Around the Towns

St. Michael's Episcopal Church plans online Holy Week services

BRATTLEBORO - Although the church is closed, St. Michael's Episcopal has a full array of online Holy Week services, using Zoom between Wednesday, April 8, and Sunday, April 12. The clergy, lay readers, and musicians will participate from their homes to join you in your homes.

There will be a Tenebrae service of poetry and music at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The 6 p.m. Maundy Thursday service includes your simple supper at home. On Good Friday, there are services at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. On the evening of Holy Saturday, there will be a Zoomed Easter Vigil service led by Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown of the Diocese of Vermont. On Easter Day, services at 8 and 10:15 a.m. to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.

To see up-to-the-minute details about the specific services and the Zoom meeting links, go to the front page of the church's website at They welcome everyone to join in with any of these services.

Toastmasters talk of spring

BRATTLEBORO - Continuing with online meetings, BrattleMasters, the local Toastmasters club, will meet Thursday, April 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Members and the public may join their online Zoom meeting at The meeting ID is 404 499 195. Lisa Sieverts of Nelson, N.H., will emcee this meeting which has the theme of “April showers bring May flowers.” Scheduled speakers are Annamarie Pluhar of East Dummerston and Eddie Sause of Shelburne Falls, Mass.

Evaluating each speaker are other Toastmasters who have been assigned to the speech and are informed ahead of time of the goals of the speaker's particular project.

As in a typical face-to-face meeting, a grammarian will introduce a word of the day and keep track of any grammatical errors or wonderful word or phrase flourishes; a timer will provide green, yellow, and red signals for the speakers and evaluators.

An “ah” counter will keep track of ahs and ums, as well as the inappropriate use of so, and, like, and other filler words; and a general evaluator will look at all aspects of the meeting. Near the close of the event, the grammarian, timer, ah counter, and general evaluator will give short reports. The off-the-cuff exercise known as Table Topics is included at every meeting.

To join, sign in at about 5:50 p.m. to download Zoom, if necessary, and make sure your camera and speakers are working properly. Many programs are available for the vision-impaired.

The local Toastmasters club meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Until further notice, the club will meet online only. For more information, visit

Local service groups start grocery delivery service

BRATTLEBORO - Brattleboro VFW Post 1034, Brattleboro Elks #1499, Masonic Lodge #102, and American Legion Post 5 are banding together with the guidance of the Brattleboro Fire Department to buy groceries and other essential items for those who cannot and should not venture out.

Volunteers will be purchasing items, bagging or boxing them, and delivering them to homes where needed in the Brattleboro area. They will also be working with Groundworks and the Retreat Farm.

Cash donations are welcome to support this cause, with all proceeds to be used to purchase items. Make checks payable to VFW Post 1034 and include a return address so a receipt can be mailed. Mail to VFW Post 1034, P.O. Box 8233, Brattleboro, VT 05304.

ClearChoiceMD offers COVID-19 testing in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO - ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care is now offering COVID-19 testing for high-risk patients, as supplies are available, at its Brattleboro center at 1154 Putney Rd.

According to a news release, patients experiencing symptoms associated with lower respiratory illness, such as fever, shortness of breath, and persistent cough, will be examined and evaluated by their medical teams to first rule out seasonal flu.

If your flu test is negative, they may recommend testing for COVID-19. Due to extreme national shortages in testing supplies, only high-risk patients will be recommended to test for COVID-19. Low-risk patients who have mild symptoms and test negative for the flu will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per CDC guidelines.

The urgent care center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Call 802-490-2100 for more information.

Mask-making project begins in Grafton

GRAFTON - The Grafton Women's Community Club and the Windham Foundation are sponsoring a town-wide mask production project. The Grafton Masks Project goal is to provide each person in town with a mask.

Organizers are seeking volunteers to to sew masks; unused 100 percent cotton fabric; and materials that would serve as ties for the masks. They will coordinate material sharing and drop-offs that are contact free.

This is the link to the pattern we have been using: (Anyone who has been sewing masks according to another pattern should feel free to continue doing what they have been doing.)

Drop-off and pick-up locations for materials and masks will be announced. For more information, contact Carol Lind ([email protected], 802-843-1050, or 802-843-4951) or Anna Vesely Pilette ([email protected] or 802-843-2620).

Putney Community Garden has plots available for 2020 season

PUTNEY - There are plots in the Putney Community Garden available for the 2020 season for anyone who lives or works in the Putney area.

This is great opportunity to grow some of your own food this summer, along with plenty of space to practice the 6-foot distancing. For information, contact Mary at [email protected] or 802-387-2144.

Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival is canceled for 2020

ROCKINGHAM - The Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival Planning Committee has officially canceled the 2020 festival. The next festival will return in 2021 on the first Sunday in May (May 2, 2021).

The dedication of the new Osprey platform will take place at a future date to be determined.

Information on next year's festival will be posted on the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society website (

Rec. Dept. cancels more events, programs

BRATTLEBORO - In keeping with the closure of all town recreation facilities and programs, the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department announces the cancellation of the following seasonal special events:

• Annual Easter Egg Hunt, scheduled for Saturday, April 11.

• Super Bike Day, scheduled for Saturday, April 18.

• Bowling Day at Brattleboro Bowl, scheduled for Tuesday, April 21.

• Pitch, Hit, & Run/Home Run Derby, scheduled for Wednesday, April 22.

• Annual Memorial Day Dawn Dance, scheduled for May 24-25. (This isn't a town of Brattleboro event. It is a privately-organized event that attracts more than 500 people from across the country. The local organizing committee has been informed of this cancellation and agrees with the decision.)

Green Up Day postponed to May 30

MONTPELIER - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Green Up Vermont has decided to postpone Green Up Day from May 2 to May 30. The distribution of Green Up Day supplies will happen the first week in May.

Although Green Up is shifting its planning toward May 30, organizers say they will still look for final guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and the Scott administration.

Since 1970, citizens of all ages have gotten outside on the first Saturday in May to clean up miles of Vermont roads. More information can be found at

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