"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." - F. D. Roosevelt

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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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Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

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Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


The Op/Ed opinion section

Brattleboro: Why Does It Burn So?

I have noticed that our lovely town has a fire problem. The big fire, before I arrived, was on Main St. where the Paramont theater once stood. I waltz down memory lane: I am sure there are house and apartment building fires I will have missed. But here is a list of fires I have witnessed:

Wilder block, Lawrence block, Sam's, 214 Elliot, 107 Elliot, 119 Green St., 72 Green St., Brooks House-

Some say the fires are because Brattleboro has so many old wooden buildings. I am sure part of the problem is that the buildings are not sprinklered. Cigarettes & cooking grills may have contributed. I'm sure that's one of the reasons we are seeing a move towards smoke free housing.


The Final Solution to the Palestinian Problem

The Palestinian problem has been an enormous thorn in the relations between Israel and the greater world. This has prevented a capable Western styled government from bringing the full fruits of its democracy to the Middle East. With the constant niggling and debate of rights, it is time for Israel to assert its full historic right to the full and final occupation of Greater Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River to Lebanon and south to Sinai. We can stop the illusion and fantasy of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Historically, this land was Israel, with stretches of time occupied by every power in the region. Though we had a period of Diaspora and left the area for two thousand years does it matter whether it was two days or two thousand years? Of course not.


New Take on Police/Fire Project?

On March 22nd Brattleboro's Representative Town Meeting defeated the 1% optional sales tax and approved the FY15 budget, which includes the first interest payment on the second police/fire facilities bond.  So, what happens next?

First let's state the obvious:  Brattleboro is in a bind.  It took many of us to get it there, myself
included.  We initially approved the police/fire facilities project and then rejected cutting the overall budget
enough to scale it back.  Meanwhile, we defeated the 1% sales tax multiple times.


Phone Etiquette in Vermont

Ever since I've moved to this town, I've noticed that virtually all except those I've conveyed the following sentiment to who call me on the phone employ the most miserable phone etiquette I've encountered in the many states and provinces I'ved lived in.

When I was a child, I lived on the Upper West Side in a communal situation that had three women (including my mother) under 30.  It being NYC and Ma Bell being the only game in town, it was standard practice for women to only give their first initial and last name when listed in the phone book.


The 2014 RTM Message

Representative Town Meeting members repeatedly tried to “send a message” to the Brattleboro Selectboard at their most recent meeting. Throughout, representatives also stated that they didn’t think the Selectboard was getting that message.

As an outside observer, the message was simple: Taxes are too high. If you are going to cut something, cut additional Police Fire bonds and not the Library or Recreation and Parks departments. The bonds can wait.


Vt House Notion to Kill School Boards Deserves Similar Fate

I eavesdropped on ibrattleboro's excellent coverage of your town mtg, & was pleased to see the discussion about the ill-conceived proposal from the legislature to kill our local school boards.  I believe the Vt legislature originally met for much shorter sessions, and like so many institutions has grown bigger just because there was time available for it to do so. This proposal suggests they have too much time on their hands and are inventing fixes for things that ain't broke.

Sure, we can always use improvements to our public education system, but abolishing our citizen school boards seems misguided, especially since they cost almost nothing to maintain (in Guilford, for example, just over $2,000 a year in a school budget of some $2 million!)


1% Local Options Tax Defeat Disappointing

While watching town meeting today many downtown merchants spoke about their opposition to the proposed  1% local options tax because it will send people to NH (as if those of us on the border towns don't shop there already). I was very disappointed to hear little to no discussion about how NOT approving this tax continues to hammer those of us who pay property taxes in Brattleboro.

Downtown merchants shifted their focus to out-of-state visitors long ago. We have very few stores that provide necessities anymore: a drug store, a hardware store, an Elliot Street convenience store, the Co-op. The bike stores, specialty/gift stores, and even Sam's non-clothing sections target specific hobbies or are for discretionary items.


Brattleboro Town Meeting and Police/Fire Project


It is not a mystery that the Selectboard placed the sales tax but not the Police/Fire Facilities project on the March 4th ballot as a straw or nonbonding vote.  Were they on together both would have likely been voted down.  Thus the Selectboard gave us only one choice.  In the same way the P/F project itself was presented at Town Meeting as only one choice. Town Meeting Members were forced to accept it all even if only one piece, or none of it at all seemed necessary.  It was as if the administration believed that citizen input had no place in the development of the project.  Since the vote was taken any further questions have been dismissed with ‘it’s been voted on.’  Conversation over.


Retirement Planning for Civilization Collapse

I’m turning 50 this year, which means I have 15-20 years to retirement age -- if all goes well.

Let’s look at the news and see if things are going well. Lost airplane, Crimea, oh wait, what’s this?  Nasa-funded study: industrial civilization headed for ‘irreversible collapse’? That might impact my retirement. You have my attention.

The article says collapses are a normal part of the cycle of civilization. Rome, for example. OK, we knew that. Nothing new there.


Thank You to Retailers and Restaurants who participated in the Responsible Beverage Service Trainings

To the Brattleboro Business Community,

The Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) would like
to thank the businesses that participated in the Responsible Beverage Service Trainings held in March co-sponsored by the Department of Liquor Control.

BAPC recognizes the important role that local retailers and restaurants play in preventing underage drinking. Thank you to the following businesses for participating in the training:


Commentary: "Knowledge Is Power"

Several years ago I advocated that courses in the humanities be offered and taught to those within Vermont who might have otherwise gone without the opportunities and benefits of these. For example: people living in poverty; people living homeless; persons incarcerated in jails, prisons or other institutions; people living in the throes of drug or alcohol addiction.

What I had been urging be established was for programs along the lines of the Clemente Course in the Humanities model (clementecourse.org).


A House Divided - Medical Marijuana Muddles Marijuana Legalization

For years I have been warning marijuana advocates not to take the easy way out by using medical marijuana as a wedge to “soften up” public sentiment. Regrettably, many marijuana patients had this “we need our medicine now” mentality. Too many medical marijuana people were self-interested only in their needs. Some even stated to me it was more important to legalize marijuana for medical needs than it was to legalize it for all adults. The fact that millions of Americans were and are trapped in the criminal justice gulag did not matter to them, just as long as they got their meds.

As I feared, medical marijuana only muddles marijuana legalization. In the long run, the advent of pundits pushing the medical angle did so at the expense of the larger marijuana consumer population.


"Free to Good Home" Pets

Before releasing your pets via a "Free to good home" ad, please do some research on this problem and arrange a follow up plan so you can see that your beloved pets DO recieve the care and love they deserve.  You can begin by typing "Free to good home" in Google and see the extent of risk of doing this.  Pet-abuse.com has some great articles on this.


Gendercide - The Social Pathology of Kneeling to the Man-God Mythos

Vermont is once again ranked as the least religious state in the country. Over half the people in our state are less likely to believe in God than the rest of the country. However, being the least religious state doesn’t stop the sectarian denominations from their power struggles for domain over man, land and beast. The upshot is that our state is a target for overt religious proselytizing.


Open Letter to President Maduro

Dear President Maduro, slanderous Western media, promoting war and violence for capital gains of the mercilessly amoral automaton functioning speculative interest banking industry, has put you in their spotlight to better target you with defamation. This is then your opportunity to be heard a bit world-wide. In telling the truth about the USA, you will be protecting all of us, Venezuela included.


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