Around the Towns

Brattleboro announces fall leaf collection schedule

BRATTLEBORO - The following dates have been scheduled for Brattleboro's curbside fall leaf collection. All locations will be picked up on Friday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Nov. 7. These will be the only days scheduled for curbside leaf pickup. There is no Saturday pickup.

Leaves and clippings must be in brown paper leaf bags and waiting at the curb by 7 a.m. on scheduled leaf collection days. Acceptable waste includes leaves, grass, clippings, garden waste, and twigs. No branches larger than an inch around and two feet long are allowed, and no other household trash is to be included.

No plastic bags or other containers will be accepted. Brown paper leaf bags are available for purchase at local businesses.

Town seeks to clarify water line responsibility

BRATTLEBORO - Many residents in the Brattleboro area are receiving mailings from HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp. in regard to water service line responsibility.

HomeServe, an independent company offering residential repair coverage plans, is not affiliated with the local utility supplying water to residents. This mailing is a solicitation to purchase insurance from HomeServe and is not associated with any utilities furnished by the Town of Brattleboro Water Department.

Although it is true that homeowners are responsible for the water line to the house, it can also be said that a properly installed copper water line can last many years.

Brattleboro's database shows more than 400 water services installed prior to 1950, and another 500 that do not have dates, out of 3,200 records. Brattleboro requires copper pipe under the street. Homeowners can choose what pipe they want for the rest of the way to their house.

Ultimately, homeowners are free to choose whether to purchase insurance. Brattleboro's water customers are welcome to call the Department of Public Works at 802-254-4255 with questions.

Human Services funding applications now available

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Human Services Review Committee is accepting applications for fiscal year 2016 Human Services funding.

The application, as well as instructions and guidelines, will be posted at The Human Services Review Committee Informational Meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Center's Hanna Cosman Meeting Room.

The deadline to submit applications to the Brattleboro Town Manager's Office is Monday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. For information on the application process, call Jan Anderson at 802-251-8151.

Brattleboro Area Techies to hold first meeting Oct. 16

BRATTLEBORO - Brattleboro Area Techies, a Windham County group, holds its first meeting on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Fireworks Restaurant, 69-73 Main St.

The group aims to facilitate networking among the area's many high-tech workers: designers, makers, educators, programmers, freelancers, videographers, artists, consultants, and business people who work in these fields.

This first meeting will be informal and give participants the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work. Relaxed networking follows.

For more information, contact Caleb Clark, EdTech Director, Marlboro Graduate Center at [email protected] or Internet consultant Bob Lawson at [email protected].

BAJC celebrates Simchat Torah

BRATTLEBORO - As Sukkot draws to a close, Simchat Torah begins. To sweeten the sadness of bidding farewell to our times in the sukkah, gazing at the stars or the colored leaves, the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community has one last rousing autumn celebration.

Simchat Torah, which means “Rejoicing in the Torah,” is a holiday that marks the completion of the annual cycle of reading chapters from the Torah each week, starting with Genesis 1 and scrolling, at last, to Deuteronomy 34.

Before the readings, there are processions around the synagogue with as many people as possible given the honor of carrying a Torah and singing and dancing with it. Children follow the processions around the synagogue, sometimes carrying miniature Torahs, plush Torahs, paper scrolls, or flags.

BAJC celebrates Simchat Torah on Friday, Oct. 17. There will be a Yizkor (memorial) service at 5:30 p.m., a potluck supper at 6, and the holiday service and celebration at 6:45.

Come for all or for any part of the evening. Adults may come for the Yizkor service. Bring a vegetarian/dairy dish to share if you are staying for (or coming for) the supper. Children may come for supper and for the celebration. All are welcome.

West River Farmers' Market heads indoors

LONDONDERRY - The West River Farmers' Market is moving indoors for the remainder of the year.

The indoor market will now be held Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Jan. 3, 2015, at Flood Brook School on Route 11, two miles west of the summer location. Many familiar vendors will be there, as will new faces and products.

Masons to host annual open house

BRATTLEBORO - Brattleboro Lodge of Freemasons will conduct its annual open house at its lodge building at 196 Main St. (the yellow building between the Baptist Church and the Post Office), on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Freemasonry is the world's oldest fraternity, having started as an outgrowth of the lodges of stone masons that existed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Freemasons no longer build cathedrals and other stone structures. Instead, they strive to build in themselves better people. The organization has existed in Brattleboro since 1811. Columbian Lodge was founded here that year and called it quits in 1964. Brattleboro Lodge, chartered in 1881, continues to this day.

Wellness in Windham presents Empathy Café

BRATTLEBORO - The Empathy Café is a free, educational, and experiential community forum presented in a fun and nourishing atmosphere. It's designed to help people walk away feeling more connected to themselves and to the community.

Join presenters Wendy Webber, Cara Benedetto, Mary Zabriskie, Robin White-Diamondstone, and Julie Plummer on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Brattleboro Retreat's Education Conference Center. They'll show participants around the Empathy Café's “menu” of activities that build on each other.

Participants will also gather tools to continue the practice.

Space is limited to 25. Registration is required by calling 802-258-3785.

This is a program of Wellness in Windham Health Education, a collaborative effort of the Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and Grace Cottage Hospital to provide health and wellness programming to residents of Windham County, Vermont, and the region.

Historical Society presents talk on Grafton Meeting House

GRAFTON - The New England meeting house has been an important factor in village life for more than 200 years. On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Grafton Historical Society will explore how the meeting house helped shape the town's history.

Grafton was growing rapidly in the early 1800s and the brick meeting house took on a different function and appearance for the people of Grafton. Research shows that this church likely was active in the Abolitionist movement.

Alan Berolzheimer, a Vermont historian, educator, and managing editor for the Vermont Historical Society, will give an overview on the Abolitionist movement in Vermont and the Grafton brick meeting house's possible role in it.

The event is free. Donations are warmly appreciated. For more information, contact the Grafton Historical Society at 802-843 2584 or [email protected].

Osher lectures continue

DUMMERSTON - The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) continues its series of autumn morning and afternoon lectures on Oct. 20 with programs on the nature of comedy and the meaning of economic well-being.

In the morning series of six lectures, Stephen Stearns will examine comic improvisation. In the afternoon lectures, Jim Tober will consider economic inequality through history and Thomas Piketty's “Capital.”

Morning lectures run from 10 a.m. to noon; afternoon lectures run from 1 to 3 p.m.

All lectures are held at the Southeastern Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 Vermont Route 5. Parking and handicapped access are available, and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 802-257-8600 or 866-889-0042.

Workshop offers new ways to track animals

DUMMERSTON - Forester and tracker Lynn Levine presents “A New Way of Tracking” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

This is an interactive program for all ages. Levine uses her new book, “Mammal Tracks and Scat: Life-Size Pocket Guide,” to teach, in a hands-on way, her unique process for identifying 33 mammals commonly encountered in the field. Children and adults will learn how to move like these mammals and how to interpret the tracks they leave behind.

She also will use her carefully preserved collection of scat of New England's mammals, from mouse to moose, to help participants hone their outdoor discovery skills. The program takes place at The Learning Collaborative, 471 Route 5, Dummerston (1.8 miles north of the Exit 3 roundabout).

The program is sponsored by the Dummerston Conservation Commission. For more information, visit

AARP chapter to visit Historical Center

BRATTLEBORO - AARP Chapter 763 and interested friends will meet Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 1:30 p.m. at the Masonic Center, 198 Main St., to visit the Brattleboro Historical Society's new historical center, which contains some of the society's collection and other displays of early Brattleboro history.

John Carnahan and Elizabeth McCollum will guide members through the center and explain the memorabilia. Entry to the building is through the doorway facing the Baptist Church.

AAUW to discuss rising number of women in prison in Vermont

BRATTLEBORO - Women in prison in Vermont is the topic of the meeting of the Brattleboro branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The public is invited to the discussion at 7 p.m. in room 2C of the Marlboro College Graduate Center, 28 Vernon St.

Rep. Molly Burke, P-Brattleboro and AAUW member Louise Luring will share information presented at a recent summit on Women in Corrections in Vermont hosted by Vermont Law School and co-sponsored by the Vermont Commission on Women, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Women's Legislative Caucus, the Vermont Law School's Black Law Students' Association, Women's Law Group, and National Lawyers' Guild.

Burke is also studying the issue as a member of the Legislative Caucus of the Vermont House of Representatives.

“This is an issue most of us don't know much about,” Luring says. “There are approximately 151 women in Vermont prisons at any one time, mostly for nonviolent crimes, and the number of female prisoners is rising faster than that of males.

She adds: “It costs Vermont taxpayers $85,000 per year to maintain a prisoner, so we need to be sure programs are in place to keep women from re-offending and landing back in jail, the so-called 'churn' effect."

For more information, visit or call 802-387-5875.

Medicare Open Enrollment period begins

SPRINGFIELD - Medicare's Annual Open Enrollment period runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. This is an important opportunity for all Medicare beneficiaries to review their Medicare Drug Coverage and Medicare Advantage plans.

Enrollees may choose to remain in their current plan, or to switch plans if they find a choice that better suits their needs. If their current plan is discontinued, open enrollment may be the only time to choose a different plan.

Medicare beneficiaries should ask these questions during Open Enrollment: Is the cost (premium) of my plan changing? Will my plan still cover the drugs I need? Are there any drug restrictions? How does my plan coordinate with any state or federal benefits? Is there a plan that fits my needs better than my current one?

Doing one's homework for Open Enrollment can be confusing, but here's the good news: Free personalized advice is available for Medicare beneficiaries in Vermont.

Senior Solutions and other area Agencies on Aging help Vermonters learn everything they need to know about Medicare. Offerings include free classes, information by Internet, and personalized service by telephone. For unbiased information about Medicare and Open Enrollment, call Vermont's Senior HelpLine at 800-642-5119 or visit

NAMI Vermont offers mental illness and recovery workshop

BRATTLEBORO - The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) offers a mental illness and recovery workshop for family members, peers, professionals, and community members who want to learn more about mental illness and recovery.

The workshop, hosted by Health Care & Rehabilitation Services of Vermont (HCRS), runs Saturday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provides basic information on major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

The workshop also will provide an overview of effective treatments for mental illness, accessing services throughout the state, evidence-based practices available in Vermont, coping strategies and crisis prevention, recovery, and next steps for making progress.

The free NAMI Vermont mental illness and recovery workshop is made possible by a grant from the Department of Mental Health.

For more information or to register, contact Laurie Emerson at 800-639-6480, ext. 102, or [email protected].

It Takes A Village seeks volunteers to support families with new babies

BRATTLEBORO - It Takes A Village is a Brattleboro-based group that provides volunteers to support families with new babies.

Village volunteers know that the early months with a new baby can be challenging and that a little extra help goes a long way. The program is growing and are ready to begin working with a new group of volunteers.

It Takes a Village was founded in 2008 by a group of Brattleboro mothers who believe that community support should be available to all postpartum families. Village volunteers visit once a week in the early months of a baby's life to provide a helping hand to the family.

Volunteers help by holding the baby while the mother rests, pitching in with light housework, playing with older children, running simple errands for food or supplies, and offering companionship and resources to the new mother.

Volunteer trainings are offered on an ongoing basis. Training times are flexible and based on your availability. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

Free parenting education classes offered

BRATTLEBORO - Are you a parent or caregiver of an older youth or teen? Check out for free parenting classes offered in Windham County through the school year: Guiding Good Choices (grades 4-8) and Parenting Teens Wisely (ages 10-19) for parents and caregivers.

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