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In praise of the Vermont dairy farmer

To the Editor: When you think of Vermont, nothing is more quintessential than the iconic dairy farmer. In many ways, the backbone of the local community and economy.

The hardworking, civic-minded neighbor who is never too busy to help out his fellow citizens. The small-business owner who contributes to the tax base and provides local jobs. Generational farming families with deep roots in the town and the state are keeping it green and maintaining the best aspects of Vermont, the reason people continue to want to live and visit here.

Farming is a very difficult and extremely dangerous occupation and we owe these hearty souls a debt of gratitude.

So a shout out to local farmer Rich Hulett as he recovers from his terrible accident. An enterprising business owner, civic leader, dedicated husband and father and a pillar of the community, you are a credit to your town and the state, Rich. You are much-loved and well-respected by the good people of Pawlet and we wish you a full and speedy recovery.

Just as you and your family have always been there for all of us, we are here for you, my friend.

Kathi Barese,


Rather than disparage, lead

To the Editor: In Don Keelan’s Aug. 6 commentary on Vermont housing, he begins by disparaging and belittling the brave efforts of two civic minded high school students who courageously opined about the need for affordable housing in Vermont, not only for the homeless but for hard-working low to middle-class families.

Why would the present generation want to stay in a community with negative attitudes about the current state of the state when their qualifications to present their views are publicly demeaned.

Keelan quotes himself from 30 years ago while presenting no solutions nor plans on how to tackle the ever-growing need for housing.

As a self-professed expert developer, why doesn’t Mr. Keelan lead the charge on the development of the family units that he talks about? I’m sure he has the ability to bring together a coalition of civic-minded investors, willing to make a modest return on their developments, who could begin rehab of many of the existing structures in our communities which could start this State on a path to successfully slowing down this escalating crisis of homelessness.

Our communities desperately need visionary leadership not close-minded naysayers of doom & gloom based on out-of-date historical “facts.”

All who are fighting for fair and affordable housing for all in Vermont should be applauded, encouraged and assisted to continue bringing the community together and do some charitable “Barn Raising” in this time of need.

Steve Gilmore,


Grateful for emergency volunteers

To the Editor: On Tuesday evening, August 10, a good friend of ours became extremely ill and there was no doubt that something was very wrong. We called dispatch at 8 p.m. to request an ambulance and one arrived in less than 10 minutes.

Mark and Jeff immediately attended to our friend and quickly determined that he needed to be moved into the ambulance for further testing. It was clearly a cardiac episode so they called for chopper transport to Albany Med.

We followed the ambulance back to the Public Safety Facility and waited for the chopper to arrive. We had no idea that so many members of the volunteer fire department were called in to supervise the area and keep everything safe when a chopper is called in.

The landing area was cleared and marked with lights and a full staff was on hand to handle not only communication with the chopper but any possible problem.

The members of the Northshire Rescue Squad and the Manchester Fire Department continued to monitor our friend and then helped to safely move him aboard the chopper.

As a follow-up, our friend was indeed suffering a cardiac episode and is undergoing triple-bypass surgery in Albany. His life was clearly saved by the efficient and knowledgeable care and all that was involved in providing medical care and a safe landing and takeoff for the chopper.

We are extremely grateful to live in a community with such incredible volunteers who instantly put their own busy lives aside to assist in every emergency.

Doug & Cynthia Kilburn,


Neighbor to Neighbor thankful for help

To the Editor: When Neighbor to Neighbor ( paused its in-person events for seniors in March 2020 due to something called coronavirus, we expected it would only be for a few weeks.

As the (many) months wore on, N2N and its volunteers kept in touch with care recipients through phone calls and mail and continued to find ways to help with individual needs. But there was another task: raising the funds N2N needs to survive when its annual fundraising event — the popular Neighbor to Neighbor pie auction — could not be held due to what had become a pandemic.

Luckily, the Northshire was behind us! Retailers, restaurateurs, businesses and community members throughout the region donated generously to our first raffle, and members of the public stepped forward to buy tickets, in hopes of winning one of the dozens of available prizes.

Thanks to all of them, we exceeded our fundraising goal.

We want to publicly acknowledge those who stepped in to donate so many terrific prizes: 3 Pears Gallery, Al Ducci’s Italian Pantry, Bromley, Danny O’Driscoll, Dina’s Bakery Cafe, Dorset Farmer’s Market, Dutton Berry Farm, Equinox Valley Nursery, Fortuna’s Italian Market, Golf Club at Equinox, Gremlin Fine Arts, HN Williams Store, HVC Licensing, JK Adams, Long Ago and Far Away, Manchester Hot Glass, Martha Thompson, McWayne Jewelers, Merck Forest and Farmland Center, Mettowee Mint, Mother Myrick’s Confectionary, Mountain Goat, Northshire Bookstore, Orvis, Reluctant Panther, rk Miles, Shaw’s Manchester Center, Spring & Harbor Boutique, Southern Vermont Art Center, Starbucks, Stella’s Salon Plus, Tiffany & Co., Vermont Kitchen Supply, Works Café and Ye Olde Tavern.

Special additional thanks to the Dorset Farmer’s Market and Northshire Bookstore/Manchester for allowing us to sell raffle tickets at their locations, and to the Manchester Journal for spreading the word!

Joy Haenlein,

Manchester Center

Manchester Riverwalk appreciates contributions

On behalf of the Manchester Riverwalk, we would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the following businesses and generous folks for their contributions to our Riverwalk Open House raffle and picnic on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Thanks to: Sherrie Baker, Charlie’s Coffee House, The Mountain Goat, Northshire Bookstore, Union Underground, author and local historian, Richard B. Smith, and Joan P. Burns, proprietor of Tucked In VT, an exceptional AirBnB.

And lastly, a big “thank you” to all of the community members who came out to see the plans for the Community Pedestrian Bridge, asked great questions, reviewed the designs and renderings, and showed their support. We truly appreciate it.

For more information, check out our website

Eileen Braheney,

Manchester Riverwalk Board


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