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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

Vermont Law: Handheld Devices While Driving

State transportation records show 379 crashes resulting from electronic distracted driving from 2009 through 2013. There was one fatality.

Vermont became the 13th state to bar all drivers from handheld cell phone use.

Vermont Law S.314 Starts October 1, 2014

>All uses of handheld devices banned while driving (cellphones, MP3 players, iPods, etc.)

>Drivers under 18 banned from using “all handheld and hands-free devices” while driving


"All About Transportation" Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Notes - June 27, 2014

Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast  

All About Transportation
Representative Mollie S. Burke

BCTV Video Link


Transportation issues from recent sessions of the General Assembly, along with general transportation issues, current and future, related to safety, funding, and emissions as they impact local, state, and federal governments.


Sanders and Vermont Religious Leaders Address Wealth and Income Inequality

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 20 – Vermont religious leaders joined U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today to address the moral implications of extreme wealth and income inequality.

Bishop Thomas Ely, the Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak, Monsignor Roland Rivard and Rabbi Joshua Chasan joined Sanders to emphasize that increasing wealth and income inequality in the United States is one of the great moral issues of our time and is undermining the fabric of our nation.


Vermont Economic Development Authority Public Meeting for Revolving Loan Fund

On Thursday, July 10, 2014, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) will hold a public hearing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in the Select Board Meeting Room, Brattleboro Municipal Center, 230 Main Street, Brattleboro.

The purpose of the public meeting is to take public comment on utilizing a portion of the $10 million made available through the MOU between the State of Vermont and Entergy Vermont Yankee to establish a Windham County Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) administered by VEDA. The RLF would be part of the Windham County Economic Development Program under development by ACCD to implement the MOU.


Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast ~ All about Transportation ~ Save the Date & RSVP - June 27th

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation

All about Transportation in VT

The "Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast" will take place on Friday, June 27,  2014 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.


State Representative Mollie Burke (Brattleboro District 2), member of the Vermont House Transportation Committee will speak on  transportation issues from recent sessions of the General Assembly, along with general transportation issues, current and future, related to safety, funding, and emissions as they impact local, state, and federal governments.


Vermont Minimum Wage To Rise To $10.50 Per Hour By 2018

MIDDLESEX – June 9, 2014 -- Surrounded by supporters at the locally owned Red Hen Bakery, Gov. Peter Shumlin today signed into law legislation phasing in an increase in the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.73 per hour to $10.50 per hour by 2018.

Gov. Shumlin and other New England Governors appeared with President Obama earlier this year in Connecticut to call for a national increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. However, noting Congressional inaction on that proposal, Gov. Shumlin said, “States like Vermont realize that working people can’t support their families on the current minimum wage, and we’re moving ahead to do the right thing on our own.”


Rhonda Taylor, Mother of MacAdam Mason, Issues Statement Upon Passage of H.225 - Taser Bill

This week the Vermont House of Representatives voted unanimously to concur with the Senate proposal of Amendment of H.225 - the Taser bill.

Barring any technical problems that might pop up during vetting of the bill by his staff (which is a common disclaimer with any bill that hits his desk), it was reported by his staff that Governor Peter Shumlin intends to sign the bill into law.


Governor Shumlin Proclaims May 10 as 'Winston Prouty Center for Child Development Day in Vermont'

Governor Peter Shumlin has issued a proclamation declaring May 10, 2014 as “Winston Prouty Center for Child Development Day in Vermont.”

The proclamation coincides with the The Prouty Center’s 25th Taste of the Town fundraiser, which will take place May 10th, from 6:30-10:30pm at the International Center on the campus of SIT Graduate Institute.

The proclamation reads:


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


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.


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.


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.”


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).


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.  


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.



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:


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.


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.


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. 



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.


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. 


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


iBrattleboro Poll

How can we best increase the number of affordable rentals in Brattleboro?