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By the way for Jan. 13

The Bridport Grange and the Addison County Farm Bureau have made the difficult decision to cancel their legislative breakfast series this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the second year in a row in which there will be no breakfast series, which has provided a regular weekly forum for lawmakers and residents to gather for updates on goings-on at the Vermont Statehouse. The Grange and Farm Bureau suspended the breakfast series in early March of 2020, when the pandemic was first making inroads into the county. The legislative breakfast series was launched more than 40 years ago by the Addison County League of Women Voters. “We do not feel we can safely hold legislative breakfasts this year,” Bridport Grange leader James Morse stated in a recent email to the Independent. “Most of our meeting spots are to small to keep 6 feet apart. We hope to be safe to resume meetings in 2023. The Bridport Grange Hall is large enough, but the first floor is not safe due to the floor rotting out; hopefully we can get some grants to replace the floor and bring the building up to ADA specifications.”

Gov. Phil Scott this week announced the launch of the state’s “Tests for Tots” program, which provides rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits to regulated child care providers across Vermont. These childcare providers can enroll in the program effective immediately. “Test to Stay” has been an important tool in Vermont’s K-12 schools, saving thousands of in-person instruction days for students. This latest initiative expands the effort to childcare providers, allowing them to test children and staff when a positive COVID-19 case is detected at their program. Tests for Tots will offer tests for children between the ages of 2 and 5, as well as for child care program staff. They can be administered at home. To participate in the program, childcare providers may register for test kits and pick them up at locations throughout the state. The Child Development Division (CDD) will notify providers directly about this opportunity with instructions on how to enroll in the program. Information will also be on the CDD website. More information can be found at vermont.gov/cdd.

Would you like to help shape Bristol’s future? The Bristol selectboard is seeking nine individuals interested in serving on a committee to review and assess proposals for Bristol’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The town is slated to receive almost $1.2 million over the next two years through ARPA, to be spent on various areas including pandemic response, premium pay to eligible workers, lost revenue, and water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. The town is seeking six residents, along with one representative each from the town planning commission, conservation commission and energy committee. Special consideration will be given to applicants with experience or knowledge in public health, economic development, education, and housing and community development. The panel will be appointed for one year and will conduct public meetings, have a chair and vice-chair, and follow the open meeting process. Send a letter of interest to Valerie Capels at PO Box 249, Bristol, VT 05443, or email townadmin@bristolvt.org no later than noon on Jan. 19. The selectboard expects to meet with applicants on Jan. 24 at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Looking for opportunities to volunteer with a nonprofit? The Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh is looking for you. For example, the museum is seeking someone to work with its education programs manager to lead tours for children, teens, and lifelong learning groups, as well as help with special programs. Education volunteers are fully trained by museum staff and are given the tools needed to deliver “honest, engaging and accurate” tours. Volunteers are asked to lead at least one program a month. To learn more, contact Tucker Foltz at tfoltz@rokeby.org. Don’t want to lead tours? You can join one of the museum’s committees, or become a buildings & grounds volunteer. The Rokeby has many historic buildings and 50 acres of trails. Throughout the year, volunteers help with yearly grounds maintenance, including tending to trails, gardening, outbuilding cleaning throughout the season, and historic building upkeep. See all the museum’s volunteer opportunities here.

The Brendon P Cousino Foundation will hold its 6th Annual Indoor Yard Sale at the New Haven Town Hall (70 North St.) on Saturday, Feb. 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days. Last year’s sale was in July because of the pandemic, but the event still raised more than $4,200. At this time the foundation is accepting donations for gently used and clean items. If is junk, please throw it away. Organizers are looking for all kinds of household items, toys, craft, decorative, camping, tools, and gardening. Small furniture (stands, chairs, small dressers, lamps) and small household appliances are also accepted. Please don’t donate electronic components, VHS, tapes, stereo, speaker, computer, printer, etc. The foundation’s mission includes providing funds and equipment to area rescue squads and building scholarships for students to attend trade schools. Please call Garry and Cindy Cousino at 802-233-8334 for more details.

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