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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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State News

State News section

Sanders Announces $1.2 Million in Health Center Funds for Substance Abuse Treatment in Vermont

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.


Notes From The Senate - S.241 Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

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.


S. 241 First Senate Vote

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


Vermont Senate Update- Marijauna Vote Today

Dear Friends,

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.


Secretary of State Jim Condos Brings Transparency Tour to Brattleboro

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.


Bruce Lisman?

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?


New VA Program Helps Disabled Veterans

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.


Vermonter Derails

"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 Shumlin Announces He Won't Run For Another Term

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.


Notes of Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast - 5/15/12015 - The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)


Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast, May 15,  2015, Gibson-Aiken Center  

The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)
Kate O’Connor, Chairperson  oconnorkatevt@gmail.com

Note: The Next NDCAP Meeting will be held  May 28, 2015, 6pm - 9pm, Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS),  multipurpose room.

The 19 member panel includes six citizen representatives, two Entergy reps, representation from the  Vermont agency and department heads as well as reps from NH and MA.  Since it’s organizational meeting last September 14th, it has met regularly, more often than the legislatively mandated quarterly meetings.  Kate acknowledged Martin Langeveld, of Vernon, also a citizen member of the panel, and elected Vice-Chair.


Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation - May 15th - Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation

The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)

The next Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast is planned for Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.

Kate O’Connor will speak in her capacity as Chairperson of the The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP).

With Vermont Yankee closing by the end of this year, the Legislature and Governor believed an advisory panel with more citizen representation squarely focused on decommissioning and site restoration issues at Vermont Yankee would be helpful.


Ethnocide in the Green Mountain State

While this is an event, it's such short notice I'm posting it as more of a PSA. A presentation by Prof. Fred Wiseman in Bradford, VT tomorrow (Sat., 04/24/2015) at 1 pm... this is a story which has not been told as openly as it merits.

Not just history, this is the ongoing situation of the Western Abenaki, the indigenous people who lived - and live - right here. Vermont, the poster child for tolerance and progressive politics, can do better. Link here.


Forum on Whetstone Brook Flooding

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development, along with Windham Regional Commission, is hosting a Community Forum on Monday, April 20, from 7pm to 9pm at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro.  The forum is part of the Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative, which is working to develop recommendations to reduce flooding along the Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro.

Over the past six months, the VERI team has combined the community input with the work of river scientists to develop preliminary recommendations to improve public safety and help residents and businesses near the Whetstone Brook to quickly bounce back from future floods. At the forum, the team will share what they’ve learned and seek feedback on the draft report and recommended projects.


Wood Heating Initiative Brings Local, Renewable Heat to Windham County’s Public Buildings

State Awards $1.6 Million to Fund Conversions from Oil and Propane

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT: A new state-funded initiative will help Windham County convert the heating systems in schools and municipal buildings from oil to locally sourced, renewable heat from high-efficiency wood heat systems. Windham Wood Heat’s near-term goal is to convert 20 schools and public buildings to wood heat, while its long-term goals are to make the county a hub of advanced-wood heating technology and strengthen the local forest economy.


A Carbon Pollution Tax - Is It Right For Vermont?

Vermonters know global warming is happening now, and they are concerned about the impacts of climate change on future generations. Extreme weather events like Irene – which exacted a huge price on people’s lives and their pocketbooks – portend the kind of devastation we can expect from a warming world. Solutions that match the magnitude of the problem – and can turn this challenge into opportunity – are needed now.

There is a growing, diverse coalition – Energy Independent Vermont – working to do just that by calling for putting a price on carbon pollution. A fair, strong, carefully crafted tax on carbon pollution can accomplish three important goals:


Notes From the Senate - Week 10

One of the things I love about chairing Senate Government Operations is that the subject matter is very diverse - municipal issues, elections, the structure of government, regulation of the professions, and just about anything else. This last week the Senate voted on a bill, S.66, that addresses the needs of the deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. It was one of the many diverse issues before our committee.

While many realize that is has been an issue in Vermont for a long time, the closure of Austine School and the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing brought it to the forefront. Over the past few weeks, our committee took testimony from state agencies, educators, spokespeople for the Deaf community, parents of deaf children and members of the Deaf community.


Bringing Back The Montreal Train

Montreal Here We ComeThe Vermont Rail Action Network reported in their newsletter Thursday that there’s been some movement in the effort to bring back the train from Vermont to Montreal.  According to Christopher Parker, executive director of VRAN, Vermont was granted a “pre-clearance customs agreement” that, if approved, will help to ensure that customs delays don’t happen at the border.  Given that there is currently no train, this recent development might seem to be putting the cart before the horse, but perhaps it’s just a sign of things to come.

According to Parker, Senator Leahy was instrumental in making this happen, as he serves on both the Judiciary Committee (which has jurisdiction over Customs & Border Patrol) and the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. Obtaining this pre-clearance agreement required that the Secretary of Homeland Security as well as the Canadian Minister of Public Safety meet in Washington to sign it.  It’s not a done deal though — both the US Congress and the Canadian Parliament have to approve it before it comes into effect.


Notes from the Senate - Firearms

This week the Judiciary Committee on which I serve passed out a couple bills but one was major, had a lot of emotion and controversy and misinformation, took a lot of time and in the end I believe we had a good bill. At the beginning of the session, S.31 was introduced. Rather than amend and pass it, the decision of Chair Sears was to create a committee bill that contained essential parts of the bill. There are three main components.


Economic Development Pitch Night with Lt. Governor Phil Scott

On behalf of both the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Lt. Governor Phil Scott, we wish to invite you to attend the Southern Vermont Regional Economic Pitch Night.  The event will be held at Vernon Elementary School in Vernon from 4pm-6pm on Monday, March 9th.

Southeastern Vermont has done extensive analyzing of and strategic planning for growing the Windham Regional economy through development of our Federally approved Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies.  Now you are also invited to present ideas to legislators on how to move the Vermont State economy forward. Presentations will be limited to 5 minutes per person.  This is an opportunity to provide positive ideas for improving Vermont's economy, and hopefully encourage new legislation.


iBrattleboro Poll

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