Anti-Labor Turncoat, Cynthia Browning, Removed From VT House Committee Assignment – Brattleboro’s Emilie Kornheiser Becomes Progressive Alternative

I would challenge anyone to find a single instance were VT Representative Cynthia Browning voted in favor of any piece of major legislation that benefited Vermont workers or was supported by Organized Labor. And this week she challenged the quorum of the House thereby compelling 100 lawmakers to converge on the Statehouse, despite the rapid spreading virus, in order to enact emergency voting procedures desired on a tri-partisan bases during the crisis. The Vermont AFL-CIO celebrates Browning’s removal from the powerful Ways And Means Committee and encourages Speaker Mitzi Johnson to not appoint her to any committee. We further call on the Vermont Democratic Party to continuously reject Browning as a recognized member of their Party and thereby refuse access to their Party lists, endorsements, and assistance during the November General Election. And frankly, the Vermont AFL-CIO asserts that such actions should have been taken years ago.


There’s Something Very Unifying About A Global Crisis

Cruise Ship

There’s something very unifying about a global crisis — a great inescapable event that affects us all at the same time.  Such crises seem rare but in modern times, they happen often.  We have world economic crises, a global climate crisis, and a crisis of faith in our leaders that’s led to widespread social uprisings around the world.  These sorts of crises affect everyone to some extent, but the effects are hard to gauge.  Some people are affected disproportionately, others not at all.


David Schoales Resigns Selectboard – Ian Goodnow To Take Seat

“WHAT IS NEW TODAY • Selectboard member Dave Schoales has resigned so that Selectboard member-elect Ian Goodnow can be appointed. This will allow the composition of the Selectboard to change in the manner decided by the voters at the same time when that transition normally would take place. The Town’s Charter states that “newly elected Selectboard members’ terms shall begin on the first Monday following the final adjournment of the annual Representative Town Meeting.” Due to the postponement of this year’s Representative Town Meeting, the commencement of Ian Goodnow’s service would have been delayed indefinitely. Instead, a special Selectboard meeting will be held soon so that the continuing 4 Selectboard members can appoint Ian Goodnow to fill the vacancy created by Dave Schoales’ resignation.”


How Are You Holding Up?

Strange times, eh? And such a quick, sudden shift for just about everything. Aside from whiplash, how are you holding up?

I find myself going back and forth between trying to continue some semblance of business as usual, and being in shock at how this is not business as usual at all.


Brattleboro Town Manager Statement on COVID-19 Rumors

I have been advised this morning that some rumors of significant COVID-19 impacts are circulating in Brattleboro.  Examples include “hospital staff have been instructed not to report to work” and “police officers are wearing masks whenever they are in public.”  These rumors are not true.  Please continue to monitor the situation on the Vermont Health Department’s website at https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus.  Please also continue to encourage members of the public to use that Health Department site as their source of reliable information about COVID-19 in Vermont.  The link to that site remains posted in the “News” section on the right side of the Town’s homepage.  The Health Department is updating the site at least daily and some days it is updated multiple times.


Trump Wins Democratic Primary

The national Democratic party machine has once again managed to set up its circular firing squad as the bullets started flying. Instead of developing a comprehensive strategy to use the presidential primary as a way to unify Democrats, they have created chaos while allowing Trump to set the agenda for just about everything they do.

The grand obsession is to focus almost all of their messaging and energy on their anointed candidate who they believe has the best chance of beating Trump in November. Debate over the issues important to voters has been tainted by the obsession.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Informational Forum and District Caucuses

Brattleboro Town Selectboard will hold a pre-town meeting information forum on Wednesday, March 11 at Academy School beginning at 7:00 PM. Representative Town Meeting articles will be discussed, including the budget.  At 6:30 p.m., town meeting members of each district will be available to meet with constituents to offer residents an opportunity to share their views and discuss articles to be voted on at the annual meeting.  Also, at that time, all three districts will be accepting nominations to fill town meeting member vacancies for 1 year.District 1 has eleven seats to appoint, District 2 has one seat to appoint, and District 3 has four seats to appoint.


The Disappointments of Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is over and the air waves are quiet. As you can imagine, I was very disappointed with the results; both with Bernie’s unexpected losses in Texas and here in New England but also when Pete And Amy precipitously threw their support to Biden along with Betto O’ Rourke. And even more when I heard that there had been a meeting of the party leaders before all that where I’m sure they pressured the moderate candidates to give their support to Biden. And Obama weighed in and Harry Reid and others. Then, in the “unkindest cut of all” Bloomberg bows out and moves to give Biden the use of his money! And now I here that the party is pressuring Warren to stay in to take votes away from Bernie. What kind of an election is this?


Brattleboro Unofficial Election Results March 3, 2020

Please see the attached for the “unofficial results” for Brattleboro Town Meeting, WSESU School Board, & Presidential Primary Elections. These are the results from the ballot tallies, not including write-in votes, and not including other towns’ results for the WSESD or Primary races. The projected winners are in bold in each race.


Vermont Town Meeting – Direct Participatory Democracy – Bernie Sanders – Power to the People

Being the first Tuesday in March, it is Town Meeting Day in Vermont. Here, unlike much of the world, there are only two layers of government; state & local. And for the vast majority of our 246 towns & cities, local government is composed of a legislative branch that includes EVERY citizen as may gather at an annual (and special) Town Meeting. Most communities introduce, amend, and pass all agenda items (like the town budget, tax rates, election of officers, ordinances, etc.) through a (public) floor vote by all the assembled citizens. This is our traditional Town Meeting system. And having ALL the citizens included in the legislative branch of local government lends itself to working people (who are the great majority) being more informed and more thoughtful about the positions they take (as their opinions, under such a system, very much matter). Vermont is a better place for it.


Brattleboro Election Information and Candidate Interview Links

We now have all interviews for Brattleboro Selectboard candidates available, and Tuesday is the day to get to the polls and vote if you haven’t already done so. Here are the links to candidate interviews, the candidate forum video, representative statements, and general election information. It is all to help guide your last-minute voting decisions.

Selectboard Candidate Interviews, alphabetically:


Brattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Kurt Daims

Kurt Daims is running for a one year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Tell everyone a bit about yourself… who are you?

I was born nearby and travelled widely. I worked for inventors, started my family and loved the ocean in San Francisco.  In 2002 I came to Brattleboro with my family.  I devoted myself to raising and home-schooling my daughters and to public service.  I hope to consolidate the power of the people in town government and help Brattleboro become town that acts as a member of the community of towns and cities  As director of the non-profit Brattleboro Common Sense I taks the credo “Think globally: act locally” for an aggressive, pragmatic grass-roots politics, which I  believe is needed to save an endangered world.


Brattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Ian Goodnow

ian goodnow

Ian Goodnow is running for a one-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Tell everyone a bit about yourself… who are you?

My name is Ian Goodnow. I grew up in Essex, Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2014, with degrees in Political Science and Russian Language. I’m currently enrolled in the Vermont Law Office Study Program, which is an alternative way to become a lawyer in Vermont. Instead of law school, I moved to Brattleboro to study under Tom Costello at Costello, Valente and Gentry P.C. I am also a Justice of the Peace and through that role serve on the Board of Civil Authority and am the alternate on the Developmental Review Board. In my free time, I love backpacking, eating dumplings with Ruth, my fiancee, and talking about movies.


Brattleboro March 3 Election Information

Below is information that might be helpful to know for March 3rd local elections. In addition to local elections, the Democratic and Republican Primaries will be held.

Attached is a sample ballot from each of Brattleboro’s three districts. All districts’ ballots are the same except for Town Meeting Members for each district. Absentee ballots are currently available at the Town Clerk’s Office and may be requested until 5:00 pm on Monday, March 2. Sample ballots can also be found on our website at www.brattleboro.org under Elections.


Support for Candidates Oscar Heller and David Schoales

There is an old saying about how, when asked to explain what one means by what one says nine out of ten people will become angry or silent. The one who does not become offended or feel attacked but rather is stimulated and eager for an opportunity to engage and learn would be a person like Oscar Heller, candidate for a one-year Selectboard seat.

The desire and ability to listen and learn is also a strong indicator of self-confidence and thoughtfulness, both of which are very apparent in Mr. Heller. He will bring a particularly strong understanding and voice concerning the most unabated, vexing and critical issue of our time: climate change and all its inseparable aspects.


Kipton Tewksbury is a Representative Town Meeting Candidate for District #2

Kipton Tewksbury

I have been a Town Meeting Rep for the past 3 years for District #2. I have been on 50 Vine Street since 2012. Before that we lived in Marlboro from 1993 – 2011. We lived at 395 Canal Street and on Frost Place since 1980.

I am an active member of Brattleboro Time Trade since 2012. I drive a Senior Meals on Wheels route twice a week in District 2. I was a member of the Human Services Review Committee this year. I have been involved with the Vermont Workers Center’s Health Care for All campaigns as a videographer. I have been a volunteer producer with Brattleboro Community Television since 2012.


Candidate’s Statement: Wendy M. Levy, District 1 Town Meeting Representative

Greetings fellow Brattleboro voters, especially my District 1 neighbors. I am on the ballot this year to represent District 1 at our annual town meeting, and I seek a two-year term.

If elected, this will be my return to RTM (Representative Town Meeting), although last year I was not elected.

How did that happen? During the District 1 caucus at the RTM informational meeting, I was appointed along with a handful of others. Why didn’t I get myself on the ballot? When it was time to petition to get on the ballot, I was still a reporter with The Commons newspaper, and journalists are ethically precluded from holding public office. I couldn’t even be the Weigher of Coal or the Viewer of Fences!


Brattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Oscar Heller

oscar heller

Oscar Heller is running for a one-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Tell everyone a bit about yourself… who are you?

My name is Oscar Heller. I’m a programmer and graphic designer with my own web design business called 10F Design. I serve on the energy committee and the finance committee, and I’m a town meeting rep for District 3. The energy committee played a big role in successfully convincing the Selectboard to create the new sustainability coordinator position, and I also served on the hiring committee for the position.