"Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks." - Goethe

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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


Politics section

iBrattleboro Interview Update: John Allen & Donna Macomber

Questions were sent to all three candidates running for Selectboard. As of Friday afternoon, neither Donna Macomber nor John Allen has replied.

If either answers the questions, we'll post them here for the enlightenment of voters.


iBrattleboro Interview: David Gartenstein

David Gartenstein is running for a one-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard. We asked him some questions, and his answers follow. Election day is Tuesday, March 3rd.


- What lessons would you say you have you learned since joining the board? 

Serving as a member of the Selectboard, and as Chair, have reinforced for me the vital importance of ensuring that everyone is heard with respect.  We face many competing priorities in Brattleboro, and our goal should be to achieve what is best for the town and its residents given our limited resources.


Official "Proposed Brattleboro Charter Amendment Information Sheet"


Proposed amendments to Brattleboro’s Charter are on the March 3, 2015 ballot. The Brattleboro Selectboard asks you to consider the following when voting. 


Brattleboro’s Town Meeting is both participatory and representative democracy. Up to 155 residents get elected and gather annually to make budget and policy decisions for the Town. It is anti-democratic to ban Brattleboro residents from Town Meeting because they have attended 6 years in a row. Term limits would bar many residents who now attend Town Meeting, and the institutional memory they bring with them would be lost. Right now there are 25 open Town Meeting slots, so anyone interested in joining already can. Term limits actually could empty out Town Meeting so there would not even be a quorum. 


Proposed Charter Amendment Fact Sheet

The Brattleboro Selectboard has drafted and is considering adopting and mailing the following "Fact Sheet" related to the proposed Charter changes on the upcoming March ballot. The mailing to all residences will cost under $3000.

Below you'll find an attachment that included the draft text being considered, as it appeared in the Selectboard meeting materials for their February 17 meeting, to be held later tonight. If approved, you will also get a copy in the mail.


Welch Announces Legislation To Spur Use of Modern Wood Heating Systems

Bipartisan initiative would boost Vermont’s biomass industry

Burlington, VT—This afternoon in Montpelier, Rep. Peter Welch announced bipartisan legislation that would make it more affordable for Vermonters to install wood heating systems in their homes or businesses.

The Biomass Thermal Utilization(BTU) Act would expand the existing renewable energy tax credit to include wood, or “biomass thermal,” heating systems. Welch made the announcement at National Life Group’s Montpelier campus. The company installed a wood heating system in 2010 that has reduced its carbon footprint by 45 percent and heating costs by 50 percent.


Can You Hear Me Now?

Wait a second!

Hold on!

Did Tom go rogue?

Did he have an epiphany? 

First a little background :

Tom Wheeler, was appointed by Obama, to be the FCC chairman. He could not be more of a corporate insider. Prior to this post Tom was the CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association for 12 years. Before that he served as president of the National Cable Television Association, a cable lobbying shop. "He's beloved in the telecom industry.”


Brattleboro Early/Absentee Ballots, Voter Registration and Town Clerk Hours

Early/absentee ballots for Annual Town and Town School District election to be held on March 3, are now available in the Brattleboro town clerk's office. Anyone wishing to vote prior to March 3, may apply for an early/absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 2.

Early/absentee ballots may be voted in person in the clerk's office, mailed to the voter by the clerk's office, picked up by the voter or delivered to the voter's residence by two justices of the peace. All voted ballots must be received by the clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted.


Obama Signs Bill on Veterans Suicides

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was at the White House today when President Barack Obama signed legislation to address suicides among veterans.

“This bill says loudly and clearly that we understand suicide among veterans is a national tragedy and it begins the process of addressing the problem,” said Sanders, who headed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee when the panel late last year passed the measure.

Twenty-two veterans a day, on average, take their own lives. “The suicide rate, especially among young veterans, is tragically high and we have to do everything we can get these veterans timely access to the quality of care they have earned and deserve,” Sanders said.


Welch Responds to President's War Authorization Request

Washington, DC – This morning, President Obama sent Congress a plan to authorize the use of force against ISIS. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) gave the following response after reviewing the proposal:

“Congress has been ducking its Constitutional responsibility to authorize this war so I am pleased that the President is now forcing Congress to do its job. However, I cannot support this authorization as written. It leaves in place the Bush-era open ended authorization that led to so much harm.


Sanders Statement on War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after President Barack Obama formally asked Congress to authorize a military campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group:

“The Islamic State is a brutal and dangerous terrorist organization which has murdered thousands of innocent men, women and children, including Americans. It must be defeated.

“I voted against the war in Iraq because I feared very much the destabilizing impact it would have on the region. Today, after 13 years in Afghanistan and 12 years in Iraq, after the loss of almost 7,000 troops and the expenditure of trillions of dollars, I very much fear U.S. involvement in an expanding and never-ending quagmire in that region of the world.


Gub'mint Interference - Unclean Hands!

From the BBC

US senator questions forcing food workers to wash hands:

A US senator has suggested that restaurants should not have to make their employees wash their hands after toilet visits.

Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, made the comments on Monday during a speech criticising business regulations.

"Let them decide" such issues, the newly elected lawmaker said.


The Koch Brothers Primary

BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 24 – Potential Republican presidential candidates are hobnobbing this weekend with politically potent billionaires at an invitation-only gathering in Palm Springs, California, that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others have called “the Koch brothers primary.”

Four Republican hopefuls – looking to line up benefactors to bankroll their campaigns – are participating in mostly closed-door meetings of millionaires and billionaires assembled by Charles and David Koch, the industrial tycoons who control the second largest family fortune in the United States.


Presidential Hopefuls - Stage Left or Right

No one on the political horizon can stir my voting allegiance. And, no one ever has. My vote like so many other voters goes to the lesser evil. Too often the greatest pull is to not vote at all.Now that 2016 presidential hopefuls are at stage left or right, no one captures my undivided interest.

Take Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s Senator who is dancing on the edge of the presidential hat ring. At first glance, his recent 12-point national economic program enumerates what many in our state would expect from him: job creation, wages, unions, in-sourcing, climate and fossil fuel concerns, trade policies, equal pay, break up big banks, wealth disparity, Medicare-for-all, Social Security and tax reform – all quintessential Bernie.


Sanders Announces Winners of State of the Union Essay Contest - Brattleboro's Taggard Takes Second Place

BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 19 – With President Barack Obama set to deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced the winner and top finalists in his annual State of the Union essay contest for Vermont high school students.

Leo Lehrer-Small, a sophomore at Mount Mansfield Union High School, was named the winner of the contest, which was judged by a panel of four Vermont teachers. Sanders called to congratulate Lehrer-Small on Friday.

Ryan Taggard of Brattleboro Union High School finished in second place. Two students – Craig Pelsor of Milton High School and Hadley Menk of Champlain Valley Union High School – tied for third place. (The full list of finalists is below.)


Pirates of the Mediterranean

I read an interesting article in an older NY Times about ancient terrorism.

The author, Robert Harris is talking about the year 68 BC. He begins: “the world’s only military superpower was dealt a profound psychological blow by a daring terrorist attack on its very heart. Rome’s port at Ostia was set on fire, the consular war fleet destroyed, and two prominent senators, together with their bodyguards and staff, kidnapped.”

He continues: “ in the panicky aftermath of the attack, the Roman people made decisions that set them on the path to the destruction of their Constitution, their democracy and their liberty.”


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