Alexandra Ossola

On a roll for a good cause

Hundreds turn out to support Big Brothers Big Sisters in annual ‘Bowl For Kids’ Sake’

Last Saturday, hundreds of bowlers of all ages flocked to Brattleboro Bowl for Youth Services' 32nd annual Bowl for Kids' Sake, the largest fundraising event of the year for its Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Participants join teams and raise money in the weeks leading up to the event, then spend a fun-filled day bowling, winning prizes, and having fun in support of the organization.

With several different types of programs in place, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves some 200 kids in the Brattleboro area every year. In addition to the traditional adult-kid mentoring program (with nearly 150 active mentors), the organization has been implementing new mentoring programs within schools, partnering students with others of their own age with disabilities, as well as high school students with middle school students.

The programs have shown lasting effects on mentors and mentees alike, with many relationships continuing many years into the future, even after formal oversight from Big Brothers Big Sisters has ceased.

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Conservation efforts take shape on Hogback Mountain

Former ski area is slowly be transformed into bird habitat

The 591-acre parcel now known as the Hogback Mountain Conservation Area has gone through many iterations. Bisected by Route 9, the property was a family-run ski area that operated from the late 1940s until the mid-1980s, when a development company purchased the land, and the open hillsides began to...

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Hooked on aquaponics

Brattleboro couple spreads the word about a more sustainable way of raising plants and fish

For visitors to the home of Mark and Susie Crowther, the blue plastic barrels can be the elephant in the room. What are those barrels doing in a room of their own, people wonder, and why do they keep emitting sounds of rushing water? They're aquaponics systems - closed,

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Having his back

The 26.2 miles of a marathon are known to be a test of human endurance, for those who have run the race as well as for those who have only imagined it. On Feb. 17 in Austin, Texas, Dummerston native Jeremiah Cioffi and his wife Kim ran the Livestrong Marathon on behalf of Brattleboro resident Neil Taylor. They did so to to honor Taylor's battle with cancer as well as gain a new understanding of his ongoing struggle. Jeremiah Cioffi,

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Twin Valley again dominates Junior Iron Chef competition

Squash pancakes, shepherd's pie, bruschetta, quinoa, lasagna, and gnocchi. Windham County middle and high school students dished this out and more when they squared off against their counterparts from school districts across the state at the sixth annual Junior Iron Chef Vermont competition, held Feb. 2 in Essex Junction. Historically, the Twin Valley teams have dominated the competition, winning 10 titles in six years. This year, the Dipsters middle school team won Best in Show for the morning heat, and...

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Building a community arts resource

The Next Stage Arts Project, housed in the former United Church of Putney building, has been organizing arts-based community events since its founding in 2011. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Boston-based Fresh Sound Foundation, the board has selected Westminster West resident Maria Basescu as its new executive director in charge of operations, promotion, and development. Fresh Sound Foundation is committed to building healthy communities through the arts, education, the environment and sustainable economic development. Two years ago,

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An invasive species’ impact grows

Although the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive species whose damage to hemlock trees has been well documented in its infestations all over the East Coast, has yet to kill a tree in Vermont, Windham County residents are still worried about what might happen here. The insect was first discovered in Vermont in 2007. According to James Esden, a Forest Protection Forester with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, nearly every town in Windham County has reported an...

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Making healthier meats local

Nestled on a hillside, Center Mountain Farm is one of the newer establishments to offer high-quality meats, many of which are raised by owners Madonna and Tim Racine. The Racines own the farm, which they opened in August 2011, raising chicken, eggs, turkey, and pigs. They sell much of their own produce, along with products from several local farms and artisans, in their small shop. When considering where to start their farm, Marlboro was a natural choice given the couple's...

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