y l k e wve
FREE Your membership in Vermont Independent Media can make this the best free newspaper you’ve ever paid for. See page 5.
Brattleboro, Vermont Wednesday, November 10, 2010 • Vol. V, No. 28 • Issue #75
W ind h am C ounty ’ s A W A R D - W I N N I N G , I ndependent S ource for N ews and V iews
BF police expand patrol area page 4
New yard sale rules page 4
Forty years after his father saved the Brooks House, Jonathan Chase says he’s working on new ideas for filling vacant space — at his own pace
Voices Be careful out there, deer season is upon us page 6 viewpoint
How much tritium is in your banana? page 7
The Arts Books
Jud Hale revisits his look at New England page 9
Life and Work giving thanks
Wardsboro man brings music to veterans page 11
Terriers rip Oxbow to reach Div. III finals
Donors to Vermont Independent Media receive The Commons in the mail. Visit http://donate.commonsnews.org.
change service requested
P.O. Box 1212, Brattleboro, VT 05302 www.commonsnews.org
Vermont Independent Media
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID BRATTLEBORO, VT 05301 PERMIT NO. 24
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Above: Jonathan Chase sits in his second-floor office at the Brooks House in Brattleboro. Top: The view from the fifth-floor cupola of the Brooks House, looking south down Main Street. By Randolph T. Holhut The Commons
RATTLEBORO— Forty years ago, a Brattleboro landmark was threatened with
extinction. The five-story Brooks House, built in 1871, was one of the largest hotels in New England and a landmark destination for travelers and local residents alike. It remains the largest commercial structure in Brattleboro, with 175 feet of frontage on Main Street and another 120 feet on High Street. By the late 1960s, the Brooks House had fallen on hard times, and the building was threatened with demolition. Norman B. Chase then stepped in and saved one of Main Street’s most important landmarks from the wrecking ball. Today, his son, Jonathan N. Chase, runs Brooks House Reality, the entity that transformed a Victorian-era hotel into a thriving mixed-use development. “He was years ahead of his time when it came to what people now call ‘adaptive reuse,’ taking historic buildings
and giving them a new life,” Chase said. “He was very aware of the historic nature of this building.” Norman Chase, CEO of Chase Industries, a real estate and development firm he founded in 1951, eyed the Brooks House property for years before he bought it, his son said. “We used to come up from Connecticut to Vermont to ski in the early sixties, and back then that meant driving up Route 5,” Jonathan Chase said during an interview in his spacious second floor office at the Brooks House. “That’s we when first saw Brattleboro,” Chase continued. “We’d drive through town and he would point to this building and he would always say, ‘Someday I’m going to buy that place.” Ultimately, the first property Norman Chase bought in Brattleboro was 20 acres of farmland along the Whetstone Brook off Western Avenue. It ultimately became the Brookside Apartments. By the late 1960s, the Chase family had moved to Brattleboro and started to settle in. That’s when the opportunity to buy the Brooks House came up.
When Norman Chase bought the Brooks House in 1970, “there were still businesses on the street level, but the upstairs, where the hotel was, was mothballed for about 10 years,” said Jonathan Chase. “There were 88 rooms and every room was completely furnished, right down to the linen on the beds,” he said. “It looked like someone went out for the afternoon and never came back.” Chase said the Brooks House was so well preserved that his father could have reopened it as a hotel. “But that’s not the direction he wanted to head in,” he said. “He knew this block could be turned around. In the end, he got it done and this project became a model for other towns in New England.” Norman Chase bought the property for $225,000, which included the land price with n see BROOKS HOUSE, page 2
$25,000 deducted for possible building removal. But the cost of renovating the building into his vision of a deluxe apartment and office complex came to more than $1 million, a considerable sum in the early 1970s. n see ENTERGY, page 2
Help for homeless vets Local nonprofit Home at Last seeks funding to buy fourth home By Randolph T. Holhut The Commons
BRATTLEBORO—Home At Last, Inc., a nonprofit volunteer group working to provide permanent housing and support services to homeless veterans, buys inexpensive mobile homes in established area parks, then renovates and furnishes them for veterans, who put up 30 percent of their income toward rent and utility costs. Robert Miller of West Brattleboro, an 86-year-old disabled World War II combat veteran, helped found Home at Last nearly three years ago. So far, he said the all-volunteer organization has placed four people — two single veterans and a married
couple — in three homes. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that as many as 260,000 military veterans are homeless at some time during any year. According to the VA, 47 percent of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam war. More than 67 percent served our country for at least three years and 33 percent were stationed in a war zone. And it’s not just men. While the share of female veterans who end up homeless is still relatively small, at an estimated 6,500, the figure has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to the VA. One out of every 10 homeless vets under the age of 45 is now a woman. The VA — which is already
By Olga Peters The Commons
VY grapples with leak as Entergy ponders sale
straining to care for new veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries and other physical ailments — is ill-prepared to deal with the growing number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who are joining the ranks of the homeless. This means local government agencies, service organizations and community groups like Home at Last have to pick up the slack. In a public appeal last year, Miller said the organization needs “a rock-bottom minimum of $20,000 per year for lot rental, utilities, heat and property taxes” to maintain the three homes. “This figure doesn’t account for price increases, or the purchase n see HOME AT LAST, page 3
VERNON—Days after Entergy announced it placed Vermont Yankee up for sale, boasting a record of reliable operation, on-site officials shut the 605-megawatt nuclear plant Sunday night to investigate a leak in the feedwater system piping. “The decision to shut the plant down was conservative and based on industry experience with feed water systems as well as worker safety,” said Entergy spokesman Larry Smith, who asserted that the leak “poses no threat whatsoever.” The leaking water, containing multiple radioactive isotopes, including tritium, was captured within a larger system that funneled it back into the feedwater system. This is the first time the plant has been deactivated for such a repair in the last year. Three similar leaks occurred previously, but Vermont Yankee continued to operate as crews fixed those problems. According to Smith and Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Company invites offers for VY By Olga Peters The Commons
VERNON—Entergy Corp, the Louisiana-based owner of Vermont Yankee, confirmed months-long rumors regarding its intention to sell the 38-year-old nuclear plant but remains tight-lipped regarding details. Entergy issued a press release Thursday saying a process is under way to explore the potential sale of its 605-megawatt nuclear plant. While no decision has been made to sell the plant, the company expects interest from multiple parties. The sale process is being conducted confidentially, and no additional details n see VY SALE, page 8
n see LEAK, page 3
Barber’s action rebuked in Bellows Falls Rally decries treatment of New Mexico letter writer By Allison Teague The Commons
BELLOWS FALLS—A letter to the editor from out-of-town visitor, Dr. Darryl Fischer of Silver City, N.M., that was published in the Brattleboro Reformer has garnered a lot of attention last week. In a letter published in the Reformer’s Nov. 3 Letter Box, Dr. Fischer wrote that he was refused service by a Bellows Falls barber. “I am a black physician looking for a change of scenery after 30 years of working in a major U.S. city,” wrote Fischer. “While visiting other medical practitioners in Bellows Falls, I thought I would have a haircut. I walked into a local barbershop. “Two gentlemen were playing cards inside. I asked them if the barber was in and one of the men said the barber was not. So I returned an hour later and the same person who said that the barber was not in was cutting a Caucasian patron’s hair. “I am very pleased to know that I would not want to work or live in Bellows Falls with the above behavior of your local businesses.” “It’s an unfortunate incident,” Development Director and Interim Town Manager Francis “Dutch” Walsh said. Michael Aldrich, the barber who allegedly refused to cut Fischer’s hair, told The Commons that he “made a mistake when I lied to [Dr. Fischer when he walked in]. I should have just come out and told him ‘I can’t cut your kind of hair.’” Lori Brown, owner of Boccaccio’s hair salon in Bellows
Gila Regional Medical Center
Dr. Darryl Fischer, a physician visiting from New Mexico who alleges in a letter to the Reformer that he couldn’t get a haircut in Bellows Falls. Falls, said, “We are all trained to cut any kind of hair whether you’re African American, Caucasian or Indian,” she said. But Brown also said that “if I pulled out the same length of hair I would on a Caucasian in an African American’s hair, and cut it, it would be a lot shorter.” If someone did not know how to do that, she admitted, it could be a disaster. Brown said she allowed that maybe the barber was “old school” and therefore might not know how to cut African American hair, “but we’re all trained to cut any kind of hair no matter who walks in.” “About 3 percent of our clientele are African Americans,” several of whom are local and others who come from Springfield, she said. Rockingham Selectboard chair n see BARBER, page 4
PA I D A D V E R T I S I N G • T O P L A C E YO U R A D , C A L L ( 8 0 2 ) 2 4 6 - 6 3 9 7 O R V I S I T W W W . C O M M O N S N E W S . O R G
ARCHER MAYOR Book Signing
‘Red Herring’ Sat., Nov. 13, 11-1:30
Putney Rd., Brattleboro
Gathering in Gratitude: The Night Passage mystical theater performance Sat Nov 20, 2 & 7 Sun Nov 21 2 pm at the Stone Church, Brattleboro
Seeking vendors for Holiday Craft fair Sat., Dec. 11, $20/Table Westgate Community Center West Brattleboro 802-257-2430 or email@example.com
Thurs., Nov. 18 7:30 pm
Sierra Hull & Highway 111 w/ The Stockwell Brothers Bluegrass and Newgrass from Tennessee and Putney The united Church 15 Kimball hill, putney Tickets and info: 802-254-9276 www.twilightmusic.org
Second Chance Shoppe
Celebrating 29 years of keeping your family affordably clothed!
SPECIALIZED SPORTS 75th Anniversary Starts Nov. 13 - Great Deals Throughout The Store Get a Jump on your Holiday Shopping! 105 Main St. Bratt. Open 7 Days
Kid’s Men’s Women’s Plus Sizes Rte. 35, Townshend Village M, W. Th, F. Sa. 9:30-4
Our Place (Diner)
& Family Restaurant 209 Canal St. Brattleboro, VT 802-254-4700 From Diner Classics to Seafood & Cocktails. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner every day.
Chester Stone House
Open 7 Days 802-379-2353
2 139 Main St. #604, P.O. Box 1212 Brattleboro, VT 05302 (802) 246-6397 fax (802) 246-1319 www.commonsnews.org Office hours by appointment 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday Jeff Potter, Editor
T h e C ommons
BR AT TLEBORO
n Brooks House
Betsy Jaffe, Manager
• Randolph T. Holhut, News Editor Olga Peters, Staff Reporter • David Shaw, Photographer • Nancy Gauthier, Advertising Adrian Newkirk, Ad Composition • Cal Glover-Wessel, Distribution Deadline for the Nov. 17 issue Friday, Nov. 12 About The newspaper
The Commons is a nonprofit community newspaper published since 2006 by Vermont Independent Media, Inc., a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code. We now publish weekly. The newspaper is free, but it is supported by readers like you through tax-deductible donations, through advertising support, and through support of charitable foundations. SUBMITTING NEWS ITEMS/tips
We welcome story ideas and news tips. Please contact the newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (802) 246-6397. Most press releases and announcements of upcoming events appear on www.commonsnews.org, where they can be made available sooner. VOICES
The Commons presents a broad range of essays, memoirs, and other subjective material in Voices, our editorial and commentary section. We want the paper to provide an unpredictable variety of food for thought from all points on the political spectrum. We especially invite responses to material that we’ve printed in the paper. We do not publish unsigned or anonymous letters, and we only very rarely withhold names for other pieces. When space is an issue, our priority is to run contributions that have not yet appeared in other publications. Please check with the editor before writing essays or other original submissions of substance. Editorials represent the collective voice of The Commons and are written by the editors or by members of the Vermont Independent Media Board of Directors. The views expressed in our Voices section are those of individual contributors. Bylined commentaries by members of the Vermont Independent Media board of directors represent their individual opinions; as an organization, we are committed to providing a forum for the entire community. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Vermont Independent Media is legally prohibited from endorsing political candidates.
Caleb Lysander Howe/americanart.si.edu
The Blake Block after the 1869 fire that destroyed the commercial district of The Blake Block, an inn with retail Brattleboro between Elliot Street and High Street. storefronts, in an 1860 photograph. ibrattleboro.com/gnu license
The rise, fall and rise of Brooks House By Randolph T. Holhut The Commons
BRATTLEBORO—On Oct. 31, 1869, a huge downtown fire destroyed all the buildings on the west side of Main Street between High and Elliot streets. The Blake Block, originally a Federal-style private house and later an inn with retail shopfronts, and the Brattleboro House, the town’s major hotel at that time, were the main casualties of the blaze. In their stead are the sturdy brick buildings we see today — the Crosby Block and the Brooks House. George J. Brooks, a Brattleboro native who made his fortune as a dry goods retailer in San Francisco during the early days of the California gold rush, bought most of this charred land and commissioned E. Boyden and Son of Worcester, Mass., a major commercial architectural firm of the time, to design a hotel
in the then-fashionable Second Empire style of the Victorian era. The Brooks House was built in 1871 for $150,000. It cost more than $30,000 to furnish the 80room hotel, and no expense was spared. Brooks, who was also the benefactor and namesake of Brattleboro’s town library, created one of the most opulent downtown hotels of its time, and thousands of visitors passed through its doors in its first halfcentury of operation. When it was first built, the Brooks House featured a 40foot, two-story verandah with iron railings and Corinthian columns that faced Main Street. From that verandah, President Rutherford B. Hayes spoke to Brattleboro residents on Aug. 18, 1877.
White Mountains, then a twoday trip by carriage. But better travel connections and changing tastes meant fewer visitors to the Brooks House in the first decades of the 20th century. In 1928, a group of prominent local businessmen bought the building, plus a warehouse at the corner of High and Green streets, for $307,500. The new owners spent another $30,000 on renovations, the first major improvements since the 1870s. The verandah was removed, and the name was changed to the Hotel Brooks. The timing of the deal was not auspicious. With the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, business began to slow considerably. New hotels, like the Latchis complex at the corner of Main and Flat streets which was built in Decline and fall 1938, siphoned more customers. The hotel thrived back in the The Hotel Brooks limped days when it was a stopover on along under more than a dozen the way to New Hampshire’s different management groups
SPONSOR A PAGE
Your donation of $50 pays to print a single page of The Commons. This contribution helps us publish a larger newspaper with more news, and we acknowledge these donations on the bottom of a page. Please specify how you would like to be credited, or whether you wish to donate in honor of or in memory of another person. Mail your donation, or contribute online at http://donate. commonsnews.org. DISTRIBUTION
The Commons distributes 5,000 copies per issue to almost every Windham County town weekly. Get in touch if you would like us to consider adding your business. SINCE SOME HAVE ASKED LATELY...
Despite our similar name, The Com mons is not affiliated with Vermont Commons, a statewide journal that is strongly linked with a movement advocating Vermont’s secession from the United States.
To create a forum for community partic ipation through publication of The Commons and Commonsnews.org; to promote local, independent journalism in Windham County; and to promote civic engagement by building media skills among Windham County residents through the Media Mentoring Project.
“It was so big that no one bank in Brattleboro wanted to be the sole underwriter,” Jonathan Chase said. “So all the banks in town ultimately banded together to loan us the money. It took a couple of years, since not many of them had done a project of this magnitude.” He said that the community at the time was very supportive of what his father was trying to do — restoration that eventually put the Brook House on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Norman Chase died in 1996 at 72, and Jonathan Chase has been running Brooks House Realty since then.
definite interest. “This town has a unique calling card. People who come here are surprised at the diversity and sophistication of Brattleboro,” he said. “With all the attention this town gets for the arts, it would be really interesting to have a place where visitors can watch artists actually make their art and interact with the artists,” Chase added. “Throw in a nice cafe with outdoor dining when the weather’s nice,” he said, “and I think this could create a whole new energy for the downtown.”
Chase also plans to take back some of the parking spaces in the Harmony Lot that he has been renting to the town, and offer them to the Brooks House tenants. “They’re putting 24 apartments in the new Co-op building but they don’t come with any parking,” Chase said. “I have to offer something extra, and that’s parking spaces for the tenants. It’s tough to offer a downtown apartment without parking.” As for the future of the Brooks House as whole, Chase said he has no children and no family members to take over the property. “I have had offers, but I’m not ready to sell just yet,” he said. “This has always been more than just an investment for our family. I feel a great responsibility for maintaining this building, for its historic value as well as its functional value.”
Monthly rents for 59 apartments range from $550 for a studio to $1,000 for an apartment in the cupola of the building. Some of the 15 storefronts on the first floor now are empty, and what was once the hotel’s ballroom is now mostly storage space, but Chase said there are plans in the works for these unused spaces. The ballroom, which still has the flocked wallpaper and blowups of Vermont scenes by famed local photographer Lewis R. Brown on the walls, could be come live-in loft space for artists, said Chase. As for the long vacant storefront at 124 Main St., and the mostly vacant Brooks House Annex, Chase envisions a combination studio/gallery space with an indoor/outdoor cafe. There’s nothing concrete about either of the plans yet, said Chase, but there is from the 1930s into the 1960s. The post-World War II boom in car travel, and the rise of motels away from downtown areas, made hotels like the Brooks House anachronisms. By the time it closed in 1963, it was known as the Yankee Doodle Motor Inn. Given the mania for urban renewal in the
1960s, the Brooks House seemed destined for demolition. But aside from expanded parking for Main Street shoppers, no one had a commercially viable idea for what could replace the structure until Norman Chase stepped in and saved the downtown landmark from destruction.
Prime downtown property stands vacant — much of it in the Brooks House By Randolph T. Holhut The Commons
BRATTLEBORO— Brattleboro has defied the recession in one respect — it has had a much lower rate of commercial vacancies than other towns in New England. Jonathan Chase cited figures that Brattleboro has a 16 percent commercial vacancy rate, compared to 25 percent for the region as a whole. But many of the commercial spaces available in the downW.H. Bigelow/iBrattleboro.com (GNU license) By 1871, the Brooks House had emerged from the town belong to Chase, whom ashes of the Brattleboro House and was thriving in Andrea Livermore, executive the auto touring era. But the Depression took a toll, director of Building a Better and the structure fell into decline and eventually was Brattleboro, described as “really, really choosy about who he closed in 1960. brings in.” Chase “wants a good business plan and an assurance that they will be viable,” she said. There are few vacancies in the downtown area. Livermore said that Main Street between Elliot and High streets is considered the prime downtown property, and that the west side of that section of Main Street is seen to be the most desirable space. For example, Missy Galanes, owner of Galanes’ Vermont Shop, said she and her husband, Dick DeGray, took their time in finding the right tenant for the space next to her shop. Her family ran a sporting goods store on 116 Main St. for decades. Since it closed in the late 1990s, the space has held a dollar store, an antiques store and a computer store. Galanes said when the property became vacant last year, there was no shortage of interest. “There were people with all November 21-27, 2010
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barbara S. Evans, Barry Aleshnick, Alan O. Dann, Dan DeWalt, Peter Seares, Bob Rottenberg, Curtiss Reed Jr. ————— Without our volunteers, this newspaper would exist only in our imaginations. Special thanks to: Editorial support: Joyce Marcel, David Shaw, Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg Special projects development: Allison Teague, Olga Peters Operations support: Simi Berman, Chris Wesolowski, Diana Bingham, Jim Maxwell, Bill Pearson, Andi Waisman, Barbara Walsh, Menda Waters
from page 1
Your advertising directly supports a better newspaper. The display advertising rate is $10.50 per column inch, and The Commons offers discounts for three or more advertising insertions. To place your ad, contact the advertising coordinator at email@example.com. Advertising files can be saved as PDF (press-ready setting), EPS (with fonts converted to outlines), or as TIFF (600 pixels per inch), or printed as black-and-white hard copy. We can provide limited creative services for your ad design and help you find a professional designer if you have unusual needs.
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
SCRAP METAL R.G. Winchester Auto 30 Years Licensed J unk Y ard is paying $150-$300 for Junk Cars & Trucks Also buying batteries
Prompt, courteous service
Accepting calls 24/7 Pickup & Delivery prices vary
sorts of ideas, but the space wasn’t right for them and we wanted to rent the whole thing as a one unit,” she said. “Then Richard [French, president of The Works Bakery Café] came along,” Galanes said. “His business is a perfect fit and it has really helped foot traffic on our side of the street.” As for her shop, she said that business this summer was good, even before The Works opened in early July. But if that side of Main Street is seen as desirable, many in Brattleboro have asked why are there many vacancies in the Brooks House. Over the past couple of years, several commercial tenants of Brooks House Realty’s buildings have moved out: • Frankie’s Pizzeria left its space in the Harmony Lot and has since reopened on Elliot Street. • Sundried Tomato left its space in the annex to Brooks House facing the Harmony Lot. It recently reopened in the Cocoplum Plaza on Putney Road. • The Common Loaf Bakery, also in the Brooks House annex, closed in June. • The Underground, on 130 Main St., moved out of its Main Street space this summer into a storefront in the Harmony Lot. It was recently replaced by a similar store, The Wasteland. Chase has been the subject of public criticism for high rents and a lack of maintenance of the commercial spaces, most recently last November when Frankie’s Pizzeria abruptly closed. On iBrattleboro, one pseudonymous user, “Javanyet,” alleged that the proprietors of the pizzeria, Frankie and Linda Vakaros, could no longer remain in the location because of rent increases and responsibilities for repairs, including maintaining the roof. Chase denies such assertions. “Every year, we undertaken upgrades to the property,” he said. ”If we didn’t, the wear and tear would be very noticeable.” As for his reputation for being particular about whom he rents to? “That’s true,” Chase said. “I don’t like to have vacant space, but I also want to create a good mix of businesses,” he said.
“If I have confidence in a business, I will consider it, but there are not a plethora of good business prospects in Brattleboro.” Livermore said renting a space in a historic downtown area such as Brattleboro’s is vastly different from renting space in a shopping center. “The challenges with rental properties in a place like Brattleboro is that it is what it is,” she said. “You have to take what’s available and adapt to the space, as opposed to having it custom designed for you in a mall.” The Works is an example of this challenge. Chase said he was approached by French about locating at 124 Main St., but French ultimately chose the Galanes space. “They had more room to build there, and I had a long and narrow space to offer,” said Chase. “Richard ultimately made the right decision for him.” Utilities are another problem, Livermore said. Most buildings have electric heat and a few have no air conditioning. The big question remains what, or how much, a town can do to a property owner who has prime downtown storefronts but is choosy about renting them. “Downtowns have to think of themselves as a team,” said Livermore. “Having empty storefronts from time to time is a normal thing in a downtown. But vacancies can be contagious and having vacancies for an extended period of time doesn’t just affect property owners [of those vacant units], but the downtown as a whole.” Chase said he is always looking for new business prospects. “I am selective, but I’m open to working with people that have a good business plan and are willing to work to sustain a business,” he said. “I don’t want businesses opening and closing. I want tenants that are willing to stick around.” As a landlord, Chase said he realizes that abuse come with the title. “It’s easy to make fun of property owners, and I’m a thirdgeneration property owner,” he said. “But I’m not as negative as people think, and I’m happily carrying on the tradition,” Chase said.
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
VERNON n Leak spokesman Neil Sheehan, the leak occurred when a two-inch access plug in the 24-inch feedwater pipe gave way. In the 1970s, engineers drilled the access holes during construction for radiography on pipe welds. Sheehan said the NRC considers the main water feed pipe to be a non-safety-related system. The agency has sent metallurgical experts to the site who are evaluating the integrity of the piping and other “ports” on the line. “We want to better understand the faulty weld or other aging and degradation issues,” Sheehan said. “It’s better to know this is a port, rather than the pipe wall itself.” Repair work on the feedwater pipe began Monday evening and took about 24 hours to complete. Technicians, said Smith, plan to replace a degraded seal weld on an access plug with a “more substantial fillet weld.” The plant will power up once repairs are complete, he said. This is the first time the plant has been deactivated for such a repair in the last year. Vermont Yankee continued to operate when crews fixed three previous isolated leaks. VY, a boiling water reactor (BWR), had operated for 163 consecutive days since its last refueling outage before the shutdown. Plant operators noticed the leak at 9:30 p.m., at the end of the loop before the reactor, during normal hourly observation rounds Saturday. Sheehan said the flow from the “flaw” in the pipe was 120 drops of liquid per minute on Saturday. Smith said leak was 60 drops of liquid per minute and that workers had to pull away piping insulation before finding the leak. With one line in the system, without any redundancy built in, the plant needed to be shut down, said Smith. The plant shut down around 7 p.m. Sunday. At the time, said Smith, VY had been operating at 80 percent power during a scheduled rod pattern adjustment and in conjunction with grid line work by Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Rod pattern adjustments, said Smith, occur when the power rods’ positions around the core are changed so they control power generation evenly.
The feedwater system
According to the NRC website, BWRs boil water to create steam, which turns the plant’s generators. The water runs continuously through the closed feedwater loop. Smith said the leak occurred in a controlled section of the plant and none of the radioactive water from the leak made it to the environment. The escaped water funneled into floor drains before sub pumps returned it to the feedwater system. David Spindler, VY senior resident inspector for the NRC, said he had not seen anything in connection with the latest leak to warrant holding the plant back from operating once technicians
from page 1
complete repairs. But he did say the event was unusual. “Any plant could develop a leak in any system, but generally you do not find leaks in big systems [like feedwater],” he said.
Dominoes or popcorn?
Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear expert and a member of the legislative Public Oversight Panel, described a similar leak from a port discovered last year. That problem took three days to repair, he said. “There are dozens more [plugs] throughout the big pipe in the plant,” Gundersen said. “I think you will see more [leaks] in the future. The question is whether they’ll go like dominos, or if they’ll go like popcorn.” Gundersen said the problem with degraded welding around the plugs speaks “to the 40-year life issue.” The boiling water reactor wasn’t designed to continue operation for more than four decades, he said. In and of itself, Gundersen said, the main feed is not a “safety-related piece of pipe.” However, he described the pipe as “high energy” — containing water at 400 degrees and under 400 pounds of pressure. “If the seal had gone [disappeared] all the way around [the port], it would have been a big deal,” Gundersen said. The NRC has jurisdiction over safety matters, and Sheehan said the agency is concerned with maintaining the reactor itself and the cooling system in the event of an accident. Vermont’s Public Oversight Panel has warned the NRC and the Department of Public Service that Entergy has neglected nonsafety systems. Previous problems with such systems at the plant under the company’s ownership — including a transformer fire, the collapse of a cooling tower and the recent discovery of tritium and other radioactive isotopes leaking from the facility’s buried pipes into soils — have intensified public and legislative scrutiny of the 38-year-old nuclear power facility. The NRC and Entergy say none of these issues have had an impact on public safety. Gundersen said that although any one of these problems might happen and it wouldn’t be all that worrying for the agency, “you start building this pile and the NRC has got to be saying, ‘What are these guys are doing wrong?’” “It’s not anything they [the plant operators] do on a given day,” Gundersen added. “It’s the corporate plant managers fighting for money.” He said Entergy’s 11 plants have less money for the repair of non-safety components. “There is a long list of things they know need to be done and they aren’t getting done because there isn’t enough money in the pot,” Gundersen said.
A sign of larger issues
Last weekend, as the VY leak
n Home at Last of additional used mobile homes to help meet the growing need.” “We’re at the break-even point financially right now, thanks to a couple of Section 8 housing vouchers from the Vermont State Housing Authority,” Miller said recently. “But we still need to do more fundraising to help us grow as an organization so we can help out more people.” Miller said past donors to the organization will receive a fundraising letter this month. Home at Last has set a goal of $25,000 — the estimated cost of buying, refurbishing and furnishing one mobile home. Miller said Home at Last hopes to buy at least one new home a year.
Filling the gaps
from page 1
continued. “You put that guy in a home, in a stable situation, and give him some security, you have a foundation you can build on. If all your energy is focusing on surviving on the street, you can’t deal with the other problems. The four people we’ve helped so far all had problems, but they are all dealing successfully now, and that’s all because they got a home.” The nonprofit acquired the three units in 2008 at a combined cost of $44,640, according to the Brattleboro grand list, and the nonprofit spent $29,919 in 2009 to maintain them, according to IRS public charity records. Miller admits it has been difficult raising money for Home at Last, given the recession and the growing demands for services on nonprofits that deal with homelessness and its associated problems. “Human beings in this society should be able to expect, at the very least, the minimum support to keep themselves from homelessness,” he said. “It’s obscene that there are millions of homeless people in this country,” he added. “Homelessness in this country doesn’t get the attention that it should, and homeless vets are just a small part of the story.”
Miller said that it doesn’t take long for a family living paycheck to paycheck to get into financial trouble when joblessness hits. “But if you’re a veteran with PTSD and drug and alcohol addiction, it’s even worse,” he said. “The VA does a heroic job in caring for homeless vets, but they can’t provide permanent housing. That’s something the community has to do.” With the help of Home at Last’s case manager, Tom Manning, veterans get support with basic needs such as food, clothing and transportation. The assistance is tailored to the indi- Contributions may be sent to Home vidual needs of each client. at Last, Inc., P.O. Box 2266, West “Guys who are in trouble Brattleboro, VT 05303. have to start somewhere,” Miller
was discovered, Entergy-owned Indian Point Nuclear Plant in New York experienced an automatic emergency shutdown of one of its generators when a transformer exploded. According to The Associated Press, no one was injured and no radioactive materials leaked into the environment there. “The gods are not with them,” said Jim Riccio, Greenpeace energy policy analyst. Riccio said VY and Indian Point share the dubious honor as “problematic” plants in communities with “highly aware populaces.” Also, both reactors, along with Entergy’s Pilgrim plant in Plymouth, Mass., are up for relicensing. “The NRC at this point will relicense anything,” Riccio charged. According to Riccio, the NRC has relicensed every reactor that has applied for a 20-year extension since Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in March 2000. Yankee Rowe in Massachusetts shut down voluntarily before its initial license expired. “That’s not a process. That’s a rubber stamp,” said Riccio. In Riccio’s opinion, the NRC “gutted” its regulation program regarding relicensing criteria. There are good people at the NRC, said Riccio, but they don’t hold sway like they used to — especially under former NRC Chair Shirley Ann Jackson, who held the post from 1995 to 1999. Riccio pointed out that Entergy is also under investigation by the Department of Justice for “non-competition practices.” The DOJ has not responded to Greenpeace’s requests for further information. Furthermore, Riccio said, VY had a “bad reactor design to begin with.” “Even when on their best behavior, [Entergy] can’t operate
the reactor without incident, ac- during the estimated 10 to 15 cident or leak. What does that years it will take to decommissay to a potential buyer or the sion the plant. people?” asked Riccio. She said this year, CAN will push for the state to make The leak’s Entergy accountable for the VY implications site cleanup after the plant closes “[The leak] puts a wrench in 2012. in the plans,” said Deb Katz of Katz said Entergy’s mismanthe anti-nuclear group Citizens agement and the aging plant conAwareness Network. tribute to the problems at VY. Looking forward, Katz said, She said Entergy tells people “it’s there’s no reason for the state to not big deal” when something issue a certificate of public good like the weekend leak occurs on — required under state law for site. But these incidents add up the plant to operate — to an ag- to a “series of no big deals” for ing reactor under the manage- which Entergy needs to be held ment of a company without a accountable, she said. solution for storing nuclear waste “If it’s such a good reactor, anywhere but on the shores of why are they selling it?” Katz the Connecticut River. said. “I have no reason to believe “[Bringing in] another cor- any other corporation could do poration is an attempt to un- a better job.” dermine the Senate vote,” Katz Gundersen similarly warned suggested. that the recent crack in the In February, the Vermont feedwater system pipe, and the Senate rejected legislation that January 2009 leak in a gamma would have given the Public port, also in the feedwater sysService Board the authority to tem, are indications of an overall grant VY the certificate of pub- cultural issue at VY. lic good. Plant employees have become Katz described Entergy’s at- habituated to Entergy’s delayedtempts to win people to its side maintenance way of doing busias a “terror campaign,” charg- ness — a corporate culture that ing that the company tried to new leadership can’t undo in a scare people with the threat of few short months, Gundersen Windham County going bank- predicted. He said the backlog of rupt, households left without eight to nine years worth of depower and neighbors losing jobs. ferred maintenance at the plant If Entergy cared about its could inhibit a sale. workers, Katz said, the com“I don’t see how they’re going pany would have put adequate to get a penny for it,” Gundersen money into the decommissioning said. “Mother Teresa couldn’t Tothisregister call in 11 fund to keep workers employed turn plant around
months. We would wind up taking it on faith, and we’ve taken a lot of stuff on faith already. I don’t know how someone can say that by March 2012 it’ll be brand spanking new … you can’t clean it up that fast.” Gundersen agrees with Smith that, given the leak’s location, the drip will have “no radiological effects on the community.” He laughed, saying sometimes the two men occasionally agree. But that’s not his concern, he pointed out. Rather, Gundersen said, he’s concerned that other nuclear plants looking to relicense are watching VY. Seabrook, a 20-year-old plant in New Hampshire, is seeking a 20-year extension to its original 40-year license. To circumvent some of the aging plant issues VY is experiencing, Seabrook is seeking relicensing now based on its current condition, Gundersen said. Gundersen said seeking a 60year license on the basis of a plant’s 20-year track record is like telling senior citizens they can run a marathon because most adolescents can. “It’s not about physically confirming the condition of the plant,” he said.
Windham Housing Trust is offering Homebuyer Education Workshops Saturday, October 15th 8:00am-5pm
Workshop sponsored by Citizen’s Bank
Saturday, November 13th 8am-5pm
Galloway of VTDigger.org Workshop sponsored by Citizen’sAnne Bank contributed to this report.
Voted Greater Brattleboro’s Best Real Estate Off ice
802-246-2102 8th Year Running! by 68 Birge Street Homebuyer Education Market Survey of America Brattleboro, VT www. Workshop www.windhamhousingtrust.org BrattleboroAreaRealty License No.6194 in .com Are you interested 163 High Street, buying an new home?
50% Discount with this ad (only $25!)
November 13th • 8am–4pm 61 Birge St • Brattleboro Call 246-2111 to register
Brattleboro, VT 05301 (802) 257-1335 (800) 452-0233 Fax (802) 257-1337
Erich Hoyer, President • Angela Sherman, Office Manager • Christine Lewis, Broker David Putnam, Realtor Kristen Ziter Taylor, Realtor
My appendix was about to burst. I needed emergency
A week later I was swimming,
thanks to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. —Nancy Calicchio, Putney
When Nancy Calicchio went to her doctor with stomach pains, she learned there was no time to waste. Within an hour, she was in surgery with Dr. Joseph E. Rosen and the surgical team at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. “It was wonderful,” says Nancy. “I was home in 16 hours.” What may be surprising is that she healed nearly as fast. “I think a week later, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do—except build stone walls.” It’s all thanks to laparoscopic surgery at BMH. Laparoscopic surgeries are minimally invasive, with tiny incisions compared to traditional surgery—sometimes less than a single centimeter! That can mean less pain, and much faster recovery times. Nancy has had a number of laparoscopic surgeries at BMH, and calls them “just an easy, marvelous thing.” “It was an embarrassingly good experience,” says Nancy. “I’d heard so many stories about painful appendectomies, it was hard to tell people I skipped over that part.” Nancy credits the BMH staff for making her experience so easy. “Without exception, everyone treated me professionally and with personal attention. I felt like I was important to everyone who cared for me.” To learn more about laparoscopic surgery at BMH, talk to your healthcare provider.
17 Belmont Avenue, Brattleboro, VT 05301 802-257-0341 • www.bmhvt.org
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
ROCKINGHAM/BELLOWS FALLS n Barber
from page 1
Thom MacPhee said the barber’s of his skills at letter writing. actions “absolutely do not reflect “I made a mistake. I lied to [the town’s] core values.” him,” he said, but he insisted if In a state that proudly fought Dr. Fischer had come in a secon the side of the Union in the ond time instead of walking by Civil War, but whose current de- and looking in the window, he mographics reflect a 96 percent would have corrected that statewhite population, and only 1 per- ment and told him, “I can’t cut cent black, in 2009 U.S.Census his kind of hair.” figures, racism is not widely disAldrich also said he felt it was cussed or acknowledged as an a kind of “reverse racism” where issue in Vermont. he was automatically considered Business owners around the racist, when that was not his moSquare responded last week. tivation at all. “I just didn’t want Some had not heard about the to embarrass us both and do a incident. Others were reluctant crappy job.” to talk about it feeling the inciAldrich denied racial prejudent was better left alone. Others dice, saying he and his wife had varied in their views. “a Fresh Air child who came to One business owner, declin- stay with us who was Negro.” ing to be identified, said, “There Several business owners cited is an undercurrent of racism [in family members who had either Bellows Falls] that stays under adopted black children or had the surface unless there’s an oc- biracial children as examples of Allison Teague/The Commons casion to express it. You hear non-racist attitudes. it in conversations when [the Nancy Staniszewski, a third- Members of the community, including Roger Riccio, Julie Waters and Thom speaker] thinks you’re going to generation American of Austrian MacPhee, participate in a rally on Saturday at Mike’s Barber Shop. agree with them.” descent, an employee of another But Coyote Moon owner business in the Square, said she pervasive undercurrent of racial experience what “Bellows Falls intended to “to hear his side of Aristides Nogueron said as an does not understand racism. “I prejudice. is really like.” the story.” “American Mexican,” he has just don’t get it. We’re all the MacPhee addressed the Village Trustees Chair Roger Maya Costley wanted more never experienced any racist at- same on the inside, black, white, crowd, saying, “It’s discourag- Riccio noted that Bellows Falls’ from the gathering. “I’d like to titudes or comments in Bellows Asian. It’s just a skin color.” ing that we are not offering the diversity was “the key factor” see an apology from Mr. Aldrich, Falls. “There’s good and bad in ev- hospitality to visitors at the stan- that persuaded him and his part- and maybe have a conversation “It’s nice here,” he said ery race,” Staniszewski said. dard we have set up. We missed ner to move here years ago. “We with the residents of this town.” but, commenting on Mike the Lamont Barnett, owner of the by a mile on this one.” came here feeling that this was a Costley noted that “maybe Barber’s choices, “that’s not Rock and Hammer Jewelry store, MacPhee said he would like to diverse and accepting commu- [Aldrich] was old school and right,” he added, shaking his said, “Mike ought to write a let- offer an apology to Dr. Fischer nity. It saddens me that this has didn’t know how to say, ‘I can’t head. ter of apology to the gentleman, but he does not expect him to occurred.” cut your hair’” to a black man, Garet McIntyre, who rents but I don’t think it should be- return to the area. If he did, Several people who attended noting that Vermont’s demostudio space in Works on Paper come a municipal issue.” MacPhee said, he would offer the gathering said they had graphics is mostly white. “He in the Square, said Aldrich’s ac“Just because one idiot red- to take him to lunch or dinner to not spoken with Aldrich but should be helped to understand tions don’t “represent the way neck merchant behaves this way the community feels [about doesn’t mean” it represents the 55 Depot St. Brattleboro, VT African Americans].” majority view, Barnett said. Since He felt it did need to be adAldrich said that he regrets his (802) 254-5755 1946 Depot St. Brattleboro, VT to Dr. Fischer. dressed55 right away, however, as initial response pot St. “it Brattleboro, Sinc e back costs sets a bad precedent. It’s not “If he’d come inVT a sec(802)VT 254-5755 Cut your energy this year… 55 Depot St. Brattleboro, 1946 Si n ce the way we want to be seen as a ond time instead of walking by, (802) 254-5755 Since by254-5755 installing something more community.” Ithis would have told him, ‘I19can’t 46 (802) 46 Cut your energy19costs year… efficient. Call Merrill Gas! Walsh and several business cutVT your hair, sir. I’m afraid I’ll 55 Depot St. Brattleboro, Cutsomething your energy costs this year… By Allison Teague installing ownersby thought a written apology messSimore itncup.” following the launch of the pi- states that “after the state fee and e (802) 254-5755 to Fischer was called for. About in The Commons lot portion of the program, that personnel costs and expenses are 19something 46 40 people gathered by installing more efficient. Call Merrill Gas!Aldrich’s business on Aldrich said, “I’m not good at front of Direct $2,800 had been generated in deducted,” the revenues would Vent Cut your energy costs this year… efficient. Call Merrill Gas!concern R O C K I N G H A M — A s a just 23 hours of patrolling. that sort of thing. It would come Saturday to show their be shared equally between the Convection Heater a means of increasing revenue, outby all installing mish-mashed,” speaking more for what many considered While Selectboard Chair village and town. something the town of Rockingham and Thom MacPhee requested that According to the agreement, Direct Vent efficient. Call Merrill Gas! village of Bellows Falls have en- a portion of the town’s revenue all personnel decisions will be Direct Vent Buderus Convection Heater tered into an agreement with the be returned to the police depart- at the town manager’s discreConvection Heater Bellows Falls Police Department ment to help in its drug program, tion, and a log will be kept of Wall-Hung Boiler Winter is coming are you ready?? ect Vent Direct Vent to police traffic outside Village in October Walsh had noted that the hours. The village will proSchedule your yearly preventive maintenance or Buderus limits on Routes 5 and 103 in “there is a significant need for vide all equipment and facilities Direct Vent Buderus Convection Heater tion Heater replace your system! Rockingham, and Route 121 in this in the Village and Chief Lake at no cost to the town, as well as Tankless Water Heater Wall-Hung Boiler Saxtons River. had made this a priority when he maintain the liability and casuWall-Hung Boiler Police Chief Ron Lake said was appointed as chief.” alty insurance, and all employBuderus that in the first month alone, offiWalsh stated that he feels ees of the BFPD remain village Direct Vent Direct Direct Vent Vent cers had netted several thousand the Selectboard returning these employees. Wall-Hung Water Boiler Heater Wall-Hung Tankless Tankless Water Heater Freedom Tankless dollars90in fines. funds to the BFPD for this purThe agreement went into efGas Hung Boiler Direct Vent Interim Town Manager pose would send a strong mes- fect last month and remains in Water Heater Furnaces Francis “Dutch” Walsh told sage to the community. effect until Oct. 4, 2011. Tankless Water Heater the Selectboard in October, However, the final agreement Direct Vent Visit usTake at Freedom 90 Freedom 90www.merrillgas.com 1357567 Advantage of Gas s Water Heater theGas 30% Tax Credits Furnaces Furnaces Freedom 90 up to $ Gas Visit us at www.merrillgas.com 1357567 Visit Furnaces us at www.merrillgas.com Gas Furnaces Call for 1357567 details. By Allison Teague porch sales must be removed Violators will face fines of The Commons from the property within three $100 for each offense, computed Visit us at www.merrillgas.com Freedom 90Us Today Contact 1357567 days, with nothing left in the weekly. The person who owns ROCKINGHAM—Life just public right of way. Owners will the property or anyone who orGas got a little more complicated be billed at the highway depart- ganizes or helps put on the sale Furnaces with a new ordinance regarding ment’s discretion if personnel are will be held accountable. yard sales. forced to remove items. Selectboard member Ann The ordinance will place lim- Holiday farmers’ at www.merrillgas.com 1357567 DiBernardo had raised concerns its on how many times such sales that remaining unsold items in may occur and their duration. markets scheduled yard sales were left at the edge They may occur only in the day- in Bellows Falls Since of sidewalks “interminably, light, and “all items must be reLOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED 1946 forever.” moved within five days” of the BRATTLEBORO — There 55 Depot St. Brattleboro, VT Now, after Jan. 4, unsold sale end. Any longer, and permits will be two more Bellows Falls 55 Depot Street • Brattleboro, Vermont Since (802) 254-5755 items from yard sales, tag sales, would be required and would be Farmers’ Markets this season at 1 9 46 802.254.5755 www.merrillgas.com garage sales, barn sales and considered a permanent busi- Boccelli’s on the Canal (across ness governed by the Town of from the BFFM lot) on Friday, Cut your energy costs this year… Rockingham zoning by-laws. Nov. 19, and Friday, Dec. 17, Signs may not be posted prior from 4-7 p.m. by installing something more to 24 hours before the sale and At the market, you’ll find root must be removed within 24 veggies, squash, apples, sauerefficient. Call Merrill Gas! hours of the conclusion of the kraut, eggs, beef, chicken, lamb, indham ounty sale. No signs may be posted on maple syrup, baked goods, handpublic property such utility poles, made soap, crafted jewelry, kids umane oCiety vehicle safety pole, sidewalks or clothes and more. Free organic Direct Vent curbs, all places formerly popular coffee and harvest pizza will be Make a friend 916 West River Road, Brattleboro, VT for the ubiquitous yard sale sign. served to the first 100 customers. for life Convection Heater View all at: w c h s 4 p e t s . o r g 802-254-2232
Bellows Falls police expands patrol area into Rockingham
energy costs this year… alling something more ent. Call Merrill Gas!
and we need to take appropriate and public actions to rectify this,” Costley said. “I’m not angry [at Aldrich]. I’m embarrassed,” she explained. Bellows Falls resident Robin Story said, “Our response is right here, right now. We’ve been called on the carpet because we have a problem. Now we’re on the carpet. We’re here. What are we going to do now? We do not want to become a group railing against one person or rush to a snap judgment [of Aldrich]. Our response here says that he does not represent our community. He does not represent us.” Riccio noted later that “there is not much diversity in Vermont — for anything. We have a lot of people who come up from the city looking for things they can get there they can’t get here. The fact is, we don’t have the same diversity.” Asked if he meant racial diversity, Riccio said, “No, I mean anything. We just don’t have much diversity in reality.” Conversations followed about education, but one participant noted that “you can’t change someone who hates.” Several people voiced allowances for Aldrich being “old school” or ignorant and even suggested that the incident was an isolated one. However, most people agreed that no matter how it happened, the community needed to “stomp out” hatred in its tracks, as Riccio put it. At the rally, Walsh said, “When I went in to talk to Mike, there were two customers in there with the paper [with the letter from Fischer] in front of them, and they were discussing it. I sort of expected to come in and see them joking and laughing about it. But they weren’t doing that. They were talking seriously about it. And so was Mike.” Asked if the Joint Selectboard meeting on Tuesday would be addressing the issue, Selectboard member Peter Golec said, “It’s not on our agenda. But if someone wants to bring it up, that would be a good place to talk about it.” Calls to the hospital where Dr. Fischer is employed in emergency medicine were not returned.
Town adopts new yard sale rules
Available Pets for Adoption W C h S
Hi, I’m Cookie. I’m a sweet girl who loves to hang out and play with other cats and children. I’m also an “observer and explorer”--I love to spend Wall-Hung Boiler the day watching the world go by, but first I’ll quietly explore every corner. My unusual coat Direct Vent is called blue tortoiseshell and I was born lucky, with a crooked tail. My mellow personality makes me friends everywhere. After a proper introduction, I’ll probably be fine with dogs and other pets.
Tankless Water Heater
It’s just so nice to meet you! My name is Samantha and I am a spayed female English Cocker Spaniel who is a real lady. I just love to be around people, go on long walks and jaunts, relax by the fire and have fun. I do well with most other dogs as well as cats. I like children as well. I am housetrained and alreay know a lot of basic manners (like a true lady I try practice good manners in all situations). Do I sound like I might be the dog you have been looking for? If so, please come and visit- RSVP not required.
My name is harley and I am a southern Hi! My name is henry. gal who has come all the way from Kentucky I came to the shelter as a to find myself a home! My previous owner feral cat for one of their Freedom 90 Spay/Neuter Clinics and had to give me up as he was sent out to Iraq Gas ended up deciding peobut before he left he taught me a lot of neat stuff like: housetraining, ringing a bell to go Furnacesple weren’t so bad. Now I’m in the market for a outside and also sit, down and shake! So you can see I am an educated dog. I do well with new home. Other cats are a plus and a nice cozy most other dogs but I should not live with 1357567 cats- I’m afraid I just get too excited around them! I would do well couch sounds good too. with kids 8 and up and I enjoy providing watch dog duties as well as I will need some time to get used to my new home but once I’m settled I’ll make a great companion. wonderful companionship. Do I sound like the girl for you?
Home for Sale 18 Estabrook Street, Brattleboro
648 Putney Road Brattleboro, VT
802.257.3700 o n e s t o p co u n t ryp et .co m
149 Emerald St Keene, NH
BELLOWS FALLS — What is America’s No. 1 outdoor pursuit? Come to the Rockingham Free Public Library, 65 Westminster St., on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., and discover why bird watching is the answer to that question. Phil Morgan, avid birder and accomplished bird artist, will discuss the origin and evolution of bird watching in his presentation, “From Shotguns to Binoculars.” He will share lots of information, show his artistic avian renderings, and help people begin or improve this lifetime skill and avocation. This event is free and open to the public, and there will be refreshments and a door prize.
Compass School hosts open house WESTMINSTER — fostering a love of learning for students in grades 7-12, will host an open house for interested students and their families on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. Compass School prides itself on developing “good students and good people,” with over 90% of its graduates going on to college. To learn more about the school, come to the open house on the 18th, visit the school website at www.compass-school.org, or call at 802-463-2525. Compass is located on Route 5, just south of Bellows Falls.
Compass School, October 26, 2010
Townshend, VT www.gracecottage.org 802-365-7357
Visit us at www.merrillgas.com
This space is graciously sponsored by:
Bird watching discussion at RFPL on Nov. 17
3 bedroom, 1 bath home, Recent Renovations, 1 Block from Main Street. Purchase price $81,100, Housing Trust Price $70,000. No downpayment! Qualified buyers meet income guidelines and share appreciation with future homeowners. Call Cathy at the Windham Housing Trust, 246-2109.
“I chose Grace Cottage because of the homey atmosphere, excellent food, and expertise of care.” Helen Robb West Brattleboro, VT
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Westminster vote: ‘knee-jerk’ decision Bellows Falls should consider Not harmless Confronting youth attitudes about marijuana Obuchowski asks forSchool’s your vote proposal Compass WeLife all need to see the world A shameful shade of green Honoring son in Afghanistan lessons Activists’ Shumlin cherry picks worthy jobs through gender neighbors the massive Hydro-Québec qualifyMaking downtown Touring voicesShould missing from the an lens ofUneasy forbeing the state’s ‘renewable energy’ status? safer for everyone On a redneck Afeeling room ofHappy The freedom birthday, Like many Vermonters, Coyote fromRuralVY story AfricanDover! dancer identity as a badge of honor Vermont of good‘helping’ and bad, ugliness Why one adult is working to create a skateboard park, stop usand be The legislature makes Please the of her own Early education: An investment Encountering good will and why Brattleboro should support and respect the effort official town’s bicentennial that pays hugeYankee dividendsArt with CaroVernon Diallo residents know the town, and For one young woman, Blinded by Wishful thinkingAdoes makefrom youngnot journalist VY, better than Peter Shumlin does a chance for stability, Weary of elections Galbraith brings depth Our literary campfire Northpower Carolinawork offers us safe with nuclear privacy, and a home the need for Taking life to economic Festival, Vermont Reads program offer development The political process discourages some impressions Racine: No empty Renewing ways to view our lives, our histories, our world Marching for peace Public art, an honest debate about the issues someone special for granted in everypie-in-the-sky promises Legislature was paying attention • We should have brought the soldiers home the riverfront An older sense of single woman in in Bellows Falls A birthday present Democracythe worked in VY votefor a good cause How might a once-industrial space by the Embracing search of companionship the phrase One race ends, Among Connecticut River be used for the good of the Students write about their reactions falls for a scammer and whole community? Some citizens respond. social ofArgentina disability to a memoir about suffering and survival. schoolchildrenand a bigger race begins Themodel women of pays for her mistake
Burton offers free car washes for veterans
BRATTLEBORO — Burton Car Wash & Detailing Services is again this year offering a free top-of-the-line car wash to all veterans and military service personnel on Thursday, Nov. 11. A free wash is available at either of the Burton locations – Canal Street or Putney Road from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is part of Grace for Vets, a program created in 2004 by Mike Mountz, CEO of Cloister Wash & Lube in Ephrata, Pa,, to provide free car washes to all veterans on Veterans Day. How did they relate the book to their lives? ‘If you are typically abled, I sometimes feel that weJew liveconfronts Businesses learn about alcohol, tobac A snarky, gay During the Vietnam War, Rove-style politics in Vermont? Follow the charter Thanks worlds apart. But it doesn’t be that way.’shock Mountz was injured, and after culture whileits denial of a The have Publictosome Service Board discusses Festival of Squashes‘Simply raises funds for library two months in a body cast, was from volunteering at a school no uncertain language’ Certificate of Public Good for now-off-the-table VY plan A fog of blind faith prevails, mistake that despite sent to the Veterans HospitalAn in honest evidence for the World Trade Center tragedy a in rural Uganda parade The Judge of rules that Brattleboro Selectboard erred in keeping statistics from even proponents Valley Forge, Pa., for therapy. job is overwhelming, yet it is treated solely as a theor raises deeper questions citizen referendum question from town ballot What would make us truly happy? Surrounded by amputees and man-made globalof warming The perils organizers Demanding change to state’s • A voice against a $60 billion tragic misuse others much more seriously Republican transportation policies big money in elections wounded than himself, he was The company I work forAnti-global-warming writer awed by the spirit and bravery of Coming to understand an increasingly these soldiers. During that time, popular Japanese Asembraces the school Feeling hot, hot, hotyear starts, Vermont’sElectronic steer us wrong, in many ways dance — one that respondsdevices to rebuttal ‘Uninformed’? We just didn’t agree he vowed that one day he would the contradictions in our complexTeacher world of the Year offers some thoughts help veterans in some way. And An apostrophe — please! if VY had to apply Union: Shumlin used VY stance so it was, that many yearsWhat later, MMI benefit concer Former volunteer A veteran broadcaster volunteers as litmus test for other labor issues Grace for Vets was founded. disillusioned with Salmon ‘a total success’ for original approval today? at Brattleboro Community Radio Vermont Yankee needs to remain This year, a total of 1,339 car and likes what he sees (and hears) Plastic bags litter the who the Skeptics wash locations in all 50 states Learning from Lessons from the partquestion of state’s energy mix Dummerston needs strong plan VIEWPOINT plan to give 100,000 free washes. country and take oil climate change Woodward case with open-space protection Northeast Kingdom Burton is the only participating How Vermont avoided to manufacture VIEWPOINT company in Vermont. “It’s so substitute rhetoric for What other areas of Vermont can learn In support of the worst of the recession about making agriculture viable important to remember those scientific evidence A pastor ponders her spiritual-but-not-religious Disabled like me Obuchowski, Partridgegeneration who have served our country. ‘Where do we fit in?’ Taxation in Vermont: An autistic woman searches for kindred souls The United States wouldn’t be Oyster Creek and Friel did a great job Takingplatform A search for a place to go, Let community stand against asks one college student what it is today without the dediVY are both ofRepublican the at Oak Grove School VY signs go far beyond The numbers don’t lie measures To the poorhouse cation and sacrifice of our miliL E T T E R S graffiti FROM READERS a place beyond hollowness message of anti-semitic same vintage — tary,” said owner Connie Burton. and both must go against an Lessons learned from working for and emptiness, when Kruger not given appropriate respect “Giving a free wash one day ofShumlin consistently backs early-childhood education the rich and famous on Poverty Ro epidemic Auditor candidate says: the silence speaks Town should help dogs in cars the year is the least we can do to reward veterans for their service. Moran: a politician who gets Pay-as-you-throw and the will invest It’s about the ethics Shumlin in all Restorative Justice program: I hope every serviceman in the into the gutter — literally Making broadband available to everyone rising cost of trash disposal infrastructure technology a no-brainer for society area hears about this program, LETTERS FROM READERS Diplomacy at resources in Vermont makes good economic sense Card fees drain Tired of ridiculous, false arguments and comes to get their free wash the dinner table, Who really cares about the companyfrom small businesses on Nov. 11.” State representative urges you to vote courtesy of Fox News you work for if it can’t tell the truth? For more information, call Winning over conservative parents A guy who sacrifices for others 802-257-5191.
Decoding the warmist agenda
The changing role of education in aNew life for the old Grange A different Call the pain the cure global society Lost souls in the woods
Hot enough Harder to say for you?
than The God within‘I’m gay’
way to run More than a station weThe need border-lands of insanity A local look at mental illness Engaging Telling kids that it gets better in the 19th century young votersYoung adults and their faith
A tale of two nuclear power plants
On the war horse, galloping across the globe
Growing up gay in the South was bad. The constant bullying? was worse. The last That 5 percent
Would the Cleavers come here?
Can dairy crisis A squandered opportunity Memorial a Day thanks with universal small-town values Celebrating Windham College’s legacy To market, to market Stop settling for become catalyst What could be going underground with the sewer pipes White has championed mental health issues Galbraith would continue county’s Shumlin offers leadership a man of action, priorities, and values Thefor long dance of farmers and customers, lack of Racine: leadership ‘Buy local’ change? role of leadership in Montpelier all building relationships around food this election on Vermont Yankee issue Come on, Selectboard — reconsider lights
Free seasonal wellness talk offered in Newfane
NEWFANE — On Friday, Nov. 12, the practitioners of the Newfane Wellness Center will host a free discussion on how to stay healthy during the autumn months. This will be the first in a series of seasonal talks that will be offered to the community throughout the coming year. During this talk, Kelly Wicker, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, will discuss healthy ways to manage the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the winter blues; Rebecca Stott, Licensed Acupuncturist/ Herbalist, will discuss herbal and nutritional remedies for allergies and strengthening the immune system; and Alison Trowbridge, Massage Therapist, will discuss body awareness and stretching for the areas of the body which tend to be affected most during the Fall. The talk will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Newfane Wellness Center which is located at 550 VT Route 30 (above the Newfane Café and Creamery). Light refreshments will be served. For more information please call 802-365-9565 or visit www.newfanewellness.com.
Chicken and biscuit supper served in Grafton GRAFTON — The Grafton Grange will put on a chicken and biscuit supper on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 5-7 p.m. at the Grafton Chapel next to the Brick Church on Main Street. The menu will include chicken, biscuits, gravy, potatoes, squash, peas and homemade dessert. Price is $9 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, and under 5 free. For more information contact Bea Fisher 802-843-2434 or Chris Wallace 802-843-1146.
Church hosts chicken pie supper, Christmas bazaar WESTMINSTER—On Saturday Nov. 13, there will be a chicken pie supper from 5-7 at the Westminster Congregational Church. The menu will include chicken pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, butternut squash, boiled onions, cole slaw, rolls, coffee and tea. For dessert, there will be homemade apple pie. Dinner will cost $8 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Also, on Saturday Nov. 27, the Women’s Fellowship will hold their annual Christmas bazaar, with many handcrafted items at the church. Santa will be there for the children and there will be a cafe with homemade yellow pea, Italian wedding or vegetarian minestrone soups as well as sandwiches, coffee, tea or hot chocolate and numerous baked goods.
LETTERS FROM READERS
feelsout budget sting Robbing Peter,The paying Paul changes that need to GulfLibrary oil spill points need for over-reaching White, Young for Senate new energy measures, candidate says seat With David Snow’s death, be made must be done on a national level family forever changed
n Voices, we offer an unusual editorial and op-ed section, one that presents a wonderfully sprawling array of personal expression. That’s only fitting, because Windham County readers have a wonderfully sprawling array of ideals, political views, and interests. Are you a radical, a reformed hippie, a liberal Republican, a moderate, a Progressive, a Reagan Democrat, a Tea Partier, a none-of-the-abovewhat-business-is-it-of-yours-anyway? Name your label — we don’t care. If your opinion is relevant or interesting, if your life experience is compelling, we want to hear from you, because we believe we can all learn from one another even if we don’t always agree. And if you value a feisty and provocative Voices section that will keep the county on its toes, become a member of Vermont Independent Media, and help us keep this nonprofit newspaper’s voice clear and strong.
I want to become a Member of Vermont
Independent Media to support The Commons, www.Commonsnews.org and the Media Men-
n Basic. Annual rate, $35. n Loyal Reader. Annual rate $55, or $5 per month online. Get the newspaper mailed to your home.
n Newshound. Annual rate $100, or a larger
toring Project, and other programs.
donation. Get the newspaper mailed to your home, plus
receive invitations to special events.
Address ________________________________________ Town/City ______________________________________ State_____ Zip ___________ Phone ________________ E-mail _________________________________________
You can also donate by credit card. Donate online at http://donate.commonsnews.org, or call (802) 246-6397 Please make checks payable to Vermont Independent Media. Your donation is tax deductible.
P.O. Box 1212 Brattleboro, VT 05302
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
OPINION • COMMENTARY • LETTERS Join the discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org
E S S AY
Surviving deer season
For a newcomer to Vermont, a local tradition provides a lesson in ambiguity Newfane Castle Freeman Jr.’s most recent novel, All That I Have, was published by Random of southeastern House in 2009. This piece, pubVermont were once lished in the December 1995 issue dairy country, alof The Atlantic Monthly, is rethough by the time I arrived, printed with his kind permission. 20 years ago, dairying was mostly finished. One farm in the neighborhood still kept a few milkers, though, and it was “Saturday?” I said. there that I became acquainted “You’re new around here,” with a particular local custom he said. “You’ll see." that is, I find, rarely celebrated I saw, all right. More prein articles on endearing rural cisely, I heard. ways through the seasons. The next morning Their authors will tell you Vermont’s two-week deerhow to tap a maple in March, hunting season began. Just mow hay in June, and make ci- before dawn, the slumbering der in October, but by failing woods erupted with the fell to touch on the subject I refer echo of small arms. Single gunto, they neglect a passage in the shots, doubles, volleys of three turning year that is as venerable or four, came from all points as these but darker and more of the compass, some far off, pointed. others seemingly in the living One morning in November, room. By eleven, the fire had looking into my neighbor’s pas- mounted to a fusillade worthy ture, I observed an uncanny of Antietam. thing: on the nearest of his Across the road, however, animals the word cow had my neighbor’s cows survived. been painted with whitewash They hugged the earth fearin letters two feet high. A furfully, like Tommies at the ther look revealed that the enSomme, but they were alive. tire herd had been painted the After all, no deer hunter who same way. What was this? Was could read would shoot a the herd’s owner perhaps excow. pecting a visit from city people in need of rural education? Was Since then, I have become his tractor painted tractor, a close student of the lengths his barn barn? I asked him. to which people go each year “Well, you know what toon the eve of deer season to morrow is,” my neighbor said. provide a margin of safety for
themselves, their loved ones, their livestock, their pets. This is the season when dogs wear brightly colored bandannas around their necks, like John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in Red River. Cats and smaller dogs, as far as I can tell, have to take their chances along with the deer, although I don’t know why the kind of elegant dog vest to be seen on the Pekingeses of Park Avenue shouldn’t be produced in hunter orange for the greater safety of their country cousins. That same hunter orange, a hideous toxic color, suddenly appears everywhere in midNovember, like the untimely bloom of an evil flower. Hunters themselves, of course, wear hunter orange to make it less likely that they’ll be shot by their peers. But civilians, too, turn up in hunter-orange caps, vests, sweaters, and jackets, as they go about their business outdoors during this uneasy fortnight in the year. Uneasy indeed. Are you a hiker, a birder, an idle tramper through the woods? In deer season you think twice before setting out — think twice and then stay home. If you’re a nonhunter, it’s painful to avoid the woods and fields as though they were a deserted street in the South Bronx. There is also the trouble of
Photoillustration/based on image by Eunice Chang/Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
preparing for deer season. It’s not as though you don’t have enough to do to get the place ready for winter without having to find time to paint the cow, flag the dog, pray for the cat, and plan two weeks’ worth of useful projects to do in the cellar.
discipline, and patience. More than that, it teaches the moral lesson of seriousness — that certain things must be entered into advisedly, done with care, and done right. That hunting provides an education I am very willing to believe. And yet deer season is for me a sad couple of weeks. Because with all The heaviest demands that its profound advantages for the deer season makes on the non- hunter, the fact remains that hunter, however, it makes not deer season is a little tough on on his time but on his mind. the deer. You have to reflect. You have Suddenly deer turn up in to collect your thoughts. You strange places: thrown down don’t want to move into deer in the backs of pickup trucks; season without having exroped on top of cars; hanging amined your responses, your in front of barns; flopped in beliefs. blood across platform scales in I don’t object to deer huntfront of country stores and gas ing: let everyone have his sport, stations. It’s hard to recognize I say. I don’t for a moment in those abject, inert cadavdoubt the value, importance, ers the agile creatures you surand dignity of hunting for those prise along the roads at night who do it. or see sometimes in the woods Deer hunting teaches skill, picking their way on slender legs and then bounding off, the most graceful animals in North America. It’s hard to see them so defeated, so dead. It’s particularly hard for children, those instinctive animal lovers, to see deer season’s bloody harvest hauled out of the woods. It’s especially hard to explain to them why it isn’t
Two countries, two methods of punishment and justice
Why Restorative Justice programs work for society
swastika tattoo. At $45,000 per year, the writing to instate of Vermont will invest mates, I don’t nearly a million dollars to know what my keep this man in jail. He will students are in jail for; it’s betbe 38 years old when he first DEBORAH ter that way. I see them only becomes eligible for parole, by LEE LUSKIN as men with poems to sing. which time he will have spent But last year, I had a stuhalf his life behind bars. dent who didn’t want to sit At ages 16 and 14, Adjusting to life on the in a room with sex offenders. the Vermonter and New outside is difficult for men When I told a co-worker, she Zealander, respectively, killed who have spent less time in said, “That’s interesting. You their fathers with shotguns. prison. Newly released inknow what he’s in for, don’t Both boys were charged with mates need a great deal of you?” murder. And this is where support to adjust successfully “No, and I’m not sure I their stories diverge. to life on the outside; few have want to,” I said. The Vermonter went had the skills before their jail “It was a very big story,” through the traditional — pu- stints and fewer still acquire she said. “He killed his nitive — American criminal them while on the inside. father.” justice system. He pled guilty Additionally, they’re often I looked up the details onto second-degree murder and stigmatized and are rarely line. They’re horrific. was sentenced to 22 years to welcomed back to their comIn my search, I also found a life in prison. munities. Many ex-offenders case study comparing restorThe New Zealander’s exre-offend and land right back ative and retributive justice tended family petitioned in jail. in two instances of patrithe court to participate in The New Zealander, on cide. The study was written Restorative Justice, a worldthe other hand, has comas a capstone presentation wide practice that differs pleted his education and has for a master’s degree in meenormously from the punia job working for the New diation and conflict studies tive form of criminal justice Zealand forest service. In his at the Woodbury Institute we’re most familiar with in early 20s, he’s now a producat Champlain College by the United States. They held tive and contributing member Vermonter Patricia McIntosh. a Family Group Conference, of his family, tribe, and larger In it, McIntosh compares which included the offender, community. two youthful offenders — one his family, the victim’s famHe has not re-offended in from Vermont (my student) ily, a social worker, and the any way. and one from New Zealand police. Together, they worked Vermont leads the na— and the two very differout what this boy had to do to tion in the use of Restorative ent methods by which they repair the harm he’d done. Justice for nonviolent offendwere brought to justice for He was sentenced to two ers. There are 14 community almost identical crimes comyears of supervision while liv- justice centers in Vermont, mitted under very similar ing within his extended famincluding one in Brattleboro, circumstances. ily. Additionally, he was where nonviolent offendrequired to be home schooled, ers repair the harm they’ve Both young men grew up undergo psychological testing caused without going to jail. in small, rural towns. Both and counseling, have no acThe statistics prove this prowere children of divorced cess to firearms, and abstain cess works: those who go parents. Both had abusive from drugs and alcohol. through it rarely re-offend. fathers. And both had comIndeed, those who particimitted felony-level crimes So, how are they doing now? pate typically become positive when they were still boys. The Vermonter is adjusting members of their communiBut that’s not all: In both to prison life, which requires ties as a result of being held cases, neighbors knew of the him to adopt a tough-guy accountable for their actions paternal abuse and did not in- stance in order to fend off — and for repairing the harm tervene — nor did state or lo- more seasoned and predathey caused. cal protective services. tory inmates. He now sports a hen I teach
When I taught inside Vermont’s prisons, I learned how flawed jail time is as a way of changing criminal behavior. I sought alternative methods of criminal justice and discovered the Brattleboro Community Justice Center. BCJC teaches and administers Restorative Justice. It’s been several years since I began as a community justice volunteer. My personal experience confirms the data that Restorative Justice works and surpasses post-incarceration outcomes with wide margins by all measures. Restorative Justice improves our community by binding us, one-to-another, in a web of relationships that we all make an effort to maintain while upholding common standards of behavior. International Restorative Justice is celebrated around the world during the month of November. Last year, the BCJC partnered with the Windham Arts Council to produce visual representations of justice that culminated in an art show at the River Garden. This year, the BCJC is teaming up with the New England Youth Theater. NEYT has devoted its fall semester to an exploration of justice through drama. Their work will culminate in “The Quality of Mercy,” a showcase of dramatic scenes. Each performance will be followed by a talk-back with the actors, BCJC volunteers and the audience. The shows will run the weekends of Nov. 12-14 and 19-21 and promise to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. I look forward to seeing many of you there. n
wrong to kill deer — or, if it is wrong, why nobody can stop it, and how it is that the hunters themselves, who are also your friends and neighbors, are otherwise such familiar, decent, innocent people. It’s a lesson in ambiguity, I guess — a lesson in tolerance. I had a number of conversations along these lines with my children when they were young, inconclusive conversations with on their side conviction and passion, and on my own . . . nothing satisfactory. What do you tolerate, why, and how? How do you separate the act from the friend, and condemn the one but not the other? Not an easy matter at any age, in any season. We don’t have those talks anymore. The children are older now. They know that with some things all you can do is figure out how you will conduct your own life and let others do the same. Perhaps they have learned this in part from deer season. If so, I’m content. Let the gunners fire at will — and as for the nonhunters, good luck to them, too. It’s not only hunters who can learn from hunting. n
LETTERS FROM READERS
Passing stimulus money to towns postpones inevitable
few weeks back, the disagreement between Gov. Jim Douglas and the Vermont Department of Education about the allocation of $19 million of federal stimulus money for public education received some publicity. This money came to Vermont as a result of the leadership of U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders in Washington. In order to assess the wisdom of sending federal stimulus monies to the state for public education, we need some context: • Vermont is in a fiscal crisis. As of February, the state’s General Fund is short $150 million. Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca has asked Vermont’s local school boards to cut their spending in acknowledgment of the state’s fiscal crisis. School boards all across the state have done their best, and then voters further pared down their school budgets in some annual town meetings. We call this process local control of education budgets. • Over the past 14 years, Vermont’s student enrollment has decreased by 12 percent. • Over the same period, the number of teachers (not including aides and support staff) in Vermont has increased by 37 percent. • Over the same period, inflation-adjusted spending on K-12 public education in Vermont has increased by 37 percent.
Which all means we are spending more to hire more teachers for fewer students. This pattern of spending cannot be justified and will lead to fiscal disaster, for all of us. How does injecting (in a one-year shot) $19 million into a public education system that is necessarily reducing its spending do anything but harm? What about the next year? There will be no $19 million of stimulus, and budgets will have to be cut by boards and/or the taxpayers. Gov. Douglas is proposing to use the money to reduce the state’s already existing liability to the teachers’ pension fund (a General Fund liability), a reasonable use of a one-shot injection of federal funds. The state will be in better fiscal shape as a result. If the stimulus money is spent to inflate local spending that voters have already trimmed, it will make it more difficult for towns to stabilize and plan their budgets, and by undercutting local decision-making. Our efforts must be to bring our state to fiscal health and stability. Our futures depend on it. A single jolt of federal money in local budgets will only encourage spending that can’t be sustained in the long run, and that is a terrible waste of precious public resources — our tax monies. Anna Vesely Pilette Grafton
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
LETTERS FROM READERS
Politicians thank voters The banana menace • Hilary Cooke
y campaign to represent Windham County in the Vermont State Senate is over. The two seats were won by Peter Galbraith and the incumbent, Jeanette White. I ran as who I am — a moderate Republican, with a mixture of what I think were good ideas from an assortment of places. To a large extent, my campaign and this vote was a referendum regarding Vermont Yankee. With the prospect of Vermont Yankee’s closing considered an urgent reality, I thought voters would be poised to reconsider their position regarding the nuclear power plant. I recognized that this would require a considerable group of people crossing party lines. On Tuesday, clearly and decisively, the voters of Windham County said that they want the plant closed regardless of the availability of replacement power, local economics, and jobs. With this vote, it should give us all the clarity to consider life in Windham County without the nuclear power
plant operating after March 2012. We should now go forward on that basis. My position has not, and will not, waver with regard to Vermont Yankee. I support a safe and reliable operating nuclear power plant in Vernon. But as the saying goes: those who fail to plan, plan to fail. We are now confronted with having to craft an economic plan in Windham County that removes an operating nuclear power plant from the equation. This comes at a time when our local economy has been described as being in a long-term structural recession. For me, it is time to act in a manner that is consistent with the reality before us; ignoring it only exacerbates our predicament. If ever there was a time for all of us to commit to creating private-sector jobs in Windham County, it is here and now. As I have said repeatedly in my campaign, commerce is a good thing, not a bad thing. I stand ready to support our Senate delegation in
Will nuclear-energy foes ever put the danger of tritium in perspective and context?
Montpelier as they grapple with a daunting budget deficit, the prospect of continued lost jobs in the county, and a diminished partner in the federal government. Their job will not be easy. Join me in congratulating Peter Galbraith and Jeanette White on a well-deserved win. I wish them well. It is back to my “day job” with year-end health insurance renewals coming up. I am jumping from the skillet to the frying pan, so I don’t have any time to dwell on the “coulda, woulda, and shoulda’s”. It is time to move forward with new prospects and projects! Thank you all for your support or consideration. I highly recommend this journey for everybody! Hilary Cooke Brattleboro
Enfield, N.H. Howard Shaffer is a nuclear industry veteran who this headline: works as a consultant and serves “Nuclear Free as a pro-nuclear advocate. A Vermont Pickets familiar voice in the Vermont Supermarket; Radioactive Yankee debate, he worked as a Food Discovered In Produce startup engineer at the plant. Section.” And it wouldn’t be a joke. Food contains radioacmillirem. Drinking tritiated tivity. One ordinary banana water for a year — two liters a contains radioactivity equiva- day at 20,000 picocuries per lent to 40 liters of water with liter — will expose the drinker the EPA’s maximum allowto 4 additional millirems of able concentration of tritium: radiation a year. 0.00000002 curies of tritium One bitewing dental X-ray per liter. or one plane flight from That number appears tiny Boston to California and when written in terms of the partway back produces 4 milbasic radiation unit, curies. lirems. The EPA deliberately However, science and the allows only the amount of ramedia report tritium concen- diation in water whose effect trations in picocuries. A picowill be indistinguishable from curie is a trillionth of a curie. background radiation or miA liter of tritiated water con- nor lifestyle choices, such as a taining 20,000 picocuries has trip to the dentist. 20 billionths of a curie. In short, no one — at The effect on humans is least, no one who eats an ocmeasured in rem (roentgen casional banana — needs equivalent man). To elimito be concerned over the nate zeros, scientists use the amount of tritium in the waunit millirem, one thousandth ter that leaked from Vermont of a rem. Yankee. Normal background radiation in this country gives the For committed anti-nuaverage American 350 milclear activists, however, no lirems a year. The radiation nuclear plant will ever be safe that America’s 104 nuclear enough. The activists conplants release adds one more tinually attempt to pump up
The writer, an insurance agent, ran on the Republican ticket for one of the two Windham district state senate seats.
• Peter Galbraith
n the months leading up to last Tuesday’s election, hundreds of Windham County residents participated in my campaign for the Vermont Senate. I am grateful to those who hosted and attended “meet and greet” parties, to those who displayed my signs on their lawns, to those who contributed money, to those who endorsed me publicly, to those who made calls on my behalf, and to those who stood at the polls with my signs and literature on a pleasant primary day in August and the decidedly chilly Tuesday of the general election. Jill Spiro, my campaign manager, is the most organized person I know, and she did a brilliant job of coordinating this effort. I am delighted that I will be joined in Montpelier by Sen. Jeanette White, who has
represented our county well for the last eight years. Politics is not just about winning. A campaign also serves to educate the public and to promote dialogue. Hilary Cooke did just that by running a thoughtful and civil campaign that highlighted the issues of health care and the economy. Although he did not prevail in this election, I am sure he has more to contribute to our county and state. I also commend Lynn Corum and Aaron Diamondstone for putting their names forward and thereby giving voters a range of choices from one end of the ideological spectrum to the other. Most of all, I am grateful to the voters of Windham County. In my campaign, Republicans, Progressives and independents supported me in addition to my fellow Democrats. Not everyone will
agree with me all the time, but I take very seriously my promise to represent all of Windham County, and I continue to believe we can find common ground if we look for it. We face difficult challenges ahead but also opportunities. We can best address our state’s fiscal crisis by growing our economy, and that means getting 21st-century infrastructure in place throughout Windham County, preserving Vermont’s natural environment, encouraging quality schools that make our state an attractive place to live and work, and making progress toward the goal of affordable health care for all. Peter Galbraith Townshend The writer was elected to one of the two Windham district seats in the state senate.
offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up — ever — trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy?” Democracy is indeed living and well in Vermont — even within the distress and discord in many races this year, where a few things seem clear. Vermonters want us staying positive and working together on the common ground found between the polarities. That’s my priority: to reach out with an open heart and open mind and listen and stand on that common ground where the work actually gets done. The campaign is over, but for those of us fortunate enough to succeed in our elections, the work just starts. I’m excited to resume, and, as
always, want to hear from you as we move forward. As a first step, I’ve started a new website, www.windham5.net. It’s a work in progress to build a bridge between our homes here in southeast Vermont and Montpelier. You can keep up with what’s happening locally and in the Statehouse, and I can keep up with what’s happening with you. As we head toward Thanksgiving, I have much to give thanks for: family, friends and work that feels worthwhile. Thanks again for your votes and the chance to listen and work for you. Mike Mrowicki Putney The writer was re-elected to represent, with David Deen (D-Putney), the Windham-5 District of Putney, Dummerston and Westminster.
hanks to Windham County for having faith in me — sending me back to Montpelier for my fifth term as your Senator. Thanks to the candidates — Peter Galbraith, Hilary Cooke, Lynn Corum, Aaron Diamonstone, and Toby Young. Democracy requires participation, and I applaud you for becoming involved. Thanks to those citizens and groups who sponsored and turned out for forums in order to become better informed voters, to the media that did a great job of getting information out, and to all those who worked on campaigns. And I really want to
hank you very much to the voters of the Windham-4 towns of Athens, Brookline, Grafton, Rockingham, part of North Westminster, and Windham for your support for re-election as your state representative in the Nov. 2 general election. Thank you also to those who donated their time, talents, and energy to the effort. Many thanks to my family,
friends, and employer, without whose help and understanding it would be difficult to experience success. I truly appreciate the confidence and trust you place in me and will do my best to represent and serve you. Do not hesitate to contact me (802-463-3094, email@example.com, or 72 Atkinson St., Bellows Falls, VT 05101-1321) with your
want to thank the voters in Athens, Brookline, Grafton, a portion of North Westminster, Rockingham, and Windham for re-electing me state representative. I am truly honored by the trust you continue to place in me, and I promise to work hard for you. I encourage you to contact me with any questions, ideas, or concerns. I can be reached at 1612 Old Cheney Rd., Windham, VT 05359, (802) 874-4182. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. During the legislative session, which starts on Jan. 5, I can be reached at the
W NE ! M E IT
Statehouse Tuesdays through Fridays, by phone toll-free at 800-322-5616 or at House of Representatives, 115 State St., Drawer 33, Montpelier, 056335201. My e-mail address there is email@example.com. Please do not hesitate to contact me, and thanks again for your support. Carolyn Partridge Windham The writer, a Democrat, represents the Windham-4 district in the Vermont House of Representatives.
ackowledge my gratitude for the passage of the constitutional amendment that will allow a person to vote in the primary as long as he/she will be 18 by the day of the general election. The Vermont Constitution isn’t easy to change, and that change doesn’t happen very often. This amendment is a case of good democracy, and I am so happy to have been a part of it. So it is now back to work for what we know will be a tough session. Remember to continue to contact me about issues of concern to you, and to weigh in when your see issues arise that are of concern. Watching the Legislative home page, working
with an organization that represents you, attending public forums, following the media — there are many ways to keep informed. My legislative e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, my phone number at the Statehouse is 800-322-5616 (just leave a message), or call me at home at (802) 387-4379. Thanks again for your support. Jeanette White Putney The writer, a Democrat, won re-election as one of Windham County’s two state senators.
32 Main St. Brattleboro 802-257-1577 www.rivergalleryschool.org
The writer, a Democrat, represents the Windham-4 district in the Vermont House of Representatives.
• Lynn Corum
want to take this opportunity to thank all the voters in Windham County for participating in the election process. It was an exciting season and I, as a candidate, was honored to take part. I thank many of you whom I met for sharing your concerns for our community and state and allowing me to hear your ideas regarding the challenges we face. Lynn Corum Brattleboro The writer ran on the Republican ticket for one of the two Windham district state senate seats.
Heats..............1000 sq. ft Hopper Cap....40 lbs.
Your Cost After Tax Credit...
ONLY $769 OPEN 7 DAYS
Putney Road Brattleboro, VT (802) 254-4927
Get In. Get Help. Get On With Your Life. SPECIAL PURCHASE
3 Liter Can Included
Polished Stainless Steel Trash Can
Angels, Beasts, Shepherds and Kings Workshop Sunday, Nov 28, 1-4 pm Join the fun! Make a creation and help support the River Gallery School Scholarship Fund.
questions, concerns, ideas, or problems regarding state government. Together we govern. Michael J. Obuchowski Bellows Falls
WINDOW INSTALLED PELLET HEATER
• EASIEST PELLET HEATER EVER TO INSTALL! • NO EXTRA VENTING NEEDED • NO FRESH AIR KIT NEEDED
• Jeanette White
a crisis over completely insignificant water leaks to further their political agenda: to shut down every nuclear reactor everywhere, and thus free mankind from the scourge of cheap, safe, reliable nuclear electricity. For those who know the science, tritiated water leaks are not a crisis, but a minor problem. Quite a few nuclear plants have had tritiated water leaks. The picocuries of radiation emitted show up promptly on monitoring instruments, and the plant operators find the leak and fix it. A nuclear reactor is designed on the expectation that earthquakes happen, that plumbing sometimes leaks, and that people sometimes make mistakes. The plant’s hardware, control system, training, administration, security, and management are all designed to identify problems and mistakes, and to get them fixed. The regulations on emitted radioactivity protect the public with a huge margin of safety. Of course, this information won’t change the minds of those who are impervious to science. But you can understand it. n
• Michael Obuchowski
• Carolyn Partridge
• Mike Mrowicki hanks to the voters of Putney, Dummerston and Westminster for presenting me with the opportunity — and the honor — to serve you again in the Vermont House of Representatives for the Windham-5 district. It feels more daunting than ever, given the tough times we are facing. I am not daunted by the hard work ahead, but by the challenge of helping bring together the polarities in the state electorate. My promise is to work hard to represent you well and bring my whole heart to my work for you, inspired by the words of writer Terry Tempest Williams: “The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and
RIVER GALLERY SCHOOL OF ART
30L (8 gal.) capacity. Innovated trim ring holds bag tightlt in place so it won’t slip and lifts up for fast easy change. 6194351 Trash Can Liners, 30L, 20 Ct., 6095616 $5.99 Limited quantity available. Sorry, no rain checks.
Brown & Roberts 182 Main St., Brattleboro, Vt. 802-257-4566 Open 7 days
n VY sale
from page 1
will be released at this time, said Entergy Spokesperson Michael Burns. Whispers about a possible sale surfaced over the summer to which Entergy had declined comment. Vermont Yankee sits at the center of regulatory and political whirlwinds. Entergy continues to push for a federal license extension for VY despite the state legislature’s January vote to deny a 20-year extension. VY’s current operating license expires March 2012. Leaking underground pipes, public feelings running the gamut from loyalty to outright hatred, 650 employees’ futures, and federal and state processes only scratch the paint of a longrunning issue. The second-largest nuclear generator in the U.S., Entergy Corp, which purchased the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plant from the Vermont Yankee Entergy has confirmed that it is exploring options to Nuclear Corporation in 2002, sell the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Substation reaps annual revenues of over in Vernon. $10 billion and employs 15,000 people. “Over the years there has been operate,” said Sheehan. dozens of license transfers,” said Sheehan didn’t think attemptExploring options Neil Sheehan, NRC public rela- ing to sell the plant can help “Our motivation for exploring tions officer. Entergy sidestep the Vermont the sale of the plant is simple – Seabrook Station in New Senate’s February vote to prowe want to do whatever is in the Hampshire and Millstone Power hibit the state Public Service best interest of our stakeholders, Station in Connecticut have Board from issuing VY a including the approximately 650 changed ownership in the last Certificate of Public Good to men and women who work at the decade, said Sheehan. operate the plant for another 20 plant,” said J. Wayne Leonard, He said the NRC’s responsi- years. He said selling to a new Entergy’s chairman and chief ex- bility in the process is to ensure owner does not reset the clock ecutive officer in the company’s potential owners are fit to oper- or change the NRC or Vermont’s press release. ate a nuclear plant safely. review deadlines. Burns echoed Leonard’s Potential buyers must pass In a nutshell, Sheehan said, quotes almost verbatim. muster with the NRC before Vermont has its separate review “We’re exploring every op- the commission would grant process and the NRC would “not tion available, and a sale is one a license transfer. According interject.” of those option with the intent of to Sheehan, the transfer reEntergy has claimed the legdoing what’s best for all stake- view takes between six and nine islature’s vote overstepped the holders,” said Burns. months depending on the com- state’s authority and only the Burns said Entergy specifically plexity of the transfer. NRC can decide the relicenscared about VY’s employees and Broadly speaking, the NRC ing issue. their families and would “aggres- considers a potential owner’s fisively negotiate with buyers” to nancial and technical feasibility Hold on extend employment rights. and if the proposed buyer is a “It is critically important VY employs 650 people, ap- U.S. or international entity. The to remember that changing proximately 200 of whom live NRC prohibits foreign control of the owner does not change the in Vermont. nuclear plants for safety reasons, dismal facts about the plant,” “We will do everything we said Sheehan. said State Representative Sara can to ensure VY keeps operatCompanies based outside the Edwards (P-Brattleboro). ing and if sale is the best option, U.S. must have a U.S. subsidiary According to Edwards, NRC so be it,” he said. to oversee the daily operations. Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko He added “Vermont is about French company Électricité de stated at his most recent visit to to move beyond the rhetoric of France (The EDF Group), for Brattleboro that he did not see determining the economic future example, owns 49.9 percent of the NRC preempting Vermont for 650 people” but declined to Constellation Energy Group’s and not likely the NRC would further explain his comment. plants, but Constellation controls interfere in the state’s relicensBurns highlighted VY’s re- daily plant operations. ing process. cent “breaker run” of 532 days The NRC vets the potential “[The plant] is old and it is without “unplanned stoppages” buyer’s finances, ensuring it has leaky and it would not pass the and VY’s track record as an “ex- “the financial wherewithal to design test today. There’s only tremely well run facility recog- safely operate the plant,” includ- so much repair and replacement nized by experts for its safety and ing sufficient decommissioning you can do,” added Edwards, a reliability” as appealing qualities funds, Sheehan said. member of the Vermont State for potential owners. The owner-to-be would also Nuclear Advisory Panel. “At the same time, we have need to demonstrate a “proven Pointing out Entergy has been successfully resolving track record” of safely operating marked April 2011 as its “dropany issues to secure Nuclear nuclear plants. dead” date for settling the liRegulatory Commission apPlans to retain employees has censing issue, Edwards said five proval for a license extension at an impact on the review as well, months is a very short timeframe the plant, and we have been in Sheehan added. to sell the troubled plant in the negotiations with the local elecSheehan said the NRC pre- current regulatory environment. tric companies to finalize a long- fers that employees familiar with “It’s of paramount importance term power purchase agreement the plant remain with the plant, to take care of the 200 Vermont to ensure the continued output though upper management often workers. This [issue] is not a of clean and reliable energy for changes post-purchase. piece of cake,” she said. Vermont utilities,” Leonard said Entergy maintained VY’s She said the area could expect in the press release. workforce after it bought the a transition period and economic Burns said the NRC and the plant from Vermont Yankee impact if VY closes in 2012, but Vermont Public Service Board Nuclear Power Corp, said that Windham County would have two separate paths for li- Sheehan. ultimately pull through. censing and a press interview was License transfers are considnot the forum to discuss “which ered a “major licensing action” takes precedence.” and therefore open to the public. Organizations or individuals Transfers happen able to demonstrate a stake in the In an interview with Reuters, issue can file hearing requests, Citigroup Energy Analyst Brian said Sheehan. Chin pointed to nuclear operaHow could a potential buyer Serving Windsor & Windham Counties tors like Exelon Corp, NextEra finalize purchase of the plant Energy Inc. and Constellation before VY’s license expires in Operated by Energy Group Inc. as likely March 2012? Sheehan said that Connecticut River Transit bidders. Entergy could detail its own When The Commons contacted timeline for the purchase. For Bus Schedules and Information Visit our Website at Chin via phone, he declined “If it comes down to the curcomment, saying he knew what rent license is due to expire and was “going on with the situ- there’s a [transfer] review under ation” and that the process is consideration [with the NRC], confidential. then the plant can continue to
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Births, deaths, and news of people from Windham County Obituaries Editor’s note: The Commons will publish brief biographical information for citizens of Windham County and others, on request, as community news, free of charge.
• Kimerlee R . “ K i m ” Carleton, 58,
of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 5 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Husband of Colleen Johnson for 34 years. Brother of Barbara LaFarr of Brattleboro and Terry Carleton of Somers, Conn. Graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1972. Had been employed for 20 years at G.S. Precision, where he retired from in 2004 due to his failing health. Previously worked for Melsur Corp. and at Bradley Labs, both in Brattleboro. Was a longtime member of Sportsman Inc. and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Was an avid NASCAR fan and loved his dogs. M emorial informa tion: A graveside committal service was held Nov. 10 in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to the Reformer Christmas Stocking, P.O. Box 703, Brattleboro, VT 05302. Messages of condolence may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at www. atamaniuk.com.
• Vera Marie (Chase) Crosier, 61, of Halifax. Died Nov. 1 at her
for Community Health Plan and had previously worked as a telephone operator for the former Central Answering Service. In her earlier years, she had worked at the former Spofford Hall. Was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Brattleboro. Enjoyed knitting, crocheting and time shared with her family. Memorial information: A graveside committal service was held Nov. 6 in Newfane Village Cemetery. Donations to The Gathering Place, 30 Terrace St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences to the family may be sent to the Atamaniuk Funeral Home at www.atamaniuk.com.
• M i c h a e l A r t h u r G ag n o n , 62, formerly of Putney. Died at his
home in Furqua-Varina, N.C. Son of Grace D. (Sevigney) Gagnon and the late Armand W. Gagnon. Father of James P. Gagnon and his wife Jennifer of Claremont, N.H. and Stephen M. Gagnon and his fianceé Deborah DuCharme of Beverly, Mass. Brother of Richard of Easthampton, Mass.; Kenneth of Ohio and John of Westfield, Mass. Born in Holyoke, Mass. While living in Putney, he was a systems analyst for Vermont National Bank and a member of the Putney Lions Club and the Genesis Church of the Brethren. Left Vermont for North Carolina in 2000, where he found a home at the Crooked Creek Golf Course and worked was a systems engineer for AIC. Memorial information : A celebration of Michael’s life will be hosted by his sons, James and Stephen on Nov. 14 at the home of Anne and Peter Fein, 26 Sunrise Ave., Greenfield. Burial will take place on Nov. 17 in the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vt., where he spent many happy days at his grandparent’s farm. Donations to The First Tee of the Triangle, P.O. Box 41187, Raleigh, NC 27629-1189.
journeyman proofreader for American Book-Stratford Press. Her hobbies included painting, photography and traveling. Memorial information: A private graveside service was held Nov. 5 at the Freidsam Cemetery in Chesterfield, N.H. Donations to the Alzheimer Research associations of Vermont at 300 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 120, Williston, VT 05495 or New Hampshire at 5 Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 201 Bedford, NH 03110-6524. • E v e A n n a S t o d d a r d , infant daughter of Anna and Chad Stoddard of Londonderry. Died Nov. 5 at Fletcher Allen Medical Center in Burlington. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her brother Oliver Stoddard, her paternal grandparents Edgar and Susan Stoddard, maternal grandparents Sherry and Mike Salo, paternal great grandparents George and Elizabeth Laura, maternal great grandmother Joyce Roberts, her uncles Nathan Stoddard and his wife Cynthia and Hans Salo and her cousins, Jacob and Emily Stoddard and Chase and Logan Salo. M emorial information : A funeral service was held Nov. 8 at the Londonderry Congregational Church, with interment in Riverside Cemetery in Londonderry. Condolences to the family may be sent to www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Oct. 27, 2010, a son, Max home. Wife of Larry E. Crosier for Jameson Lyman, to Jessica (Bond) 40 years. Mother of Michael and his and Keith Lyman of Brattleboro; wife Joanne and Paul and his wife grandson to Philip and Pamela Bond Michelle, both of Wilmington. Sister of Brattleboro, and Ronald and Audrey of Gloria St. Jean of Salem, N.H., Lyman of Townshend; great-grandson Dale Valesquez of Concord, N.H., to Kenneth Bond of Brattleboro. Darlene Forbes of Brattleboro, Ronnie • In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Chase of Brattleboro, Phil Gorsky of Oct. 27, 2010, a son, K a l e b Charlestown, N.H., and Robert Chase • M a r y H owe Jo h n s o n , 8 8 , M i c h a e l J i l l s o n , to Rebecca of Wilmington. Died Nov. 5 at of Brattleboro. Enjoyed making home (Forbes) and Michael Jillson of West cooked meals, caring for her family, Southwestern Vermont Medical Brattleboro; grandson to Darlene collecting recipes, crafts, working in Center in Bennington. Wife of Leonard Forbes of Brattleboro, Donald Forbes her flower and vegetable gardens, H. “Pete” Johnson for 68 years. of West Brattleboro, Kim Jillson of working on the quilt for the Halifax Mother of Pamela Johnson Holden of West Brattleboro, and Victor Jillson Bicentennial and family genealogy. Casco, Maine. Predeceased by sons of Guilford. Was a mail carrier for more than 20 Peter and Scott Johnson. Graduated • In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), years on the Highway 32/Jacksonville from Wilmington High School and Oct. 27, 2010, a son, Ryan Joseph Stage route. Memorial informa- Wheelock College in 1943. Was the Currier , to Jennifer Shepard and tion: The family will hold a remem- bookkeeper for the family business, Daniel Currier of Springfield; grandbrance for Vera on June 12, 2011, in Parmelee & Howe in Wilmington, for son to Bruce K. Shepard and Brenda Halifax. Anyone who wishes to share many years. Was an excellent cook A. Shepard. their memories or stories are invited and baker and could cook most any • In Keene, N.H., (Cheshire Medical to join the family at that time or are wild game. Was very active in the Center), Oct. 19, 2010, a daughter, welcome to send correspondence to Wilmington Congregational Church Mollie Teresa Fairbrother72 Old County Road, West Halifax, where she taught Sunday School and Knight, to Cora L. Fairbrother and VT 05358. Donations to either the was also active in the Congregational Richard Knight of Sunapee, N.H. Cheshire Health Foundation (please Women’s Guild. Memorial in- • In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), specify the “Cancer Patient Relief formation : A graveside funeral Sept. 29, 2010, twins, a son, Spencer Fund”) Cheshire Medical Center/ services was held Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in Malcolm Jones , and a daughDartmouth-Hitchcock Keene 580-90 the family lot in Riverview Cemetery ter, Alyssa McKenna Jones , to Court St, Keene, NH 03431 or Visiting in Wilmington. Donations to the Scott Vicki (Whitcomb) and Steve Jones of Nurse Association & Hospice of VT Johnson Scholarship Fund, through the Brattleboro; great-grandchildren to and NH, P.O. Box 976, White River Wilmington Congregational Church, Malcolm and Barbara Jones; grandchilthe Peter Johnson Fund, through the dren to Ken and Nobuko Whitcomb, Junction, VT 05001-0976. • H e l e n J e a n Deerfield Valley Sportsman’s Club or Jack and Carol Brady, and Mac and D e Wi t t , 7 2 , of the Vermont Cancer Society, in care Mary Jones. Jamaica. Died Oct. of Covey & Allen Funeral Home, P.O. • In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), 30 at Maplewood Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. Sept. 29, 2010, a daughter, Abbigail Nursing Home in Condolences may be sent to www. Marie Aldrich, to Heather Leclaire Westmoreland, sheafuneralhomes.com. and Richard Aldrich of Brattleboro; N.H. Wife of the • M i l d r e d M . K e m p, 9 4 , of granddaughter to Laura and James Vernon. Died Oct. 31 at the Vernon late Raymond Merithew of Brattleboro, Mary Lunge Crowninshield and Green Nursing Home. Mother of of Hinsdale, N.H., and Kevin and Jean the late Jan DeWitt. Donald Kemp of Connecticut; Ralph Leclaire of Concord, Vt. Mother of Carl Crowninshield and Haley of Brattleboro; Dale Emery of • In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Eric Crowninshield, both of Jamaica. Dummerston; Linda Gouin, Diana Sept. 16, 2010, a daughter, Aaryanna Sister of Ernest Carlson of Brattleboro Senecal and Roxanne Streeter, all Jean Rounds, to Danielle Covey and and Dorothy Greenwood of Boise, of Hinsdale N.H.; and Rebecca James Rounds of Wilmington; grandIdaho. Predeceased by three broth- Replenski of Putney. Also survived daughter to Monique and Richard ers, Robert, John and Joseph Carlson. by 16 grandchildren and many great- Covey of Wilmington, Keith Rounds Graduate of Brattleboro Union High and great-great-grandchildren, nieces and Cynthia Meideros of Putney, and School, Class of 1955. Was a secretary and nephews. Born in Greenfield, Kelly Tanner of Las Vegas, Nev. Mass, she worked for many years as a
Created in 1935, the authentic original is the blueprint for the American boat shoe! Men & Women
Dansko is a registered trademark of Dansko, LLC. © 2010 Dansko, LLC. 1.800.326.7564
135 Main St. Brattleboro
We Provide the Ride!
135 Main St. Brattleboro
T MEMBERS 1S
We have 802-254-8515 • 800-298-8515
N CREDIT UNIO
edit Union “The SMALL Cr ART” with a BIG HE
rs1cu.com www.membe PO Box 8245 10 Browne CT , VT 05304 N. Brattleboro
Insured to 250,000
-5131 Tel. (802) 257 -5837 Fax (802) 257
Why does MEMBERS 1ST CREDIT UNION advertise in The
To advertise in the next issue, contact Nancy Gauthier at email@example.com or (802) 246-6397.
everything you need for a truly special Thanksgiving celebration Many of our selections are organically produced including cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie filling, and condiments as well as baking needs like sugar, flour, and spices. Stuff your Vermont-raised Stonewood Farm turkey with Arrowhead Mills organic stuffing and toast your Holiday dinner with Knudsens organic apple or pear sparkling cider. Serve the best! Shop the Co-op.
he Commons has brought back the local interest stories that everyone loves to read! The Commons encompasses points of view from all. I found that advertising in this local paper reaches local people, and that’s what it’s all about!” —Gretchen White
or Call us at 888-869-6287 or 802-460-RIDE (7433)
Shop local and support our community and our economy. Don’t forget the local, artisan bread for your Holiday feast! — Ian, Grocery Manager
BRATTLEBOROFOODCO-OP 2 Main Street, Brattleboro M–S 8–9, Sun 9–9 www.brattleborofoodcoop.coop ■
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 • Page 9
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ayup Judson Hale’s Inside New England is back in print, and offers an affectionate look at who Vermonters are — and an inside look at a unique place Courtesy photo
Judson D. Hale Sr., editor-inchief of Yankee magazine and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, will be speaking about his book “Inside New England” at The Book Cellar in Brattleboro Nov. 18.
t - bigger GTP pro-
t for miles
By Randolph T. Holhut
RATTLEBORO—Why, in an age of cultural homogenization, has New England managed to retain a distinct regional identity? Judson D. Hale Sr., 77, the longtime editor-in-chief of Yankee magazine and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, offers this observation from David M. Shribman, former political writer for The Boston Globe. “The United States is increasingly a nation of ambiguities painted in a dull wash,” Shribman wrote in 1999. “New England, in contrast, is vivid and distinct, a region of sharp lines.” He added, “Defying the demographics, and the odds, New England hangs on to a strong regional identity and performs a magic act, becoming more like itself even as it changes utterly.” “I credit the outsiders who moved into New England for that,” Hale said. “They are the ones who have made this region more ‘New England’ than it was 50 years ago. They are the ones who embraced our identity and worked to keep it alive.” As a native New Englander
who has researched and written about the region since he first started with Yankee in 1958, Hale knows our folkways and foibles intimately. In 1982, he wrote Inside New England, one of the definitive books about what it means to live here. On the occasion of Yankee’s 75th anniversary, the book has been reissued by Bauhan Publishing of Peterborough, N.H., in a slightly refreshed form.
A Yankee guidebook
Inside New England was originally published by Harper & Row (now HarperCollins), and has been long out of print. Hale said he wanted to do something special for the diamond anniversary of his longtime employer. “I asked HarperCollins to give me back the rights, and they were happy to do so,” said Hale. “Then I sold the copyright back to Yankee for $1 as a 75th anniversary present. I’m so indebted to this organization and I still love working here.” Hale was born in Boston, grew up on a dairy farm in Vanceboro, Maine, went to Dartmouth College and lived his adult life n see new england, page 10
ARTS CALENDAR the internationally known Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, dancing un • Bollywood comes to der the tutorship of Judith Jamison Main Street Arts: East meets of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. West when the dance techniques featured in India’s Bollywood films come to Main Street Arts in a work- Visual arts shop Friday, Nov. 12. • Open house at the Jelly Gretchen Abendschein will teach Bean Tree: The Jelly Bean Tree, the basic steps of this stylistic fusion Vermont’s oldest crafts cooperative, of westernized contemporary funk will host a holiday open house on with semi-classical folk dances of Thursday, Nov. 11, from 4-6 p.m. India that are key elements in many Housed in the 1830 Main Street of the films produced in Mumbai, Arts building in Saxtons River, the home to Bollywood and one of the shop displays the work of the 40 largest centers of film production juried artisans who have created in the world. pottery, baskets, woven and silk No experience is necessary for scarves, papier mache gifts, jewthe workshop, which will run from 5 elry, paintings, baby items, phototo 6:30 p.m. The fee is $9 for mem- graphs, knitted clothing and bags, bers and $12 for non-members. note cards, potpourri, items made Participants can register by con- of marbleized paper and fabric, tacting MSA at 802-869-2960 or beeswax candles, wood carvings e-mailing MSA@sover.net. Further and other hand-crafted goods. information and a complete schedThe Jelly Bean Tree operates as ule of MSA’s fall classes is available a nonprofit cooperative for the benat www.MainStreetArts.org. efit of its members, and it is dediAbendschein has been teaching cated to helping local craftspersons jazz dance classes to children and market their wares. In continuous adults at MSA since 1991. She operation since 1977, it has helped studied dance and performance hundreds of artists get established at the University of Maryland, in the crafts market. For more infordanced in several productions at the mation, call 802-869-2729. Weston Playhouse, and attended • Saxtons River Art Guild
presents fall watercolor workshop: Paint the brilliant col-
ors of fall in this one-day workshop with watercolorist Robert O’Brien on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the United Church in Bellows Falls. The class will begin with a demonstration by Robert followed by class painting, instruction and critique. All levels are welcome. An award winning artist, O’Brien has been painting in watercolor for 30 years. His work can be seen at www. robertjobrien.com. For workshop registration, call Kathy at 802-4639456 or Donna at 603-835-2387.
• Fahrenheit 451 performed in Townshend: The Leland and Gray Players open their 15th season with Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 on Nov. 11-13 in the Dutton Gymnasium on the LGUHS campus on Route 30. In 1951, Ray Bradbury wrote a short story “The Fireman,” that soon became the much touted Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel depicting a future society in America where reading is a crime and books are regularly burned
Vermont Theatre Company
The Heiress continues at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Nov. 12–14. on prescribed schedules. In 1979, Bradbury worked his story into a play. Retaining all the horror of the novel, it takes place in “the future” in “a city” which is run by “The Citizens’ Committee.” There are no schools, no teachers. Critical thinking is not allowed. Everything one feels the need or want to know is provided; no thought is required on the part of the individual. To rid the city of its dangerous reading material that might make people think, a squad of “firemen” effectively purge the landscape of
books — said to burn at 451 degrees Fahrenheit — with kerosene and special equipment which ensures fast and complete incineration. Fireman Guy Montag, the protagonist, begins to have doubts about the system when he sees an elderly woman with a large collection of fine books choose to die with her “children” as she calls her collections. What is their power? As Montag questions his barren and sterile life, he meets Clarisse, a young girl whose family shuns the ubiquitous TV screen in favor of reading and conversing. Through
Clarisse, Montag learns to ask not only “how” things happen but, more importantly, “why?” Bradbury suggests that a future such as his story paints may evolve because of the pace of contemporary life: fast cars, loud music, all enveloping walls of TV, no time to think and read. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students available at the door. Performances are Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 13, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Information: verbatim@ svcable.net or 802-365-7355, ext. 204. Student group discounts and study materials are available on request. • VTC presents The Heiress: The Vermont Theatre Company presents, The Heiress, by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, a two-act play suggested by Henry James’s Washington Square, on Nov. 12, 13 and 14, at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for evening shows, $10 for students and seniors, and $10 for all matinee tickets. Call 802-258-1344 for more information. n see arts calendar, page 10
120% Guaranteed Trade Program TOP DOLLAR for your of Kelly Blue Book* Trade In
Newly Designed 2010 Outback Wagons Auto, All Weather Pkg.
*Kelly Blue Book fair market trade in, + adjustment for miles and condition. **Free Oil Changes for life on any new or used Subaru. See dealer for details.
,999 All $23oose 4 to ch ! f r om
Trade In PLUS The BEST Service,
Free Oil Changes For Life**
www.brattleborosubaru.com • 1234 Putney Road, Brattleboro, VT • 802-251-1000
n Arts calendar
n New England
• Marlboro College presents The Clean House: Marlboro
A colorful scarf made by local spinner and weaver Carolyn Partridge of Windham is one of the items available at the annual Rockingham Arts and Museum Project Art Raffle on Saturday, Nov. 13, starting at 3 p.m. at Boccelli’s, 46 Canal Street, across from the train station in downtown Bellows Falls. Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. You need not be present to win and tickets will be available for purchase online at www.ramp-vt.org. For wheelchair accessibility to Project Space 9 and Boccelli’s call ahead for an appointment. For information, call 802-463-3252 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin Goodfellow, played by Allegra mix of acoustic instrumentation and Maskell, plies his trade. their solid live show performances. • The Met at the Latchis: In the past few months, Jatoba has The Met: Live in HD series contin- gone from a key local act to regional ues its fifth season with Donizetti’s touring force and has recently shared comedy Don Pasquale, starring Anna the stage with nationally touring Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, acts such as Keller Williams, David Mariusz Kwiecien and John Del Grisman Quintet, Lettuce, KRSCarlo, transmitted live on Saturday, 1, Soulive and Rusted Root, just to Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Latchis name a few. Theatre in Brattleboro, with an en• Stone Church Arts prescore rebroadcast on Sunday, Nov. e n t s Á i n e M i n o g u e : O n 14, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m., Tickets are $24 on Saturday Áine Minogue will perform exquiand $22 on Sunday. Contact site Celtic harp and gorgeous voice Brattleborotix.com, Brattleboro at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Arts Initiative, 802-254-1109; Church St., Bellows Falls. Brattleboro Music Center, As traditional Irish music and 802-257-4523. dance continue to enjoy phenomeMet Music Director James nal success both here and in Ireland, Levine, conducting his first-ever Minogue is an artist who has long performances of the opera, leads explored its themes and who capthe cast in Otto Schenk’s acclaimed tures its very essence. Her voice re2006 production. Don Pasquale is a flects the lyricism and richness to witty commentary on marriage in be found in Irish music, mythology which an old bachelor, Pasquale and poetry with a voice undeniably (John Del Carlo), plans to marry and her own and a diverse group of inproduce an heir to disinherit his re- struments that add to the traditional bellious nephew, Ernesto (Matthew flavor of her work. Polenzani). Pasquale’s doctor, Born in Borrisokane, County Malatesta (Mariusz Kwiecien), has Tipperary, Minogue large musical arranged a sham marriage in a plot to family encouraged her to pursue a restore Ernesto’s inheritance, aided number of different instruments durby the wily Norina (sung by Anna ing her youth (which explains her obNetrebko, in one of her signature vious skill at arranging). They played roles), who hopes to win Ernesto together as a family and attended for herself. fleadhs (traditional music festivals). But it was at the age of 12 while at boarding school in County Galway that Minogue discovered her true Music • Jatoba at Flat Street Brew love — the harp — which she dePub: Brattleboro’s Groovegrass cided to pursue in lieu of the others. Her harp has entertained presitrio, Jatoba, will be performing at Flat Street Brew Pub on Friday, dents and prime ministers. She is Nov. 12, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets a regular performer at folk festivals and concerts throughout the world. for the over-21 show are $5. Jatoba is Jason Scaggs, John Her recordings include The Mysts 119 Main St., Brattleboro Jamison and Jeff Richardson and the of Time, Between the Worlds, Circle 802-258-2211 trio is quickly becoming a Northeast of the Sun, Celtic Meditation Music, www.mysteryonmain.com touring favorite with their eclectic Celtic Lamentations, Celtic Pilgrimage (2008) and most recently a collaboration with filmmaker Michael Yip entitled Winter, A Meditation Support BBBS...learn more at rivercu.com (DVD, 2009) Admission is $17 for adults ($13 for seniors and children under 12) Look into in advance years of age and $20 at the door. Tickets are availBig Brothers/Big Sisters ($15) able at Village Square Booksellers of Windham County (Bellows Falls), Toadstool Bookshop (Keene, NH), Brattleboro Books, Misty Valley Books (Chester), and at www.brattleborotix.com or available at the door. • Shakespeare at BFUHS:
The Bellows Falls Union High School Fall Drama club will present William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Nov. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. The main plot of Midsummer is a complex contraption that involves two sets of couples, Hermia and Lysander, played by sophomore Ashley Palmisano, freshmen Hayden Noyes and Helena and Demetrius played by junior Rachel Greenberg and freshmen Sam Empy, whose romantic cross-purposes are complicated further by their entrance into the play’s fairyland woods where the King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania, played by junior James Morton and senior Courtney Perry, preside and the impish folk character of Puck or
BE A BIG
Member NCUA • 802-254-4800 • Brattleboro • Townshend • Putney • Brattleboro Food Coop
BRATTLEBORO TIRE LUBE, OIL & FILTER
Most cars. Up to 5 qts. 5W-30
env. fee Special Oil & Filters Extra.
FREE BRAKE INSPECTION
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
from page 9
The play, set in New York in 1850, seems at first glance a straightforward tale of a jilted woman’s revenge on her fortune hunting suitor. But the complex relationships between the characters raise the question of how the shy young woman at the beginning of the play became the embittered spinster at the end. Ideally, the audience should be looking for a villain and unable to determine who it is. College presents Sarah Ruhl’s comedy, “The Clean House,” directed by Anna Bean, on Nov. 12-13 at 8 p.m. in the Whittemore Theater. Visiting professor Anna Bean has worked with a cast and crew of Marlboro students to stage this version of Ruhl’s 2004 play about a Brazilian maid who would rather practice jokes in her native Portuguese than clean the home of her employer, a suburban Connecticut physician who is in love with one of his patients. “The Clean House” won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. A Ph.D. graduate of New York University’s Department of Performance Studies, Bean is also teaching a directing class, Femininity on Stage, during her semester at Marlboro College. She lives in Bennington with her two children Elsa and Tobias, her partner Nick, and one very spoiled cat.
T h e C ommons
558 Putney Road Brattleboro
254-5411 Locally Owned For Over 35 Years!
FREE FALL CHECKOVER
Battery • Coolant Wipers • Tires • Lights
VERMONT STATE INSPECTION
• Barrand and Murphy perform Atwood Family Songs at Marlboro: Tony Barrand and
Keith Murphy will perform music from their new CD, On the Banks of the Coldbrook: Atwood Family Songs in Marlboro College’s Ragle Hall on Sunday, Nov. 14, at 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Barrand first learned of the collection of songs written by Dover resident James K. Atwood when he was a professor at Marlboro. The legendary folk musician and archivist Margaret MacArthur shared with him a volume of the songs originally published in 1919 and field recordings she made of Atwood’s son, Fred, singing them. Barrand
in Dublin, N.H., the headquarters of Yankee Publishing Inc. That, plus decades of traveling around New England in the service of Yankee and the Old Farmers’ Almanac, gives this book a special ring of authenticity mixed with affection. Each state, Hale writes, has its own personality. “Furthermore,” he continues, “each feels superior to the other five.” In Vermont’s case, Hale singles out its common sense, which he feels it provides more of than the other five states. But possessing an abundance of common sense, he writes, is just one of the six “responsibilities” each Vermonter must bear. The other five? A Vermonter is expected “to display a certain amount of dry humor,” “must have integrity,” “to speak in a simple, direct no-nonsense manner,” “[to have] the responsibility to be a free and independent thinker” and “to be willing to put in a hard day’s work for a meager day’s pay.”
from page 9
“Yes, being a Vermonter carries with it some heavy responsibilities,” Hale concludes. “The role requires common sense, a dry sense of humor, impeccable honesty, a direct manner of speaking, a healthy obsession with freedom, and for those who are poor, a lot of hidden suffering. Most Vermonters, I think, feel its a duty and a privilege to play that role — at least, all but the last part of it, and that, as they say, ‘just goes with the territory.’” Or consider the many meanings of that quintessential old Yankee word, “ayuh.” As Hale writes, depending on subtle shifts in pronunciation, it can mean “I heard what you said,” “I hear you, but I really do not agree with you,” “I really sympathize with you,” “You are wasting your time and my time because you’re telling me something I already know,” or “I am making fun of those amusing old characters you find in New England.” Even though Inside New
England is almost three decades old, Hale said he found it held up well. “I only had to make a few revisions,” he said. “I found most of it is still relevant today, and it’s still mostly about poking a bit of fun at the states and what they contribute to New England. ” Hale’s uncle, Robb Sagendorph, founded Yankee in 1935. Hale took over as editor of the magazine after his uncle’s death in 1970. “Uncle Robb hoped the magazine would serve as an expression of New England culture and as a way to preserve it,” said Hale. “Pearl Buck once said that in order to survive, a region must treasure the image of itself. As New Englanders, we have come to treasure the imagined view of ourselves.”
Hale will talk about the book on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m., at The Book Cellar in Brattleboro.
WOOL-FM hosts third annual Silent Auction at Third Friday Art Walk BELLOWS FALLS—Are you looking to support community radio and drive away with an ornate 1891 black walnut Estey organ in the process? Or maybe protect your treasured electric guitar with a travel case approved for U.S. airlines? How about an original piece of artwork, a relaxing massage, some new designer clothes (in your size), a rare signed snowboard or a loaded hot dog? Top these treasures off with a sack of organic potatoes? Anything is possible when WOOL-FM, an FCC-licensed community radio station serving the mid-river valley, will hold its third annual silent auction fund-fest on Friday, November 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the common room of 33 Bridge Street, right outside WOOL’s broadcast studio.
The event will be run in conjunction with the pre-holiday Third Friday Art Walk. Just in time to plan your early holiday buying, a wide range of goods and services are already lined up, with more donations arriving every day. Offerings range from concert tickets and gourmet items to gift certificates and exquisite meals prepared by area chefs. The sale includes many rare and collector items – painting, etchings, signed graphic novels and other books, blown glass gift items, one-of-a-kind musical memorabilia and more. Many area individuals and businesses have donated goods and services to support the station. Funds raised will be used to purchase new equipment so that WOOL-FM can
expand its broadcast range to more than 100,000 people throughout Windham, Windsor, Cheshire, and Sullivan counties. In September, the station was among very few recipients around the country awarded a full power educational broadcast license by the FCC. Items will be posted on the radio station’s website, www.wool. fm as they are donated, and the offering list will be updated on a regular basis. WOOL volunteers will continue to acquire goods and services for this auction right up to the day of the sale. If you support community radio and have something you wish to donate to the silent auction, please contact Bob Ross at 802-376-7166, Dorothy Read at 802-463-9333, or e-mail the station at email@example.com.
revisited the songs for Dover’s bicentennial celebration this past October, and went into the studio with Murphy to record the songs. An accomplished vocalist, Tony Barrand has recorded several albums of traditional folk music with John Roberts, and both are also part of the four person group, Nowell Sing We Clear, which performs an annual yuletide concert series. Newfoundland-born Keith Murphy is proficient multi-instrumentalist and is a sought-after sideman on guitar, mandolin and foot percussion.
and in Canada and Europe. The United Church is located at 15 Kimball Hill in downtown Putney. Tickets for the show are $20 general admission/$18 students and seniors. For ticket reservations and information, call 802-254-9276. For more information, visit www.sierrahull.com, www.stockwellbrothers. com and www.twilightmusic.org.
Washington Post. The Museum’s exhibits and gift shop are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Tuesday and Wednesday. Regular admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students. Members and children 5 and under are admitted free of charge. For more information call 802-2570124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.
• Sier ra Hull & Highway 111 in Putney: Twilight Music
presents an evening of bluegrass and newgrass with Sierra Hull & Highway 111 and The Stockwell Brothers at The United Church of Putney on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Nineteen-year-old mandolin prodigy Sierra Hull is a leading light in the new generation of bluegrass musicians. Her national debut CD Secrets on Rounder Records is coproduced by Allison Krauss and features bluegrass superstars Jerry Douglas, Ron Block (who joins Highway 111 on banjo and vocals for this concert), Dan Tyminski, Stuart Duncan and Tony Rice. Sierra and bandmates Cory Walker (banjo/ dobro/vocals), Clay Hess (guitar/ vocals), Christian Ward (fiddle/ vocals) and Jacob Eller (bass) are 2010 International Bluegrass Music Association “Emerging Artist of the Year” nominees. Sierra is also nominated for “Mandolin Player of the Year.” Featuring 2005 Merlefest bluegrass banjo contest winner Bruce Stockwell, newgrass and contemporary folk trio The Stockwell Brothers have performed alongside artists from Bill Monroe to Mary-Chapin Carpenter to Asleep At The Wheel, recorded with Mike Auldridge and Phil Rosenthal of the bluegrass supergroup The Seldom Scene and toured throughout the United States
• Business of baseball at Village Square Books: Douglas
• D.B. Johnson lectures at BMAC: Award-winning children’s-
book author and illustrator D.B. Johnson, whose work is currently on display at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, will give a presentation at the museum on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. Johnson will read from his newest book, Palazzo Inverso, discuss the evolution of the book’s M.C. Escher-inspired ideas, and do a sample drawing. He will also sign copies of Palazzo Inverso, which is available for purchase at the museum’s gift shop. With the publication of his first illustrated children’s book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, Johnson made a distinct mark in the world of children’s literature. In addition to the praise he has earned for his original picture-book stories, Johnson has also contributed his art to stories by authors such as Linda Michelin (Zuzu’s Wishing Cake) and Daniel Pinkwater (Bear’s Picture, 2008). While book illustration is a relatively recent undertaking for Johnson, publication is not: he is a nationally recognized freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in the pages of such well-known publications as the New York Times Book Review, Newsday, and The
J. Gladstone, the author of A Bitter Cup of Coffee; How MLB & The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees A Curve, will read excerpts from his book at Village Square Booksellers on Sunday, Nov. 14, beginning at 1 p.m. Gladstone will also take questions from the audience and sign copies of the book for all those individuals who purchase it that afternoon. With a foreword written by the Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, Dave Marash, A Bitter Cup of Coffee tells the true story of a group of former big-league ballplayers denied pensions as a result of the failure of both the league and the union to retroactively amend the vesting requirement change that granted instant pension eligibility to ballplayers in 1980. Prior to that year, ballplayers had to have four years service credit to earn an annuity and medical benefits. Since 1980, however, all you have needed is one day of service credit to qualify for health insurance and 43 days of service credit for a pension. Village Square Booksellers is located at 32 The Square in Bellows Falls. For book and event reservations, contact the bookstore at 802-463-9404 or visit www.villagesquarebooks.com.
Apples ~ Sweet Cider
BUy 3, GET 1 FREE Assurance Tires
Other brands also available
Courtesy Cars or Rides Always Available at No Cost! VT State Inspection
#12 Due Now
General Repair Diagnostic Service A/C Service 2 & 4-Wheel Alignments
All Makes & Models 24 Hour Towing ASE Cert
Rod’s Towing & Repairs The Tri-state region’s premier center for jazz.
40 Main St., Putney VT • 802-387-4771
S a t u r d a y, M a r c h 1 3 t h a t 8 p M
Rod Winchester - Owner S a t u r d aPucho y, M a r c h 1 3and t h a this 8 pM Whirrr! The Music of Jimmy Giuffre Whirrr! TheLatin Music ofSouL Jimmy Giuffre BrotherS with The Harrison/Schuller Sextet with The Harrison/Schuller Sextet
Greg Winchester - Manager
Saturday, 13th at 8 pm featuring Marty Ehrlich november & Cameron Brown featuring Marty Ehrlich & Cameron Brown Pucho and 8 piece Masterful improvising and his killersizzling arrangements ensemble apply rhythmic Masterful improvising and killer arrangements magic to soul and jazz classics!! Toys, Gear & Apparel on Consignment for TOTS to Tweens Open Monday thru Saturday 11-5 Rt 5 Putney, VT • 802.387.4469 • firstname.lastname@example.org 72 Cotton Mill Hill join us on facebook for inventory updates
BrattleBoro, Vt 05301 off exit 1, interstate 91
www.vtjazz.org (802) 254-9088
FROM OUR OWN BAKERY ~Apple & Raspberry Pies ~ Breads ~ Cider Doughnuts Fudge, Cookies, More... ~Maple Syrup, Jams ~ And VT Products ~GOURDS & INDIAN CORN~
Beets * Gilfeather Turnips Carrots * potatoes * lettuce Winter Squash * Tomatoes peppers * Broccoli Cauliflower * Cabbage Fall Raspberries
www.duttonberryfarm.com O pe n Da i ly 9 a M –7 pM Route 30, Newfane 802-365-4168
Route 9, West Brattleboro 802-254-0254
Routes 11/30, Manchester 802-362-3083
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
LIFE & WORK Saying ‘thanks’ with music Wardsboro man starts charity to bring concerts to veterans By Thelma O’Brien The Commons
WARDSBORO—“I felt they had an earnest need for music, a way to have their spirits lifted.” That’s what musician, farm manager, butcher, husband and father Brian Bousquet said is the inspiration behind his newly formed charity “Music For Our Vets.” The group will hold a fundraising concert — “Free Music for Veterans!” — with the help of Wardsboro Congregational Yoked Parish, its pastor, Peter Carlson, and parishioners at Wardsboro Town Hall on Sunday, Nov. 14, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Donation receptacles will be in abundance. (“Yoked,” by the way, according to Carlson, is an old American church designation to describe the joining of several declining congregations — in the this case Baptist, Congregational and Methodist, under the yoke of one minister. In the case of Wardsboro, Carlson serves the Baptists and Congregationalists four months at a time and the Methodists for six.) Parishioners will supply refreshments, said Carlson, for this post-Veterans Day gala “to honor our vets. We’ve talked about it in church, we’ve hung posters and we’re hoping to spread the word to raise money for vets and for Brian’s charity.” Carlson noted past fundraisers that swell the church coffers, including the eternally popular Wardsboro Fourth of July
celebration. Musicians on the bill include the locally familiar Alan Bills and the pastor himself, who plays bass guitar and the piano (including for services). Guitar men Bousquet and his brother Paul are also well-known locally. “It’s kind of a show-up deal,” Bousquet says, and is glad for the company. Country, folk and oldies dominate the programs, he said. Carlson said he’s definitely asked “Dut” Harris, venerable harmonica player, known around these parts for nearly 90 years, to be part of the show. Since this is the charity’s first event, Bousquet has no idea what to expect in the way of turnout or money, but he knows what he’d like to do and why. “About a year and a half ago, I was looking for more places to play music,” Bousquet said, “and one day I called up [the Veterans Administration medical center in White River Junction] and asked if I could come up and play some music for the vets, and they said, ‘Sure.’” And that was it. “The more I went, the more vets I met who really enjoyed it. They deserve it. I play mostly in the cafeteria, but I also go to their homes and to senior centers and other places where they are. I’ve met those with severe disabilities — from World War II to the present.”
West Townshend. His father died when Brian was 19, leaving his mother, three sisters and one brother to run the farm. There Brian became accustomed to driving tractors and skidders and helping to run the family sawmill, as well as to the country music passions of his brother. Bousquet met his wife, Diane, at the Dam Diner in West Townsend. They each eventually earned degrees at the University of New Hampshire — hers in occupational therapy and his an associate’s degree in animal science. He used his education handily as farm manager for Kindle Farm School in Saxtons River until that campus closed. They have two children, a daughter at the University of Vermont and a son at Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend. Bousquet says he’s especially grateful to a few of the vets he’s met for helping him build the charity, gaining the ubiquitous and required 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Service status for nonprofits and other details. He’s not ashamed to say if there’s someone out there willing to jazz up his website, he’d be thrilled. Meanwhile, and his major, big-time dream is to raise $10,000 to buy a 1964 Army ambulance from a collector (also a retired Army sergeant in Keene, N.H.) to transport musicians and equipment for home visits and to shows. Farmer by trade Shows that, he says, he in A n a t i v e V e r m o n t e r , tends to keep on bringing free Bousquet grew up on a farm in to veterans.
Thelma O’Brien/The Commons
Brian Bousquet of Wardsboro, founder of Music for Our Vets.
Historical society recognized for educational outreach NEWFANE—The Historical Society of Windham County received an Award of Merit from the League of Local Historical Societies at its annual meeting and conference held on Oct. 29 in Bennington. The Historical Society of Windham County was recognized for its second annual history fair, which took place on Aug. 14 on the historic Common in Newfane, Vermont. Mark Hudson, Vermont Historical Society executive director, presented the award in the category of educational outreach. The event featured exhibits by the Vermont Historical Society, the Historical Society of Windham County, the
Program helps kids learn about food, cooking BRATTLEBORO—What’s for lunch? If you’d asked the children at Brattleboro Centre for Children (at Centre Congregational Church building) on the last Wednesday of October what was for lunch, they would know because they helped make it. The children measured cornmeal and flour, beat eggs and milk to make cornbread. The children measured corn meal and flour, beat eggs and milk to make cornbread. They used potato mashers to mash cooked squash
and potatoes for soup. The children tore fresh kale leaves to bake into crunchy kale chips. They learned how to peel, core and grind apples for applesauce. At another table, children decorated brown paper grocery bags using crayons, later to be filled and sent home with each family. When the food was ready to be served, the children and teachers sat at long tables in the dining hall and shared a healthy delicious meal made with many local foods and lots of little hands. Some children
commented about their involvement with pride. “I helped make this applesauce!” and “I mashed this squash.” One girl took a big bite of a crispy kale chip and exclaimed. “This is my most favorite!” This monthly cooking project is a collaboration between Brattleboro Centre for Children, Post Oil Solutions and the Brattleboro Food Co-op. These community organizations have joined together to create an opportunity for young children to cook and eat nutritious meals
using local produce. Thanks to produce donated by Vermont Foodbank and Green Mountain Orchards, there was plenty of food to pack into the beautifully decorated bags.
Estey Organ Museum, the Brookline Round School House, Brookline Church Preservation Association and Vermont Cemetery Association, as well as 10 historical societies in Windham County, including those from Brattleboro, Dover, Dummerston, Grafton, Guilford, Jamaica, Putney, Townshend, Vernon and Whitingham. Also featured at the fair were antique professionals who appraised old treasures, handcrafted wares by crafters from the region, Vermont authors, and professional genealogist Joann Nichols who answered questions about genealogy research. Additionally, there were walking tours of the Village’s historic district, music played on an historic Estey organ, demonstrations and presentations on wool spinning, birch bark canoe making, weaving, colonial wood working, and old cemeteries of Vermont. The Museum of The Historical Society of Windham County provided regularly scheduled tours of its extensive
P ainting & RestoRation Interior & Exterior
Painting Carpentry Plaster Work 802.257.3026 Sunbathing in Siberia, The War of the Wild Goose, & other songs of p ea c e, lo v e, and g lo b a l wa r m i n g
on It’s Rainin’ Outside the Cave, by Xb cold Fingers.
Matt Skove/Audio Design Home Audio/Flat Screen TV’s Car Audio/Remote Car Starters Bluetooth Phone/Hands Free Car Kits Sales and/or Installation “I’ll come to you!’’
Exotic Thai Cuisine
collection of Windham County artifacts. The fair received excellent coverage in local papers and resulted in more than 400 people attending of the course of the day. Information about the fair can be found on the Historical Society of Windham County’s new Web site at historicalsocietyofwindhamcounty.org.
At Turn iT up in Brattleboro and on the Web at Amazon and CDBaby.
The Far East Just Got a Little Closer! 7 High Street Brattleboro, VT (802) 251-1010 ThaiBambooVT.com
Heating Oil, Kerosene, Plumbing & Heating Sales & Service Solar Hot Water Systems Purchase a Qualifying HearthStone and receive up to a
$1,500 Energy Tax Credit towards the product and installation!
DEALER IMPRINT AREA
800-287-6095 TRANSFERRING PRESCRIPTIONS IS EASY Just call us at 802-254-7777 and we’ll do the rest
Brattleboro Brattleboro Pharmacy Pharmacy
Independent and Independent andLocally LocallyOwned Owned
“How can can we we help “How helpyou you?”?”
413 Canal St. • Handicap Accessible • Ample Parking • FREE DELIVERY 802 254-4208 • 800 362-2424 532 Putney Road, Ste.101 Brattleboro, VT 05301 www.friendsofthesun.com
We accept most private insurance plans including AETNA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, CVS/Caremark, Express Scripts, Medco, MVP and MEDICARE PART D, VPHARM, and MEDICAID
Call 254-7777 or visit us at 413 Canal Street
OpenCall 7 days254-7777 a week • Monday-Friday Saturday • Sunday 10-2 or visit8-7 us• at 413 9-5 Canal Street
Open Monday-Friday 8-7●Saturday 9-5●Sunday 10-2 Personal you deserve - How can we help you today? Openservice Monday-Friday 8-7●Saturday 9-5●Sunday 10-2 Experience personal service you deserve
Experience personal service you deserve
T h e C ommons
• Wednesday, November 10, 2010
SPORTS & RECREATION Terriers to face Windsor for Div. III state football title
space for rent You are looking at Windham County’s best advertising value. To promote your business in the next issue of The Commons, call Nancy at (802) 246-6397 or e-mail ads@ commonsnews.org.
KEEP DIRTY HOODS OFF OUR STREETS
the third quarter, when quarterback Jeremy Kilburn faked a handoff to Hayward, then fired a 66-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Brendan Hackett. The defense then got into the act as lineman Tyler Francoeur stripped an Oxbow ball carrier and returned the fumble 45 yards for a touchdown. Kilburn threw another touchdown pass, a 38-yarder to Cam Howe, and Cooper Long finished the BF scoring with a 45-yard touchdown. BF won its regular season game against Windsor, 20-0, on Oct. 9 at McLeayRoyce Field. The BF defense will likely be keying on Yellowjackets back Matt Rafus, who racked up 437 total yards and scored six touchdowns against BFA-Fairfax.
Rebels have to wait
The top-seeded Leland & Gray Rebels were to face No. 6 BFA-Fairfax Bullets for the Division III boys soccer championship on Saturday. But bad weather forced the match to be postponed until Tuesday night at 6. It will be played on the artificial turf of Castleton State College. The Rebels will be counting on their dynamic duo of Noah Chapin and Colin Nystrom. Chapin, a striker, has led the team in scoring with 21 goals, while Nystrom, a midfielder, has 11. Goalkeeper Jared Van Osdol has been solid all season and the defense, led by stopper Josh Fontaine and defensive backs Billy Nupp, Zach Wilkins and Bobby Culver, hope to shut down the Bullets. If BFA-Fairfax wins this game, history will be made. Katie Mack coaches the team, and according to the Burlington Free Press, if the Bullets win, she would be the first female coach to lead a boys team to a state championship. Mack is believed to be the
Doug MacPhee/Special to The Commons
Bellows Falls running back Bruce Wells (37) finds an opening in the line behind the blocking of teammates Joe Aslin (34) and Danny Armstrong during the Terriers 33-8 win over Oxbow last Saturday at Hadley Field. first female coach of a boys soccer team in Vermont. She has been a social studies teacher at BFA-Fairfax for five years and has coached the boys soccer team for the last three seasons. Green Mountain also had to wait too. The Chieftains are scheduled to play Stowe on Wednesday for the Division III girls soccer championship. It’s the first ever trip to the finals for the Green Mountain girls. Nine other state championship games did get played on Saturday, however. In the state field hockey finals at the University of Vermont, South Burlington beat Hartford 2-0 to win the Division I title. Harwood beat Otter Valley, 3-1, to take the Division II championship. Rice won 3-1 on penalty strokes to break a 1-1 tie and beat Missisquoi to win the Division III crown. The two teams that knocked
MEMBERS 1ST CREDIT UNION “The SMALL Credit Union with a BIG HEART” www.members1cu.com 10 Browne CT PO Box 8245 N. Brattleboro, VT 05304
Insured to 250,000
Tel. (802) 257-5131 Fax (802) 257-5837
Brattleboro out of the Division I soccer tournaments ended up as state champs. South Burlington beat Colchester, 2-1, to win the girls title, while Essex beat South Burlington, 2-0, for the boys championship. In Division II, Missisquoi won the boys soccer title with a 3-1 win over U-32, while Harwood beat Milton, 1-0, to take the girls championship. In Division IV, Rivendell beat Arlington on penalty kicks to take the girls championship, while Danville edged Proctor, 1-0, for the boys title.
NE NLY B R AT T L E B R
RANDOLPH T. HOLHUT Sports Roundup
he Division III football championship game to be played this Saturday morning at Castleton State College will definitely have a Connecticut Valley flavor to it. The Bellows Falls Terriers and the Windsor Yellowjackets, two rivals with a long history between them, will face off in the title game at 11 a.m. Top-seeded Bellows Falls punched its ticket to the championship with a dominating 33-8 win over the Oxbow Olympians at Hadley Field on Saturday, while No. 2 Windsor advanced with a 55-28 demolition of BFA-Fairfax at McLeay-Royce Field. Defense carried the day for the Terriers, as the first-string held Oxbow scoreless while allowing just 65 yards rushing on 37 carries. Oxbow got its only touchdown late in the game against the BF reserves. BF racked up 357 yards of total offense as senior running back Ryan Hayward ran for 118 yards on 13 carries. Hayward made his presence known on the game’s first play from scrimmage, as he slipped a tackle at the line and rumbled 58 yards for a BF touchdown. That was the only points for the Terriers until early in
SNOW TIRES ARE IN!
Try our new space-age wand equipment! • Hot, soapy water • Separate foam brush Choice of: • Wax • Pre-soak for extra-strength soap • Tire cleaner • Vacuum cleaners • Heated floors • $2.50 for 4 minutes • Add 25 cents for more time 214 Canal Street Brattleboro, VT
S e l f -S e r v i c e
car WaSh Owned & Operated by Barrows & Fisher Oil
Indoor, lighted, heated, secure
Many sizes from $50–$250
is Your One-Stop Solution
Call 802-257-4886 ext. 1
Your Basic Full Service Locally Owned Tire Store
Hours: Mon.- Fri. 8:00 - 5:00 • Sat. 8:00 - 12:00
AMAZING FIND! Octagon shaped carriage house with loft (1 BR). Set back from the road. This house has a lot of charm. Rent is $500 a month, utilities are not included (Gas heat and electric averaging $108/mo.). For more information and an application, please contact Windham Housing Trust at 254-4604 ext. 101. Income guidelines apply. Equal Housing Opportunity. AVAILABLE NOW! Single rooms with shared living space (kitchen, dining, and living room). Rents from $317-$363 per month including all utilities. Resident manager on site. Great locations. Many nice features. For more information and an application, please contact Windham Housing Trust at 254-4604 ext. 101. Income guidelines apply. Equal Housing Opportunity.
View donated artwork at www.ramp-vt.org For more info call 802–463–3252
RAMP is supported by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. This event is wheel chair accessible.
A special Thank You to Boccelli’s, Sharon and Ingrid you are the best!
Nothing to do, and no way to get there? Think again. There’s a lot more going on in Windham County than you think. Go to windtunnelmapsite.com to find job information, mentors, social service and helping opportunities, even where to get a free meal. Check it out:
windtunnelmapsite.com Ad space courtesy of
Proud supporters of Vermont Independent Media, publisher of
Commons Ad-NOV10.indd 1 Become a locavore of local writing!
11/4/10 1:25 PM
THE BEST OF WRITE ACTION NO. 2 THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY a collection of prose and poetry
Rt. 5 North, Bellows Falls, Vt. 802-463-3320
GREAT LOCATION! Charming Efficiency and 2 Bedroom apartment located on the third floor at 24 East Main Street, Wilmington in the Historic Laterre House. Rent is $435-533 per month including heat and hot water. Located within short walking distance to downtown Wilmington. On the Moover bus route. For more information and an application, please contact Windham Housing Trust at 254-4604 ext. 101. Income guidelines apply. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Boccelli’s on the Canal Bellows Falls
DOWNTOWN SELF STORAGE
CHEEVER TIRE SERVICE
9th Annual Art Raffle Benefit
Saturday, November 13th at 3pm
157 Main St., Brattleboro, VT
SELF-SERVICE CAR WASH
RAMP ROCKINGHAM ART S AND MUSEUM PROJECT
… a vital potpourri of poets and writers… Dave Ritchie in his poem “Why Locavore Writers?” conjures an apt metaphor: “What about ‘fresh’? / That’s how we want our vegetables. / As recently harvested as possible. / I would like that with my neighboring author. / Let her revelations start with us!” And so they do. –Chard deNiord
In Write Action’s anthology, we enter death as a country, witness the majesty of hawks in winter, and experience the hippies of the 60s under the eyes of the benevolent marijuana gods. At turns sexually brazen, gracefully melodic, and laugh out loud funny, this is an astonishing collection of remarkable range. Quite simply, it’s not to be missed. –Suzanne Kingsbury
May be purchased at area bookstores, including: The Book Cellar, Everyone’s Books, Village Square Booksellers, Misty Valley Books, and Toadstool Bookstore Proceeds go to fund the programs, projects, of Write Action, a grass-roots writers’ non-profit based in Brattleboro and including the tri-state region. To find out more about Write Action, or buy the Tenth Anniversary Anthology on-line, go to: www.writeaction.org
Published on Nov 10, 2010