Be Smart, Be Safe in Weathersfield Vermont-August 31

Bald eagle in flight over the Black River/Amherst Lake in Plymouth, VT

Can you believe it's the last day of August? Where did this summer go?

Did you fill out your 2020 Census yet?

Have you filled out Your 2020 Census Questionnaire Yet?
It's so easy to do online, takes 5 minutes and you won't get a visit from a Census taker.
Do it NOW-CLICK HERE for the easy questionnaire.

Register to Vote

Did you know you can register to vote ONLINE

There is no deadline to register, you may register to vote up to and including the day of the election. However, if you register online the day before the election or on Election Day, your application may not be processed and your name may not appear on the checklist and you may be asked to fill out another application at the polls. To be sure your name appears on the checklist, please register by the Friday before the election.

General Election is November 3, 2020

Voting in Weathersfield UPDATE

Former select board member John Arrison will be on the ballot as the Democratic candidate to represent Cavendish and Weathersfield in the Vermont House. Dan Boyer, also a former select board member, won the primary vote but later removed his candidacy. 

The town Democratic Committee met and voted to replace Mr. Boyer with Mr. Arrison on the ballot. 

Mike Kell won as a write-in candidate for the Republicans and Sean Whelan is running as an Independent. 

Voting in Vermont:

  • For the first time in a general election, absentee ballots will be mailed to all registered voters. They'll be sent out in late September or early October and any registered voter can use one, no excuse or reason needed.
  • You’ll also be able to vote early by mail and in person from Sept. 21 through Nov. 2.
From the AARP website:

How do I register to vote?

You can register online, by mail or in person. The state’s Online Voter Registration System allows you to register or update your registration information. You can also download a voter registration form and submit it to your town or city clerk.

If you’re registering to vote for the first time, you’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or another form of approved ID. You may also be asked to confirm the last four digits of your Social Security number if you don’t have a driver’s license. You can find a full list of acceptable identification at the secretary of state’s website.

You may register to vote up to and including Election Day. But if you register online on Election Day or the day before, your application may not be processed and your name may not appear on your polling location’s registered voter checklist. In that situation, you may be asked to fill out another application at the polls. Voters are encouraged to register early — if possible by Oct. 30, the Friday before Election Day.

You can check if you're already registered and update your registration information through the Online Voter Registration System.

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Vermont is a no-excuse absentee ballot state, so any registered voter who wishes to vote absentee may cast a ballot safely from home. All registered voters will receive an absentee ballot automatically this year, unless election officials have questions about a voter’s eligibility.

If you don’t receive a ballot or would like to request one yourself, submit a request online or fill out an application and mail it to your town or city clerk. You can also get the form from your clerk’s office and fill it out in person.

Once you receive your ballot, mail it to your clerk or drop it off at the clerk’s office. Some towns may also provide secure drop boxes. All ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of business on Nov. 2, or to your local polling place before 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

How do I know my absentee ballot is secure?

All ballots have two envelopes, an outer postage-paid envelope and an inner security envelope that's printed with the voter’s name, voter ID and a bar code to track the ballot.

Under penalty of perjury, voters must sign the security envelope affirming that they are who they say they are. Town clerks will store the returned absentee ballots in a secure location until Election Day, when they're delivered to the voters’ assigned polling place. A ballot tracking and voter checklist system is used to ensure that no one casts more than one vote.

Voters can also check the status of their ballot using the state’s voter information portal, My Voter Page.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls open between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., depending on where you live. All polls close at 7 p.m. You should consult the My Voter Page or contact your town or city clerk’s office to determine when and where to cast your ballot.

Can I vote before Election Day?

Yes. Vermont permits early voting by mail beginning Sept. 21. You can also vote by completing and submitting an absentee ballot in person at your town or city clerk’s office. AARP is urging voters to return their ballots as soon as possible.

What form of identification do I need to vote?

You won’t be required to show ID when you cast your ballot unless it's your first time voting. You can find a full list of acceptable identification at the secretary of state’s website.

What is being done to make polling places safe from coronavirus?

You may be required to wear a face covering if you cast your ballot in person.

Will I be able to vote in the same place as I always have?

Not necessarily. Check with your town clerk to confirm when and where to cast your ballot.

What are the key races in my state?

U.S. president
U.S. House: Incumbent Peter Welch (D) vs. Miriam Berry (R) and Chris Brimmer (P)
Governor: Incumbent Phil Scott (R) vs. Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D)
State Senate: All 30 seats
State House: All 150 seats

Paddle Report

Friends and I paddled on Amherst Lake last week. We spent most of our time paddling up the Black River towards Hawk Mountain Resort. Two bald eagles flew over, that was pretty exciting.
It was a fantastic paddle. 

When we were on the lake, we encountered a lone loon. I zoomed in with my camera lens and saw fishing line in it's mouth.

When I got home I contacted VINS about the bird and they suggested I contact the State Loon Biologist Eric Hanson.

He responded to my email "We've been watching that bird since late June or early July. It's gotten healthier as the summer progressed. We tried catching it end of July but could not get close enough using night spotlighting technique. When I was watching it a month ago it was behaving pretty much normally. And it's flying. This was on L. Rescue and it was originally on Colby Pond. I think it can migrate the way it is....preening, eating, flying. Glad you got a great look at it. Hopefully that line will eventually wear thin and break. Whatever it has ingested, I don't think it's harming it." 

I feel a lot better now. I just hope people fishing remember not to use lead sinkers and remove any fishing line they no longer need or that may have gotten hung up somewhere.

Vermont COVID-19 Updates

For more information on:
COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit
The Governor’s actions, visit
The state’s modeling, visit
Updated travel map August 28, 2020

Vermont Residents
Vermonters may travel outside of Vermont to counties across the Northeast including New England; New York; Pennsylvania; Ohio; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and West Virginia that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to Vermont (defined as less than 400 active cases per million) and return without quarantining if they do so in a personal vehicle.
Vermonters must remember to follow any travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for the states they plan to visit.

If they travel to a quarantine county or outside of the Northeast (including New England; New York; Pennsylvania; Ohio; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and West Virginia), Vermonters will be required to quarantine in Vermont upon return
Non-Vermont Residents
Residents of other states who live in counties across the Northeast including New England; New York; Pennsylvania; Ohio; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and West Virginia that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to Vermont (defined as less than 400 active cases per million) may enter the state for leisure travel without quarantining if they do so in a personal vehicle.

Residents of other states who live in a quarantine county or are from any other state outside of the Northeast (including New England; New York; Pennsylvania; Ohio; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and West Virginia), must follow quarantine guidelines:
  • Travelers arriving to Vermont in a personal vehicle, may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions.
  • Travelers arriving to Vermont via public transportation (plane, train, bus) or from further than a direct car ride would allow may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in a Vermont lodging establishment or with friends and family (travelers must stay in their quarantine location for the duration of quarantine other than to travel to and from a test site).
Read more about quarantining at the Vermont Department of Health website.

All out of state travelers utilizing lodging, camping and short-term rental properties in Vermont must sign and complete a Certificate of Compliance or affirm a compliance statement via a digital check box at the time of reservation and check-in to attest that they meet the quarantine requirement, have traveled from a county with similar active COVID-19 caseload per the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, or are an essential/authorized worker.

All out of state travelers are strongly encouraged to register with Sara Alert upon arrival to Vermont to get two weeks of daily reminders to check for common symptoms of COVID-19.
Essential Travel

Authorized Work Exemption
The State of Vermont currently allows those traveling to or from Vermont for authorized work, whether they are a Vermonter or a non-resident traveler, to enter Vermont without quarantining when:
Traveling to conduct authorized work; and

If the individual has not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, has not experienced COVID-19-like symptoms in the past 24 hours including a fever a fever above 100.4 F, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache or new loss of taste or smell.

You are NOT Alone, Please Reach Out!

We're all stressed out and are wondering about the future. Don't go it alone.
In either VT or NH dial 211
To access a 24-hour Crisis Text Line people can text VT to 741741

This is a stressful time for everyone. Don't go it alone.
Health Care and Rehabilitation Services 24-hour crisis hotline 1-800-622-4235

HCRS Warm Line for people struggling with COVID-19 related stress and anxiety 1-800-917-1622

Headrest local crisis line 603-448-4400 and Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Also check out Upper Valley Strong
Be Smart, Stay Safe friends and neighbors.
Remember to call or check in on your elderly neighbors, bring them some cheer from a proper physical distance.

Town of Weathersfield Updates

REMINDER-Special Town Meeting (Informational) September 19  at the Weathersfield School at 1 p.m. for Zoning Bylaws amendment for the processing of firewood.

The meeting will be held outside rain or shine or can be accessed online remotely. Visit the Town Website for instructions. 

The vote will be held on November 3, 2020 by Australian ballot during the General Election. Polls will be open 8 a.m.-7 p.m..

Select Board Meets on Sept. 7 and Sept. 21

School Updates

Athletics Survey Due Sept. 4

The school is hoping to get their fall athletics back up and running alongside their academic calendar. Although COVID-19 has put a wrench in things, they are hoping to still offer sports opportunities for their students throughout the school year with some restrictions and new guidelines. 

For now, they are focused on Soccer and Cross Country and ask that you participate in a quick 5 question survey about your and your students interest in participating.

Below is the link for the Athletics Survey for the upcoming season.

Weathersfield Athletics Survey

Please fill this out the survey before Friday, September 4th so they can gather data and information and proceed with their plan.

Chromebooks for Remote Learning-Pick up Sept. 8

If you have a K-8 student at WS and you applied for remote learning, it has been approved. A date has yet to be set when remote teaching will occur. Stay tuned.

Larry Dougher sent an email out on August 20th. In order for any student, remote or in person, to get a Chromebook, parents need to sign the AUP and the Chromebook Promise. 

In person students will get their Chromebooks on September 8th, if parents have signed the two forms. 

Remote students may pick their Chromebooks up at WS between 2 and 4 pm on September 8th, if parents have signed the two forms. 
  Here is the link to the form.

Musical Instruments-Hold On to Them

Parents, Guardians, and Students, please don’t turn your instruments in. The school is planning to introduce band lessons for grades 5-8 in late September/early October. 

If your child is registered for in person instruction, they will have a weekly band lesson provided by Zach Shambo, WS Music Director, starting in October. 

If your child is registered for remote instruction, they will have a weekly band lesson taught by HES band director Jaimie Bernstein. 

You should be hearing from your child's band director, Zach or Jaimie, in the coming weeks with more information about scheduling the lesson time. 

The school will not be starting any beginning band students at this time. 

 All health and safety guidelines will be followed.

The Ellis Music Company  is up and running with COVID safe protocols and can take orders and do deliveries/ship/curbside pickup.


COVID-19 Updates From the Supervisory Union

Back to School Updates- August 27

Mask wearing for Children

Principal Oakman posted a "Social Story" about children and mask wearing. It can be viewed here:

Ongoing Things to Do In and Around Weathersfield

Weathersfield Hikes

The 8th Annual Weathersfield Hikes have been announced. They are being held under the auspices of Weathersfield Parks and Recreation. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. They expect a range of hiking speeds and abilities.
Reserve Your Spot on the Hikes
Contact Steve Aikenheadat 263-5439 or to reserve your spot on the hikes.

Are you new to hiking?
Wear footwear that is broken in and appropriate for our uneven trails. Hikers join at their own risk.

Feel free to call Steve, organizer, at 263-5439 or
Experienced hikers are also encouraged to ask questions or comment freely. 

COVID-19 Precautions
Please observe COVID-19 precautions: physical distancing, wearing masks etc.. If you don't feel well, please stay home.

The Hikes

Saturday, September 5, 9:00 AM: “Up on the Hill” on conserved land near Charlestown

Marianne Walsh has been here and expects to join us. We will walk on trails by a river, though a forest and through meadows, and up the hill to a view of Ascutney. After looking at the map on the website, my guess is that we’ll do up to 3 miles of walking. I searched “Up on the Hill UVLT” and went to the website. 

Sunday, September 20, 5:00 PM: Ferry Road and the Connecticut River 

This generally level route with one steep descent heads down shaded Ferry Road and into Skyline Nursery. Soon it follows the river, sometimes with views. At one point the remains of the huge Consul Jarvis sheep barn can be glimpsed. The total length is about 2 miles. Carol Orth is the leader.

Saturday, October 10, 9:30 AM: Cooks Pond Loop

This is a route on wooded dirt roads more than on trail. There is a lovely framed view of Mt. Ascutney from the south end of Cooks Pond. Other mountain views occur at later points. Difficulty: easy to moderate, with one long incline and a shorter one. Distance: almost 3 miles. 

Saturday, October 17, 8:00 AM: Ascutney Mountain 

We will go to the fire tower and the Brownsville Overlook. We will go up the Weathersfield Trail, but people wanting a less strenuous hike (.7 miles up) could drive up and meet us at the top, we hope. I might join that shorter climb. We leave early because parking later is a problem.   

Within Reach Yoga Under the Trees 

Weathersfield resident, Lisa Gleeson, Within Reach Yoga, is hosting outdoor yoga classes under the trees at the Weathersfield Meeting House/Church on Saturdays as long as the weather cooperates.

Drop her an email to be added to the list so you'll know if the class is in-person or online.

Slow Flow, Rest + Restore Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 am

Email to register or with any questions.

COST: $12 drop-in or one punch for those who have purchased punch passes.

Please bring your own mat, props (blocks or blanket/towel) and practice social distancing guidelines.

To stay in the loop for classes and locations, for questions, to register, or to subscribe to our newsletter, please email Follow her on facebook for class updates.

Learn to Meditate

Sundays, 11 am to Noon
Register before Sunday to get the link if you would like to be on the notification list. Or if you just want to try it once, email to request the zoom link.

Learn to Meditate Class and Dharma talk: For beginners and practitioners. 
This online open house is a great introduction to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings and an opportunity to connect with other practitioners. It features half an hour meditation practice with meditation instruction, followed by a talk by one of our senior teachers, and discussion period. Attendance is free and open to the public. A good class for both beginners and meditators.

If you would like to make a donation to the White River Shambhala Meditation Center for the online class, you can do so on this link to Paypal or by mailing a check to the White River Shambhala Center, PO Box 1254, WRJ, VT 05001.

ALL WELCOME. The class will be led by Shastri Donna Williams of the White River Shambhala Meditation Center.

Local Dining

Local favorites are re-opening for outside and limited inside dining.
Exit Ate is back at it with limited indoor seating (with AC) and outdoor seating. Greg is making homemade bread and potato chips and they now have a variety of salads for your quarantined BBQs: Potato Salad, Tuna Mac, Italian Pasta, and our delicious Cole Slaw.

Inn at Weathersfield-dine inside or outside Thursdays, fridays and Saturdays, call for a reservation 802-263-9217. They also offer a take away menu.

Springfield Diner-seating inside/outside daily 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Ice cream shop open Thursday-Sunday 1-7 pm. Please use ice cream shop entrance for ice cream. Daily specials.

Villagers Ice Cream Hours Noon-8:30 p.m. except Monday. 

The Hanover Chamber put together this list of Curbside Restaurants:

Check to see if your favorite restaurant is open for outdoor and/or indoor dining. Most are requiring reservations so call ahead for their guidelines and business hours.

Food Assistance

Ascutney Union Church Food Cupboard in Ascutney 5243 Route 5 Saturdays 9-10 a.m. call 802-674-2484. 

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville. The 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 2-4 p.m. WFS is located in the 1879 Schoolhouse at 1862 Route 106 in Perkinsville. Donations of non-perishable food are always welcomed and may be dropped off at the facility during open hours or placed in the collection box at Martin Memorial Hall. For more information, call 802-263-5584 or email

Hartland Food shelf in Hartland. 4 Corners UU Church Fridays 8-10 a.m, Saturdays 10 a.m-2 p.m.
Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf in Reading. Mondays 2-4 p.m. and Thursday 4-6 p.m. Stone School 3456 Tyson Rd, Reading.

Travel Plans this Summer?

Check out AAA COVID-19 Guidelines. This map shows restrictions and guidelines to all 50 states and some parts of Canada.

We'll get through this together. We're all connected.

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy is an Upper Valley freelance photographer and writer who loves to attend concerts and local events in and around Weathersfield and the Upper Valley.

If you have anything you think I should post drop me an email:

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