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Brattleboro Lit Fest is this weekend

BRATTLEBORO — Join fellow book lovers at the 16th annual Brattleboro Literary Festival Oct. 12-15 and explore books from bestselling and award-winning authors and poets.

Scheduled to attend the festival are Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Richard Russo, Ron Powers, and Charles Simic; New York Times bestselling authors Claire Messud, Michelle Burford, and Joyce Maynard; award-winning poet Carolyn Forché, and 2017 National Book Award Finalists Min Jin Lee and Carmen Maria Machado, plus more than 50 additional authors.

There will be readings and panel discussions; fiction, poetry, and memoirs; a local writer’s showcase; and lots of stories from Vermont and around the world.

For a complete schedule of events, venues, and times for this year’s Literary Festival, visit

Town seeks applications for FY19 Human Services funding

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Human Services Review Committee is accepting applications for FY19 Human Services Funding. The application, as well as instructions and guidelines, will be posted on The deadline to submit applications to the Brattleboro Town Manager’s Office is Monday, Oct. 30, at noon.

The information session regarding human services funding is scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m., in the Hanna Cosman meeting room at the Municipal Center. Applicants are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Jan Anderson in the Brattleboro Town Manager’s Office at 802-251-8151.

Hilltop alumni host fundraiser

BRATTLEBORO — The Hilltop Montessori School will present “Montessori Outcomes: A Discussion with Alumni,” on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., in the Hilltop Arts Barn, at 99 Stafford Farm Hill (just off Guilford Street at Summit Circle). They welcome any interested adults and students thinking about their two-year middle school program for grades 7 and 8, as well as those interested in the toddler, pre-K and elementary programs.

The school invited a number of alumni to speak about the impact that their years at Hilltop have had on them. In essence, they are answering the question, “What is the most valuable lesson you took away from your Hilltop experience?”

For more information, call 802-257-0500 or email

22-mile march seeks to raise awareness of veteran suicide crisis

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, Brattleboro native and Army First Lt. Lauren Stuart Mabie, and her mother, state Rep. Valerie Ann Stuart, D-Brattleboro, will hold the second annual 22-4-22 Mile March to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide among veterans.

Less than 1 percent of the American population shoulders the burden of serving in the military. Yet one in two service members know someone who has attempted suicide or succeeded. The 22-4-22 Mile March sheds light on a terrible statistic: an average of 22 veterans take their own lives every day of every week of every year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs 2012 Suicide Data Report.

Lt. Mabie and her parents held the first 22-4-22 Mile March in January 2016. Approximately 25 local veterans and civilians ranging in age from 14 to over 60 joined them on the walk from Brattleboro Union High School to the Putney Food Co-op and back.

This year’s 22-4-22 Mile March will start at BUHS on Oct. 14. Participants should arrive at the parking lot across from BUHS at 8 a.m. No registration is required to participate. Walkers should arrive wearing comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. Walkers also should bring a water bottle or two and light snacks for themselves.

The march will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. At that point, participants will start to walk the 11 miles to the Putney Food Co-op. They will wend their way down Canal Street, through the town of Brattleboro, and ultimately walk along the well-defined shoulder on Route 5 to Putney.

After a 30-minute lunch break at the Putney Food Co-op, participants will walk back along the same route. Walkers are welcome to complete as much or as little of the March as they wish. All walkers must organize their own rides home from their stopping points. Bathrooms are located at retail and fast food outlets along Putney Road.

This year, marchers who wish to honor veterans who took their own lives may contact Lt. Mabie at, or 802-338-6580.

Guilford sixth-graders to record with NYC jazz trio

GUILFORD — New York City-based Jazz trio 9 Horses will collaborate with sixth-graders from the Guilford Central School to produce music to premiere at its performance at Antenna Cloud Farm in Gill, Mass., on Oct. 14.

The band will create music at GCS on October 13 and record later that day. Band Director Joseph Brent “will use those field recordings as samples for a piece I’m writing,” he explains. Brent hopes the music will communicate “the subjectivity of the listener’s experience of it.”

9 Horses is in the area to conclude Antenna Cloud Farm’s first five-performance concert series. Their Oct. 14 performance will later be on Vimeo for students, family, and community to see, hear, and enjoy.

MSA hosts scarecrow contest

SAXTONS RIVER — Main Street Arts is holding a scarecrow contest, with judging Saturday, Oct. 21, to pick the most creative scarecrows and to decorate the village.

Those who need inspiration and help can attend a scarecrow-making workshop at Main Street Arts Sunday, Oct. 15, from 3 to 5 p.m., but those who don’t attend the workshop can sign up their scarecrows outside MSA the day of the judging. Judging will take place during the Saxtons River Rec Area Chili Cook-off being held on the MSA lawn.

All materials will be provided, although participants may bring clothing and other accessories. Families are encouraged to work as a group.

The cost for the workshop is $10 per scarecrow. Registration is required by contacting MSA at 802-869-2960 or

Fall Osher lectures continue

DUMMERSTON—The Brattleboro Chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will hold the third in its 14th series of morning and afternoon lectures on Monday, Oct. 16.

In the morning lecture, Seth Harter, a teacher of Asian Studies and history at Marlboro College, will consider the Japanese aesthetic as it applies to calligraphy, poetry, and literature. In the afternoon session, Peter Gould, actor, teacher, activist, and theatrical director-producer will discuss his recent book Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss Farm.

The Osher lectures are held on six successive Mondays. Morning lectures run from 10 a.m. to noon; afternoon lectures, from 1 to 3 p.m. They are held at the Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 US Route 5, Dummerston. Parking and handicapped access are available, and light refreshments are served at the lectures. For further information, contact Julie Lavorgna at 802-365-7278, or

Parenting education series begins

BRATTLEBORO — Positive Solutions for Families, a free six-week parenting education series, will begin on Monday, Oct. 16. The series provides information for families on how to promote children’s social and emotional skills and use positive approaches to help children learn appropriate behavior.

The six sessions are designed to give parents new strategies to handle daily routines, cope with challenging behavior, and help children learn to solve simple social problems. Participants will learn to create and nurture success in their child, to avoid being drawn into energizing negativity, and how to have clear rules and clear and consistent consequences. The program is designed for families with children ages 3 to 6.

The course will be held at the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development, Vermont Hall, 209 Austine Drive in Brattleboro from 5 to 7 p.m. The dates are Oct. 16, 23 and 30 and Nov. 6, 13, and 20. Child care and dinner are provided for free.

The course is presented by Brandy Levesque, Winston Prouty Center Consultation and Education, and Janice Stockman, WSESU Early Childhood Coordinator. To register, contact Brandy at 802-257-2101, ext. 228.

Talk looks at forgotten people, times on the Connecticut River

WESTMINSTER — The 19th century was an age of invention in the U.S., and it brought about a flowering of the arts and sciences. Fascinating characters emerged in southern Vermont and New Hampshire to act on this new stage.

One carved a “snow angel” that wowed his neighbors and then went on to sculpt a famous statue of “Honest Abe.” Another studied painting with Jean-François Millet and influenced Winslow Homer. Yet another became an advocate for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery, and moved to Kansas to help keep it free.

Who were these people? Some names may be familiar: William Morris Hunt, John Humphrey Noyes, Clarina Howard Nichols, Larkin Goldsmith Mead, William Czar Bradley, and many more. Where did they live and how were they connected?

Learn more about them at the Westminster Fire House on Grout Ave., at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16, for a presentation by Alec Hastings, Vermont author and Vermont history enthusiast. This is a free program sponsored by the Westminster Historical Society.

Benefit raises fund for Pueblo Project

PUTNEY — On Oct. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Next Stage Arts on Kimball Hill, The Pueblo Project will host a benefit auction, raffle, and community get-together.

Throughout rural Central America, intergenerational poverty and poor-to-nonexistent infrastructure force millions of families to live in unsafe housing built on the fly from adobe and mud. Adobe and mud are themselves reliable (and free and potentially beautiful) materials with which to build. But given Central America’s frequent seismic activity, inexpertly made adobe houses can collapse catastrophically.

Town by town and neighborhood by neighborhood, the Pueblo Project’s building teams teach people in rural communities of Central America how to use the materials with which they are familiar to build more earthquake-resistant housing and to create improvements to existing homes.

Most of the Pueblo Project’s builders and volunteers are women, and they gear their teaching efforts in Central America primarily towards women and youth. Working with the Project, students gain marketable skills and help educate their communities.

Guests at the Next Stage event will enjoy appetizers, desserts, and hot and cold beverages while hearing about the Project’s progress to date and plans for 2018. Wine by the glass will be available for purchase. A silent auction will feature several donated services as well as nearly 30 crafted items, books, and pieces of art. Admission is $20 per person and directly supports the Pueblo Project.

Hospice offers new monthly Pet Loss Support Group

BRATTLEBORO — Starting Oct. 23, Brattleboro Area Hospice will offer a free monthly Pet Loss Support Group on the fourth Monday of each month, from 4:30 to 6, at the hospice office, 191 Canal St.

Anyone who has experienced the death of a beloved furry, winged, or scaly family member is deeply aware of how profound a loss this can be. Saying goodbye to anyone we love is always a difficult experience. When the loved one is a companion animal, its grieving humans often feel isolated and lost, with the intensity of their grief going unrecognized or minimized by those around them.

Community members have been asking for this kind of support group for years. Brattleboro Area Hospice is now ready to offer it. This group is for adults who have experienced the death of a companion animal. Drop-ins are welcome, but pre-registration would be appreciated. Topics will include stories of love, joy, and loss, exploring and sharing methods of maneuvering through the grieving journey.

Cheryl Richards is the facilitator. For questions, concerns, or to pre-register, call Connie Baxter at 802-257-0075, ext. 104, or Cicely Carroll at ext. 108.

Cross-Class Dialogue Circles resume

BRATTLEBORO — The divide between economic and social classes in our nation played a huge role in the recent election, making it more important than ever for Americans to come together to bridge this gap and find ways to bring economic justice to all.

Join the 7th Cross-Class Dialogue Circle, which will meet Saturdays — Nov. 4 and 18 and Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up for the three-day circle at Registration closes Oct. 27. What each person will pay is determined through an equitable cost sharing process we’ll do in the session, and is anywhere from $0-$500 in direct donations, fundraising, and/or work trade. No one will pay more than they are able.

The Dialogues are hosted by ACT for Social Justice and take place at The Root Social Justice Center on 28 Williams St. in Brattleboro. Contact them for more information at or 802-254-3400.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #429 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017). This story appeared on page D2.

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