From left, Cathy, Helen, and MaryJane Renaud assist their father Hyacinth, foreground, in moving wood into his workshop at the Estey buildings on Birge Street in Brattleboro.
Featured Story

Saving the Estey legacy

A daughter remembers how her father, woodworker Hyacinth Renaud, ended up with the remains of Brattleboro's most famous factory

BRATTLEBORO-MaryJane Renaud Giroux remembers the day in 1961 when her father, Hyacinth Renaud, came home from work with some news.

"I bought the Estey buildings," he told her mother, Louise.

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Visions for youth success

BRATTLEBORO-"The success of our communities is deeply connected to the ability of our youth to realize their educational, career, and life goals and aspirations and to access opportunities in Vermont and beyond." This is the belief at the heart of the Youth Opportunity Initiative, a project introduced by the Vermont Proposition in 2023 aimed at gathering the feedback of people across Vermont on the current state and potential future of youth education. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) backed...

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Brattleboro property tax rate to rise almost 8%

BRATTLEBORO-Property taxes will go up about 8% after the Selectboard voted unanimously July 9 to adopt the fiscal year 2025 property tax rate. Their vote was essentially a rubber stamp to pay for what was decided at this year's Representative Town Meeting, the Grand List, and state-mandated education rates, as Finance Director Kim Frost explained. "The good thing is state statute requires that the Selectboard set the rate, but every decision has been made, so that's a good thing," said...

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In Brattleboro House race, it’s youth versus experience

BRATTLEBORO-Two attorneys at vastly different points in their careers are vying for the open seat in District 9 vacated by Rep. Tristan Toleno, who will retire at the end of his term after serving for 12 years in the Legislature. Deputy State's Attorney David Gartenstein, 64, and criminal law attorney Ian Goodnow, 32, of Costello, Valente, and Gentry, are both seeking the seat. Both men are former chairs of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Gartenstein, currently the town moderator, has also served...

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Early, absentee ballots now available for Aug. 13 primary

BRATTLEBORO-Early and absentee ballots for the Aug. 13 State Primary Election are available by request. Absentee ballots for this election must be requested. Anyone wishing to vote early and in-person may do so at the Brattleboro Town Clerk's Office. This option is available through Monday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m. Anyone wishing to vote absentee may apply for an absentee ballot until Aug. 12, at 5 p.m., although it is recommended doing so as soon as possible to account for...

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A word about this week’s paper

BRATTLEBORO-Regular readers will notice the thinness of this week's Commons, the odd placement of usual features like the Sports page and the crossword puzzle, and the disturbing lack of the Voices section. While out of town at a professional conference last week, your editor contracted Covid, and the realities of time and space simply made it impossible to do otherwise. Next week's paper will feature an eight-page Voices section, which will include a tsunami of letters about the upcoming state...

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Creative vision

In so many aspects of Vermont living, the arts - photography, ceramics, woodworking, printing, dance, circus, fine art, theater, puppetry, literary arts, and music from classical to jazz to eclectic - figure in. The greater Brattleboro area itself is a microcosm of the Vermont scene with its high concentration of arts activity. At an April 23 gathering, the Economic & Social Impact of the Arts in Vermont, hosted by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) at Brattleboro's Stone Church, it...

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Fossil fuel friendly political groups shift focus, and money, to state

DOVER-When your money comes from fossil fuels, the last thing you want is a state trying to go "net zero," or fossil fuel free. That is why a network of political nonprofits funded by the Koch family acts all over the United States to protect its fossil fuel interests from things like heat pumps, solar panels, and greenhouse gas emissions controls. Koch Industries Inc. is the second largest privately owned company in the United States, according to Forbes, As described...

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In Brattleboro, big doings on the riverfront

BRATTLEBORO-After years of big plans for the downtown riverfront without much follow through, local residents are seeing two big projects take shape along the Connecticut River. The bigger project - the new $61.2 million General John Stark Memorial Bridge that will link Hinsdale, New Hampshire to Brattleboro, is in the homestretch. If all goes well, the bridge will be open to vehicular traffic by the end of November. It will replace a pair of century-old steel truss bridges. The newer...

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