the invisible foundation or our institutional health care systems. They are the housekeepers, maintenance personnel and food service workers who make sure that the patient care environment is safe, supportive and clean for the sick as well as for the other health care workers who make a lot more money than they do.


WGDR Interview: VT AFL-CIO President Van Deusen on the CoronaCrisis & Rebuilding Through A Green New Deal

The Coronavirus public health crisis is rapidly becoming an economic crisis for the working class. In this interview (WGDR 91.1 FM) Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen discusses the steps already taken to address the needs of working people, what still has to be done in the here and now, and the need for a Green New Deal to rebuild society after the immediate danger passes.

Click on the below video link to listen to the full interview:


Reflections In The Time of Pandemic

We are focusing our efforts on self-preservation and prevention during this time of pandemic. But we will all have more time on our hands for reflection and I urge people to stand back a little and try to take the bigger view whenever possible. It will help with the state of your mental health and it may provide some comfort, even if fleeting.

Most of us have had little experience with the process of death and dying and that inexperience tends to create fear. In past generations death was a part of life that everyone watched play out in their family. They had a chance to understand what lay ahead and they learned acceptance of that inevitability.


Information About Alternative Disinfectants and Hand Santizers

Because rubbing alcohol, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer are still difficult or impossible to find, here are two ideas:

1. Grain alcohol –  BE CAREFUL,   IT IS VERY FLAMMABLE!  and it’s not cheap ($19- $21), but these are unusual circumstances!

Everclear Vodka is 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) available at NH Liquor Stores. Here is link to the current supply on hand at each store, and what’s on order:    https://www.liquorandwineoutlets.com/products/detail/1692/everclear_151


VT AFL-CIO On Combating the Coronacrisis: Where We Stand – Where We Need To Be

Montpelier, Vermont – In the seven days since the Vermont AFL-CIO put forth a list of demands to State government on behalf of ALL working class Vermonters, we have seen meaningful progress. The following steps have either already been taken, or are in the process of being implemented:

· Our Labor and Health: An overwhelming number of Unionized employees of Towns & Cities continue to receive full pay and benefits even if ordered home (and in many communities older or health compromised workers have been afforded the right to go home with said pay, even when their job responsibilities are important to base line operations);


There’s Something Very Unifying About A Global Crisis

Cruise Ship

There’s something very unifying about a global crisis — a great inescapable event that affects us all at the same time.  Such crises seem rare but in modern times, they happen often.  We have world economic crises, a global climate crisis, and a crisis of faith in our leaders that’s led to widespread social uprisings around the world.  These sorts of crises affect everyone to some extent, but the effects are hard to gauge.  Some people are affected disproportionately, others not at all.


COVID 19 and the U.S. Health Care System

There may be a bright side to the current COVID 19 pandemic, at least in terms of showing how the current U.S. for-profit health care system fails people when they get sick. In the political debate about a Medicare for All plan the defensive posture is to tell people not to support it because they will have to give up their current health insurance.

Last time I checked I couldn’t find people who tell me they love their current health insurance plan and that they would never give it up. As things stand now for people who have private insurance that they pay for in part, or in whole, contracting a serious case of COVID 19 could mean bills anywhere from $10,000 to one million dollars depending on the type of insurance they have or don’t have.


Coronavirus: We Need Public Healthcare, Paid FMLA, Paid Unemployment Benefits For All – Not More Rhetoric

As Vermonters, we have heard the warnings to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. We have heard the recommendation to wash hands frequently. And now we are hearing that some institutions, like Vermont Law School, Middlebury College, & Champlain College are closing their campuses. We also hear rumblings that school districts and perhaps even aspects of State Government will follow suit if and when the infection rate grows. We are being told that this is to diminish the transmission of the Coronavirus and therefore to save lives. What we have NOT heard is how 10,000s of workers are expected to survive with no wages and a limited access to healthcare if and when more workplaces shutdown.

So if I work for private non-union shop that closes its doors in reaction to the virus, and if I am receiving no pay, and if I have no healthcare, how I am expected to feed my family, pay rent, get medical care, and not face an economic disaster? Conversely, what if my work stays open but my kid’s school closes down? Without public (or affordable) childcare how am I suppose to care for my children? Where is the plan to protect working people not only from the virus, but also from economic ruin? Must we as workers decide between exposure to a deadly disease or total economic collapse? Or will that bad choice be made for us?


Coronavirus – How Much of A Threat?

We are being bombarded with information, misinformation, warnings and all kinds of reports about the spreading coronavirus. How do you know which information is factual and how do you know what to do to be able to deal with an outbreak of the virus in your community or in your home? Should you be concerned, or is there just too much fearmongering and hype to take this new disease outbreak seriously?

The only accurate, factual and up-to-date information is being provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID which is part of the CDC) and infectious disease specialists and clinicians who work for state health departments throughout the U.S.


Legislative Efforts To Lower Prescription Drug Prices

The political process is rarely proactive. When it comes to dealing with the obscene prices charged for prescription drugs politicians, both locally and nationally, have been too slow to react. People are suffering and dying while legislators and policymakers offer us little more than words.


The Maze of One Care

The public is not engaged enough in the process of health care reform. That is nothing new. Most people don’t get worked up about health care issues until they get sick and have to use their health insurance, if they have it, or when they find out about all the details of payment and coverage.

Yet, many polls indicate that health care is one of the most important issue for voters. What that means is that Americans who have to use their health insurance or who pay premiums are sick and tired of being used as pawns in a money game that should be focusing more on health and not as much on finances.


Help Yourself While Helping a Brattleboro Business

It’s a nightmare for a small business owner: a major chain moves into town, undercutting a small business owner on price, and customers flee – with some just aiming to try the competition for a while. If the small business fails, it is not only a tragedy for its owner; the ramifications are also dire for its employees, for its loyal customers, and for those who have fled and who would no longer have the option to go back if they are not satisfied with the new competitor.

So Brattleboro’s Supreme Fitness finds itself in a battle for survival, and as a long time member, I and other members are asking for your help, and in the process you will help yourself get in shape! Here’s what you need to do: join or rejoin Brattleboro’s Supreme Fitness.


Where Have All The Nurses Gone

In his recent budget address Vermont Governor Phil Scott pointed out that Vermont is spending too much money to hire traveling nurses. He has come to recognize something that has been causing economic pain to Vermont’s health care institutions for many years.

When an institution cannot hire enough nurses from the local community and they want to provide optimum staffing, they often turn to one of the national traveling nurse companies to fill vacancies. The overall cost of contracting with these agencies significantly hurts the bottom line of institutions and that means that overall health care costs increase for everyone eventually.


Thai Massage Thursdays In February (in Putney)

Hello Neighbors, I am new to the area, and want to let you know that I am offering a very special type of massage called Thai Massage, every Thursday in February in Putney. I am a fully licensed and insured Massage Therapist, RN, and Yoga Instructor with a great deal of experience and skill. I’d love to see you for a session in February.

Thai Massage (aka ‘Thai Yoga Massage’) differs from traditional Western modalities in that it is done on a comfortable mat on the floor, and the recipient wears clothes that allow for complete range of motion.


VFW $6.50 Lunch Specials Open to the Public 11-18 to 11-22 & Fish Fry 11-22

The Brattleboro VFW located at 40 Black Mountain Road is open to the public for lunch. Lunch is served Mon-Fri from 11:30 – 1:30. Specials listed below are only $6.50 a plate. Hand made burger, fries, sweet potato fries, wings, onion rings, soups and sandwiches are also available. Take outs available by calling 257-0438

Mon – chicken n’ biscuits w/ salad