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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Contributors To Vermont Views Magazine


Alex Gyori


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Photograph by Vermont Views

This page is sponsored by Neil Taylor "The Blind Masseur"


Special Feature

DROLL OF THE MEREMAID



Hundreds of years ago, there lived somewhere near the Lizard Point a man called Lutey or Luty, who farmed a few acres of ground near the seashore, and followed fishing and smuggling as well, when it suited the time. One summer's evening, seeing from the cliff, where he had just finished his day's work of cutting turf, that the tide was far out, he sauntered down over the sands, near his dwelling, in search of any wreck which might have been cast ashore by the flood; at the same time he was cursing the bad luck, and murmuring because a god-send worth securing hadn't been sent to the Lizard cliffs for a long while.


Finding nothing on the sands worth picking up, Lutey turned to go home, when he heard a plaintive sound, like the wailing of a woman or the crying of a child, which seemed to come from seaward; going in the direction of the cry, he came near some rocks which were covered by the sea at high water, but now, about half ebb and being spring tides, the waves were a furlong or more distant from them. Passing round to the seaward side of these rocks, he saw what appeared to him a fairer woman than he had ever beheld before. As yet, he perceived little more than her head and shoulders, because all the lower part of her figure was hidden by the ore-weed which grew out from the rocks, and spread around the fair one in the pullan (pool) of sea-water that yet remained in a hollow at the foot of the rocks. Her golden-coloured hair, falling over her shoulders and floating on the water, shone like the sunbeams on the sea. The little he saw of her skin showed that it was smooth and clear as a polished shell. As the comely creature, still making a mournful wail, looked intently on the distant and ebbing sea, Lutey remained some minutes, admiring her unperceived. He longed to assuage her grief, but, not knowing how to comfort her, and afraid of frightening her into fits by coming too suddenly on her, he coughed and ahem’d to call her attention before he approached any nearer.


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Weekly Feature

In Conversation with Julia Ferrari



Julia: There is something about intention there too, isn’t there? When someone is doing something and they don’t think it is affecting the world — but it does have ramifications. What is the intention behind the original act? Is that really what’s moving out into the culture and having that ramification? Is that intention something which benefits the whole society or really something small and insular and — what is going on at the root there? Why aren’t they thinking how that affects everyone? There is the possibility that they could be thinking about the greater cause and effect, but no, it’s one dimensional for example that event on Wall Street — it’s like, ‘how can I get this for myself?’ And yet it is never one dimensional. It will always have these layers and layers so that something big like that started small, but since it was being done over and over again became big, without intention, without people thinking about what kind of effect that had.


Phil: Another intention or corollary is when there is a good intention, which could happen from say, government, but by the time it gets from DC to San Diego or Vermont on the street things aren’t working out well. Perhaps that is because there is compartmentalization so that the initiator doesn’t see it through to subsequent steps, and the original becomes degraded or watered-down by intermediate agents. This is not what happens in a chess game or in your work, which has a tradition over 600 years in the West so that constant attention is applied — you complete that original intention with integrity.


And this means at a qualitative level throughout, rather than ‘this is good enough.’


Julia: Right, and you are tempted to. It’s not like you are living in a space where… you constantly have to face that question — whether you are going to go the extra mile on something — since it is in the physical world it is not easy, it is not fast… whenever you see it’s wrong you have to say to yourself, well — I am going to ignore that because I only have 25 more sheets and it’s finished, or you say, I am going to stop the press anyway and take out that letter and fix it because those 25 last pages are important. They are just as important as the first 25. You have to discipline yourself to go the extra mile — I had to do this, I was trained in the way that if there was 1 page left you have to stop the press and fix that letter — that’s hard because part of you is saying ‘I want to get done here’ have lunch, have a coffee break, but you can’t because the reason why you are doing it is because the technology is not current, it is not about speed anymore, you are not doing it for that reason. I wrote down the word ‘integral’ from when you were speaking earlier and it’s the reason why you are doing it. You are not doing it for all the traditional reasons that people are usually doing this in the world. You are doing it because you want the challenge, you want to have to do the slower method, but because you are challenging yourself — and those are the parameters you are setting for yourself — the goal is doing this in a particular way.


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Publisher’s Challenge

Respond to the current challenge by sending your contribution to the publisher here

Selected responses will appear in this column.




Challenge #5

Aug 10, 2014


Fantasy Island



In 750 words or less write a short story about being marooned on this tidal island during a storm. You and a small group of strangers have to spend the night on St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall...


Old


or by an older name, the Roman ‘Ictis.’ In recent history the island It was a site of a monastery in the 8th – early 11th centuries and Edward the Confessor gave it to the Norman abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. It was a priory of that abbey until the dissolution of the alien houses by Henry V, when it was given to the abbess and Convent of Syon at Isleworth, Middlesex. It was a resort of pilgrims, whose devotions were encouraged by an indulgence granted by Pope Gregory in the 11th century.


Even Older


Its Cornish language name – literally, "the grey rock in the wood" — may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount's Bay was flooded. Certainly, the Cornish name would be an accurate description of the Mount set in woodland. Remains of trees have been seen at low tides following storms on the beach at Perranuthnoe, but radiocarbon dating established the submerging of the hazel wood at about 1700 BC. The chronicler John of Worcester relates under the year 1099 that St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles (10 km) from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of November the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records under the date 11 November 1099, "The sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before"



View Contributions to this

and other Challenges


Guest Article


An excerpt from the forthcoming title:

Magnificent Obesity: My Search for Wellness, Voice and Meaning in the Second Half of Life,

published August 26 from Hatherleigh Press/Random House.


Martha M Moravec


When the shock of a heart attack at age 55 accelerates my midlife crisis into a nightmare of phobias and panic attacks, my doctor suggests that I ask my friends to organize themselves into a support team to help me through the trauma. Sadly, it occurs to me that with the exception of one best friend, I have lost touch with all the friends and social groups I had relied upon during my 35 years in Brattleboro.


So you see, there had always been a gang. But not at this time, not now. Entire casts of friends, acquaintances, and extras had disbanded; I had moved on or they had moved on; we had separated as a matter of course or blithely drifted apart. At the time of my heart attack, after a year and a half of unemployment and mostly solitary writing, I was working at another nonprofit, mission-driven organization with a wide array of services and programs but only two staff: the executive director and me.


My solution was to try rounding up one of the old gangs, members of the bar crowd from 30 years before who still lived in the area, people I occasionally ran into on the street and occasionally celebrated birthdays with, all women, some younger than me, some older, some married, some not.


I called the elder, the one we might consider the leader of the pack, whose thriving pub on Main Street had supplied us with employment and a stomping ground as bartenders, waitresses, and cooks. When I asked her to put out the word about my situation and perhaps organize a lineup of gatherings and good times, I should have sensed trouble in her hesitation and slight befuddlement. I did not, however, because I was having a vision of something so natural I assumed that everyone would spontaneously and joyously share it.


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Non Profit of the Month

Turning Point


People passing through downtown Brattleboro the last few months have been captivated by the bustle of construction activity and excavation at the corner of Elm and Flat streets. The Turning Point recovery center is restoring the 39 Elm Street property, severely damaged in Tropical Storm Irene, to use as our new permanent facility for serving our local recovery community. This restored and renovated building will give us a downtown home again, we hope before the year is out. This relocation brings us back closer to the community of people we serve. We love the idea that this building will experience a renaissance of its own while center guests enjoy their own personal recoveries from addictions. Our new home also brings us full circle, back to Elm Street where our story began more than seven years ago.


Our volunteer-led center has served this community since late 2006 as one of eleven linked yet independent recovery centers in Vermont, affiliated through the Vermont Recovery Network. Some guests go through treatment programs, and some have histories with the correctional system due to their addictions. Others find recovery through 12-step and other supportive, spiritual programs. Last year, guests made about 7,690 visits to our Center. About 6,550 were drop-in guests seeking peer support or a sober environment; about 1,140 attended 12-step and other mutual support groups. Attendance in programming has steadily increased as we have added services, although our visits dropped significantly after leaving our downtown location.


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Vermont Diary

Strange brew




Can there be anything funnier and simultaneously more inane than the heads of state of former British colonies pronouncing negatively on a current colony’s right to govern itself? President Obama has weighed in with his ‘not a good idea’ on behalf of the United States and for all the reasons the Royalists at the time were proposing in 1777, that the colonies should knuckle under to the stamp tax — citing economic woes ahead for any independence, and besides, aren’t we all friends?


NPR today picked an academic with personal connections with Scotland several generations ago, who was born in Canada now lives in the US, to interview and what he came up with was sentimental — just because the English are a bit heavy handed these past 300 years, was his theme, that’s no reason…


But it was for India, Australia and the 13 colonies in 1775. So if Scots want out of this Union why are so many ex-colonial people so interested in keeping them in it, all chanting, as it were, ‘for their own good?’


Two interesting things have happened during the secessionist escapade; that England has granted Scotland a broad range of powers if it stays in the Union, and these have backfired since any reasonable person would ask why Scotland didn’t possess this broad range before — Where was this equitable arrangement the past 300 years?


And the second thing is that in Scotland 16 and 17 year olds will be allowed to vote — the thinking behind this is that it will be their own future they are deciding, and this is real equity in the culture — and this commits the future of the country to these young folk to struggle and to make it, entirely reminiscent of the 13 colonies in 1777, and the natural right of countries to determine their own fate.


This strange brew of factors is as strange as scotch — the brew that Scotland made when the resident English declared that Scots were not good enough to drink wine.


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Monthly Feature


William Hays, print maker


A visit with William Hays in his studio in Brattleboro. To accompany this article the current print he is working on now appears in a 7 stage slide show at Studio 3, click the link and press ‘play slideshow’.


I had previously interviewed the subject for an hour on January 21, 2011 almost exactly 3 years ago. Readers might like to read the transcript here. Then we progressed from art to the universe and all that.


This time we conspired to be more disciplined and attempt to illustrate a print in progress and something of the nature of the art.


Where better to start than with the inks themselves? An immediate question I had was if the materials the artist used were generally the same as had Gutenberg (c. 1395 – February 3, 1468)? And they were. Stand oil, I discovered, is a base for the ink made from linseed oil thickened by heating in an oxygen deprived chamber, and linseed comes from flax and is a good drying oil for a process known as polymerizing.

Extracts Read More ➤


Selected Letters


Vidda Crochetta

Aug 14, 2014


Dr. Ruth, a popular on-air sexologist of the Eighties, gave us some of the frankest and intelligent dialogue about human sexuality that we’ve experienced as a nation. I do not have or watch TV but I don’t think we have a comparable program today.

When Brattleboro was outed by the WSJ for nudity on Main Street local conservative elements put a quick stop to that. However, I remember hearing not too long ago that a nude beach on one of the local tributaries survives to this day. And, naturally, there is a particular wooded area for gays, in the know, to go to. They come from all over the tri-state area to "congregate" under the trees.

Thanks to the authors of Genesis and Leviticus, and other Jukrislim moral interpretations, we have over five millennia of human nakedness that is largely demonized by covering it up. We are the only primate that feels the need to employ a fig-leaf. We are likely the only primate who is conscious of, if not concerned about, “size.” We are the only primate to discourage frequent sex (including auto erotica).

One of the astounding features of our kissing cousins is that the Bonobo lifestyle devotes a great deal of time to erectile functioning. The term promiscuity would be useless in Bonobo language. Having sex twenty times a day is their norm.

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Monkey’s Cloak



Matrix…Nine…Words…Eleven

Nanci Bern

                             

 

(Preface: I remember being in the City that day. I was supposed to be in the towers then but I overslept.

I never overslept back then. Now I do all the time!)



Are they now just two words that have become one,

Like a sigil that’s power has been left to decay.

Are they now just two numbers divided by a line,

Like a before and after ad for something that will fix your life.

It was a bright-sky day that became plundered,

Like the many other days that share those sounds.

Is this nomenclature of that space of time now lodged in the common tongue?

It is sparse, yet contains the inhaled breath of the moment’s realization,

As we move away, around, forward and backward in search of direction.

We have become the word masters who use each letter as a tincture

to assuage the cell deep memories that underlay the pain and incredulous eyes

as water that remains fluid under ice.

But there are some whose time is still filled with the smoky light that calls its presence forth.

Some lives are dappled by its timbre,

Like the bells that flail their yearly toll.



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Column Untitled Work


The Language of the Tribe

Mac Gander

Sep 17, 2014


We watch a video-clip in which Marshall McLuhan explains to a group of college students that they are faced with the choice between civilization and literacy, or tribalism and what he calls “rock.” It is something like 1968 or 1970 in the clip, and in my classroom, 2014, we are talking about the third revolution in writing language, the digital age, and how it relates to the first and second revolutions.


The students do not know what McLuhan means by “rock.” They know it is a word for a kind of music, although they have a much more nuanced vocabulary for music now than existed in the 1960s, when rock is what it was. I play a live version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun.”  I think that this song is what McLuhan means when he talks about tribalism vs. civilization and literacy vs. rock.


My students like it a lot when I play clips like this. It is like a bridge between them and me, me a neo-Luddite, my head filled with words and books, and they with their images and sounds, the acoustic world (as McLuhan termed it) in which they have grown up as natives. It is fun for them to imagine that even though I am making them read bits of Homer and understand Walter J. Ong’s concept of primary orality, I was once like them, grooving to Jimi in a dorm room filled with smoke.


Then I explain how in 1969 there are two discourses regarding Vietnam, the discourse of the editorial pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and the discourse of Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” and that in McLuhan’s view one of these discourses is literate, visual, and civilized, and the second is acoustic and tribal. It’s starting to make sense to all of us—including me, it’s a new course and while I put it together I’m still learning as we go. What we’re really focused on is Socrates’ indictment of writing in Plato’s Phaedrus, where he tells the Egyptian myth of Thoth.  Thoth brings a number of wondrous new things to the Pharaoh, including the invention of the written word, but the Pharaoh (and Socrates) reject writing because it will destroy the capacity of memory, replacing it with mere reminiscence, and also substitute empty knowledge for wisdom, and tiresome discourse for original thought.


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Column 4our

Writers: Charles Monette, Laura Momaney, Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern

Friends With Benefits

Laura Momaney

Sep 14, 2014



When I first became friends with Neil I was often preoccupied by what our friendship was denied due to his lack of vision.  I would suddenly be stricken by the very fact that he could not see me, not even a faint shadow of me.  Nor could he see what I saw when we were together or tell me about what he had seen when we were apart.  And I would fall into deep pools of sadness over the fact that he could not see at all.  Being deprived of the opportunity to share a visual experience with him seemed like a crippling and daunting limitation but I came to find that in actuality it expanded my world and our relationship.  I would not otherwise have realized how constrained I was by my own sense of sight.  We unwittingly focus and rely on our vision for information and communication because it dominates our senses, thereby demanding our full attention.  When you are deprived of it then you must give more due to the four left at your avail.          

    Two years ago in the beginning of a new spring Neil and I were sitting on his deck and the birds were making their debut all around us.  I wasn't paying a great deal of attention but when Neil asked 'Which bird is making that sound? I was forced to expand the scope of my sensual attentions.  I believe I was staring at his deck floorboards at the time, enraptured by the splinters there, considering what they could do to a pair of bare feet and tore my riveted gaze from it to look around and to listen.  My ears found the sound he directed me towards and I followed it with my eyes so I could identify it for him.  When I realized it was a simple Robin making that gorgeous melody I began paying more attention to bird calls, when they came, which birds made them, the differences and similarities between them and also, what their sounds meant. 

      By focusing on what I hear a little more I came to understand that you can witness the ebb and flow of a year and the seasonal changes within it by the sounds you hear around you. One of those sounds is our local songbirds . The melodic, cheerful call of the Robin tells you spring has arrived and it generally lets you know at 5:00 a.m. and it's generally sitting right outside your window when it tells you. Keep listening and the Robin is quickly followed by a wellspring of other songbirds to the area.  

      The course of an audible season sounds something like this .  First we are treated to the sweet delectable music of seduction and attraction, remarkable happy sounds of play and love, then the constant twitter, chirp and warble of females directing and correcting males during nest building and directing aerial traffic.  This is followed by sharper whistles of alarm and stern reprimands when vulnerable eggs are in the nest and when babies are taking flight.  By early fall the birdsongs lack insistence, are lackluster and laconic as if there is little left to say to each other.  They divorce or simply part ways, babies grow up. Even their voices seem to be resting up. Then there is the stunning infrequency of sounds at all as one by one they and their offspring leave for more hospitable climes.  


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Pilgrimage — Part 1:

Len Emery

Sep 1, 2014

                                                                        


I have lived adjacent to or very near the Atlantic Ocean and its estuaries most of my life. I have been fortunate enough to be able to spend some of that life enjoying the bounty and occasionally the fury of that ocean. Throughout those years I've been able to photograph and more often simply watch the ocean and lately have been able to travel back to the ocean from my home in southeastern Vermont. This series of short essays each with an accompanying photo I hope will give some insight into my enjoyment and respect for the ocean, its moods, its bounty and the men and women that live nearby. I have taken my short working vacations in Machias Maine for the last two years and have made it my base of operations. I chose Machias for its central location and close proximity to the various fishing villages along this vast and sparsely populated coast. I have been privileged to talk with and photograph the fishermen of this region.



I begin this adventure with a short drive along US Rt. 1 then join Maine Rt. 187 in Jonesboro for my short ride to the harbor of Jonesport but first a definition:


"reach (oceanic): An arm of the sea extending up into the land"



As you turn off US 1 and onto Rt. 187 the narrow road begins its slow decent toward the ocean. The day is gray and sullen not at all a vacation day as one would like it to be. Through low rolling hills, scrub pine and birches and vast fields of wild blueberries the road winds along. Occasionally there is a small settlement, not quite a town not quite a village but a settlement. As you pass through each settlement there are large stacks of small cages of wire mesh and netting, boats of all sizes in various states of repair and brightly colored Styro-foam floats with numbers painted on them skewered on wooden pikes. And still the road descends toward the sea with brief glimpses of Englishman Bay and an occasional rain shower.


Suddenly you come up over a rise and there it is, the settlement of Peasly Corner. There area few dozen houses scattered around on a low hillside here. One or two long forgotten farms, some small cottages and homesteads and an out of place retirement villa. There's a small kiosk erected by an optimistic blueberry picker with a cooler of berries and a coffee can, "blueberries $3" it proclaims. Peasly Corner disappears behind me as quickly as it had appeared.


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Column Articulate

Leadership

Kate Anderson

Jul 15, 2014

      

I tend to think leadership asks us to be willing (though it's not prescribed) to also take on the fool's role.  By that I mean Hamlet as fool.   Push, confront, place it out there, demand evidence of some good grappling with the grand what ifs.   Failure?  Yes, and of course, to be expected. 


Let things be muddied and watch the joy and vigor by which they sort themselves.  

An arts district.  A name is a rose,  is a rose.  It is wise to call the question, is it important, useful, good to designate such such, that which is.  Are we to petition the State for formal designation of an Arts District, a Cultural District?  Brattleboro is that already.  And an arts campus, and a de facto arts colony.   Or, it can be that we are no more an arts town than a sports town or a retail haven.


What  does matter is for us to see how we function.  Take  the engine apart.  Look at all the pieces. Tinker.   How do they work with one another.  Oops ?? Did we just innovate to another compound?   Ah yes, and now we have Worpsewede, Bloomsbury.   And we can call on a fertile fertile field.   And we might name it, too. It doesn't matter.  The field yields its own harvest


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This column is sponsored by Friends of the Sun


Column Open Mind

"Over Forty, Over Educated, and Underemployed"

Offie Wortham

Part 2 — Sep 11, 2014


In studies where undergraduates or human resource managers are given resumes that are identical except for age and asked to hypothetically choose between them, they will usually choose the younger of the two candidates. Since most people do not actually put their ages on resumes, age was indicated by date of high school graduation. Is it strictly an aversion to age, however, or is it an attempt by companies to keep salary costs down and skill sets current? A major deterrent to hiring and keeping older workers is also the high cost of employer provided health insurance. Listed below are reasons stated on research reports for not wanting to hire older employees:


Shorter career potential (specific human capital investment)

Suspicion about competence (Why did they leave job?)

Lack energy

Costs of health and life insurance and pensions

Less flexible/adaptable

Higher salary expectations

Health risks absences

Knowledge and skills obsolescence (Skill Set)

Block career paths of younger workers

Fear of discrimination suit

Some of the reasons listed above are perfectly justified:

Often, they do need to upgrade their skills

There is a shorter career potential

Health cost will probably increase

Experienced workers do tend to expect higher salaries

They might block a career path of a younger employee


Older workers are less likely to get job-related training than younger workers and this policy has seriously disadvantaged older employees in the labor market. When an adult man applies for an entry-level job with only a short work history, the employer is likely to think that there is something wrong with him. In the worst case scenario, the employer might think the man had been incarcerated.


John, a 61 year-old former college professor, thought the factory job would just be a temporary solution, just for a few months. But soon he will somberly celebrate his three-year anniversary on the job, where he earns less than half as much as he did at the university. "I've worked a long time for almost nothing. I never thought I'd have to sacrifice as much as I did. I'm out here living paycheck to paycheck, just hoping nothing happens before I can get Medicare. It takes a lot of energy to be ‘treading water’ all the time."


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Fall

Tasneem Tawfeek

Sep 20, 2014




For so many parents, teachers, and students, the month of September marks the official start to the academic year. For some, it is a dreaded time...after all, it also marks the end of summer vacations and time spent relaxing. It marks the temporary end of serene moments on the lake or relaxing by the ocean side while witnessing yet another one of nature's beauties. For others, it can also be a bittersweet moment of time. Yes, another fun-filled summer might be over but returning to a sense of routine is almost welcomed and invited. In addition, the change of seasons becomes something to look forward to, and although the beauty of summer ends in this month, we all know that the autumn season lies ahead of us. We might miss the sounds of waves crashing, yet we also look forward to the splendor that accompanies yet another season. We trade sun-filled days for cool, gentle breezes. We trade lemonade for apple cider, and we trade those walks on the beach for telling camp stories around a cozy fire. Most of all, we trade those picture perfect views consisting of lush, green forests for another type of serenity...the serenity that hides behind almost every color of the rainbow during the autumn season. Every year, that fall foliage that nurtures us so greatly stands before us as another reminder that nature serves to soothe us more than we realize. Unfortunately, what remains the same throughout each season is the reality that we need to be more actively engaged in ensuring that we are doing our part in nurturing the very nature that we rely on in our everyday lives. When it comes to the beauty of fall foliage, I can't help but to think of the bigger picture. Take global warming as an example. Is it possible that an environmental concern such as global warming could have a direct impact on the stunning array of colors that we look forward to each autumn? According to environmental experts, the answer is yes.

The fact that our planet is becoming warmer, and that human activity has pretty much caused it, has prompted many scientists to take a closer look at the impact of global warming on our health, economy, and environment. Through the act of burning fossil fuels, greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, thereby trapping heat which results in a steady rise in the temperature of our planet. The effects of this are constantly being discussed, reported, and brought to our attention. Heat waves, air pollution, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, respiratory health...all of these topics have been studied in detail and are causes for concern. It is only in recent years in which scientists have added yet another impact of global warming to this list and have made the link when it comes to global warming and fall foliage. With warmer temperatures on the rise, the autumn season becomes shortened and leaves continue to maintain heat. Typically, leaves change color when their production of chlorophyll decreases as the days get shorter every year. This whole process is dependent on temperature and levels of moisture, and with global warming now becoming a factor in autumn, the production of chlorophyll becomes prolonged in the leaves. This means the process of leaves changing their colors will ultimately happen later and later each year. This, in turn, brings cause for concern as it can introduce invasive species to a particular area and it can directly impact the economy since many states rely on the revenue brought in by tourism during the fall months.

So, as another start to the academic year rolls around, what practical measures can we take to do our part?

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Amazing GRACE:

Global Citizens and Artists for Social Change

Toni Ortner

Sep 5, 2014

                                                                        


GRACE Cares, Inc., founded by Ken Glancola, Zoe Kopp, and T. Namaya, is a nonprofit that runs out of an aromatic kitchen and lively living room right here in Brattleboro. Its mission is to partner with local heroes and communities on small scale developmental projects that empower people to improve their lives. What is amazing is that it does this successfully, thanks to the dedication and passion of its founders, Board of Directors, student volunteers, and the individuals who step up to the plate in the local communities.


Although it has international donors, many here in Vermont have not heard of GRACE Cares, Inc. because the donors’ funds are not used for public relations but instead are funneled directly into the local projects that benefit small communities; 92 cents of every dollar goes into projects.


Zoe Kopp, President of GRACE Cares, Inc. spends long hours on the phone, Skyping and e mailing volunteers in far flung locations from the Dominican Republic to India. I had the recent opportunity to see her in action. She sat quietly with a notepad and pen, her cat on her lap, bent over the video screen speaking with two student volunteers who have been working in the Dominican Republic and now are assuming new responsibilities as the US Coordinators of Project Hearts in the Dominican Republic non-profit that GRACE Cares helped to found with its local hero Ruben Ottenwalder.  Although the Skype call lasted two hours, Zoe’s patience seemed infinite. She asked each student specific questions to ascertain what was happening “on the ground” and listened with empathy until each student finished speaking being careful not to interrupt since frequently the most important thing said is the last. She was interested in how the students were interacting with the local heroine who had stepped up to improve health conditions in the community. Obviously, there is a great difference in culture and manners of communication; however, what was stunning to observe was how persons from such different religious, ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds can work well together step by step, to achieve a common goal that benefits an entire community.


Dr. Kopp who has spent years of experience supervising such projects, instead of being directive or authoritative, calmly and clearly discussed the current circumstance and subtly let the students know the tasks that must be completed and what aspects must be evaluated and reported so the project will move forwards as smoothly as possible; indeed, there was much laughter during the Skype call as Zoe took intensive notes interrupted occasionally by a loud meow as the caw pawed her lap for more attention.


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Column in between

Julia Ferrari

May 27, 2014



Every time I begin to feel lost or overwhelmed, I take a moment to slow down and look outside of myself to see other lives around me and to reflect on how each of our lives comes together, despite problems, to allow us choices— to live this life to reach our potential & meet our challenges. I believe each of us carries with us a direction, with lessons to learn and fires to light within ourselves. Many paths stretch out in front of us as we start our lives, some are painful and others are fulfilling but they each can bring us closer to our interior life. We don’t always take those forays into the unknown, those roads we can’t see the end of, because what we don’t know can scare us, and fear can be a strong entangler … However, through paying attention to our intuition, that inner voice that nudges us in certain directions (if we listen close enough) we can catch a glimpse of a possibility that is not mapped out.


For me, art was one of the first interests I followed as a youth, despite being discouraged by a kindergarten teacher for not measuring up, and it continued to press at me at the edges of my life. I remember being twenty-four and not knowing what I wanted to do as a career, there were so many possibilities and no clear path to my identity, it seemed. Painting, calligraphy, and poetry became threads that started to be woven. Then, while living in Boston, I responded to an ad in the “Real Paper” involving letterpress and the small press movement, and that began, most unexpectedly the direction of my life.

Within the context of the hand printed books I was encountering, printmaking began to interest me, but then one day I saw a title page—as a shape, not just as information, and the world of typographic design opened up in front of me.


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Column Beer & Bangers

On the Road: A Visit to J.D McCliment’s Pub and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub

Terri Kneipp

Jun 30, 2014


The Beer & Bangers crew has been adventurous venturing far from their usual confines of the Big B into such foreign territory as Putney and Chester, VT.  The crew chooses locations based on the possibilities of either a good selection of brews and grub from past personal experience, word of mouth or sheer luck of stumbling upon an establishment. Not all who participate enjoy beer, so other beverages are explored including wine, cocktails and good ole ice tea being a connoisseur of the latter myself still learning the finer nuances of the heartier brews.


J.D. McCliment’s Pub (http://www.jdmcclimentspub.com/) in Putney is well established with a steady stream of customers, both local and visitors. Along with a casual, indoor dining area with a pool table upstairs, weather permitting there is an inviting outdoor deck. The beer selection was minimal with mostly bottled domestic beers with a Shale being one exception which was excellent. Ice tea was freshly brewed and decent, nothing exciting but fine. Now, the meat of the meal, so to speak, received mixed reviews. The Turkey Burger was thought good with the Ruben being perfectly acceptable. After that there was debate, one member thought the Fish and Chips fine, while one indicated the fish was over cooked. The Bratwurst was passable, but would not be had again with the Corned Beef being too salty. Overall the atmosphere was pleasant with adequate service, albeit slow which seems to be the rule in local pubs rather than the exception. The crew agreed they might to go back to enjoy an evening outside with lively conversation and a beverage of choice where food wasn’t the focus but accessible. It was noted that an authentic Scottish pub it was not; for that, one need only head to Chester.


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The double barreled slingshot 7

Jeri Rose

Sep 8, 2014


Really? Bra straps distract males, then the next fashion statement is the Burqa because that is the battle cry, or brattle cry of the notion that women must defer to male uncontrollable lust. I have always wondered at the availability that skirts provide for male entrance and yet often women are prevented from wearing pants. Growing up in the cold North East, I had to wear leggings under my required skirts to keep warm. As for men making the rules about female adolescent attire, that signals to me that there is still a preponderance of males in positions of authority in the Brattleboro school system. However, I would not be sanguine that were women the deciding factor about this bra strap fiasco that the perception about these strips of cloth would result in a sane response. I would like to ask the prurient among you whether you think you have a right to demand that females wear the double barreled slingshot? I recall that a young high school man was expelled because his face sprouted hair that the school required him to shave. I suppose you could also demand that young women bind up their breasts requiring them to only protrude a given amount. There are so many insane responses from adults toward the young possible due to the abuse of the prurient imagination merged with the controlling authoritarian impulse of the powerful.


          Might I modestly suggest that adults realize that children grow away from parents to become themselves. Give them a basis in morality that you yourselves reflect and having done your job, trust that they will not harm others and have the awareness of self preservation that is necessary to get them passed teen-hood to become members of society that might astonish and yet will be acceptable if you will just get over your fear of having them be odd. In fact, were you to be an adult, you might have gotten over that adolescent fear of being different that now manifests in some still cleaving to notions of “what the neighbors will say”.


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Column Chess

Math and Chess for America’s Schools

Columnist: Phil Innes

Aug 23, 2014


A letter addressed to Lady Michelle Obama, by Rob Mitchell, Murfreesboro, TN, cited a Canadian report:


Case Studies

 

As reported in Developing Critical Thinking Through Chess, Dr. Robert Ferguson tested students from seventh to ninth grades from the years 1979-1983 as part of the ESEA Title IV-C Explore Program. He found that non-chess students increased their critical thinking skills an average of 4.6% annually, while students who were members of a chess club improved their analytical skills an average of 17.3% annually. Three separate tests to determine how chess affects creative thinking were also done as part of the same study. It concluded that on average, different aspects of creative thinking had improved at a rate two to three times faster for chess playing students, as opposed to their non-chess playing counterparts.

Subsequent studies by Dr. Ferguson further supported these original conclusions. In the Tri-State Area School Pilot Study conducted in 1986 and Development of Reasoning and Memory Through Chess (1987-88) chess-playing students showed more rapid increased gains in memory, organizational skills, and logic.


In Zaire the study Chess and Aptitudes, was conducted by Dr. Albert Frank at the Uni Protestant School, during the 1973-74 school year. Using sufficiently large experimental and control groups, Dr. Frank confirmed there was a significant correlation between the ability to play chess well, and spatial, numerical, administrative-directional, and paperwork abilities. The conclusion was that students participating in the chess course show a marked development of their verbal and numerical aptitudes. Furthermore, this was noticed in the majority of chess students and not only those who were better players.


"Can chess promote earlier intellectual maturation" was the question posed in the Chess and Cognitive Development study directed by Johan Christiaen from the 1974-76 school years in Belgium. The results again clearly confirmed that the group of chess playing students showed significantly more improvement then the non chess-playing students. In 1982, Dr. Gerard Dullea mentioned this study and proclaimed "…we have scientific support for what we have known all along-chess makes kids smarter! (Chess Life, November 1982) In a similar study done in a test series in New Brunswick, Canada called Challenging Mathematics, the mathematics curriculum used chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. The average problem solving score in the province increased from 62% to 81%.


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Column Energetics  US and World Energy News

George Harvey

¶ Windy Weather



Opinion:


¶   “Is wind power viable?” Wind power currently provides 4% of all US electricity. Massachusetts residents now have the option to fuel their homes with 100% green energy through Mass Energy’s New England Green Start program. [Berkshire Eagle]


World:

¶   This summer, the Raglan mine in northern Canada began installing its first wind turbine, manufactured by Enercon, in Germany. Verret predicts that this wind turbine would replace about 5% of the mine’s diesel consumption – or 2.4-million litres of diesel. [Creamer Media's Mining Weekly]


¶   Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind boosted its net profit in the first half of 2014 by 256.8% to 330 million yuan ($53.65 million) compared with the year-ago period on the back of a “sector recovery”. [reNews]


US:


¶   Invenergy, the Chicago-based independent renewable-power producer, has repudiated a lawsuit brought against its recently completed 94 MW Orangeville wind farm in New York state, calling the suit “unfounded”. [Recharge]


<extracts>  Read More ➤


Column O Citoyen!

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast

“Health and Aging: a Federal Policy Update”

Robert Oeser

Aug 22, 2014


Report from: August 15, 2014

Gibson-Aiken Center, Brattleboro
                                  

Presenter: Sophie Kasimow  Sophie_Kasimow@help.senate.gov

US Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Staff Director, Subcommittee on Primary Health & Aging

Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Phone: (202) 224-5480

www.sanders.senate.gov/help


Sophie Kasimow is Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Primary Health & Aging, one of three subcommittees which fall under the umbrella of the US Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Sen. Sanders chairs this subcommittee which deals with community health centers; access to medical, dental, and mental health care; the primary care provider workforce; social services for seniors and the Older Americans Act; preventing and addressing elder abuse; among other health and aging policy issues.


The subcommittee was formed in May 2011 and Sophie joined the staff in June 2011 and became the subcommittee’s staff director in September 2012.


When it comes to health care, Vermont is doing better than other states.[1]  But health care in the US costs twice as much as in  other countries and US health outcomes are not particularly good by comparison.[2]


We also lack a sufficient number of primary care physicians. One out of five Americans experience a shortage of primary care providers and one out of four have  lack of access to mental health care. In addition, there is a need for access to dental care.


Sen. Sanders was instrumental in the expansion of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Vermont and across the country. Vermont now has 11 community health centers with over 50 delivery sites, and by the end of this year they will serve one in four Vermonters (over 160,000 Vermonters);[3] there are gaps in access in parts of the state, including the southern part of Vermont.  The National Health Service Corps has provided help for loans and scholarships to encourage primary care providers with federal matching funds in underserved communities.


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21 September


Tim Stevenson

Aug 31, 2014

  

   "Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action.

Hope is doing something.”

Chris Hedges

The social fabric of our world is increasingly unraveling.

Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and the wars without end against civilians. The Ukraine, and the return to the Cold War:  Ebola. Central American refugee children seeking sanctuary in the land of the free.  The rape epidemic.  Ferguson, Missouri. The twilight of democracy and human rights and the rule of the national security corporate state. The 1%.


And then, of course, there’s climate change. This is the issue that dwarfs all others because of its very real and imminent threat of mass extinction. Climate change is the one issue we have to somehow resolve (or there won’t be any other issues for us to worry about!); it’s also the one that must include the other issues as a necessary condition for its own resolution. Even more than the question of renewable energy, a successful transition to a viable and sane post oil society is about the values we choose to live by.

What needs to be done?


As we’ve emphasized often in this column, we need to develop resilient, collaborative communities and mutual aid neighborhoods that are founded upon compassion, courage, and social justice. We must learn to take care of ourselves and each other, adapting to the changes we’ll have no choice about making. For Vermonters, this will include dealing with greater precipitation, heavier rainfalls, and weather extremes that pose threats to floodplains, agriculture, infrastructure and transportation systems, not to mention tight state and municipal budgets.


And then there are the dangers that we’re not thinking about, the ones we feel we’re immune to, like inundation from the rising seas. But what about all those future climate refugees who live in New York, Boston, and elsewhere who will be seeking higher ground? How are we going to accommodate this flood of people, and their need for food, housing, and other basic necessities?


We need to come together as families and neighbors, communities and towns, and begin planning and acting strategically for a future that is already here. In the end, it’s the solidarity that arises from community activism that is our ultimate asset. <extract>


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Column The Great Adventure

The Feminine in the Twenty-first Century

Like A Girl

Terri Kneipp

Jul 1, 2014


Yes! Like A Girl


Wow. I feel remiss. Evidently I was supposed to feel responsible for the inappropriate ways men have ogled me since I was 12 or to think only girls should have to dress conservatively for school. This week has been full of stereotypical negative phrases, images and responsibilities about or toward girls and women being bandied about, discussed in multiple arenas, debated ad nauseam in other words, my mind is spinning. Between school dress codes to a broader discussion on modest dress to limiting phrases, let’s dive into the deep end.


Early in the week on a ladies forum, the talk turned to modest dress: what was appropriate, how to help men behave themselves, should cleavage be shown or not, etc. This in itself is a powder keg ready to start a maelstrom. My first thought was that it’s not my job to “help men” control their impulses; but, also that it was demeaning to men, assuming they couldn’t control themselves. Give the guys some credit: they all aren’t lecherous, leering dolts who are unable to be respectful using common decorum in every day life. Luckily, I found a video for Christian men from a Christian man (http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/06/20/young-men-sex-and-urge-ownership-and-why-its-not-the-girls-problem/), so if you are not a Christian, you may not see an issue, that isn’t the point. My point is taking the responsibility for any action off of anyone other than the person who is committing the action. If a crime is committed, it should never be the victim’s fault.  If I choose to wear a tank top that shows a little cleavage, heaven forbid, because it is summer, I have an ample chest and it’s freaking hot and some man stares, that’s on him. I am not dressing a certain way to elicit a given response, but I am also not going to over react unless the behavior is obnoxious and intrusive. Being bundled from head to toe in puffy ski gear, I have had men make comments that weren’t appreciated and I dealt with them as any mature woman would, swiftly, clearly and leaving no doubt of my meaning. With that said, dressing fairly modestly is what works for me.


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This column is sponsored by Delectable Mountain Cloth

Mistaking emotion for lack of reason

Alan Rayner

Sep 19, 2014


Detachment of the observer from emotional involvement with the observed has been recognised as a requirement of objective reasoning since the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. This emotional detachment has been thought to be so essential to the making of impartial judgements that any expression of emotion has become inimical to abstract scientific methodology and discourse. Charles Darwin put it this way:-


"A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone."

Objective science and its underpinning definitive logic have hence gained a reputation for cold-heartedness, which is as off-putting to romantics as romanticism is to those who regard themselves as ‘hard scientists’. The resulting alienation of emotionality from science and vice versa has been psychologically, socially and environmentally damaging – a crippling negation of what truly ‘natural’ science has to offer for understanding of our place in the world as it actually is, and is a source of dreadful cruelty in the treatment of ourselves and other living creatures as ‘machines’.


The fallacy in alienating emotion from reason resides in the fact that there is good reason for the existence of emotion:  emotion is no more and no less than an expression of the natural energy flow (‘e-motion’) responsible for the emergence of living form.


The alienation of emotion from our natural understanding of life is hence, quite literally, deadening. It numbs us from awareness of what it means to be alive, by closing the door on the possibility of appreciating ourselves as inextricable natural dynamic inclusions of our neighbourhood. It renders our view partial and prejudiced, not comprehensively impartial.


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Op Ed

Witness to Genocide: Israel/ Palestine: A JOURNEY TO PEACE

The Op Ed writer is

Namaya

Aug 24, 2014



We are all tremendously saddened by the ongoing wars in Israel and Palestine, but it is a war that few Americans and outsiders can full understand.  Namaya, the poet and performance artist, has created this program “Witness to Genocide:ISRAEL/ PALESTINE: A JOURNEY TO PEACE and would like to present this at your school, church, or community center.


A trailer sample can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CltHSUoHr0&feature=plcp


This is a multimedia performance on the narrative of the Jewish Diaspora, the Palestinian people, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza.)  The performance combines stories, music, poetry, photography, and art based on Namaya’s story of living and working in Yemen, Morocco, and his travels through Palestine, Israel, and the Islamic world.  Namaya also speaks of his Jewish family’s journey out of Eastern Europe through such stories as “L’Chaim” and of Jewish life during the Diaspora.


Caption: Witness – in commemoration of Krystallnacht and the occupation of Palestine, in the witness that there can be peace in Palestine and a future for the children of Israel & Palestine.


Namaya said, “I tell this story out of necessity. In witnessing the destruction of our Jewish communities through pogroms and the holocaust, having touched the walls of Prague and Budapest with the names of my extended family who perished, and also seeing the present inhumane occupation of Palestine… I am obligated to tell this story. In telling I hope to create an opportunity for a future for the children of Israel and Palestine.”

The  program is a one person performance with multimedia, art work, and music.  It can be performed in a theater, school, or gallery space. At the end of the performance, there is an opportunity for discussion of the performance in the spirit of compassionate listening.


<extracts> Read More ➤


  Real Food ! 


Nashville Hot Chicken

Mark Lee

Jul 24, 2014


This is my home made version of Nashville Hot Chicken. Brined for 12 hours in special salt/pepper seasoning and then soaked in Tabasco Buttermilk and egg, then dredged again in a spicy flour and pepper mix. I have a new respect for Nashville Hot Chicken. It's easier to just go get you some. Recipe available for those that really want to spend about 3 hours in the kitchen, but worth it if you like to cook. Read On and for More Reader’s Recipes ➤

Graphic Traffic

An orientation to illustration and illustrated books for writers

By Marlene O’Connor on Jan 16, 2013

Photo by Vermont Views

Street Dance – Flight, personal piece


Here are illustrations of Marlene’s work and she has also contributed notes on how to sensibly engage graphic artists, illustrators and publishers as a generous addition to orienting the writer to the subject.  

Read More

This column is sponsored by www.zephyrdesignsvt.com


Dec 28th, 2011

Photo Brooks House Fire


Things started quietly enough with normal amounts of snow but the people in the municipal building could hardly anticipate multiple disasters in 2011  

Read More


Kipling’s Questionnaire

Last Entry Mac Gander

Photo Rudyard Kipling at Naulakha near Brattleboro.


130 years ago in 1880/81 Rudyard Kipling completed the 26 question questionnaire. Kipling subsequently moved to Brattleboro and Dummerston, living here from 1892 to 1896.


At the time it is said that Kipling was known by more people in the world than was any other person. I would like to publish your own responses in Vermont Views Magazine to the very same questions Kipling answered.




Please add your answers below the 26 questions on the questionnaire page, or write in for a set of emailed questions.


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StudioONE

Len Emery



The Project:


Goffstown Slaughterhouse



Here is a small representative sample of a fairly large project at a slaughterhouse in Goffstown.


The Photographer


Len Emery


"I come from an engineering background with all of its inflexibility and predefinition. Conversely, photography is often fleeting and very much undefined. I try to capture the image as it happens, the instant framed from my perspective for all to see my interpretation. I try to use the environment as an element of the image, allowing it to enhance and sometimes be the image. I then try to draw the viewer into the image as I was drawn in when I first saw it.


I am a pilot as well as a photographer and use my flying skills and camera together when doing contract aerial photography. All of my photos are typically of Vermont and in particular the villages and valleys of the Black River basin area.


See More ➤


Studio TWO

Featuring

April at Gallery 2 Vermont Artisan Designs 106 Main Street in Brattleboro, is currently showing a range of works.

Featured in this photo exhibit are blue glass by Ed Branson [illustrated]; painting of sugaring by Paul Madalinski; horse by Joseph Fichter; circus photos by Jeffrey Lewis; stained glass canoe by David Wissman; paintings by Dane Tilghman. See More ➤


Studio 3

A seven color print, ‘Migration’, by William Hays


William Hays, printmaker

To view the images sequentially, click the link to Studio 3 and press ‘Play Slideshow.’

To illustrate a companion article on print making by Brattleboro artist William Hays, the subject kindly forwarded me these 7 images of a print in the making. The full article will appear as a Monthly Feature.  See More ➤


Studio 4

Featuring 6 Photographers



Len Emery

Phil Innes

Rich Holshuch

Merritt Brown

Ray Bates

Greg Worden



See More ➤


If You Lived Here

Jul 31, 2014


Vendor applications are now being accepted for the ninth season of the Winter Farmers' Market which will again be held at the River Garden in the heart of Brattleboro, VT.  Space for new vendors is limited but interested parties are encouraged to submit an application prior to the September 1 deadline.

 

The Winter Market opens on November 1 for the 2014/2015 season and will be open every Saturday through March 28, 2015 for a total of 22 markets.  The regular market hours for the Winter Farmers’ Market will be 10 am to 2 pm with hours extended to 3 pm for holiday shopping on the three December markets before Christmas. 

 

Our mission is to support sustainable agriculture by providing a viable winter-season direct market outlet for local community-based farms while building community and promoting regional sustainability.  A wide array of products are typically offered including locally grown and produced fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, baked goods, local wines, handcrafted items such as clothing, jewelry, pottery, soaps, lunch menus and more.  Preference is given to regional agricultural vendors interested in bringing new unduplicated products to our market. 

 

This is a juried market.  New vendors or returning vendors with new craft, prepared food or value-added products will need to present their items for jury at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, September 9 at the Community Room of the Brattleboro Savings & Loan.  Agriculture vendors selling farm produce do not need to be juried.  Any questions regarding the jury process can be directed to Susan Dunning at 802-228-3230.

 

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If You Lived Elsewhere

Rough Tor

  Aug 20, 2014



Rough Tor


Rough is pronounced ‘row’ to rhyme with ‘cow’. Rough Tor (/ˈraʊtər/ row-ter), or Roughtor, is a tor on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The site is composed of the tor summit and logan stone, a neolithic tor enclosure, a large number of Bronze Age hut circles, and some contemporary monuments.


From the summit of Rough Tor, many signs of settlements and field systems are visible, indicating that it was a well populated area in former times.

Neolithic


The summit of Rough Tor once had a neolithic tor enclosure. The summit is encircled by a series of rough stone walls that align with natural stone outcroppings on the tor. The walls would have originally completely encircled the tor. The walls would have had numerous stone lined openings. In the interior of the circle there are remains of terraces leveled into the slopes, which archaeologists believe formed the foundations of circular wooden houses. There are also cleared areas near the terraces that have been garden plots.

Bronze Age


The Rough Tor enclosure is located in an area containing a remarkable concentration of upstanding monuments and other Bronze Age sites, such as Fernacre stone circle, which is only 200 meters from the site. Stannon stone circle is also located nearby, and there are numerous cairns and burial monuments in the vicinity.


On the southern slopes of Rough Tor, there are the remains of a large number of stone hut circles, set around three or four enclosures that may have held stock. There are also the remains of a large field systems, which is partially overlain with a medieval field system. The purpose of this field system has been debated, with historians disagreeing as to whether the fields were used for cereals or for stock.


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A Word In Your Ear

“like a crab going to Ireland”


A NEW book on Devon dialect has shone the spotlight on some of the Westcountry's most weird and wonderful phrases.


Devon Dialect, written by language enthusiast Ellen Fernau, based in Norfolk, identifies some of the quirkiest words to be used in our neighbouring county.


A statement from the publisher, Bradwell Books, said: “Devon has a unique set of vocal traditions, many developed because of quirks of geography and others from a complex social demography.


“Many efforts have been made to record the language traditions of the area and to identify the sources of some of the words that are, or used to be, in common use.”


WEIRD AND WONDERFUL DEVONSHIRE WORDS

1. An ‘angletwich’ is a fidgety child or quick moving creature;

2. A ‘dummon’ is an affectionate (we hope) term for wife;

3. Devonians refer to holidaymakers as ‘grockles’ (in Cornwall they are known as ‘emmits’)

4. If you have been cheated, you have been ‘folshid’;

5. A ladybird is, rather grandly, a ‘god's cow’;

6. If you are being silly you are ‘maze as a brush’;

7. Or, if you have no sense, you have ‘no nort’;

8. And nonsense is ‘witpot’;

9. While the word for daft is ‘zart’;

Charmingly, ‘snishums’ is the Devon word for sneezing.


The book has prompted a flurry of responses from people in Devon offering words of their own as part of their dialect - but are these really Cornish terms?


More in your ear ➤



Curious Topics


Vermont Zombie Hunting — a true story

Jul 28, 2014

They say true stories are best, so here is one from Zon Estes.


A new Vermont experience.
I'm working in the yard. I hear people talking, yelling. (Occasionally people walking on trails around find their way toward our house.) When they were clearly in the yard, I walked over toward them.


Them is about a dozen guys. What caught my eye was the shirtless fellow wearing a pink tutu, leading a few of his buddies off a slight distance. Then I saw that most were painted--either on the face or all over. Oh, and sunglasses.


When they saw me, they explained that they were looking for Zombies. By now, there must've been two dozen mostly naked, jazzed up guys, ready to roll.
I directed the Zombie hunters toward a commonly missed turn. I can still hear them in the woods, up on the hillside. Blowing whistles and bellowing.
“Where the hell am I?”

Read More  ➤

send any answers or comments to onechess@comcast.net

100 Years Ago

Feature:  August 1914

The First World War Begins

Aug 3, 2014





Caption: German soldiers embarking for the front


August 1

The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire, following Russia's military mobilization in support of Serbia; Germany also begins mobilization. France orders general mobilization. New York Stock Exchange closed due to war in Europe, where nearly all stock exchanges are already closed.


August 2

German troops occupy Luxembourg in accordance with its Schlieffen Plan. A secret treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Germany secures Ottoman neutrality. At 7:00 pm (local time) Germany issues a 12-hour ultimatum to neutral Belgium to allow German passage into France.


August 3

Germany declares war on Russia's ally, France.

At 7:00 am (local time) Belgium declines to accept Germany's ultimatum of August 2.



Read More ➤


Local History

May 5, 2013


A lyrical homage by Charles Monette



With 1878’s best intentions, some sturdy men began

Building Brattleboro’s narrow gauge in the southeast kingdom

Upside verdant country, the West River, to South Londonderry

Financed by bankers’ bonds bought in towns’ river valleys

Read More



Sep 7, 2013

Photo by Vermont Views


A photo essay of 40 images and caption


“Before The Fall”



Read More



Reviews Old & New


 
Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations for Creativity and Slowing Down

By Christian McEwen, Illustrations by Laetitia Bermejo


A note from the author on her new title.

 

In the fall of 2011, I published a book called World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down. It could be read from start to finish, like any regular book. But because it was composed of 115 short sections, it could also be used as a source of daily prayer or meditation, focusing on one short portion at a time. In other words, it could serve to practice lectio divina or “divine reading.” As time went on, I was delighted to learn that it was indeed being used in just this way.

 

However, the book itself is fairly bulky, and several friends suggested that a more compact version would be welcome: a diary perhaps, or daily reader. This was the origin of the Tortoise Diaries: a mini treasure-house of poems and quotations, centered, like the original text, on creativity and slowing down.

 

Because World Enough & Time contained twelve chapters, and there are twelve months to every year, it seemed natural to transfer the structure from one book to the other, focusing in turn on different subjects, so that the month of January is used to introduce “the art of slowing down,” February to consider good company and conversation, March to investigate “child time,” and April, the joys and relaxation to be found in walking. Those who are familiar with the original text will recognize many of the entries, which have been arranged so as to flow smoothly from one to the next, helping to deepen and clarify each particular theme.

 

The title is drawn, with laughing gratitude, from Lewis Carroll (see the epigraph, above), though it has more ancient origins too. In Hindu mythology, the world is supported on the back of a gigantic tortoise; a belief also found in many Native American traditions. The tortoise may be slow, but it is sturdy and self-sufficient. Its lineage extends back some 230 million years, likely predating both birds and mammals, even dinosaurs. It is immensely long-lived. Not surprisingly, it represents many stalwart virtues, from fertility and regeneration, to strength and longevity and eternal life. It is associated with art and creativity too; the Greeks believed that the first musical instrument (the lyre) was made by Hermes from an empty tortoise-shell.

 

And of course the tortoise, “slow and steady,” wins the race.

                                                                                   

                                                                                                Christian McEwen


<extracts>  Read More ➤


Brattleboro Skyline

A massive photo essay with captions

Jun 11, 2014


The Slow Living Summit and The Strolling of the Heifers 2014


Read More ➤


Localvore Directory

Click this link for locally grown and manufactured food products and how to find them directly

Mar 24, 2013


To add your business to the free listing of Localvores — contact the publisher at onechess@comcast.net


Phone numbers, websites, e-mails, travel directions and hours of business of a few dozen local farms and businesses making Vermont food products. Support your local food economy!


Just Added — Full Plate Farm

 

Full Plate Farm is a one acre vegetable farm conveniently located one and a half miles from downtown Brattleboro, VT.  We grow over 100 varieties of delectable, nutritious veggies using organic practices. We offer a CSA which includes all of our veggies, as well as berries and sweet corn from a few other local farms. We offer 12 different share options, so that you can choose how much produce you get and when. We also offer options between some of the veggies in your share as well as a “swap box” so that you will always have a choice to trade out a veggie you don’t like for one you do. Every week we include recipes and cooking suggestions. 


Read More ➤


This column is sponsored by the Brattleboro Food Coop http://brattleborofoodcoop.coop


Write On!

VERMONT HIPPIE ZOMBIES

Martha M Moravec

Aug 5, 2013


Three years ago, Hurricane Irene surprised Vermonters – we who have grown complacent over our temperate, mostly gentle environment – with eleven quick inches of rain that led to the worst flooding the state had seen in eighty-four years. The rising waters forced evacuations, knocked out bridges, tore up roads, destroyed houses, left thousands of people stranded and in one case, took out an entire town, or most of it, and fiendishly wrecked the state’s emergency operations center. Three years later, people are still telling stories about the damage and in some cases, still rebuilding.

The story that sticks with me concerns the added injury suffered by Rochester, Vermont, where, according to one newspaper account, “a gentle brook swelled into a torrent and ripped through Woodlawn Cemetery, unearthing about twenty five caskets and strewing their remains throughout downtown.”

They now say that fifty graves were rooted out. I’ve no doubt that my imagination (and yours) can conjure up images far more gruesome than what actually surfaced that day. Even so, because aid and rescue teams were busy assisting the living in dozens of distressed towns (Rochester being one of the most distressed), an open casket with its remains plainly visible lay in the middle of the main thoroughfare for an indecent amount of time.

Eventually, volunteers ventured forth to try to identify the resurrected. Led by a former state trooper who just happened to have reinvented himself as a funeral home director, they marked and covered the muddy disarray of cracked vaults, overturned coffins, body parts, bones and tatters of clothing with blue tarp and little red flags.


<extract> Read More ➤


B.E.S.T

Are you wearing Dhaka?

Photo by Vermont Views Shop Window

This article is an extract from The Guardian, UK


When it comes to fashion, applying even the most modest ethical criteria is ridiculously hard. All the big chains – including Primark, which had a supplier in the destroyed Rana Plaza building on Dhaka's outskirts, and has promised "to provide support where possible" to the families of the 187 workers known to have died – have ethics policies that can be viewed online. None has a clearly labelled and readily availably Fairtrade or equivalent line on the shop floor.


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  Passages Daily  Abigail Adams



Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.


Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.


If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.


If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.


Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.


I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.


We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.


If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?

 

To This Degree


An image a day every day of the year

   


Today: A seeker after occult knowledge is reading an ancient scroll which illumines his mind


ROOT KNOWLEDGE


Sep 21 2014 Virgo 29°  (16° to 30° Virgo is EDUCATION in Act 2; Stabilization)

 
Column 4our

Writers: Charles Monette, Laura Momaney, Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern

Friends With Benefits

Laura Momaney

Sep 14, 2014



When I first became friends with Neil I was often preoccupied by what our friendship was denied due to his lack of vision.  I would suddenly be stricken by the very fact that he could not see me, not even a faint shadow of me.  Nor could he see what I saw when we were together or tell me about what he had seen when we were apart.  And I would fall into deep pools of sadness over the fact that he could not see at all.  Being deprived of the opportunity to share a visual experience with him seemed like a crippling and daunting limitation but I came to find that in actuality it expanded my world and our relationship.  I would not otherwise have realized how constrained I was by my own sense of sight.  We unwittingly focus and rely on our vision for information and communication because it dominates our senses, thereby demanding our full attention.  When you are deprived of it then you must give more due to the four left at your avail.          

    Two years ago in the beginning of a new spring Neil and I were sitting on his deck and the birds were making their debut all around us.  I wasn't paying a great deal of attention but when Neil asked 'Which bird is making that sound? I was forced to expand the scope of my sensual attentions.  I believe I was staring at his deck floorboards at the time, enraptured by the splinters there, considering what they could do to a pair of bare feet and tore my riveted gaze from it to look around and to listen.  My ears found the sound he directed me towards and I followed it with my eyes so I could identify it for him.  When I realized it was a simple Robin making that gorgeous melody I began paying more attention to bird calls, when they came, which birds made them, the differences and similarities between them and also, what their sounds meant. 

      By focusing on what I hear a little more I came to understand that you can witness the ebb and flow of a year and the seasonal changes within it by the sounds you hear around you. One of those sounds is our local songbirds . The melodic, cheerful call of the Robin tells you spring has arrived and it generally lets you know at 5:00 a.m. and it's generally sitting right outside your window when it tells you. Keep listening and the Robin is quickly followed by a wellspring of other songbirds to the area.  

      The course of an audible season sounds something like this .  First we are treated to the sweet delectable music of seduction and attraction, remarkable happy sounds of play and love, then the constant twitter, chirp and warble of females directing and correcting males during nest building and directing aerial traffic.  This is followed by sharper whistles of alarm and stern reprimands when vulnerable eggs are in the nest and when babies are taking flight.  By early fall the birdsongs lack insistence, are lackluster and laconic as if there is little left to say to each other.  They divorce or simply part ways, babies grow up. Even their voices seem to be resting up. Then there is the stunning infrequency of sounds at all as one by one they and their offspring leave for more hospitable climes.  

<extract> Read More ➤

 

Mistaking emotion for lack of reason

Alan Rayner

Sep 19, 2014


Detachment of the observer from emotional involvement with the observed has been recognised as a requirement of objective reasoning since the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. This emotional detachment has been thought to be so essential to the making of impartial judgements that any expression of emotion has become inimical to abstract scientific methodology and discourse. Charles Darwin put it this way:-


"A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone."

Objective science and its underpinning definitive logic have hence gained a reputation for cold-heartedness, which is as off-putting to romantics as romanticism is to those who regard themselves as ‘hard scientists’. The resulting alienation of emotionality from science and vice versa has been psychologically, socially and environmentally damaging – a crippling negation of what truly ‘natural’ science has to offer for understanding of our place in the world as it actually is, and is a source of dreadful cruelty in the treatment of ourselves and other living creatures as ‘machines’.


The fallacy in alienating emotion from reason resides in the fact that there is good reason for the existence of emotion:  emotion is no more and no less than an expression of the natural energy flow (‘e-motion’) responsible for the emergence of living form.


The alienation of emotion from our natural understanding of life is hence, quite literally, deadening. It numbs us from awareness of what it means to be alive, by closing the door on the possibility of appreciating ourselves as inextricable natural dynamic inclusions of our neighbourhood. It renders our view partial and prejudiced, not comprehensively impartial.


For example:-

Many of us have experience – as employees, students and patients – of how unpleasant it feels to be judged solely on our performance and treated without empathy as a machine, especially a defective machine, by managers, teachers and the medical profession. Just when we have most need of feeling cared for and reassured, we find ourselves placed in stark, uncomfortable surroundings and exposed to tests of our competence and health that if not ‘passed’ satisfactorily can seriously jeopardise our prospects. This lack of empathy that we encounter is a direct and sometimes deliberate product of objective detachment. Here is how John Keegan (The Face of Battle. London: Pimlico, 2004) describes military training:-


‘…the deliberate injection of emotion…will seriously hinder, if not altogether defeat, the aim of officer-training. That aim…is to reduce the conduct of war to a set of rules and a system of procedures – and thereby make orderly and rational what is essentially chaotic and instinctive. It is an aim analogous to that pursued by medical schools in their fostering among students of a detached attitude to pain and distress… the rote-learning and repetitive form and the categorical, reductive quality …has an important and intended psychological effect. Anti-militarists would call it depersonalizing and even dehumanizing. But given…that battles are going to happen, it is powerfully beneficial…one is helping him to avert the onset of fear, or, worse, of panic… ’

<extract>

Read More ➤

 

Vermont Diary

Strange brew




Can there be anything funnier and simultaneously more inane than the heads of state of former British colonies pronouncing negatively on a current colony’s right to govern itself? President Obama has weighed in with his ‘not a good idea’ on behalf of the United States and for all the reasons the Royalists at the time were proposing in 1777, that the colonies should knuckle under to the stamp tax — citing economic woes ahead for any independence, and besides, aren’t we all friends?


NPR today picked an academic with personal connections with Scotland several generations ago, who was born in Canada now lives in the US, to interview and what he came up with was sentimental — just because the English are a bit heavy handed these past 300 years, was his theme, that’s no reason…


But it was for India, Australia and the 13 colonies in 1775. So if Scots want out of this Union why are so many ex-colonial people so interested in keeping them in it, all chanting, as it were, ‘for their own good?’


Two interesting things have happened during the secessionist escapade; that England has granted Scotland a broad range of powers if it stays in the Union, and these have backfired since any reasonable person would ask why Scotland didn’t possess this broad range before — Where was this equitable arrangement the past 300 years?


And the second thing is that in Scotland 16 and 17 year olds will be allowed to vote — the thinking behind this is that it will be their own future they are deciding, and this is real equity in the culture — and this commits the future of the country to these young folk to struggle and to make it, entirely reminiscent of the 13 colonies in 1777, and the natural right of countries to determine their own fate.


This strange brew of factors is as strange as scotch — the brew that Scotland made when the resident English declared that Scots were not good enough to drink wine.


Read More ➤ 

 

Fall

Tasneem Tawfeek

Sep 20, 2014




For so many parents, teachers, and students, the month of September marks the official start to the academic year. For some, it is a dreaded time...after all, it also marks the end of summer vacations and time spent relaxing. It marks the temporary end of serene moments on the lake or relaxing by the ocean side while witnessing yet another one of nature's beauties. For others, it can also be a bittersweet moment of time. Yes, another fun-filled summer might be over but returning to a sense of routine is almost welcomed and invited. In addition, the change of seasons becomes something to look forward to, and although the beauty of summer ends in this month, we all know that the autumn season lies ahead of us. We might miss the sounds of waves crashing, yet we also look forward to the splendor that accompanies yet another season. We trade sun-filled days for cool, gentle breezes. We trade lemonade for apple cider, and we trade those walks on the beach for telling camp stories around a cozy fire. Most of all, we trade those picture perfect views consisting of lush, green forests for another type of serenity...the serenity that hides behind almost every color of the rainbow during the autumn season. Every year, that fall foliage that nurtures us so greatly stands before us as another reminder that nature serves to soothe us more than we realize. Unfortunately, what remains the same throughout each season is the reality that we need to be more actively engaged in ensuring that we are doing our part in nurturing the very nature that we rely on in our everyday lives. When it comes to the beauty of fall foliage, I can't help but to think of the bigger picture. Take global warming as an example. Is it possible that an environmental concern such as global warming could have a direct impact on the stunning array of colors that we look forward to each autumn? According to environmental experts, the answer is yes.

The fact that our planet is becoming warmer, and that human activity has pretty much caused it, has prompted many scientists to take a closer look at the impact of global warming on our health, economy, and environment. Through the act of burning fossil fuels, greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, thereby trapping heat which results in a steady rise in the temperature of our planet. The effects of this are constantly being discussed, reported, and brought to our attention. Heat waves, air pollution, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, respiratory health...all of these topics have been studied in detail and are causes for concern. It is only in recent years in which scientists have added yet another impact of global warming to this list and have made the link when it comes to global warming and fall foliage. With warmer temperatures on the rise, the autumn season becomes shortened and leaves continue to maintain heat. Typically, leaves change color when their production of chlorophyll decreases as the days get shorter every year. This whole process is dependent on temperature and levels of moisture, and with global warming now becoming a factor in autumn, the production of chlorophyll becomes prolonged in the leaves. This means the process of leaves changing their colors will ultimately happen later and later each year. This, in turn, brings cause for concern as it can introduce invasive species to a particular area and it can directly impact the economy since many states rely on the revenue brought in by tourism during the fall months.

So, as another start to the academic year rolls around, what practical measures can we take to do our part?

<extracts> Read More ➤

 

Non Profit of the Month

Turning Point


People passing through downtown Brattleboro the last few months have been captivated by the bustle of construction activity and excavation at the corner of Elm and Flat streets. The Turning Point recovery center is restoring the 39 Elm Street property, severely damaged in Tropical Storm Irene, to use as our new permanent facility for serving our local recovery community. This restored and renovated building will give us a downtown home again, we hope before the year is out. This relocation brings us back closer to the community of people we serve. We love the idea that this building will experience a renaissance of its own while center guests enjoy their own personal recoveries from addictions. Our new home also brings us full circle, back to Elm Street where our story began more than seven years ago.


Our volunteer-led center has served this community since late 2006 as one of eleven linked yet independent recovery centers in Vermont, affiliated through the Vermont Recovery Network. Some guests go through treatment programs, and some have histories with the correctional system due to their addictions. Others find recovery through 12-step and other supportive, spiritual programs. Last year, guests made about 7,690 visits to our Center. About 6,550 were drop-in guests seeking peer support or a sober environment; about 1,140 attended 12-step and other mutual support groups. Attendance in programming has steadily increased as we have added services, although our visits dropped significantly after leaving our downtown location.


Turning Point moved from its original downtown location on August 27, 2011, the day before Tropical Storm Irene hit. Many of the pictures we saw the next day were taken from our old Elm Street/Elliot Street neighborhood, looking down onto Flat Street and all the water and devastation near the New England Youth Theater. When we dedicated ourselves to finding a downtown home again, our relocation task force found this building, available for a bargain-basement price due to the damage—though the flood and other repairs carried a hefty price tag.

<extract>

Read More ➤

 

Column Untitled Work


The Language of the Tribe

Mac Gander

Sep 17, 2014


We watch a video-clip in which Marshall McLuhan explains to a group of college students that they are faced with the choice between civilization and literacy, or tribalism and what he calls “rock.” It is something like 1968 or 1970 in the clip, and in my classroom, 2014, we are talking about the third revolution in writing language, the digital age, and how it relates to the first and second revolutions.


The students do not know what McLuhan means by “rock.” They know it is a word for a kind of music, although they have a much more nuanced vocabulary for music now than existed in the 1960s, when rock is what it was. I play a live version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun.”  I think that this song is what McLuhan means when he talks about tribalism vs. civilization and literacy vs. rock.


My students like it a lot when I play clips like this. It is like a bridge between them and me, me a neo-Luddite, my head filled with words and books, and they with their images and sounds, the acoustic world (as McLuhan termed it) in which they have grown up as natives. It is fun for them to imagine that even though I am making them read bits of Homer and understand Walter J. Ong’s concept of primary orality, I was once like them, grooving to Jimi in a dorm room filled with smoke.


Then I explain how in 1969 there are two discourses regarding Vietnam, the discourse of the editorial pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and the discourse of Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” and that in McLuhan’s view one of these discourses is literate, visual, and civilized, and the second is acoustic and tribal. It’s starting to make sense to all of us—including me, it’s a new course and while I put it together I’m still learning as we go. What we’re really focused on is Socrates’ indictment of writing in Plato’s Phaedrus, where he tells the Egyptian myth of Thoth.  Thoth brings a number of wondrous new things to the Pharaoh, including the invention of the written word, but the Pharaoh (and Socrates) reject writing because it will destroy the capacity of memory, replacing it with mere reminiscence, and also substitute empty knowledge for wisdom, and tiresome discourse for original thought.


Socrates rejected the advent of writing, the freezing of knowledge and wisdom—the writing down of the Odyssey—in favor of the language and wisdom of the tribe, passed on through speech, gesture, and memory. Gutenberg won, of course, and here we live today.


I am asking my students to apply Socrates and McLuhan to the current moment, this third revolution in the nature of the representation of reality in language, where an acoustic world, a world of moving and static images and sound, seems to have gained the upper hand on print and reading.

<extract> Read More ➤

 

Weather

Sep 21, 2014





from NOAA

The National Weather Service


Brattleboro:


A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.


Tonight
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.


National:


Threat of flash flooding continues on Sunday for Southern Plains and Inter-Mountain West


High levels of moisture still remain in portions of the Southern Plains and Inter-Mountain West on Sunday. This will continue the threat of locally heavy rainfall for one more day. Isolated locations could receive 1-2 inches of additional rainfall on Sunday. The areal coverage of these storms should be less than previous days.


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Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack from her title

Art & Soul

Levels of seeing


When I’m working from a photograph, a transparency, or direct observation, I am always amazed at how much more I see as the painting progresses. After I think I have completely perceived a certain area, something else reveals itself. As the work continues, the level of awareness deepens. The process takes its own time. I have come to accept that time and not fight it. I know that when I begin my work, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never observe so much on the first day as I will on the last. Like life, the development will not be rushed, nor will there be full realization before completion.


Dr. Leopold Caligor, a prominent New York psychiatrist, says that as he listens to tapes of recorded sessions with patients, he hears new things and gains deeper insights. Each time he listens, more information is uncovered. This process is repeated until understanding is complete.

 

21 September


Tim Stevenson

Sep 16, 2014

  

   "Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action.

Hope is doing something.”

Chris Hedges

The social fabric of our world is increasingly unraveling.

Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and the wars without end against civilians. The Ukraine, and the return to the Cold War:  Ebola. Central American refugee children seeking sanctuary in the land of the free.  The rape epidemic.  Ferguson, Missouri. The twilight of democracy and human rights and the rule of the national security corporate state. The 1%.


And then, of course, there’s climate change. This is the issue that dwarfs all others because of its very real and imminent threat of mass extinction. Climate change is the one issue we have to somehow resolve (or there won’t be any other issues for us to worry about!); it’s also the one that must include the other issues as a necessary condition for its own resolution. Even more than the question of renewable energy, a successful transition to a viable and sane post oil society is about the values we choose to live by.

What needs to be done?


As we’ve emphasized often in this column, we need to develop resilient, collaborative communities and mutual aid neighborhoods that are founded upon compassion, courage, and social justice. We must learn to take care of ourselves and each other, adapting to the changes we’ll have no choice about making. For Vermonters, this will include dealing with greater precipitation, heavier rainfalls, and weather extremes that pose threats to floodplains, agriculture, infrastructure and transportation systems, not to mention tight state and municipal budgets.


And then there are the dangers that we’re not thinking about, the ones we feel we’re immune to, like inundation from the rising seas. But what about all those future climate refugees who live in New York, Boston, and elsewhere who will be seeking higher ground? How are we going to accommodate this flood of people, and their need for food, housing, and other basic necessities?


We need to come together as families and neighbors, communities and towns, and begin planning and acting strategically for a future that is already here. In the end, it’s the solidarity that arises from community activism that is our ultimate asset. <extract>

Read More ➤

 

Weekly Feature

In Conversation with Julia Ferrari



Julia: There is something about intention there too, isn’t there? When someone is doing something and they don’t think it is affecting the world — but it does have ramifications. What is the intention behind the original act? Is that really what’s moving out into the culture and having that ramification? Is that intention something which benefits the whole society or really something small and insular and — what is going on at the root there? Why aren’t they thinking how that affects everyone? There is the possibility that they could be thinking about the greater cause and effect, but no, it’s one dimensional for example that event on Wall Street — it’s like, ‘how can I get this for myself?’ And yet it is never one dimensional. It will always have these layers and layers so that something big like that started small, but since it was being done over and over again became big, without intention, without people thinking about what kind of effect that had.


Phil: Another intention or corollary is when there is a good intention, which could happen from say, government, but by the time it gets from DC to San Diego or Vermont on the street things aren’t working out well. Perhaps that is because there is compartmentalization so that the initiator doesn’t see it through to subsequent steps, and the original becomes degraded or watered-down by intermediate agents. This is not what happens in a chess game or in your work, which has a tradition over 600 years in the West so that constant attention is applied — you complete that original intention with integrity.


And this means at a qualitative level throughout, rather than ‘this is good enough.’


Julia: Right, and you are tempted to. It’s not like you are living in a space where… you constantly have to face that question — whether you are going to go the extra mile on something — since it is in the physical world it is not easy, it is not fast… whenever you see it’s wrong you have to say to yourself, well — I am going to ignore that because I only have 25 more sheets and it’s finished, or you say, I am going to stop the press anyway and take out that letter and fix it because those 25 last pages are important. They are just as important as the first 25. You have to discipline yourself to go the extra mile — I had to do this, I was trained in the way that if there was 1 page left you have to stop the press and fix that letter — that’s hard because part of you is saying ‘I want to get done here’ have lunch, have a coffee break, but you can’t because the reason why you are doing it is because the technology is not current, it is not about speed anymore, you are not doing it for that reason. I wrote down the word ‘integral’ from when you were speaking earlier and it’s the reason why you are doing it. You are not doing it for all the traditional reasons that people are usually doing this in the world. You are doing it because you want the challenge, you want to have to do the slower method, but because you are challenging yourself — and those are the parameters you are setting for yourself — the goal is doing this in a particular way.


<extracts> Read More ➤

 

Daily Articles

To This Degree

An image a day for every day of the year.


Passages

& Quiz Quote


Weather

Local & National


Pretty Often

Art & Soul

Notes on Creating


New

Feature

Articles


Column

Nurturing Nature

Fall

Tasneem Tawfeek

Sep 20, 2014



Column

Natural Inclusivity

Mistaking emotion for lack of reason

Alan Rayner

Sep 19, 2014




Vermont Diary



Strange brew

Sep 18, 2014




Column

Untitled Work

The Language of the Tribe

Mac Gander

Sep 17, 2014





Column

Post Oil Solutions

21 September

Tim Stevenson

Sep 16, 2014




Weekly Feature


In Conversation with Julia Ferrari

Sep 15, 2014


Column

4our

Friends With Benefits

Laura Momaney

Sep 14, 2014



Non Profit of the Month


Turning Point

Sep 14, 2014




Monkey’s Cloak


Matrix…Nine…Words…Eleven

Nanci Bern

Sep 11, 2014



Column

Open Mind

"Over Forty, Over Educated, and Underemployed"

Offie Wortham

Pt 2 — Sep 11, 2014



Reviews Old & New

Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations for Creativity and Slowing Down

A note from the author

Aug 26, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

Two Poems,

Personal Hawaiian and Heartsong of Hawaii Nation

Jeri Rose



Column

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Double barreled slingshot 7

Jeri Rose

Sep 8, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

Can we talk? 

Charles Monette

Sep 6, 2014


Column

Old Lady Blog

Amazing GRACE:

Global Citizens and Artists for Social Change

Toni Ortner

Sep 4, 2014


Column

4our

No Sword School

Matti Salminen

Sep 4, 2014



New Column Littoral Sojourn

Pilgrimage Part 1:

Len Emery

Sep 1, 2014


Open Mind

"Over Forty, Over Educated, and Underemployed"

Offie Wortham

Aug 31, 2014


Old Lady Blog

OUR MAN IN BLACK

Toni Ortner

Aug 29, 2014


Kipling’s Questionnaire

Len Emery

Aug 27, 2014



Publisher’s Challenge #5

“places of disinhabitation”

Mac Gander

Aug 19 2014



Reviews Old & New

Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations for Creativity and Slowing Down

Review by

Phil Innes

Aug 26, 2014




Vermont Diary

News

Aug 25 2014



OP ED

Namaya

Witness to Genocide: Israel/ Palestine:

A JOURNEY TO PEACE

Aug 24, 2014





Chess

Phil Innes

Math and Chess for America’s Schools

Aug 23, 2014




Untitled Work

Mac Gander

The Battle of the Somme River and the Story of Atlantis

Aug 21, 2014



Selected Letters

Vidda Crochetta

Kissin’ Cousins

Aug 14, 2014



Special Feature

DROLL OF THE MEREMAID

Lutey of The Lizard




Publisher’s Challenge

In 750 words or less

Fantasy Island

Aug 10, 2014



Reviews Old & New

Voices Like Wind Chimes

By Arlene F. Distler

Reviewed by: Mary W. Mathias

 Poet With a Painter’s Eye

Aug 9, 2014




Open Mind

Offie Wortham

IBM 1960

Aug 8, 2014



Write On!

Martha M Moravec

VERMONT HIPPIE ZOMBIES

Aug 5, 2014



100 Years Ago

Feature: August 1914

The First World War Begins

Aug 3, 2014





New Column

Nurturing Nature

Tasneem Tawfeek

Air

Jul 31, 2014



Weekly Feature

The Wild Mountain Thyme

Jul 28, 2014



Curious Topics

Vermont Zombie Hunting — a true story

Jul 28 2014


New Column

Articulate

Kate Anderson

Leadership

Jul 15, 2014


StudioONE

Len Emery

Goffstown Slaughterhouse

Jul 11, 2014


Guest Article

Christian McEwen

Teach Slow

Jul 11, 2014



The Great Adventure

Terri Kneipp

Like a girl

Jul 1, 2014



Beer & Bangers

J.D McCliment’s and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub

Jun 30 2014



Monthly Feature

Photo Essay

William Hays,

print maker

February, 2014