Primary election voting on August 9: some changes, and sample ballots

On August 9, two important matters will be before Vernon voters: a decision on whether to withdraw from the Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) District; and a set of choices in the statewide primary. To view sample ballots, click here:

SCHOOL DISTRICT BALLOT (PDF)

STATEWIDE PRIMARY BALLOT (PDF)

Vernon residents who vote in the state primary this August 9 will see something a little different. For the first time, the Town Clerk’s office will  use the ACCU-Vote scanner to count the results. Vermont law now requires the device in state and federal elections for all towns with a checklist of over 1000 voters. Town Clerk Tim Arsenault  says the device will be a labor saver, since the accuracy of the count will mean that only write in votes will be counted by hand.

The change is not without its cost, since the state will pay only a portion of the cost for programming computer cards used in the machines. For that reason, Arsenault says, town meeting elections will still be counted by hand.

As for the primary itself, voters will be handed a Republican, a Democratic and Progressive ballot. Voters will only vote in one party, placing the other two in an unvoted box and putting the voted ballot in the machine for counting. Residents will also be voting whether to have the town withdraw from the Brattleboro Union High School District. The ballots, on a separate sheet, will be counted by hand.

Balloting will take place in the town hall at 567 Governor Hunt Road, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on primary day. If you’d like, you can vote absentee until 5 PM the day before the election. The registration deadline for new voters is 5 PM on August 3.

Monarch butterfly expert to visit Vernon

Vermont Woods Studios is sponsoring an educational “Save the Monarchs” Tour with Mexican monarch butterfly habitat expert Jose Luis Alvarez. The purpose of the tour is to raise awareness about destruction of the monarch’s habitat both here in the U.S. and Mexico.

Señor Alvarez will start his tour in Vernon and then travel to Boston, Burlington, New Haven, NYC and Philadelphia. He’ll be sharing his experiences about monarch evolution, migration, discovery of over-wintering grounds, population swings, deforestation & reforestation, US habitat issues and threats.

The tour will begin on Thursday, August 25th with a kickoff event at Vermont Woods Studios on Huckle Hill Rd in Vernon, VT.  Other venues include the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Boston Museum of Science, Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, VT, Marsh Botanical Garden at Yale University, Audubon Greenwich and the Philadelphia Zoo (schedule and details).

Monarchs are kind of amazing when you think about it… for 10,000 years, each monarch butterfly that’s flown South after enjoying the summer in Vermont has headed to over-winter in the oyamel forests of Michoacan, Mexico. That migration, perhaps the most complex of any animal throughout time, will soon disappear unless we work together as neighbors to conserve the butterfly’s habitat in both Mexico and the USA.

Come meet Señor Alvarez and learn how you can help save the monarch butterfly, Thursday evening 6-7:30pm at Vermont Woods Studios.

New recycling pick-up schedule: every other week

In an effort to decrease spending, Vernon will be adjusting the pick-up schedule for recyclables. Beginning on August 11, 2016 recyclables will be picked up every other week beginning with A streets (B streets will NOT be picked up on August 11th). Please consult the chart below  to determine if you live on an A street or a B street.

All other procedures for recycling will remain the same. Curbside recycling accepts plastics #1 – #7. Plastics #1 and #2 can be recycled in bin at the Town Garage anytime.

TRASH WILL STILL BE COLLECTED EVERY WEEK.

If you have questions, please contact the Town Offices at 802-257-0292 or email the Town Administrator at VernonTA@vernonvt.org.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we go through this transition.

READ MORE FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE: (more…)

Miller Farm to celebrate 100 years with an open house July 17

The whole Miller farm family

The whole Miller farm family

Sunday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Miller family has been dairy farming for 100 years at the crossroads of Fort Bridgman Road (Route 142), Governor Hunt Road and the New England Central Railroad.

And on July 17, they’re celebrating with an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to which all residents and interested people are invited.

The celebration features hayride tours and guided walking tours of the farm, a display by Stonyfield Yogurt, and refreshments including anniversary cake, milk, cheese and cookies. There a small petting zoo with heifers and goats, and visitors can “touch a tractor,” play farm games, and of course meet the farmers.

At about 1 p.m. that day, there will be some formalities to mark the occasion, including speeches by John Meyers, president of the Holstein Association USA (the world’s largest cattle breed organization, which is based in Brattleboro) and Ryan Mclaren of Congressman Peter Welch’s staff. (more…)

Vernon community action plan to be developed on July 7

The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its third, and last, major session in the Vernon Community Visit process on July 7; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward.

At the Community Meeting Day in June over 50 Vernon residents came together to set core priorities for future action in town. They reviewed 15 ideas that were gathered from focus forums in May with residents at the Vernon Community Visit Day and chose priorities designed to boost the community and advance the town’s economy into the future. At the end of the session, participants signed up as volunteers to advance these new initiatives.

On July 7, these new task forces will meet in the Vernon Town Office building to frame out action plans and work with a resource team of federal, state, business, and non-profit leaders to identify next steps and resources that can help them succeed. So far, members of the Resource Team will include: Ben Doyle (USDA Rural Development), Craig Whipple (VT State Parks Director), Paul Bruhn (Preservation Trust), Gary Holloway (VT Department of Housing and Community Development), Susan McMahon and Jeff Nugent (Windham Regional Commission), Nancy Owens (Housing Vermont), Joan Weir (Vermont Land Trust), Patrick Olstad (Landworks), and Kate Ash (Senator Leahy’s Office). (more…)

July news from Vernon’s churches

Vernon Advent Christian Church, located at 4554 Fort Bridgman Road at the VT/MA state line, meets every Sunday at 9:15 am for Sunday School classes for all ages. Morning worship begins at 10:30 am and Youth Group and Intercessory Prayer meet at 6:00 pm. Adult Bible study begins every Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the church and other Bible study meetings are held throughout the week. The building is handicapped accessible. Church Phone: 802-257-2341 or 413-498-4458. Pastor: Rev. Bruce C. Burks, email: pastorbruce@vernonadventchristian.com. website:  www.vernonadventchristianchurch.com and FaceBook: Vernon AC Church.

Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 1002 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT, meets every Saturday at 9:40 am for Sabbath School classes for all ages. Church service begins at 11:15 am. All are welcome. Church phone: 802-254-5088. Pastor Art Miller: 802-254-4477; email: artjudymiller@icloud.com.  Website. Facebook. On Saturday, July 16, at 6:30 pm, the Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a concert by a youth orchestra, which includes some talented area young people.

Vernon Union Church, located at 2631 Fort Bridgman Road (next to Vernon Hall), Vernon, VT. Meets every Sunday: 8:00 am, prayer time; 9:00 am, Bible study; 10:00 am, morning worship, followed by a social hour. Childcare is available. The church is fully handicapped accessible. Church phone: 802-257-8523. Minister: Rev. Terry Robinson, 802-258-2228. Email: vuch@vernonunion.comcastbiz.net. Website.  Facebook.

‘Hunt’ing down history, Part 11

By Barbara Emery Moseley

Imagine Brattleboro’s Main Street in the Spring of 1822. There are three hotels along its unpaved length. The stagecoach stop is at the Brattleboro House, on the north corner of Main and Elliot. Teams of oxen haul goods from the river landing. Salt cod, sugar, molasses, spices, cloth, glass, black powder, and cigars have been delivered by flatboats. Products going downriver will be lumber, grain, tallow, and pork. A stop may be made in Vernon to pick up roofing slate, brought to the river from the quarries at the Guilford/Vernon border. (It will be a quarter-century before steam trains will deliver passengers and freight to the locality, making commerce and travel easier.)

At the north corner of High and Main Streets, Brattleboro’s downtown residential area begins. First is an imposing two-story white house surrounded by green lawns and shaded by tall elms. It is the new house of Jonathan Hunt II, who was born in Vernon in 1787. He had graduated from Dartmouth, studied law and was admitted to the bar, and married Jane Maria Leavitt of Suffield, Connecticut, in 1821. It will become the birthplace of a remarkable family whose members will experience great acclaim and devastating tragedy. (more…)

Vernon Historians news: Miller farm historical presentation July 12

The Vernon Historians’ Quarterly Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 12, downstairs in the Town Office Building. The Business Meeting will start at 6:30 pm followed by a short program at 7:30 pm, presented by Paul Miller, on the history of the Miller Farm, including pictures, stories, etc. (The Miller family will host an open house on July 17 to celebrate the farm’s 100th anniversary.)

Refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.

The Vernon Historical Museum, located at 4201 Fort Bridgman Road, is open for the season. The Museum is open each year from June through September on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and also by appointment.  We greatly appreciate all who help and support our work in preserving and presenting local history.

The Vernon Historians will host a “Mums & More Sale” on Sunday, August 21, from 2:00 until 4:00 pm (or maybe 5:00 pm). It will be held outside at the Museum building on Fort Bridgman Road. We have space for two Vernon artisans/crafters.  We will do all advertising. Vendors will have to supply their own tables, chairs, and pop-up tents (for shade). The fee is 10% of the vendors’ sales for the day. If interested in taking part, please contact Peg Frost at 254-2263 or mfrost46@comcast.net. for information.

Meet Michelle Pong, our new town administrator

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 8.15.04 AMI am excited to begin working for this wonderful community. From my early employment at Vermont Yankee and the friends I had in town to lazy summer afternoons at the pool and picnics at the park, there was a lot of time spent here in my youth. My memories of Vernon are special to me and it’s almost like coming home.

Vernon is going through some interesting changes in the wake of Vermont Yankee’s closure. But this town is not defined by a single industry, it’s defined by the many industries and businesses that base their operations here, it’s defined by the people who create a sense of community and family and history, and it’s the new opportunities that will ensure financial stability for all residents.

I am fortunate to work with skilled and talented staff who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. I am honored to be working for you with the dedicated elected and appointed officials who volunteer their time and their skills to promote the goals of residents and solidify a promising future for this exceptional community.

My office is located in the Town Office building behind the Town Clerk, Tim Arsenault. My door is always open and I welcome the chance to meet you.

Town Clerk’s news: It will cost more to marry, among other things

Mark Twain said it best, when he mused that “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” This year was no exception.

The 2016 Vermont Legislature has upped fees for marriage licenses and vehicle registration renewals. As of July 1, marriage licenses will be $60 each, an increase of $15, with the additional money earmarked for the Vermont Center for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention.

Vehicle registration renewals have become more expensive, with fees for cars and light trucks, going up six dollars to $76 per year. Other registration fees have been upped as well, with the full list at http://dmv.vermont.gov/. The added fees have been earmarked for the State Transportation Budget.

Our office handles current registration renewals and those expired less than 60 days or in the event of snowmobiles, less than a year. May and June renewals will contain old fees. If renewed on or after July 1 they must be processed at the new fee.

As of this writing, none of the other licenses or renewals handled by the Town Clerk’s office have changed.

We have begun to process absentee ballot requests for the August 9 Vermont Primary. Requests can be handled in person, by a third person, or by mail.

We have a new brochure with updated town information, plus both the phone numbers and email addresses for all elected officials. The Town Clerk’s office is open from 7:30 am until 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday, with other hours by appointment. Please be sure and stop by soon.

Town Bus Schedule, July highlights

IMPORTANT DEADLINES: To join the Vernon Seniors on their trip to Castle in the Clouds on July 12 please call Reita at 254-2694 by July 1 to reserve a seat on the bus. Pick up will be at 7 am at the Town Office Building and the trip will cost $14.00.

On July 10, the Vernon Seniors are going to see Man of La Mancha, which is playing at the Weston Playhouse now through July 16. To reserve a seat on the bus as well as sign up to buy a ticket, call Reita at 254-2694 by July 5.

Also, on August 14, the Seniors will be going to see Mamma Mia, also at the Weston Playhouse. To reserve a seat on the bus as well as sign up to buy a ticket, call Reita at 254-2694 by August 5.

FOR THE FULL BUS SCHEDULE, please see listing in the right-hand sidebar on this page.

You can also get a copy of this Town Bus Schedule at the Town Office Building, the Post Office, the Nursing Home and Hall, and also at the Birches and Huckle Hill Apartments. And please note: If school is cancelled on the day of a scheduled town bus trip, the bus trip also will be cancelled. You can buy bus passes at the offices of the Town Clerk or the Town Treasurer. All trips will cost 1 punch each, unless otherwise stated. Please sign up for rides by calling Reita at 254-9624