Selectboard Meeting Notes: Baby, It’s Cold Inside

Braving snow, ice, treacherous roads, and cold weather in the meeting room, the Brattleboro Selectboard pressed on to carry out the business of the town. By the end of the night, almost all in attendance were wearing some form of hat, coats, sweater, scarf, or gloves. Everyone except John Allen, who sat in short sleeves all evening.

The board again warned of a rise in property taxes. They reviewed the slow pace of the PACE program progress and noted the many hurdles that still remain. The Red Clover Commons preliminary plans got a nod of approval, they learned the cost of the Elm Street bridge repairs, and approved planning grants.

And what will seem like a rare gift from the board, they voted to refund money to taxpayers fined for late Homestead Declarations last year.

Vermont Council on Rural Development honors Orly Munzing of Strolling of the Heifers with 2013 Community Leadership Award

The Vermont Council on Rural Development has presented its 2013 Vermont Community Leadership Award to Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers.

The award was announced on Tuesday, Dec. 17 during the Council’s 2013 Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vt.

Presenting the award was Bob Ackland, VCRD Board Chair, together with Chuck Ross, VCRD Board member and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, and Roger Allbee, former Secretary of Agriculture. 

West Brattleboro Association Names Rashed’s ‘Community Leader Of The Year’

On Thursday evening, December 12 at The New England House, the West Brattleboro Association (WBA) announced its third annual ‘Community Leader of the Year’ at its holiday party.  Ahmad and Kat Rashed were bestowed that honor by the Association president Michael Bosworth amidst a crowd of agreeing onlookers, many of whom have patronized Rashed’s Garden Center in West Brattleboro throughout the last 22 years. The Rasheds, including their sons, provide all manner of plants and shrubbery during the growing season. But their work doesn’t stop there. Every year they direct proceeds from their sales of pumpkins and Christmas trees to local non-profits.   The WBA thanked them for this excellent above-and-beyond community service.

Rt 9 Accidents and Delays Tuesday Afternoon

The twitter is reporting accidents along Rt 9 – a truck stuck near Sunset Lake Rd, and near Searsburg/Rt 8 there are stuck cars and trucks.

The Windham County Sheriff recommends staying in unless it is an emergency. If you do drive, go slowly and keep a safe distance between cars.

Thank You to Retailers and Restaurants Who Participated in the Responsible Beverage Service Trainings

To the Brattleboro Business Community,

Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) would like to thank the following businesses who participated in the Reponsible Beverage Service Trainings held in December:

The Backside Cafe, Brattleboro American Legion, Brattleboro Bowl, Brattleboro Country Club, Brattleboro Elks Lodge #1499, Brattleboro Food Coop, Brattleboro Neighbors-Exit 1, Chelsea Royal Diner, Cumberland Farms, The Hermitage Inn, Jezebels, North End Market, Okemo Mountain, Putney Road Market & Deli, Riverbend Market, Sandri Sunoco, 7-Eleven, Silo Restaurant, and Stratton Mountain Resort. 

Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – December 17, 2013

For the final regular Brattleboro Selectboard meeting of 2013, the board plans to continue their discussion of a PACE Energy District in town, and the legal and accounting hurdles that remain.

The board will also hear about the cost of Elm Street Bridge repairs, discuss penalties for late Homestead Declarations, consider grants for zoning rewrites and brownfield remediation, and evaluate a request for a Planned Unit Development for Red Clover Commons.

You can attend in person or watch on BCTV. You may also bring up other items for discussion during Public participation.

VT Route 30 under 1-91 Bridge in Brattleboro to be Closed December 18 and 19

MONTPELIER, Vt.—December 15, 2013–

The section of VT Route 30 that is directly under Interstate 91 in Brattleboro will be closed to all traffic beginning at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, December 18 and continuing on Thursday, December 19. The closure is required to ensure the safety of the traveling public while demolition work is conducted on the existing I-91 northbound bridge spanning VT Route 30. The closure will be for a maximum of 48 hours; the route will reopen no later than 8:00 AM on Friday, December 20.

I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Replacement Project Update – Week of December 15, 2013 – Rt 30 Closure Info


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.

This week, night work will be conducted Sunday through Friday nights (December 15th – 20th), and will continue Sunday through Thursday, and occasionally Friday, nights for the next several months, until demolition is complete.

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.

Brattleboro Offices Christmas Closures

In observance of the Christmas holiday, all Brattleboro Town offices will close at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 24, and will be closed all day Wednesday, December 25, 2013, with the exception of emergency services. The offices will resume normal hours on Thursday, December 26.

Brooks Memorial Library will be open on Tuesday, December 24, from 9:00am to 12:00 noon and will be closed all day Wednesday, December 25. It will resume normal hours on Thursday, December 26.

Parking is free at all metered spaces and in the pay-and-display lots from 12:00 noon on December 24 through December 25. Parking enforcement will resume normal hours on Thursday, December 26. All other violations, including extended parking, will be enforced.

Stroll In For Lunch! Brown-bag Events Continue at River Garden

Strolling of the Heifers has announced three more brown bag lunch events at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in downtown Brattleboro, to take place during the week of December 16.

Each event is from noon to 1 p.m. and is free, open to the public, and indoors. People are encouraged to bring a lunch from home or a local takeout restaurant, and to enjoy it at one of the River Garden’s café tables.

On Monday, Dec. 16, Scott Hurley performs classical piano. Scott is a student at the Brattleboro Music Center studying with Bruce Griffin. He has produced a CD which he is selling to support his further education as a yoga teacher.

More Suspicious Calls

Today I received two calls -both on my cell phone – both looking for medical information. The first- from # 767 – 275-9061-was from someplace called ” National Medical Audits”. The second – about 2 hours later- was from # 356-490-5697. and from “US Medical Associates” Both calls were obviously from call centers – there was a lot of background noise-and both times the caller was a man with a very pronounced Indian accent.

Open Letter to Obama and Congress – Restrict the Surveillance

It appears that spying on citizens is impacting bottom lines. Today, major tech companies released the following letter.


Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.

Hit and Run Fatality Friday Western Ave near Union Hill

Brattleboro Police are looking for the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian on Western Avenue near Union Street around 7:00 Friday night. The vehicle involved had left the scene before emergency crews arrived. The name of the victim has not yet been released. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 257-7950 or the TIPSLINE at 251-8188.

Christmas Tree Tips from Brattleboro Rotary

Vermont-grown Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes are currently for sale by the Brattleboro Rotary Club in front of Brattleboro Bowl on Putney Road. Sale hours are Monday-Thursday 11-7; Friday 11-6 and Saturday-Sunday 10-6.

All trees are $40 with proceeds supporting the club’s annual local student scholarship awards.

The Brattleboro Rotary Club offers the following tips to keep your Christmas tree fresh.

• Once you and your Christmas tree have safely returned home, make a fresh cut across the bottom of the trunk, to open up the pores in the wood, allowing it to absorb water readily