Community Briefs


Town Meeting  dates set

A number of dates have been set leading up to Manchester's annual Town Meeting on March 3. Jan. 29 is the last day to submit nominating petitions and consent forms for local offices. The annual Taconic and Green Regional School District Meeting will be held Feb. 27, and those with questions should contact the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union. The annual town floor meeting will be held at Manchester Elementary and Middle School on March 3, at 1 p.m. On March 6, voting by Australian ballot will occur at the Manchester Town Hall between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Those with questions should contact Manchester Town Clerk Anita Sheldon.

Planning Commission hearings Monday

The Manchester Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to solicit comment on a proposed new zoning map and ordinance for the town of Manchester on Monday night at 7 p.m. This is the most comprehensive reconsideration of zoning in Manchester since zoning was established for the town in 1970.

French Exchange ambassadors hold Moroccan dinner

The sixth annual Moroccan dinner will be held on Jan .27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Burr and Burton Academy cafeteria, with proceeds supporting the BBA exchange trip to France. Tickets are advance sale only at $30 per person for a complete 3 course meal plus activities (henna and photo booth). Tickets may be purchased at This evening of authentic fun and food has proven to be a popular way to put some warmth into a cold winter's night! Advance tickets sales are advised. If you have dietary concerns or wish to check on ticket availability, please contact Michelle Emery at From 4:30 to 5 p.m., appetizers will be served while guests enjoy a slideshow of past trips, henna art, and a photo booth where they can try on authentic Moroccan garb. Guests will be seated at 5 p.m. and will enjoy an authentic chicken tagine with couscous, followed by desserts and mint tea. All food will be prepared by chef Eric Emery of Manchester, former maitre d'hotel for the French President. Proceeds will go to support student travel to France and to support the work of the Atlas Cultural Foundation in Morocco. During April break a group of students will head to to France for 14 days as a part of BBA's French Exchange with Michelle Emery, French teacher and Melissa Michaud, school and college counselor, as chaperones. This exchange is with the high school Lyc e St. Crique in Pau, France, after which students will explore Paris before returning to Vermont. Students from Lyc e St. Cricque will be visiting Manchester in the beginning of February.

VT PBS,  MCL to screen 'The Opiate Effect'

On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., join Vermont PBS and the Manchester Community Library for a showing of "The Opiate Effect", an award-winning short documentary that deals with the overdose of a University of Vermont student, and will be followed by a panel discussion. Parents and those who work with children and adolescents are encouraged to attend. The panel will focus on prevention and education strategies and resources, geared towards youth and will include James Reilly of United Counseling Service; Beth Sausville of DCF; Maryann Morris, of The Collaborative; Wendy Galbraith, of Fed Up, Manchester; and Nissa Walke with Blueprint for Health. Andrew McKeever of GNAT-TV will moderate the discussion. This event is presented in partnership with United Counseling Service, The Collaborative, Fed Up Manchester, and GNAT-TV. The event is free and open to the public. Register at

The Longest Winter

Green Mountain Academy is excited to announce that author Alex Kershaw will give a talk about the Battle of the Bulge, which is the subject of his book "The Longest Winter." This talk is sponsored by The Keelan Family Foundation and will take place on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Manchester Community Library. On Dec. 16, 1944, 18 men of a small intelligence platoon found themselves directly in the path of Hitler's Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they successfully repulsed three large German assaults before running out of ammunition and being interned in German POW camps. Yet miraculously all returned home, to be honored as the most decorated platoon of World War II. This talk brings to life a little-known story of heroism, survival and the tenacity of the human spirit. There will be a book signing by Alex Kershaw immediately after the talk. Northshire Bookstore will be at the event and will have copies of "The Longest Winter" available for purchase. Registration for the talk is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information or to register, 802-867-0111 or visit

Afternoon film explores Queen's relationship

Manchester Community Library presents a 2017 feature film starring Dame Judi Dench and Ali Fazal on Tuesday at 1 p.m. In the highly acclaimed film, Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim. The film screening is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Running time: 111 minutes. For more info and the specific film title, call 802-362-2607.

Kids Dollar Skate at Riley Rink

Laurie Metcalfe, Jane Gra, and Stephanie Thompson-Roy of the Northshire Day School would like to invite everyone and anyone to the school's 22nd Kids Dollar Skate at the Riley Rink at Hunter Park on Sunday. The Perfect Wife and The Spiral Press Cafe will once again sponsor this afternoon of skating and fun. The fee for the skating is $1 for children 13 and under and $3 for 14 and up. This does not include rentals. The skate will last from 1 to 3 p.m.


Free Community Dinners Set to Start in Arlington

The winter 2018 series of free community dinners, home-made and served by St. James' Episcopal Church in Arlington, kicks off on Jan. 26 in the church Undercroft. The menu includes a variety of chilis, including vegetarian options, along with breads, salad, dessert and beverages. Hosting this first dinner, which will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., are parishioners Irene Novotny and Adele Miller. St. James' is located on Historic Rt. 7A, directly across from the Arlington Community House. There is plenty of parking, and both the church and Undercroft are handicapped accessible. Any free-will donations are gratefully accepted and willbe earmarked to help fund the town's food and fuel program. For more information call the church office at 802-375-9952, or visit , The next freecommunity dinner will be hosted by the Battenkill Valley Medical Center, on Feb. 23.


Dorset Church offers free community supper

A free community supper will be served at The Dorset Church, 143 Church St. (off Route 30) on Wednesday. Dinner will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The menu will consist of pasta with meat sauce or vegetarian mushroom marinara sauce. Italian sausage, broccoli with garlic and oil, fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, tossed green salad, garlic bread and an assortment of desserts will also be served. Winter Community Suppers are for everyone — moms and dads who need a break, people who want a night out in the middle of winter, families rushing from work to sports, people stretching their budget — the suppers are meant to build community for everyone. The organizers extend an open invitation to join them for warm fellowship and a hot meal. Take-outs will be available. For more information, call Jane at 867-2260, or email dorsetchurch@gmailcom. There will be additional dinners on Wednesday, Feb. 28 and Wednesday, March 21.

Dorset Players to host directors meeting

The Dorset Players will be hosting a directors meeting on at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the playhouse. Directors who would like to direct a full-length play for the 2018-2019 season are encouraged to attend. The season includes four major productions (fall/October, Christmas/December, winter/March and the spring musical/May). If you have a play in mind, be prepared to discuss casting and production requirements, as well as potential royalties. The players are also looking for directors for the 2018 One Act Festival to be held April 6 to 8. If you would like to direct, but don't have the time or experience for a full-length play, this is a great opportunity to get started. Looking for a play? The players have a library of more than 400 plays for perusal. Call Kathy at the business office (802-867- 5570) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week, or email for more information and for access to the play library.

Star Wars Party at the Dorset Village Library

Join the Dorset Library on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. to complete your Jedi training. May the Force be with you as you participate in a scavenger hunt, build your own foam lightsaber and test your dueling skills. There will even be (Nerf) blaster battles! Other Jedi skill-building activities will include crafts, puzzles and mind-strengthening trivia. Snacks, prizes and lots of fun. Costumes are encouraged but not required. All ages are welcome, although most activities might be most suitable up to 13 years. Call the library for more information at 867-5774.


Snowshoe on Stratton Mountain, pond

On Saturday hike to Stratton Mountain Fire Tower and to Stratton Pond. The Green Mountain Club will be riding up to the ski area summit via gondola, thanks to the generosity of the Stratton Corp. Moderate snowshoe, about 8 miles total. Bring extra clothes, handwarmers, lunch, snacks, fluids. An RSVP is required. For more details, contact Dave Ratti at 802-366-0698 or


Kids celebrate Chinese New Year

The South Londonderry Free Library is celebrating the Year of The Dog with a special Chinese New Year Program for kids on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Artist Casey Junker Bailey will explain the customs of the season and help children make colorful decorations to welcome in the New Year. The workshop is free of charge and appropriate for all ages. All materials ill be provided. For more information, contact the Library at 824-3371.

"SEED: The Untold Story" showing at Neighborhood Connections

Doreen Fabiano and Carlene Lindgren, local advocates for the environment and other important issues facing the world today, will host a 6:30pm showing of the documentary film SEED: The Untold Story on Jan. 26 at Neighborhood Connections. Few things on Earth are as vital and miraculous as seeds. According to, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers and indigenous seed keepers fight to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. This screening is open to all and presented at no charge, but please register at 824-4343 to attend. Neighborhood Connections is located in Londonderry's Mountain Marketplace, next to the post office.

You can draw

Have you always wanted to learn how to draw? Christine Mix, children's illustrator and author says you can be taught to draw after learning some basic techniques. Christine will share her experience in a workshop at The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call 824-4343 to register. This fun program will present some basic abstract drawing exercises - exploring lines, shapes and color. Christine will share drawing tricks for illustrating people, children, animals and landscapes. This workshop is good for beginners of all ages - from early childhood to adults who never believed they could draw! Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Christine graduated with a B.A. in fine arts and another B.A. in mass communication at the University of South Florida in 1988. Soon after she painted her first children's illustration in watercolor, titled Spike & Wordo's Magical Wish. Spike the Dragon was born and Christine realized she had found her niche. Her illustrations have been exhibited locally at the Chaffee Art's Center, The Southern Vermont Center, the South Londonderry Free Library, Mary Canfield Free Library, the Dorset Library and the Middlebury Arts Walk. She has also exhibited in Poe Park, the Bronx and at The Brooklyn Library. The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections is located in Londonderry's Mountain Marketplace, next to the Londonderry Post Office.

Benefit concert for Flood Brook Student Activities

The popular band "The Old Main" will play a special, one-night-only concert on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at The Black Line Tavern at Magic Mountain to benefit the students of Flood Brook School. Hailing from the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York, The Old Main has drawn favorable comparisons to bands such as The Avett Brothers, The Band, and Dawes, while retaining a sound and style uniquely their own. With catchy original music and creatively reimagined covers, they've been called everything from Folk-Rock to alt-Americana, though no label or description compares to hearing their foot-stomping music in person. Acoustic guitar, harmonica, banjo, upright bass, drums, and ringing vocal harmonies make up The Old Main's raw acoustic sound, and their high-energy live performances are enjoyed by all. The Old Main continues to build acclaim and expand their already strong following all over the North East. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Flood Brook School, the Weston Marketplace, Brown Enterprises or by emailing Proceeds benefit the Flood Brook Student Activities Cooperative, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for enrichment activities for the students of Flood Brook School.

The nuts and bolts of writing for children

On Jan. 29 at 2:30 p.m. children's book author Steve Swinburne will be at The Meeting Place at Neighborhood Connections to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing for children. Steve takes you from idea creation and blank page to printed book, covering (almost) everything you need to know about researching, writing and publishing a book for kids. This program is offered at no charge, but register by calling 824-4343. Neighborhood Connections is a community-based nonprofit social services agency serving individuals and families in the area mountain towns of south-central Vermont. Check out our website at The Meeting Place is located in The Mountain Marketplace, next to the Londonderry Post Office.

Tai Chi offered in Londonderry

Doreen Fabiano, certified in Tai Chi, will begin a six-week course at The Meeting Place @ Neighborhood Connections on Monday at 10 a.m. This program is offered at no charge, but space is limited. Call 824-4343 if you would like to attend.


"Fraud Watch" at Pawlet Library

The Pawlet Public Library will host an educational presentation by AARP Vermont Fraud Watch Network Coordinator, Elliott Greenblott on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is arming Americans with the tools they need to spot and avoid fraud and scams so they can protect themselves and their families. The program seeks to educate the public, serve as a watchdog, and provide resources. Greenblott, a former public school teacher and administrator, has been on the job for three years making presentations, staffing displays, and recruiting volunteers. Increase your understanding of this national and regional issue by attending this one hour program at the Pawlet Public Library. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information please call the Library at 325-3123

Vendors wanted for Woodchuck Festival

Craft vendors are wanted for the 15th Woodchuck Festival, to be held on Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mettawee Community School. Woodchuck Market Place spots are available for rent at $30 for each 10-foot by 10-foot area. Tables and electricity are available for an additional fee. For detailed information, or to rent a space, call Morgan Hosley at 802-770-2302.

The Woodchuck Festival brings exciting activities for young and old including games of chance and the fire department against the World Tug of War. The main event, the Woodchuck Rescue Challenge, is open to four-persondepartmental teams of volunteer firefighters for a $20 fee. To register your team, call Chief Dave Hosley at 802-645-0158 or Leon Corey at 802-342-6436. The Woodchuck Festival is a fundraiser, sponsored jointly by the West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department and its Ladies Auxiliary.


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