Adventures In Used Car Buying in Brattleboro

I just went through the process of buying a used car from a local dealership – twice! I thought I’d share what happened in case you are considering getting yourself something new or used to drive.

The Realization

Last summer I came to a point in the proverbial road where a choice had to be made Рspend some money fixing up my older car, or look for something newer. Both options had pros and cons. 

Brattleboro Food Co-op General Manager Leaving

News from the Co-op… General Manager moving on.

“Dear BFC Shareholders,

I have unexpected news to share. Lee Bradford, our General Manager for the last 15 months, will be leaving his position at the Co-op at the end of August. As he stated clearly in his communication to Co-op staff he is “not leaving the Co-op because of any concerns, questions, regrets, or challenges.‚ÄĚ He has indicated that an unforeseen opportunity emerged, one that he feels most strongly compelled to accept for “both professional and several deeply personal reasons.”

Theory Wellness Announces Brattleboro Recreational Dispensary Opening on Friday, December 30th

Theory Wellness (“Theory” or “the Company”) will open its doors to their adult-use dispensary in Vermont this Friday, December 30th at 9 am. The new retail location is located at 768 Putney Road in Brattleboro, in the Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center. This newest location will be their eighth location, but will have a different approach from their operations in Massachusetts and Maine.

“Vermont is one of the most interesting regulatory models on the East Coast for cannabis,‚ÄĚ states Brandon Pollock, CEO of Theory Wellness.¬† ‚ÄúThe emphasis on streamlined licensing for craft farmers will allow for a terrific mix of top-quality products in our dispensary. By focusing on retail, we look forward to showcasing¬† this unique network of local cultivators, many of which have been producing high-quality flower for years.”

Thinking About Starting a Home-Based Child Care Business?

The Windham County Child Care Count coalition, in partnership with the Winston Prouty Center, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and BCTV, share a series of conversations with local early childhood professionals to help answer question about opening your own registered child care program. Topics include:

Overview: Melanie Zinn, Owner & CEO of Horizon, Vernon Village & Mulberry Bush Early Learning Programs, shares her experience in starting a childcare program in her home including the initial challenges, licensing and regulation considerations, and the importance of mentorship.

Ask the Broker: Rents, Home Price Downturn?

Newly listed home sales down as sellers explore options: economist – YouTube economists are typically cheer-leaders for an endlessly rising market. But this video with Chief Economist Danielle Hale talking about a market turnaround came out today. If you google “housing market” or use that as a youtube search term, you will get lots of recent real estate crash warnings.

Newfane Retail Cannabis Vote – Split Decision

Here are the results, via the Town of Newfane website:

“October 13, 2022 Cannabis Vote Results

Total Votes Cast 177

Article One to allow retail cannabis
      Yes: 100
      No: 77
      Blank: None
Article 1 passes

Wrong Aid!

Unbelievably, when I attempted to purchase a lighter today at Rite Aid on Canal St., I was told that in order to do so, I needed to present my driver’s license! I don’t know what the f— that is all about, but maybe somehow I ended up in the wrong country? I know for certain, I’m on the wrong planet!

Theory Wellness Announces Expansion into Vermont Recreational Cannabis Market with Brattleboro Location

Theory Wellness (“Theory” or “the Company”) has¬†announced plans to enter the Vermont recreational cannabis market with a retail location in¬†Brattleboro. The announcement comes on the eve of recreational cannabis sales, expected to¬†begin as early as October 1st. Vermont will soon become the 3rd East Coast state to offer¬†recreational cannabis sales.

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.

K-Brooks: Fair Housing Violator?

No sense trying to explain why has been AWOL. To say I’ve been stalking a hot story which needs to be kept under wraps for another 6 months or more, might sound like an excuse.

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‚ÄĒFor organizations and nonprofits dealing to survive during COVID who would like to learn from others and how they‚Äôve faced novel ways to tell their stories and connect to community join Vermont Independent Media‚Äôs 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¬ģ 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¬ģ Magazine.

New Community Solar Array

Brattleboro, VT – Integrated Solar Applications (ISA) has announced a limited opportunity to join a new community solar array entitled ‚ÄúISA Exit 1 Solar‚ÄĚ. 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  РAt 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).