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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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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


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

Brattleboro 2015 Halloween Costume List

Here’s the official 2015 Cedar Street Halloween Costume list. Apologies in advance for anyone we missed (the rush of crowds is tough to document), and thanks and congratulations to all the 230+ kids who had such great costumes this year.

Trends seem to indicate wild animals, cats, ninjas, and law enforcement are as popular as princesses. Ghouls and zombies are in a slight decline.

Note: It’s getting so the parents costumes are now almost as plentiful as costumes for kids. This list is almost all just kids.

Cowboy and cow
Gumball machine


Weekend Creativity Series: John Cleese

One of the challenges of being creative is finding space, time, and confidence to create.

Confidence is quite important. We all have to get over fears of making mistakes, including our fears of the blank page, the rough draft, or getting into a rut.

Most creative people I talk to tend to notice their previous mistakes, while those around them don’t see those mistakes. Can we every really be confident about our own creations?

There’s also the question of what sort of mistakes we might feel we are making. In some cases, we should be proud to be at such a high level in our craft to be able to worry about “advanced” mistakes in our work. In other words, it takes great time and effort to be able to reach the point where we are able to make certain mistakes.


Weekend Creativity Series: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is known for his theory of “flow” and how it relates to creativity.

Flow is the state you get in when doing something you love. Time and space drop away. We’ve all had this experience. We start doing something we like doing, then look up and see that three or four hours have passed. That’s flow.


Weekend Creativity Series: Howard Gardner

Multiple Intelligences is a theory put forth by Howard Gardner that says that we don’t all learn or think in the same way. Instead of us all having a single, standard brain equally capable of all functions, he says that what we really have is a collection of abilities with our own, unique combination of strengths and weaknesses.

Those abilities fall into categories such as musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Existential and moral abilities are sometimes included, too.



On a long drive recently the idea floated itself to list timeless and ancient activities, doings that constitute deep down humanness, yet now may be threatened by convenience, sedentary habits, commodification, voueyerism, living through celebrities, overspecialization, and other boons of progress.

Without overthinking it I let reel the first things that popped into my head.  My main criteria were: -They had to be skills (not qualities)... -Activites I currently do or have engaged in...-They need to be important enough to feel compelled to share this know-how with my offspring...-They need to have been done by people (and/or animals) for millenia.


Career Social Gathering, Oct. 22 5:30 at Backroom Bar of Duo Restaurant

The Windham Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) are pleased to announce the Career Social, Thursday, Oct. 22, 5:30-7 pm, at the backroom bar of Duo Restaurant in downtown Brattleboro. Aspiring entrepreneurs, makers, and creators are encouraged to attend. The Career Social will provide a casual, fun atmosphere to mingle and meet with a panel of eight local entrepreneurs, as they share how they have managed to follow their passions while living in Southeastern Vermont. Event goers will gather insights and inspiration for pursuing their own enterprises.

The panel includes
Avery Schwenk, Hermit Thrush Brewery
Natalie Blake, Natalie Blake Studios and Fulcrum Arts
Jesse Kayan, Wild Carrot Farm


Weekend Creativity Series: Donald Fagan

We’re going to spend some time with this series looking at how other people create things. Last week we watched an animator work out a scene. This week we’ll look at how a musician thinks about a pop song.

Here, Donald Fagan of Steely Dan discusses and demonstrates aspects of his song “Peg” with Warren Bernhardt. He explains why the song is the way it is, and where he got ideas for creating it.

Music theory is one of those mystical subjects to me. I understand it when it is being explained, and can hear it, but the language and use of it escapes me personally. I find people who can do this sort of thing to be rather amazing, but I know it isn’t really that amazing — it’s what they do, and very possible if one applies oneself.


Weekend Creativity Series: Glen Keane

You may not know his name, but you are probably familiar with characters he’s animated. Glen Keane animated the character of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and worked on other Disney features such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and other films of the last 30 years or so.

In this video, he animates an improvised scene of a person getting up out of a chair.


Weekend Creativity Series: Everything Is A Remix

Where do we get ideas? Is imitation a part of the creative process? This week we’ll look at where ideas come from, and how they get re-used, recycled, copied and remixed.

There is some historical tension between creators of existing works and those creating new works. A band puts out a song on an album in the 60’s, which gets sampled and re-fashioned into a new song that becomes a hit for someone else in 2015. A movie is created based on someone else’s story. And so on.

Lawsuits often result, because we tend to think that everything must be owned by someone. But mixed into our world of copyright law are two other principles, fair use and public domain, which are equally important.


Weekend Creativity Series: Salvador Dali

This week we spend some time with surrealist Salvador Dali, speaking to reporter Mike Wallace in 1958.

Sometimes it is important to pay attention to things we don’t necessarily understand. Diving into subjects outside my own skill set can lead to inspiration and ideas which furthers my own work. I enjoy hearing from experts in almost any field discussing their work and ideas, and keep a notebook fo tips and tricks I’ve come across.


Weekend Creativity Series: Lynda Barry

We’ve done music, we’ve done comedy. It’s time to get creative and intelligent, so I’m shifting my weekend series once again. (Any of you are more than welcome to take over the music or comedy at any time. I bequeath them...)

To kick things off, here’s a presentation by one of my favorite cartoonist, writer, and “accidental professor” Lynda Barry.


A New Bellydance and Youth Mentorship Program Comes to Brattleboro!

SEEDs (self-esteem, empowerment, and education through dance) is an internationally recognized bellydance and mentorship program, originally founded in 2001 by Myra Krein in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After seeing so much success in Santa Fe, Myra began an intensive teacher training program--and there are now dozens of blossoming SEEDs programs across the globe.

After attending the teacher training in June 2015, local bellydancer Kelsey Eaton bringing this fun and transformational youth bellydance program to Brattleboro. Working alongside her is Devan Moran, a woman's advocate who works locally to educate youth on healthy relationships, domestic violence, and consent.


MAKE A ZINE at Brooks Memorial Library

What is a zine? 

Zines are small or mini magazines that you can create! Zines can be comics, or stories or anything you want. Make a zine about the most amazing trip ever. Make a zine about something you are passionate about. Make a zine about anything you want and it will be awesome. Two local zine makers, comic drawers,  and super artists, Jo Dery and Hannah Cummins, will be there to give tips and tricks to make the best zines.

Draw your own pictures. Write your own words. Make your own zine.


Rainy Sunday Brainstorming

A Request for Proposal is now open for a much ballyhooed Our Town Grant. The RFP states the grant is…"one of inaugural creative placemaking, that magnifies the role the Arts play in Brattleboro, and should inspire the community towards the imagination and creation of public art." To these ends, I hereby submit two entries to the readers of this site, for consideration, potential collaboration and probable comment.


Tale of the Tape



A visiting American guy and Murphy go into an Irish pastry shop. The American whisks three cookies into his pocket with lightning speed. The baker doesn't even notice. The American says to Murphy, "You see how clever we are? You Paddies can never beat that!"

Murphy says to the American, "Watch dis, any Paddy is smarter din you, and I'll prove it to ya." He says to the baker, "Gimme a cookie, I'll show ya a magic trick!"
The baker gives him the cookie, which he promptly eats. Then he says to the baker, "Gimme anudder cookie for me magic trick."


The Very Long Sentence

Today, while reading an 1855 account of the local fireman's festival, I came across the following whopper of a sentence. It kicked off the story, and I thought writers and fans of writing would enjoy it.

The Fireman’s Festival. — Sacred to the memory of departed militia heroes; of officers in short-waisted, shallow-tail coats, who, at the head of their several commands of citizen soldiery, exhibited more of the “pride of circumstance and the pomp of war,” than any Crimean commander has reason to feel; and that of the rank and file themselves, who, in uniforms and without uniforms, of all sizes and nearly all ages, went through their several duties of marching and counter marching with more zeal than discipline, fired blank cartridges at an imaginary enemy without flinching, and only surrendered as the shades of evening came on, after a prolonged and most unequal contest with “Old jamaica or pure New England"; sacred the the memories of this and of those in the hearts of all Vermonters, is the first Tuesday in June.



From the fire, I learned what cops are made of. I learned what panic can do. And I learned that cats really do have nine lives. 

The building was renovated: a 6 floor walk-up, a bit too fancy to be called a NYC tenement. Our apartment was on the fifth. On each floor, were two railroad flats running from front to back on either side of the staircase. When I smelled the smoke, I went out into the hall to investigate. 


Ronald Did Not Get Fired

In about one minute on a Friday, Armand destroyed a fragile family which was trying to make a go of it. 

Most of the crews Armand sent out could fix a few common problems. As advanced training, Armand had told them: “If you don’t know what to do, tell them that it is too serious to fix on site, and bring the unit back to the shop”.   

Ronald worked in the back, fixing air conditioners. I was Armand’s office manager, meaning that I got paid a dollar above minimum wage, and kept track of invoices. Armand loved oppressively hot, stifling July days when New York became unbearable. It brought in business.


The Askance Dance Craze

In this maze of small town life, with our limited number of streets and alleys, and the weight of time’s accumulation, we can’t help but run into each other. With frequency. Or under some law of chance beyond our grasp. And as we carry our histories around, when we see each other when we do we’d sometimes rather not.

There's no controlling bumping into anyotherbody, so cunning methods of evasion are needed ‘to keep the peace’. Otherwise our aversions and misgivings, affronts and harbored hurts, the less pleasant stuff which comprise no small part of our histories, would be breaking out all over. Can't have that in 'civil society'.


"Hey Jew!"

Everyone there had a nickname. His was “Radio.”

“Why is he called “Radio” I asked another prisoner.

"Because he keeps talking, non-stop, all crazy stuff." 

Radio did seem to be dispensing a steady stream of gibberish. But something about him conveyed intelligence to me. I sat down opposite Radio at one of the tables (which are immovably attached to the floor, as are the benches). The individual cells were on one side. There was a wall of bars on the other and I guess behind those bars was the “free” side. Occasionally a guard would walk by.  


iBrattleboro Poll

If a big wildfire was coming toward Brattleboro, I would most likely