Around the Towns

Brooks Memorial Library to close for staff training on May 2

BRATTLEBORO - On Thursday, May 2, Brooks Memorial Library will close all day in order for staff to attend training on its new ILS (integrated library system) that will come online Monday, June 3.

During the day the book and video drops will be open, as well as all digital services including our full-text databases and eBook/eAudio downloading sites. These sites may also be accessed at

The new ILS is based on an open-source software called Koha, which will drive the newly created Catamount Library Network. The CLN is the first phase of a statewide resource sharing consortium of five libraries under the leadership of Vermont Department of Libraries. The consortium includes Brooks, Rutland Free Library, Springfield Library, Fletcher Memorial Library in Ludlow, and Waterbury Public Library.

Brattleboro Area Farmers' Market opens for the season May 4

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Area Farmers' Market opens for the season Saturday, May 4. Join them in welcoming new and returning vendors, market friends and customers, and the many signs of spring - including the traditional Maypole Dancing, with Andy Davis and friends, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Families are welcome.

The market is open outdoors on Route 9 in West Brattleboro, rain or shine, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EBT and debit cards are welcome. Enjoy their picnic tables, children's area and take advantage of their ample parking or Frequent Walker/Biker Program. Call 802-254-8885 for more information.

Pinnacle Association presents birding walk with Richard Foye on May 4

WESTMINSTER - Well-known professional potter Richard Foye of Newfane is also a most accomplished birder. He leads bird walks for Southeastern Vermont Audubon and this year will be leading one for the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association. He'll identify birds by sight and sound and help participants fine-tune their own birding skills on this early-morning walk to the Pinnacle's outlook on Saturday May 4, 7-10 a.m.

Those who have been birding with him before say he comes from a birding family, has a life-long interest in birds, and can accurately imitate bird calls and verbalize their songs. Those attributes make him a skilled and entertaining leader.

Participants should bring along binoculars and a bird book, if they have them, and meet at the Holden Trail kiosk in Westminster.

Directions to the Holden Trail Kiosk may be found on the Access Map, which may be downloaded from the Pinnacle Association's website: The website will also list information about other upcoming Pinnacle programs. For additional information and registration for the birding walk, please contact Sarah Waldo at 802-387-6036 or [email protected].

Exit 1 Gateway Project to hold spring planting, Green Up

BRATTLEBORO - Last fall, the Exit 1 Gateway Project planted 1,000 daffodils at Exit 1. They are starting to bloom now. Area residents are invited to come out to Exit 1 on Green Up Day, May 4, to help plant more flowers, help green-up the Exit 1 end of Canal Street, and admire the daffodils.

To start right in doing Spring Planting, come to Exit 1 at 10 a.m. To do Green Up first and then planting, come at 10 a.m. to the Green Up table. The Brattleboro Conservation Commission will have Green Up bags there, and hot drinks and snacks.

At Exit 1, Project members have flowers and seeds ready to plant and they'll get you started gardening. If you get hungry, you will be able to buy lunch, snacks, or drinks at the nearby Irving gas station, Burger King, and Price Chopper. There is plenty of parking space at the Price Chopper and the Outlet Center.

For more information, call or email Martha, 802 254-2331 or [email protected].

Osher Lectures on Broadway, Arab Spring

DUMMERSTON-The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)'s spring series of morning and afternoon lectures continues on Monday, May 6.

In the morning, Zeke Hecker, a composer and student of music, will discuss “Company” and the so-called “Concept” musical. The afternoon program, by Lynette Rummel of Marlboro College, will examine reasons why the Arab Spring hasn't taken root in Algeria.

Morning lectures will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Afternoon lectures from 1 to 3 p.m. All will be held at the Southeast Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 Vermont Route 5, in Dummerston. Parking and handicapped access are available. Light refreshments will be served. For further information, call 802-257-8600 or toll-free 866-889-0042.

AAUW annual meeting to be held May 7

PUTNEY - The annual dinner meeting of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will be held at the Putney Inn on Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m.

The speaker will be Shambalia Gadsden Sams of Brattleboro. Her topic is “Sexism and Racism, Women's Role in the Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage movements.”

Sams serves as a commissioner on the Vermont Commission on Women, the youngest and the first African-American to be appointed. She is a member of the boards of Southern Vermont for Undoing Racism and Free is Art (in Brattleboro) and Umoja: Promoting Gender Equality in Burundi to Prevent and Combat All Forms of Violence (Massachusetts and Burundi).

A graduate of Shaw University and other graduate programs, Sams has worked for the rights of women in Kenya and Jamaica.

At a business meeting preceding dinner, there will be election of officers for next year, and honoring of a Woman of Distinction, a member who has contributed to both the AAUW branch and the community.

BMH Auxiliary hosts discussion with Madeline Kunin on May 8

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is sponsoring a community-wide event with former Vermont Gov. Madeleine M. Kunin on Wednesday, May 8, at the New England Youth Theatre.

Based on her 2012 book The New Feminist Agenda (Chelsea Green), Kunin's discussion will address longstanding concerns about opportunity and family responsibilities, including innovative work/family policies embracing affordable quality child care, paid family leave, and equal pay for equal work.

“Can women and men unite on sensible and fair family/work issues?” she asks in The New Feminist Agenda. President Bill Clinton states: “In this important new book, Madeleine Kunin argues that empowering women to succeed at home and at work is both good economics and good social policy. She presents a convincing roadmap for how we achieve that vision, and calls on all of us to be part of a brighter future.”

The event begins with a social hour at 5 p.m., with Kunin's presentation starting at 6 p.m. There will be a question and answer session where Kunin will also take time to autograph her book. Special thanks to Everyone's Books for donating a portion of the proceeds to the BMH Auxiliary. The BMH Auxiliary will host a brief business meeting after the Q&A session and anyone who is interested in becoming a member may stay.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted. The New England Youth Theatre is located at 100 Flat St. Seating is limited. Call 802-257-0688 to make reservations in advance.

Rockingham Library hosts tribute to Pete Seeger May 8

BELLOWS FALLS - The Rockingham Free Public Library welcomes Steve Crofter and Laurel Green on Wednesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. for a special tribute to Pete Seeger.

The program is titled, “Pete Seeger: Inspiration through Music,” and will feature some glimpses into the life and music of Pete Seeger through stories, song, and video clips. We'll look at how this most famous American folksinger used singing to inspire himself and others. We'll also look at how his life and music inspires us to take action to make the world a better place.

Green and Crofter moved to Singing River Farm near Brockways Mills Gorge in Rockingham a year ago. Longtime residents of southern Windham County and Papagayos, Mexico, they come to their new community with a strong interest in group singing of folk music.

The library is located at 65 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls and online at The facility is currently under construction and temporarily not wheelchair accessible. Please call the library at 802-463-4270 to request special accommodations.

Recreation & Parks Department presents Summer Registration Extravaganza

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will hold its annual Summer Program Registration Extravaganza on May 14-16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Conference Room at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St.

Families will be able to register for the department's summer programs all at one convenient location - Summer Day Camp, Little Peoples Camp, “Hoop It Up” Basketball Camp, Baseball Camp, Gymnastics Camp, Track & Field, Tennis Lessons, Golf Lessons, Art Classes, Challenger Soccer Camp, U.S. Sports Camp, Discounted Pool Passes, Lacrosse Camp, Mad Science Camp, and more.

The 2013 Summer Brochure will be distributed to the Brattleboro elementary schools, local banks, Chamber of Commerce, and the Gibson-Aiken Center, as well as For more information, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.

Benefits of massage: Workshop at Grace Cottage

TOWNSHEND - Getting a massage feels good, but it's also good for you. Learn more at a workshop to be held on Wednesday, May 15, from 6:30- 8:30 p.m., at Grace Cottage Hospital.

During this workshop, you will learn about the benefits to mind, body, emotion, and spirit from this “good feeling” medicine. You will also learn what to expect from a massage and what is expected from you. The workshop will cover tips on how to find the best massage therapist for you, how to get the most from your massage, and self-care after a massage, including ways to integrate the lessons from a massage into the creation of a healthy lifestyle.

Debra Ty, a Massage Therapist for 25 years, will lead the workshop. She is a teacher of massage and the author of In Good Hands: A Guide to Seeking and Receiving Massage.

The workshop will be held at the Grace Cottage Wellness Center, 133 Grafton Rd. (Rte. 35) in Townshend. The workshop fee is $25 if pre-registered and $30 at the door. To register, call the Grace Cottage Wellness line, 802-365-3637 For more information about the workshop, contact Ty at [email protected] or 802-368-7225.

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