Jennifer Jacobs

On wealth, taxes, and the failure of H.829

BRATTLEBORO-Wealth and taxes: two entwined topics that often quickly provoke strong emotions.

It seems we often get stuck in the same patterns talking about them. I wonder what would happen if we approached them differently.

For instance, what if we did not react to having to pay taxes as some kind of punishment and instead saw it as an opportunity to pay for what our communities need? When we hear a firetruck's sirens, drive on smooth roads, or pass a school, we could think, "I am helping to fund that."

What if we expanded those common needs to housing and did not perceive it as an "option" for some, but rather as a basic need that our society should provide to all, for the benefit of all?...

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So much 'us' and 'them,' so little nuance. Where's the humanity?

In the public discourse of the Israeli-Gaza conflict, I am struck by how few comments I have heard that represent both-and thinking - not only in local news and opinion outlets, but everywhere. Is it not possible to hold both the sorrow for the merciless attacks on Israeli civilians...

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Big changes — and new protections — for workers in Vt.

Vermont law now makes it clear: Employees need not tolerate any amount of harassment for any length of time. And the new rules apply to everyone.

On July 1, amendments to the Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) - Vermont's workplace anti-harassment and discrimination law - went into effect. The amendments make significant changes that broaden protections to employees. Business owners, heads of organizations, and those responsible for employment compliance should make an effort to understand...

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An apology from acting supt. builds trust and healing

I want to thank Acting Superintendent Mark Speno, Oak Grove School Principal Mary Kaufmann, and several members of the Windham Southeast School District and Windham Southeast Supervisory Union boards for acknowledging the harm that has been done in the wake of revelations of sexual abuse of a former Brattleboro Union High School teacher perpetrated against students [“No more secrecy,” Viewpoint, Aug. 11]. In the weeks following Mindy Haskins Rogers' article, others and I have been fierce advocates for a survivor-centered...

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Time to revisit paid family leave

Because my company works with many different types of businesses, and the people who work in them, we get to see an interesting cross section of the workplace. Some situations are unique, but more often the similarities remind us that people are people are people. This common thread of humanity is most apparent when it comes to the dual impact that family needs and work responsibilities have on individuals. At times, it feels more like “Family Needs versus Work Responsibilities:

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Tiny House Festival needs volunteers

Helpers are needed at Brattleboro's very own, first-ever Tiny House Fest Vermont on Sunday, Sept. 4. Many jobs and different shifts are available, including pre-event tasks. Volunteers will gain admission to the festival and some other fun perks. For more information about volunteering or to sign up, contact Jennifer Jacobs, volunteer coordinator, at [email protected]. For more information about the festival or to buy a festival pass (and tiny house inspired local art), visit

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Which employees get overtime pay? Start learning the new federal rules.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced major revisions to the classification of exempt employees. The designations “exempt” and “nonexempt” refer to whether a position is subject to regulations for paying overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The changes go into effect on Dec. 1 and will require significant adjustments for some employers. In Vermont, it is estimated that up to 10,000 employees might be affected by these rules. Employers should begin the process now of understanding...

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