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American Longboards featured in Castleton Summer Concert Series

High-energy drum band takes the stage at annual music series.

Castleton, Vt. – Castleton College is pleased to present American Longboards as part of the 19th Annual Castleton Summer Concert Series on Tuesday, August 5 at 7 p.m. at the Castleton Pavilion.

The American Longboards are a drum driven surf spectacular featuring energetic 60’s throwbacks ranging from Dick Dale to the Beach Boys.

With choreographed dances and multi-media presentations, the group has traveled the globe performing their high-energy beach show.

The Castleton Summer Concert Series features a premier lineup of local bands that are set to take center stage all summer long.

Continued every Tuesday evening throughout the summer, the eleven-show series highlights live entertainment by outstanding local area professional musicians.

The Castleton Pavilion serves as an excellent indoor/outdoor facility for summer events and allows concerts to be held rain or shine.

With great bands featured every week in the perfect summer venue, concertgoers can expect to experience exceptional live music and entertainment all summer long.

For a complete list of concerts or for more information on the 2014 Summer Concert Series please visit www.castleton.edu/concerts or contact Lori Phillips at (802)-468-6039.

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First Ever Bloomsberry Festival!

What is a Bloomsberry Festival? you might ask! It is a celebration of flowers, blueberries, artistic and literary talents! This beautiful combination will happen between 7 pm and 9 pm on Saturday, August 2nd and will benefit the Middletown Spring Public Library.

The Historical Society on the Green in Middletown Springs, Vermont will be decorated by Amanda Carter and Winsome Moran with flowers from local gardens. Local artist Peter Huntoon will give a talk about his watercolor paintings and present a watercolor demonstration as he paints the blooms from the bouquets.

At 8 o’clock, Stephen Kiernan, Vermont author, journalist and musician, will read from his recent book, “The Curiosity” and will discuss the writing life and much more.

Blueberry desserts by talented cooks will be provided.

You are in for a treat at this lively and full evening sponsored by the Friends of the Middletown Springs Public Library. You don’t want to miss it! Cost is only $10. For more information contact Maureen McCormack at 802-235-1245.

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Yankee Chank to Play in Proctorsville on August 6th

Yankee Chank

Cavendish, Vt. -- The Town of Cavendish presents another in a continuing series of Wednesday evening concerts on August 6th at 6:00 p.m. when Yankee Chank will appear at the Green in Proctorsville. Black River Produce will sponsor this concert.

Yankee Chank is a Vermont group that performs traditional Cajun music from the heart of southwest Louisiana. Why does a Vermont band play Cajun music? Primarily because the French-speaking people of eastern Canada, our immediate neighbor to the north, was the inspiration for the southern Cajuns. Yankee Chank has been performing both Cajun and Zydeco music around Vermont and beyond, using fiddle, accordion, guitar and bass since 1996. The band’s performances offer a distinctive immersion into this unique regional music.

This is the fifth in a series of six concerts coordinated by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association. All concerts are free and open to the public. Bring a blanket or chairs and a picnic dinner. Join with friends or make new ones. Please help continue this Wednesday evening tradition in Cavendish. Everyone is welcome.

For more information please call Robin at 226-7736.

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Edinburgh Fringe Play At Long Trail School

Most people pay a fortune to see a performance during the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, but on Saturday August 2 at 7 pm local audiences can see a Fringe play for a small donation. The Long Trail School Actors Anonymous troupe will perform Property Rites by Alan Haehnel under the direction of drama director Tracey Wesley, who describes the play as “A powerful piece! Original and thought-provoking.” The play will be showcased at the Fringe from August 15 – 18. The play tells the story of six human-figure sculptures that are programmed to perform thousands of movements, monologues, dialogues, and more. Kyle Macmanus has invested millions in the sculpture, but just when he is about to sell, it malfunctions; the figures are alive. As each one struggles to achieve autonomy, they begin a fatal race against their owner’s destructive plan.

Actors Anonymous has been invited to perform at the Fringe as part of the American High School Theatre Festival. Long Trail will send 12 students to Edinburgh and London this August for two weeks of performances, workshops, and theatre-going. This is the third time LTS students will attend the festival, having participated previously in 2005 and 2008. As one of only 40 schools nationwide that earned an invitation, LTS was chosen based on the schools’ drama program, educational philosophy, performances, and awards.

LTS Actors Anonymous represented Vermont in April at the New England Drama Festival – the first time in the school’s history - and now the smaller group of twelve will represent the USA in Edinburgh at the world’s largest and most prestigious arts festival, which features 2,000 performances of music, theatre, dance and comedy.

The performance of Property Rites will be followed by a bon voyage Ceilidh at 8 pm featuring Scottish dancing and music, plus food and beverages (Scottish and otherwise). So, fish out the kilt from your closet and come join us for a wee celebration to send the students on their way across the pond! Donations toward the trip are gladly accepted. For further information, phone LTS at 867-5717 or contact Anne D’Olivo at dolivo@comcast.net.

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Ninevah Foundation Workshop to Target Local “Uninvited Guests” – Invasive Plants

Mount Holly, Vermont – Fragrant honeysuckle, dainty pink blooms of multiflora rose, vivid swaths of purple loosestrife – what could be wrong with these pretty wild plants? Unfortunately, they’re all among the many invasive species that are spreading locally, crowding out the plants we want and, in some cases, endangering human health.

These “uninvited guests” in Vermont will be the focus of a workshop Wednesday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Holly Town Library, a free event sponsored by the Ninevah Foundation as part of the popular “Know Your Wild Neighbors” series. Hannah Putnam of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Ottaquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area will be the featured expert. Participants will learn how to recognize and control a range of invasive plants – including “poison parsnip,” which looks like overgrown Queen Anne’s Lace but can cause a painful burn if you touch it.

“Invasive species are one of the threats facing our region,” says Putnam, “and it is important for us to understand the impact these species have on our native habitats. We need to know not only the steps we can take to manage populations, but also which species require a rapid response and which do not.”

The Ninevah Foundation (www.ninevahfoundation.org) is a conservation organization dedicated to promoting the wilderness character and tranquil nature of Lake Ninevah and over 3,000 acres of surrounding lands in Mount Holly and Plymouth, Vermont. The “Know Your Wild Neighbors” series is co-sponsored by the Wilderness Community, Inc., the Mount Holly Town Library, the Mount Holly Community Association and the Mount Holly Conservation Trust.

For more information, please contact Mauri Small at mauri.small@gmail.com.

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“Othello” by Shakespeare on Main Street of Vermont Comes to The Brandon Town Hall

Brandon, VT – Shakespeare on Main Street presents “Othello” at the Brandon Town Hall Theater, on Friday and Saturday, August 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 10 at 2 p.m.

This thrilling production, set in 2014 amidst the political turmoil of the mid-East, uses contemporary events to mirror Shakespeare’s dramatic medieval setting in which the famous Moor fought and loved. With its battle between human strength and frailty, “Othello” pits a heroic soldier against the prejudices of his time, and reveals how jealousy and pride undo even profound greatness.

Keith Smith of Burlington, who trained in New York City, including at the Lee Strasberg Institute, plays Othello, along with a cast of well known regional actors, including Caroline Hogan as Desdemona, Todd Houston as Iago, Danielle Houston as Emilia, and Levi Nelson as Cassio.
Tickets are $12 for Adults at the door, $10 in advance; $8 for Seniors, Active Military, and Students. Advance tickets may be purchased at Carr’s Florist and Gifts. (Payment is cash or check, made out to “Friends of the Brandon Town Hall”, OR “FOTH”.)

Shakespeare on Main Street is a non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to bringing Shakespeare to Vermont audiences. The company depends largely on public donations to stage our productions. For more information visit: www.Shakespeare
OnMainStreet.org.

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Main Street Vendor Spaces Available for Poultney’s October Town Wide Yard Sale – First-Come, First Serve

By Janice B. Edwards

Poultney, Vermont -- Vendor spaces along historic Main Street for Poultney's 2014 Annual Town Wide Yard Sale in October are available for rent on a first-come, first serve basis through Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce, event sponsor.

The yard sale event date is Saturday, October 11th from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. - rain or shine!

To select and rent a vendor space, call Rebecca Cook, (802)-287-5556 at Poultney Public Library Women or stop by the library at 205 Main Street to sign up. Poultney Public Library is open Monday & Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Town Wide Yard Sale is a long-standing event sponsored by Poultney Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the day during these events, many businesses, organizations and house sites throughout virtually every street and roadway in the community offer goods and wares for sale to eager shoppers. Town Wide Yard Sale Day is always a day of fun in which great deals, interesting merchandise, food selections and bargains of all sorts can be found. It is also a great day to walk the streets and visit with friends, longtime ones as well as new ones.

Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a non-profit organization of businesses whose mission is to work together to strengthen Poultney’s economic community. Their email address is: poultneyvt@yahoo.com

For more information about Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce, one may reach the Chamber by telephone at (802)287-2010.

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Kitten Supplies Needed at RCHS

Please help the Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) take care of our new arrivals this Summer. Last year we took in over 400 kittens and it looks like we'll see that many this year as well. We need lots of supplies to care for these little ones which will allow them to grow strong and healthy so they can be placed in forever homes. Items our kittens need include powdered kitten KMR formula, nursing bottles, dry & canned kitten food, litter pans, toys, heating pad and monetary donations. If you'd like to help the animals with a purrfect donation, kitten supplies would be it! If you have any questions please contact the shelter at 483-6700 or visit www.rchsvt.org.

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Take Home the Harvest with Your EBT Card and Harvest Health Coupons

South Burlington, VT - There are currently over 90,000 Vermonters who receive 3SquaresVT benefits to help them buy more food for their families. Starting this July, when Vermonters use their 3SquaresVT benefits at the farmers’ market, they will double their money with Harvest Health coupons so they can buy more fresh food from local farmers.

The system works like this: Vermonters go to the booth at the market designated with the “EBT and Debit Accepted Here” sign to swipe their EBT card. They say how much of their benefits they would like to spend and then swipe their card. They will be given wooden tokens worth $1 each to use at any vendor that sells 3SquaresVT eligible foods. As a bonus for shopping at the market, they will also be given fuchsia Harvest Health coupons to match their EBT purchases, up to $10 per market day.

The Harvest Health Coupon Project has proven to be a win-win for both 3SquaresVT households who are able to purchase more farm-fresh food and local farmers who are able to market their products to more Vermonters. There are now 41 farmers’ markets in Vermont accepting EBT cards, which carry 3SquaresVT benefits. Of these markets, all but one shares Harvest Health Coupons! For a list of these EBT markets, please visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com or dial 2-1-1.

The Harvest Health Coupon Project is coordinated by the Northeastern Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), with funding from the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Vermont Legislature through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, along with Newman’s Own Foundation and the Wholesome Wave Foundation. Hunger Free Vermont does outreach to 3SquaresVT participants so they know they can use their benefits at markets and access the coupons.

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NRA Youth Hunter Education Day, Sat., Aug. 23

Vermontís NRA Youth Hunter Day

Vermontís NRA Youth Hunter Day, Aug. 23 this year, provides a practical environment for reinforcing and testing a young hunter's skills. Pre-registration is required by Aug. 19. VT Fish & Wildlife photo

Vermont’s annual NRA Youth Hunter Education Day will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 23, at the Buck Lake Conservation Camp in Woodbury, VT.

The event is free, and offers young hunters the chance to practice their skills in firearms, archery, wildlife identification and land navigation. Events include shotgun, rifle, map and compass, and a search and rescue demo. Lunch will be provided.

The Youth Hunter Education Day is open to all youth 18 years of age and under who have completed hunter education. Mentors, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend.

Pre-registration is required by August 19. To register, call Vermont’s Hunter Education Program at 802-828-1193 or email nicole.corrao@state.vt.us.

This event is co-sponsored by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Vermont Bearhound Association and the Friends of the National Rifle Association.

“This event underscores the importance of youth hunters to the future of hunting in Vermont,” said Nicole Corrao, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunter education information and education specialist. “But more importantly, it offers plenty of learning and fun for young hunters and their families.”

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Kelly Socia is Delivering His Last Letter

After 34 years as a letter carrier, Rutland County native Kelly Socia will be retiring and delivering his last letter on August 1st for the United States Postal Service. Kelly started his career on the island of Guam in April of 1980 while accompanying his wife who was station with the Air Force. In 1981 upon his wife honorable discharge he transferred to the Burlington Post Office. Motivated by the desire to return to Rutland County, Kelly transferred in 1984 to Poultney. This was followed by assignments to Proctor in 1987 and since 1993 has served out of the Rutland Post Office.
Kelly has always taken pride is servicing the people of the area as a letter carrier. He has always thought of himself as part of the neighborhoods that he delivered which from 2001 to 2011 included Downtown Rutland.

In 1994 Kelly was instrumental in starting the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive out of the Rutland Post Office. This has grown to associated food drives throughout region the Saturday before mother’s day each year since. Over 500,000 pounds of food has been collected for distribution to food shelves in Rutland County over the last 20 years. This is one of his proudest accomplishments as a letter carrier.

Since 2006 Kelly has been building Vermont Backroad Tours. Hundreds of area residents have enjoyed Kelly’s annual Christmas Light Tours. These tours have grown to the point that after October foliage season, December is Vermont Backroad Tours highest month for sales. Now each month people are coming to Rutland County to experience the local flavor that Kelly brings to scenic tours along with other services as brewery/winery tours, bachelor and bachelorette parties, family reunions and wedding shuttles.

Vermont Backroad Tours has increased sales every year to the point that it has enabled Kelly to retire from the Postal Service to continue to grow the business. In conjunction with this change Kelly is announcing the change of his business name to, “Kelly’s Vermont Backroad Tours” to emphasize the personal touch Kelly brings to the business. Kelly is looking forward to working to continue to bring people to the Rutland area to highlight the beauty that Vermont has to offer and help stimulate the economy. In the future Kelly will be looking a new ways to use his creative talent to serve his neighbors in Rutland County.

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Be Tick Smart: Repel, Inspect, Remove to Prevent Lyme Disease

Burlington – How easy would it be to find a poppy seed hidden somewhere on your skin?

Lyme disease is transmitted from the bite of infected deer ticks. This time of year the nymphs (immature ticks), which are about the size of a poppy seed, are biting and may spread the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Transmission can be prevented if the tick is removed within about 36 hours, but the nymphs are so small that they can go unnoticed if you aren’t looking for them carefully. Most infections occur in the summer months.

A few simple steps can help prevent tick bites and the risk of getting Lyme disease. Start by avoiding areas that are good tick habitat as much as is practical. Ticks tend to be common in tall grass, areas with a lot of brush and leaf litter, and along forest edges.

REPEL - Before you go outside, remember to use insect repellant with up to 30% DEET and treat clothes with permethrin. When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and tuck your pants into your socks to keep ticks away from your skin. Inspect yourself regularly when outside to catch any ticks before they bite.

INSPECT – Do daily tick checks on yourself, children and pets. Check yourself from head to toe. While nymphs are most commonly found on the lower legs, they may be anywhere on the body.

REMOVE – Remove ticks promptly. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has also been proven effective in preventing Lyme disease by washing ticks off the skin. The incidence of Lyme disease continues to rise in Vermont. In 2013, there were more than 600 confirmed cases of Lyme disease reported to the Vermont Department of Health. Most illness is in residents of the four southern counties, but cases are becoming more common in the counties on the western side of the state as well. Residents in all counties of Vermont have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding red rash at the site of the tick bite. The rash usually appears seven to 14 days after the tick bite, but sometimes it takes up to 30 days to appear. Not everyone gets the rash, so be on the lookout for other symptoms of early Lyme disease, such as fatigue, headache, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and joint pain.

Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is given early. Left untreated, Lyme disease may affect other parts of the body, including the heart and nervous system.

For more information about ticks and Lyme disease visit healthvermont.gov. You can also follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook for health information and alerts.

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Hide and Seek

Carter the Cat

By Carter (the cat) Shaw

Thunderstorms are not my friend. I become totally irrational and hide until the noise subsides.

As they say, “Timing is everything”. So when a storm and my “mom’s” bedtime are simultaneous, things can go awry. At that time of day, she wants to know that I am safely tucked away in the kitchen where I spend the night.

Recently, after I had been put to bed a strong wind from the storm blew the kitchen door open. Since my “mom” had already gone upstairs, that left my “dad” in charge of the situation.

He wasn’t quick enough and off I went searching for a safe place to hide.

What to do? My “mom” was sleeping (so we thought) and waking her from a sound sleep was not going to be pleasant.

My “dad” waited for quite a long time hoping I would miraculously appear but that didn’t happen. A search of the cellar and under the living room couch and chairs did not produce yours truly.

Oh, oh…the attic! Did I go there? The door leading to the attic was open in order to provide cross ventilation in their bedroom. Armed with a flashlight and whispering the words, “Carter, where are you?” my “dad” began searching the upstairs.

Meanwhile my “mom” hears the whispering and wants to know what’s up!

She got up, grabbed a flashlight and joined the search. The attic was scoured from rafter to rafter and behind boxes…no Carter. The door was shut and that room was eliminated.

They moved on to closets, under the guest bed, clothing storage bins…still no Carter.

As rooms were searched, doors were shut. The back porch and entire cellar were explored again. Where was Carter?

As my “parents” (still armed with their flashlights) returned to the living room, I came out from behind my tall scratching post. Had I been there all the time? I’m not telling because it’s such fun to watch them run around as I outsmart them.

I was offered “treats” and marched myself right out to the kitchen to chow down. The door was latched this time and my fun was over.

I may hate thunderstorms but I love a good game of “Hide and Seek”.

(Told by Carter to Mary Ellen Shaw)

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Eating Wild-Caught Fish Can be Healthy for You and the Environment

Fishing for Food

Photo by Tom Rogers, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Montpelier, Vt. – Fishing is a favorite summer pastime among Vermonters and visitors to the state for good reason—fish tastes great. While anglers may enjoy fishing as a chance to get in the outdoors with friends and family, many also appreciate the benefit of bringing their catch home for a nutritious meal.

Vermont anglers can hook many of the traditional fish like trout, bass and salmon that are beloved by chefs. But many other fish species such as yellow perch, crappie and pumpkinseeds are also abundant in Vermont’s waters and are easy to catch. These species are often referred to as panfish because they are delicious when pan-fried.

“Well-regulated fishing can be one of the most ecologically-friendly and sustainable ways for people to gather food,” said Eric Palmer, director of fisheries for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “Vermonters are generally very conscious of what they eat and where it originates. When you catch a perch from a Vermont pond, you can be assured it is local, organic, free-range and absent added hormones or antibiotics.”

By purchasing a fishing license, anglers also help the environment. These funds support the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s efforts to improve fish habitat. The department also monitors fish populations and sets harvest limits to ensure that a species will not be over-fished.

As for potential health risks associated with eating fish, Palmer noted that most Vermont fish are perfectly safe to eat.

“People hear reports on the news on initiatives to reduce runoff into Lake Champlain, so they often mistakenly assume that fish caught there are unsafe,” said Palmer.

“These efforts are focused on reducing excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, rather than on issues with mercury and PCBs that can sometimes make fish unsafe to eat.”

The Vermont Department of Health issues guidelines on which fish species are safest to eat. “In general, Vermont’s wild fish are safe to eat if you follow these few simple guidelines,” said Palmer.

The Department of Health’s guidelines for eating wild Vermont fish are available at www.tinyurl.com/
VtHealthyFish
. A quick web search will reveal thousands of fish recipes to try.

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National Park Tourism in Vermont Creates $1.9 Million in Economic Benefit

New report shows visitor spending supports 26 jobs in Vermont

Philadelphia, PA – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 34,113 visitors to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont spent $1.9 million and supported 26 jobs in the state in 2013.

“March-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont attracts visitors from across the country,” said Northeast Regional Director, Mike Caldwell. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and a big factor in our state’s economy as well, a result we can all support.”
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is Vermont’s only national park.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

The 2013 economic figures are somewhat lower than the 2012 results. The 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the decline in park visitation. The authors also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report visit www.nature.nps.gov/
socialscience/economics.cfm
.

The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Vermont and how the National Park Service works with Vermont communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/VERMONT.

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RCHS Duck Derby - Adopt a (Plastic) Duck or Two!

Join the Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) for the annual Duck Derby to raise needed funds for the homeless animals in Rutland County. On Sunday, September 7 at 2 pm, adopted (plastic) ducks will be launched into the stream at Rotary Park on Route 7 North in Rutland. The first four ducks to reach the finish line win cash prizes. There will also be a cash prize for the last duck! Ducks are available for adoption at the RCHS shelter in Pittsford or you can download the information from the website, www.rchsvt.org. You can adopt a single duck for $3, a Quack-Pack (4 ducks) for $10 or a 6-Quack (6 ducks) for $15. Ducks can be adopted at the event, as well. You do not need to be present to win, but if you want to, come on down and cheer on your ducks! Mark your calendars and join RCHS for an enjoyable afternoon of racing ducks! For more information contact the RCHS Business Office at 483-9171 or visit www.rchsvt.org.

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Make sure your pet has identification!

Losing a pet is a very emotional thing. It's really important that all animals have identification so they can be returned to their owners. An ID tag on your pet's collar is the easiest method. The tag should include your name, address, telephone number and the pet's name. If there's extra space, the phone number of the veterinarian is also a good idea. If you move, make sure you get a new tag for your animal with your new contact information. Pets can also be microchipped. Many humane societies and veterinarians have a scanner which identifies if an animal has a microchip. If there's a microchip, a phone call is made to identify the owner. Either way, please take a moment and check that your favorite pet has identification so you can get him back safe and sound in a hurry! If you have any questions, please call the Rutland County Humane Society at 483-6700.

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Vermont Turkey Brood Survey Starts Aug. 1

Turkey brood

Starting Aug. 1, VT Fish & Wildlife is asking people who see wild turkey broods during the month to provide information about their sightings via a survey on the departmentís website. VT Fish & Wildlife photo

Montpelier, Vt. – Wild turkeys are found throughout most of Vermont, but their reproductive success is monitored annually by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department with a little help from “citizen scientists” who report the number and size of turkey families they see during August.

Fish & Wildlife is again asking the public for help. If you see a group of young turkeys in Vermont during August, the department wants you to go to the turkey brood survey on its website (www.vermontfishandwildlife.com) where you can record where and when you observed the number of adult and young turkeys, or poults.

“Data gathered from the survey will help establish long-term trends in turkey reproductive success and recruitment,” says Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s turkey biologist Amy Alfieri. “It will also answer questions about the impacts of spring and winter weather on the survival of poults and adult turkeys, which helps in setting turkey seasons and harvest limits.”

Over-abundant turkey populations can damage crops and food stored for livestock in bunker silos.

“We monitor Vermont wild turkey numbers annually in order to maximize the benefits of having turkeys while minimizing the liabilities,” says Alfieri. “Turkey hunting is a mechanism for managing Vermont’s turkey population within these limits.”

More than 5,100 wild turkeys were taken by hunters in Vermont’s 2014 spring hunt. Alfieri says this is less than last year’s record spring hunt total of 6,362 turkeys likely due to poor poult production caused by extended wet weather and harsh winter conditions in some areas of the state in 2013.

Alfieri says this year’s online turkey brood survey will be especially important.

“Last year’s low poult production may result in fewer hens and fewer poults this year,” she said. “Combined with the harsh winter we just had, I am not expecting to see large numbers of birds this year. The online survey will help us get a snapshot of turkey production throughout the state.”

“Please help us scientifically manage the turkey population by reporting your Vermont turkey sightings during August,” added Alfieri.

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Lung Association Teams with Rutland Regional Medical Center to Expand Better Breathers Club

Program Provides Support, Education to those with Lung Disease

Williston, VT – The American Lung Association of the Northeast is partnering with the Rutland Regional Medical Center’s (RRMC) Community Health Team to expand its Better Breathers Club that meets monthly in Rutland. The new expanded Better Breathers Club will now meet at The Maples located at 5 General Wing Road in Rutland in their downstairs classroom space. While the new program is located right next door to the building where the group met previously, the space is larger and the Lung Association’s partnership with the Community Health Team will enable participants to learn even more about managing their disease and access even more services.

Better Breather Clubs are support groups for those who suffer from asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer and other lung diseases. Meetings are also open to caregivers and family members who have a loved one suffering from lung disease.

“Better Breathers Clubs are meetings where people with COPD and other lung diseases can come to not only learn more about how to manage their disease but offer and receive support from others who are experiencing similar challenges,” said Rebecca Ryan, Senior Director, Health Education and Public Policy for the American Lung Association in Vermont. “When you suffer from a chronic disease, it can sometimes feel like no one understands what you are going through. We have worked with RRMC over the years on other lung health education and policy projects, and look forward to this new partnership. RRMC is eminently equipped to provide the support our participants need to stay healthy and live the best quality of life possible.”

Educational presentations on a wide range of relevant topics are given at Better Breathers Clubs. There is no charge to join a club. The club is run by a facilitator and guests are often invited to share information on health topics that are of special interest to those suffering from chronic lung disease. Some of the topics that have been featured at Better Breathers Clubs include presentations on breathing techniques; exercise; medications and other treatment options; medical tests; supplemental oxygen; home health care; lung transplants, and air pollution.

“As a respiratory therapist, I find it rewarding to see group members taking the techniques we teach them at the Better Breathers Club and staying healthier because of it,” said Sarah Cosgrove, RCP the facilitator of the Rutland program. “We go over disease management, stress the proper use of medication and advise members on how to detect the beginnings of a respiratory infection. It’s fabulous when members tell me they’ve made it through an entire flu season without getting sick when they’ve had trouble avoiding illness in the past. This club makes a positive difference in people’s lives and we are hoping that many new members will join us as we get our new club up and running. Friends, family members and caregivers of those struggling with a lung disease are welcome.”

The new Better Breathers Club in Rutland held its first meeting in July and will hold its next meeting August 4. The club, which is free and open to the public, meets at The Maples located at 5 General Wing Road in Rutland. The group meets on the first Monday of the month from 11:00 a.m. until noon. For more information, contact Sarah Cosgrove at 802-345-3817.

Those who have questions about other Better Breathers Clubs located in Vermont can contact the American Lung Association in the Northeast at the Williston office by calling 802-876-6860. Additional information about COPD, other lung diseases and the Lung Association’s Better Breathers Clubs can be found on the Lung Association’s website at LungNE.org

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Summer Evening Open House at Chimney Point

Addison, Vt. – Relax by the shores of Lake Champlain and come to the annual “Evening to Remember” summer social at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, VT, on Friday, August 1, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The historic c.1785 Chimney Point tavern and summer resort offer history, fun, and the beautiful lakeside setting. The event is free and open to the public.

Rock on the porch, walk on the Lake Champlain Bridge, play games, enjoy light refreshments, and visit with personages from Chimney Point’s long past. Visit the museum. Activities for children. Crown Point, NY, author Jean Breed will be on hand with her popular history and poetry books.

The event is part of the “Bridging Champlain: NY-VT Celebration, August 1-17,” showcasing special events and activities along Lake Champlain on either side of the Lake Champlain Bridge.

All ages are welcome. Donations are appreciated.

The Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison is located at the foot of the new Lake Champlain Bridge, at the end of VT Route 17. It was the site of military installations in 1690, 1731, and during the American Revolution. The tavern building, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, houses exhibits interpreting the Native American, French colonial, and early American history of the area. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday and Monday holidays, 9:30 to 5:00, through October 13. Admission during regular hours is $3.00 for adults and free for children under 15.

For further information, call (802) 759-2412 or visit: www.historicsites.vermont.gov.

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Vermont Celebrates National Farmers’ Market Week

With over 70 farmers’ markets in the state, Vermont has good reason to mark National Farmers’ Market Week. From August 3-9, 2014, the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association (VTFMA) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) will be joined by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and farmers’ markets across the country to celebrate the ways that farmers’ markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.

This year marks the 14th annual National Farmers' Market Week. In those years, the number of farmers’ markets nationwide has almost tripled, from 2,860 markets in 2000 to 8,140 in 2013. Vermont has seen similar growth, with the number of farmers’ markets doubling in the past ten years. Vermont now leads the country in the highest number of farmers’ markets per-capita, and farmers’ markets have become fresh food mainstays for shoppers throughout Vermont’s communities, all year round.

VTFMA and NOFA-VT want to continue to strengthen Vermont farmers’ markets by showing support and raising awareness about the positive contributions they provide for communities across the state. This year, these two organizations are partnering to host a National Farmers’ Market Week Photo Contest! Individuals can enter by taking a selfie at a Vermont farmers’ market and submitting their photo on the VTFMA Facebook page between July 21st and August 2nd. Winners will receive a gift certificate to their favorite Vermont farmers’ market. Details are available at www.vtfma.org.

In addition to celebrating markets, VTFMA provides networking, promotional, and advocacy opportunities for its many member markets. In addition to serving as the parent organization for the VTFMA, NOFA-VT provides technical assistance and support to farmers’ markets all year round.

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Middletown Springs Volunteer Fire Department Open House and Basket Raffle

Middletown Springs Volunteer Fire Department Open House and Basket Raffle

The Middletown Springs Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual Open House on Saturday, August 2nd at 1:00 pm. The MSVFD will be on hand to recruit new members, train existing members, and educate the public on fire safety with live demonstrations which will include a roll over simulator, proper use and handling of fire extinguishers, live vehicle extrication, firefighter safety and survival, and more. The MSVFD will demonstrate how accessibility and time can be a major factor in emergency situations. The MSVFD apparatus and equipment will be on display, including their newly acquired Engine 531. The live fire demonstrations will involve public participation including both adults and children. These demonstrations will educate the young, the old, and everyone in between on fire safety.

FREE child ID kits for fingerprinting and DNA will be handed out to all children and parents in attendance. There will also be FREE gift bags for the children in attendance.

During the open house the Middletown Springs Firefighter Association will be holding their annual basket raffle, along with a 50/50 raffle. Baskets are rolling in from businesses such as Hubbardton Forge, Telescope Casual Furniture, Rutland Country Club, Sweet Caroline’s, Carl Durfee’s, Williams Hardware, Fair Haven Inn, and more! Baskets will be available for viewing starting at 12:00pm. MSVFD T-shirts will be available for the event. There will be a bouncy house, FREE hot dogs, and FREE ice cream for the young and young at heart.

This event will have something for everyone. The MSVFD is hoping for a great community event that will raise fire safety awareness and remind people that the fire department does more that fight fires. The MSVFD responds to many different emergency situations and provides mutual aid to several surrounding towns.

“We want to invite the public to this event because, as a department, we are proud of what we do. This event should be educational and fun for every one that attends,” Joe Castle, Chief of Middletown Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

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Paddle Battle at Spring Lake Ranch

Spring Lake Ranch is having its First Paddle Battle fundraising event on Saturday August 2nd from 11 - 3pm at the Camp Plymouth State Park in Ludlow. There'll be live music, a canoe race on beautiful Echo Lake, a silent auction, cookout and award ceremony. It's $35 per person (children age 12 and under are free) and an additional $25/boat to participate in the race. All funds raised will benefit the Sarcka Scholarship to support Ranch residents who might not otherwise afford the opportunity.

For more than 80 years, Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community has supported and empowered people with mental health and substance abuse issues by providing opportunities to grow and thrive. Through shared experience, meaningful work and active participation in an accepting, diverse community, we help each person develop the confidence and skills to recover.

For more information about the Paddle Battle and to register for the event visit springlakeranch.org or call Heather Brown at 802-492-3322 or Heather Shay/Scott Garren at 802-492-2284. We hope to see you there!

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Prydein to perform in Fair Haven

Prydein to perform in Fair Haven

Get ready for a real Celtic treat as the Fair Haven Concerts in the Park welcome Prydein to town on Thursday, August 7th at 7PM. “Prydein (pronounced pry’den) is a Celtic rock band from northern Vermont. By mixing traditional Celtic repertoire with a rock-music sensibility, Prydein has created a unique sound that has propelled them to the national stage. Whether you call it Celtic-rock, kilt-rock, bagpipe rock, Scottish-rock or maybe sham-rock, Prydein delivers a high-energy performance loved by young and old. Call it what you will, they call it fun.”

The band includes Aron Garceau-guitar and vocals; Iain Macharg- highland bagpipes, flutes and tin whistles; Dan Houghton- highland bagpipes, flutes, tin whistles, bouzouki, mandolin, and vocals; Andy Smith- bass and vocals; and Caleb Bronz on the drums. News from the band includes band member Iain’s successful return from Scotland last year with his pipe band, the Catamount Pipe Band, where they competed in the World Pipe Band Championships. They returned with a trophy for 4th place… in the world! The band engages concert-goers of all ages, so grab a lawn chair and join us for yet another evening of entertainment in Fair Haven’s beautiful park.

This is the 8th in a series of 10 summer concerts. Each week, during intermission, door prize drawings are held. Prizes for children and adults are generously donated by local businesses and we thank them along with our other many generous supporters, who make the concert series possible. Hot dogs, soda, water and popcorn are available for purchase each week. A 50/50 raffle is also held at each of the concerts. Concerts are held on the Fair Haven Town Green and go on rain or shine. The rain location is at the First Baptist Church, which is located on the south end of the park.

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First Friday at the Slate Valley Museum
Exploring Exterior Slate

Granville, NY – The Slate Valley Museum welcomes the public to explore and discover how slate is used on building exteriors and landscapes at its Free First Friday event on Friday, August 1 from 7-9 pm. Discover how the museum itself and the cultural campus that surrounds it are examples of exterior and landscaping slate applications – slate landscaping, a slate roof, a slate fountain, and more! Stop by and see all of these features and more for yourself, and explore displays that highlight how slate is used outdoors.

“The evening will also provide a great opportunity to see our current exhibition, Slate as Muse, a national art show that highlights slate as an artistic medium and inspiration,” says Interim Director Sarah Kijowski. “It’s fascinating to see both the beautiful and functional qualities of the stone.”

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will also be available throughout the evening. The Slate Valley Museum is located at 17 Water Street, Granville, NY. For more information visit www.slatevalleymuseum.org or call 518-642-1417.

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Know Water Conditions to Enjoy Endless Swim Opportunities in Vermont

Burlington – Vermont offers endless naturally beautiful and pristine settings to take a plunge into a cool lake, relax below a waterfall on a quiet stretch of river, or splish-splash in a pond. Swimming is healthy summertime fun for all ages, but it’s important to know water conditions before you go.

Managed beaches at state parks, which draw thousands of visitors each summer, are some of the safest places to jump into the water and go for a swim. The beaches are monitored and tested for coliform bacteria from human and animal wastes, especially after a heavy rainfall, as well as for the cyanobacteria toxins that can come from blue-green algae blooms during the high heat of summer.

“State parks have an amazing water quality record,” said Rob Peterson, Vermont State Parks regional manager. “We test weekly for bacteria and all results are posted online for the public to view.”

Signs are also posted at many of the managed swim areas, showing the levels of coliform bacteria from recent tests.

And many of the beach areas have trained staff to identify blue-green algae blooms in order to protect small children and dogs who are more likely to ingest algae while playing at the shoreline. The state’s interactive blue-green algae monitoring status map, visited by more than 3,200 people last year, is on the Health Department’s website at: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/
bg_algae/weekly_status.aspx

Lakeshore or private pond owners can test for both coliform bacterial contamination and cyanobacteria toxins by purchasing kits from the Health Department Laboratory call: 800-660-9997.

Local swimming holes are also a great natural resource, but can be more of a risk for drowning due to unpredictable and rapidly changing water conditions, especially after a heavy rainfall. Look, listen and always use common sense wherever you choose to swim this summer. About half of all drowning deaths in the state occur in natural water settings such as lakes and rivers.

To try to prevent more drownings, the Health Department has been hosting a Swimming Hole Safety Committee to work with state government and private partners, including the National Weather Service, to provide advance warnings when swimming conditions may be unsafe.

For more information visit: Healthy Recreational Waters

healthvermont.gov/enviro/
water/recwater.aspx
.

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