Bennington | WAMC

Bennington

Book covers for the books listed below on this page
provided - assorted publishers / provided - assorted publishers

This week's Book Picks come from owner of Bennington Bookshop, Phil Lewis.

List:
"Right After the Weather" by Carol Anshaw
"Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art" by Rebecca Wragg Sykes
"Memorial" by Bryan Washington
"Snow" by John Banville
"Why We Swim" by Bonnie Tsui
"Hour of the Witch" by Chris Bohjalian

Battle of Bennington,  engraving after a painting by Alonzo Chappel
New York Public Library/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Bennington Battle Day, August 16th, is a state holiday in Vermont, commemorating a key 1777 battle of the Revolutionary War. The battle has been observed every year since 1778. This year, in the wake of COVID-19, most traditional events were canceled. A group of local citizens stepped in to create the Bennington Battle Day 2020 Celebration Committee to create a commemoration that follows public safety mandates.  Phil Holland is author of “A Guide to The Battle of Bennington and the Bennington Monument.” As co-chair of this year’s commemoration, Holland says events will pay homage to veterans and essential workers and feature a reverse parade.  But first, he explains to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why a battle fought in New York became a holiday in Vermont.

A yellow banner on a telephone pole that reads "downtown Bennington" against a blue sky.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Although cases have been far lower in the state than in neighboring New York and Massachusetts, Vermont’s economy has essentially shut down due to the coronavirus, and schools are closed for the rest of the year. Stuart Hurd is the Town Manager of Bennington, the largest community in southwestern Vermont. WAMC spoke with Hurd about how the pandemic has affected the town of about 16,000 residents.

Bennington Police

Officials in Bennington, Vermont will take questions from the public on a report that examined community-police relations following racially-based complaints.

    This week's Book Picks come from owner of Bennington Bookshop, Phil Lewis.

List:
"Apeirogon" by Colum McCann
"Redhead by the Side of the Road" by Anne Tyler
"A Long Petal of the Sea" by Isabel Allende
"Disappearing Earth" by Julia Phillips
"All Adults Here" by Emma Straub

“Water, Water, Everywhere…” is the final production of Oldcastle Theatre Company's 48th season. The play is set in the office of a small town newspaper in the fictional small town of Walloomsac, Vermont as its reporters begin work on a story about a factory spewing (PFOA) from exhaust stacks that build up over years in the groundwater and soil.

Similar things happened in Bennington, Vermont and nearby Hoosick Falls, New York. But playwright and Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, Eric Peterson, cautions that the play is fiction, not a documentary.

Much of the play revolves around the local newspaper which is facing a difficult financial situation and is in danger of closing. Two young reporters team up with a veteran editor to bring the story to their readers. Peterson, a former columnist for both the Bennington Banner and the Berkshire Eagle, has written often about Vermont themes in plays such as “Civil Union.”

    This week's Book Picks come from owner of Bennington Bookshop, Phil Lewis.

List:
"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman
"Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
"The Long Call" by Ann Cleeves
"Olive, Again" by Elizabeth Strout
"The Secrets We Kept" by Lara Prescott
"The Immortalists" by Chloe Benjamin

  This week's Book Picks come from owner of Bennington Bookshop, Phil Lewis.

List:
"State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts" by Nick Hornby
"How Not to Die Alone" by Richard Roper
"The Guest Book" by Sarah Blake
"The Lost Letters of William Woolf" by Helen Cullen
"The River" by Peter Heller
"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman

Putnam Block rendering for Bennington redevelopment
Primetime Concepts/ M&S Development

Vermont's Republican Governor Phil Scott and Democratic U.S. Representative Peter Welch helped kick off a $31 million project to revitalize Bennington's historic Putnam Block.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Bennington College will use $1 million in grant funding to research food insecurity.

Bennington state Senator Dick Sears (right) discusses St. Gobain settlement
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials say the state has reached a final agreement with St. Gobain over properties in Bennington contaminated with PFOA.

Police say someone broke a window and drew racist graffiti at a Vermont theater company building.

A yellow banner on a telephone pole that reads "downtown Bennington" against a blue sky.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Bennington, Vermont business community is bracing for the closure of Southern Vermont College.

Facebook: Town of Bennington

The State of Vermont and Saint-Gobain have reached a tentative agreement to extend clean, municipal water to homes and businesses affected by PFOA contamination in Bennington. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the deal would affect customers on the east side of town.

This week's Book Picks come from owner of Bennington Bookshop, Phil Lewis.

List:
"Washington Black" by Esi Edugyan
"The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa
"The Friend" by Sigrid Nunez
"Force of Nature" by Jane Harper
"The Collector's Apprentice" by BA Shapiro

The Hoosick Falls Village Board, file photo
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Researchers at Bennington College have released the results of a Community Health Questionnaire, focused on reported illnesses possibly linked to the PFOA contamination crisis surrounding Bennington, Vermont and nearby Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh in New York.

Officials with the State of Vermont will update Bennington-area residents on the ongoing investigation into PFOA contamination of local water supplies.

Bennington, Vermont, voters will be deciding on Town Meeting Day if the community will elect a mayor instead of having a town manager.

    This week's Book Picks come from Phil Lewis of The Bennington Bookshop.

List:
"The Soul of an Octopus" by Sy Montgomery
"Varina" by Charles Frazier (April 2018)
"White Houses" by Amy Bloom (March 2018)
"Only Killers and Thieves" by Paul Howarth (February 2018)
"The Italian Teacher" by Tom Rachman (March 2018)
"The Flight Attendant" by Chris Bohjalian (March 2018)
"A Midsummer’s Equation" by Keigo Higashino

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The first homes in the Bennington, Vermont area with wells contaminated with the chemical PFOA have been hooked up to a clean municipal water system.

Greg L. / English Wikipedia

Bennington voters have overwhelmingly approved a $9.85 million bond to help pay for upgrades to the sewer plant in the southwestern Vermont community.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Homes in southern Vermont that had their drinking water wells test for low levels of chemicals PFOA and PFOS will be resampled over the next three weeks.

According to the New Yrok Times, the virus was first discovered in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, but wasn’t common in the West until an outbreak was found in Brazil last May.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The New York State Health Department is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake a national study of health effects related to chemicals like PFOA and PFOS, which have been found in drinking water in several Northeast communities. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports it’s the second new effort to gather health information announced this week.

Wikipedia

A coalition of people with backgrounds in public health, policy, and research is launching a new effort today to gather information from residents of communities affected by water contaminated with the chemical PFOA. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the group is seeking input from residents across state lines.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Vermont leaders have announced a settlement with Saint-Gobain related to contaminated water supplies in the Bennington area.  As part of the settlement, the company will pay to bring clean, municipal water lines to homes with wells contaminated with the chemical PFOA.

The Environmental Division of Vermont’s Superior Court has fined the Town of Bennington $15,000 for failing to maintain its wastewater treatment facility over the past several years. 

Vermont health and environmental officials are reminding residents in the Bennington area about a meeting this evening to address the chemical contamination of local water supplies. 

Battle of Bennington,  engraving after a painting by Alonzo Chappel
New York Public Library/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Today is a state holiday in Vermont.  August 16th marks Bennington Battle Day, a Revolutionary War clash that was actually fought in nearby New York.

Bennington Battle Monument
Doug Kerr/Flickr

Vermont's annual Bennington Battle Day state holiday is Tuesday and will be followed by a birthday celebration for the monument that marks that piece of history.

The Environmental Protection Agency logo
The Environmental Protection Agency

The industrial chemicals PFOA and PFOS have caused trouble for residents of communities like Hoosick Falls, Newburgh, Petersburgh, and Bennington. Federal officials have advised residents to stop drinking the contaminated water and state governments are still putting measures in place to deliver clean water to residents.

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