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: website: 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:  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: Website.  Facebook.

‘Hunt’ing down history, Part 11

By Barbara Emery Moseley

NOTE: This series chronicles the generations of Vernon’s Hunt family, all related to Jonathan Hunt of “Governor Hunt Road” fame. If you’ve missed any installments in this series, you can catch up here!

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 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 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

Vernon Historians news

The Vernon Historians will have their quarterly meeting on Tuesday, July 12, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office Building.

Paul Miller will present a short program on the history of the Miller Farm, including pictures and stories.

The Miller Farm will be hold an open house on July 17th to celebrate their 100th anniversary.

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

The pool is open!

The Vernon Recreation Center swimming pool opens Tuesday, June 14 at 1 p.m.!

Pool passes are priced as follows:

  • Resident family pool pass, good for the whole season for the whole family — $40
  • Resident one-day pass for one person: $2
  • Non-resident family pool pass, good for the whole season for the whole family — $90
  • Non-residents one-day pass for one person: $4
  • Senior (65 and over, resident/non-resident) one-day pass $1
  • 2 year-olds and younger: no charge

All passes can be purchased at the pool, or by mail using this form. Fill out the form, bring it to the pool with payment, or mail it to with payment to the Vernon Recreation Department at P.O. Box 56, Vernon, Vt. 05354.

Once your registration form and payment is received, a confirmation letter along with your pass number will be sent to you. This number, along with your name must be logged in at the front desk. A complete list of family names and pass numbers will be kept at the front desk should you lose or forget yours (I.D. will be required). 2 years of age and younger may swim at no cost.


Adult Swim Open Swim Teen Night
Monday 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00
Tuesday 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00
Wednesday 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00
Thursday 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00 8:15-10:00
Friday 12:00-1:00 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00
Saturday 11:00-12:00 12:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00
Sunday 1:00-5:00, 6:00-8:00

A parent/infant swim and an aquatic aerobics program will be scheduled at a later date.

The pool will be closed to the public on the evening of the youth pool party. This information will be posted at the pool .

Swim lesson info and sign-up form with pool rules.

Contact the recreation department with any questions.

Save the date — June 25 — for the Town Picnic, Firefighters’ Muster and Fireworks!

Come out Saturday, June 25 for the Town Picnic and Firefighters’ Muster. Play in the Softball Game (from 9:30 to 11 am) between Vernon Residents and Town Employees. Enjoy the Penny Carnival from 3 to 5 pm ($1 will buy you an arm’s length of GAME tickets!). Bring a dish to share to the Town Potluck from 5 to 7 pm. And Dance to a DJ at the Pavilion and stay to watch the Fireworks.

Plus, at 12 noon, cheer on the Vernon Fire Department as they take on area fire departments in firefighter games in the Firefighters’ Muster. Enjoy a VFD BBQ for lunch, too.

For more information on how you or your business or organisation can be involved, contact Josh Unruh at 802-380-2875. Please contact Josh if you would like to volunteer your time. As Josh says, “We need all kinds of help for all kinds of different things.”

Vernon’s Community Visit sets priorities: village center, community store and outdoor recreation

Farmer and pastor Art Miller challenged his community to “think big.”

“I know with the Planning Commission, we had the gas plant we batted around town. That’s suspended as far as I know in this point of time,” he said, referring to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project being shelved. “That’s a big thing.”

With the shutdown of nuclear plant Vermont Yankee comes a significant reduction in taxes paid to the town. And that amount is only going to shrink as time goes on.

Miller, who told residents that a second Community Visit meeting Thursday with the Vermont Council of Rural Development was a chance for them to be “bold and creative” about solutions for Vernon, was selected to serve as chairman of the process. The Community Visit is funded through the Windham County Economic Development Program, which was created in a settlement between Yankee owner Entergy and the state of Vermont to assist with the anticipated loss of about 600 jobs.

Residents decided new priorities should include creating a village center and opening a community store or cafe. Also on the list was improving trails and outdoor recreation with a thought to conservation and developing the riverfront.


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My hero — the story of Bob “Howie” Howe

By Christiane Howe

Although Bob “Howie” Howe did not die during combat, he did die still fighting the war. This is my tribute to him. I love you and miss you, honey, each and every day. My only solace is that you are no longer fighting and you are at peace and with the Lord you so faithfully served.

Bob Howe grew up in Vernon, VT. He graduated B.U.H.S. class of 1967. By 1968, he was tired of waiting for his draft number to come up and decided to gamble a little and get on with his life and got married. While in Vietnam, Bob was one of our American heroes; while fighting a war, he received a “Dear John” letter, therefore, not only did he battle the Viet Cong, at the same time, he also battled a broken heart. I remember him telling me that he wanted to wander off and never be heard of again. Imagine the pain.

Fourteen days later, as he put it, “I received greetings from the U.S. Army.” Bob was off to Fort Dix for basic training. From there, it was on to Advanced Infantry training in California where he said he “learned to disarm (not fix) everything from booby traps to mines.” He learned how to escape and evade and spent time in a mock prisoner of war camp that looked authentic and real. He said, “It was a place where soldiers had their feet tied and were hung upside down. They put guys in barrels. They showed us what to expect if we were captured. It was scary stuff and what I learned,” said Bob, “was that there just was no way I was going to get captured. The instructors did their jobs. They had my complete attention.” (more…)