Entergy money should offset ‘looming losses’

Editor of the Reformer:

For Windham County’s sake, I am glad the deadline for Vermont Yankee loans and grants was extended, even for just a week ("Vermont Commerce Agency extends deadlines to grants to soften loss of nuclear plant," June 16). Clearly the state wants the county to get the biggest local bang for the buck. With $2 million per year for five years ($10 million total) ready to be unleashed, the bang could -- and should -- be pretty big.

It is clear from comments made by Vernon and Brattleboro residents at a June 3 public hearing in Townshend that many interested individuals from their respective towns were unaware of the hearing held 40 miles away in the northern end of the county. Extending the deadline is positive step towards addressing this problem.

Vermont Yankee has been a "public good" for over 40 years because its payroll, local and state government revenue, and volunteerism have powered southeastern Vermont’s quality-of-life engine. The transparent, prudent distribution of this generous $10 million economic redevelopment "severance package" will help the county get back on its feet.

At peak operation, Vermont Yankee pays about $89 million in payroll and $15 million in state and local revenue. The pending closing has already been felt by the elimination of the Vernon Police Department. Let’s hope the $10 million over five years can help counteract other, looming losses

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Michael Hebert,

R-Vernon, Guilford, July 11

It’s about time

Editor of the Reformer:

I earned three Brattleboro Time Trade hours walking in the Fourth of July parade, recently, and made two new friends, one who can help my husband book gigs and the other who can help us clean out a garage. I’ll pay them in the hours I just earned from the parade.

I time traded my son’s recent Bar Mitzvah spending hours I earned by attending meetings and taking notes, teaching a fellow Time Trader how to use a computer app, providing housing, and helping time traders to build a puppet and props for the 4th of July parade. I used these hours to "pay" for Hebrew tutoring for my son, food servers for our event, and challah bread baked fresh for the ceremony. This cost me a total of 40 hours in Time Trade currency. I would not have been able to afford this if it were not for Time Trade.

Fellow Time Traders have similar stories. One member is earning time by helping another test and improve raw and fermented food recipes for a new cookbook, a task she loves because it introduces her to new ways of approaching food. She spends her time trade hours getting her bicycle repaired and receiving massages. Kiera King is earning hours by managing the Time Trade social media and is spending them on French lessons and having another time trader catalog a large collection of children’s books which will then be sold on Amazon.com.

In economics, a time-based currency is an alternative currency where the unit of exchange is the person-hour. This is not a new idea, back in 1832, Welsh industrialist Robert Owen issues Labour Notes in time denominations and later worked with economist John Gray to create a National Chamber of Commerce as a central bank issuing Labour Currency. This was to be used for an exchange for goods and services based on the time it took to make or perform them.

Today’s central bank for time currencies is global and online. U.S. academic and lawyer, Edgar S. Cahn, created TimeBanks USA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1995. Brattleboro Time Trade is a member of TimeBanks USA and houses a custom made online interface that enables members to make exchanges, list needs, offer skills and connect. Operating on just $12,350 a year and with unlimited Time Trade hours, Brattleboro Time Trade has steadily grown into a region hub with 280 members from surrounding towns -- Rutland, Springfield, Putney, Hinsdale, Guilford, Dummerston, Marlboro, Westminster, Bellows Falls, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Whitingham, Townsend and, of course, Brattleboro. Currently the group has raised more than half of its annual budget through dues, donations, fund raisers and grants.

Worldwide time currencies are gaining popularity as well, and governments are also beginning to support time currency valuing its ability to build social equality and opportunity; though we may not all have cash, we do all have time.

For more information, visit http://brattleboro.timebanks.org/ or call 802-246-1199.

Tamara Stenn,

Brattleboro, July 14

A smile I’ll never forget

Editor of the Reformer:

After checking my answering machine Thursday evening, I found I had missed a call from Bob Audette who was writing the article about Molly Dowd for Friday’s Reformer.

Molly started working at Brown & Roberts at age 14. Other than family, Molly was the youngest person to ever work at Brown & Roberts.

We realized from day one that we had hired the right person to be a cashier. Molly was a "people person." Always a smile, always a thank you that you knew was real.

Molly worked for years at Brown & Roberts through high school and beyond.

As I looked at the Reformer Friday morning and saw Molly’s smiling face I knew that smile was something I will never forget.

Paul Putnam,

Brown & Roberts,

Dummerston, July 11