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Town seeks to fill committee vacancies

BRATTLEBORO — The town is seeking citizens to serve on the following committees and boards: Agricultural Advisory Board, Arts Committee, Citizen Police Communications Committee, Design Review Committee (alternate), Development Review Board (alternate), Fence Viewer (by statute, must be a legal voter of the town), Honor Roll, Inspector of Lumber, Shingles and Wood, and the Planning Commission.

Applications and more information can be found at, or by calling the Town Manager’s office (802-251-8151).

Applications can be submitted online at the town website or via an email to the Town Manager’s office ( They also may be marked to the attention of “Committee Vacancy,” and mailed or delivered in person to 230 Main St., Suite 208, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

The Selectboard will make appointments at meetings in December, 2017, and January, 2018. Applications must be received at least one week in advance of the meeting where appointments will be made.

Public meetings will discuss Connecticut River recreation needs

GREENFIELD, Mass.— Connecticut River Conservancy is distributing a survey and holding public meetings throughout the Connecticut River watershed in southern Vermont and New Hampshire to collect input on needed infrastructure improvements to river access and recreation areas.

As part of the ongoing research for the relicensing of the Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon hydroelectric dams, CRC is studying how people access the river, which public-access points need improvements, and where additional public access points might be developed.

CRC invites the public to complete its survey at or to attend any of the public meetings: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6 to 8 p.m., Windsor Welcome Center, 3 Railroad Ave.; Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., Hinsdale (N.H.) Town Hall, 11 Main St.; and Thursday, Dec. 7, 6 to 8, p.m., Kilton Public Library, 80 Main St., West Lebanon, N.H.

The relicensing of the three Vermont dams, along with the Northfield Mountain Pump Station and Turners Falls dam in Massachusetts “provides an opportunity to improve the ecological health of and recreational access to the river,” the organization writes in a press release.

The federal licenses for the facilities, last issued in 1979, will expire in April 2019. This relicensing process began in 2012.

For more information, visit

World AIDS Day is Dec. 1

BRATTLEBORO — The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont is inviting the public to a World AIDS Day observation Dec. 1 at noon at the River Garden at 157 Main St.

The commemoration of those affected by the virus and those working to combat it will feature a sidewalk candlelight vigil followed by words from the Rev. Dr. Lise Sparrow, speaking about the Guilford Community Church’s work in Kaiguchu, Kenya, and music led by the church choir director Peter Amidon.

The Brattleboro-based project — serving more than 80 clients in Bennington and Windham counties — is one of three AIDS service organizations in the state working to balance steady caseloads. According to event organizers, the federal government is shifting its financial assistance from smaller towns to bigger cities.

Approximately 600 people statewide live with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the disease.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, nearly 40 million people have died of AIDS — and now an equal number are living with HIV.

“That figure is both good and bad news,” AIDS Project executive director Karen Peterson said in a news release. “At least a dozen or more Vermonters, nearly 40,000 Americans and 2 million people worldwide are newly diagnosed annually. But an infection that older generations once feared is now often dismissed as just another sexually transmitted disease.”

Local observers of World AIDS Day hope to change that attitude.

“By providing people with information on how HIV is transmitted and encouraging them to get tested, we hope they will have the skills, knowledge and capability to protect themselves from HIV,” Peterson said. “There are medications that help you live longer, but if you can avoid getting the disease, it’s so much better.”

More local information is available by calling 802-254-4444, or at

BEEC has nature books for sale at Gallery Walk

BRATTLEBORO — Visitors to the Dianich Gallery at 139 Main St. during Gallery Walk on Dec. 1 can peruse a selection of nature books to benefit the nonprofit Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center.

Items available include field guides and nature books for kids. Local author Mark Mikolas will sign copies of his new book, A Beginner’s Guide to Recognizing the Trees of the Northeast. Patti Smith will show video footage of the beavers featured in her book The Beavers of Popple’s Pond.

Refreshments will also be available. For more information about BEEC, visit

Paws for Prevention benefits BAPC

BRATTLEBORO — An annual holiday photo fundraiser that benefits the nonprofit Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition and Brattleboro Union High School’s Above the Influence club will be held at Achille Agway at 1277 Putney Rd. on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Paws for Prevention allows people to have their holiday photos taken (with or without their pets or Santa Claus) by donation ($15 is suggested).

Participants can preview and choose an image to have printed as a 4 in. x 6 in. photograph, available for pickup on Monday, Dec. 4. The other images will be provided as digital files.

All money raised will be used to support the work of BAPC, which strives to decrease the harmful effects of opioids, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in southeastern Windham County. The organization helps people in the area quit smoking.

For more information, contact Rolf Parker at (802) 257-2175.

BEEC hosts wreath-making workshop

BRATTLEBORO — The December woods and fields are filled with botanical beauty that is often overlooked — lichens, vines, dried weeds, berries, seedpods. On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center will host a wreath-making workshop that will highlight these native treasures.

Participants will take a short walk to gather materials to supplement those on hand. BEEC naturalist Patti Smith will identify plants and provide wreath-making tips. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Bring pruning shears, work gloves, and wire cutters if you have them.

The fee for this workshop is $15 for BEEC members and $25 for non-members. Register by calling BEEC at 802-257-5785, or online at

Rockingham library hosts holiday party, raffle

BELLOWS FALLS — The Friends of the Rockingham Free Public Library will host a community holiday party at the library on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Join the festivities and celebrate the Friends of the Library’s donation of the Vilas Bridge painting by Jerry Pfohl,” organizers write, describing the party as a “free family-friendly event.”

The Stringfield Springers of Saxtons River will be performing live. Light refreshments will be served. Children of all ages and their families are invited to decorate a gingerbread person in the library’s youth department.

The Friends’ Holiday Raffle and Silent Auction will conclude at 12:30 p.m at the library, where prizes are now on display.

Silent Auction items include baskets of children’s books and instruments, Peruvian handcrafts, wood carvings from around the world. and sweet/savory snacks from the Vermont Country Store.

Raffle prizes include best-selling books, a Scandinavian hat and mitten set, an artist’s coloring book, a number of lovely framed prints, and many other items. Raffle tickets are available at the front desk for $1 each or six for $5.

All proceeds from the silent auction and raffle will benefit the Friends of the Rockingham Free Public Library.

Craft fair in East Dover

EAST DOVER — The third annual Dover Holiday Craft Fair takes place on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Dover Town Hall, 190 Taft Brook Rd.

Fourteen local artists and crafters will feature hooked rugs, jewelry, photography, knit and fabric arts, decorative woodcrafts, handcrafted chocolates, honey, soaps and lotions, bird-seed wreaths, and much more.

Admission is free. For more information, contact Jeannette Eckert at 802-348-7910 or Linda Sherman at 802-348-6361.

Murrow looks at the McCarthy Era at Putney Library

PUTNEY — The broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow during the McCarthy era of the 1950s will be the topic of a free presentation on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Putney Public Library, 55 Main St.

Casey Murrow of Putney, Ed Murrow’s son, will discuss what his father faced in those troubled times and some reactions to his work. He will share historical sources and short video clips from that era.

Murrow, already a renowned radio and television broadcaster through his World War II reporting, confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., in a series of television broadcasts in 1953 and 1954.

McCarthy had been challenging the government and destroying careers, using Senate hearings and often-fabricated information. Murrow used his influence to broadcast an indictment of McCarthy, using some of the senator’s own words and recorded images.

Casey Murrow has devoted his career to public education as a teacher and leader in programs that support educators in Vermont and nationally.

This presentation was first developed for Landmark College’s Speaker Series. It has been expanded with additional images and new information for this Putney Public Library event.

‘Birds and Brew’ event at McNeill’s

BRATTLEBORO — The Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society will hold its first “Birds and Brew” at McNeill’s Brewery, 90 Elliot St., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.

All are invited to drop by for a beer (or a soda) and some bird gossip.

For information about what the local chapter is up to these days, visit Monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., in the Community Room of Brooks Memorial Library at 224 Main St.

Energy efficiency volunteers needed

SPRINGFIELD — Interested in helping older adults and contributing to an energy efficient Vermont? Senior Solutions seeks volunteers to visit homes of eligible residents and install energy-efficiency items such as LED light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, and water-pipe insulation if needed.

Volunteers also determine whether a more in-depth energy-efficiency retrofit by a contractor would be helpful.

The hours are flexible, and volunteers will be reimbursed for mileage. The project, funded through a grant from Efficiency Vermont, is ongoing.

For more information, call 802-885-2655.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #436 (Wednesday, November 29, 2017). This story appeared on page C4.

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