MuseArts Turns 25 Years Old

A bit of business news here. MuseArts, Inc., our web design company, has now been in business over 25 years. Lise and I started doing professional web design in September of 1997.

How daring was that? There was no Google, nor RSS, Craigslist, Mozilla, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter when we started.

One of the first things we decided was that we’d do work for other people, but also for ourselves. This would allow us to have some things we owned and controlled, have some fun, but also gave us a way to experiment with things that people weren’t necessarily paying us to do.

Dollar Stores

Dollar stores popped up a few years ago based on the premise that everything would be the same price, and that price would be One Dollar ($1.00).

Three such stores popped up in Brattleboro:
Family Dollar on Putney Rd,
Dollar General on Marlboro Rd,
Dollar Tree on Canal St

Local Nonprofit Leaders Share Effective Tactics for Surviving COVID

BRATTLEBORO, VT—For organizations and nonprofits dealing to survive during COVID who would like to learn from others and how they’ve faced novel ways to tell their stories and connect to community join Vermont Independent Media’s panel discussion on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30p on Zoom. Registration required. Email:

The event will be moderated by Joyce Marcel, journalist and president of the board of the nonprofit Friends of Brooks Memorial Library.

Tough Market for Homebuyers

Personal Note:
During 3 decades that I have followed “insider” commentary, until now, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS® has always been a cheerleader for a rising market. It must be indicative of how insane the runaway pandemic market has been, that for the first time in my memory, Yun is hoping for a slow-down! ~ SK-B

From the April 4, 2022 edition of the trade publication: Realtors® Magazine.

New Community Solar Array

Brattleboro, VT – Integrated Solar Applications (ISA) has announced a limited opportunity to join a new community solar array entitled “ISA Exit 1 Solar”. The array is located on 13.8 acres owned by the company, on Canal Street in Brattleboro, serviced by Green Mountain Power. It will provide direct access to renewable energy, enabling members to reduce their electricity bills and carbon footprint, without having to install or own a solar array on their property.

A Quantifiable Asset

A small town may not have any special qualities over living in a large city. Many of the neighborly community senses found in Brattleboro may be elsewhere. A good deed here is likely universal and inherent in much of our day to day lives.

Recently, I dropped my bank card in the Brattleboro Post Office where it was found by a good person who promptly delivered it to TD Bank across the street. The best customer service is that which protects its patrons, even if it can be inconvenient at first.

Brattleboro Food Coop Hires New General Manager

This just in from the Co-op:

“The Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that Lee Bradford will be our Co-op’s next General Manager.

Lee will start on March 21st following his move back east from Fresno, California, where he has been Vice President of Customer Service/Customer Experience, as well as the General Manager of FreshKo Produce Services, dual roles for C&S Wholesale Grocers. Lee had previously served C&S from its Brattleboro and Keene locations, and he and his family are eager to return to the area.

Another Jobs Blow To Brattleboro

In another disappointing blow to the jobs market in Brattleboro; M&T Bank (Formerly People’s United) has filed a WARN notice with the state that next year they intend to lay-off 51 employees at the Brattleboro Operation’s Center.

People’s United is the largest depositor in Vermont with 26% of the state’s total deposits. Perhaps this will kick off the discussion again about the possibility of establishing a state bank who’s charter is to serve the people of Vermont. Just an idea…

Windham County Heat Fund Update

Daryl Pillsbury and I feel an obligation to the community to provide a report of how we spent the money that has been donated to the Windham County Heat. Accountability and transparency is important, even for a small local non-profit organization.
When we started the fund in 2005 we thought the problem we were helping to alleviate was the high price of home heating fuel.

We quickly learned that affordability of heating fuel has very little to do with the price of oil, kerosene or propane. It is about social and economic justice.

We live in a very unequal society and the gap between the haves and the have nots has only increased over the years. Although the Heat Fund is about providing a little fuel for people in need it is really about making the lives of the more vulnerable around us a little easier. Almost all of the people who apply to us are making efforts to support themselves, but they experience an unexpected setback or find that the money they set aside for fuel this year is just not going to be enough.

Brattleboro Area Chamber Announces New Board of Directors

BRATTLEBORO VT  – At its Annual Meeting, held virtually on January 21, 2021 The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce was pleased to welcome three new directors to the governing board. Connie Burton of Burton Touch Free Car Wash, Chris Stoner of Twombly Wealth Management Group, LLC, and Jon Potter of the Latchis Hotel & Theatre/Latchis Arts
were elected by the membership. 

They joined continuing directors Nicole Braun (C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.), Michele Coursen (Brattleboro Savings & Loan),  Bob Gammon (WTSA Radio), Shawn Garland (VABIR), Ross Gibson (The Richards Group), David Harlow (Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC), Carla Lineback (SIT/World Learning), Ryan Jennings (Community Bank NA), Tracey John (Vermont Country Deli), and Gina Pattison (Brattleboro Memorial Hospital).

Consolidated Fiber in Brattleboro?

I received a flyer in the mail from that says they will be offering fiber internet connections in Brattleboro soon.  I found a couple stories on iBrattleboro that do not paint Consolidated in the best light and which suggest Consolidated has been offering internet services in Brattleboro already for some time:

Brattleboro VFW Reality Sets In

The recent situation with COVID has resulted in some hard truths for the Brattleboro VFW. Clubs have taken a beating financially, along with a lot of other businesses.

We have had to cancel all our functions since March. No dinner/dances, birthday parties, wedding receptions, regular bingos, cancer or Brattleboro Firefighter’s fundraising bingos, banquets, holiday parties, etc. etc.

We had to shut down completely for three months starting in March, but still the bills came in. Some grants from the government helped pay some, but not all of those bills.

Heat Fund Appeal

It’s the time of year again when the Windham County Heat Fund reminds all of the generous people in the county that our less fortunate friends and neighbors will need your help once again as we approach another heating season.

The Windham County Heat Fund was created in 2005 by Richard Davis and me to help people in Windham County Vermont who were not able to buy enough heating fuel to make it through the winter. In 2010 the Heat Fund was incorporated as an IRS 501 C 3 non-profit entity. At the time, oil prices were escalating and we thought our efforts would only be needed for a year or two.

VT AFL-CIO, VT Building & Construction Trades Council, & Devonwood Pursue $175 Million Burlington CityPlace Partnership

9/21/20, Burlington, Vermont – For the last six weeks, the Vermont AFL-CIO and the Vermont Building & Construction Trades Council of the AFL-CIO have been in active discussions with CityPlace developer, Devonwood to formalize a partnership for phase 1 of the Burlington project. Partnership talks have included the Washington DC based National AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT). HIT acts as a financer for major affordable housing projects across the United States. HIT expressed an interest in the project pending approval from HUD. Devonwood is now working with a HIT recommended Mortgage Banker who will assist Devonwood in navigating the HUD process. Once HUD backing is secured, and pending the National AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust commitment to financing the project, the final development agreement would guarantee that all construction jobs on the CityPlace project be union jobs. The CityPlace project, in its present form, is projected to create 89 affordable housing units (20% of the total), 300-400 construction jobs, with 500,000 labor hours. CityPlace shall also be constructed with strong energy efficiency standards (LEED Gold standard). Phase 1 of the project is estimated to cost $175 million to complete.

Great Again!

Wikipedia reports that Trump signed letters of intent to sell arms to the Saudis totaling US$100 billion immediately, and $350 billion over 10 years.
A billion (with a B) is more than 3 times the number of people in the entire United States. It’s only a drop in the bucket. The immoral reality is much greater.

Conservation Commission Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

5:15 P.M.

Site Visit – West River Trail – River Stone Preserve

Participants should meet at the at the Marina Trail Head on the West River Trail (see attached map). Participants will then walk approximately 1 mile to the River Stone Preserve.

Note on social distancing: All participants must wear a mask and social distance by maintaining at least a 6-foot separation from others.

Space Force Base Proposal

Proposal: Motioning contracting a Space Force base in Brattleboro by direct democratic public vote

Reasoning: In empathetic awareness to both the current local populaces’ needs and sensitive to futures’ quality of life benefits from now initiating negotiations on how to ethically manage a Municipal Space Station for universal peace, travel, resource sharing, and developing Earth conservation sciences which are conscientious of and cooperative with world interests. People employed by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation would be appropriate business liaisons mediating between the military, government, and labor unions. Base investors will comply by funding planting for 1 and 1/5 edible (non apple) trees into orchards for every tree cut down for base & orchard construction.

What Should I Know If I’m Buying a House During the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Will the home inspector be given access to the house? If there is a septic system, will a septic inspector be permitted to do the inspection?

Even if inspections are permitted, you might not be permitted to be present, which means that you will not have the benefit on asking questions and actually seeing the inspector point out items, which is much more informative than simply reading a formal, written report. In such a case, find out if the inspector can take a lot of photos, or better yet, live-stream the inspection.