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Today In Local History


Water Cure opens in Brattleboro with 15 patients (soon growing to 150).


J. Retting & Co. have about 25 hands employed in the new furniture shop, and are constantly increasing the number. They are now making chamber sets of the best grades, and demand for their work thus far is fully equal to the supply.


The new reservoir for the fire department, to be located near E.E. Stockwell’s on Forest square, will be built under the immediate direction of the bailiffs. It is to have a capacity of nearly 50,000 gallons and will be covered with railroad iron and stone in a substantial manner.


Contrary to general expectation, this year’s grand list, which was completed yesterday, shows an increase of $26,000. The total list amounts to $3,665,749.


Clark Frost, son of R.L. Frost of West Brattleboro, was brought before Justice Newton and fined $3 and costs, amounting to $12.37, for taking and having in his possession trout less than six inches long. The prosecution is the first of the kind ever made in southern Vermont.


The Barnum & Bailey bill boards were put up at the railroad station yesterday.


Two new street cars, one open and one closed, with motors, arrived Tuesday from the Jackson & Sharp company. The street railroad company now has eight cars - four open and four closed.


Twin State announces Brattleboro street railways will be ripped up and replaced with busses.

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Turning Point Gratitude Project Schedule

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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
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Brattleboro Union High School Board Meeting Agenda

53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301


The BUHS #6 Planning and Policy Committee will meet at 6:30 pm. on Monday, April 20, 2015 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.


Town of Brattleboro Spring Leaf Pickups

The following dates have been scheduled for Brattleboro's curbside Spring Leaf Collection. Whereas in the past leaf pickup was determined by scheduled day of rubbish pickup, all locations will be picked up each Friday:

Leaf Pick Up Date

ALL RESIDENTS Friday, April 24, 2015

ALL RESIDENTS Friday, May 8, 2015

All leaves and clippings must be in brown paper leaf bags and at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on scheduled leaf collection days. Acceptable waste...leaves, grass, clippings, garden waste, twigs, no branches larger than 1" in diameter and 2 feet long. No other household trash is to be included.

NO PLASTIC BAGS or other containers will be accepted as the materials collected will be used for compost.


Brattleboro Solar Summer Campaign Promotes Local Power

Brattleboro homeowners, business owners, landlords, and renters who are interested in going solar will now have even more incentive. Local nonprofits, solar companies, and a credit union are teaming up to launch Brattleboro Solar Summer, a program to assist residents in choosing locally generated solar power.

The campaign will run from May 1 – September 30, 2015, with the goal of increasing the overall number of solar electric installations and the total solar capacity in Brattleboro. The campaign aims to have at least 100 Brattleboro residents and businesses install solar arrays or purchase solar capacity from community solar arrays.


1886 Boiler Explosion on Frost Street

This was quite a story, on April 16, 1886. It had it all — an explosion, death, and destruction. The Phoenix devoted a full column to it, and even provided a small illustration showing the path of the flying boiler. I'll get you started with the introduction to the story, and then provide a link if you'd like to read the full account.


"Last Tuesday afternoon at about 20 minutes past three the boiler at J. A. Church’s general wood-work factory and grist mill on Frost street burst with a terrific explosion, the result of which was the entire destruction of the one-story engine-house attached to the main shop, the partial wrecking of the rear portion of the main building, serious injury to R.D. Brown’s barn, the killing of a valuable horse, and the shaking up of things generally in that vicinity.


Hays Portrait Series Celebrated

With Brattleboro artist William Hays ending 25 years' presence in the downtown on Main Street, several of us have gotten together to try to honor his contributions to our community's cultural life. Accordingly, we are seeking places to display portraits by Hays which are part of his Brattleboro community portrait series.

We'll anchor these Hays retrospective displays with a front-window feature of two of his best-known portraits, those of 'Nina' (NIna Singleton-Spencer, now the bass player for The Snaz), and of Wayne London, the iconoclastic psychiatrist / metaphysician who is founder of the Brattleboro M.A.S.H. Unit (Metaphysical and Spiritual Healing).


April 18 Women in Music Gala Celebrates Edith Piaf

Set on Saturday, April 18, in an elegant Hillwinds home in Brattleboro, Friends of Music at Guilford's celebration of Women in Music is its signature annual fundraiser. Patrons will enjoy a generous buffet of hearty hors d'oeuvresand salads between 6 and 7 p.m. This year's concert then features vocalist Jessica Gelter and pianist Ken Olsson in a centennial tribute to legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf (1915-1963). An array of desserts prepared by area restaurant and bakery chefs follows.

Edith Piaf, who was "discovered" as a street singer while still in her teens, took the Paris cabaret scene by storm and became regarded as France's national diva. She was also one of its greatest international stars and mentored many other aspiring performers. Piaf's music was often autobiographical: her singing reflected her life, a contemplation of femininity, love, and home, sprinkled liberally with loss and sorrow. The program will cover a mix of Piaf's iconic hits and less-familiar songs, among them La Vie en Rose, Rien de Rien, La Belle Histoire d'Amour, Mon Dieu, and more.


How We Got Where We Are

    The author (John Burke) of the following quote, from an essay entitled Technology and Values,  was educated at Boston Latin, MIT and Stanford and was, in order, a metallurgist, B-17 bomber pilot and prisoner of war, executive for Cummins Diesel, establisher and owner of an engineering firm, grad student and recipient of a doctorate at Stanford and assistant professor of the history of science and the history of technology at UCLA.  

The essay was included in a volume called The Great Ideas Today - 1969  published in 1969 by Britannica Great Books.


Forum on Whetstone Brook Flooding

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development, along with Windham Regional Commission, is hosting a Community Forum on Monday, April 20, from 7pm to 9pm at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro.  The forum is part of the Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative, which is working to develop recommendations to reduce flooding along the Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro.

Over the past six months, the VERI team has combined the community input with the work of river scientists to develop preliminary recommendations to improve public safety and help residents and businesses near the Whetstone Brook to quickly bounce back from future floods. At the forum, the team will share what they’ve learned and seek feedback on the draft report and recommended projects.


Senators Markey, Boxer and Sanders Call for Increased Safety at Nuclear Plants

Trio of bills address safety of spent fuel storage and decommissioning plans

Washington (April 15, 2015) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reintroduced three bills today aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel at nuclear plants across the nation.

When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Spent nuclear fuel is too dangerous to be removed from the spent fuel pools for five to seven years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. However, NRC regulations allow spent fuel to remain stored in spent fuel pools until the reactor completes decommissioning, which can take as long as 60 years. Current NRC regulations also allow the NRC and the nuclear plant operator to adopt a decommissioning plan without considering the concerns of nearby states and communities. The three bills introduced today will address all of these problems.


Wood Heating Initiative Brings Local, Renewable Heat to Windham County’s Public Buildings

State Awards $1.6 Million to Fund Conversions from Oil and Propane

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT: A new state-funded initiative will help Windham County convert the heating systems in schools and municipal buildings from oil to locally sourced, renewable heat from high-efficiency wood heat systems. Windham Wood Heat’s near-term goal is to convert 20 schools and public buildings to wood heat, while its long-term goals are to make the county a hub of advanced-wood heating technology and strengthen the local forest economy.


I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Replacement Project Update: Week of April 19


On Tuesday, April 21, there will be a formal inspection of the I-91 Bridge. Daylight is needed for the inspection, so the bridge will be closed from approximately 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. At the same time, the PCL team will repair potholes that developed over the winter. I-91 will be closed between Exits 2 and 3 both northbound and southbound. Traffic will be detoured onto VT Route 5.

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. The new bridge will be 104’ wide and is designed to carry all four lanes of traffic –two northbound and two southbound.


LGBTQ Community To Celebrate "Earth Gay" In Vermont

Brattleboro, Vermont - On May 3rd, an expected 40 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) volunteers will get dirty and have fun planting organic potatoes at the first “Earth Gay” Vermont.

Earth Gay Vermont’s 2015 host is queer owned Circle Mountain Farm. The event is co-presented by Green Mountain Crossroads, a Brattleboro, Vermont based nonprofit supporting rural LGBTQ communities in becoming stronger, healthier, and more visible, and OUT for Sustainability, a Seattle, Washington based nonprofit mobilizing the LGBTQ community for social and environmental action.


HHS to Probe Skyrocketing Generic Drug Prices

WASHINGTON, April 14 – At the urging of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has agreed to investigate how sudden price hikes by generic drug makers are driving up the cost of taxpayer-supported health care.

“It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs. We’ve got to get to the bottom of these enormous price increases,” said Sanders.


"Food, Mindfully" is the theme of the Slow Living Summit, June 3-5

The benefits of local food go well beyond energy savings and local economics, say organizers of the fifth annual Slow Living Summit, a unique conference taking place June 3-5 in Brattleboro, Vermont.

"When people connect with healthy local food and with farmers and food producers, they also build stronger, more resilient communities." says Shanta L. Evans-Crowley, the conference coordinator. "It's about being mindful, and strengthening the connections between food, body, mind, spirit, and community." 

Subtitled “Food, Mindfully,” the Summit will explore “the journey of food”, with topics including nourishment and wellness, food entrepreneurship, food systems, food justice and food policy.

Evans-Crowley said “the Summit aims to bring together experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, students, farmers, artists and concerned citizens, in order to foster cross-sector conversations and collaborations.”


Estey Organ Company Exhibit At 1893 World's Fair

Today, in 1893, the Estey Organ company was putting the finishing touches on their organs to be shipped to the World's Fair in Chicago. The Phoenix reported on it thusly:



The Estey Organ Company’s Exhibit

A Description of the Beautiful Instruments Comprising their Display

Today the finishing touches are being put to the large and beautiful exhibit of instruments which the Estey Organ company are to send to the World’s Fair at Chicago, and it is the present plan of the company to have the organs en route to their place in the great exhibition to-morrow. Many workmen are very busy upon them, and our glance at the instruments was necessarily hasty and imperfect, but a short chapter of notes will be of general interest.


The Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Holophonor Sextet

On April 18th, 2015, the Vermont Jazz Center welcomes the Holopohonor Sextet, a group of young musicians representing the future of jazz. The pianist of the ensemble, Miro Sprague is well-known in this area. Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, he has earned the deep respect and admiration of the entire jazz community. Since leaving the Pioneer Valley, he has lived in New York and Los Angeles where his talent, ability and humility have contributed to his rising star status. The great pianist and educator, Armen Donelian says “Miro Sprague is among the most talented young composer/pianists of his generation.” Other members of Holophonor include Josh Joshnson on alto saxophone, Eric Miller, trombone; Diego Urbano, vibraphone; Dave Robaire, bass and Jonathan Pinson on drums.


Small Business Loans for Windham County Residents

Has the arrival of spring given you inspiration to start or grow your business? Community Capital of Vermont is a nonprofit, small business lender with loans ranging in size from $1,000 to $100,000. CCVT specializes in providing loans to business owners who lack the collateral or credit history to qualify for traditional bank loans.

Loan proceeds can be used for working capital, to purchase equipment, vehicle or inventory, or to refinance debt.


April 3 Forum on Addressing Homelessness Notes & Next Steps


On April 3rd, a second in a series of community discussions regarding a community response to homelessness took place at the Works Bakery in Brattleboro. Attached are the notes from the evening, including several themes and action steps. The notes are also available in hard copy at the Brooks Memorial Library. Please share widely.

The next community forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 30th from 5:30-7:30pm at the Works Bakery, 118 Main St. Brattleboro. All are welcome. Details to follow.


The Co-op: Two Realities

    There is a very lengthy and continuing thread about what constitutes a real co-op.  There is the modern Big Store (food) co-op and the Little Buying Club.  There would have to be a lot in between but we'll leave it at that for now.

    The debate seems mostly to center around prices.  Big Store has high prices.  Little Buying Club would have cheaper prices (how much cheaper unknown).  Actually, Little Buying Club prices aren't too much cheaper because they can't get the volume discounts.  In fact the food itself is more expensive for that reason.  It can be sold cheaper because it has so much less overhead.  A private garage to receive and break down orders, all volunteer labor etc.  It can be cheaper still if it limits itself to bulk buying, avoids refrigerated and frozen foods and limits the selection to a couple hundred basic items and ordering just once a month.


Sanders: Make Public Higher Ed Tuition-Free, Reform Loans, Protect Pell Grants

WASHINGTON, April 13 – In a speech tonight at American University, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will call for overhauling how college education is financed by allowing students to refinance loans, eliminating federal profits on loans, making 4-year public colleges tuition-free, expanding work-study programs and providing incentives for colleges and universities to keep costs down.

The senator also will call for expanding Pell Grants to help more students afford college through a program targeted for steep cuts by Republican budget makers in Congress. Sanders also said student loan programs must be overhauled to reduce crushing debt loads which now exceed American’s credit card debt.


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