People of all ages participated in Out in the Open’s Liberation March on June 9.
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‘All of our liberations are connected’

Out in the Open leaders organize a Liberation March for Palestinians in Gaza — a cause they see as intertwined with the LGBTQ+ community’s own journey

BRATTLEBORO-On a wet and gray June 9, amid a range of Pride Month celebrations and activities throughout the region, a diverse array of people of all ages congregated in the High-Grove parking lot to prepare for a Liberation March in support of the people of Palestine.

The march was organized by Out in the Open, with the LGBTQ+ nonprofit encouraging participants to make themselves visible.

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Draft zoning bylaws go to a hearing June 17

LONDONDERRY-Following a row, a resignation, and a passel of accusations, the Selectboard will host a public hearing on Monday, June 17, at 5 p.m. to take public comments about the proposed revision of the town's zoning bylaw to establish Unified Development Regulations (UDRs), including a zoning map. Proposed changes in the 218-page document would affect all properties in town. The Planning Commission has prepared a report, also available on the website, that summarizes the proposed bylaw changes. Residents and property...

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Brattleboro plans move to meterless parking

BRATTLEBORO-Changes about how folks pay for parking downtown are in the works after the Selectboard agreed on June 4 to transition to an all-kiosk, pay-by-plate system. "This is a significant body of work; it's really important," said Selectboard chair Daniel Quipp of the recommendations presented by Assistant Town Administrator Patrick Moreland, which followed a May 29 staff review of the fiscal year 2025 parking fund budget. Moreland said the total parking system improvement budget - including the removal of meters,

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After more than a century, sturgeon return to Bellows Falls

BELLOWS FALLS-It has taken two years since researchers first began accumulating evidence, but on June 7, scientists announced that shortnose sturgeon are living in the Connecticut River as far north as the hydroelectric dam in Bellows Falls. Sturgeon exist in the fossil record going back 250 million years and, for thousands of years, have been native species in the Connecticut River. But this is the first time that sturgeon, which can grow up to 4.5 feet in length and live...

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A tireless foreign language teacher bids au revoir

BRATTLEBORO-After a varied teaching career of 33 years, Alice Charkes, language teacher, is retiring on June 14. Since 2007 she has taught French to all grades at Green Street School. "It's important to understand the pulse of whom you're teaching," she said. "You have to know who the American kid is in the 2020s. My approach is to teach kids stuff that they can access and use, or that relates to them. It has to be interesting and immediate and...

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Democrats split over tax policy, government role

BRATTLEBORO-This summer's Democratic primary race in District 7 may be more than just a standard clash of personalities. It may be a sign of a class struggle, as well as a battleground for hearts and minds. District 7, which includes much of West Brattleboro, has been represented in the state Legislature for the past three terms by Emilie Kornheiser. Challenging her for the party's nomination on the ballot for the election on Tuesday, Aug. 13, is Amanda Ellis-Thurber, who co-owns...

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No paper July 3

BRATTLEBORO-A reminder to readers that The Commons will not publish an issue on Wednesday, July 3. In 2023, the board of directors of Vermont Independent Media, the nonprofit that publishes the newspaper, voted to suspend publication the week of Independence Day to give the newspaper's staff an additional week off. The Commons also pauses for one week at the end of each year, a tradition that dates back to its first year of weekly publication in 2010. Time-sensitive news, commentary,

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Humane Society plans ahead for a new furry clientele

BRATTLEBORO-The Windham County Humane Society (WCHS) is nearing completion of its expansion project that includes a veterinary clinic for public and shelter animals - and a local woman is returning to help run it. Dr. Alyssa Cote, who was born and raised in Bellows Falls, will work part time at WCHS's Pet Wellness Center along with Dr. Tara Torcoletti, staff veterinarian; Dr. Susan Kelly, volunteer veterinarian; and visiting veterinarian Dr. Sara White. Cote will start work at the clinic in...

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A sleepier statewide election season?

MONTPELIER-After a red-hot election cycle two years ago, Vermont is due for a significantly sleepier campaign season, according to unofficial filings with the secretary of state's office. Major party candidates were due to submit petitions to appear on the Aug. 13 primary election ballot by May 30, though it may take days for the candidate list to be finalized. In stark contrast to 2022, all of Vermont's statewide incumbents up for reelection are running again this year. And most of...

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