Transportation Board holds Brattleboro Forum on Rail
The Vermont Transportation Board at 6 p.m. on November 9 will hold a public forum in Brattleboro on transportation policy associated with trains, both passenger and freight. The Board wants to discuss railroad related issues with the public – including rail-side economic development and the possible initiation of commuter rail service to Massachusetts – to determine how future policy can be shaped to best position Vermont’s rail interests to meet the needs of the state residents.
The forum, which will be held at the Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center at 10 Vernon Street, is one of seven such public conversations the Board is holding around the state. Topics the Board plans to discuss include:
Vermont will be recognizing Indigenous People's Day. Governor Peter Shumlin made it official:
"State of Vermont Executive Department A Proclamation
WHEREAS, Indigenous People's Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas; and
WHEREAS, a growing number of cities and towns in the United States have recognized the second Monday of October as "Indigenous People's Day, re-imagining Columbus Day as an opportunity to celebrate indigenous heritage and resiliency; and
Early and Absentee Voting Started Today in Vermont! Please vote your conscience!
I'm voting for myself, Cris Ericson for U.S. Senator; and I will also vote for Randy A. Gray for State Senator in Windsor 3-1, Dan Feliciano for Auditor of Accounts, and Rosemarie Jackowski for Attorney General.
I can honestly say I have met Rosemarie, Randy and Dan in person and have spoken with them, and trust them to be very good people. I am also facebook friends with Galen P. Dively III of St. Johnsbury, Vermont area, and he is on the ballot up there for State Senator. I would vote for him if I lived up in the North East Kingdom.
Believers of all affiliations are on the move. Their fluidity to channel into areas where disbelievers are the majority stems from having at their back generations of believers and accrued wealth and power that drives the machinery responsible for their boundless missionary work.
Areas of this country with the least religious Americans are clustered here in the northeast. In a February 2016 Pew Research Center study its writers and social scientists found that in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts only one-third of the populations are religious. Pew measured the extent of religious observance by “worship attendance, prayer frequency, belief in God, and the self-described importance of religion in one’s life.” Meanwhile, Pew also found that an overall growing share of Americans also self-identify as atheists.
In the profiles of the lieutenant governor candidates on Vt Digger: http://vtdigger.org/2016/07/24/smith-focuses-on-downtown-vitality-child-... , Shap Smith states that he supports "the construction of buildings 160 feet high" in Burlington. Folks, that ttranslates into 16 story buildings! Hardly sounds human scale to this former big city dweller! Just wanted to draw this to peoples' attention.
My name is Cris Ericson and I will appear on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot for the United States Marijuana Party if I lose the Democratic Primary election on Aug. 9, 2016.I am deeply disappointed in the Vermont Democratic Party because I have been excluded from the majority of candidate debates and forums for gubernatorial candidates, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has refused to debate me for the U.S. Senate seat in this primary election Aug. 9, 2016.
Government should not be of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, but that is what is going on in Vermont because candidates for governor and U.S. Senate without large campaign budgets are excluded from the majority of debates and forums, or denied any participation in democracy at all, as in the case of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy refusing to debate me.
Governor Shumlin Awards $450k for Bradley House Renovations
Brattleboro, VT—Governor Peter Shumlin awarded $450,000 yesterday to the Town of Brattleboro for renovations and an expansion of Bradley House, a Level III Residential Care Home located on Harris Avenue. The planned renovations will enhance the property’s capacity, accessibility and safety.
The award, recommended by the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP); and confirmed by Vermont Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Patricia Moulton; was presented by the Governor at a Bradley House ceremony. Approximately 50 people were on-hand to witness the presentation of awards to Brattleboro and six other recipients.
I received a request from Paul Cillo asking if I would help disseminate this report from Public Assets Institute. I am pleased to oblige. I've followed Public Assets for quite a while and it is, as far as I can see, the most thorough and clear-eyed analysis of Vermont economics. I find the data very accurate and the commentary and analysis quite sharp and insightful. The particular report to which this note refers provides a wonderfully comprehensive snapshot of what is going on in the state. Here it is:
Award will support HCRS’ work to help the severely disabled
Springfield, VT, April 8, 2016 – Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), the second largest community mental health center in Vermont, announced today that the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small and Inspiring grant program has awarded HCRS a $2,500 grant. The award recognizes HCRS’ mission to provide creative, collaborative, and compassionate health care services and will support its Shared Living Providers program, which provides homes for clients with developmental disabilities.
“Small and Inspiring projects remind us of the importance of community,” said Jen Peterson, vice president for program and grants at the Community Foundation. “As we are confronted daily with news stories that incite feelings of fear and distrust, we are honored to support work that brings us together and nourishes the social fabric of our Vermont communities.”
Valley News is reporting that Trans Canada is planning on selling dams along the Connecticut River:
"West Lebanon — As part of its effort to finance a new Houston-based natural gas acquisition, Trans Canada Hydro Northeast is looking to sell its New England power generation business, including its hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River.
At stake are not only some of the most lucrative assets on the river, but control of a critical natural resource in the Twin States. The Wilder, Bellows Falls and Vernon, Vt. dams are among the assets Trans Canada plans to sell."
More here. Seems like they see a future in pipelines instead.
BURLINGTON, Vt., March 11 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,240,794 to four community health centers in Vermont. The health centers will use this new federal funding to expand access to substance abuse treatment.
The Vermont awards are part of $94 million to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services announced today by HHS for 271 community health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The funds were authorized by a Sanders provision in the Affordable Care Act that provided $11 billion in funding for community health centers across the country.
Last week the Senate voted to pass a bill that would allow legalization and regulation of marijuana. It will be posted on the Legislative website by the end of the week. It is S.241 as passed by the Senate. Here are some of the reasons I sponsored and voted for the bill, and some of the highlights - what it is and what it isn't.
For many years I have felt that our policy of prohibition has not worked - not for youth, for law enforcement and not for the citizens who have become criminals because of it. In 2014 the Rand group was commissioned to report on the potential for legalization in Vermont. In 2015 the Government Operations committee, which I chair, took testimony on the report and how it should be done in Vermont if it was to be done. We heard from everyone who had something to say - no one was denied a voice. From those hearings, Senator Benning (who is also on the committee) and I cosponsored S241. In January 2016 it went to the Judiciary Committee where testimony was taken. At the beginning of the session, Senator Sears, Chair, stated that there was no way he would vote for legalization. After hearing all the testimony and the facts, he changed his mind and became a strong supporter of legalization and regulation. As happens with all bills, it is different than it was as introduced.
The risk of talking publicly before you have all the facts. Apologies for jumping to conclusions about Sen. Balint's vote. She supported final Senate passage.
Windham County voters- Please look up the first vote on Wed by the Senate on S.241, the marijuana legalization bill. Our Senator, Becca Balint, voted against it. Jeanette White voted in favor and she has championed this bill from the start. We need to remember this at election time
I have been working on reforming our cannabis laws for over a decade, including leading the efforts to allow its use for medical purposes. Today S.241, "An act relating to personal possession and cultivation of cannabis and the regulation of commercial cannabis establishments," heads to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.
This bill has passed through many senate committees and been amended many times. While it may not completely represent our goals for cannabis reform it represents a huge shift from no regulation to a regulated and managed product.
Several amendments will be offered today as the bill is debated on the Senate floor. I will be offering one, co-sponsored by Senator Rogers, which would allow for individuals to cultivate for personal use.
Monday, November 9th at 6pm
Montpelier, VT—Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is continuing his third biennial Transparency Tour with a stop in Brattleboro on Monday, November 9, 2015. The presentation, focusing on laws about open and transparent government, will be held at Brattleboro Town Hall at 6pm.
“Since taking office, one of my main priorities has been transparency in government. I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit communities all over the state and discuss open meeting and public records laws with municipal and state officials, local government boards, and the public,” stated Condos.
Newly announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lisman is calling for a two-year moratorium on new industrial renewable generation projects.
He calls solar arrays “eyesores”. I suppose he sees beauty in nuclear and fossil fuel generating stations.
What is his real agenda?
Program Shown to Reduce Hospital Stays, Improve Quality of Life for Veterans Comes to Vermont and New Hampshire:
A national Veterans Administration program that keeps disabled veterans out of the hospital and improves their quality of life is coming to Vermont and New Hampshire.
The Medical Foster Home program, based at the regional VA headquarters in White River Junction, is aimed at veterans who are no longer able to live independently, placing them in homecare settings with a qualified single adult or a family. Sponsored by 113 VA’s around the country, the program has served over 3,100 veterans since it was created in 2000.
"The news" is reporting that the Vermonter, our Amtrak connection, derailed about near Northfield/Roxbury, VT, 10 miles or so south of Montpelier. Minor injuries, no fatalities reported. 98 people on board. Brattleboro rescue folks going to help.
Governor Peter Shumlin just held a press conference to announce he will not be running... for governor of Vermont in the next election. He says he's accomplished his goals, according to WCAX.