Community Briefs


Assistance with 3SquaresVT

Start the new year with more food on your table! BROC-Community Action in Southwestern Vermont offers information about the 3SquaresVT program and personalized application assistance.

3SquaresVT is an important nutrition program that provides benefits based upon income, expenses and the number of people in each household. It helps recipients pay for all types of food so they can follow a balanced diet, including vegetables, dairy products, protein and grains.

Many people are eligible for this benefit, including senior citizens, students, families with children and singles - applicants can receive benefits even if they work, own a home and a car.

To make an appointment in Bennington, call 802-447-7515 or in Rutland, call 802-775-0878.


Trevor Braymer named to President's List

Trevor Braymer of Cambridge was recently named to the President's List at The State University of New York at Potsdam.

Braymer, whose major is Speech Communication, was among 869 SUNY Potsdam students who were honored for academic excellence in the Fall 2016 semester. College President Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg recognized the students for earning top marks.

To achieve the honor of being on the President's List, each student must have satisfactorily completed 12 numerically-graded semester hours, with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.


Weatherization staff certified

Hyle Bates and Tom Thacker, BROC's Weatherization Program Energy Auditors in Bennington and Rutland respectively, completed a course through Building Performance Institute. They now hold certifications for both building analyst professional and envelope professional. These are advanced energy auditor certifications that focus on ways to analyze a building's energy footprint, and on ways to tighten the thermal boundary of that building. Both Hyle and Tom did exceptionally well on their tests, adding to the level of professionalism they bring to the job.

To find out more about BROC Community Action's weatherization program call 802-775-0878 in Rutland County or 802-447-7515 in Bennington County, or visit


Mindfulness and writing group to meet

Join award-winning poet James Crews and a supportive group of writers who gather the first Saturday of each month at Northshire Bookstore to explore issues related to mindfulness, meditation and everyday awareness. Our next meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. We will complete and share several writing prompts as well as discuss coping strategies in the wake of the recent election. All you need to bring is paper and a pen (or laptop) and an open mind. Meetings are free, but we ask that you RSVP at if you plan to join us.


Knitters exhibit at  the Dorset Library

The featured artist at the Dorset Public Library during the month of January will be The Dorset Knitters. The public is invited to meet members of the group at the opening reception from 11-1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. Refreshments will be served.

There will be a variety of items, most are knitted, and all are hand crafted by members of the Dorset Knitters. Hats, cowls, mittens, scarves, skirts, jewelry, bookmarks and more. Please stop by to find a new, snuggly piece to add to your winter attire.

Most, but not all, items will be for sale. A portion of sales will benefit the library. Call the library at 867-5774 for more information.


Day of renewal

at the library

Stressed? Enjoy a free day of relaxation and renewal from 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Manchester Community Library at 138 Cemetery Ave.

"Stress Less Well-Being Day" will feature "Incorporating Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Into Your Life," with Deb Lewis, a licensed professional counselor specializing in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; 'Relaxation Through Art" with Robin Galguera, who holds a masters degree in transformative art; and "Yoga for Body, Mind, and Spirit," with RYT Irene Cole. The day will end with a soothing cup of tea and light refreshments.

Participants should bring a yoga mat and towel or blanket and wear comfortable clothing. Email or call Cindy at 802-362-2607 to reserve your space for this free program.



the mountain

Lights will illuminate the Stratton trails on Jan. 7-8 for an epic carnival of round-the-clock skiing, riding and music fun to benefit the Stratton Foundation at the fifth annual 24 Hours of Stratton.

Skiers and riders of all ages and ability levels compete to raise the most money for the Stratton Foundation. In four seasons, the event has collectively raised $800,000, which largely supports local school lunch programs, food pantries, dental services for children and their families, youth success programs, winter clothing and more for underprivileged children in Vermont. This year's fundraising goal is $375,000. Forty teams have registered so far with numbers ranging from 2-12 athletes.

In addition to most funds raised, prizes are also awarded for the most vertical feet skied in a 24-hour time period.

To donate, register or learn more about the 24 Hours of Stratton, visit


Arlington Post 69 hosting breakfast

From 8-10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, the American Legion Post 69 will hold a breakfast. Seniors 65 and over are free; all others are $6 each, and donations are greatly appreciated. Come out and enjoy breakfast with us and catch up with your friends. Call: 802-375-6157 for more information.


Bennington Choral Society seeks singers

The Bennington County Choral Society (BCCS) welcomes new and returning singers to rehearsals for its exciting spring concerts "Idomeneo" and "Beethoven's 9th Symphony". Both concerts are collaborations.

Any interested singer can join the first rehearsal at the Second Congregational Church at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, to allow time to register and sign out music. Regular weekly rehearsals are held from 7 to 9 p.m. The chorus is open to singers of all abilities, ages 15 and older; a modest membership fee of $35 per concert, or $60 for the full season, is requested.

Mozart's opera "Idomeneo" will begin rehearsing immediately culminating in joint concert presentations on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 with Bennington College. Beethoven's 9th Symphony will begin rehearsing later alongside "Idomeneo" culminating in concerts on May 5 and 6, assisting the Springfield (Vermont) Chorale in celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Second Congregational Church, 115 Hillside St., Bennington, is a handicapped-accessible space. For more information about the BCCS and its concerts, visit


Financial planning session

At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Manchester Community Library, financial advisor Rhonda Lathrop will present a financial planning workshop for those who are experiencing or have friends and family who have experienced an unexpected event. Some questions that may keep us up at night are:

- Are your family members protected if something should happen to you?

- Healthcare costs are outpacing inflation and growing exponentially.

- Have you anticipated how you would financially support or adjust your lifestyle as you or your parents age and require additional care?

- Do you feel prepared in the event you had to incur unexpected medical costs?

The free 40-minute presentation will help families put a plan in place to prepare for life's unwanted and unexpected events.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Manchester Community Library is located at 138 Cemetery Ave. in Manchester. To reserve your space, email or call 802-362-2607.


Jazz singing workshop offered

Discover your unique voice during a two-part vocal improvisation workshop at The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections from 1-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Thursday, Jan. 12, which is open to anyone who enjoys singing.

Bidi Dworkin, jazz singer, recently completed a year-long vocal improvisation immersion with Rhiannon (All The Way In) -- an intensive supported by the Vermont Council of the Arts.

All are invited to come to one or both of these workshops which are offered at no charge. Reservations are necessary, so call 902-824-4343 to register.

Each session begins with gentle stretching to tune the body and awaken the breath, so participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing. Check out Bidi's website at


Dorset Players looking for directors

The Dorset Players will be holding a Directors Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the playhouse for anyone interested in directing this season's One Act Plays or Shows for the 2017-2018 season.

One act plays can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes long. Please bring the show title, author, cast, running time, and royalties. Our regular season can include a comedy, drama, mystery, holiday play and a musical. Please provide the same information as above.

We have a library of plays at the Playhouse that you can look through and borrow. Let office manager Kathy Stephens know you are coming, as she can help you find royalties or answer questions. Call or email her at 802-867-5570 or The office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Blood drive at First Congregational

A Red Cross blood drive will be held from 12 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at First Congregational Church in Manchester.

Call 1-800-RedCross to make an appointment or just walk in. Please make an effort to come and donate.


"Citizen Kane" screened at library

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, view Orson Welles' masterpiece film "Citizen Kane" at the Manchester Community Library. In the 1941 classic drama, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of a publishing tycoon's final utterance following his death. This Academy Award winner runs for 119 minutes. The film screening is free and open to the public. Refreshments served.


Relay for Life kick-off planned

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Bennington County will hold a free kick-off for the annual event 6 - 8 p.m. on Jan. 11 from at the Vermont Veterans' Home in the A. Luke Crispe Conference Room at 325 North St., Bennington. Everyone in the community is invited to the kick-off to learn about how to help the American Cancer Society save more lives from cancer.

Guests will have the opportunity to visit each table to learn about how Relay works, ask questions, and register as an individual or create or join a team for the Relay For Life event, which will be held from noon to midnight on June 24, at the Mount Anthony Union High School track.

There will be refreshments, door prizes, and more. This year's theme is Let's Give Cancer the Boot, so feel free to strut your western gear!

Visit to learn more about the event, or contact Stephanie Taylor at 802-747-8261 or


Attica Uprising topic at Neighborhood Connections

At 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 at The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections, Malcolm Bell, will discuss the Attica prison uprising and the fallout which resonates today,

While serving as New York State prosecutor, Bell, now a resident of Weston, blew the whistle on the state's refusal to hold law officers accountable for the extensive torture and murder they committed during the 1971 Attica prison riot. This March, Skyhorse Publishing is scheduled to publish 1\a revised and updated edition to his 1985 book on his Attica experience, now titled "The Attica Turkey Shoot: Carnage, Cover-Up and the Pursuit of Justice."


Vermont Story Lab to offer storytelling workshop

The Vermont Story Lab, in partnership with the Threshold Collaborative, will host a day-long workshop, "Storytelling & Story Skills for Nonprofits," from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, at The Left Bank, 5 Bank St., North Bennington.

The workshop, hosted by Meg Campbell of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, will focus on how effective storytelling can strengthen a nonprofit organization's communication, outreach and fundraising efforts.

Nonprofit professionals from all fields are invited to attend. The cost is $35, and attendees are asked to register in advance:

More information about the Lab and its upcoming events can be found at

Funding for the Vermont Story Lab and this workshop are generously provided by the Vermont Community Foundation.


Penny Gill to speak at Northshire

Penny Gill, the author of "What in the World is Going on?" will appear at Northshire Bookstore at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 13.

"What in the World Is Going On?" reframes world crises as invitations to open our minds and hearts to a new awareness of our fundamental interdependence with all beings. With breathtaking optimism, it offers courage and hope to all who hold the world in their hearts and grieve.

Gill is the Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, where she has taught political science for 40 years and also served as dean. Long interested in comparative spiritualities, she has recently received teachings from Manjushri, a Tibetan master.


Vice President Biden's speech writer to speak at SMS

Jeff Nussbaum, a speechwriter for Vice President Joe Biden, Vice President Al Gore, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, will kick off the second season of Stratton Mountain School's Summit Lecture Series at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14.

In "Tales from the Trail or How to Write a Speech in 30 Minutes," Jeff will present a bipartisan look at life on the campaign trail with a focus on how speechwriters develop their craft.

Nussbaum is a partner in the speechwriting and strategy firm West Wing Writers. Most recently Nussbaum oversaw all speechwriting operations for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the fifth convention in which he's been involved. As a co-founder of The Humor Cabinet, Nussbaum has also worked on humor speeches for dozens of elected officials and corporate executives and has served as a creative consultant for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Tickets can be purchased online at You can also email Katy McNabb at with questions. All events take place in the Patti Kaltsas Center on the SMS campus.


Vermont children's author, illustrator at Northshire

Children's author Julia Alvarez (writer) and Sabra Field (illustrator) will appear to discuss their book "Where Do They Go?" at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Northshire Bookstore.

Alvarez's new picture book is a beautifully crafted poem for children that gently addresses the emotional side of death. Illustrated by Field, a famed Vermont woodcut artist, "Where Do They Go?" is a beautiful and comforting meditation on death, asking questions young readers might have about what happens to those they love after they die.

Alvarez is the author of numerous books for adults including "In the Time of the Butterflies," and "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents," which was picked by New York librarians as one of 21 classics for the 21st century. She is also an accomplished writer of children's and young adult books including "The Tia Lola Stories," "Return to Sender," and "Before We Were Free," which was an ALA Best Book of 2002 and winner of ALA's Pura Belpre Award. She is writer in residence at Middlebury College.

Field is considered one of Vermont's most famous artists and one of America's most accomplished printmakers. She now prints using digital inkjet technology, typically called a giclee (g-clay). Giclees are printed digitally from her original woodblock images. She has been awarded Middlebury College's alumni achievement award and an honorary doctorate. Sabra has also been named an extraordinary Vermonter, received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Award for the Arts.


Pancake breakfast set for Grange

Battenkill Grange No. 487 will hold a pancake breakfast from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15 at Bailey Hall on Ice Pond Rd in East Arlington.

The menu will include pancakes and real maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, home fries, sausage gravy and biscuits, coffee, juice and milk.

Tickets are $7 for adult and $4 for children under 12. For more information call Lillian Wood at 802-375-2518.


GNAT Offers Cabin Fever Camps for Kids

Greater Northshire Access Television, the region's community media and training center is offering four Video Camps to take place January - April 2017.

Animation Camp is offered on Saturday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, March 18. Campers will spend the day at GNAT studio learning iPad Stop Motion Animation.They will learn how to create and write a story, build a set, craft characters, film the action, and create voiceovers.

Cooking Show Camp is offered on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, April 19. Campers will spend the day learning how to design sets, compose shot lists, operate studio cameras and direct from the control room.

Both include an action packed day for kids. Camps are open to all ages, take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.and cost $50. For more information and to register visit, or call Ann at 802-362-7070.


Free financial capabilities workshop

BROC-Community Action in Southwestern Vermont is presenting a free financial capabilities workshop from 10 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at the Bennington Free Library. Come learn about time management, developing a spending plan for 2017, paying down debt, how to save for your financial goals and how to communicate with creditors. To register contact Shelley Faris at 802-665-17221; 1-800-717-2762 or


SVHC offering Qi Gong class

Southwestern Vermont Health Care will offer a 12-week Qi Gong class for cancer survivors and members of their support teams. The classes are scheduled 6:30 - 8 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Jan. 18 and will take place in Conference Room C of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center at 100 Hospital Drive in Bennington. There is no charge to participate in the class.

Participants will learn basic balancing postures, the traditional Chinese medicine approach to practicing Qi Gong, and creative visualization techniques. The class is presented by Nate Sumner of Villari's Martial Arts Center and the Cancer Center Community Crusaders.

For more information and to attend, contact Rebecca Hewson-Stellar, RN, patient navigator, at 802-440-4244.


Contra dance scheduled

Dance to the splendid tunes of Cedar Stanistreet and Marko Packard at the Tinmouth contra dance with Adina Gordon calling from 8-11 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Tinmouth Community Center. All dances are taught, and you do not need a partner. If you are a beginner, come right at 8 p.m. for a beginner's lesson to learn the moves. There will be live music, enthusiastic swinging and dancing and a fun night for all.

The Community Center is on Route 140 in the center of Tinmouth. Please bring clean, non-marring shoes. Admission is $10-$12, $8 for teens and free for children 12 and under. Refreshments will be available to benefit the dance fund. More info at, 802-881-6775 or


How will climate change affect Vermont?

A presentation by Dr. Alan Betts- Atmospheric Researcher will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Wallingford Auditorium (above the Town Hall).

This talk will explain how global climate change is affecting Vermont, and review the transformation of society already underway. How can we develop a systems approach to land conservation and utilization as climate changes? Come join the discussion -- refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Tinmouth and Wallingford Conservation Commissions.

For more information, contact Doug Fontein at or 446-2928.


'Alice in Wonderland' on stage

Audiences of all ages will get a fresh look at an old favorite when the Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) and more than 65 local students present an original adaptation of "Alice In Wonderland" based on Lewis Carroll's classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 at The Dorset Playhouse.

Local children and students have been rehearsing with MCT tour directors to bring this play to life. The Missoula Children's Theatre is a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana. The residency in Dorset is made possible by the Dorset Players with help from a grant from Stewarts Holiday Match as well as other community businesses and members.

If you have any questions, you may contact Kathy Stephens at the Dorset Players' office between 10 a.m.- 2 p.m Monday through Friday at 802-867-5570 or e-mail


VFW Post 6471 Wounded Heroes Weekend dinner

VFW Post 6471, located on Depot St. in Manchester, is partnering with the Bart Adaptive Sports Center to host the Wounded Heroes Dinner. Veterans arrival at 4:30 p.m. followed by dinner being served at 6 p.m on Friday, Jan. 29. All donations are appreciated and go to help pay for the dinner. A donation check may also be sent to Wounded Heroes Dinner, PO Box 181, Manchester Center, VT 05255. Call VFW Post 6471 at (802) 362-9840 after 3 p.m. for more information.


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