Issue #586

Coming to peace with Rooster

‘I became sufficiently uncomfortable in his presence to begin slinking around the outskirts of the yard, behavior that took its toll on my well-being’

Early in my egg-laying-chicken venture, I was told that roosters were tetchy creatures, often incorrigibly aggressive and valuable to humans only for their reproductive roles - unless you were a fan of cockfights.

Hens, on the other hand, were docile food producers, and their egg-laying activity did not require insemination.

Convinced by those more experienced than I, at first I purchased mature pullets until economic considerations prompted me to switch to newborn chicks, whose gender designation allowed for a margin of error.

That margin of error occasionally manifested itself in an emerging rooster, leaving me with two choices.

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Around the Towns

Moore Free Library hosts post-election discussion NEWFANE - On Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m., Meg Mott will lead a fresh-air discussion at the Moore Free Library entitled “The Passions of Freedom.” Voters and non-voters across the political spectrum are invited to consider the emotional costs of freedom in...

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Latchis Arts launches film series with focus on Black voices

Film selections will champion different voices in filmmaking

Latchis Arts has announced the launch of the monthly Spotlight Film Series with a focus during November on Black Voices. Spotlight is a curated series, featuring films on a different theme each month which illuminate different voices in filmmaking. Films are shown on Thursdays at 7 p.m., at the...

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Brattleboro Music Center launches weekly virtual open mic

The Brattleboro Music Center is launching a weekly open mic program for all musicians, and all genres, ages, and abilities on Monday, Nov. 9. Until musicians and music lovers can gather again in person safely, the BMC open mic events allow performers to record a video of themselves playing music and send it on to the BMC at [email protected]. Submissions will be compiled into virtual “open mic” sessions. These will be shared on the BMC Facebook page. Participants can play...

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Future generations are at the lawmaking mercy of believers who largely deny science

When I moved to Vermont in 2008, I didn't know that New England is the least religious part of the country. More recently, the 2016 Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study found that just 21 percent of Vermonters attend worship services regularly and only 41 percent say they believe in God with any certainty. It so happens that I was raised without any beliefs and religion. When, as a teenager, I asked my mother why, she said her family and...

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Scott clinches third term as Democrats sweep rest of statewide ballot

There were few surprises in Vermont on Tuesday as the combination of mail-in voting and a bitterly contested presidential election led to a heavy turnout and a sweep for Democrats running for statewide office - with one prominent exception. As was the case in 2018, incumbent Gov. Phil Scott was the only Republican candidate to win a statewide race. In unofficial results with 99 percent of towns reporting as of Wednesday morning, Scott won his third term as governor, turning...

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Carleton wildlife photos at Crowell Gallery

During November, the Crowell Gallery at Moore Free Library, 23 West St., hosts the wildlife photography of Dara Carleton in an exhibit she calls “The Peace of Wild Things” after the Wendell Berry poem of the same name. Carleton will be on hand at the gallery on Thursday, Nov. 5 and Thursday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., to talk about her photos, taken at local lakes and streams from her kayak. Her work offers a glimpse into the...

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Weddings • Ruth Shafer and Ian Goodnow hiked to the top of Mount Mansfield where they were married on Oct. 10, 2020. The bride wore a red jumpsuit with a red and black Johnson plaid shirt; the groom wore black jeans and a vintage Patagonia fleece. Ben Civiletti, a friend of the couple, officiated. The couple met at the University of Vermont, where they graduated in 2014. Since then, they have taught English in Georgia (the country) and Taiwan, and...

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Are there unintended consequences for inaction?

At the Oct. 20 Selectboard meeting, the proposal to put a cap on move-in costs was halted and postponed indefinitely after suggestions from landlords to create a risk fund accessible through a loan or grant that would ultimately be paid out to property owners. I am incredibly disappointed and insulted by the way this process has played out, and these feelings extend throughout Brattleboro's large tenant class. We have been effectively silenced by the voices of a small group of...

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State officials: now’s no time for ‘COVID fatigue’

Vermonters have heard the admonitions for months now - wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, avoid crowds, stay home if you're sick. And, for the most part, this advice from state officials has been heeded by Vermonters, whose state has consistently had the lowest number of COVID-19 infections per capita in the United States. But what happens if the advice is not followed? According to health officials, the consequence is a COVID-19 outbreak that can spread far...

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Mulberry Bush will be a tremendous loss

We were shocked and saddened to hear about the announcement from the Brattleboro Retreat on Oct. 23 to close Mulberry Bush Independent School on Dec. 23. As current/former families and students, we are heartbroken that our beloved and well-respected school, one of the largest in Windham County, will be shut down. This abrupt closure in the middle of the school year will leave more than 50 families scrambling for child-care coverage during a pandemic, when openings are few and far...

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VTArt-Rising seeks artists for post-election reconciliation project

When the election has passed, the time for healing will be at hand. VTArt-Rising invites art-makers to be part of “the great reconciliation” in the weeks that follow. In collaboration with 350VT, organizers say they are planning “an open-arts spectacle in downtown Brattleboro designed to initiate the rebuilding process our nation will need.” “350VT is dedicated to protecting election results and making sure every vote is counted,” Abby Mnookin, co-director of 350VT, said in a news release. “But we're also...

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Theatre Adventure Thursday Troupe celebrates resilience in ‘Ordinary Heroes’

The inclusive Theatre Adventure Thursday Troupe will present an original online production, Ordinary Heroes, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13. According to a news release, this theater troupe of 20 actors “command their new online performing space with great flair. They will express their inner strengths and capacities to face adversity and challenges with courage and belief in self. The performers are not defined by their disabilities. Rather, the actors' honesty creates brave and innovative...

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Apology to the LGBTQ community

I would like to apologize for calling the LGBTQ+ community “people with unusual sexual preferences” at the Sept. 1 Brattleboro Selectboard meeting, where I presented a petition calling on the board to “fly the We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All main street banner over Main Street whenever there is a space for a banner to be hung.” According to our mission statement, we are organized and operate exclusively on a nonprofit basis to promote positive nonviolent public action for democracy...

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No comparison

Between organizing the polls, working with volunteers, and tabulating votes, elections are always a busy time for town clerks. To say this year is even busier is probably an understatement. For the 2020 presidential election, the Vermont Secretary of State's office mailed ballots to all registered voters. From there, voters could return them via the U.S. Postal Service, drop them at their town offices, or wait until Nov. 3 to vote in person. Many of Windham County's town clerks, and...

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Terrier girls win state titles in field hockey, cross-country

Not even a pandemic could keep the Bellows Falls Terriers field hockey team from their rendezvous with destiny. The undefeated and top-seeded Terriers added to their legacy as the best field hockey program in Vermont with a 2-0 win over the third-seeded Champlain Valley Redhawks in the Division I state championship game at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester on Oct. 31. It was BF's second Division I title in three years and their fifth championship across three divisions since...

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BMAC exhibit looks at art movements in new light

Textbook descriptions of 20th-century art movements typically trace a progression from abstract expressionism to color field, followed by pop art as a reaction to color field. However, a new exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC), “Figuration Never Died: New York Painterly Painting, 1950–1970,” reveals an untold part of the story, highlighting a generation of New York artists who absorbed the lessons of abstract expressionism but never abandoned figurative painting. Curator Karen Wilkin, an author, art critic, and...

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Retreat program closings set off ‘a wicked game of Jenga’

Sustainability. That's the key word repeated in conversations about the Brattleboro Retreat's recent announcement that it would close approximately six outpatient programs and lay off 85 employees. The announcement from the Retreat did not happen in a vacuum and will likely affect multiple layers of the Windham County community, mental-health system, workforce, and economy. What will the loss of the programs mean for other service providers who will likely fill the service gaps left by the closing programs? Where will...

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