Wind Talk in Grafton Slated for Friday, March 1 with Senators and Citizens

3 Vermont State Senators – Senators Hartwell, Benning and Galbraith – Will Participate

GRAFTON, VT—With growing concern about the negative and destructive environmental impacts of a possible large-scale industrial wind development, Friends of Grafton’s Heritage has invited legislators and residents of towns with wind turbines to discuss the issues and personal after effects.


Brattleboro Committee Meetings Scheduled

The Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 4:30pm in the Selectboard meeting room at the Municipal Center.

The Brattleboro Energy Committee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:00pm at Marlboro College Graduate Center in Room 2NE. The Town Meeting Members and public are invited to attend and discuss PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy).

Informational Meeting:
The Town invites downtown business/property owners, residents and the public to attend a public discussion on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:15pm in the Selectboard meeting room at the Municipal Center to discuss the upgrade of sidewalks on the east side of Main Street.


West Brattleboro Association Seeks Donations for New Signs

The West Brattleboro Association (WBA) is a group of business owners and residents interested in promoting commerce in the village and assuring that it is a safe, healthy, attractive and prosperous place – both for the community and visitors. And they have decided one way to get traffic to take a look at West Brattleboro is to place attractive signage welcoming people to it.

With the help of Keene Signworx the WBA has developed a design for the new, free-standing signs. 


Grace Cottage Hospital To Lay-Off 10% Of Staff

Just heard this story on the radio. Many Hospitals are “running in the red” due to Medicare reimbursements. I’m concerned about the future of healthcare once Obamacare really kicks in. Could this be another example of unintended consequences?


Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market Seeks New Members

The Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market is now accepting applications for new members to vend their products at the Saturday and/or Wednesday Markets. The Farmers’ Market is the region’s largest and oldest open-air Market and supports local agriculture, prepared foods and crafts. The Market features over 50 diverse vendors from the local area and attracts thousands of visitors annually.

The Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market is a not-for-profit, membership organization and welcomes applications from those who grow and/or create their own high-quality products, especially those working with local ingredients/materials to bring variety to the Market’s offerings.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Skatepark Design and Town Plan Approved

Citizens were in attendance at this week’s Selectboard meeting to request once again that the town consider the concerns of the neighbors and do a proper site selection process for the new park. Dick DeGray said that the skatepark selection process consisted of himself and Jesse Corum proposing Crowell Lot as a good location, and that he was proud of their decison.

The Selectboard also approved Brattleboro’s Town Plan, continued thinking about expanding the Downtown Improvement District, began a discussion on implementing a local gasoline tax, and was accused of collecting parking income on national holidays.

All this and more, below…

Preliminaries


Small Business Slump Continues

In case you were wondering, the economy really did slow down again last summer.  A spike of business failures in July led to a cooling trend in August, and by September there was a discernible chill in the air.  Nowhere was this so keenly felt as in small business.

Dun & Bradstreet’s Small Business Health Index Report documents this new wave of recession in typically bland terms, but the numbers say what thousands of small business owners cannot — the second half of 2012 (and continuing into the current quarter of 2013) stunk for small business.  


PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy) Info Event, February 27th – All Welcome, Especially Town Meeting Reps!

To the Brattleboro Community:

The PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy) subcommittee of the Brattleboro Energy Committee invites all Brattleboro citizens – especially Town Meeting Reps – to an evening workshop on Wednesday, February 27 to learn about the PACE decision on the agenda of our upcoming town meeting on 3/23, and get answers to any questions you may have about this very exciting and significant new avenue to energy efficiency and renewable energy in our town.

Efficiency Vermont consultant and PACE expert Carol Weston will join us either in person or via Skype to answer your questions and describe how communities all over Vermont are in the process of implementing PACE.


River Garden Finances

Does anyone have a comprehensive file on how much public monies were invested in the Robert Gibson River Garden?  At a recent Selectboard meeting, a member of the Town Finance Committee asked the question. After some thought, the Town Manager said the Town probably could not answer that specific question. It could only account for Town funds that went into the property, not all public funds.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – February 19, 2013

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Brattleboro’s new Town Plan will be approved by the Selectboard at their next regular Tuesday night meeting at the Municipal Center.

If you attend in person or watch on TV, you will also hear discussions of a new gravity fed sewer line for Black Mountain, an update on progress with Brattleboro’s new skatepark design, talk of taxing your gasoline, thoughts on changing the boundaries for the Downtown Improvement District, and the parking garage committee will be dissolved.

All this and more on Tuesday night, and you can read about it in detail here the morning after.


Near Misses

In the many years I have worried about what disaster could befall Vermont Yankee, I never imagined this one:

“…the area where the meteor exploded was 100 kilometers (60 miles) from
the Mayak nuclear storage and disposal facility, which holds dozens of
tons of weapons-grade plutonium. He said the Russian government has
underestimated potential risks of the region.

A chemical weapons disposal facility at Shchuchye in the Chelyabinsk region
contains some 6,000 tons (5,460 metric tons) of nerve agent including
sarin and VX, accounting for about 14 percent of the chemical weapons
that Russia is committed to destroy.”


Downtown Brattleboro Sidewalk Project Meeting

Residents and Business Owners:

The Town is planning to install new sidewalks on the east side of Main Street, starting at the Gilbert Memorial Bridge and continuing north to Walnut Street. Some sections of this sidewalk were recently replaced as part of a VTrans project. The Downtown Sidewalk Project will replace the sections that have not yet been upgraded. The project is intended to improve safety for pedestrians and create a more attractive Main Street. Two FHWA Enhancement grants and a local match in the form of a bond fund this project.


Brattleboro Town Planning Basics – Who Does What?

Information about planning in Brattleboro and Vermont is necessary for good community discussions of planning. The information below comes from the Town’s web site, Smarth Growth Vermont, and from The Vermont Planning Information Center (VIPC). VPIC provides a great, free document from the VT Land Use Education and Training Collaborative called .