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.

Free Ads For Essential Businesses That Remain Open

We want to do something for the “essential” businesses remaining in operation. For any open business in the area: free advertising. 

That’s right. For the duration of the stay-at-home and essential-work orders, we’ll give any open business that wants one a free ad. We’ll even make it for you. Just let us know what you’d like to tell people, and where you’d like the ad to link. It can take people directly to any page on your site.

Tips For Working At Home

Some of you may be new to working at home. Lise and I have been running our web design business like this for over 20 years, and it took some getting used to.  Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years:

Have a dedicated work area

If you can keep your work and play separate, it helps. Try to find a bit of space that can be for “work” so that you can get away from it later on.

BDCC COVID-19 Invitation to Businesses for Weekly Webinars

Dear Business owners and employers, 
We understand that news is coming in fast as the circumstances around COVID-19 change. In order to make sure the region’s businesses have access to vital information necessary to navigate a turbulent economy, BDCC is making the most up-to-date information available on our website

How Much Should I Pay?

The Seller wants to sell their home at the highest possible price. The Buyer does not want to lose out to a competing buyer but also does no want to overpay. How do we determine a fair price?

Black’s Law Dictionary (Sixth Edition) defines “Fair Market Value” (in part) as:

The amount at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

Christmas Closing

Except for the difficulty of moving in the ice and snow, a real estate closing this time of year can feel like a magical gift. This was especially true for Walter when the title problem for the land he had put under contract just before Easter was resolved, and he closed a few days before Christmas. [This all happened in 1998.]

Walter was a Vietnam War veteran who had finally received disputed benefits more than 20 years late, and he wanted to use the money to purchase land and build his home. He found a tiny parcel at a low price, but the closing was delayed when Walter’s attorney discovered that, somewhere in the chain of conveyances for the land an heir had filed a copy of the Will rather than of the Probate Judgement in the local land records. While the Will did name the heir, it was logically possible that the Will might have been disputed and overturned. Therefore, only the Final Report and Account of the Court could establish the legitimacy of the previous owner’s deed.

Go Brattleboro Shopping at The Brattleboro Shop

Need some Brattleboro-centric gifts for someone you know, or for yourself? The Brattleboro Shop has you covered.

You’ll find all sorts of T-Shirts, mugs, posters, postcards, watches, flasks, bottle openers, circus stuff, and other items that we’ve loaded up with historic Brattleboro logos and lettering.

Completely original items that you won’t find in stores. You can shop easily online from where you are right now, so no parking hassles, either.

$2.6 Million Initiative Calls for Proposals to Support New Markets for Wood Products

CONCORD, NH — The Future Forest Economy Initiative is looking for new ideas, products and markets to increase demand for wood across the northern New England and New York. The deadline for concepts to considered in the first round of funding in 2020 is Dec. 2, 2019. 

The initiative — a cooperative effort of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, and the Northern Forest Center — grew out of a congressional mandate to support the development of markets for wood products. Over the next three years, the Initiative cooperators will invest $2.6 million in sub-grants to expand innovation, create market demand and create conditions that will allow businesses and communities to benefit from these innovations. 

The Brookline Go-Getter Launches Just in Time for the Holidays

There’s a new business in town, but that Town is Brookline, Vermont. Living 25 minutes away from Brattleboro may not seem like an inconvenience, but life happens. Especially during the winter, living in a rural part of the state can be incredibly scenic, but not necessarily convenient. The Brookline Go-getter offers customers a new way to free up some time and have peace of mind. The goal here is to encourage folks to have more time to make memories and live, and focus less time on running errands and rushing around.