Nickel and Dime Bags – More Cost Shifting To Consumers

The plastic bag ban in Brattleboro banned plastic shopping bags. Grocery stores immediately complied, removing them from the available options to shoppers. Reusable bags were offered for sale. 

Paper bags, always a free convenience for shoppers, suddenly had a price tag. Depending on the store, paper bags to carry purchases from a store now cost 5 or 10 cents. I’m speaking primarily of grocery stores and supermarkets.

Ask cashiers why a previously-free store amenity suddenly costs money, the answer is often “You have to blame to Town of Brattleboro.”  But this isn’t true. Brattleboro did not mandate charging for paper bags.


Time to Expose Media Manufactured Uprising – Libya

Libyans in Tripoli are again under siege, anti-imperialists should be encouraged to use this window of topicality to have the public know the truth about the colonial powers’ annihilation of Africa’s most prosperous nation. Let us look back at a peaceful and prosperous Libya, just five weeks before the UN Security Council voted to bomb it. the UN Quality of Life Index of 2010 ranked Libya 53rd highest nation in the world.


July 4th Flag Is a Bloodstained Symbol

Americans, who flinch at the sight of their nation’s flag, never forget the rage in the voice of former President Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright during TV news bites of him shouting, his finger pointing to heaven, “God bless America? No, no! God damn America for her crimes against humanity,”


Poking the Hornet’s Nest in the Middle East

Mk-17 Theronuclear Bomb

President Donald Trump is now focusing all his attention on the Middle East, and this is causing the rest of the world to look there too. It’s also causing Middle Eastern nations to look at themselves and take sides. Since there are at least two major factions, led by the Saudis and the Iranians respectively, one would expect that a US invasion of Iran would lead other Middle Eastern countries to get involved on one side or the other. As a spokesman for Iran said last night, one bullet could set the whole region ablaze and US interests with it.


Brattleboro Landlords Point Out Need for Housing Bill of Rights

Some landlords speaking at this week’s Brattleboro Selectboard meeting had a few problems with the proposed apartment inspection program. In speaking up, they brought up a community need for both landlords and tenants.

The first issue for landlords was cost. Multi-unit landlords said that to suddenly have a bill due for a couple of thousand dollars, all at once, wasn’t terribly appealing. The board tried to make the point that it was only a couple of dollars per month per unit, but the new ordinance doesn’t call for billing monthly. It’s all due in one lump sum, 30 days from the date billed. Penalties and interest extra.


Strolling of the Heifers and Climate

Had it ever been suggested that the Strolling Fair would improve if it was squeezed onto the Common such a notion would have been summarily dismissed with a great guffaw. Not worth the effort even thinking about. Then the Retreat decided that it could no longer tolerate an entire day of tumult on its front lawn. Its residential denizens became too frazzled and distraught staring out between the iron bars at the frolicking crowd eating ice cream and dripping sausage, oblivious to the fate of those inside. The Strolling was booted. Like it or not it was going to be packed onto the Common. This produced one of the best Fairs ever!


40 on 30

The speed limit leaving Brattleboro on Route 30 is wrong.

Currently, the posted limit is 40 mph until after the distillery. The road, though, was engineered for a faster speed. Driving 40 mph now feels very slow.

Driving 40 mph along this stretch seems slow for many reasons. The road is wide as it is. The shoulders are wide enough for extra lanes. The curves of the road are wide and gentle. 


WWII & The Corporate USA Rearming Germany to Destroy the USSR

This week D Day, the invasion of Normandy was heralded in spite of the enormous cost in lives. Anyway:

WWII & Holocaust COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED Without Corporate USA Rearming Germany to Destroy the USSR

The sixty or seventy million men, women and children didn’t die because of Adolph Hitler, they perished because the wealthy in the US and Western Europe empowered Adolph Hitler to make war.


Memorial Day! Mourn US Soldiers Killed in Criminally Dishonorable Wars in Other Peoples Countries!

Imagining What Many GIs Who Lost Their Lives Might Be Saying On Memorial Day If They Could Speak From Their Graves: ‘While our family and friends mourn our absence, conglomerate owned media, after having used our patriotism to have us fight criminally unjust wars based on lies, now hypes our inglorious death as beautiful military service, blacking out our senseless massacres of millions over the last 60 years.’


Vermont Writer Questions Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela

Caracas Statue of Bolivar LOC

Vermont writer Peter Lackowski has visited Venezuela five times since 2005, giving him perspective on the current situation in the country and how it evolved time. His new article, “Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective,” calls into question the official story of a grave humanitarian crisis, which the United States says is due to Maduro’s corrupt leadership and which provides America with an excuse to attempt regime change in that country.


Six Suggestions for Shorter Brattleboro Selectboard Meetings

Selectboard meetings can drag on. Meetings that start at 6:15 pm often end after 9 pm. It’s not as bad as the record-setting meeting of the mid-aughts that lasted well past midnight, but three hours is a long regular meeting, especially when board members may have met for an hour prior in Executive Session.

When meetings go on too long, participants lose energy and the quality of debate and discussion drops. Important issues can get rushed if they come late on an agenda.


And How Times Have Changed

“How times have changed, Dr. Beadle”

Dr. Beadle happens to be a character I created in a tape piece from eons ago, in which I got members of my family to produce a satirical collage of comedy sketches for absolutely no purpose than for the heck of it. Dr. Beadle was a character I enlisted my older brother to perform. He acted, or actually improvised, quite well, even though to this day he has absolutely no recollection of ever having ever performed it. In the dramatic radio hour we discussed climate change (this was in 1981), favorite actors (Robert Redford, and others), and acted out (on radio) scenes of religious meetings inspired by MLK, country music, Polish polkas, Shakespeare plays, Noel Coward songs, murder, and in a bizarre twist at the end something like out of Albert Camus’s The Stranger and the execution scene with a return to the beginning of the collage where Priscilla’s husband explodes while in the middle of an argument over climate change, it just brings me here. Why can’t we be as creative as we were when we were 13 years old?


5 Ways to Park for Free in Brattleboro

With new meters and higher rates for parking in Brattleboro, let’s review some ways you can park for free and do errands downtown.

1. Patronize businesses with free parking

This one is obvious and easy. A few places downtown have parking lots that are free to use while doing business at the establishment. Shop at the Co-op? Free parking. Doing banking at BS&L? Free parking. Need something at Brown & Roberts? Free parking.


For Irish Freedom & Working Class Power!

“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

-James Connolly, Irish Republican & Labor Leader


Opposed to 1% Local Option Sales Tax

I would like to thank our Town Meeting Reps and the Brattleboro Selectboard for reviewing and reconsidering the support of the 1% Local Option Sales Tax. 

I would like to express my opposition to this as a resident that has owned and operated small businesses here in Brattleboro spanning over the last 13 years. At this point it is no secret that running a business in Southern Vermont is a very difficult thing to do. And yes, it may seem that one penny on one dollar or bringing the Brattleboro sales tax from 6% up to 7% may not be a big deal but it really is. Right now, with every business in town competing with online retailers like Amazon, or watching potential customers go across the river to tax free New Hampshire, I feel strongly that this is not a beneficial option for the town nor to the businesses in Brattleboro.


Vermont Town Meeting Day – Empowering Direct Democracy

By David Van Deusen, District Vice President of the VT AFL-CIO

March 5th, 2019, Cabot VT -Today, the first Tuesday of March, is Town Meeting Day in Vermont. While a community may have many Town Meetings during the year, this is the one day when every community has a Town Meeting all at once.  And here, all the citizens collectively act as the legislative branch of the local government.  One citizen, one vote.  Unlike in the rest of the United States, towns in Vermont have the right to conduct all their government business from the floor of the Town Meeting.


Debunking Objections to Youth Enfranchisement in Brattleboro and Beyond

Hi. My name is Mark Tully, a resident of Brattleboro. I’ve been helping out the youth leadership of the Brattleboro Youth Vote campaign – which comes to a head in this Tuesday’s town elections with a ballot measure (Article II) that partially enfranchises youth aged 16 and 17. I’ve worked with youth leadership around the country in various political and artistic projects for over 25 years, and continue to do since moving here four years ago.

While monitoring opinions in the local press, and talking to residents during petitioning and community events, there are some common objections that arise.


How’s Hubness Hurting Brattleboro?

Vermont Wheel Club

Having lived in Brattleboro a long time and outside of Brattleboro a short time, I continue to wonder about Brattleboro’s concern about being a “hub town” to surrounding communities.

It comes up in discussion, and the argument is generally that Brattleboro is providing free services to freeloading neighboring towns – they use our services and we aren’t compensated.

It sounds reasonable, but how exactly is Brattleboro going uncompensated? For what?


Humanitarian America Takes Out Venezuela

Refinería_El_Palito,_Carabobo,_Venezuela

Ever since Trump was elected president, people have been casting aspersions at Russia for their alleged interference in that election. With the attempted coup now underway in Venezuela, we have an example of how the United States does interference — when they don’t like the result of another country’s elections, they just destabilize the government and install their own guy. In the case of Venezuela, the U.S. has been trying to take out their government since at least the time of Hugo Chavez in the early 2000s, going so far as to pull a military maneuver in which Chavez was briefly kidnapped. Chavez survived that attempt. Now it’s Maduro’s turn.