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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

State News


State News section

Governor Shumlin Appoints BDCC's Moulton As Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary

GOV. SHUMLIN MAKES KEY STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS

MONTPELIER -- April 10, 2014 -- Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced two key staff appointments integral to his efforts to strengthen Vermont’s economy by growing jobs, helping to contain rising health care costs and reform health care delivery, and ushering in a universal, publicly-financed health care system in Vermont.

Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary Lawrence Miller will become Senior Advisor to the Governor and Chief of Health Care Reform. In this capacity, Miller will be tasked with overseeing the state’s health care reform efforts and transition to Green Mountain Care. He will report directly to the Governor.

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Designated Agencies Opposing SSA Medicaid Funding Designation for Pathways Vermont

Vermont State House(cross-posted to Green Mountain Daily, here; original version posted to Vermont Watch, here)

It was recently learned that Pathways Vermont, a housing first program currently serving six different regions within the state, is pursuing Specialized Service Agency (SSA) Medicaid funding designation status as a way to replace the federal grant funds the housing first program will be losing later this year, to the tune of $600,000.

Read the Pathways Vermont SSA designation application letter, here.

It is my understanding that this SSA designation status, if granted, would permit Pathways Vermont to receive medicaid funding the program currently does not have access to and of which the Designated Agencies (DA's: i.e., Community Mental Health Centers: CMHC's) basically have enjoyed what amounts to a virtual monopoly when it comes to these type of program and service funds.

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Vermont Official Warns U.S. Senate Panel: Don't Let Transportation Funding Run Out

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27 – Testifying at the invitation of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Vermont Agency of Transportation Deputy Secretary Sue Minter warned a Senate panel today that a looming shortfall in federal transportation funding could put people out of work in Vermont and “tip the balance of our fragile economic recovery.”

Projects slated for this construction season could be cancelled unless Congress acts soon to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to be depleted by July.

“Reducing or eliminating transportation projects translates into job losses in the construction industry,” Minter told the Senate public works committee. “In a small state like ours, this can tip the balance on our fragile economic recovery.”

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State Rail Plan Meeting - Increase Passenger Train Service In Connecticut River Valley?

From the Vermont Rail Action Network - a call to discuss additional train service in the region. Is it important? They are having a meeting and would like to know what you think.

….

"Tuesday's meeting in Brattleboro is an important chance to demonstrate public support for additional trains in the Connecticut River Valley.

The meeting will be 6:30 pm, March 25 in the community room at Brattleboro Savings & Loan (221 Main Street, across the street from the library).

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First Major Test Hurdled for Paid Sick Day Legislation

The Paid Sick Day (H.208) legislation that would require all employers to permit employees to earn up to five paid sick days per year has passed it's first major hurdle.  It was voted out of its first committee appearance (Housing and Military Affairs, and don't ask me why there) by a strong 6-1 margin.  It has now moved to the House Appropriations Committee.  

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Bill to Hinder Info Gathering in Vermont

A few weeks ago, January 28th, four Vt House legislators introduced a bill to hinder information gathering in Vermont.  

There are four sponsors from four perspectives:  Rep Davis-Hatch Progressive from the NE Kingdom, Rep Zagar, Dem from Windsor, Rep Komline, Repub from Rutland and W. Stevens, Ind. from Addison.  The bill's number is H.732.  It will not have time to get through this session and will have to be re-introduced next year (the slate is wiped clean at the end of every biennium) if the sponsors or others choose.  Here is the link.

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Intro/H-732.pdf

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Vermont Legislative Pay

(originally posted to Vermont Watch, here)

Received the following information from a legislative council staff member this morning in response to an inquiry of mine from earlier this month that included questions concerning legislative pay and the like for members of the Vermont Legislature:

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Governor Shumlin's Budget Address 2014

Budget Address
Governor Peter Shumlin
January 15, 2014

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, and fellow Vermonters:
Good things are happening all across our great state. Vermont’s unemployment rate is the fifth lowest in America, and the lowest this side of the Mississippi. Jobs have rebounded from the depths of the recession, with over 11,000 new jobs created since I first spoke to you three years ago. In the last year alone, we have seen 2,000 jobs created in our manufacturing and professional services sectors, with our wages rising faster than inflation.

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VTA Forum On Cell & Broadband To Be Held Wednesday, January 22nd From 10 - 12 Noon

Cell phone, fiber optic, and broadband infrastructure projects are vital to businesses, families and educational sites in the Windham Region. The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) will hold a public forum at the Newbrook Fire Department (698 Route 30) on Wednesday, January 22nd from 10 a.m. until noon. The Windham Regional Commission invited the VTA to explain numerous telecommunications infrastructure improvement projects already underway in the region and those planned for the future. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is also active in the Windham Region. The director of its Digital Economy Project will also be at the forum to talk about what they're working on in the region and to answer questions.

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Governor Shumlin's State of the State Address - Full Text

Vermont has gotten a fair amount of attention for the Governor's speech. Here's the full text of Governor Shumlin's State of the State address, which is primarily a discussion of heroin and opiate addiction. 

.....

GOV. SHUMLIN'S 2014 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, members of our National Guard, and fellow Vermonters:

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your governor. We are lucky to live in the best state in the Union, where people work hard, trust and take care of each other, and strive to keep Vermont a place where our children and grandchildren will grow up and thrive. The state of our state is strong and growing stronger. Vermonters are working. Companies are expanding. Home values are rising. Opportunities for good jobs are growing. We enjoy the fifth lowest unemployment rate in America. We’ve added over 11,000 jobs since I first spoke to you three years ago. As I crisscross Vermont, most people I meet are hopeful and optimistic about the direction our economy is headed.

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Vermont Council on Rural Development honors Orly Munzing of Strolling of the Heifers with 2013 Community Leadership Award

The Vermont Council on Rural Development has presented its 2013 Vermont Community Leadership Award to Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers.

The award was announced on Tuesday, Dec. 17 during the Council’s 2013 Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vt.

Presenting the award was Bob Ackland, VCRD Board Chair, together with Chuck Ross, VCRD Board member and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, and Roger Allbee, former Secretary of Agriculture. 

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Proposed Statewide Policy on Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (Tasers): Public Comment Deadline 12/4/2013

Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB) Proposed Statewide Policy on Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs: aka Stun Guns aka Tasers; documents available online via Google Drive; no sign in required; 15 pages, including background information page), here.

Public Comment DeadlineWednesday, December 4, 2013

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Tomorrow's White Elephants

Driving through the Texas panhandle en route to southern California last March, hundreds of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) stretch to the horizon, a dramatic addition to an otherwise flat, uninhabited, drought seared landscape. Fast forward to Vermont, where David Blittersdorf and company want to ride roughshod over communities and towns to develop two hundred miles of pristine ridge lines yesterday. The big picture, as I see it, calls for prudence in the face of climate change hysteria, and an appreciation of place. The cons outweigh the pros in terms of wind energy in Vermont.

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Windham Region Organizations Testify to 2 Million Dollars in Immediate Needs Due To VY Closure

VERNON - On Monday October 28th, the Vermont House Commerce and House Natural Resources and Energy Committees held a joint hearing in Windham County to hear about community and economic impacts expected from the date certain closure of Vermont Yankee.

The Windham Regional Commission (WRC), Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), southeastern Vermont's regional development corporation, and the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) testified about the need for full decommissioning, urgent economic development needs, and the plans they have developed to meet those needs, in the Windham Region. All three organizations are poised to work on the rebuilding of the Windham regional economy in the face of the loss of jobs, payroll and business activity resulting from the closure. The regional organizations estimate their immediate mitigation financial needs at 2.3 million dollars.

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Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast - October 18, 2013 - Notes from - Gun Sense VT: a sensible approach?

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast, October 18, 2013, Gibson-Aiken Center - Brattleboro VT

Notes from - Gun Sense VT: a sensible approach?

Presenter:  Ann Braden - gunsensevt@gmail.com 

http://gunsensevt.org/ 

“The District of Vermont's efforts to combat firearms violence in the state are shaped by two realities. First, federal law enforcement has a unique responsibility to combat the acquisition and possession of firearms by criminals in Vermont because the state has no laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by persons prohibited under federal law. Second, the most pervasive form of violent crime in the state results from domestic disputes.”

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