Issue #617

Vermont hits vaccination goal

Restrictions, state of emergency end after more than 80 percent of Vermonters get their COVID-19 vaccine

After 458 days, victory has been declared in Vermont's battle against COVID-19.

Flanked by members of his cabinet, Gov. Phil Scott announced on June 14 that 81.8 percent of Vermont's eligible population - those age 18 and older - has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, making the state the first in the nation to reach this milestone.

As a result, all state COVID-19 restrictions have been rescinded, and the state of emergency that Vermont has been under since March 13, 2020, slated to expire on June 15, will not be renewed.

“And here's why: Because it is safe to do so,” Scott said at a news briefing in Montpelier.

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A cruel and disruptive practice

GPS hounding is something that no humane person wants to see on Putney Mountain. Releasing unsupervised hounds on the lands of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge presents a risk to the thousands of visitors who are not hunters.

The term “wildlife refuge” is a bit misleading when describing the 288 acres on Putney Mountain that form part of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, no areas of the Vermont portion of the Refuge are closed to hunting. Though many of us understand the value of...

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Epsilon Spires presents ‘Downtown 81,’ a portrait of underground NYC art scene

At sundown on Friday, June 25, the arts organization Epsilon Spires will turn the parking lot of the historic First Baptist Church into an open-air movie theater for the fourth installment of the Backlot Cinema Series. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, and chairs to make themselves...

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College news • Sabin Litchfield of Jamaica graduated from the University of Notre Dame's College of Engineering with the highest distinction of Summa Cum Laude. Litchfield was enrolled in a 3+2 program where he earned a bachelor's degree in computer science at Stonehill College, also Summa Cum Laude, and transferred to Notre Dame, where he studied for two more years and earned a second degree in computer engineering. He has accepted a software engineering position with General Dynamics Mission Systems...

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Stratton Mountain hosts Fourth of July celebration with fireworks, live music

Stratton Mountain welcomes back a sky-high Fourth of July celebration in southern Vermont, taking place July 2, 3, and 4. Fireworks, family activities, and live music return to the mountain, alongside summer operations, including downhill mountain biking, scenic lift rides, golf, hiking, and more. The celebration begins Friday, July 2 with a local craft market paired with live music, shopping, and dining in the Stratton Village. Friday night kicks off Stratton's first Coca-Cola Movie Night of the season, featuring Annie...

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Around the Towns

BDCC seeks participants for career advancement opportunity BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) is recruiting and training job seekers 18 and older who are entering or reentering the workforce or seeking to transition into a new career. BDCC will also help connect participants with local internship opportunities. “As the summer sets in and restrictions ease, it's the perfect time for people to think about the next steps in their career,” Casey Haynes, BDCC's talent specialist, said in a...

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Gallery to reopen under new leadership

Gallery in the Woods recently announced a transition of leadership and the reopening of its doors at 145 Main St., on Friday, July 2, at 11 a.m., with a celebration at 5 p.m., as part of Downtown Brattleboro's newly revitalized Gallery Walk. The three-floor collection features new work from renowned magical realist David Small for the month of July. Gallery in the Woods was founded in 1994 by Suzanne and Dante Corsano, both accomplished craftspeople who decided in 2001 to...

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EOS project to perform

The Brattleboro Music Center will present the second concert in the EOS Project's inaugural season on Saturday, June 19. The 5 p.m. performance will feature Kathy Andrew and Heather Sommerlad, violin; Emily Packard, viola; and Zon Eastes, cello. On the program are Javier Álvarez's Metro Chabacano, Joel Thompson's In Response to the Madness, Caroline Shaw's Blueprint, Irene Sazer's Duet for Two Fiddles, and William Grant Still's Lyric String Quartette. The EOS Project - “Educate. Open. Strengthen.” - is a direct...

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Vermont Theatre Company to return with Broadway revue

The Vermont Theatre Company is ready to bring live theater back to the area after the state of emergency that forced all venues to close down productions and shut their doors. And, for this very special returning-to-normal production, VTC has drafted two New York directors described in a news release as “talented and experienced.” Currently in rehearsals, Coming Back - Moving On is a Broadway music cabaret to be performed at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Center from Friday,

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For summer programs serving Vermont kids, a big boost

After a year of mostly virtual learning from home and being without daily contact with friends and other social engagement, Vermont students will return to in-person schooling this fall. But first, the state wants to make the summer count by funding enrichment programs to help ease that year-long isolation. To that end, Gov. Phil Scott, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and a South Burlington–based nonprofit, Vermont Afterschool, have announced the recipients of the Summer Matters for All grant program. In...

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Summer baseball season set to resume

American Legion Baseball returns to Vermont this week, after losing the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic. While several programs, such as Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, put together independent teams last summer to play a facsimile of Legion ball, it wasn't quite the same. There are a few changes for the 2021 Legion season. Addison County has moved in the Northern Division. Taking their place in the Southern Division will be a new team, Manchester Union Underground. They will join...

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Many will have to leave motel shelters after July 1

After sheltering in local motels during the COVID-19 pandemic, many folks will soon have to find another place to sleep as the state's emergency policies change and expire. With policy changes taking effect in Vermont's General Assistance (GA) emergency motel voucher program, Groundworks Collaborative is putting the final details in place to open its new Drop-In Center on July 1. On June 1, the voucher program started to reintroduce eligibility requirements for new participants seeking shelter in motels. “Eligibility requirements...

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The shadows of a continuing crisis

It will come as no surprise that Liz Cheney is not on my short list of politicians I admire or wish to see in Congress. But she has done the right thing in calling out the “big lie” and promising to do all she can to keep Donald Trump away from the White House, literally or in terms of his influence over a terribly broken party. She is a canary in the coal mine. Would that others had the courage...

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New managers breathe life into Hooker-Dunham

New leadership gives new hope to revitalize live theater and other artistic endeavors in the Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery at 139 Main St. as Shannon Ward and Cameron Cobane take on duties as the managers of the iconic space. And the old leadership is happy about the change. “I'm very excited that they're taking it on so it becomes a transition and not a finale,” says former Manager Jon Mack, who retired from the position this spring. “I think Shannon...

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Pet shortage reports are barking up the wrong tree

What has really happened regarding pet adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic is complicated, but silver linings have abounded for the Windham County Humane Society (WCHS) - many because the organization took steps early to look at the bigger picture and fill an immediate need. One much-appreciated windfall came recently with the delivery of 33,000 pounds of pet food and supplies from the online pet supply retailer and the Humane Society of the United States, says WCHS Executive Director Annie...

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A quest for missing laughter

Cyndal Ellis will bring Adventures with Super Bee: Project Laugh Leaves & Tickle Grass to life, creating what the manager of and dance instructor at SoBo Studio describes as an emotionally interactive experience for all ages. The dance theater performance - built around the theme of laughter gone missing - features Ellis's character Super Bee, who has graced the stage in performances at KidsPLAYce and the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. This time, Super Bee will alight on the Town...

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Brattleboro poet launches first collection

Shanta Lee Gander will welcome her first poetry collection, Ghettoclaustrophobia: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, into the world at a book launch event at Antidote Books, 120 Main St., at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18. The event, which takes place outdoors, will mark the publication this week of the poetry collection by Diode Editions, an independent press publishing poetry, chapbooks, and poetry-related nonfiction books. Gander, of Brattleboro, is an artist and multifaceted professional...

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Democracy’s existential crisis

The political reality of our times is that the Republican Party has gone rogue. It is no longer an honorable opponent of the Democratic Party, one that respects the Constitution and plays by the ethical norms of a democratic society. Instead, it has become an incipient fascist outlier. Because the Republicans' priority is absolute power and minority rule, and they are dedicated to achieving these aims by any means necessary. They have become the enemy of democracy. Republicans have been...

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State budget funds measures to grow BIPOC-owned businesses

Gov. Phil Scott has signed the state's $7.315 billion budget, authorizing state spending on small business pandemic relief, career and technical education programs, housing, and tourism and marketing. Included in the FY22 budget, which goes into effect July 1, is an initiative to support the development of businesses operated by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). “This piece of legislation really addresses the BIPOC business community and entrepreneurs in a way that will contribute to expanding our economy,” said...

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CVU routs Brattleboro for second straight baseball title

A Division I state baseball championship was not in the cards for the third-seeded Brattleboro Colonels. It wasn't even close. In fact, it was downright ugly. The top-seeded Champlain Valley Redhawks won their second straight championship, defeating Brattleboro at Centennial Field on June 13, 13-0. The Redhawks won the state title in 2019, and the coronavirus outbreak wiped out the 2020 season. It was CVU's fifth baseball title overall. According to the Vermont Principals' Association, it was the biggest D-I...

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If you are in the hotel program, don’t leave. And don’t take the money.

Today - June 14, 2021 - began for me with a conversation about the ending of the hotel program that has housed Vermonters experiencing homelessness through the pandemic. For us, there has been a sense that this is not for us, but rather to protect people who have homes and are able to hold down gainful employment. That this program was a way to ensure that “working families” didn't have to risk catching Covid (or homelessness) from Vermont's most vulnerable...

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