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Health of Beaver Brook to be discussed at forum

WILMINGTON — Connecticut River Conservancy and Deerfield River Watershed Association invite landowners and concerned citizens to join them Thursday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Memorial Hall, 14 West Main St., for a public forum to learn about and discuss the health of one of Wilmington’s downtown waterways, Beaver Brook. Refreshments will be served.

Volunteers with Deerfield River Watershed Association have been conducting water quality sampling in Beaver Brook and other Wilmington area waterways for the past two years. Additionally, through a Vermont Watershed Grant, Connecticut River Conservancy staff conducted a stream walk of Beaver Brook in June to visually assess the health of the brook.

Guests from state and local agencies will be on hand to answer questions and assist with detailed watershed information.

The Deerfield River Watershed Association is a nonprofit with the mission to preserve and protect the resources of the watershed in Southern Vermont and Northwestern Massachusetts

Democracy: The good, the bad, and the ugly

BRATTLEBORO — A couple of days after the midterm elections, the theme of the local Toastmasters club meeting on Nov. 8 will be “Democracy: The good, the bad, and the ugly.” The BrattleMasters meeting runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of 28 Vernon Street (formerly Marlboro College Grad Center.)

Annamarie Pluhar of East Dummerston will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening. All speakers and those taking part in extemporaneous speaking exercises will attempt to incorporate the theme and the word of the day into their speeches, in some way.

Each speaker is assigned an evaluator who will present a two-to-three minute evaluation after the speech. An “ah” counter, grammarian, and timer will give reports near the end of the meeting.

Current members are from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Guests are welcome to visit, watch, and listen at no charge. Light refreshments will be available. For information about the local club, visit

Against the Grain, Strolling of the Heifers unite to support Project Feed The Thousands

BRATTLEBORO — A local food manufacturer has joined efforts with Strolling of the Heifers to raise awareness, funds, and food donations for project Feed the Thousands, the largest annual food drive in southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, from noon to 3 p.m., the community is invited to stop by the River Garden at 157 Main St. in Brattleboro for a Funds and Food Donation Pizza Party.

Attendees will be given freshly baked pizza, a drink, and a dessert in exchange for a donation and/or a nonperishable food item for Project Feed the Thousands. The pizza party will feature many allergy-free options, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan pizza and desserts. Local musicians will provide entertainment during the event.

Pinnacle Association hosts Bald Hill Hike

WESTMINSTER — A guided hike offered by the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., will introduce participants to a very special regional resource: the combined 7-mile trail system on the Rockingham/Westminster lands of the 50-acre WHPA Bald Hill Reserve and the 200 acres of the Bellows Falls Union High School.

BFUHS controls more land than any other public high school in Vermont. Vanessa Stern, a member of the Bald Hill Committee of the Pinnacle Association and a WHPA Board Member, will lead this moderate jaunt to explore area uplands and the path beside the beautiful Saxtons River that leads to the rock basins and Twin Falls.

Participants should dress warmly, wear waterproof shoes, and bring water. Hikers should meet at the Bald Hill kiosk on Covered Bridge Road in Westminster. Contact Vanessa Stern at 802-463-4948 or for information and registration.

Holiday bazaar in Alstead

ALSTEAD, N.H. — The annual Holiday Bazaar will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Third Congregational Church UCC, 14 River St. There will be jewelry, hand sewn items, knitted and crocheted items, Christmas ornaments, Christmas greens, stained glass, birdhouses, dolls, blankets, heart-shaped pot holders, and more with area crafters in attendance.

The Guild tables will include Granny’s Table with gently used, clean items sold, mostly by donation; home-baked goods, and a raffle table with items from the crafters. At the raffle table will also be a handmade quilt with the proceeds to go to Heifer International. Also, there will be a Christmas tree set up by Christmas for Alstead Children with tags for area boys and girls.

Throughout the day, the Guild will offer food and beverages from the kitchen, with soup and sandwiches also available for purchase during the noon hour. To inquire about the availability of space to set up, and registration forms, contact Joanne at 603-835-6734.

Hunters supper in Halifax

HALIFAX — The rifle and shotgun season for deer hunting in Vermont begins this Saturday, and part of the tradition of the hunt is the annual Hunters’ Turkey Supper on Nov. 10 at the West Halifax Community Hall, located at 20 Brook Rd.

Roast turkey with all the trimmings will be served family style, with pie for dessert, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and free for preschoolers. Everyone is welcome.

Windham presents annual Harvest Supper

WINDHAM — Windham’s annual Harvest Supper and Square Dance is Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m., at the historic Windham Meeting House, 26 Harrington Rd., on the corner of Windham Hill Road.

The traditional dinner is hosted and prepared by the Windham Community Organization, and will include ham, butternut squash, baked beans, scalloped potatoes (plus a gluten-free version), salad, sweet breads, rolls, and assorted homemade pies, all for $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $25 per family. A vegetarian Mexican Cornbread casserole will also be available.

Donations are very much appreciated for our musicians. After dessert, Sally Newton will be directing our youth ukulele players, and then calling the moves for a lively square dance. She will be accompanied by talented local musicians (many of whom are Sally’s relatives). All proceeds benefit Windham area residents through the WCO.

Burton’s offers free car washes for veterans

BRATTLEBORO — For the 11th year, burton Car Wash , 873 Putney Rd., is participating in the nationwide Grace for Vets program.

Free top-of-the-line car washes will be given to all veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans’ Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In case of inclement weather, a rain check can be picked up.

In addition to the complimentary wash, burton’s will also organize a drawing for a 5-Ultimate wash card — to be given to one of the many veterans who visits the wash on Veterans Day. For more information, call 802-257-5191.

BF Woman’s Club to meet

BELLOWS FALLS — Club members and guests are invited to the Nov. 13 meeting of the Bellows Falls Woman’s Club, to be held at the United Church, School Street, beginning at 1:30 p.m. They will hear a presentation by Librarian Justine Fafara of Bridge Memorial Library in Walpole, N.H. Nonperishable food and personal-care items will be collected for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf.

The Oct. 9 meeting featured Lisa Muzzey speaking on the 4-H program. She is program director for Windham and Windsor counties and she gave a detailed overview of the 4-H program and its philosophy as well as the many active 4-H clubs in this area. Women interested in joining the club and helping with its projects may contact Wendy O’Dette at

Free speech on campus to be discussed at Landmark College

PUTNEY — The final presentation of the fall 2018 Landmark College Academic Speaker Series is by Linus Owens of Middlebury College, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., in the Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, located in the East Academic Building.

Entitled “Divisiveness is Not Diversity — Academic Freedom and Free Speech on Campus,” the talk will touch on Owens’ first-hand experience with challenges faced by Middlebury College during the March 2017 visit by controversial author Charles Murray, which was disrupted by hundreds of student protestors.

Owens is an Associate Professor of Sociology whose research interests focus on movements, places, and the conflicts that bring them together or push them apart. His books include Cracking Under Pressure: Narrating Decline in the Amsterdam Squatters’ Movement (Amsterdam University Press & Penn State University Press, 2009), and Lost in the Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook (Soft Skull Press, 2008).

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Eve Leons at

Talk looks at managing wetlands, forests for flood resilience

WESTMINSTER — On Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Westminster Institute on Route 5, at 7 p.m., the Westminster Conservation Commission will host a public forum and “listening session” to let residents know about the work the commission is doing to better understand the role of our wetland and forest resources in water storage and erosion prevention.

According to a news release from the commission, the Westminster Town Plan includes a section on flood resilience which encourages the town to evaluate areas that should be protected in order to reduce flood hazards. These include “floodplains, river corridors, lands adjacent to streams, wetlands, and upland forests, to reduce the risk of flood damage to infrastructure and improved property.”

To this end, the commission applied for and received a small Watershed Grant through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to inventory and assess some of these areas.

Chard deNiord reads at Putney library

PUTNEY — Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord will appear at Putney Public Library, 55 Main St., on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. DeNiord will read from and discuss his newest collection of interviews with poets, I Would Lie to You If I Could. He will also read his poetry. This program is free and open to the public.

DeNiord is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Interstate (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). He is also the author of two books of interviews with American poets.

A professor of English and creative Writing at Providence College, where he has taught since 1998, deNiord is also a trustee of the Ruth Stone Trust and a board member of the Story Preservation Initiative. He lives in Westminster West with his wife Liz.

Brattleboro Senior Center hosts annual Thanksgiving luncheon

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Senior Center and Brattleboro Senior Meals will host their annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The menu will include appetizer trays, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, and assorted breads and pies. Appetizers will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Suggested donation for seniors over 60 is $4.50 and for all others is $7.25. Make your reservations early as seating is limited to the first 150 callers. For reservations, call 802-257-1236 or 802-257-7570.

Food distribution date changes in Putney

PUTNEY — Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday, the Putney Food Drop will take place on the third Thursday this month.

The next Food Drop at Putney Meadows, 17 Carol Brown Way (white building across from the Putney Co-op and Putney Fire Station), will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 9 to 9:45 a.m.

All are welcome to come for free produce and some nonperishable items distributed by the Vermont Foodbank and the Putney Foodshelf. This event is open to anyone in the community. Bring your own shopping bags.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #484 (Wednesday, November 7, 2018). This story appeared on page C2.

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