Homelessness Marathon News, Ground Reports, Observations & Comments Open Thread

Am initiating this  news, ground reports, observations and comments open thread in the hope that there will be those who either had been present or viewed the video coverage or otherwise listened into the audio during the broadcast and will share their observations and opinions with the rest of us.

For my part, due to various reasons (including technical difficulties and the like experienced on my end), I only managed to be able to listen in to certain portions of the broadcast and it appears news coverage might be sparse or otherwise somewhat late in coming; not to mention about how personal accounts can sometimes be more enlightening and interesting as well.


I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Replacement Project Update: Week of February 23rd, 2014

I-91

Northbound I-91 traffic has been relocated onto the southbound bridge. Traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction on I-91 until completion of the new bridge in the Fall of 2015.

Weather permitting, night work will be conducted Sunday night, February 23rd through Friday night, February 28th.

Route 30

The speed limit on Route 30 near the work zone has been reduced to 40 mph. This reduction will remain in effect through the Fall of 2015.

Project-related truck activity on Route 30 will continue. Route 30 will be reduced to a single lane intermittently both day and night, with flaggers regulating traffic within the work zone.


Safety Tip of the Week – Driving

Driving – It’s a privlege, not a right.

When parking, don’t block sidewalks. Pedestrians and those in wheelchairs need to get through, so when you park a car, pay attention to keeping the sidewalk (or crosswalk) free.


Deconstruction Works Growing; Tag Sale This Saturday 9-12

Deconstruction Works, a local deconstruction services provider, has been performing partial- and whole-house deconstruction for several months now.  In an exciting development, 4 founding member-owners have agreed to formally incorporate the firm as a member-owned cooperative. 

The team includes Tom Shea (formerly with ReSource, a Burlington based non-profit deconstruction services provider), Randy Bright (of ForNora Energy Solutions, which will continue to exist and grow), Erich Kruger (formerly with  ReNew Salvage & Ithaca-based  Finger Lakes ReUse) and Michael Weitzner (of Thistle Stone Works). Projects are currently underway in Dummerston, Newfane, and Brattleboro.  In the spring they will be dismantling a 4000 sq ft house in Tinmouth, Vermont.


Selectboard Meeting Notes: Utility Rates, Bus Changes, and Turnaround Tension

Should we cut lose the library or recreation department? Find a new management model? The Brattleboro Selectboard’s discussion of a municipal hiring pause led to talk of rethinking town government and services on a grand scale, at least for a short while Tuesday evening.

Utility rates have been calculated and announced, Connecticut River Transit encourages public comment on proposed changes to their routes and schedules, a new turnaround in the location of the old turnaround on New England Drive raised concerns by a property owner, and many grants were on the agenda, leading to a varied and busy evening for the board.


Fake City

The US army has built a fake city designed to be used during combat training exercises.

The 300 acre ‘town’ includes a five story embassy, a bank, a school, an underground subway and train station, a football stadium, and a helicopter landing zone.

Located in Virginia, the realistic subway station comes complete with subway cars and the train station has real train cars.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – February 18, 2014

Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard at the Municipal Center on Main Street will feature discussions of many grants. Of greater interest, however, may be the discussion and setting of the FY15 Utilities budget, rates, and plan for capital improvements, or the discussion about creating a new public turnaround at New England Drive.

Connecticut River Transit will explain rate and route changes, a bid to begin work at the Western Avenue/Union Hill intersection will be awarded, a town hiring pause discussion will continue, and you can bring up other items not mentioned in the agenda during public participation. Watch on BCTV, and read the summary here the day after.


I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Replacement Project Update – Week of February 16th, 2014

I-91
Northbound I-91 traffic has been relocated onto the southbound bridge. Traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction on I-91 until completion of the new bridge in the Fall of 2015.
Weather permitting, night work will be conducted Sunday night, February 16th through Friday night, February 21st.

Route 30
The speed limit on Route 30 near the work zone has been reduced to 40 mph. This reduction will remain in effect through the Fall of 2015. Project-related truck activity on Route 30 will continue. Route 30 will be reduced to a single lane intermittently both day and night, with flaggers regulating traffic within the work zone.


Third Quarter Brattleboro Tax and Utilities Due February 18

The third installment of the 2013 Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes will be due on February 18th, 2014. Payments made after February 18th, 2014 will have an additional 1% interest added to the unpaid balance.

The utility billing is also due on February 18th, 2014. Payments made after February 18th, 2014 will have an additional 1% interest, as well as an 8% penalty added to the unpaid balance.


First Major Test Hurdled for Paid Sick Day Legislation

The Paid Sick Day (H.208) legislation that would require all employers to permit employees to earn up to five paid sick days per year has passed it’s first major hurdle.  It was voted out of its first committee appearance (Housing and Military Affairs, and don’t ask me why there) by a strong 6-1 margin.  It has now moved to the House Appropriations Committee.  


Bill to Hinder Info Gathering in Vermont

A few weeks ago, January 28th, four Vt House legislators introduced a bill to hinder information gathering in Vermont.  

There are four sponsors from four perspectives:  Rep Davis-Hatch Progressive from the NE Kingdom, Rep Zagar, Dem from Windsor, Rep Komline, Repub from Rutland and W. Stevens, Ind. from Addison.  The bill’s number is H.732.  It will not have time to get through this session and will have to be re-introduced next year (the slate is wiped clean at the end of every biennium) if the sponsors or others choose.  Here is the link.

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Intro/H-732.pdf


Brattleboro President’s Day Closures

In observance of President’s Day, all Town offices will be closed on Monday, February 17, 2014, with the exception of emergency services.

Parking is free at all metered spaces and in the pay-and-display lots on Sunday and Monday, February 16 and February 17. All other violations, including extended parking will be enforced.

Brooks Memorial Library will be closed on Sunday, February 16 and Monday, February 17, 2014.


New Head of Chamber Guest at West Brattleboro Association Monthly Meeting

On Thursday, February 13, 6:00-7:30 pm, the West Brattleboro Association (WBA) will hold its monthly meeting at The New England House, 254 Marlboro Road. Michael Bosworth, president of the Association, will share discussion by the trustees at a meeting in January as to plans for the WBA this year. There will also be a report of the treasury.

The group will have a quick review of the various projects undertaken by the WBA including traffic safety, the Neighborhoods Project, signage, police/fire facilities, and the status of Brattleboro West Arts and West Brattleboro Partners efforts.