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We brazenly lifted this image from Sen. Sanders’ website and trust he doesn’t mind as long as it encourages Vermonters to VOTE!

Brattleboro residents:  Tuesday’s voting will be 9a.m.-7p.m. at the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium on Fairground Road.  The Elections page on the Town’s website gives details, including sample ballots so you can plan your choices ahead of time.

For help with decision-making, try the VTDigger site, a project of the Vermont Journalism Trust.  They have a handy “Compare the Candidates” feature on their front page.  Thanks, Jess Weitz, for pointing out this useful site.


Daily updates from Vermont Emergency Management:

Active Weather alerts around state:

Road and Travel conditions – some complaints that it is not up to date:

Windham Regional Road Status:

Crisis Landing: This map displays information about current crises for which the Google Crisis Response team has collected geographic information.

VPR Irene Blog:

Compiled by Marlboro College – Resources describing Vermont’s attempt to recover from the damaging flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011.

Windham Status: one-stop switchboard for county information post-Irene

Vermont Grassroots Help and Volunteer Site:

Red Cross Resources for Vermont:

FEMA disaster relief:

CVPS Power Updates:

Green Mountain Power Updates:

Individual Town Information:

Newfane/Williamsville Facebook Bulletin

Town of Marlboro Facebook Page:

Marlboro Message Board

Dover Town Website (contains information on Wilington):

NOAA has posted this useful disaster supply kit list to prepare for hurricanes. Be careful on Sunday!

  • How many amendments does the Constitution have?
  • If both the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  • What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
  • There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote.  Describe one of them.
  • And for extra credit: who was Publius?

How did you do?  (answers below)

I you are you studying for the Naturalization Test to become a U.S. citizen, or if are you a citizen who hesitated before answering any of those questions, the Library has free study guides to help you brush up on your knowledge of U.S. history & government.  They are shelved in the Reference area and are free for the taking (one of each title per person, please).  You will find guides to the naturalization process, test lessons, a pocket edition of the Constitution & Declaration of Independence, and a lovely illustrated compendium of important facts and documents called The Citizens’ Almanac.

Online, the Citizenship Resource Center has lots of useful material for prospective citizens and teachers, and has practical links for new immigrants, including: find a job, learn English, get a Social Security Number, get a green card, and get a driver’s license.

Answers (from Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services):

  • 27 amendments
  • Speaker of the House
  • Louisiana Territory
  • A male citizen of any race can vote (15th); women as well as men can vote (19th); you don’t have to pay a poll tax to vote (24th); citizens 18 and older can vote (26th)
  • Extra credit: James Madison (his pen name for the Federalist Papers, which he wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay)

E Pluribus Unum!  And can you name a major U.S. holiday that happens in July…?

Happy summer!  The sun is shining as I post the hundredth entry on the Ready Reference blog.  But I know you don’t want to spend the day online: you want to get outside, even if it’s only for a stroll on your lunch hour.  If you live in the Brattleboro area, check out the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce Hiking & Biking Guide or the Retreat Trails map & podcast or the lovely pamphlet called Treasured Trees: A Walk Thru Brattleboro by the Brattleboro Tree Advisory Board.  JMW

…and Hermit Thrushes, and Downy Woodpeckers, and Hooded Mergansers…

Vermont eBird is the hub for all bird-related data, a place for birders to record their observations for use by scientists and the birding community.   eBird is a “vast and powerful database co-sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon,” and the Vermont section is sponsored by an ecological hall of fame team that includes the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, North Branch Nature Center, Birds of Vermont Museum, Vermont Audubon, and VINS.  Don’t miss the Resources list, which includes links to the BirdsEye phone app and eBird Rare Bird Google Gadget.  Who knew? 

Enjoy the music!


Here’s the lowdown:

“Brattleboro’s heart is as big as all outdoors and we’re proving it at the party of the year!”


A Brooks House Party:  Unity for Community!


An all-community gala event to show our neighborly love for and support of the residents, businesses and employees whose lives have been affected by the Brooks House fire

Friday, May 6th / 5 – 9 p.m. (yes, along with Gallery Walk!)

Downtown Brattleboro– with Elliot Street closed to traffic and open to celebration!

Be on hand to salute the many individuals and organizations that responded first and fantastically to help with the downtown recovery:

Brattleboro Fire and Police Departments
Brattleboro Town Manager and staff
Rescue Inc.
United Way of Windham County
Green Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross
BaBB, BDCC and
All the social and human services professionals
who do what they do better than anyone could!

Father Rich O’Donnell,  Chaplain of the Brattleboro Fire and Police Departments

Non-stop music by:
Stockwell Brothers
Cool Beans
Sugarhouse and Friends

Bring your appetite, your heart and your pocketbook!  There will be folks stationed all around Main Street to collect your donation to the United Way’s special fund to benefit the displaced residents of Brooks House. 

This event is brought to you by WTSA, WKVT, WYRY, the Brattleboro Reformer, the Commons, ibrattleboro, Building a Better Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, United Way and the Red Cross.


Make it your business to be there!

But if you have to miss it, SEVCA (800) 464-9951 x127 and United Way (802) 257-4011 are welcoming your contributions to the Fire Fund.


New Contact Information for the Brooks House Inc.

Brooks House Realty, Inc.

P. O. Box 2130

West Brattleboro, VT 05303

802-257-7100 (being activated on Tuesday 4/26)


Displaced tenants of the Brooks House please update your contact information with Jonathan by calling the above telephone number or email.

Jonathan is in need of your name, mailing address and telephone number.

From the Commons News report on the Brooks House Fire:

Where help is available

An outpouring of community support has appeared on iBrattleboro, with users of the online citizen news site offering shelter and support for those displaced.

The Green Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross and the United Way of Windham County are both accepting donations to assist with relief efforts.

At this time, both organizations say financial donations are most helpful to the current efforts.

Donations can be designated for immediate Red Cross relief efforts (such as emergency shelter or clothing) or long-term needs to be coordinated locally (such as security deposits, furniture, etc.).  Both agencies will accept donations for the immediate Red Cross efforts, and the United Way of Windham County will be the repository for contributions designated for long-term needs.

Mail checks to the American Red Cross Green Mountain Chapter, 81 High St., Brattleboro, VT 05301.  Please specify “Brooks House disaster” in the memo of your check.  Online donations can be made at (sic) [NOTE: THE CORRECT URL SEEMS TO BE]

Or, mail checks to United Way of Windham County, 28 Vernon St., Suite 312, Brattleboro, VT 05301.  Please specify “Brooks House disaster” for immediate Red Cross relief efforts or “Brooks House long-term” for the long-term fund in the memo of your check. On-line donations can be made at

Those interested in volunteering for the Brooks House disaster relief effort should email contact information to

Just returned from the meeting at the Gibson Aiken center.  Here are some key contact numbers and websites for those displaced by the fire:


Mini Bussino, Outreach Worker, Family Services

(802) 254-2795

Vermont Economic Services reports that if you participate in 3Squares VT and have lost your benefits card, call toll free: 800-914-8605

The Gibson Aiken Center will remain the information hub for awhile, then the information board will shift to the Library.

PRESS RELEASE (Town of Brattleboro)



Update on status of Downtown Business District

Brattleboro Vermont – April 18, 2011   In the wake of last night’s fire that damaged a large portion of the Brook’s House Building at the intersection of High and Main Streets in downtown Brattleboro, the town is working diligently to bring downtown back to use.  The fire itself was largely confined to the fourth and partial fifth floors.  Much of the rest of the building, including the first floor retail businesses, were damaged by water and smoke. Vermont state police fire investigation unit has determined the cause of the fire to be electrical in nature.

Temporary shelter and emergency service for displaced residents has been established at the Gibson Aiken Center by the American Red Cross. On Wednesday April 20th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM representatives from local and state housing and social services will be at the Gibson Aiken Center to assist displaced residents of the Brooks House. Once the building has been stabilized, residents will be given access to their residences.  That determination will be made by the Brattleboro Fire Department.

Downtown businesses, other than those in the Brooks House, will be allowed to open on Tuesday, April 19th with accessibility by pedestrian traffic only.  Vehicular traffic remains restricted.  Building a Better Brattleboro and Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation will be coordinating assistance for businesses located in the Brooks House.


Barbara Sondag, Brattleboro Town Manager, 802-251-8102

Andrea Livermore, Building a Better Brattleboro, 802-257-4886


About this blog



Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

Jeanne Walsh, Therese Marcy, Sharon Reidt, Jess Weitz, and sometimes Jerry