Brattleboro Early and Absentee Ballots Available

Early/absentee ballots for the Brattleboro Annual Town and Town School District Meeting to be held March 5, are now available in the Brattleboro, Town Clerk’s office. Anyone wishing to vote prior to March 5 may apply for an early/absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4.

Early/absentee ballots may be voted in person in the Clerk’s office, mailed to the voter by the Clerk’s office, picked up by the voter, or if a voter is in need can be delivered to the voter’s residence by two Justices of the Peace. All voted ballots must be received by the Clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted. For more information or to request an early/absentee ballot call 251-8157.


The Potential of Limited Self-Government

I and many others in Brattleboro support the Vermont League of Cities and Towns in their proposal to try a pilot program of limited self-government for towns in Vermont. One of the issue articles on my website is about this issue. But the number one question I’ve gotten during my candidacy is summed up by this eloquent iBrattleboro comment by Steven-K Brooks:

“Oscar, you have done well explaining the problem. But about the solution, you have only said that Brattleboro needs more freedom to find other sources of revenue. A real solution must be more than an abstract principle: There must be a practical idea that we can develop. I think that the missing piece of the puzzle in your discussion is that you have not mentioned even one alternative way that Brattleboro could raise revenue. I think it is important for you to offer sound and practical ways that — if unimpeded by restrictions on home rule — Brattleboro could raise needed revenue.”


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?


A Fresh Face Running for the Brattleboro Town School Board

Dear Brattleboro Voters,

My name is Emily Murphy Kaur and I’m writing to ask your support in my campaign for a one-year term on the Brattleboro School Board. With the merger remaining unconfirmed, we sit at the crossroads of an uncertain future of which my background in teaching, district level policymaking, and grant writing can be uniquely utilized to advocate in support of our community.

Having started my career as a public school teacher of students with significant disabilities, I’ve had a lot of experience working with teachers, school directors, and superintendents, and in building communities that are inclusive and safe places for all students to grow and learn. My work at the school level fostered a strong interest in working at the district level to ensure that teachers and the community have a voice in the broader decision-making process.


Why I’m Running for Selectboard

Hi!

My name is Oscar Heller, and I’m running for a 1-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

I’m a small business owner and the chair of the Brattleboro Energy Committee. I’ve been coming to Brattleboro for 17 years, and I’ve lived here since 2014. I’m thirty years old, and I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Selectboard as a young business owner. My two primary areas of focus are bringing a modern, green economy to Brattleboro, and working to address homelessness and drug addiction in our community.


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.


VT AFL-CIO Welcomes YPG Vet, Holds Political Convention

Over this past weekend [1/26/19], the Vermont AFL-CIO held its annual COPE Convention at the Old Socialist Labor Hall in the granite City of Barre. The day was spent strategizing Labor’s approaches to seeing a $15 an hour livable wage, paid family medical leave, and card check recognition becoming Vermont law in 2019. By passing card check recognition (S36), anytime a majority of public sector workers in a single shop sign Union cards, they would immediately be recognized as a Union without having to go through a drawn out and bureaucratic Labor Board election process (a process that provides anti-Union employers an unfair advantage and time to use scare tactics against employees). Passing card check in Vermont is a concrete way that Labor can begin to go back on the offensive here in the Green Mountains.


Brattleboro Selectboard Candidates 2019

Brattleboro voters get a choice this year for all open Selectboard seats.

For the 3 year term, new candidate Ben Coplan will be running against incumbant Tim Wessel. Voters will be able to pick one.

For the 1 year term, four candidates have declared. Oscar Heller, Elizabeth McLoughlin, Daniel Quipp, and Franz Reichsman are the options. Voters can pick two.


Petitions for March Elections – Deadline Monday, 1/28

As a reminder, petitions for Brattleboro Town and Town School District Officers and Town Meeting Members are now available at the Town Clerk’s office.  Town elections will be Tuesday, March 5 at the American Legion, and the Annual Representatives Town Meeting, Saturday, March 23 at Brattleboro Union High School.


Rooms & Meals Promotion Competition A Good Idea

The raiding of the Rooms & Meals tax revenue has begun. Two private organizations in town have asked for 10% of the annual Rooms & Meals local option tax revenue to be given to them. They’d like nearly $40,000 and in return they offer a vague promise to promote Brattleboro.  It’s not a terrible idea, but it hasn’t been thought out much beyond asking for money.


King Damned US Wars Was Vilified in Media Shunned by Friends & Church & Murdered by Gov. Agencies

Martin Luther King deserves being the only American whose birthday is celebrated with a three day holiday, but not only as the successful US civil rights movement’s leader, but even more for having been martyred confronting the American killing machine at its source, investors in military atrocities, covert violence and predatory finance.


Can Immigration Be Fixed? — A Ten Point Plan

After listening to Trump’s speech on immigration on Monday night and the Democrats’ response to it, I got to wondering what a humane and effective immigration policy might be. Many people seem to think immigration can’t be fixed. I believe it can. Here are my thoughts, in the form of a convenient, ten point program


Trump’s Betrayal of YPG – Paris Commune Falls Again?

As an American, as a Vermonter, and as a Labor leader I have marched many times against US lead wars.  However, I do not oppose wars and US military action because I assert war as always unjust and always unnecessary.  I am not philosophically a Kantian; this is not a moral imperative for me.  I am also no liberal.  If truth be told it was only through war and armed conflict that Vermont and the United States became republics free from the British Empire.


Suggested Representative Town Meeting Improvements

I’ve been watching Brattleboro budgets for quite a while, through multiple selectboards, three Town Managers and one Interim Town Manager. I’ve watched many Representative Town Meetings as well and participated in a few.  That’s a lot of meetings.

While I’ve come to the conclusion that Representative Town Meeting doesn’t really work, I know that it has become cherished and it is unlikely that abolishing it will be on the ballot anytime soon. Therefore, it should be improved.


Pictures of Bush?

Today, a friend sent me a set of photos taken on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. I have seen them before.

The pictures depict the Texas Book Depository, and purport to show GHW Bush standing in front.


Local Option Tax Increases Brattleboro Revenue, But Property Taxes Will Still Rise

At Tuesday’s special meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard discussed adding a 1% Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) to items purchased in the ‘boro. Adding this additional revenue stream to the Town coffers has been attempted before. Most recently it barely passed as an advisory vote, but was ultimately rejected.

The main argument in favor of the tax usually involves the expected revenue. In 2015, the estimate was $600,000. This, in theory, could offset property taxes by that amount.

But, taxpayers have seen these property tax reducing “deals” many times before, and property taxes do not go down. Spending rises to meet the new income.


SoVermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2018 Draft

BDCC and SeVEDS have released a draft version of the 2018 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. Below you’ll find the full text of what is being suggested for improvements to this part of the state. It is currently a draft, and you can get involved to help improve it.

Note some of issues relate to having a regional community web site with a calendar and such. Too bad we don’t have one of those around here!


Brattleboro Unofficial Election Results

Please see the attached for the “unofficial results” for Brattleboro Mid-Term Elections. These are the results from the ballot tallies, not including write-in votes, and not including other towns’ results for the State races.

Thanks to the amazing poll workers and the American Legion who made today possible! We had a lot of voters coming through the doors, and the day was smooth!


Either Way They Vote Americans Remain Suckered Into Being a Worldwide Genocidal Killing Machine

Americans being suckered into focusing on voting for one of the two parties of the ruling genocidal Wall St. plutocracy, US CIA controlled media informs of Yemeni children dying from bombs & starvation knowing its captive audience will not turn against the American killing machine. Once USA-EU loses hegemony, the many nations that have seen their children murdered by USA and European empires will demand justice.


Free Speech on Campus To Be Discussed at Landmark College, November 13

The final presentation of the Fall 2018 Landmark College Academic Speaker Series is by Linus Owens of Middlebury College, on Tuesday, November 13 at 7 p.m. in the Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, located in the East Academic Building.

Entitled “Divisiveness is Not Diversity—Academic Freedom and Free Speech on Campus,” the talk will touch on Owens’s first-hand experience with challenges faced by Middlebury College during the March 2017 visit by controversial author Charles Murray, which was disrupted by hundreds of student protestors.