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Transition Dummerston initiates food sharing program with potluck, evening discussion

DUMMERSTON — Transition Dummerston will hold its next Community Potluck and evening program on Friday, July 27, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the Dummerston Community Center in West Dummerston.

The program for the evening is “SOS: Share Our Surplus…Garden Produce, that is!” As the height of the vegetable harvest approaches, the Transition Dummerston group is exploring ways gardeners can share excess food from their gardens and spread the wealth around: the Garden Surplus Exchange. If you’re overwhelmed with zucchinis, or hoping to taste someone else’s variety of tomatoes, this program is for you!

The Community Potluck will begin at 6 p.m., an opportunity to meet and converse with Dummerston neighbors. Bring seasonal foods to share – using local food encouraged!

The evening’s program from 7-8:30 p.m., will include a short presentation on gleaning and local food, including inspiring excerpts from Agnes Varda’s award-winning documentary, The Gleaners and I. Discussion will follow about how best to implement this new project of surplus food sharing.

For a first step, you’re invited to bring the extra vegetables, herbs, and fruits from your garden and/or take away some of the freshest available local food. Any unclaimed produce will be brought to the Drop-In Shelter on Saturday, July 28.

For more information, contact: Susal (802-275-7449 or susalstebbins@hotmail.com) or Fred (802-387-2681 or rtaylor@antioch.edu.

Marlboro Summer Sale is this Saturday

MARLBORO — The Marlboro Summer Sale is Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Marlboro Town Center.

There will be great bargains on used clothing, furniture, books, toys, housewares, and more. There will also be a bake sale and cafe, and an ongoing silent auction on the best items, with bidding taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., everything left over is free.

All proceeds benefit the Marlboro community. Sponsored by the Marlboro Alliance.

O’Connor Awards to be presented in BF

BELLOWS FALLS — The third annual O’Connor Awards will be held on Saturday, July 28, at American Legion Post 37, 42 Rockingham St., at 6:30 p.m.

The awards, named after Brattleboro resident and former Speaker of the House and gubernatorial candidate Timothy J. O’Connor, Jr., recognize the contribution of members of the community in the political fabric of the state.

This year’s awards will include a tribute to the legislative career of former Speaker of the House Michael Obuchowski, who was appointed Commissioner of Buildings and General Services in 2010, ending a run of 39 years in the House. Obuchowski’s time in the House included six years as Speaker, and he was the chairman of seemingly every subcommittee.

The suggested donation is $10. Some light food will be served. All proceeds benefit the Brattleboro Town Democratic Committee. For details, contact James Valente at 802-275-8860.

Guilford 250th Plaque to be dedicated on July 29

GUILFORD — The Town of Guilford’s year-long 250th anniversary celebration officially ended on the last day of 2011. As its final act before disbanding, the 250th committee voted to place a commemorative plaque in front of the Guilford Historical Society’s Museum on Guilford Center Road. The unveiling and dedication of this plaque will take place on Sunday, July 29, at 2 pm.

The plaque is a bronze representation of the acclaimed 250th logo, designed by Guilford’s Joy Wallens-Penford, and will be placed in a large stone donated and moved to the site by Ed Clark of Guilford. A short ceremony will be followed by refreshments.

The museum occupies the 1822 Town Hall, and houses exhibits of Guilford artifacts including a 19th century kitchen, arrowheads, photographs, antique and slate industry tools, textiles, household items, and a directory of Guilford’s cemeteries and headstones. Copies of the retrospective video of the 250th, covering more than 50 events during 2011 in a 2-DVD set, are on sale at the museum.

The museum is in Guilford Center Village, just past the Grange and across the road from the Library and Meeting House, about 4 miles west of the Country Store.

Summer hours for Putney Farmers Market

PUTNEY — In observance of the summer heat, the Putney Farmers’ Market has changed its hours of operation. They are now open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., every Sunday through Oct. 7.

Food vendors have added special breakfast items to their menus, such as Pizza Hippo’s breakfast pizza and Taco Barn’s potato taco with a fried egg on top.

The summer crops are rolling in, and Dwight Miller Orchards is harvesting the first peaches of the season. Lost Barn Farm grows a variety of pointed cabbage that is slightly sweet and great for hot-weather coleslaw. And Harmony Circle Farm, in addition to their expanding produce offerings, is now baking Dutch oven breads and focaccias.

The market is located at the Community Gardens space across from the Putney Co-op, just off Exit 4 of Interstate 91. Go to putneyfarmersmarket.org or check out their Facebook page to see photos of the market. EBT and debit cards accepted.

Marlboro Grad School offers free podcasting workshop

BRATTLEBORO — Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon St., is offering a free workshop, “Loud and Clear: Free Podcasting and Audio Tools,” on Tuesday, July 31, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Instructor Will deBock’s presentation will focus on a range of free tools available on the Internet for creating and distributing audio. From web-based (and increasingly with mobile versions) like soundcloud.com to robust, full-featured audio recording and editing applications like Audacity, he will demonstrate how various tools work through practical scenarios.

From recording simple audio and embedding into Facebook, to editing multiple tracks and adding musical intros and outros, the workshop is designed to be practical. For those who “learn by doing” there will be opportunities to roll-up your sleeves and try it out. This workshop is free to the public and is perfect for teachers, small business owners, artists, communications professionals and anyone interested in harnessing the power of the Internet.

This is a hands-on workshop so bring your own laptop and microphone (but observers without computers and microphones are also welcome). To register, visit hot4audio.eventbrite.com.

AAUW Book Sale dates announced

BRATTLEBORO — The annual Book Sale presented by Brattleboro branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will be held at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., on Thursday, Aug. 2 through Saturday, Aug. 4. Sale times are Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon.

The Book Sale, a feature of the Brattleboro summer season for more than 50 years, attracts dealers and buyers from all over New England. Beside hard cover and paperback books, for sale will also be CDs, videotapes, and audiobooks.

Donations of good, saleable items are solicited from area residents. Boxes will be received on July 29, from noon to 3 p.m., at the side door of Centre Church (under the fire escape). Boxes may also be left at any time on the front porch of 192 Western Ave.

The sales committee requests donors to not bring Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, encyclopedias, college textbooks, or torn and yellow paper paperbacks. Profits from the book sale support the college scholarships AAUW awards each year. For more information, contact chair Jenifer Ambler at 802-254-9181.

Roast pork dinner served in BF

BELLOWS FALLS — The United Church of Bellows Falls on School Street will host a roast pork dinner on Friday, Aug. 3, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The menu includes roast pork, applesauce, corn on the cob, baked beans, garden salad, pie, ice cream, watermelon, and beverages.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, and children under 5 eat free. Take out is available. Advance tickets may be obtained from Janice Manning at 802-463-3485.

BMH offers free workshop on managing chronic pain

BRATTLEBORO -- Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will offer another series of the Stanford University Chronic Pain Self-Management Program starting Thursday, Aug. 7.

The free, six-week workshop teaches participants to better self-manage their pain, stress and frustration with a variety of fun and practical techniques including flexibility exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, action plans, nutrition tips, group support and more. Participants who complete the Chronic Pain Workshop report feeling less pain, less stress and feeling better overall.

Two trained leaders facilitate the sessions, which meet each Thursday through Sept. 11 from 5-7:30 p.m. in Brew Barry Conference Center, Room 1, at BMH. A light dinner is provided and all participants receive the “Chronic Pain Workbook” and a CD with flexibility exercises.

Chronic Pain Workshops are part of the Vermont Blueprint for Health. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has received a grant to hold four workshops in 2012. Caregivers are also invited to attend. At least 10 participants are needed to run the class. Advance registration is available by contacting Wendy Cornwell or Jessie Casella at 802-251-8459, or by emailing wcornwell@bmhvt.org.

State, federal lead paint certification courses offered

BRATTLEBORO — Lead Safe and Healthy Homes, in collaboration with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, is hosting free lead paint safety courses for those interested in learning more about Vermont’s Lead Law.

Vermont’s Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) classes will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 21 and Oct. 30, at the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust in Brattleboro and Sept. 25 at the Springfield Fire Department in Springfield, from 5-9 p.m.

Vermont law requires that all landlords, contractors, and day care facility owners disturbing more than 1 square foot of paint in a rental property or child occupied facility built before 1978 be EMP certified.

Lead Safe and Healthy Homes is also hosting EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting classes on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Oct. 16, at the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust in Brattleboro, and Sept. 11 at the Springfield Fire Department, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. These federal certification classes are $150 to register. All landlords and contractors that disturb more than 6 square foot of paint are required to obtain EPA certification or be supervised by a certified renovator.

At these trainings participants will learn about the requirements of Vermont’s lead paint law and related federal regulations, the health effects of lead in children and adults, lead-safe work practices and how to protect yourself from liability. Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Contact Lead Safe and Healthy Homes at 802-463-9927, ext. 208 or ext. 207, with any questions or to register.

Google donates 100 computers to Vermont public libraries, adult education sites

MONTPELIER – Google has donated 100 computers and funding for software to Vermont public libraries and adult education sites.

Among the 34 libraries and eight adult education sites that received donations are Jamaica Memorial Library and the Windham Town Library. The sites across the state receiving the computers were in dire need of more and newer equipment. The only condition is that the donated computers must be available for use by the public and not for library staff, in order to increase the capacity for citizens to have access to the Internet and tools for lifelong learning.

The gift, which is valued at nearly $25,000 combined, is part of a larger effort by Google to donate surplus equipment from their offices, includes desktop computers and flat screen monitors, keyboards and mice, all completely refurbished and loaded with the latest software operating systems. None of the computers is more than three years old.

Google sent the 100 computers and necessary equipment free of charge, and included $10,000 for the purchase of software. This donation is an extension of the e-Vermont Community Broadband program, of which the Vermont Department of Libraries is a partner. For more information about the e-Vermont project, sponsored by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, visit e4vt.org.

Dunking booth featured at Grace Cottage Fair Day

TOWNSHEND — A brave Windham County sheriff is getting “dunked” for charity at the Grace Cottage Fair on Aug. 4.

Joining other local luminaries for the “Celebrity Dunk,” Sgt. George Badgley will be a prime target, along with Grace Cottage CEO Mick Brant, Pharmacy Director Jim Heal, and Townshend’s favorite MD, Robert Backus. Fairgoers will bid on the right to dunk the celebrity of their choice.

Sergeant Badgley has worked in law enforcement for 32 years, including 16 years with the Vermont State Police. He said he is ready and willing to go underwater for such a good cause.

There will also be a new booth at the fair called Munchies, offering a wide variety of eatables including fudge, trail mix, Chocolate dipped pretzels with sprinkles, and a large variety of other things to eat.

Co-chairs Pricilla Lyman and Walter Meyer of the new Munchies booth are looking for candy and eatable food makers who would like to help this new idea get off to a running start. Munchies include almost anything home-made from peanut brittle to Chocolate dipped fruits, etc. Cooks interested in showing off their favorite eatable creations can call Meyer for more information at 802-365-4246.

Munchy makers can deliver their goodies to Walter Meyer’s home on Friday before Fair Day or Saturday morning at the Munchies Booth. Refrigeration will be available.

Now in its 62nd year, more than 3,000 folks attend the Grace Cottage Hospital Fair every year, enjoying great food, book and toy booths, pony rides, and a giant all-day auction. Run totally on volunteer power, the fair raises more than $50,000 annually for hospital equipment, such as a Holter heart monitor and new CT Scan facility.

The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The celebrity dunk takes place at 1 p.m. The day ends with a chicken barbecue at supper time. For more information, call Stan Holt, president of the Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary, at 802-365-4455.

Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association hosts annual Clearing Day at the Pinnacle

WESTMINSTER WEST — The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association (WHPA) will host its annual Clearing Day at the Pinnacle on Saturday, Aug. 4. This annual workday is essential to keep the spectacular view at the Pinnacle open. Volunteers should bring loppers and gloves, water, and a lunch/snack. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Pinnacle shelter. All are welcome!

The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association was established in November 1991, with the mission to acquire, conserve, and/or make accessible a portion of the scenic rural lands of Windmill Ridge and neighboring areas. It is now a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under both state and federal law.

The Pinnacle is the highest and most scenic peak (about 1,683 feet above sea level) in Westminster. It is located on the Windmill Ridge, straddling the Brookline/Westminster line.

The view from the Pinnacle overlooks Hedgehog Gulf in Brookline and westward to Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain. Its lands now consist of over 1,820 acres in Rockingham, Athens, Brookline, and Westminster. These publicly-accessible lands include an extensive hiking trail system and wildlife sanctuary. For more information, go to www.windmillhillpinnacle.org.

Host families needed for PAX exchange students

BRATTLEBORO — Teens in countries around the globe are starting to pack their bags to come to the U.S. as high school exchange students. Ann Newsmith, local coordinator for PAX, the Program of Academic Exchange, is interviewing families who would be interested in hosting one of these young ambassadors who will be attending Brattleboro Union High School and other area high schools.

PAX students come from over 70 different countries in Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. They are between the ages of 15 and 18, speak English, and look forward to living like American teens — joining sports teams, studying for exams, and participating fully in family life. PAX is happy to match a student to a family’s interests and lifestyle.

Among the students who hope to have a family in southern Vermont are Lorianne, age 18, who plays flute, piano, and bass, and loves to dance, and Miren, a 15-year old girl from Spain, who plays flute, guitar, and also loves to sing and dance. Jinghao from China is a 16-year old boy who likes basketball, running, swimming, and animals.

PAX offers several options — serving as a welcome family for the first four to six weeks, hosting for a semester, or taking a student for the full school year. Host families need only provide a place for the student to sleep and study, meals, and a warm, supportive environment. Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply.

Since students arrive in just over a month, families are asked to contact Ann Newsmith at 802-257-4710 or annN@pax.org. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. Find out more at www.pax.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #162 (Wednesday, July 25, 2012).

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