Some of the 1,700 girls entered in the annual Girls on the Run 5K Run/Walk pass the starting line in 2012.

Joy factory

Vermont’s chapter of Girls on the Run celebrates 25 years of cultivating young hearts, minds, and spirits

BRATTLEBORO-In 1999, when her daughters were young, Nancy Heydinger says she "wanted to find a way to ensure that they would grow up loving themselves, feeling complete."

"I wanted them to celebrate and embrace their natural gifts, to know that what they communicated was of value, and to believe that they could make an important impact in their communities and in our world," the Vernon resident told The Commons.

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‘Nobody needs a 7,000 square foot house anymore’

A state program encourages ‘mom and pop’ landlords to develop affordable housing

BRATTLEBORO-A state pandemic-era program aimed at encouraging "mom-and-pop landlords" to create affordable housing is set to launch a second round of grant funding this spring. With millions of dollars to be awarded statewide, the Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP) provides these local housing developers up to $50,000 per unit...

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Rockingham voters mark ballots for change

Dunbar, North, Cowan elected to Rockingham Selectboard; Paul Obuchowski returned to UHS #27 school board

ROCKINGHAM-Town Meeting voting on April 1 and 2 brought several changes to school boards and the Selectboard. It was a particularly rough night for those seeking reelection. The incumbents — Rockingham School Board chair Priscilla Lambert; Deborah Wright, who was also running for a one-year Selectboard seat; and Bellows...

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‘It was unlike anything I had experienced at that age’

BRATTLEBORO-Theresa Glabach, Girls on the Run Vermont board member, coaches the program at Putney Central School alongside physical education teacher Maddie Harlow. Glabach spoke with The Commons recently. Here is an excerpt from the conversation: Victoria Chertok: What was it about GOTRVT that drew you in initially? Theresa Glabach: I first came to Girls on the Run as a SoleMate [described on the GOTR website as a "community made up of passionate people raising money for Girls on the Run"].

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A year after tragedy, Groundworks looks forward

BRATTLEBORO-Five years ago, Groundworks Collaborative - a nonprofit whose tagline promises "basic needs met with dignity" - hoped to help a rising number of people sleeping on the streets by unveiling plans for a $3.3 million drop-in center and overnight shelter. "Thinking back to that moment, we thought, 'This is the way,'" Libby Bennett, then in charge of the organization's development and communications office, recalled of the overall trajectory. No one foresaw the seismic shift that would come with the...

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Mosaic Project takes steps toward fruition

BRATTLEBORO-With the launch of an online fundraising campaign and two main events - a Smash Party this Saturday and a Co-creation Celebration on Saturday, April 20 - an initiative to create a mosaic mural on the vacant wall of a downtown park is becoming a reality. The Pliny Park Mosaic Project began as the brainchild of Greg Lesch, the executive director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jamie Mohr, the executive director of Epsilon Spires, a not-for-profit organization...

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Balint seeks second term

BRATTLEBORO-There are times when Vermont likes to go all in, so in 2022, when it decided to send its first female to Congress, it chose Becca Balint, an idealistic lesbian politician, a progressive Democrat, a Brattleboro resident, a mother of two, a former teacher, and the former president pro tem of the Vermont Senate. "It's been an incredible joy and a privilege," Balint told The Commons when she announced her re-election campaign late last month. "And it feels like an...

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Brattleboro police chief finds stories in the numbers

BRATTLEBORO-Norma Hardy looks at the town as "a very, very busy hive," with the police chief noting that the Brattleboro Police Department (BPD) responded to 11,277 calls for services in 2023. That's up almost 8% since last year, according to the BPD's 2023 Annual Report. But embedded in the numbers are difficult stories of a community, and Hardy took The Commons through the numbers in a recent interview, offering some context about a still-understaffed police force adapting to providing public...

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