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.
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.
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)
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!
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.
After spending some time with the dictionary trying to find the terms that best describe me, progressive, radical, activist, I find that I do not wear any of these hats well. My mission is awareness, critical thinking, free speech and some personal ownership for the world we live in. In fact I founded a corporation in 2010 called The Awareness Initiative Inc., to do exactly that.
Upstate Vermont, central Vermont, Albany New York area, and multiple parts of New Hampshire have experianced in some cases over six inches of rain in the last few days. New Hampshire and New York have decleared states of emergency to deal with well over thirty roads made unpassible as a result of these rains. All this disaster going on and not even a minute of news coverage last night.
A few years ago the similar damage occured and it made national news. It seems that this is the new normal. Flooding and destructive storms everyday. Some place in the USA is facing some type of natural disaster. This seems big news to me yet it is becoming so common that I hear people in the blogs saying they are tired of hearing about it.
I remember hearing the term, "melting pot" used to describe America. That was back in the '60s.
The idea was that America takes all sorts of disparate human parts from Europe, Africa, and Asia, and melts them down into an ingot called an American. All traces of your old self were to disappear as you took on the new identity.
That was the theory. Of course, America was "whiter" back then.
Now, depending on who you listen to America either soon will, or already has passed the point where European Americans are the majority.
I read a short report in today's Brattleboro Reformer about an "assaultive student" at the Austine School who was cited into court for simple assault and disorderly conduct. It's the second one in recent memory. A previous report sounded much more threatening, and was more detailed, but either way, there's something that doesn't sit well with me in reading about police being called for student discipline. As with so many other things, it's not the way it used to be when I was a kid.
The Brattleboro Retreat, although not recently, has also relied on the police to take authority over unruly or combative youth and there have been past incidents where those youthful patients were tasered into compliance.
Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political critic and activist. He is an institute professor and professor emeritus in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. History educator Daniel Falcone spoke with Chomsky in his Cambridge office on May 14.
He has some interesting, iconoclastic ideas on a lot of things. Here are a few excerpts from this interview.
Wilmington, where my house is got 2 inches of snow, northern Vermont received between 4 and 15 inches of snow, and Whiteface Mountain in New York received 3 feet of snow!!
is Brattleboro giving tax breaks to a group of millionaires who bought the
Brooks House and want to put in luxury apartments? What if the project fails? If the
project goes belly up, what is the financial guarantee to the town? Will the
town contiue to pay rent to Brooks house for the Harmony lot? Will the town
recoup the thousands of dollars it has already put into the Brooks house?
I encourage taxpayers
to write to the Selectboard and oppose the subsidie for millionaires.
2012 will be remembered as an extraordinarily difficult year for Brattleboro residents. Since January the Vermont Legislature has voted out of committee to increase the state education tax rate by five cents; to increase the gas tax by two cents with another eight cent increase in the future; and to tax any drink containing sugar at one cent per ounce that will add thirty-three cents to the price of a liter.
At the local level property owners will be hit with a projected utility budget deficit of $600,000; the annual increase in the water and sewer rates for the new treatment plant; the increase in property taxes for the new fire and police station; the increase in the town operating budget; the increase in the town school budget; and the increase in the BUHS budget. Adding to the taxpayer’s misery is a town grand list that has flat-lined.
What is a homeowner suppose to do?
March 5; Tuesday is Brattleboro's citizens chance to take action and vote for the directions each feels best for our town. Brattleboro is a nice place to live. It has many challenges needing to be addressed. I am in hopes that the many people of this town take the time to vote. So many of us have so many opinions of what is good for the town and what is not good for our town.