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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Original stories, songs, poems, and other creative pieces.

Weekend Creativity Series - Make a Flip Book

My creativity is definitely biased toward drawing and animation. This week I’d like to share a video about doing a very simple and rewarding animation project - making a flip book.

There are lots of ways to do this, and there are many different types of flip books you might want to try. You can use post-it notes, small drawing pads, pieces of paper cut and stapled together, or the edges of your math book. (Of course, you shouldn’t write in your math book.)


Weekend Creativity Series - Build an Earthen Oven

This week we can attempt a project that allows for multiple layers of creativity. Building an earthen over takes some design and construction skills, but then also allows for the additional creativity that comes from cooking. It also provides a creative way to learn about history.

Annikee tipped me off to this video series by Jas. Townsend & Son in which historical recipes and cooking methods are revealed. In 2016, cooks are spoiled. We have refrigeration, ovens with constant temperatures, and machines to help us do the heavy work.


Weekend Creativity Series: Essential Art Supplies

Everyone has their own favorite tools, and for artists this means art supplies. We have a room dedicated, filled with all sorts of goodies.

I’m rather simple in my essentials. I exclusively use whatever is available. If I get a choice in the matter, I’m drawn to soft pencils and black sharpies, and small sheets of paper. For animation I get out my Color-erase blue pencil and work with punched paper.

But that’s just for drawing. I also like to have easy access to rulers, flexible curves, colored paper, scissors, exacto knives, tape, a range of glues, wood, metal, glass, clay, fabrics, cameras, instruments, and reference books and videos.


Weekend Creativity Series: Chuck Jones

One of my creative mentors is Chuck Jones, one of the best directors to work with Bugs Bunny. I met him first through Saturday morning cartoons, then later as part of the animation program we were running at the children’s museum in DC.

Above my desk is a drawing of the coyote and road runner that he drew as part of a class at the museum. I can still remember him drawing it, explaining each line as he went along. It reminds me of him, and of the types of conversations he liked having. He was extremely well-read and drew from a lifetime of paying attention to little details.


Weekend Creativity Series - Watercolor Washes

Wet into wet. Wet on dry. Dry on wet. Washes Here’s a 15 minute video to help spice up your watercolor abilities. If you follow along, you’ll end up with a series of abstract paintings that you can use to redecorate your home.

Grab some watercolors and some watercolor paper, some brushes of varying sizes, and some water. Then play along with the video.


Elephants to Stroll With Heifers

Marking a first for the organization, Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is planning to feature their newest acquisition in this year’s parade - 42 Asian elephants.

“We were watching the accelerated retirement of the Ringling elephants and realized they needed a new home quickly,” said a spokesperson for the Stroll.”Why not southern Vermont?”


Chemtrail Conspiracy

It was not a secret government agency. But today’s meeting was top secret. 

HASP is quite sensitive,” the Colonel explained, “If the truth ever got out…”

“But Colonel,” interrupted Faraday, “Chemtrails are all over the internet. It’s a bit late for hush-hush!” It was true: almost from its inception, the High Altitude Spraying Program had been exposed.


The Happy Birthday Animation Project

I just finished a winter assignment and thought I'd share a bit about "the making of" this new animation.

This project really started a few years ago, when I was given the FAX jr. animation stand used at the Animation Lab at Capital Children’s Museum. (I used to run the program at the museum, and the animation stand is an old friend.) I invested in a new camera and software to shoot single frame animation, and did some tests to make sure it was all working.

The stand really pulled me away from computer animation and back into physical media of drawings and objects. I decided to give myself an assignment of completing a fully drawn animated project. But what to do?


Weekend Creativity Series - Hitchcock

Two Alfred Hitchcock treats for you this weekend, to cover a range of creative topics such as suspense and filmmaking.

The first is an interview he did in 1972. I love listening to him talk, and he has a very dry sense of humor.

The second is an analysis of the way he blocks out a single shot in one of his films.


BCTV Announces Spring Media Skills Workshops

Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV), the community media center serving southern Windham County, will offer small group classes with hands-on experience in video production this spring.

BCTV offers individual training on an ongoing basis for Video Camera Basics, Editing with Adobe Premiere, and Studio Production. Call 257-0888 or email info@brattleborotv.org to schedule a one-on-one training.

Spring 2016 Workshops:


Weekend Creativity Series - Parliamentary Procedure

In honor of Representative Town Meeting, this weekend we’ll take a short look at Parliamentary Procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order.

This video shows how your 4-H club or other organization can be an effective governing body by using well-recognized procedures for meetings. They cover everything from committee reports to making and amending budgets, tabling items, and delaying actions on items.


Weekend Creativity Series: Sun Ra Lecture

In order to be fully creative, it is sometimes good to hear unfamiliar things, or listen to people we don’t quite understand. Different points of view can lead to insights and breakthroughs, which can then have creative results.

Sun Ra is one of those people that I don’t completely understand, but I do enjoy listening to from time to time. This week we have a rare recording of him expounding on a number of issues in an Afrofuturism lecture at UC Berkeley called Afro-American Studies 198: The Black Man in the Universe/Cosmos.


Weekend Creativity Series - Finger Painting

Remember dipping your fingers into cool, wet paint and smearing it all across a piece of paper? Pushing it all around, getting it under your nails, and creating an abstract piece of school art? And the smell of that paint... mmm.

Here, Iris Scott uses that technique with great skill to finger paint with oils. It’s not as strange as it sounds, even though it isn’t done much. Most painters like brushes, but why not work directly, fingers to canvas?


Ewe Have Me In Stitches

We are very excited to announce this new adventure! Our formal name is Ewe Have Me In Stitches!
We welcome all crocheters and knitters, at any experience level! Best of all, being a member of this
chapter is free! Of course, if you would like to become a member of the CGOA, we will help you do just that!
There will be benefits to being a member of this chapter, but if you want even more benefits, join CGOA!

A few things that I am looking forward to (and if you have any ideas, please let me know)

​ - Learning experiences - I'd like to set one meeting a month to be a learning session. Learning a new


Weekend Creativity Series - Polticial Cartoons

This weekend we learn how to draw some political cartoons. There’s really no right or wrong way to go, so these are just a few options and styles to get us going. The main rules are caricature and being tough on your subject.

First, a few drawing lessons. There aren’t a lot of videos about drawing the current slate of candidates, but there are some. (If you find others, add them in the comments.)


Weekend Creativity Series: Basic HTML

This week, let’s learn to code! Nothing difficult, of course, but it is good to know about the basic tags and how a page gets formatted.

This was something many of us learned in the early 1990’s (we used Netscape Navigator to do just what you see in this video), and is very similar to the old word processing programs of the 1980’s.

More recently, people using the internet use pre-made sites and are “protected” from needing to know any code, except for perhaps the skill of cutting and pasting links or embed codes for videos.

But that’s silly. Being able to create, name, and fill a web page with information is useful. Ever site we visit on the internet is built upon the HTML foundation. It is the language underlying the world wide web.


Weekend Creativity Series - Formula

Pop songs of all genres have formulas for success. Most radio hits are 3 minutes, have an intro, a verse, a chorus, a verse, a breakdown, and go out with the chorus. Most keep the lyrics simple, and geared toward basic emotions, or thought one might have on a dance floor.

This extends beyond pop rock to pop soul and pop country. This week, we take a look at the creative work of Sir Mashalot, who shows us just how similar the county pop hits of today really are.

He chops and re-arranges six songs — "Sure Be Cool If You Did" by Blake Shelton, "Drunk on You" by Luke Bryan, "Chillin' It" by Cole Swindell, "Close Your Eyes" by Parmalee, "This is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line, and "Ready, Set, Roll" by Chase Rice — showing just how formulaic and similar they are.


Come Hear Readings on Mercy Friday, Feb 12, 2016 7:30 at the Blue Dot at the Hooker-Dunham

On Friday February 12, at 7:30, Write Action will be hosting a reading of poems and short prose on the topic of Mercy at the Blue Dot in the Hooker-Dunham Building in Brattleboro. In December, the non-profit organization, which supports writing and writers in the tri-state area, solicited the public for short pieces on this topic. Friday's event will bring together some of the writers who responded to the call for written work on the theme of mercy.

This year's invitation to write on one of the virtues is the second such writing prompt that Write Action has shepherded. Last year the organization solicited short stories of 500 words or less on the theme of hope. The group hopes to gather together a collection of writings on virtues, and to publish them in some form.


Weekend Creativity Series - Model Trains

There is a tremendous amount of creativity when it comes to creating miniature worlds, and model train layouts are often some of the most amazing miniatures around. This video shows a engineer’s view of a model train set in the midwest. The video description says:

“The Hennepin Overland Railway Historical Society is located in Minneapolis, MN, and is one of the largest HO layouts in the Twin Cities, MN area. It also has the largest Helix of any model railroad in the United States that we know of. The Helix comprises 1/4 of the entire layout located in a 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse in South Minneapolis, and the entire Main Line equals 11 scale miles of track. If you are interested in visiting this railroad museum check out their web site for directions and hours of operation: http://hennepinoverland.org/


The River Gallery School on Main Street in Brattleboro Offering Class on Book Making

The River Gallery School is offering a class on book making.

Writers and others who want to learn how to create a physical book using basic book binding equipment.

This class will be made up of a series of smaller technique-specific workshops related to book arts. Along with making paste paper, marbled paper and decorative bookcloth, students will learn how to make books with exposed-bindings, soft covers and hard covers.

Students will also be encouraged to explore sculptural bindings and content driven book structures. The class starts March 25, 2016 and goes to May 20, 2016. It will meet Fridays, from 9:30 to Noon. The class coasts $280. The teacher is Briony Morrow-Cribs. Her website is www.brionymorrow-cribbs.com


iBrattleboro Poll

The amount of panhandling in Brattleboro