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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

Opinion


For opinion pieces on any topic.

Doggie Doo's and Don'ts

Municipalities pass ordinances that require dog owners to pick up their doggie doos with a plastic bag and then throw it into the trash.  Now who the heck thought of this?  It’s actually much worse for the environment than leaving the poop where it is because microbes break down the poop and it’s good for the soil.  That is where poop is supposed to go. That’s the way nature intended. 

Enclosing that natural fertilizer in plastic and disposing it in the trash will prevent it from breaking down and puts more plastic into the waste stream. Dumb, dumb, dumb.  If anything, dog walkers need to have access to a garden trowel and simply scoop up some soil to cover the doo.  Or simply use a piece of a branch or stone that has the right shape for the job.  There is no need to go against nature.  It is easier if we go in harmony with it.  Stupidity is hammering the environment and we all bear the consequences because of someone’s ignorance in office. “Selectmen” - please think before making stupid ordinances. 

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Dave Zuckerman: No Fortunate Son

Fellow Working Vermonters,

I am a former District Vice President and Member-At-Large of the Vermont AFL-CIO (UAW Local 1981). As such, I know there is only one candidate for Lieutenant Governor who has the backs of working class Vermonters; State Senator David Zuckerman. Dave has walked picket lines with me. He, like Bernie Sanders, has fought like hell (against the Democratic & Republican establishment) for livable wages, healthcare for all, and for the rights of union & non-union workers.

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My Prediction (West River Interstate Bridge)

You heard it here from me first: my prediction as a citizen observer is that the West River interstate bridge will not be completed until August/September 2020.

That's with every single last thing done: boths side, lines on the pavement, all construction equipment removed, landscaping done, everything. My prediction is that Labor Day weekend 2020 will be the grand opening completion celebration.

This isn't a diss to the project, it's just stating my prediction based on how long it has taken thus far and how far they realistically still have to go, that it won't be done until Labor Day weekend 2020.

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Chemtrails - This Time A Lawsuit Pending

"This is truly an assault upon all life on earth."

"They're trying to obscure the severity of what's unfolding from the public as long as possible."

"What our government and other governments are doing and their agencies are doing are trying desperately to hide the magnitude of what's unfolding till the last possible moment, at which time total collapse ensues."

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Externalities

I awoke this morning, and turned on the radio. It was the ending of the Thom Hartman show on KVT.

A caller was discussing what he called “externalities”

 [Factors whose costs are not reflected in the market price of goods and services. Externalities are a loss in the welfare of one party resulting from an activity of another party, without there being any compensation for the losing party. Externalities are an important consideration in cost-benefit analysis.   (businessdictionary.com)]

Hartmann commented that the American business model calls for privatizing the profits and socializing the externalities.

He cited two examples:

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Broadband Choices in Brattleboro?

My $39.99/month Comcast internet promo ends this month. Normal price is $67/month, so I need an alternative. I scoured the web for DSL and fiber optic availability and pricing. Unfortunately, that info is published no where, so I contacted potential companies directly and compared services.

There's three residential broadband providers in town- 2 DSL, 1 Cable Internet. Only 1 out of 3 companies offers transparant pricing online. Ironically, it happens to be the most hated company in America, Comcast. Instead of capitalizing on that, the two relatively small, local DSL companies maintain a website circa 1995- no way to register for service, check prices, corresponding speeds, verify coverage area. Basically useless, secretive, uninformative websites.

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Celebrating Free Speech for My Birthday

I plan a short, peaceful vigil at the Brattleboro Post Office on my 70th Birthday.  

That should pretty much be a non-event in Brattleboro, where vigils and other expressive activity have regularly taken place on outdoor post office property for decades.  But recent threats of arrest for expressive behavior on outdoor Brattleboro Post Office property, does make this a bit special.  

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Take The "U" Out Of JUKRISLIMS!

The misappropriation of 'Unitarian' into the collective initialism of JUKRISLIMS remains one of the worst things to happen to human spirituality since the days of Leviticus.

Lumping Unitarians in with Christians is the same to me as lumping Unitarians in with the Jews, and lumping us in with Mohammedans and Krishna worshippers is even worse. Doing so has effectively denied Unitarian people a rightful place of their own, and has jeopardized our future. It would be equally offensive to me if Republicans had misappropriated our Unitarian lifestyle.

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What Brattleboro Really Needs Is A Food Co-op

A real food co-op just like the one we used to know. One where most of the work is done by working members. One where most of the produce is local. One where you can’t select from over 100 varieties of wine or countless designer beers. One where most of the food is nitty-gritty real food, affordable by ordinary people, not high end gourmet stuff.

 What we have now is indistinguishable from a Whole Foods Market or a Trader Joes, except our prices are a little higher.

I’ve been a member of the Co-op since the days on Flat Street. As I’ve watched the “devolution”, I’ve watched the prices go up.

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"What You Been Smoking?"

Speaking rhetorically about legalizing marijuana, I hear the repeating theme that VT needs to do it right, especially every time CO and WA is brought up.

But I have wondered of late, how it is that we can do it wrong?

The unbiased reports from CO especially, and WA all report the upshot results of marijuana legalization are very favorable by every indicator. Yet, except for the deranged Patrick 'Druggy' Kennedy's so-called Smart group it's not clear exactly what can go wrong.

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Brown & Roberts Year-End Sale — Gone!

When it was announced that Brown & Roberts Hardware was being sold, my first thought was, "there goes the year-end sale."  I shop at B&R year-round of course, but I especially liked the pre-inventory sale which, for decades, was held between Christmas and New Years.  The fact that everything in the store was discounted a bit was fun for the wallet, but I also enjoyed saving up a list of  things, often as mundane as a certain size of wood screw, a kitchen utensil, some glue, a weird wattage light bulb, which I could have bought at any time but didn't seem to get around to.  Then on around December 27 I'd go in and load up on cool, mostly useful, stuff, surrounded by other afficiandos doing the same.

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Transparency & the Judiciary

Since his office didn't post Senator Leahy's "comment...on the nomination of David Barron to serve on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals," I'll do the honors:

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of David Barron to Serve on the First Circuit Court of Appeals

May 6, 2014

“I applaud the administration for making available to all Senators the Justice Department memo regarding Anwar Al Awlaki.  All members of the Judiciary Committee were previously able to review this memo, and I am glad all Senators will have the opportunity to do so now.

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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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Cuba Sí, ZunZuneo No!

I have always been led to believe that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was a humanitarian agency, providing assistance to people around the world to improve their lives, not to overthrow their government (AKA “Regime Change”). Silly me!

According to the Associated Press, Yahoo News and other sources, an intelligence program, known as “ZunZuneo,” was created through a cleverly crafted network of unsuspecting executives and an offshore Cayman Islands bank account, all funded through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID.

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A Pet Peeve

Isn't it odd that the breasts, the amazingly life-sustaining part of the human body, are referred to as "boobs", the definitions of which are 1. "a foolish or stupid person", and 2. "an embarrassing mistake."

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The Stage for Change and Thoughts Going Forward - Brattleboro Taxes

I think everyone, including the Select and School Boards, recognizes that Brattleboro has a major property tax problem coupled with an imminent economic crisis. I think the Town needs to take aggressive steps toward a functional solution.

As the former head of the BUHS Board and its Finance Committee for 10 years, I/we faced a budget crisis every year. We recognized that there was an advocate for every budget dollar – and then some. I remember the public debate, scrutiny and pain we faced when we cut programs or tried to implement cost savings through change. We can no longer afford this brutal, slow process.

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My God, How The Money Rolls In!

Back in college we used to sing this bawdy song. One of the more presentable verses went:

My brother’s a poor missionary,

He saves fallen women from sin;

He’ll save you a blonde for ten dollars,

My God, how the money rolls in!

You get the idea.

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1984 - 30 Years Too Late

About a week ago, I was speaking with an old college buddy. He was reminiscing about a time when we both read George Orwell’s 1984 (everybody was reading it at the time). He sent me a You Tube link to a
film version released in 1956. Link

In the classic novel, Orwell describes a then-not-too-distant future where an oppressive totalitarian elite has perfected a system of social control based on perpetual warfare, manipulation of perceived reality, and total surveillance of the population. The servile obedience of the bureaucracy and the mindless poverty of the masses keeps them in power. (MHP)

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Patriots Have a Solution

I’ve been thinking about the FEMA bullet buy (which has been denied by the mainstream media until lately), and some of the new legislation and executive orders that have been issued such as the NDAA and the PATRIOT act, and it gets my fear glands all worked up.

I ran into a website that has all the answers: Obama’s hidden agenda: MUCH WORSE than The Gun Grab!

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Is There a Skatepark in Brattleboro's Future?

It should never have come to this.

A skatepark at Crowell Lot was about a safe place for kids to roll around on their bikes, scooters and skateboards, a wonderful plaza. It’s not a hog farm or a strip club.

Skating is a rare and magical sport, where athleticism and art come together. It’s a way to get your heart racing, to challenge yourself, to express yourself. It’s largely free and gets kids outdoors and unplugged. It fills an important void for kids that do not play team sports or competitive sports. Skating creates amazing social bonds for kids of different ages and economic backgrounds. There is nothing like it.

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