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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Search the first decade
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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Opinion


Beyond Any Reasonable Bounds of Jurisprudence

Since Vermont is one of the 17 states to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the Legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

But wait. Not so fast.

Is decriminalizing marijuana really an admission of guilt and culpability in criminalizing people who were not criminals before?

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Sanders Congratulates Vermont Lawmakers on Food Labels Law

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 23 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today congratulated the Vermont Legislature for passing a bill making Vermont the first state in the nation to require labels on food containing genetically-modified ingredients.

“I am very proud our small state stood up to Monsanto and other multi-national food conglomerates and is taking the lead in a movement to allow the people of our country to know what is in the food that they eat,” Sanders said. “Working with Vermonters, I will continue my efforts in Washington to pass national legislation on this important issue.”

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Brattleboro Town Budget Line-Items That May Be Cut?

Hey folks, this debate on the town budget and property tax rate has spurred me to register here and join the conversation, as my schedule does not permit me to attend meatspace meetings at this time.

Let me say first off that my fiance and I, as well as every friend and neighbor in town that I've talked to about the issue, voted and/or reads the budget rejection not as merely a repudiation of the police and fire project, but rather as an outcry against the exhorbitantly high tax rate in Brattleboro in general.   There seems to be some debate on whether the rejection of the vote was asking for a scalpel to excise the police and fire project or a wider issue.  

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Look Beyond the Library and Parks, Please

This was posted on the Reformer Face Book page tonight.

SELECTBOARD CONSIDERING HALTING POLICE-FIRE PROJECT.
The board met for 90 minutes Tuesday to consider making cuts to the FY 2015 budget. The board is asking interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland to investigate a range of cuts, including cutting positions in the library and Parks and Recreation Department. The board is also considering halting the $14 million police-fire project. The board is going to meet on April 29 to make final decisions about the budget.

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Sanders On Earth Day

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 22 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate environment and energy committees, said today’s observation of Earth Day is a reminder that dramatic action is needed to curb the carbon and methane emissions responsible for the planetary crisis of global warming.

Sanders cited a warning this month by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, which reported that emissions of greenhouse gases have gone up nearly twice as fast so far in the 21st century as they did in the last decades of the 20th century.

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A Proposal for Augmenting Municipal Resources

Note: This was the text I had composed and sent to the board prior to being scheduled to appear.

It is fair to say that Brattleboro has asked about as much as it can of its citizens from property taxes. There is, however, another route to gaining more resources. It does not include taxation or fees. Rather, I am suggesting that the town take advantage of some key but under appreciated qualities it enjoys and raise money from contributions over and above the property tax. I am suggesting that Brattleboro do what many, if not most, charitable organizations do: invite, or appeal for, charitable contributions from those who appreciate the community and its services.

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Change In The Air At BMH?

I have not yet met Steve Gordon, the new CEO of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, but after I wrote to him about a problem I had experienced at a BMH physician's practice, the problem got resolved.

This was refreshing. It was the first time since the Reformer ran my Oct. 5, 2007 op-ed, "Hospital's complaint process needs reform," that I felt a glimmer of hope. In that piece, I had written:

"Patients are naturally vulnerable, and rely on the hospital staff and administration for kindness and protection. To prevent lapses, there must be a trustworthy complaint procedure."

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FCC Uses 1950s Jim Crow Laws To Allow VPR To Exclude Independent Candidates From General Election Debates

FCC, the Federal Elections Commission, is using 1950s Jim Crow Laws that were created by the U.S. Congress to keep Negroes out of political candidate debates, but they are STILL using them today, even in 2014, to keep independent candidates from participating in Vermont Public Radio general election debates.   (Bernie Sanders runs in the Primary in the summer as a Democrat and takes millions of dollars from them and their PACs, and then switches at the last minute in the general election for November to "independent" so he is not a "real" independent.) 

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Sanders Applauds Vermont Senate Vote on Food Labels

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 16 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed a Vermont Senate vote to require labels on food containing genetically-modified ingredients.

“I am very proud that Vermont is taking the lead in a growing national movement to allow the people of our country to know what is in the food they eat. GMO labeling exists in dozens of countries around the world and should exist in the United States,” Sanders said.

“I will continue my efforts in Washington – against Monsanto and other multi-national food industry corporations – to pass national legislation on this issue. In the meantime, it is extremely important that Vermont and other states lead the way,” Sanders said.

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A Bonanza of WiFi Trumps Our Children

The fifth Annual Southern Vermont Educators Symposium was held recently at the Maple Street School, Manchester, to discuss the theme Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Of course, educators want to facilitate their student's access to an incredible resource like the internet that puts the world at our fingertips. At issue is how students access that information, through wired or wireless technology.

WiFi has become commonplace, along with an automatic assumption of its safety. Its use has expanded, unchecked and unquestioned, from coffee shops to public spaces, work environments, home, libraries and now our schools. This expansion is driven in part by industry innovators churning out devices like iPads compatible only with WiFi, and by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in tandem with wireless carriers, whose intent is to create a captive wireless market.

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