Issue #723

Will Brattleboro elected officials honor their oaths of office?

The Vermont Constitution establishes a minimum voting age of 18. A new law permits the town flout that.

Vermont Bill H.386 - which reduces the Vermont Constitutional requirements of the voting age in Brattleboro - is now law.

So we ask: Will Brattleboro elected officials enable Vermont's lawless lawmakers?

We especially direct this question to Hilary Francis. As the town clerk, she is the main person who is responsible to organize and preside over elections. Will she keep her oath of office to uphold the Vermont Constitution as the foundational and supreme law of Vermont? Or will she enable the lawlessness of the Vermont lawmakers who are betraying their constituents and ignoring their oaths of office?

We are also directing this same important question to the present Brattleboro Selectboard members, Ian Goodnow, Peter Case, Franz Reichsman, Daniel Quipp, and Elizabeth McLoughlin. As the elected leaders of the town of Brattleboro, will you keep your oaths of office? Or will you enable the tyrannical, lawless law?...

Read More

A book ban backlash

Far-right attempts to ban books for youth in schools and libraries have unleashed a serious revival in the importance of books and reading

About 15 years ago, many of us bookstore owners wondered if we were still relevant. The behemoth Amazon was attempting to recreate the destruction of the record shop. Some independent booksellers even closed preemptively. Some stores actually joined in the e-book "revolution," trying to sell an alternative to the...

Read More

Writer tackles a fashion culture that’s toxic — literally

In her new book ‘To Dye For,’ author Alden Wicker looks at the dangerous chemicals lurking in nearly every piece of clothing

Sitting in Alden Wicker's kitchen in the antique home where she and her husband, architect Illich Garcia Recipient of the 2021 American Society of Journalists and Authors Award for business reporting for a piece in Wired scrutinizing the reselling website Poshmark, Wicker's investigative reporting - also published in The...

Read More


¡Klezperanto! — a Klezmer re-groove ensemble — will perform

The Next Stage Bandwagon Summer Series presents klezmer re-groove ensemble ¡Klezperanto! on Saturday, July 22, at 6 p.m. at West River Park, 333 West River Rd. (Route 30). "Klezmer and dancing go hand-in-hand, and ¡Klezperanto! delivers on that promise," Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage Arts, said in a news release. "The Boston-based klezmer all-star lineup includes members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band - they know this idiom. With ¡Klezperanto! they expand its power and impact, and we're excited...

Read More

Champion ash tree gets help to preserve it for future

On Tuesday, July 25, Kevin Brewer, Northeast regional technical manager for Arborjet/Ecologel, and Pete Butler of Strategic Vegetation Management will be providing a special treatment for an iconic ash tree located on Putney Mountain Association's Missing Link trail. According to a news release, this event "presents a valuable opportunity for local arborists and nature lovers to learn more about preservation and treatment for this magnificent ash tree. Research shows that environmentally sound trunk injections not only help save trees, but...

Read More

RFPL hosts meetings on rebirth of Miss Bellows Falls Diner

Born during World War II, a beloved hometown Vermont institution, Worcester Lunch Car #771, a.k.a., the Miss Bellows Falls Diner, is coming back to life. Diners have been a New England fixture for more than a century. Many of these were manufactured by the Worcester Lunch Car Company. In early 1942, the 32-seat Miss Bellows Falls arrived in town, replacing a smaller diner on site. It is a classic example of a World War II-era diner, with a porcelain enamel...

Read More

Newly-launched ‘Brattleboro Words Trail Podcast’ releases new episode on author Saul Bellow

The Brattleboro Words Project announced that a special July episode of the newly launched Brattleboro Words Trail Podcast features insights into author Saul Bellow and his connection to Vermont, including exclusive interviews with his biographer and editor, to honor the famed writer's birthday and the love he had for Green Mountain summers. Bellow lived and wrote for nearly the last third of his life near Brattleboro part-time and is buried in the town cemetery. Nobel Literature laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner,

Read More

‘You see the situation we’re in now’

After a summer afternoon's torrential downpour, Lisa Marie makes her way gingerly down a slick, muddy trail, through a forested area on the outskirts of town. The trail leads to a temporary shelter: a big blue tarp anchored to four trees and nailed into the ground. A folding camp chair, a bike, and a quilted cloth sleeping bag, laid out to dry on a log, are the only possessions in sight. Down the hill, three blue tents are pitched among...

Read More


College news • The following local students received bachelor's degrees from the University of Vermont during its recent 222nd Commencement: Hannah Balda of Londonderry (microbiology), Allura Cameron of Londonderry (medical laboratory sciences) Kristina Harmon of Londonderry (microbiology), Madeleine Blanchard of South Londonderry (neuroscience), Bella Bonneau of Brattleboro (community entrepreneurship), Kiki Carasi-Schwartz of Brattleboro (global studies), Emily Crespo of Brattleboro (dietetics, nutrition, and food sciences), Natalie Gadowski of Brattleboro (dietetics, nutrition, and food sciences), Janet Hawthorne of Brattleboro (religion), Benish Nabeel...

Read More

BMC Music Under the Stars series at Retreat Farm continues with Vermont Jazz Center Big Band July 22

The Music Under the Stars concert series presented by the Brattleboro Music Center (BMC) and Retreat Farm continues Saturday, July 22, with a performance by the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band. The Vermont Jazz Center (VJC) Big Band was conceived by former VJC Board President Dr. Howard Brofsky and Sherm Fox. They put together a reading band that enabled area professional musicians to come together to sample big band repertoire. More than 20 years later, it has evolved into a...

Read More

NECCA hosts outdoor dance by Loom Ensemble

For more than a decade, Loom Ensemble has been devising interdisciplinary theater for culture shift, using their performances to open difficult conversations, and then facilitating community discussion to unpack the emotional vulnerability and cultural taboos of each show. In that shared space, "the social value of art made from a place of deep integrity becomes clear: Our actions matter, new ways of living are possible; together we can build a more loving world." As a direct response to broken patriarchy,

Read More

Windham World Affairs Council presents talk on a ‘New Left surge’ in Latin America

Independent journalist and scholar Linda Farthing will share her analysis of Latin America's New Left surge with the Windham World Affairs Council on Wednesday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m., at 118 Elliot. Her talk, "The Pink Tide 2.0? A New Left Surge in Latin America," is based on the Spring 2023 issue of NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America) Report on the Americas, which she edited. In that issue, Farthing examined the past two decades of Latin American politics.

Read More

Artist Roberley Bell will discuss her work at BMAC

Artist Roberley Bell will take part in a conversation about her work at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) on Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m. Bell and BMAC Director of Exhibitions Sarah Freeman will discuss the relationship between Bell's drawings and sculptures and her interest in the distinct physical and emotive qualities of each. "As a sculptor working with the language of abstraction, I am continuously in search of form. I refer to this process as 'finding form'-inventing...

Read More

Raymond Bemis Community Forest created in Athens

In collaboration with the Vermont Land Trust, Bull Creek Common Lands (BCCL), a new nonprofit organization, will conserve 36 acres along the Bull Creek to be used as a community forest. After two years of planning, the land is being acquired this August from David Bemis and will be named after his late uncle Raymond Bemis who served his community in many roles during his long lifetime and operated a fish farm on the property in the 1950s and 1960s.

Read More

Mitsuko Uchida plays Brahms during Marlboro Music’s second concert weekend

Organizers at Marlboro Music said in a news release while they "are saddened by the extensive damage we are seeing in communities around the state" from the recent rainstorms and flooding, they are "grateful to report that the Potash Hill campus is fine, and the Marlboro season is progressing as usual." They added that "the abundance of rainy days this summer has not dampened our musicians' spirits. The music has continued unabated, and Marlboro's resident artists have chosen six wonderful...

Read More

Preserving the best of Guilford while planning for the future

As one drives south on Canal Street, rounds the corner, and enters Guilford, perhaps it's easy to take for granted the change from the commercial development in Brattleboro to the pastoral scene in Algiers Village, but if it weren't for the extraordinary efforts of a group of our residents more than 20 years ago, it could be a very different scene. In 2002, when the 24-acre piece of land at the entrance of Guilford on Route 5 - the gateway...

Read More

Brattleboro eyes land-use changes to help housing crisis

How the town can help reduce housing barriers and create more options to help the housing crisis is on the docket for July 25, when the Selectboard will host a second of two public hearings about proposed land use amendments. The board adopted "advancing housing initiatives" as one of five overall primary goals for fiscal 2024 at its first-ever June retreat to identify top priorities in town. Selectboard members hosted the first hearing on July 11. "This is innovative and...

Read More

Our huge and largely unspoken climate justice issue

One low-lying stretch of Elm Street in Montpelier, one block over from Main, runs parallel to the North Branch of the Winooski River. It's one of thousands of similar city and town streets where poor and working- class people live. Or used to, anyway. Where they live now, I have no idea. Vermont's cities and towns were largely built along waterways, which were used as open sewers for industries of all kinds. That's why your typical Vermont town has its...

Read More

Misguided irrelevance

I have always found Bill McKibben to be an inspiring and committed climate activist, as well as just one of those special people in the world, a truly decent human being. What I have especially appreciated about him, however, is his ability to present a credible balance between realistic possibilities for change while at the same time offering a no-bull assessment of our current climate situation. But in his otherwise-fine and aptly entitled essay "Global Temps Not Just Off the...

Read More

A Gen-X touchstone comes to Brattleboro

Epsilon Spires, the downtown Brattleboro arts organization housed in a repurposed Baptist church, is screening the 1991 film, Slacker, directed by Richard Linklater, on Friday, July 21, as part of its summertime Backlot Cinema series. Slacker, set and filmed in Austin, Texas, in the late 1980s, has no plot, no narrative arc, no antagonist-protagonist tension, no main character, definitely no hero, and there is no feel-good ending. Instead, the camera roams through the neighborhood, connecting character to character, most of...

Read More

Brattleboro Little Leaguers advance to state finals

The steady parade of showers and thunderstorms that have marched across Vermont has made the summer baseball season a challenge. But it delivered one unexpected bonus - it allowed the Brattleboro 12-U and 10-U Little League All-Stars to clinch their respective District 2 titles on July 15 at South Main Street Field. On a rare rain-free day, Brattleboro fans were treated to a tripleheader with six hours of playoff baseball that saw the 10-U team take two games from Rutland...

Read More

Around the Towns

Property tax assessments now due in BrattleboroBRATTEBORO - Real estate and personal property taxes assessed upon the Grand List of 2023 in Brattleboro are now due and payable to the Town Treasurer at the Treasurer's Office in the Municipal Center, 230 Main St., Suite 111, in four equal installments as follows: first installment, due Tuesday, Aug. 15; second installment, due Wednesday, Nov. 15; third installment, due Thursday, Feb. 15; fourth installment, due Wednesday, May 15. Real estate and personal property...

Read More

For homeless people, a human connection

Brooks Memorial Library is on the front line of the town's and region's homelessness conundrum. With the exception of Groundworks Collaborative, the library is the one place in town where people who are unhoused can find shelter from the weather, have access to the internet, write a letter to a family member, get help finding the services they need, get a few books to take out, use a clean bathroom, drink some cool, clean water, and find a kind word...

Read More