Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. - H.G. Wells

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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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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


Economics section

Stock Market Volatility and The Little Guy

About six weeks ago, even those of us who are barely paying attention started to hear ominous reports out of China. The stock markets in the world's second largest economy had taken a turn for the worse and were shedding value to an alarming degree – 7% one day, 8% another, to the tune of a whopping 35% by the time Black Tuesday rolled around. This occurred despite continual action on the part of the Chinese government since May to shore them back up or at least stop the bleeding. Market turbulence had set in and the central banks of that country seemed powerless to stop it. Watching all this from half a world away, the big question on everyone's mind became: when is this going to hit us? On August 21, 2015, it did.


Southern Vermont Projects Funded to Mitigate the Economic Impacts of VY Closure

Green Building Cluster, Business Acceleration and Tri State region CEDS alignment

Windham County, VT - On Monday August 31st, Senator Patrick Leahy announced that the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) has been awarded $265K by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The federal award was the final piece of funding needed for a $530K project which will launch two major initiatives outlined in the Windham Region S.M.A.R.T. CEDS: Development of a Green Building Cluster Study and the initiation and operation of the Southern Vermont Business Innovation Accelerator.


Windham County Economic Development Program Relaunch

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Windham County Advisory Council are pleased to announce the relaunch of the Windham County Economic Development Program

ACCD has worked closely with state and regional partners to redesign the program to ensure greater local and regional participation in the process, simplify the application process - especially for businesses - and improve communication about the program to the region.  The regional partners have formed a Windham County Advisory Councilconsisting of BDCC, WRC, SeVEDS, SBDC, ACCD, municipalities with designated downtowns – Brattleboro, Wilmington, Rockingham – plus Vernon.


As Greece Goes, So Go Debtors All

Don't mess with the powers that be. That's the message I got from the Greek crisis currently winding down in Europe. They will wipe you out sooner than look at you if you welch on a bet – or default on a loan.

It was really quite remarkable to behold, this unraveling of Greece. Rumblings of trouble in the financial pages for months, a day of reckoning in June with banks closing country-wide, a stunning public referendum in which 60% of the citizenry voted against more austerity, and the government, just this week, caving all the same, its more idealistic finance minister resigning in, well, resignation.


"R" rCredits For You?

What are rCredits?

The rCredits system is a cooperative mutual credit organization providing online credit card, debit card, and cash card services.

In this economy, it’s hard to find US Dollars to pay for things. With rCredits we can fund what we need, without having to depend on US Dollars. rCredits are simply a way for us to give each other credit in our local community, so that, in effect, there is more money to go around.

You can spend rCredits and be paid with rCredits just as with US Dollars.


The Cost of Housing

According to a recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition the minimum wage required for a two bedroom apartment in Vermont is $20.68/hour.


About 40% of the households in Brattleboro do not have that much income.


Rescheduled West Brattleboro Economic Development Forum, February 23rd

On Monday, February 23rd, at 5:00 PM, all West Brattleboro businesses are invited to discuss business and economic development ideas with Brattleboro and Windham County development organizations.  Representatives will be present from Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Windham Regional Commission and the Town of Brattleboro.

The meeting (which was postponed from the original date two weeks ago due to a snowstorm) will take
place in the central conference room at the 55 Marlboro Road building and is being organized by the West Brattleboro Association.  (55 Marlboro Rd. is the long building with Central Appliance at its right corner.  Use the front center door and head to the back.) Light refreshments will be provided.


West Brattleboro Economic Development Forum Postponed to Feb. 23rd

The West Brattleboro Economic Development Forum has been postponed until Monday, February 23rd.  That evening it will still be held at 5pm in the central conference room at the 55 Marlboro Road building.

 - Michael Bosworth, Board President, West Brattleboro Association


I Read This Story Related To The Shrinking Middle Class in America. We Are Number 2.

The excerpt below is from an article documenting the shrinking middle class, and the accumulation of wealth upward, ever upward. According to the authors, Of the 50 states, Vermont was, surprisingly to me, #2 for this phenomena.

"2. Vermont
> Middle income growth 2009-2013: -5.9%
> Fifth quintile income growth 2009-2013: 2.8%
> Fifth quintile share of income: 48.8%
> Middle class household income: $53,020 (20th highest)


Brattleboro rCredits Meeting

rCedits is an advanced complement to our US dollar system. It has undergone a 1.5 year testing phase in Greenfield and is ready to expand. 

Meetings in Montpelier have already begun along with those in 5 other states.  

We are offering 2 meetings on January 22.  Both will take place at the meeting room at the Brattleboro Coop, and will cover the same material. The first is 2 pm - 3:30, the second is 6 pm to 7:30.


Local Gas Prices

The other day I paid attention to gas prices along my route from Westminster to Newfane. DANG - what a difference a few miles can make!

For 87 octane, the price ranged from $2.679 (Circle K on Route 30 in Dummerston) to $2.829 (Allen Bros) to $2.959 (Putney Sunoco).

What have you noticed in town?


Governor Allocates $814,000 for Projects in Windham County

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Governor Shumlin announced today that $814,000 from Round 1 of the Windham County Economic Development Program will be allocated to five projects. A small amount will be dedicated to legal costs and technical assistance to applicants and the remainder of the $2 million from this round will roll over to the next round in 2015 and the program will be redesigned to attract more business applications for loans and grant applications that meet specific entrepreneurial economic development objectives.

“I am allocating funds to a limited number of projects that promise job creation and investment in Windham County,” said Governor Shumlin. “The rest of the funding will roll over to the next round and I’ve asked Commerce Secretary Pat Moulton to redesign the application and allocation process.”


Brattleboro Finance Committee

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thus far, I am the only volunteer to be re-appointed to the Town of Brattleboro Finance Committee. I was re-appointed shortly following last March's Representative Town Meeting.

The Town Charter calls for the existence and work of the Finance Committee. This is the wording in the Charter:


Brattleboro Second Hand

One of the things I liked about Brattleboro when we moved here was the abundance of second hand, vintage, antique, and bona fide junk shops.  You can buy used records, used books, used DVDs, used furniture, used clothing, previously-owned jewelry, and every kind of vintage toy, decoration, and domestic item imaginable right downtown.  Brattleboro has yard sales every weekend.   Many non-profits host charity rummage sales – we go to the one at St.  Michael's all the time. In short, this propensity to recycle consumer goods makes Brattleboro a bargain hunter's heaven.  But on the other hand, what a drag it must be for retailers of new merchandise.


Windham County Economic Development Program Application Workshops Scheduled for August 19

MONTPELIER, Vt. – On July 28, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and the application for the first round ($2 million) of the funds made available by an agreement between the State of Vermont and Entergy for the Windham County Economic Development Program.

The funds will be distributed through a competitive application process to projects that promote economic development in Windham County. Eligible applicants for the grant program include municipalities, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. Applications from businesses will be considered for financing via the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA).


Vermont Launches Windham County Economic Development Program

Applications Due September 23, 2014 

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Windham County Economic Development Program is up and running and looking for applications with creative ideas that will help Windham County grow jobs and bolster the region’s economy. 

On July 28, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and the application for the first round ($2 million) of the funding made available by an agreement between the State of Vermont and Entergy. 


Property Tax Too High In Chester, VT - How's It Going In Brattleboro?

Property taxes are way too high in Chester, Vermont.  How high are your property taxes in Brattleboro?

The teachers need to go back to chalk and black boards.  Student test scores have only gone down since they've been using calculators and the internet. 

I was so shocked at my property tax bill I called the State 802-828-6848 and left a message for the Taxpayer Advocate, but I have not received a return call yet.  My property tax bill for my home in Chester, VT 05143 was 10% higher than last year, and I have to pay 6.2% of my annual income.  I think their arithmetic might be in error.  There are no codes and statutes printed out with the property tax bill to prove they have a valid claim for such high amounts.   Anything that comes from the State with a demand for our money should include a code and/or statute that they are basing their demand on.


Not An Optimist

Chris Martenson is a guy from nearby Montague Mass. He appears from time to time in Brattleboro. He’s a very bright guy with a PhD in neurotoxicology, but his real strength is economics.

Currently he is a writer and trend forecaster interested in macro trends regarding the economy, energy, finance and the environment. He is the founder of and creator of the “Crash Course” which is available free on his website: (you can buy it on DVD as well).


How Private Enterprise Can End The Recession

“If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again… there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.”

(John Maynard Keynes, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”, p. 129)

How is that different from Bernanke’s “helicopter drop” theory?


How Much Do Walmart Heirs Donate?

A group battling Walmart has done some research into the chaitable giving of the Walton family.

"Key Findings:

  • Rob Walton, chairman of Walmart’s board of directors, has not made a single contribution to the Foundation.
  • Alice Walton, has not given a single dollar to the Foundation.
  • Jim Walton made one personal contribution of $3 million to the Walton Family Foundation, more than 15 years ago.

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