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Interview with Deborah Greene TEDxHartlandHill

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Local ‘Healing Waters’ program helps veterans find peace in nature

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Police chief selection process in full swing

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Paul Wright “Shultz” Langhans

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Constance Allmaras Fitzcharles 

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Alice Frick

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Joan (Mulligan) McGee

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Carol Young Mowry

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Frank Miller Hewitt

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Everybody wants to dance with somebody

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Local ‘Healing Waters’ program helps veterans find peace in nature

While many of us head into nature to relieve stress and to refocus, such getaways are all the more crucial for our active and former military members, for whom the noise often never seems to stop. This is the goal of Project Healing Waters, a national organization that seeks to assist veterans in rediscovering a calmer state of mind through fishing and building their own gear, all while establishing supportive friendships.

“The idea of the program is to help disabled veterans heal through meditative activities,” says Susan Stevens, PsyD, the Project Lead for the White River Junction branch of the program.  “Any veteran can be a part of the organization as long as they are disabled, which includes most any disability.  It’s a national program, so it’s all over the country.  It is also run all on donations.”

The program was active in the area until COVID-19 hit, then it unraveled as most social groups did. Stevens, who is a psychologist at the White River Junction VA hospital, wanted to rectify that for a few reasons. “I love fly fishing, myself,” she proclaims with a smile.  “I also wanted to refer veterans I know to the program, but I couldn’t because it was not running.  Somebody had to do it and I thought it was a good thing to do.”

One of the first actions she took was to consult with Bob Stocker, who was a volunteer with the program in its prior incarnation. Stocker, who lives in Windsor, is a Service Partnership Coordinator for another national fishing group called Trout Unlimited, which aims to bring people together to help conserve wild places to enjoy trout and salmon fishing for coming generations. “I try to get the membership of servicepeople, first responders, police, etc.,” Stocker says, which makes him an ideal bridge between the two programs. “I got involved in Project Healing Waters ten years ago because I know how to build fishing rods and fly rods. They needed that expertise for people to learn how to tie their own fly rods. Everybody knew how to tie flies and people were able to teach how to tie flies, but nobody knew how to tie fishing rods. I can’t tie a fly, but I can tie fishing rods,” he concludes laughing. Considering Stocker’s wisdom and impact on the program, Stevens thankfully says, “I literally could not do this without him.”

Stevens recalled that the first official meeting of the group was mostly volunteers, then word-of-mouth advertising took it from there. The group now meets twice a month at the White River VA hospital to learn how to tie flies; although the group is not officially sanctioned by the VA, the hospital does grant them space for the gatherings. In the meetings so far, Stevens says she has already seen the positive effects. “After the first night, one guy said that when he tied some flies, he was like, ‘That’s the first time my brain has been quiet,’” she says proudly.

The other primary aim of the program is to get members out on the water to use their flies and rods. The first trip took place last Friday at the Lakota Club in Barnard. The Club is typically private, but Stocker contacted its vice president, Jim Ford, and they were able to arrange the event.

Read our full story on this in the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard.

Police chief selection process in full swing

The Village Board of Trustees has named three community members to serve on a newly formed Police Chief Working Committee together with Municipal Manager Eric Duffy and Trustees Chair Seton McIlroy.

The committee has begun vetting candidates to replace outgoing Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish, who announced in March that he is retiring effective July 16. The application deadline for the chief’s post was Wednesday, May 31. 

Following interviews in public session with three interested residents at the Village board’s regular meeting on May 24, Trustees went into executive session to discuss and choose members of the Police Chief Working Group. Returning to public session, the Trustees tabbed Village residents Kathy Costello and Loren Fisher and Woodstock Town resident Susan Ford to serve on the police advisory group with Duffy and McIlroy.

Per the municipal charter, budget and policy decisions for policing are made by the Village Trustees alone. The Town of Woodstock contracts with the Woodstock Village Police Department for Town policing. The Chief of Police reports directly to the municipal manager, who is appointed by mutual agreement of both the Trustees and the Town Selectboard. Duffy, who took office as Woodstock’s new municipal manager on Feb. 1, spelled out the process for moving forward with choosing a new police chief before introducing Costello, Fisher, and Ford to the Trustees on May 24.

Duffy went on to describe the timeline for the next several weeks of the search. “The first week in June, resumes will be reviewed and candidates will be screened in and out, based on their qualifications. At the end of the first week, we’ll confirm the dates for interviews and our consulting firm, (JW Leadership Consulting), will do phone screening to make sure the resumes match the candidates, at which point, around June 13-14, interviews will start with Police Chief Working Group.

“Hopefully, by mid-June, finalists will be selected and then a final interview process will take place, ideally with the Trustees,” the municipal manager continued. “Hopefully by July 1, an offer will be made to the candidate. The timeline could change a little bit based on the availability of the Trustees and the candidates and the hiring committee, as well as on how the process plays out. If we have to delay things a week or two, we’ll have that discussion.”

Please see the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard for more on this.

Revival of ‘Woodstock Anthology’ tells the stories of our town’s first century

When museum executive, actor, and playwright Kyran McGrath relocated from Washington, D.C., to the Upper Valley region with his wife and family of four in the American Bicentennial year of 1976, the inveterate Irish raconteur fell in love with Woodstock and its people.

Not long after settling in as the new owner and innkeeper at The Inn at Long Trail in Killington, McGrath, enamored of his new surroundings and inspired by iconic American literary works about small town life such as Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology” and Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” threw himself into countless hours of research about Woodstock history at the Norman Williams Public Library and the Woodstock History Center.

The result of all that effort was “Woodstock Anthology (The First Hundred Years),” a collection of 100 free verse poems, much in the style of Masters, himself an attorney and dramatist, that tell the stories of a broad swath of people — famed, infamous, and forgotten — from across the first 100 years of Woodstock’s existence. Published in the summer of 1980 by Frank and Rhoda Teagle of the Vermont shire town’s beloved Elm Tree Press, “Woodstock Anthology” debuted in stage form at the Little Theatre on River Street for a three-night run on Nov. 20-22, 1980, presented by another celebrated local institution — the New Woolhouse Players theater company.

Today, 43 years after its publication and inaugural staging, nearly 50 Woodstock area residents, drawn from all walks of contemporary life, much like the characters in McGrath’s book, are gearing up for a staged reading of substantial portions of “Woodstock Anthology,” set to be performed at the North Chapel in Woodstock Village on Sunday, June 4, at 4 p.m. The revival of McGrath’s opus, conceived and coordinated by longtime Woodstock piano teacher Sherry Belisle, will benefit the North Universalist Chapel Society. Admission is by donation and refreshments will be served following the reading. The performance will also be taped by Woodstock Community Television for subsequent cablecasting, Belisle reported.

“The cool thing is that there’s all this history and all these histories written about Woodstock, but Kyran gave these people who lived here imagined voices, so they’re reacting to events in town,” Belisle said in a lively phone conversation about the upcoming production last week. “There are husbands and wives spatting at each other. There are all these inspirational stories and funny stories. They’re not dry stories. They’re wonderful.”

The late Rhoda Teagle, after whom the library at Woodstock Union High School & Middle School is named, captured the essence of McGrath’s work in the “Introduction” to “Woodstock Anthology,” which had a press run of 3,000 copies at the Teagles’ fabled printing firm. “Though not a Vermonter, the author has exhibited an uncanny ability to bring these people to life. He feels as if the doors of Woodstock’s houses had opened to him, and the streets and sidewalks peeled back to reveal the years of footsteps, of conversations, of human nature that had passed before any of us alive today arrived on the scene,” Teagle wrote in 1980. “These pages reflect the joys, the sorrows, the sensitive reactions to life in Woodstock during its first 100 years,” she continued. “When the reader turns the last page of the ‘Woodstock Anthology,’ he will have taken a wonderful visit to our past.”

Read more in the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard.

Sides continue to spar in Woodstock Foundation lawsuit

The eight trustees of the Woodstock Foundation, who are in a legal fight stemming from serious allegations of misconduct and mismanagement of the Woodstock Inn and the Billings Farm & Museum, have filed additional memorandums in Vermont Superior Court seeking dismissal of the wide-ranging lawsuit.

Defendants James S. Sligar. Michael D. Nolan, John T. Hallowell, Douglas R. Horne, David M. Simmons, William S. Moody, Gail Waddell and Angela K. Ardolic are disputing claims of fraud, defamation and are also questioning whether there is legal standing for parts of the lawsuit.

Sligar and Nolan, who are both lawyers, also are seeking to have a claim of legal malpractice dismissed against them.

Former Board Chair Ellen R.C. Pomeroy and Vice Chair Salvatore Iannuzzi filed an initial 8-count lawsuit in January that outlined a hostile takeover and their secret ouster from both office and the board when they began to investigate employee complaints. They added more claims and 3 trustees in February due to subsequent conduct by board members, court records show.

Iannuzzi and Pomeroy have said that before they were removed they talked to more than 40 people during the initial investigation documenting serious work-related problems involving wide-ranging claims of misconduct and mismanagement. Multiple, credible complaints first became known to Iannuzzi in May 2022, they said. 

The lawsuit said actions or inactions by trustees, along with various managers at both the resort and the Billings Farm were part of the problems.

Female employees reported they were subjected to recurrent, offensive sexual comments and behavior by both members of management and co-employees, the lawsuit maintained. It said management also tolerated a human resource training manager’s frequent use of the “N word.” LGBTQ persons claimed discriminatory or prejudicial treatment, court papers noted. Concerns emerged that employees were paid less than those at other nearby resorts. 

Burlington attorney Christopher Roy of Downs Rachlin Martin, who represents the individual board members, said this week that the latest defense memos support earlier legal filings in the ongoing volley of filings in the civil lawsuit, which started four and a half months ago.

“We do not have a comment beyond the contents of the filings, which are in support of the motions to dismiss filed nearly three months ago,” he told the Vermont Standard in an email.

Hartford lawyer Michael Hanley, who is the local lead counsel for the plaintiffs, responded Tuesday that he sees it differently.

“The trustee defendants’ multiple motions to dismiss do not address the merits of the case and, instead, assert hyper-technical, legalistic arguments about the wording of the plaintiffs’ complaint. Ms. Pomeroy and Mr. Iannuzzi are confident their lawsuit will be resolved on the merits,” Hanley told The Standard.

“The evidence will show, as the trustee defendants’ lawyer admitted to one newspaper in February, that Ms. Pomeroy and Mr. Iannuzzi ‘responded to real and disturbing employee complaints about management’ of the Inn and the Foundation,” he said.

Roy said in four separate replies filed in Vermont Superior Court in Woodstock recently that six of the counts in the lawsuit should be dismissed. Two of the fraud counts should be terminated because the claims do not track all the requisite elements for a fraud under the law, Roy said. This failure to follow precedent also means that a request by Pomeroy and Iannuzzi to remove the trustee/defendants from office should also be thrown out by the judge, Roy wrote.

For the defamation claim, the defendants claim it is unclear to them from the lawsuit about who said what. Only Sligar, Nolan, Hallowell, Horne and Simmons are named in that count.

“The lack of detail regarding who made what allegedly false statements renders it impossible to evaluate or understand the vague allegation in Paragraph 174 that the Trustee Defendants’ conduct — collectively — “was intentional or, at a minimum, more than negligent,” Roy wrote.

“Greater detail and/or clarity is likewise necessary to understand Plaintiffs’ claims of causation and damage,” he wrote.

In the filing, Sligar, who is the Foundation chair, and Nolan maintain the allegation for legal malpractice fails to address a claim upon which relief can be granted under Vermont law.

In the filing, Sligar and Nolan said the legal malpractice claim is unclear to them.

“Plaintiffs assign to the Court and other parties the task of cobbling together sufficient allegations from disparate parts of the 180-paragraph Amended Complaint to satisfy the requisite elements of a legal malpractice claim…” Roy said in one motion. 

“However, given the current state of Plaintiffs’ pleadings, it is difficult — if not impossible — to determine whether such an effort would be fruitful,” Roy said. He maintains the claim was not presented in a simple, concise and direct manner for the defendants. 

Read our full story on this in the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard.

Woodstock Area celebrates National Trails Day

This Saturday, June 3, is National Trails Day, a day of celebration and service for hometown trails and the people who love them. Established by the American Hiking Society, it launched its very first National Trails Day back in 1993 to recognize and honor all the benefits that federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and communing with nature.

National Trails Day is equal parts a day of service and celebration. And when it comes to service, there are several ways to contribute, the first of which is to log onto the American Hiking Society’s website and take “the pledge.” To learn more, go to 

But you don’t need to take a pledge in order to commit to service. One suggestion that the American Hiking Society hopes you’ll consider is taking a small trash bag along with you on your hike and collecting trash along the way. “Leaving a trail better than you found it” is a great way to give back.

As for the celebration part, you can honor the day and kick off the summer season by heading over to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park for their: Trek to the Top!

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., (and every first Sat. of the month until Oct.) MBRNP hosts this family-friendly opportunity to hike to the South Peak of Mt. Tom, where you’ll meet Park Rangers, and enjoy light snacks. This is a free event and no registration is required.

If you simply want to skip the formalities and venture off on a hike alone, or with a friend, there are plenty of local trails to choose from. (For a detailed breakdown of hiking trails throughout the state, go to trails)

Read more in the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard.


Everybody wants to dance with somebody

WUHS/MS hosted a statewide Queer Prom — “‘Twas epic. ‘Twas splendid.”

By Tess Hunter, Managing Editor

One hundred and sixty-nine students from 16 Vermont Middle Schools and High Schools, and one school in New Hampshire, attended a Queer Prom on May 13 at the Killington Grand, courtesy of the Woodstock Union Middle/High School Queer Straight Alliance (QSA). 

Lauren Justice, a WUHS English teacher and one of the QSA’s two faculty advisors, says the night was “magical.” She also notes that it was the first of its kind. “As far as I know, this is the biggest one that I’ve heard of that was done by a school. Outright Vermont does a Queer Prom every year as part of their programming, but to have one put together by a school, I think it’s kind of unique.” 

Justice worked together with the QSA’s other faculty advisor, WUHS Student Assistance Professional Annie Luke, to bring the event to fruition. Justice says the idea had long been at the forefront of the QSA’s imagination, but they had always been intimidated at the prospect of tackling such a mammoth — and expensive — project. “Every year, we have the kids brainstorm what they might like to do, what they might like to achieve. And every year they say — a Queer Prom,” she said, adding, “It always felt like sort of a moonshot.”

But then Luke showed up to a QSA meeting with exciting news — “Annie Luke, my faculty co-advisor, reached out and applied for a grant. And she got it! And we were like, ‘Holy moly, okay — we have a lot of planning to do.’” 

The grant was through the Upper Valley Community Health Equity Partnership. According to the grant’s parameters, funding is intended to assist the Upper Valley Community Health Equity Partnership to address health inequity(s) experienced in the White River Junction District of the Vermont Department of Health which were exacerbated during COVID-19, and which are described as: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and plus (LGBT+QIA+).

Justice says that recent studies support the need for safe spaces and events such as the Queer Prom. “If you look at the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that went out recently in the state of Vermont, the data is clear that LGBTQ youth are some of the most impacted by mental health issues. So it’s imperative that we provide a safe place for them to express themselves,” says Justice. “And I think it’s been interesting, because in the process of planning this prom, I think we’ve had to be able to articulate why we were doing it, which makes sense. But we would receive a little bit of pushback here and there of people being like, ‘Why can’t they just go to regular prom?’ It’s a fair point. And I think, of course, they can go to regular prom. But the point of this is that it gives a supportive an inclusive environment for these kids. It gives them their own space.” 

Justice continues. “To be seeing some of these students that for me — I teach them, I see them on a daily basis — and then they roll up to queer prom wearing amazing, outrageous outfits that are like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t know that that’s really who you were!’ Just seeing them be able to express that part of themselves… So for me, it’s about inclusivity. It’s about representation. It’s about them being able to express their identity without being afraid of being discriminated against or rejected, which might happen in a more heterogeneous environment. It also helps spread awareness and education of some of these issues. For example, as part of our prom, we had a resource available — and this was part of the grant as well — we had a little brochure that we made that lists local resources for LGBTQ youth mental health resources, numbers that they can call, things like that. So a big part of this was just about fostering community and also helping to have kids access resources that can help them.”

Advertising for the prom was basically nil, and Justice says that was intentional. “We were nervous. We were nervous that there would be protesters. We were nervous that there could be violence — not from any of our kids, but from outside, just with the way things are societally.” After it was decided to open up the event to all Vermont schools, Justice reached out to other school’s QSA club advisors. “We shared with them the information about the prom. We used a survey to try to see which schools might be interested in partaking. And then we used that survey data to then send invitations to the QSAs in Vermont,” says Justice. “We were so excited about it. We wanted to be big, but also intimate or insular, where the kids could feel really safe and like they’re with their people.” 

While queer students and allies were allowed to bring plus ones, all those in attendance were required to register in advance. “We were anxious, like, ‘Oh, what if kids show up that didn’t register?’ Our plan was to say, ‘You can’t come.’ But that didn’t happen luckily. So we really tried to have a lot of logistical rules in place to ensure everybody’s safety.” 

Despite — or perhaps because — the event went off without a hitch, Justice says that should the WUHS/MS QSA host another Queer Prom, she would use the same procedure. “I think I would still want to do it the same exact way of having the club advisors be the ones that are sort of vetting who comes. Because with that, it made it so we weren’t the only adults in the room that are responsible. Because when it’s just a Woodstock prom — we know the kids. But when we have kids coming from all over the state, it’s a little nerve-wracking.”

So what exactly went into creating a safe — and fun — space for the queer students and their allies? “The kids helped with making lots of decorations. They helped a ton with the setup. They helped with envisioning things like the invitations,” says Justice. “They came up with a list of songs for the DJ to play. The middle school QSA actually made ‘pronoun pins’ for kids to take. And they were wicked popular.” Justice says there were also souvenir keepsake pins, a photo booth, and a drag queen. 

“Emoji Nightmare is her name,” says Justice of the drag queen. “And she was fantastic. She was there the entire event — that’s a big commitment — from 6-10 p.m. There were multiple outfits involved. She also gave multiple song performances.” Justice says that Emjoi Nightmare lip synced “Rainbow Land” by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus and performed one of her original songs “Going Somewhere.” “She also posed for pictures at the photo booth. There was a really long line, everyone wanted to take a picture with Emoji,” Justice adds.

The photo booth was part of what Justice describes as a “community effort,” with funding and donations coming from all directions. The photo booth was provided by Brian Farnum of B. Farnum Photography, but Justice says that item was initially outside their budget. “We couldn’t quite afford him, and so we got some gracious donations from a couple of folks.” Richard Kearney of Upper Valley Driving Academy and Gabriella Netsch of Yankee Driving School came to the rescue. “Rich asked [Annie] how the Queer Prom planning was coming. She said, ‘Oh, it’s going really well. There’s one last detail —we really want a photo booth. We can’t quite swing it.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, we got you.’” 

The support didn’t stop there. “Our QSA President [Finn Farrell] hooked us up with Juan Carlos, our photographer. Finn said, ‘Hey, I think I found a photographer who will do it for free.’ Juan Carlos is amazing. He was willing to do it pro bono because it was sort of close to his heart.” The Killington Grand also played a big part in the night’s success, according to Justice. “The Killington Grand was amazing. They were so accommodating. When we told them it was a Queer Prom, they were like, ‘Awesome, let’s do this!’ And they even changed one of the bathrooms into a gender-neutral bathroom.”

There’s little doubt that Justice is gratified by what she and Luke accomplished. “Everyone has been so receptive, so respectful. Just to be able to do this big event was — it’s an act of bravery,” said Justice. “It just feels really good to be able to say that and also to have my superintendent reach out to me and Annie and say, ‘Wow, this is such great work that you’re doing.’ That’s so affirming.”

But what was perhaps even more important was the approval of the students themselves. “It was a great event. I’m very grateful for all the incredible people that contributed to it. It’s important for events like this to happen to show people, whether oppressed or oppressors, that we are capable of doing incredible things,” said Farrell. Junior Kamron Yuengling added, “It was really cool that I could go to a dance and feel comfortable dancing with my girlfriend. Having that normal experience is refreshing.” 

Sophomore Lennon Morris explained the far-reaching impact of the prom, saying, “It was exciting to plan it because it felt like we were really doing something important. We were giving people who are often pushed out of spaces their own space to exist and have fun and be normal kids.” Morris continued, “We are under attack so much lately with legislation targeted at us. Sometimes you need to just have something to look forward to or something that’s just made for us. We’re tired of living in a world that hates our existence seemingly. I am glad that we could provide a space for queer youth Vermonters to exist, even just for a couple hours.” 

Freshman Lia Gugliotta said simply, “‘Twas epic. ‘Twas splendid.” 

Justice described a moment at the end of the prom when Farrell took the stage. “He grabs the mic and says, ‘Thank you so much for coming. We’re definitely doing this again!’ And Annie and I looked at each other like, ‘Oh, boy — I don’t know that we could actually fulfill that.’ I would love to, I would love to be able to do this [again]. It was magical seeing these kids having so much fun. They danced until the very last song. And they were just so in their element and mingling with each other and getting to know one another — and just seeing all of that joy — I would love to be able to do this time and time again. It would be dependent on grants for sure. It was a lot of work.”

For now, Justice is reveling in the accomplishment of the moment. “There’s a profound sense of relief, feeling like, ‘Wow, we did this. It was successful.’ The kids had a blast. And what we envisioned came to fruition and just makes me think — why not? Why not be able to do this? Why not be able to let kids express themselves for who they really are? Who’s it really hurting?”

Kurt Gerrish and friends learned, laughed together through many happy years

Kurt Gerrish — serial entrepreneur, successful businessman, auto racer, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce director, avid sportsman, family man, and community servant — was constantly on the move, ever seeking new challenges. 

In phone conversations earlier this week, friends, coworkers, former employees, and community leaders shared their memories of Gerrish, who passed away on April 29 at the winter home in Jupiter, Fla. that he shared with his wife Phyllis, the love of his life for the past 31 years. Kurt, 85, was remembered as a man of boundless energy, wit, wisdom, and a passion for Woodstock and the Upper Valley.

Gerrish’s father, Kenneth, brought his family to Woodstock in 1957, purchasing a small Chevrolet dealership in what is now the town fire station. After graduating from Bucknell University, young Kurt worked briefly in plumbing sales in New York before joining the family automobile dealership at the age of 23. Over the course of the next 55 years, Kurt Gerrish — a classic car aficionado if there ever was one — would preside over a flourishing empire of auto dealerships in Woodstock and the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire that proffered vehicles from manufacturers ranging from Chevy and BMW to DeLorean, Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and most recently — until Gerrish sold his last dealership and retired in 2016 — Honda.

Longtime employee Steve Atti, who joined the Gerrish automotive team in the late spring of 1985, remembered Kurt as a hard-working, fair, and attentive employer whom he’d come to consider as a valued friend and mentor throughout his life.

Atti shared a humorous story that illustrated Kurt Gerrish’s dogged attention to detail and quality workmanship. “I remember taking all the time in the world working on this one particular car — it was like a day-and-a-half and I was so happy with it. And Kurt came up and there was this little rubber piece on the front bumper of a [Porsche] 911. He lifted it up, put his finger down, and said, ‘You missed a spot,’” Atti remembered, cracking up. “He had a great sense of humor.”

“Kurt became more of a father figure for me because he just had this wit about him,” Atti continued, remembering Gerrish fondly. “He was very resilient because he had been through quite a lot in his lifetime. And even though I didn’t realize the dynamics of it then, I do now and I’m very appreciative of everything he did for me — and I told him that when I last spoke with him two months ago.”

Woodstock dentist Dr. David Laughlin and his wife, Janet, spoke Sunday evening about their friend Kurt Gerrish, with whom Dave Laughlin drove as part of the Gerrish Auto Show Racing Team in the late 1980s.

“We were using the Honda CR-X, which was a very nice race car,” Laughlin recollected. “It handled wonderfully; it was great fun.” The pair, along with two other drivers and a pit crew, raced in Car #32 as part of the International Motor Sports Association’s Firestone Firehawk Endurance Series, taking part in often-grueling endurance events on tracks ranging from the New Hampshire International Speedway to Watkins Glen in upstate New York to Lime Rock in Connecticut and their favorite, Road America, near Sheboygan, Wis.

“We’d travel in Kurt’s motorhome and pull the Honda on a trailer behind us,” Laughlin remembered, the warmth of the 35-year-old memory palpable in his voice. “We always said we had more fun than anybody should be allowed to have. We laughed and we howled and went to races all over the country. 

Bill and Mitzi Davis, much like Dave Laughlin, knew Gerrish for well over four decades. Fort Worth, Texas residents who’ve summered in Woodstock since 1978, the Millers’ lives are intricately intertwined with the Gerrish family. Bill and Mitzi’s daughter, Wendy, who now co-owns and operates a horse ranch north of Ft. Worth with her sister, was an active equestrian at the Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s there that Wendy met Stacey Gerrish, Kurt’s daughter, who was to become a lifelong friend and, it turns out, a sister-in-law: Wendy is married to Scott Gerrish, Kurt’s son and Stacey’s brother. The longtime Miller-Gerrish friendship is thus a thoroughly family affair.

Bill Davis spoke warmly of his friend and now relative by marriage, particularly noting Gerrish’s oft-cited sense of humor. “His principal business was that car dealership,” Davis commented. “And there was no end to his wry sense of humor about various customers that came in to buy cars. He was always so engaging.” Mitzi Davis also remembered Gerrish’s ownership of the former Woodstock East Marketplace auto dealership and retail complex on Route 4 at the eastern edge of Woodstock Village, which included the Green Mountain Craftsman and Antiques business the ever-entrepreneurial businessman started with two other Woodstock friends, Ron and Pam Jaynes, in the 1970s.

 “Kurt was interested in lots and lots of things,” Mitzi Davis said. “And he was interested in all people. He was a great friend, father, and grandfather. We learned and laughed together through many happy years,” to which her husband Bill added, “[Kurt] was constantly casting about for things to absorb his imagination, engaging his imaginative mind in the world around him.”

The Jayneses, friends of Kurt Gerrish’s for more than 50 years, were those long-ago business partners outside the automotive realm to whom Mitzi Davis, Kurt’s daughter Stacey, and the Laughlins referred repeatedly in conversations over the past several days.

“I’m a retired building contractor,” Ron Jaynes said on Monday, “and Kurt and I first met when he was finishing up Woodstock East in the early 1970’s. 

“Kurt was a very Type-A personality, go, go, go,” Jaynes said of his friend of five decades’ duration. “Sometimes I was his client, such as when we would buy automobiles, and sometimes he was mine. I worked at his house, I worked at Woodstock East. One thing I learned about Kurt Gerrish over the years is that you just couldn’t keep up with him,” Jaynes concluded.

“The rest of us would just be in awe of his energy and enthusiasm and accomplishments. It was tough to keep up with. Every new idea was the best idea in the world and here we go – bang!”



Eight-run sixth fuels baseball comeback

The ability to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard is considered a hallmark for success in baseball. There is arguably no number more crooked than an 8 and it was 8 Wasps who crossed the plate to erase a five-run deficit in the sixth inning in Saturday’s Senior Night contest. As a result Woodstock defeated arch-rival Windsor 9-6 to end the regular season on a high with a three-game winning streak.

And the ability to not give up, to continue to believe in yourself and your team (as demonstrated on this sports page last week by their diamond counterparts, the WUHS softball team) is a hallmark for success in any sport.

“I asked myself ‘Are they going to believe they can do it?’” said Coach Jason Tarleton. “We had a big come-from-behind win against Leland & Gray with four runs in the last inning earlier this week. I hoped that meant they would know they could do it again.”

Evidently they did. 

The game had started off as a pitcher’s duel in its early stages. Wasp starter Jackson Martin allowed only one single through the first three innings and two Yellowjackets were cut down attempting to steal bases, trying to manufacture some offense.

Vincent Petrone led off the bottom of the first with a solid single up the middle, stole second and third and came home on Jacob Stone’s infield single. But that was all the offense the Wasps could muster against Windsor starter Trevor Lagrow and reliever Mason Fortin for some time.

“I knew I was going to use at least three pitchers tonight,” said Tarleton. “I wanted to keep Jackson ready for Tuesday’s playoff game. What I didn’t know was that we’d go four pitchers deep.”

Windsor’s bats came alive in the top of the fourth, with the big blow being a two-run double by Tanner Moody. But with two runners in scoring position, Riley O’Neal put out the fire and retired Johnny Clark on a fly ball to center field, keeping the score at 4-1. Two singles and an error led to another two runs for Windsor in the fifth.

“We were worried, but we knew we had to keep fighting back,” said Woodstock first baseman Holden Larmie. “It turned out to be quite the experience too. This kind of win says a lot about our team.”

Read our full coverage of the game in the June 1 edition of the Vermont Standard.

Vermont Standard Video

Interview with Deborah Greene TEDxHartlandHill


Paul Wright “Shultz” Langhans

The family of “Shultz” Langhans are saddened to announce that he succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.  He was the sixth of seven sons born to Patricia and Raymond Langhans, Sr. of Woodstock, VT on April 1, 1961.  Mom pretty much knew he would stand apart, being born breach on April Fool’s Day, and he lived up to that individuality his entire life.  The family grew up on Eaton Place. During his childhood, Shultz was among other Woodstock kids auditioning for a Rice Krispies commercial, and he got the part.

Shultz’s life was dedicated to the culinary world, starting as a dishwasher at then Bentley’s Restaurant where he began as a young teenager washing dishes. He was tutored by Peter Gaylor, who himself was a French-trained chef and Shultz began with the basics from the correct way to handle and respect knives, to the correct way of chopping and dicing, moving on to creating soups and sauces. From Bentley’s, he moved to the then Rumbleseat Rathskellar at the elbow of Massimo Michelinni. Shultz was the head chef at Simon Pearce for several years and his Vermont Cheddar Soup recipe went into Pia and Simon’s book “A Way of Living”. His preparation of duck at Simon Pearce Restaurant was legendary. Shultz cooked with Robert Meyers and Jim Reiman, and for the bulk of his career, he served on the line with Chris Balcer, Chef/Owner of The Prince and the Pauper Restaurant in Woodstock. Chris became like a brother to Shultz and they prepared every single meal with dedication to their shared craft before anything went from the kitchen to the dining room. After decades of being on his feet, he found it necessary to slow down, but not retire. He applied to Mertens House in Woodstock, where he was last employed. It was serendipitous for Shultz, as he was now cooking behind the home where he grew up and much to his delight, cooking for many folks who remembered him fondly from his childhood.  He took the time to listen and his career went full circle because his duties included dishwashing following service to the residents. When the cancer dictated he end his cooking days for good, the staff and residents made a beautiful card with photos and notes of encouragement as he navigated cancer treatments.

In May 2000 Schultz went on his first date with Tammy Christian, and they remained a couple from that day on. They married on May 20, 2023 and it was an occasion that secretly brought his brother David home from Washington State to be Shultz’s best man.  Tammy’s dad, Harold Eaton walked her to Shultz, and Shultz’s niece Casey Caruso performed the ceremony.

Shultz was predeceased by his parents, and our beloved brother John Langhans.  He is survived by his wife Tammy, his adored Father-in-Law Harold Eaton, and his siblings, Reg (Deb) Langhans, Jim (Judy) Langhans, Thomas Langhans, David Langhans and Linda (Jay) Caruso.  He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Casey Caruso, Anna and Zoe Langhans, Reggie and Mike Langhans, Nick Langhans, and several other family members.

In life, he was most ethical and extremely humble.  He loved bringing new employees in a kitchen to his elbow and teaching them all he was taught along the way. He loved his chocolate lab Zack who descended from John’s chocolate lab Molly. He loved his Redskins, trout fishing with friends and family, Jimi Hendricks, John Lennon, Lou Reed, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He was a great skier when time allowed and he loved a good game of golf.  He was a talented crossword puzzle guy.  Most of all, he cherished his large family, his poker buddies, and a good joke.  He asked little from his world but was more comfortable sharing and giving, right to the end.

If mom were still here, she would end this by saying “a rare soul has left this plane.”

At Shultz’s request, there will be no services. His family will plan a gathering to honor his own words as to specific wishes: “I want to have family and friends to have a party? Rock & Roll/Food/Fun.

An online guestbook can be found at

Constance Allmaras Fitzcharles 

‘Connie” January 12, 1932-May 23, 2023

Born in San Francisco to John Almaras and Sally Almquist, Connie moved to Philadelphia with her father when she was only three. Despite many efforts over the years, Connie never saw her mother or brother Johnny again. Her father was a journalist who turned to carpentry during the Great Depression due to a lack of writing work. After a work-related accident, he fell ill and died when Connie was only nine, leaving her parentless. She lived with her German grandparents and attended an all-girls Catholic school. She always spoke very fondly of her Grandma Minnie, to whom she was very attached.

Connie met her first husband, Ronald Doan when she was only 15, and were married when she was 17. Together they had Constance, Ronald, Steven, Brian, and Bradley. After Connie and Ron Sr. divorced, Connie lived in Bucks County, PA with her 4 children (Stevie died in infancy). She had to find work and despite having no experience in the field, managed to talk her way into a legal secretarial job working for James Fitzcharles III, and the two began a relationship shortly thereafter. James also brought 4 children into the union—Kevin, Uma, Leslie, and Andrew. They were married in 1962 and had 3 more children, James IV, John, and Jocelyn. James wanted to continue practicing law but also felt the draw to the quieter life farming offered and they purchased Green Acres in Cavendish, VT in 1967. James passed away suddenly in 1969 so Connie sold the farm and moved the kids to Woodstock. She raised her family on Cox District Road before moving to River St. once the children had grown up and moved on.

When Jim died and she moved homes, Connie had to begin a career and chose Real Estate, which sustained her much of her working life. She truly enjoyed all of the facets Real Estate offered, from meeting clients to listing homes to placing new homeowners, as well as the legal side of the transactions. She also met many lifelong friends through her career. After shuttering her own business she worked for Dartmouth College and Queechee Lakes Real Estate until her retirement in 2012.

Connie had many interests in her lifetime, including travel, antiques collecting, playing Contract Bridge, genealogy, time with her children, grandchildren, and friends, games, camping, and storytelling. She traveled overseas to visit France, England, Greece, Mexico, and Egypt. One of her favorite places to visit with her family was Ogunquit, ME and they vacationed there together as often as possible. In later years, she would travel down to Myrtle Beach, SC, and spend the winters out of the cold, with family visiting her over Spring Break. She was always happiest by the seashore. Connie also loved Vermont and traveled the state extensively, picking up treasures along the way.

From a young age, Connie dealt with a tremendous amount of loss but somehow seemed to bounce back in her own fiercely independent way. Her home was always filled with beautiful antiques and even when she downsized her house, we always managed to squeeze ourselves in for family get-togethers. Connie had a sharp wit about her and even though she didn’t like cursing, she could tell a good filty joke when pressed. Thank you, Mom, Grandma, friend, and co-worker for many years of treasured memories. You won’t soon be forgotten.

Connie was predeceased by her sons Stevie, Brian, Bradley, and Ronald and her stepson Andrew. She is survived by her children and steps, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter.

Her family will be honoring her memory in the coming weeks in a public internment ceremony. Please reach out via email to for details.

Alice Frick

Alice Frick, 92, of Woodstock, quietly surrendered and passed on to be with the Lord, Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, while living at Mertens House, in Woodstock.

Born, November 2nd, 1930,  in Passaic, NJ, to the late Benjamin James Diggory and Alice Clark Diggory.  The family moved to, Drexel Hill, outside of Philadelphia, PA, where Alice graduated from Upper Darby High School.  After high school, she worked as a bookkeeper at the Bonwit-Teller Department Store in Philadelphia.

She met her husband, a young artist, at the theatre where he was working in Philadelphia.  At the end of 1961, they moved to Woodstock with their three small children, to pursue his career in art amidst a quiet country lifestyle.  After working a while at the Vermont National Bank and Gerrish Motors in Woodstock, she joined the staff at the First Congregational Church as the Administrative Assistant, where she was happy for more than 30 years.  She enjoyed whistling her favorite tunes, singing in the choir, volunteering her time and talents to anyone in need, and recycling.

Besides her parents, she is joining her sister Edith A. Merli and her brothers, James C. Diggory and William C. Diggory, and granddaughter Christine.  She is survived by her three sons, Bob and his wife Robin, Jim and his wife Lynne, Bill and his wife Judy, six grandchildren, Shawn, Beth, Tom, Jennifer, Sarah, and Emily, and eleven great-grandchildren, Morgan, Parker, Hunter, Heather Hailey, Jakob, Kalina, Gwyn, Lilly, Suzy, and Caleb.

Please sign the guest book at the Cabot Funeral Home website,

Joan (Mulligan) McGee

Joan (Mulligan) McGee, 95, of Woodstock, VT passed away peacefully at Mertens House in Woodstock during the early morning hours of June 1, 2023.  Born to Wilfred D. Mulligan and Alice (Blackman) Mulligan on March 27, 1928, in Boston, MA, Joan spent her youth living in the city she loved with her police officer father, accountant mother, and younger brother Fred.  Upon completion of high school, Joan enrolled in the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, graduating a year later with a secretarial certificate.  Her first job was in the hotel industry as one of the first two female hotel sales representatives in the city.  A few years later Joan accepted a job with the Rochester and Monroe County Council of the Girl Scouts in Rochester, NY.  The following year she moved to New York City to work for the National Girl Scout office as the administrative assistant for the organization’s publication, American Girl magazine.

During this time, Joan’s mother Alice accepted employment with the Sheraton Corporation as a comptroller.  When Alice was transferred to the Sheraton Hotel in New York City, they decided to share an apartment.  Several months later, Alice invited one of her employees to enjoy a home-cooked meal with them.  The dinner guest was Frederick Allen McGee of Woodstock, VT, a young WWII marine corps veteran and recent graduate of Bentley College.  The evening was a success and signaled the beginning of a courtship between the young couple that lasted several years as Allen worked to establish his career with the Sheraton Corporation.

Allen and Joan married on January 28, 1956.  Two years later they moved to Taftsville, VT, and Allen joined the family business, McGee Fuels, in Woodstock.  The couple raised five children in their Taftsville farmhouse until it became clear that a more spacious home was needed.  Nine years later the family moved to a larger house on Church Street in Woodstock.

Joan enjoyed many diverse and interesting employment opportunities over the course of her working life.  Her first job, after years of being a stay-at-home mom, was as a clothing salesperson at MacHugh’s in Woodstock.  When the shop closed, she took a position at the Woodstock Inn and Resort as Banquet and Sales Coordinator.  After several years, Joan left that position to become a recruitment representative visiting high schools in New Hampshire and Vermont on behalf of the Katharine Gibbs School.   When the school decided to halt in-person recruitment efforts, Joan purchased and operated the Clover Gift Shop in Woodstock for several years.  She later sold the shop in order to assist her husband in the management of the family business, Woodstock Farm and Garden Center (formerly McGee Fuels).

Upon the sale of the Woodstock Farm and Garden Center, Joan and Allen continued to be active in the community.  Joan worked and then volunteered at the Norman Williams Public Library for 18 years.  Allen served several terms as Treasurer for the town of Woodstock.  Joan was a long-serving Member of the Board of the Homestead, Inc in Woodstock, and she volunteered as an administrative support worker in the office of the Prosthetics Service at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.  Joan was active in the local Swiftwater Girl Scout Council, the St. Anne’s Club at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, and the interdenominational Christian organization King’s Daughters.

Joan will be remembered as a fiercely independent woman.  Above all, she was a loving, supportive wife to her husband and a caring, generous mother to her children.  To her friends, Joan was loyal and trustworthy beyond compare. She loved to read, do crossword puzzles, take long walks, and scour antique and collectible shops for Cupid and Venus patterned glassware and Ribbon Dolls.  Joan enjoyed traveling with her husband and family members, particularly to the beaches of Cape Cod in the early years and the beaches of Maine in the later years.  She was devoted to her husband, her family, and her Catholic faith.  Joan will be profoundly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Joan is survived by her five children, Nancy (Bryon) Staples of Woodstock, VT, Rick (Kattie) McGee of San Diego, CA, Michael (Jane) McGee of White River Junction, VT, Susan Webb of Oxnard, CA, Theresa (Richard) Pasciuto of Plymouth, MA, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.  Joan was predeceased by Allen, her husband of 49 years, her parents, and her brother Fred.

Per Joan’s wishes, there are no calling hours.  A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of the Snows Church in Woodstock on Friday, June 9 at 11:00 a.m.  Burial will follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Woodstock.

The family will always be grateful to the staff of Mertens House for the compassionate care Joan received during her stay with them.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Norman Williams Public Library, 10 South Street, Woodstock, VT  05091.

An online guestbook can be found at

Carol Young Mowry


Carol Young Mowry died Friday, June 2nd, 2023, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She was born December 26th, 1936, in Waltham, MA, the only daughter of Cora (Sargent) Young and David Bartlett Young. Carol was a 1954 graduate of Vermont’s Thetford Academy, and a 1956 graduate of the University of Vermont, School of Dental Hygiene. She worked for many years as a hygienist in both Vermont and Massachusetts.

She was married in Burlington, VT in 1958 to Roderick Winnett and they had four children. After his death, she later married Wesley Whitman Mowry on October 20th, 1971. That date was chosen because Carol’s great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents were all married on that date in the years 1869, 1903, and 1935 respectively, as well as Carol’s Aunt and Uncle on her mother’s side.

Carol’s family history includes ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower as well as some who preceded that event and were living on the North Shore of what would become Massachusetts. She was proud of her Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR) eligibility on both family sides and held a lifelong interest in history. Carol was president of the Acton Massachusetts Historical Society and president of the Hartland Vermont Historical Society. She held other offices as well over the years. She was a life-long Congregationalist and a member of the Hartland Congregational Church.

Her greatest joy came from gardening. She loved to make places beautiful through landscaping with flowers, bushes, and trees. She planted dozens of trees and loved to imagine people years from now enjoying the shade of a sapling that she planted and nurtured. She believed in the importance of trees for the planet and for people’s mental health. She loved animals and always had some variety of furry four-legged companions. She bred Saint Bernards and Black Labs. She had cows, pigs, chickens, many cats as well as rabbits and hamsters. She never said no to bringing an animal home. She had compassion for the less fortunate and supported numerous charitable organizations over the years. She was a big supporter of environmental activist groups and did her part to limit her carbon footprint. She cared deeply about the planet and its people and believed in doing her part to make the world a better place.

She is predeceased by her daughter, Diane Winnett, of Burlington, VT, her first husband, Roderick Winnett, and her niece, Stacy Young.

She is survived by a brother, David Barlett Young, III, and nephew, David Bartlett Young, IV, her three surviving children, Jodie Winnett of Elgin, IL, Bill Winnett of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Nancy Sweeney of Bass Harbor, ME. She also leaves behind her grandchildren, Laura Nord, Jackie Nord, Kristina Farooq, Gabriella Mowry, Roderick Cushing, Martin Sweeney, and Delaney Sweeney. She has two great-grandchildren, Zeeshan and Suleman Farooq. She adopted and raised Diane’s two daughters, Kristina Mowry Farooq of Rome, NY, and Gabriella Mowry of Vermont.

A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 at the First Congregational Church of Hartland, at 10 Station Road in Hartland, VT. If you would like to honor her memory, please plant something. She would love that! Condolences may be expressed in an online guestbook found at

Frank Miller Hewitt

Frank Miller Hewitt, 71, of Woodstock Vermont died peacefully at home on Thursday, May 18th, 2023 with his wife Mary and beloved dog Marley by his side. 

Frank was born on April 7, 1952, to Chandler and Dorothy Hewitt of Pomfret, VT. After graduating from Woodstock High School, he attended Maine Vocational Technical Institute.

Frank was predeceased by his parents Chandler and Dorothy Hewitt. 

Frank is survived by his two sons Matthew Hewitt and wife Jen of Georgia, Chandler Hewitt and wife Karen of South Strafford, VT, two granddaughters Krista and Greta, great-granddaughter Adalynn, many nieces and nephews, brother Chandler “Denny” Hewitt and wife Debbie of Pomfret, brother Miller Hewitt and wife Carlene of Pomfret, sister Sandra Birajiclian of Rutland, and sister Pamela and husband Bill Barrows of Ascutney, VT. 

Frank was the owner of Hewitt Construction and Development. An avid skydiver, he received a lifesaving heart transplant and appeared on the Boston News skydiving while the donor’s family watched below. A Mason and Shriner, Frank had a very positive mindset and outlook. Always quick with a joke and an easy laugh, he had an enthusiasm for life that would light up a room.

With respect to Frank’s final wishes, the family will gather and celebrate his life. In honor of Frank’s vibrant life, please consider being an organ donor to make a life-changing difference for a person in need. For more information, contact the New England Donor Services.

Janet M. Goodrow

It is with a mixture of sadness, appreciation, thankfulness, and love that we announce that our mother, Janet M. Goodrow, has passed away on May 25. She was 87.

Mom was born on December 1, 1935, in Medford, MA to John and Jane Coppinger (Kelly). She was the youngest of four and is predeceased by her parents and older siblings John, Eddie, and Margaret.  Mom was an honor student at Medford High and graduated from Merrimack College with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She was a stickler for proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar throughout her life and she passed that love of language down to her five children.

It was at Merrimack that she met our father, Howard. Dad was almost two years older, but because of a stint in the Marine Corps, she graduated before him.  They were married in 1958 while Dad was still in college and were together for 46 happy years until dad passed, far too early, in 2004. Along the way, they had the five of us: Michele, Kenny, Gretchen, David, and Howard.  She also was a second mother to the countless other children who would wander home with us at the end of the day to stay for dinner, sleep over, or just hang out. Everyone was always welcome and no one ever left hungry. Mom was a great cook and her love of community meals is a fundamental pattern in the quilt of our family.

As we grew up and found our spouses, Mom welcomed Fawn, John, Hal, Katie, and Mayumi to the family, and before long the wayward surrogate children of our youth were replaced with grandchildren: Samantha (and husband Winston), Kelly (and husband Ryan), Stephen (and wife Hannah), Colleen (and husband Scotty), Brian, Margaret, Cole, Aidan, Kodai, Tatsuya and, lastly, Ellis, her one great-grandson.  Mom had nothing but love for all of them and saw each one of their partners and spouses as her own.

Eighty-seven years is one heck of a lifetime and Mom’s was a lifetime well spent. It was filled with love and laughter, Christmas dinners and Easter brunches, dogs and cats, births and losses, and all the quiet behind-the-scenes moments that color a life well spent.  We are going to miss her terribly, but we know that she has returned home to be with Dad, her parents, and all of her siblings. She is no longer carrying the physical and mental weight that time and experience saddle us with.  She leaves behind a family that owes everything to her love and care. She is at peace, loved beyond love.

We would like to thank the wonderful staff at Spring Village in Dover, NH for all of the kindness they showed toward Mom and us, in the very short time she was there.

Ricker Funeral Home in Lebanon, NH will be handling the funeral arrangements.  Please go to their website for details.

Helen Gardephe Leonard

Helen Gardephe Leonard passed away on May 23, 2023, at Genesis in Lebanon, NH, after a brief hospitalization at Dartmouth Medical Center. She was born on January 17, 1924, in Worcester, MA, and spent her formative years in Leicester, a small town outside Worcester. She was the daughter of Fanny (Jokinen) Makitalo and George Makitalo, both of whom had emigrated from Finland. She was predeceased by her parents; her sisters Ann Kusisto, Alice Salmonson, and Eva Duane, and her brother Olavi Makitalo; her first husband Melvin E. Gardephe; and her second husband Gordon Leonard of North Pomfret, VT. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Paul and Colleen Gardephe of New Rochelle, NY, her grandchildren – Tess, Emma, Paul W., and Sophie, and two nephews: Richard Salmonson of Newbury Port, MA and Robert Salmonson of Auburn, MA.

After graduating from Leicester High School, Helen worked at Norton Company in Worcester for 11 years. She married Melvin E. Gardephe in 1947. They were married for 33 years until his death in 1980. Helen survived the 1953 tornado that destroyed parts of Holden, MA. The couple’s home was destroyed in the tornado, and Helen was found under a refrigerator, with broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and other injuries. The family then lived in Leominster, MA for many years, until moving to Quechee, VT in 1978. After Melvin’s death, Helen worked as a sales clerk at the Quechee Gorge gift shop, and then for 13 years at Scotland by the Yard, a Scottish clothing gift store on Route 4 in Woodstock. She met Gordon Leonard of North Pomfret at the Bugbee Senior Citizen Center in White River Junction. They married and were together for 16 years, living in North Pomfret until Gordon’s death in 2003. The couple wintered in Lake Hamilton, FL, a small town south of Orlando, in central Florida. After Gordon’s death, Helen moved to the Heritage condos in Woodstock, where she lived for many years, until moving to The Homestead in Woodstock in October 2021.

Helen was a loyal member of the United Methodist Church her entire adult life, and was a member at the Leominster (MA) United Methodist Church and the White River United Methodist Church for many years. She was an active member of the Thompson Senior Citizen Center for many years. She was an excellent cook, and was known for her Finnish coffee bread, which she kneaded by hand. She enjoyed ballroom dancing. She was a great cribbage player and surprised many unsuspecting men with her skill at pool. Helen was an independent woman who traveled to Florida on her own for many years, frequently drove long distances by herself well into her 80s, and continued to drive until age 96. She embodied the Finnish term “sisu,” which means resilience, grit, determination, and courage. She had many friends and was much loved by her son and his family.

There was a graveside ceremony on Saturday, May 27th at 11:00 am at All Faiths Cemetery in Worcester, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Helen’s name to the Thompson Center in Woodstock, VT, or the White River (VT) United Methodist Church.

An online guestbook can be found at

Douglas P. Martin


Douglas P. Martin, 81 of Barnard, VT, passed away on Monday, May 15th, in the Garden Room at Gifford Memorial Hospital, after a brief but vicious battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He was surrounded by his family when he passed.

Born April 15th, 1942, to Cecyle and John Martin in Rockingham, VT, Douglas grew up on the farm in Barnard where a strong work ethic was instilled upon him at an early age. By the time he reached his senior year of high school, he was tending two different herds of milking cattle every morning before going to school.

Graduating Woodstock High School in 1960, Douglas briefly attended the University of Connecticut. Choosing a career as a machinist, he apprenticed at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Connecticut. On a weekend visit back home, he met the love of his life, Barbara Rowell. The two married on April 22, 1967, and the couple enjoyed 56 years of partnership together, working hard and raising two boys.

Rather than waiting to be drafted, Douglas enlisted in the Navy during the Viet Nam era, but a broken leg quickly ended that chapter.

Douglas was hired on to G.W. Tool & Die (now Nolato) as a tool marker. Douglas worked for several departments over a span of continual employment with the company that lasted for 53 years (a feat nearly unheard of today). Throughout its history, the company has gone through 6 ownership changes and Doug was able to claim that he had worked for all 6 of them. At the age of 80 years old, still working full time and with no immediate plans for retirement, he was featured on WCAX’s Super Senior segment in the fall of 2022.

Douglas enjoyed many hobbies in his life, but none were more important than Hunting and Motorcycles. He was a Life Member of the NRA, the Lake Champlain Retriever Club, and the Goldwing Road Rider Association (later called the Green Mountain Road Runners). He was a member of the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department for many years, was active in, and on a few occasions lead, the Barnard Snow Travelers snowmobile club, and even coached Pee Wee Baseball and was the troop Cub Scout leader of Barnard’s pack 219.

Douglas is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara, his sons Christopher and Robert (Jennifer), three grandchildren, John, Simon and Axel, and two nephews, Chad & Nathan. He was preceded in death by his parents, John & Cecyle, his sister, Margaret, and her son Todd.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Gifford Memorial Hospital’s Last Mile Ride or to Cancer Research.

A graveside service was held on Saturday, May 20th at 11:00 in Riverside Cemetery in Woodstock, VT. A celebration of life will be held at the Barnard Town Hall on Saturday, June 17th from 11 am – 3 pm.

An online guestbook can be found at

Barbara Scranton Folk

Barbara Scranton Folk, 100, best Mom, devoted wife, caring step-grandmother, happy great-step-grandmother of 6, artist extraordinaire, and a friend to all who knew her, passed away at her home on May 10, 2023.  She is survived by her two daughters, Jill Folk Hastings of Woodstock, VT, and Deborah Folk Wetzel of Apollo Beach, Florida.

Barbara was born on April 19, 1923, in Riverhead, New York.  Following graduation from Riverhead High School in 1941, Barbara began working at Grumman Aircraft, helping to build the “Hellcat” and “Wildcat,” the two planes that helped win the war against Japan.  Barbara met her future husband, Ken Folk, at Grumman and they later both joined the military.  Barbara was one of about 100,000 women who served in the WAVES during WWII.  She went through basic boot training at Hunter College in the Bronx and served for the duration of the war.

Barbara and Ken raised their two daughters in the house they built together with the help of Barbara’s father, Raymond Corwin, in Flanders, N.Y.  Barbara and Ken were “best mates” for 53 years. She later resided at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi. Those that knew her in Gulfport were graced by the joy and breath of positivity that Barbara brought to each day.

Barbara’s last six years brought her to Vermont to live with her daughter, Jill, where she brought her artistic talents full circle.  Barbara painted well into her 90s and exhibited her paintings in many local art shows.  Many friends and family members are the lucky owners of an original Barbara Folk painting or seashell.  Barbara’s endless smiles, her joyful giggles, eagerness to visit with neighbors and friends and tell the most interesting stories with such clarity, and her friendly wave from her front porch helped to make everybody’s day a lot brighter.

A summer “do not fuss over me” celebration will be planned.

Roma Gallup Pulling


Roma Gallup Pulling, 95, died May 17, 2023, at Vista Senior Living in Mendon, Vermont.  She was born December 10, 1927, the daughter of Walter P.  and Ruth (Robinson) Gallup Sr.   She graduated from Woodstock High School, as the 1946 class valedictorian.

She married Alfred L. Pulling in 1951; he died in 2007.

Mrs. Pulling was a member of Grace Congregational United Church of Christ (a 50-plus-year member), the Green Mountain Club, the Crown Point Road Association, the Rutland Historical Society, the Vermont Historical Society, the 251 Club, the Rutland Town Seniors, VOCA, the Ann Story Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Vermont Mayflower Society.  She was also a volunteer for the RSVP program.

She enjoyed gardening, traveling, history, stamp collecting, writing to pen pals, and hiking.  She was an “end-to-ender” in the Green Mountain Club and had visited all 50 U.S. states.

Survivors include her daughter, Cynthia Pulling Roberts (Randy) and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.  She was predeceased by her parents; two brothers, Ronald Gallup and Walter Gallup Jr.; her husband Alfred L. Pulling; and her son, Stephen F. Pulling.

The memorial service was held at 11 AM Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at Grace Congregational Church in Rutland.

Friends gathered Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Aldous Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rutland County Humane Society (765 Stevens Rd, Pittsford, VT 05763); or to VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region (7 Albert Cree Dr, Rutland, VT 05701).

Janet L. (Rice) Hughes


Janet L. (Rice) Hughes, 77, died April 28, 2023, at home surrounded by her family.

Janet was born February 7, 1946, in Wheeling, WV, a daughter of Clyde and Virginia (Herget) Rice, grew up in Delray Beach, FL, was a graduate of Seacoast High School class of 1964, and graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a bachelor’s degree. Janet married Richard Engelhardt in July of 1968 and they made their home in St. Louis, MO where she taught for the Ferguson-Florissant School District. After the couple separated, she returned to Florida where she taught in the Palm Beach County schools, and she met her future husband Peter Dewey Hughes. The two were married on May 16, 1998, moved to South Woodstock where they have lived since.

Being a lifelong teacher, Janet enjoyed and felt at home volunteering at the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock.

Janet is preceded in death by a son Ryan C. Engelhardt.

She is survived by her husband Peter of S. Woodstock, two sons Stephen and Jeffrey Engelhardt both of St. Louis County, MO, Peter’s daughter Emily Hicks of Alexandra, VA, and five grandchildren

A graveside service will be held in the Hilltop Cemetery in Quechee, VT Saturday, May 6, at 4:30 PM.  Knight Funeral Home in White River Junction has been entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed in an online guestbook at

In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions may be made to  David’s House in Lebanon, NH,

Erma Lettie (Summarsell) Kucewicz

It is with great sadness that belatedly we announce the death of Erma Lettie (Summarsell) Kucewicz (of Yonkers, New York), born in Holland, Vermont, who passed away on August 20, 2022, at the age of 98, leaving to mourn family and friends.

The inurnment of Erma’s remains will be held on Sunday, May 28th 2023 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Silver Lake Cemetery (5935 VT Hwy 12, Barnard, Vermont 05031). A gathering will be held in a home in South Woodstock after the graveside service, details to be given out at the cemetery.

Erma passed away in Yonkers, NY after a short illness on August 20, 2022, at the age of 98, preceded in death by her former husband John C Kucewicz (January 2000) the father of her 3 children.

Erma was the last of her siblings to pass. She is survived by her three devoted children (and their spouses/significant others) John Casimir Jr of New Braunfels, Texas, daughter Deborah and son James of Yonkers, New York, grandchildren Jason, Hilary, Abby, and Denise, and (several) great-grandchildren of whom she inquired on regular occasions in the last years of her life. She is also survived by a sister-in-law (Carmen), brother-in-law (Roy), and numerous nieces, nephews, grand & great-nieces, and grand & great-nephews.

Erma was born and raised in Vermont, graduating from Hartford H.S. in 1944. While attending cosmetology school in Boston, Massachusetts she met and married John C Kucewicz in May 1950. Very shortly after the birth of their first son John Jr, she moved to Alaska with her husband John (Lieutenant in the US Army) as the Korean War raged and reserves were activated. Daughter Deborah was born on base in Fairbanks during the height of the war.

After the Armistice, Erma, John, and 2 young children drove through much of the U.S.A. stopping to see her brother Lyndall Summarsell (WWII Airforce Retired at the time) and his wife in Del Rio Texas on their way to Yonkers NY where son James was born, and where Erma was a resident since 1954.

Erma and her family spent many holidays with her parents Alfred and Margaret (Todd) Summarsell in Vermont, getting together with brothers Lyndall, Wayne, Percy, Richard, sister Nancy, and their spouses and families when they all could gather at glorious Thanksgiving, Christmas, Maple Sugar season and other occasions.

Erma also found time for in-laws in NY, NJ, Massachusetts, Florida, and elsewhere as much as busy lives allowed and she was a letter writer to the end. Erma was a licensed cosmetologist working in Bronxville, NY for decades building relationships with clients, coworkers (dearest friends Santa, Greta and Rita), and neighbors whose close friendships lasted throughout her lifetime.

She did her best to stay in touch with cousins and friends who moved about the country over the decades. There was always a place in her home for someone who needed a place to stay when life got hard. Erma had a green thumb for both indoor and outdoor plants and gardens and was always ready to cook for an “army” even up to May of the year she passed away.

There is so very much more to tell about Erma’s life and we hope those of you who are able to can attend the graveside service and interment of Erma’s remains in Barnard, Vermont on May 28, 2023, 11 AM-Noon.

Family, and friends of the family may inquire as to specifics at 830-885-4555 or

In lieu of flowers, donations to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center can be made in her honor by contacting Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center ( or by calling 866-815-9501 (toll free). We especially appreciate the help Erma received from her Daughter-in-law Sharon Kucewicz R.N. MSN, very close family friend Pat Sarno, the City of Yonkers Paramedics, and St, John’s Riverside Hospital of Yonkers.

Annual Appeal

Please don’t wait until it’s too late

As our annual appeal enters its final week, we’d like to thank those of you who have thus far stepped up to assist us with your donation. We shoulder our ongoing financial burden all year long – trying to produce quality local journalism for our community even though the traditional advertising revenue funding model for newspapers has deteriorated — and it’s gratifying to know that we have friends who readily answer our call for help, who care as much as we do about the role the Vermont Standard plays in keeping our community strong. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It’s a fact; we simply cannot keep doing this without you.

But now we face a real sense of urgency. I promised that this annual appeal would only last four weeks so you wouldn’t have to hear from me constantly about our need. And indeed, this is my last appeal article in ’22. But our revenue shortfall is daunting, and it leaves us in a very precarious position. If we’re going to sustain the Standard, we absolutely need more capital to work with.

Today, I’m hoping to attract the attention of more of our readers who care deeply about each of our local towns (Woodstock, Hartland, Pomfret, Bridgewater, Barnard, Reading, Quechee, West Windsor, Plymouth, Windsor and Killington) and the greater community that we’re all a part of. I’m trying to reach more of the people who truly appreciate the way the Standard helps residents stay informed and know about and support one another. I’m trying to tug on the sleeve of more of those who — if ultimately the paper cannot make it without them — would very much miss the Standard once it’s too late. I’m trying to remind all of you who love us, warts and all, to make a donation.


It’s a fact of life. There are lots of other important things to do and spend money on. They’re all vying for your attention at once. Fundraising appeals like ours can easily get shuffled to the bottom of the pile. But today I hope you’ll understand that our need is absolutely critical. Without your help we won’t be able to put the plans in motion that can help sustain local journalism in our community for the near future and long term.

So far, the response to our 2022 appeal isn’t as strong as it was last year. I hope that’s simply a result of distractions at this time of year or procrastination and not a drop-off in the community’s endorsement of our mission. I hope you agree that certain things in our busy lives are worth taking a moment to support, and local journalism is one of them.

For more than 40 years, Vermont Standard president Phil Camp has dedicated his heart and soul to this endeavor in an effort to give back to his hometown. He’s joined by the Standard’s staff and key supporters who have literally gone all-in, doing whatever it takes in an effort to keep this community treasure going strong against stacked odds. And I believe that if there’s any one place in the country where local journalism can be sustained despite the very difficult financial obstacles newspapers face, it would be here in this community that embraces its paper so enthusiastically. A place where both full- and part-time residents routinely support the people, organizations, and institutions that make this community so phenomenal. My guess is that there are still a lot more people who are willing to help the Vermont Standard than we’ve heard from thus far.

We sincerely appreciate your consideration.

If you’re willing to make a donation to our 2022 Annual Appeal, please send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or go to our Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website to make a contribution with your credit card.

The Standard is not a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your gift can’t be deducted from your taxes, but your gift will help ensure that the Standard will be around to serve our community for a long time.

Trying to avoid becoming a “ghost” story

By Dan Cotter, publisher

Many years ago, while discussing the Troubles in Northern Ireland with a good friend, he said to me, “anyone who thinks they know the solution doesn’t really understand the problem.”

That quote crossed my mind this week as I contemplated the grave challenges we face in the newspaper industry – both throughout the country and right here in our community.

Just to review, newspapers in general, and our Vermont Standard, have troubles of their own. We have a revenue shortfall. The funding that traditionally supported local journalism has been drying up. Over the past twenty years in particular, big box stores, chains, and now online sellers such as Amazon have wiped out most of their competition, especially the smaller independent retailers and service providers who loyally supported local newspapers with their weekly ads.

And newspapers used to receive a substantial amount of classified advertising revenue too from help wanted, auto, and real estate/rentals ads, and private parties selling used merchandise. Today, those classified advertisers use a variety of online and digital marketing options instead of or sometimes in addition to a newspaper.

And, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic set the national and local economy back in many ways, and it has had trouble rebounding due to staff shortages and supply chain issues. Newspapers rely on advertising dollars that just aren’t being spent in this economic environment.

Acting as though they don’t really understand the problem – which is a revenue problem – many newspapers throughout the country have carried out hardcore expense trimming and staff reductions in an attempt to balance the budget. For example, just in the past few weeks, the largest newspaper company in the country laid off 400 workers. At the Standard, we’ve done our share of trimming expenses as well.

But despite the belt-tightening, the numbers don’t add up. Without an infusion of revenue, losses pile up. There aren’t enough expenses or personnel to cut without crippling the organization. You simply cannot save your way to prosperity, much less fund new initiatives. Something tends to give.

The remaining skeletal staff at these papers — once strong and proudly serving their communities with news, information and commentary that helps their readers understand local issues and each other so that they can make good decisions and solve problems they face together — can no longer adequately cover the news.

In industry jargon, we call these “ghost papers.” They’re now just shadows of their former selves, barely worth taking the few minutes required to read them cover to cover. And that loss of quality local journalism leaves behind a void in the community and a breeding ground for misinformation and division.

It’s estimated that as many as 20% of the newspapers in the country are now ghost papers.

The problem we’re facing isn’t that we need reliable, local journalism any less. We need it more than ever. With all the forces at play in our country that tear at the fabric of our democracy, citizens surely need a publication to turn to that tries each week to foster better understanding in their community. With all the “crisis fatigue” we experience in the national news today, we no doubt benefit from a regular dose of what’s often uplifting news about our neighbors and community to help us maintain balance, perspective and hope.

There’s certainly no drop-off in consumer demand for the local journalism we provide. The Standard’s circulation and website visitation volumes remain steady.

But our true problem is that the funding mechanism that served us well for so many years has deteriorated, and so we need to support local journalism in a different way. Unfortunately, very few newspapers have found ways to solve their revenue problem. More than a fourth of the country’s newspapers have gone out of business. And too many of those that remain have severely diminished their paper with drastic expense cuts that gutted the paper of the very journalism it is supposed to be providing. Leaving behind, well, a ghost.

The Standard is trying to avoid that trap. We want to sustain the paper as well as the quality of the local journalism we provide. Improve it even. The Standard exists to serve its communities, and now we need the community’s assistance to help us keep it going.

You can help by continuing to read the Standard and patronizing our advertisers. If you’re also in a position to advertise, please do so. And right now, please consider making a donation to our 2022 Annual Appeal. If you’re able, please send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or go to our Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website at to make a contribution with your credit card.

The Standard is not a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your gift can’t be deducted from your taxes, but your gift will help ensure that the Standard will be around to serve our community for a long time.

Connecting people is important, irreplaceable

By Dan Cotter, publisher

It probably comes as no surprise that at a small newspaper like the Vermont Standard, everyone on staff has to do a little of everything and wear many different hats. But what is a bit surprising is that one of my favorite responsibilities at the paper is to post the obituaries on our website.

As I edit them, I really enjoy learning about the people who passed away. I’ve found that nearly everyone has an interesting story. The obituaries are usually submitted by family members, and the love they express for their dearly departed and their touching descriptions of lives well lived are quite inspiring. It amazes me when I read about all these remarkable people who lived in our area – their impressive accomplishments, their friends, relatives and pets that will miss them so much, their passions, their personalities, their favorite sayings, etc. It’s a good reminder that, despite all the tragic, discouraging events and bad actors we hear about in the national news every day, most people around here are upstanding and admirable.

Like I said, posting obituaries is one of my favorite duties. It makes me feel more connected with this place and the people who make it special.

I suspect that this type of highly-personal local news content is what the majority of our readers like most about the Standard. Whether it’s the stories about area residents who passed away or articles about fascinating people still in our midst — ordinary people doing extraordinary things — or the photos we present of individuals, often children or seniors, participating in local activities… I think it’s those stories about our lives playing out together and our shared experiences that help us appreciate one another and live together in harmony.

For 169 years the Standard has been telling stories every single week that help connect those who live here. Perhaps we’ve even told your story at some point along the way.

It’s classic local journalism.

In telling the stories of the people in our community, the Standard helps everyone to know each other better. Although it’s not our sole purpose, it’s one of our most important purposes. It’s one of the main functions we’re trying to preserve when we conduct our annual fundraising appeal.

Without meaningful human connection, towns are merely geography. But when we’re all better connected by the type of content published in the paper and on our website, we’re a vibrant community that values and respects each other. And therefore, we’re able to tackle the issues and concerns we all must face together.

Despite the evaporation of the advertising revenue that traditionally supported newspapers and the economic devastation wrought by the COVID pandemic that exacerbated our revenue problem, we are working hard to keep the Standard afloat. Across the country, newspapers like the Standard are disappearing at a rate of two per week. In fact, according to a report issued recently by Northwestern University, 336 weekly papers like ours, serving small communities in the US, have shut down since the end of 2019.

There’s no question, we cannot sustain the Standard alone. We urgently need your help. We hope you’ll consider making a donation to our 2022 annual appeal. If you’re able, please send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or go to our Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website at to make a contribution with your credit card.

The Standard is not a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your gift can’t be deducted from your taxes, but your gift will help ensure that the Standard will be around to serve our community for a long time.

Recently, one of our donors mentioned to me that his grandchildren were once featured in a photo on the front page of the Standard. It was a nice memory of a wonderful moment for his family that the paper captured and shared with the community.

That’s what I’m talking about. How essential it is to have local journalism that helps us share our lives with our neighbors. Just like when we get to pay tribute to our cherished loved ones for all to see upon their passing.

With this fundraising appeal, we’re trying to ensure that residents of our community will always have the Standard as a place to connect with one another in a truly meaningful way. Please join us in this important mission if you’re able to.

Our '22 annual appeal begins with gratitude

By Dan Cotter, publisher 

Last year at this time, when we made our first annual appeal, what stood out to me was how incredibly kind and generous our readers are.

A couple of hundred Vermont Standard readers who live locally or read the paper from afar to keep up on goings-on in the area took a few minutes to write a check or enter their credit card on our website to help us keep local journalism alive. Contributions ranged from ten dollars to gifts of thousands of dollars. And many came with a note of appreciation for our work and encouragement to keep doing it despite our daunting financial challenges.

Phil Camp and I were stunned at how good people were to us and how much they valued the service that our small but talented team provides to the community. We alternated between gasps, high fives and even a few tears as we opened the mail or checked our website for contributions each day during those four weeks.

Your help strengthened us financially and it strengthened our resolve to continue trying to find a way to sustain the journalism that has informed and connected residents in Woodstock, Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Quechee, Reading, Windsor, West Windsor and points between and beyond for 169 years.

I got the impression that many of our supporters were not just donating from their excess. They were actually sharing what they have with us. A big difference.

It felt like people were digging deep, as if it wasn’t just another handout for some good cause to them. It seemed more personal. Some told us that the local news coverage we produce plays a big role in how they experience, understand and enjoy the community. They claim that reading the paper is an integral part of their weekly rhythm and something they look forward to

Those kinds of comments inspire us. To keep going. To do better.

It seemed like many were picking us up, sharing our pain and joining our fight to keep the Standard going – as our friends, as our partners, as our backers. It felt like they were investing in us and counting on us to stay strong to help the community stay strong.

We are humbled, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.

I like that term, sharing. It reminds me, Phil and our staff that we’re not in this alone. That the responsibility to produce – and pay for – the local journalism that makes life here better is not just our problem. Rather, a lot of people who share in the benefit of our journalism are invested, and they’re offering whatever they can share to help keep this going.

Thank you, friends.

As the Standard begins its 2022 Annual Appeal, I hope you’ll take a moment to consider whether you’re willing to share some of your resources with us so that we can continue informing and fostering a wholesome connection among our neighbors in the communities we serve.

For the next few weeks, we’ll use this space to talk about what the Standard and local journalism mean to our community — the value it brings to life around here. If you’re able, please send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or go to our Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website at to make a contribution with your credit card.

The Standard is not a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your gift can’t be deducted from your taxes, but your gift will be helping to ensure that the Standard will be around to serve our community for a long time.

It’s been tough sledding for the Standard this year. Although COVID itself finally eased up, its residual effects on the local economy have lingered and continue to inhibit our revenue stream. That, of course, on top of all the well-known factors that have severely cut into the advertising revenue that once supported newspapers like the Standard all throughout the country.

Regardless of our ad revenue challenges, we know that our community desperately needs the type of local journalism that the Standard provides. Especially right now. I’ll have more to say about that in the next couple of weeks as our 2022 annual appeal continues.

If you contributed last year, we hope you’ll consider doing so again. We need you. And if you didn’t but can offer us help now, you’ll be one of those we’re searching for to fill the gap in what we need to make ends meet this year.

Thank you for the distinct honor it is to serve you.

Newspapers Are In a Race Against the Clock


Throughout the country newspapers are in a fight for their lives.          Here too.

Race Against The Clock VT Standard Front Page

Read Full Article

Business Resources

Coming soon: Do802 -- "what to do and where to save"

Starting this summer, the Upper Valley will have a new service that helps residents and visitors save money as they eat, shop and play in the area, courtesy of the Vermont Standard. The Standard’s publisher Dan Cotter says that the web service, aptly named Do802, is the first of its kind, and it’s designed to help locals and tourists find really good deals available at stores, restaurants, amusements, and service providers in the area, while at the same time helping businesses smooth their cash flow. 

“It’s a progressive web app,” says Cotter. “You don’t go to the app store to buy it, but it’s a free website that acts like an app. So anyone can access it, and you can save it to your cell phone home screen so that it looks like and acts just like an app.” 

With the slogan “What to Do and Where to Save,” the app will have two main pages. The “What to Do” page will be a comprehensive listing of special events happening in the area, with detailed descriptions, pictures, prices, hours, etc. “It has this rolling log of what’s going on in the area. Any day you want — today, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, whenever,” says Cotter. “If you’re a resident or visitor, this will be a great place to find out what’s happening for fun around here.” The “Where to Save” page offers the latest special offers and deals available at area businesses that are happening right now.

The Standard’s Vice President of Business Development Lauren Dorsey said, “The Upper Valley is unique. There’s so much to do all the time, from going to shows, festivals, and classes to visiting markets, restaurants, and bars, it’s an extremely vibrant place.” The Upper Valley’s low population density can, at the same time, make it difficult to hear about everything. “While there are some great ways to find out what’s going on, you have to know where to look, and it can be nearly impossible to dig through old emails or posts to find everything happening on a given afternoon. It’s so easy to miss something that you really would have wanted to do. That’s why we made Do802. We wanted to make something accessible and easy to use that would help people take advantage of all that this community has to offer.”

Cotter says that Do802 also offers businesses “dynamic, live, instant, real-time marketing,” adding, “it’s a way for businesses to promote themselves to customers ‘in the moment.’” 

Cotter explains that in the past, with traditional marketing practices, businesses would have to advertise their sales in advance, but with Do802, local merchants can reach consumers instantly with last-minute, highly-attractive offers. “For example, a restaurant owner might be having a slow day, and so she says, ‘Hey, from now until closing, we’re having a special deal’ — perhaps something free or buy one, get one. The audience is made up of people who are checking for good deals, to find out who’s offering a special right now because they’re planning to go out to eat this evening, or they’re tourists, who are in town and looking for activities to do and nice places to eat. They’ll check Do802 to see who’s doing something special or offering a promotion.” Dorsey said, “A real-time deal like this helps everyone. The restaurant owner gets to attract customers during a slow period she couldn’t have predicted. Residents checking the app will find a great deal or a new place to go out to eat. Tourists who are in town will discover a nice restaurant that’s open, without a wait, near where they’re staying.” Cotter adds, “Or it could be a theater that realizes on the day of the show that they’ve still got some unsold seats. They could post a deal that says last-minute tickets are half-price until showtime while they last – similar to how the theaters in New York City sell same-day tickets at the TKTS booths.”

Businesses can post their deals at any time 24/7 right from a cell phone. Cotter offers more examples: “I could be a bakery owner, and let’s say it’s 3 p.m. and at 6 p.m. I know that when I close I have to throw away the baked goods that are leftover in the case. But now they’ll be able to post a deal right then on Do802 and say, ‘Come and get ‘em — pastries are just $1 until closing.” He continues, “A carpet or furniture store might have a truck arriving this week bringing new inventory. In order to move the old inventory to make room, they could post that if you come in right away everything is 50% off on the showroom floor.” According to Cotter, “Do802 allows a business to market in the moment, based on its inventory, based on market or competitive conditions, based on traffic at its store or business at any given time. That’s what’s different about Do802 versus what businesses have traditionally done or what anybody else has created.”

He notes that the promotional messages and offers on Do802 don’t have to be strictly monetary in nature. “It could just be touting your daily meal or drink specials, or it could be, ‘So-and-so is singing in our pub tonight.’ Or it could be, ‘So-and-so is warming up right now. They’ll be singing in 15 minutes for the next two hours.’ So you can use it in a variety of ways to promote what’s going on at your business and encourage customers – residents and visitors – to come in right away.”

Dorsey said, “One of the things that makes it very unique and makes it endemic to the Upper Valley is just the sheer amount of visibility that we’re going to be able to get out. Do802 will be something that many, many people in the local community use, as well as visitors.” The Standard plans to promote the use of Do802 very aggressively using its print publications, digital target marketing, and onsite signage.

 “Because we are hoping to have a lot of participating businesses in highly visible locations, it’s going to be something that is just immensely prolific throughout the area, and that you see constantly. I think that kind of saturation is very rare,” Dorsey says. 

Cotter says the tourists are especially important to local businesses. “The fact that Do802 will serve the visitors is a big deal because a lot of businesses try to promote with Facebook or other vehicles that only get their message to the people who already know them — and not very many of them at that, more like 10% of them. But Do802 will be used by the visitors, who are lucrative customers. They’ve got to eat out three times a day, they’re looking for attractions and things to do, they’re looking for gifts to take home or souvenirs.” 

Cotter says that Do802 was built locally. “This is a new product that was created by the staff at the Vermont Standard and our web developer partner, Indelible. And it’s the first of its kind. Nobody’s ever done this before.” 

Just as important is Do802’s potential to generate revenue for the Vermont Standard. “We’re trying to create additional revenue streams to support local journalism for the area,” says Cotter. “When people use Do802, and if a business participates in Do802, they’re actually supporting local journalism. They’re helping us create revenue to keep our newspaper afloat.

“Ads in the paper are no longer sufficient to support the journalism,” Cotter continues. “So we have to find additional revenue streams. Do802 is a very exciting experiment – nobody’s done it before.”

For more information about Do802, please contact Lauren Dorsey at

New marketing services now available to local businesses