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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


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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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2nd Annual Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future Conference Registration Open

Brattleboro – Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity has opened the general registration for the 2nd Annual Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future Conference. Individuals interested in attending this strategy-sharing event may register on-line at www.vermontpartnership.org .

Beginning at 1:00pm on Thursday, November 7th, Vermont Partnership will convene its signature conference at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center at Mount Snow in Dover, VT. The one and a half day conference will bring together Vermont leaders and interested parties who are working to strengthen business and institutional practices for an increasingly diverse marketplace within the state and beyond. The conference will close at 5:00pm on November 8th.

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State Office Building Open House in Brattleboro

The state office building at 232 Main Street in downtown Brattleboro re-opened in September after being closed for renovations.

Members of the community are invited to an open house to see the improvements to the building on Monday, October 21 from 4-6 PM.

State employees will be available to provide tours of the various departments.

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Help with the Vermont Health Connect

The federal government may not be operating at full steam today but you can be assured that Vermont is. Today Vermont Health Connect went live - there will be lots of stories and information about it.

Right now I would like to give you some contacts that can give you help. For individual customer support call 855-899-9600. Small businesses can access specific support at 855-899-9800. If you prefer to use the web the site is http://healthconnect.vermont.gov.

Good health to everyone.
Jeanette White

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CRT/DVTA Sign One Year Management Agreement

ROCKINGHAM, VT The Connecticut River Transit (CRT) Board of Directors announces that it has negotiated a one-year management agreement with the Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA) to become effective September 16th.

The agreement calls for the DVTA to act as a management company to provide overall management services. The DVTA reports to the CRT Board of Directors which retains full control of the company. CRT is using this period to review and take a fresh look at the company from top to bottom with the help of a neighboring transit agency. All routes, rides, and services continue uninterrupted and unaffected.

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Speed Limit Reduction on VT Route 30 Associated with I-91 Bridge Reconstruction

MONTPELIER, Vt.—September 16, 2013--The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is temporarily reducing the speed limit on VT Route 30 from 50 mph to 40 mph for a one-mile stretch of road that extends approximately one-half mile north and one-half mile south of the location where Interstate 91 crosses over VT Route 30.

The speed limit reduction is associated with the Interstate 91 bridge replacement project, and will go in to effect to ensure the safety of construction personnel and the traveling public. The reduction will be in effect from September 23, 2013 to approximately August 2016.

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Windham Regional Commission Statement on Announcement by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee That the Plant Will Close in 2014

The Windham Regional Commission has always maintained a neutral position as to whether or not the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee power station located in Vernon should continue operation. We have taken this position so we could facilitate discussions among those on all sides of the issue. The Commission has, however, been very involved in Vermont Public Service Board dockets since 2007, arguing not for whether or not the plant should continue operation, but rather for what is in the best interest of the region when the plant does eventually cease operation, whenever and for whatever reason that occurs.

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Entergy Press Release on Closing VY

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) today said it plans to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vt. The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014. The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the decommissioning process.

"This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us," said Leo Denault, Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer. "Vermont Yankee has an immensely talented, dedicated and loyal workforce, and a solid base of support among many in the community. We recognize that closing the plant on this schedule was not the outcome they had hoped for, but we have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances."

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Entergy FAQ on Closing VY

From the Entergy site:

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Vermont Yankee close?

The company anticipates shutting down the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in fourth quarter 2014, with the exact date still to be determined.

Why was this decision made?

Vermont Yankee has an immensely talented, dedicated, and loyal workforce (about 630 employees) and a solid base of support in the community. We recognize that closing the plant on this schedule was certainly not the outcome they had hoped for, but we have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances.

The decision to close Vermont Yankee in 2014 was based on a number of financial factors, including:

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Report Focuses On Getting More Food To Vermonters

(MONTPELIER, VT) While Vermont is a national leader in the local food movement, there are still many in our state who don’t have access to, can’t afford, or don’t know how to make use of the food produced here. This includes one in five Vermont children who are food insecure because their families can’t reliably meet basic nutritional needs.

A new report from the Vermont Community Foundation highlights some successful efforts underway to bridge this gap and bring local food to a lot more Vermonters. At the same time groups are working to develop stable year-round markets for Vermont farmers at nearby schools, hospitals, and senior centers.

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State Offices Moving Back to Main Street Building at the End of July

The state offices currently located on Linden Street will be moving back to their permanent home at 232 Main Street in downtown Brattleboro in late July. The offices on Linden Street will be closed at that time.

Transport of equipment will begin on Friday July 26 and will happen over the course of the weekend. Offices located in the building include:

the Vermont Department of Labor;
the Vermont Department of Health;
the Department for Children and Families Economic Services and Family Services Divisions;
the Agency of Human Services Field Services Division;
and the Department of Vermont Health Access Chronic Care initiative.

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Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Notes - GMO - Right to Know & What We Can Do

Presenter: Tristan Toleno - State Representative (Brattleboro - District 3)

toleno@leg.state.vt.us- ttoleno@gmail.com

http://www.tristantoleno.com/

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast 

June 21, 2013 - Gibson-Aiken Center - Brattleboro VT

Brief Legislative History

The GMO Labeling Bill was last considered by the General Assembly in the second year of the  biennium, so that first bill went away, having been assigned to a committee and failing to see the floor for a vote.

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Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation (RSVP) GMO - Right to Know & What we can do

 

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast

GMO - Right to Know & What we can do

The next "Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast" will take place on Friday,  June 21, 2013 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.

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Vermont About to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

The Vermont House passed H. 200, a marijuana decriminalization bill today, accepting changes made by the Vermont Senate and sending the bill to the governor's office to be signed into law. If signed, it will go into effect July 1, 2013.

Governor Peter Shumlin said “I applaud the Legislature’s action to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Vermonters support sensible drug policies. This legislation allows our courts and law enforcement to focus their limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs that are tearing apart families and communities.” 

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