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Today In Local History


First records in Brattleboro regarding the salary of a minister.


Mr. Platt purchases William Ryther's interest in The Phoenix to become sole proprietor of the newspaper.

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UFO's over Brattleboro, April 5, 2014

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Estey Organ Museum Receives Important Collection

Lee Chaney had a life-long love of musical instruments, especially those with keyboards.  Over the years he built a sizeable personal collection of instruments of a wide variety, even setting up a small museum in his home so that others could view his collection.  Formerly a Professor of Educational Psychology at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama for over 40 years, Chaney retired to Clinton, NC. He died there on March 4, 2012.

Recently, his son, John Chaney, decided that the Estey Organ Museum in Brattleboro was an appropriate home for a number of these instruments.  In addition to several Estey reed organs, the collection included instruments by other builders who had a historical relationship with Estey, notably Riley Burdett of Putney, as well as instruments illustrating the development of the American reed organ. Further, the collection consisted of framed posters about organ building and other important archival memorabilia.


Brattleboro Estey Organ Tour

The Estey Organ Museum will host a Tour of Estey Organs in Brattleboro, VT on Saturday, May 17, beginning at 1:00 PM. The tour will begin at the First United Methodist Church (home of Estey Opus 1 from 1901) on Putney Rd and conclude at the Museum, 108 Birge Street. Eight pipe organs will be visited, most of which are in playing condition.

The event will include brief demonstration programs on most of the organs. Participants will receive handout sheets describing each instrument and its history. Refreshments will be served at the Museum, and visitors will see and hear the Estey “walk-through” pipe organ as well as other reed organs on display.

1:00 First United Methodist Church, Putney Road
1:30 St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 47 Walnut Street


I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Replacement Project Update: Week of April 13


Northbound I-91 traffic has been relocated onto the southbound bridge. Traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction on I-91 until completion of the new bridge in the Fall of 2015.

Weather permitting, night work will be conducted Sunday night, April 13th through Saturday night, April 19th.

Route 30

The speed limit on Route 30 near the work zone has been reduced to 40 mph. This reduction will remain in effect through the Spring of 2016.

Project-related truck activity on Route 30 will continue. Route 30 will be reduced to a single lane intermittently both day and night, with flaggers regulating traffic within the work zone.


Weekend Concert Series: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1978

It’s the very end of 1978, verging on 1979. We’re in Santa Monica, CA at a club. The doors open, and we all rush in to get good spots near the stage. It’s New Year’s Eve and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are touring on their second album. They take the stage and start in on their fresh sounding twist on southern rock.

Tom Petty is one of the few things Florida can be proud of beyond beaches and theme parks. He’s from Gainesville, as any good Floridian will tell you. Bad Floridians will tell you he’s the only good thing about Gainesville, but that’s another tale.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes - April 15, 2014

Citizen suggestions for town improvements will be center stage at the next regular Tuesday Meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Former board member Chris Chapman would like the town to consider taking donations, and George Harvey would like a committee to investigate generation of local electric power.

The board will also hear from the Arts Committee, approve whiskey drinking for the Stroll, review staffing of Police and Planning departments, get a PACE update, buy a new police car, and more.

You can attend and participate in person, or watch on BCTV. Full coverage here afterward.


Handle with Care

If you travel to skateparks, as I do, it’s impossible to not notice the trend- younger and younger users are appearing in greater numbers. The prevalence of scooters is undeniable. Many scooter users begin their riding careers soon after they get solid on their feet as walkers.

If you travel to a city, it’s striking how many youth travel the sidewalks, often rolling alongside their parents pushing a sibling in a stroller. There are adult scooters too, and it wouldn't be exaggeration to speak in terms of an army of scooters flooding a street.


BMH Offers Free Educational Program Focusing on Dementia

On April 21, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be hosting an educational program entitled, “Conversations about Dementia,” designed to help community members talk about some challenging and often uncomfortable topics.

Presented by Maggie Lewis, MPA, LNHA, director of programs and services for the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, this program will clarify many of the signs and resources, and clearly outline what steps can be taken.

“Many in our community confront issues with Alzheimer's and related dementias,” says Lewis. “Often, we are unsure of seeing the signs of dementia and what steps need to be taken to plan for its occurrence.”


Governor Shumlin Appoints BDCC's Moulton As Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary


MONTPELIER -- April 10, 2014 -- Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced two key staff appointments integral to his efforts to strengthen Vermont’s economy by growing jobs, helping to contain rising health care costs and reform health care delivery, and ushering in a universal, publicly-financed health care system in Vermont.

Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary Lawrence Miller will become Senior Advisor to the Governor and Chief of Health Care Reform. In this capacity, Miller will be tasked with overseeing the state’s health care reform efforts and transition to Green Mountain Care. He will report directly to the Governor.


Brattleboro Water Quality

Brattleboro's 2014 Water Quality Report is now available. Once again we are proud to report no violations and few contaminants detected in the water we supply. This Federally mandated report contains information and test results on the water supplied to Brattleboro residents during the past year. It also includes general information about your water supply and its sources and a little water department news on upcoming projects.

Customers receiving a bill will find a web address at the bottom where they can go to read the report online. The address is www.sover.net/~brattdpw/2014_CCR.pdf. You may also go to www.brattleboro.org, click on departments and then Public Works, Water Supply page, where there is a link to the report.


Brattleboro Special Referendum Informational Meeting on Budget and Police-Fire Project

Brattleboro Selectboard Chair David Gartenstein led an informational meeting at Oak Grove School Wednesday night. The topic was the special referendum vote on April 17, the town budget, and the Police and Fire Facility project. Not counting Town staff, Selectpersons, and Town Meeting Reps, about 36 members of the public attended.

Gartenstein first gave an overview of the proposed budget and the work that went into creating it, all familiar to regular readers of Selectboard Meeting Notes. His main point was that it was a lean, level-service budget, with most of it going to pay staff and benefits.

He also said the town’s basic, core services were police, fire, roads, parks & recreation, and the library.


The End of the End of Gasoline ?

The Navy has apparently succeeded in literally making gasoline from seawater. I know, I know, it sounds like making gold from lead.

Link here.


On Exhibit at the Brooks Library: Saxtons River Art Guild & Liza Woodruff

On exhibit for the month of April at the Brooks Library: Liza Woodruff (In the Children's Illustrators' Book Cases, 2nd Floor Hallway, across from the Children's Room) and the Saxtons River Art Guild (in the Main Room). 

The Saxtons River Guild was established in 1976 for the purpose of encouraging and stimulating the cultural growth of the arts locally. The Guild is very active and new members are always welcome. Members meet during the fall and winter months at Open Studio to collaborate working in various media of watercolor, oil and pastels, as well as acrylic, collage and drawings in pen/pencil.


Reading and Discussion Series: Muslim Journey: Literary Reflections on Islam: The Arabian Night

The series will begin on Wednesday, April 9, 7 PM  with a discussion of The Arabian Night , edited by Muhsin Mahdi, translated by Husain Haddawy. Please join Marlboro scholar and Professor of Religious Studies, Amer Latif, in a journey through the literature of Islam.

The evening reading and discussion series will focus on five books. The Arabian Nights (anonymous), edited by Muhsin Mahdi, translated by Husain Haddawy; The Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar, translated by Dick Davis and Afkham Darbandi; Snow by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely;  Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi; and Minaret by Leila Aboulela. Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives.


I-91 Brattleboro Bridge Project Update: RT 30 Closure Delayed One Day

The Project Team has delayed the closure of VT RT 30 by one day. As you might imagine, a project of this scope involves a huge number of variables. We are doing our very best to keep everyone apprised of changes, and appreciate your understanding and patience.

ROUTE 30 CLOSURE SCHEDULING CHANGE: Friday, April 11th to Friday, April 18th: The closure is now scheduled to begin Friday night, April 11th and will be complete by the afternoon of Friday, April 18th. The shearing of the steel of the bridge that is being demolished will be noisy, and will be limited to the hours of 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM, so as to minimize the noise impacts on nearby residents. Once the closure begins, no through traffic will be permitted on VT Route 30 through the I-91 right-of-way.


Designated Agencies Opposing SSA Medicaid Funding Designation for Pathways Vermont

Vermont State House(cross-posted to Green Mountain Daily, here; original version posted to Vermont Watch, here)

It was recently learned that Pathways Vermont, a housing first program currently serving six different regions within the state, is pursuing Specialized Service Agency (SSA) Medicaid funding designation status as a way to replace the federal grant funds the housing first program will be losing later this year, to the tune of $600,000.

Read the Pathways Vermont SSA designation application letter, here.

It is my understanding that this SSA designation status, if granted, would permit Pathways Vermont to receive medicaid funding the program currently does not have access to and of which the Designated Agencies (DA's: i.e., Community Mental Health Centers: CMHC's) basically have enjoyed what amounts to a virtual monopoly when it comes to these type of program and service funds.


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