Weathersfield Weekly Blog June 20 edition

The neighborhood is going to the birds.
Like this Blackburnian Warbler and this abandoned nest of Phoebe Eggs.

News You Can Use
ICYMI (In case You Missed It)

Zoning Bylaws Changes on Select Board Agenda TONIGHT

The Planning Commission has been working to update Weathersfield’s Zoning By-Laws, in accordance with State requirements, to preserve the rural character of the town while encouraging moderate growth around the village centers - revitalizing the villages while preserving the habitats, scenic vistas, and natural resources that are unique and infinitely valuable to this community.

Some of the proposals include converting most of the town’s 10-acre lot size in C-10 districts to 3-5 acre zoning, and creating 1/2-acre multi-use lots size in village districts.

Changes to the bylaws have been recently discussed in open meetings that were poorly advertised and sparsely attended by the public.

The Selectboard was set to make a decision at their previous meeting on June 6, 2022 but a number of concerns about the changes were raised, as well as the reminder that, in addition to simply approving or voting down the changes, they have the authority to put the issue to a public vote, which prompted the select board to table the item to be resolved at their next meeting, tonight, Monday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Please attend tonight's meeting if these changes to zoning regulations in our town are important to you.  

Current Bylaws: CLICK HERE

Proposed District Map: CLICK HERE

May 16th Public Hearing Notice: CLICK HERE

Planning Commission's Report: CLICK HERE

Police locate missing Springfield man

Vermont State Police said Thursday, June 16 afternoon that they have located a Springfield man whose disappearance two days ago prompted an expansive search.

Donald I. Gurney, 65, was reported missing around midnight on Tuesday, June 14; his family said he has Alzheimer’s disease.

He was located in Cavendish and was being evaluated by medical personnel, state police said.

Officers began searching for Gurney immediately after he was reported missing, but were unable to find him right away, according to a state police press release.

Nine police and rescue teams are involved in the search, including the Cavendish and Reading fire departments and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team.

“About 50 searchers are working in the Cavendish area as part of an effort to locate Gurney,” said the press release. Crews are searching particularly along Parker Hill Road. Cavendish is northwest of Springfield.

Police say money at center of dispute between mother and son leading to fatal shooting in Woodstock

Alan J. Keays 

WOODSTOCK — The victim in a deadly shooting outside a home in downtown Woodstock on Tuesday was a 67-year-old New Hampshire man who had showed up to support a woman in a dispute with her adult son over money, police said.

“The son and the mother had an issue over finances and property, is the best we can tell right now,” Lt. Todd Baxter of the Vermont State Police said Wednesday. “I can say that I don’t know if it was a prolonged period of time but we are learning that this was something of contention.”

The financial disagreement between June Wilson, who’s in her 70s, and her 45-year-old son, Jay Wilson, is among the new details that emerged a day after police said Jay Wilson shot and killed his mother’s friend, Dieter Seier, of Cornish, New Hampshire.

“Honestly, it’s the wrong place, wrong time, and (Seier) was here to support his friend and be here with her,” Baxter said.

An autopsy performed Wednesday at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington determined Seier’s cause of his death was gunshot wounds to the torso. The manner of death was homicide.

Woodstock on Wednesday was bustling, with few open parking places in the village and more than two dozen vendors filling the green in the center of town for a weekly market selling cheese, veggies, ice cream and other foods and crafts.

A day earlier much of the town had been shut down. Police instructed residents in the area to shelter in place with their doors locked and had asked the public to be on the lookout for Jay Wilson in case he had escaped from the home where he had fired on police responding to the initial shooting.

Baxter said June Wilson and Seier had driven to the property at 13 Slayton Terrace, perched above Route 4, on Tuesday to meet with June Wilson’s son, Jay Wilson, who had been living at the residence. June Wilson owns the property but hadn’t been living there, the lieutenant said.

June Wilson and Seier had arrived in separate vehicles, and June Wilson was planning to transfer ownership of one of the cars to her son, Baxter said.

Prosecutors outline crime spree leading up to DHMC shuttle theft, chase
The Valley News reported on VT Digger that while the theft of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center parking shuttle drew the initial headlines last week, that episode was the tail end of a destructive crime spree, according to police.

In one day, Mitchell Horton damaged an auto mechanic’s garage while stealing a car he later crashed, received treatment for his injuries at Springfield Hospital, was arrested, was transported to DHMC for further treatment, fled the Emergency Room, stole the shuttle bus, led police on a high-speed pursuit, fled on foot, was arrested again, and treated at both hospitals again, according to a police affidavit and interviews. orton, who appeared with a black eye via video from Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, pleaded not guilty to charges of grossly negligent operation of a vehicle, eluding a police officer, operating a vehicle without owner’s consent and possession of stolen property during his arraignment in Windsor Superior Court on Monday.

He was released on conditions — including staying 300 feet away from DHMC and a 24-hour curfew — pending $10,000 cash bail.

Police said Horton, a carpenter, painter and handyman, had three outstanding arrest warrants for failing to appear in court before last week’s arrest.

On Tuesday during his arraignment, Horton’s court-appointed attorney, Rick Ammons of the Windham County public defender’s office, said Horton, 34, has been struggling with substance use disorder and using heroin since he was 16 years old.

For Horton, June 8 started and ended on French Meadow Road in Springfield. The early-morning crime spree came to the attention of authorities when Vermont State Police responded to a car crash in Cavendish, just after 6 a.m., involving a vehicle that had been stolen by Horton, according to an affidavit from Weathersfield police officer Ryan Prince in support of the charges related to stealing the DHMC shuttle van.

Horton and another occupant in the vehicle, Briana Stone, allegedly left the scene of the crash.

VCE Offers New Free Bumble Bee Guide

Calling all birders: Are you experiencing migration burnout? Tired of warbler neck? Is the cost of adding another bird to your life list more than you’re willing to bear? Bee-ing might be right for you. As a birder, you already have all the skills you need, and with our new Bumble Bees of New England Guide, New England’s thirteen common bumble bee species are just waiting for you to add them to your new bumble bee life list.

This free two-page pdf features annotated photos, defining field marks, and phenology graphs of the 16 bumble bee species in New England, as well as a few commonly confused look-alikes. An accompanying one-page illustrated plate is also available for download. You will soon be as proficient at identifying bumble bees by their field marks as you are with the thrushes and sparrows.

Spring and summer are a great time to start your new hobby. In spring, the mighty queen bumble bees are out foraging on spring ephemerals and searching for the perfect crevice for their new nest. Their large size and loud buzz make them hard to miss, and their consistent markings make them easier to identify. Bumble bee populations will multiply in the warmer months as the queen’s daughters take over foraging responsibilities for the colony. Homeowners participating in No-Mow-May and mowing less frequently throughout the summer are likely to see a few species of bumble bees right out their door.

Unlike birding, which often requires an expensive camera or impeccable binocular-phone coordination to get an identifiable bird photo, snapping a decent photo of a bumble bee with your phone is easy (we have some tips here). From there, you can upload your photos to iNaturalist or Bumble Bee Watch so that others can use your data for long-term monitoring of species’ ranges and phenologies. You can even add annotations—similar to breeding codes on eBird. Instead of noting that a bird is carrying food back to their nest as an indicator that they are feeding young, you can indicate when a bumble bee is carrying pollen to indicate that they have begun to raise offspring. Two VCE efforts are currently underway to mine community-generated bumble bee photos for data on flower preferences and timing of colony establishment. Robust monitoring efforts for bumble bees only began in 2012 with the first Vermont Bumble Bee Atlas, and there is still much for us to learn—your observations will help uncover the mysteries of the bumble bee world.

If you’re thinking, “well, there are only 16 species in Vermont and my Vermont bird list is over 200—how exciting can this really be?” just know that bumble bees are only a gateway genera. There are roughly 350 species of wild bees in Vermont of all shapes and colors. We are not asking you to drop your birding hobby, but consider turning your binoculars and camera towards the smaller bee-ings next time it gets hot and the warblers disappear deep into the forest. Let us know what you find on iNaturalist and Bumble Bee Watch!

Local Events ICYMI 

Lace Up for Laura 5K race THIS Saturday, June 25 8:30 a.m.

The Lace Up for Laura Memorial 5k walk/run is a way to come together the last Saturday in June each year in remembrance of Laura Cody McNaughton who died in a tragic car accident on June 28, 2018.  It is intended to be a fun activity families can participate in together with runners and walkers of all ability. 

The event will consist of two races held on Saturday, June 25, 2022: an approximately 1/3 mile kids 12 and under fun run starting at 8:30 A.M. followed by a 3.1 mile (5km) race starting at 9:00 A.M for all ages and abilities. 

The starts for both races will be located near the intersection of Plains road and Reservoir road. 

The 3.1 mile race will be an out and back race on the scenic dirt road known for its lack of change in elevation. 

The kids race is at 8:30. The first 50 kids will receive custom wooden medallions, the adult winners and runners up in each age category will have custom medals again as well.

Proceeds from the Memorial run will benefit the Laura Cody McNaughton Memorial fund and its annual scholarship which will be awarded to a graduating senior who exemplifies Laura’s leadership and giving spirit, and, is pursuing further education and training in a field where these principles may be put into practice.

Neighborhood Yard Sale Saturday, June 25 9 a.m.-1p.m.

Four families hosting big yard sales from 9am-2pm on June 25-26 along Meadow Lane in Weathersfield, VT. Items include: toys, clothing (kids + adults), outdoor gear, bikes, sporting goods, housewares, horse cart, campfire pits, canoe, tires, furniture, baskets and much more!

More info email

Summer FAM JAM at Storrs Pond

Weathersfield Proctor Library Events

Summer Reading Program-Oceans of Possibilities
School's out so that means Summer Reading begins! Programs every Saturday June 18-August 13.

Programs for ages 0-9 Stories, singing, and crafts every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30. 
Programs for ages 10+ Every Saturday at 12:30. 
Limit of 5 for each program, so please sign up

For the brochure: Click Here

Summer Evening with Friends and Neighbors Returns July 30th 6 PM

The Weathersfield Proctor Library Fundraising Committee has announced the return of their annual “Summer Evening with Friends and Neighbors.” The date is Saturday, July 30th at 6 p.m. at the Weathersfield Center Meeting House on the Weathersfield Center Road, in Weathersfield VT.

The band will be the Vermont Bluegrass Pioneers, which is made up of four members. Some you will recognize. It includes Banjo Dan.

More details to follow. More information about the band: CLICK HERE or follow them on Facebook.

Shakespeare Returns to WPL

Wednesday evenings June 29-August 37-8 PM. More info:

WPL Drop in Scrabble

Route 5 (5181 US-5 Ascutney VT 05030)

Mondays at 1 p.m.
Please call Maureen Bogosian for details @ 603-252-0936

Weathersfield Summer Hikes UPDATES

Please contact Steve ( if you plan to attend ANY or ALL of the hikes.
In your email-include you phone number.

Let him know which hikes you are interested in, and he will contact you about a week before for just those, or you can say “ALL” and he will contact you for each hike. 

“Contact” means confirmation and directions. Do not show up for a hike without eventually signing up – changes often occur. Hike start PROMPTLY– we wait only 5 minute.  Let him know if you want us to observe Covid precautions: masks as we gather, maintain distance as we walk unless your companions agree not to.

The hikes are being organized under the auspices of Weathersfield Parks and Recreation. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. We expect a range of hiking speeds.

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

Feel free to call Steve, organizer, at 263-5439. Experienced hikers, too, please ask questions or comment freely.

Marianne Walsh is happy to lead a bird walk from the upper section of Bowen Hill Rd to the wetlands on the Springfield/Weathersfield town line on Skyline Drive. The walk would be during a weekday and would be early (6 AM ?). Marianne walks this section in spring, summer and fall. If interested, contact her at 802-885-9420 or

Saturday, June 25th, 9:00 AM:  Cathedral Rocks                                                                       
This length of this hike is about three miles. The route follows Stokes Road, climbs to a nice view, and then descends to the erratics, which are not far into the woods with no trail to them. The rocks are very big. Two hours? We go down and then return back up.

Sunday, July 10th, time to be announced: Crown Point Road
This event is a Crown Point Road Association tour of 5 or 6 Crown Point Road sites as follows: a half-mile or a bit more round-trip walk to mile marker 10; not much of a walk to marker 11; the Grout Cemetery plaque at Plain Cemetery; a short walk from Cady Hill Road to the 1915 marker stone on Reservoir Road across from the 1780 Chamberlain home; a walk there up the CPR of length to be determined but ideally with the option of going all the way to the Asa Grout cellar hole (RT of 40 minutes for me); and a fairly short walk to Upham’s mill on the CPR north of Wellwood Orchard Road. I expect us to need to car pool. CPRA participants have priority. If we have more enthusiasts than we can handle in one tour, we will plan a second.

Saturday, July 23rd, 4:00 PM:  “Up on the Hill” on conserved land near Charlestown
We will walk on trails up the hill to a view of Ascutney, a short hike of only a mile and a half round trip. Some people last year added some of the forest walk to that excursion. I searched “Up on the Hill UVLT” and went to the website.  

Sunday, August 7th, 11:30 AM:  To the Cabin                             
We follow Swift’s Logging Road up to the crest of Pikes Peak ridge. Then we follow a trail through the woods to Grace’s skiing trail, head down that, and finish on a woodsy trail to Steve’s cabin. There is a nice view there. We will linger – a bit of food provided. The distance to the cabin will feel like 2 miles, plus a short walk on the Center Road.

Saturday, August 20th, 9:00 AM: B-29 crash site
We will go up from Matt Keniston’s on a trail well-maintained, but steep in places and overall a climb. Round-trip of 3 miles?? It might feel like more. There is a nice viewing spot halfway up. If anyone wants to head up to the site in the future, contact Matt for permission. If not sure of making the crucial turns without the tape in place, contact Steve Aikenhead at 263-5439, NO SOUVENIRS! Responsible people only.

Saturday, September 10th, 4:00 PM:  Ferry Road and the Connecticut River            
This generally level route with one steep descent of about ten yards 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. (Used to be – high corn last year!) The total length is about 2 miles. Carol Orth is the leader.

Saturday, September 24th, 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, unless a hiker goes only as far as the pond and then back up, less than 2 miles.

Saturday, October 1st, 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 expect to join that shorter climb. We leave early because parking later is a problem.  

Other days in October are open for rescheduling, maybe Mt. Cardigan, and a hike at your request. That last one could be earlier in the season.

Windsor Community and the American Red Cross are hosting upcoming blood drives.

Please join their lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today
Holiday Inn Ballroom (at Ascutney Mountain) 
485 Hotel Drive, Brownsville, VT, 05037
Time: 12:30 PM - 5:00: PM
Donors in and around Windsor and Reading Communities the Holiday Inn is hosting, and every eligible donor is welcome to come donate at any of the upcoming drives: 
Wed. 7/13, Wed. 8/17, Wed. 9/14

Other locations are available too!
Click here to make an appointment

The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.

Download the Red Cross Blood Donor App on the App Store, Google Play or text BLOODAPP to 90999. Schedule appointments, view your blood type and results of your mini-physical, and track your donations.

Things to Do...

Farmers Markets

Outdoor Concerts

Front Porch Concert Series

Colburn Park 7 p.m.
Concerts are held each Thursday night starting July 7th until August 18th, beginning at 7 p.m. on Colburn Park located across from Lebanon City Hall at 51 N. Park St., Lebanon, NH.
Rain Location-First Congregational Church at 10 South Park Street Lebanon, NH 03766.

July 7 - The Big Takeover
July 14 - John Lackard Blues Band
July 21 - The Rough & Tumble
July 28 - Grayson Ty
August 4 - Bassel & The Supernaturals
August 11 - Cold Chocolate
August 18 - Crazy Maggy

Hartland Summer Concert Series
Sundays at the Hartland Rec Gazebo 5-7 p.m.

July 17-Carlos Ocasio
July 24-The Gully Boys
July 31-Still Hill
August 14-Jim Yeager

4th of July Events

Fireworks-Brownsville July 3 5-9 p.m.
Brownsville Independence Day Celebrations start the evening of the 3rd with food, ice cream, music and fireworks up on the mountain.

Join us in person by the Ascutney Outdoors parking lot or watch the show from your yard or one of the back roads around town.

Old Home Day Monday, July 4 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Hartland Recreation Department
Tractor pull starts @8am, Parade at 10am
Vendors and entertainment behind the Rec Center after the parade
The Moonlighters Big Band @7pm
Fireworks @9pm
To enter the parade or for vendor information contact the Hartland Rec Center

Town of Weathersfield

Weathersfield Police Blotter 

Select Board

All regular meetings are broadcasted live on Comcast channel 1087, VTEL Channel 161, and on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Selectboard Members  
Mike Todd  Chair
David Fuller Vice Chair 
Kelly O'Brien  Clerk
Wendy Smith Member
Paul Tillman Member

Select Board Meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month 6:30 p.m. 
June 20 Agenda

May 18 Special Meeting (to sign the Warrant from the May 16th meeting)
May 2 (posted now but not posted at press time May 9 in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting law. )
April 18 (posted now, but not posted at press time April 25 in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting law. )
April 4
March 21
March 7-(The March 7th meeting minutes are now the March 7th meeting minutes not the Feb. 7th's as originally posted)
Special Meeting March 3-Select Board organization
Town Meeting Minutes
February 21
February 7
January 20
January 3

*Vermont Open Meeting Law
Minute posting: Minutes of all public meetings shall be matters of public record, shall be kept by the clerk or secretary of the public body, and shall be available for inspection by any person and for purchase of copies at cost upon request after five calendar days from the date of any meetingMeeting minutes shall be posted no later than five calendar days from the date of the meeting to a website, if one exists, that the public body maintains or has designated as the official website of the body. Except for draft minutes that have been substituted with updated minutes, posted minutes shall not be removed from the website sooner than one year from the date of the meeting for which the minutes were taken.

Weathersfield School

School's Out For Summer

Meeting Agendas may be found HERE

Weathersfield School Board will meets on Tuesdays
Virtual Link:
In Person at Weathersfield School (135 Schoolhouse Road, Ascutney)

June 14 (agenda not posted on the website.)

Location: 135 Schoolhouse RD Ascutney

School Board Meeting VIDEOS
Meeting Minutes
May 10
April 5 (still not posted at press time May 9 in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting law. )
February 11 Special Meeting  (Not posted at press time February 21 in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting law. )
February 8  video link  (Now posted, not posted at press time February 14 in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting law. )
January 11

Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union

Dr. David Baker, Superintendent Update April 29, 2022

Things to Do In and Around Weathersfield

Get Outdoors, Entertainment, Classes, Workshops 

Music and Singing in the Air...

Lebanon Opera House

All shows are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated.

Frank Santos, Jr. R-Rated Hypnotist Friday June 24 Tickets
Prepare to be amazed when you, your friends, and strangers across the room become the stars of this rollicking R-Rated show. Comic hypnotist Frank Santos, Jr. will make you believe you can sing, dance, and much more – muhahaha!
Ages 18 and up!

Opera North Blow Me Down Farm Cornish--Sing On

Opera North's "Carnevale" July 8, 9, 10  Tickets

Opera North Cosi fan Tutte July 21, July 23 7 p.m. Tickets

Opera North-Bette, Babs and Beyond Saturday, July 30 7 p.m. Tickets

Opera North's La Traviata July 27, July 29 and July 31 Tickets

NEXUS 2022 August 12, 13 and 14
FREE Concerts and Arts Festival 
Around Downtown Lebanon, NH



Whole Roasted Tro

Within Reach Yoga 

at Weathersfield Center Church and Meeting House

Indoor Classes were at Perkinsville Community Church-Classes will be moved back to the Weathersfield Center Church beginning April 18. 

You must Register for each class at least a day ahead by emailing Lisa.

Class sizes limited to 7.

Candlelit Gentle Flow Mondays
Mondays, 5:30-6:30pm
June 20, 27
~Location Weathersfield Center Church and Meeting House~

Slow Flow, Rest + Restore Tuesdays
Tuesday Options: 9:00 am
June 21, 28
~Location Weathersfield Center Church and Meeting House~

Walk-ins can register up to 24hrs ahead by emailing Lisa and are available on a first-come, first served basis (classes fill early!). 

Please arrive 5 minutes early with your own props and mats. Covid guidelines are being upheld with distancing and masks required anytime you're off your mat. An air purifier runs during class. Please do not attend if you feel sick.

Workshops Online


Vermont Online Workshops

Lots of events and movies online. Contact: AARP Vermont Email: with questions.

Visit Our Local Restaurants

Bistro Midva Midva is open Wednesday-Saturday 4:30-9:30 p.m. (Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) Call (802) 299-1553 or visit their FACEBOOK PAGE for more information.
131 Main Street Windsor, VT

Daily Grind Café 
Call ahead for take out 674-9859
93 Pleasant St. Claremont, NH (in the space formerly occupied by Dusty’s Café)
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Exit Ate  (802) 674-4299 
Wednesdays-Sundays 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
202 VT 131, Ascutney

Harpoon Beer Garden and Brewery 802-674-5491
336 Ruth Carney Drive
Windsor, VT 05089

Inn at Weathersfield (802) 263-9217 
Dine inside or outside Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, call for a reservation 802-263-9217. 1342 VT Route 106 Perkinsville, VT 05151

Outer Limits Brewing (802)-287-6100
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays;  Wednesdays and Thursdays 3-8 p.m.; Saturdays noon-8 p.m. with LIVE MUSIC; Sundays noon-6 p.m..
60 Village Green, Proctorsville, VT 05153 

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

Tuesdays-Sundays 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. (they stop cooking at 8 p.m.)
4261 Route 106 in Perkinsville, Downers Four Corners to the locals.

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.

Beginning Thursday, January 13, the regular opening schedule of 2:00 pm-4:00 pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month will resume. 
 The Weathersfield Food Shelf is located in the 1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse at 1862 Route 106 in Perkinsville. The Food Shelf has lots of good food to offer!

Call the Weathersfield Town Office to be refereed to a volunteer, visit the Weathersfield Food Shelf Facebook page and leave a message, email
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.

Vermont State Resources and
COVID-19 Response Information

Do it for Yourself, Your Family, Your Community

Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Information Page.

Covid cases are waning. What does that mean for high-risk Vermonters?

Erin Petenko reporting for VT Digger

Heather Benjamin came to Burlington to skirt the worst of the pandemic in New York’s nightmarish April 2020.

Between her autoimmune condition and the immune-suppressing drugs she takes for it, she knew she’d be at high risk for severe complications for the disease. So when she started seeing the seniors in her New York building come down with Covid — seeing “how sick everyone was getting” — she made the “hard decision” to leave her home of about a decade to come to Vermont, where her family had vacationed before.

They came because “Covid was projected to stay within the health system’s capacity, and because we were pleased to see how quickly the governor acted and really put good policies into place to keep people safe,” she said. But more than two years into the pandemic, and a year after Gov. Phil Scott dropped all Covid restrictions, Benjamin feels very differently about the state’s response.

“It's been a huge disappointment to see the complete 180 of the health department and the governor on Covid, and the complete denial that there seems to be, even of the huge surge that we're just now hopefully coming out of,” she said.

Benjamin is not alone in feeling conflicted about the news that Vermont appears to be coming out of a surge led by the BA.2 variant of Covid. Experts and other high-risk Vermonters interviewed by VTDigger expressed cautious optimism about the future, but worried that the state’s guidance, which places the burden of prevention on individuals rather than the general public, may leave high-risk people behind.


Mt. Ascutney Hospital Open for Walk-Ins M-F 1-5 PM

Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center is now offering walk-in service on weekday afternoons for people ages 2 and older, according to a news release.

The visits are available for urgent, but non-emergency medical needs Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. Patients can check in at the hospital’s central registration, through the main entrance.

Some of the conditions appropriate for care through walk-in services are minor cuts and burns; urinary tract infections; strains and sprains; minor fractures; rashes; and ear, sinus and eye infections. In addition, X-ray and lab services are available on-site.

A nurse will be on hand to determine if a patient’s condition calls for transfer to the emergency department.

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

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