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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

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 PeakProsperity.com and creator of the “Crash Course” which is available free on his website: www.peakprosperity.com (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.

Four Short Videos on a Different Kind of Economy


Designing for Generosity, by Nipun Mehta, 18 minutes
Sacred Economics, the Gift Economy, and the New Story, by Charles Eisenstein, 15 minutes (coming to the Slow Living Summit June 6th)
You Don't Ask, You Just Give: An Indigenous Approach to the Gift Economy, 6 minutes
Three Stages of Generosity, by Nipun Mehta, 9 minutes


Interesting Query On Money From The Net

"What shall we call "hard" non-fiat currencies?

I propose the following: Gold based currency and Oil based currency.

The Gold Based currency should be called the Trojan because its value is reckoned on a troy ounce of .999 fine gold




Brattleboro 2014 Finance Committee Report

Here is the Finance Committee Report for this year.  

    Click here to read the entire report

   Following are  most of the recommendations:

     The Town finances are being handled competently.

     The economy is very fragile.  

     Prime importance should be on making effective use of the $10 million development money that Entergy agreed to contribute to the region.  Without good jobs and increased incomes we'll be forced to make significant changes in the way we live.


Film: Money and Life, Tues, March 4

Transition Putney & Putney Library Present Film: MONEY & LIFE, Tues, March 4, 7- 9 p.m, at Putney Library
(Short discussion following the film.)

-What is real wealth?
-How can money serve people, rather than vice versa?
-What does it really mean to “make a living”, and how can we free ourselves from cycles of debt and consumption?
-How can we align our financial choices with our most deeply held values?
-What are the possibilities – and examples – of alternative monetary systems and currencies?


Film - Economics of Happiness, Monday, Feb. 10

The film, Economics of Happiness, restores our faith in humanity and challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.

Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment; fundamentalism and ethnic conflict.


Windham Region CEDS Released For 30 Day Public Comment Period

Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) has completed its draft Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Southeastern Vermont's Windham Region.

This process has been guided by a CEDS Committee comprising municipal and private sector representatives from throughout the Southeastern Vermont region. Prior to submitting the draft document to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), SeVEDS is required to allow for a 30-day public comment period.


Would A Basic Income to End Poverty Make Sense?

This story in Business Insider says we can eliminate poverty. The only thing standing in our way, they say, is a dysfunctional political system.

The solution to this big problem is complex: send checks to everyone.

Okay, that’s it.


iBrattleboro Poll

Which should Brattleboro have?