Community Announcements


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Vermont Associates for Training and Development (A4TD) offers training positions to adults age 55+, including at MSAC

Vermont Associates for Training and Development (A4TD) is an organization devoted to workforce development for adults 55+. Through their innovative programming, workers are placed with organizations who need the help, and who will help develop the necessary skills for each individual on their life-long learning goals and career development strategies. If you or someone you know is looking to learn new skills, develop skills you already have a foundation in, or want to support your local economy, or help in MSAC’s FEAST Kitchen, please reach out to Danielle Clark at: 802-752-7073

Savoy Theater partners this weekend with VT International Film Festival!

For the first time ever, the Savoy Theater is proud to partner with the Vermont International Film Festival! VTIFF will present a robust slate of 40 films at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington, October 8th-17th. The Savoy Theater will act as a satellite venue for VTIFF, bringing a carefully curated selection of 10 films from the VTIFF line up to Montpelier Oct 8th-10th.  Tickets: $12 / Savoy Members: $10     For tickets, click HERE or follow the SHOWTIME link beneath each film. For full festival program go to VTIFF.org

Together Again!  Virtual Benefit Event for Central Vermont Council on Aging

Saturday, October 9 | 12:00-1:30pm | Registration with CVCOA is required 

Join CVCOA as we celebrate coming back together as a community to support aging services! Together Again will feature the presentation of a Community of Strength award, a comedic story, music, special video messages, a creative aging activity, and more. This event will be hosted by comedic storyteller, Sue Schmidt of Burlington. 

Relax at home while contributing to CVCOA's mission to support Central Vermonters to age with dignity and choice! Silent auction is open now and closes on Saturday, October 9, 1pm. Purchase your tickets ($75 pp or 6 for $390), bid on an auction item, and donate online at https://cvcoa.networkforgood.com/events/32830-together-again. For questions about this event, please email events@cvcoa.org or call 802-476-0116.

Bid on these three amazing auction items with CVCOA at the above link!   1. Gift Certificate for a two night stay for two in deluxe accommodations at the Trapp Family Lodge; 2. Gift certificate to a 4 course meal for 6-8 people prepared by Chef Jack Pickett at the Big Fish Restaurant in Stowe; 3. Gift certificate for 3 days/2 nights Weekend Mountain Experience Winter Vacation (includes lodging, lifts, and amenities) at Smugglers' Notch.   Auction closes on Saturday, October 9th, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Winners will be announced at the end of the virtual event!

Medicare & You Workshops with CVCOA 

October 12, 1:30-3:30pm | October 25, 5-7pm | Free, online | Pre-registration required

These are offered regularly to help individuals who are new to the Medicare system. If you want to participate, pre-register by calling (802) 479-0531 or by sending an email with your name, address, phone number, and the date of the workshop you would like to register for, to: medicareworkshops@cvcoa.org. We will then email you information on how to join in the workshop session on Zoom. 

“What, Where, and Why Fiber?”  Event  with Central VT Council on Aging | online | 1 Friday, 10/15 | 12:00pm | Open to public | Free 

Are you unsure of the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber? Do you wonder which foods are good sources of fiber? Do you wonder why fiber is important? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this presentation is for you. This free webinar can be viewed at www.facebook.com/VNHcare. Past webinars can be found at vnhcare.org/families-community/educational-presentations/

Vote for Montpelier as Best Small Town for Shopping!

Montpelier has been nominated as one of the Best Small Towns for Shopping by USA Today. We came in second last year; can you help us secure first place? Vote daily through October 25!

Save the Date of October 22 for Moonlight Madness Downtown with Montpelier Alive!

See you on Friday, October 22, 2021 for amazing entertainment, delectable dining, and some of the best downtown deals of the year! Most stores will offer sales all day with extended hours, and we'll have great downtown entertainment from 5-9pm. Masks are required for all event attendees, regardless of vaccination status, both indoors and out.

Grandparent Refresher Class with UVMMC

Check out this Grandparent Refresher Class offered by The University of Vermont Medical Center! This virtual class is designed to provide ‘expectant’ grandparents and grandparents of newborns with a review of current best practices for everything from safe sleep to social media to childproofing to prevent those pediatric falls and injuries. The class will be hosted quarterly starting in October.

New website for older adults navigating COVID-19 vaccination

Together with Vermont's Area Agencies on Aging, the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A) has released a new website to help older adults navigate COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more at: www.vaccine4vermont.com

Daytime Adult Fitness Classes at Contemporary Dance & Fitness Studio

Many members will be pleased to learn (or be reminded!) that CDFS is again hosting six weekly daytime (M/W/F, starting 10am, 11am, or 12:05pm)  fitness classes in Yoga, Conditioning, Dance & Stretch, and “Old Man’s Yoga.” Most are led by former MSAC instructor Allison Mann, CDFS’s    Director. These drop-in classes cost a mere $5 each and are very popular among area older adults — check them out! You can register at https://cdandfs.com , call 802-229-4676, stop by the studio on Langdon St., or mail in a form.  

More Offerings to Explore with Local Organizations!  

¨ https://www.savoytheater.com/

¨ https://northbranchnaturecenter.org/events/

¨ https://www.kellogghubbard.org/adult-programs

¨ https://www.vermonthumanities.org/programs/digital-programs/

Rick Winston's Fall Film Appreciation Class Series on Zoom 

(register through Rick, not MSAC, though Rick is also doing a 3-event Film class series at MSAC starting 10/29, and registration for that one is through us -- click here to learn more!)

Rick Winston will be offering an eight-week film appreciation class via Zoom, starting Thursday, September 30 at 10 AM. Each session will cover a different topic and feature about twenty film clips. Among the subjects this time: Films through a Child's Eyes , the amazing career of Burt Lancaster, Favorite French Actresses, Ghosts and the Supernatural, and a chat with film critics Gerald Peary and Peter Rainer. For a full schedule and information on cost, contact Rick at <winsrick@sover.net> or call 454-7103.  

Private Voice Lessons Offered by MSAC Instructor, Naomi Flanders

I am happy to announce to all voice students at MSAC that I am continuing to give voice lessons privately one person at a time. I learned from the church choir I have been in, and continue to be in, that it is possible to sing well, masked. While the warm days linger, it is possible to sing outside at a distance, masked or not. I have a studio with high ceilings and windows that can be opened if the weather is challenging. During  this awful pandemic it has been particularly hard for musicians, especially singers. Singing has many benefits because it opens our hearts and minds. I teach each student how the voice works with our minds and breath. The exercises are gentle and fun and will strengthen your lungs and help your singing and speaking voice become resonant and beautiful. It is best to contact me via email at naomiflandersgmail.com

Community Harvest of Central VT Invites Groups to Volunteer to Glean with Them

The busy fall gleaning season is upon us!  We need you and your group to help us to get all the great food that is on the farms and in the orchards this fall. We are looking for groups of co-workers, church groups, school groups, any collection of 5 to 50 individuals that want to give back to their community in a safe way. We are happy to find a date and time that will work for your group. We will ask you to pick a rain date as well in case the first option we pick has bad weather or no crops to glean on that day.

In 2021 we have been even busier than in 2020 (88,000 pounds donated by the end of August up from 62,000 pounds). But we have had less volunteers joining us, so we really need a few hours of your time this fall to help us fill up our cooler for the long winter ahead (sorry to bring up winter, but it is coming). Joining us out in the beautiful hills of Vermont in the fall is a wonderful way to bring your group closer together, a great team building opportunity, while all can safely distance and be outside. 

To inquire or sign-up: CommunityHarvestVT@gmail.com    

To learn more:  https://www.communityharvestvt.org/volunteer

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.  Learn more and apply online: https://getemergencybroadband.org/  

Or, contact the CVCOA Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 for assistance with completing a paper application. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.

MyRide Offers Independence & Interdependence 

MyRide by GMT celebrated its six-month birthday on July 4th!  This is fitting because MyRide provides independence for Montpelier and Berlin residents and helps us build our interdependence as a community.  The ridership for the service grows steadily as more riders discover the convenience of leaving their car at home and hopping on MyRide.  The service picks you up where you are, takes you where you want to go, when you want to go there. 

And MyRide is safe!  Masks are required to board the vehicle.  The bus has plenty of room to distance from others and the average ride is under ten minutes which is below the CDC guidelines for being in an enclosed space with others. 

When you use a shared ride vehicle you are reducing Greenhouse Gas. However, what few people realize is that there are long-term benefits to leaving your personal vehicle at home. Since the '50's large percentages of downtowns across the country are used for parking.  In Montpelier 60% of our downtown is currently parking.  As residents start to use MyRide, more land will be freed up for housing, commercial and green space!  This means that Millennials needed for our workforce, young families and elders wishing to move into town would at last have housing options downtown. Denser downtowns are energy efficient.  More people can walk to their destinations. And the increased number of residents mean more people spending money downtown in local businesses!  

So, we invite you to try MyRide. It gets you where you want to go, PLUS it can have a huge environmental impact that goes way beyond the simple savings of Greenhouse Gas from your individual trip. Let's celebrate our interdependence as a community and take action to create a better future for all of us!  To find out how to access MyRide, click here

cid:ii_krnvnvuv0Please take the New Rider Survey  linked here or scan the QR code to let us know your thoughts on the service and how you might consider using it. This is your public transit service! Your feedback matters and helps to shape how the pilot project will evolve over the coming year. Thank you!  

Here is the survey monkey URL for print versions https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KD5K5TF

Older Announcements

Scammers are Using Cryptocurrency to Steal Your Money

Recently, three Vermonters reported losing just under $1 million in total to cryptocurrency scams. As a peer-to-peer spending source, every type of scam could at any point use cryptocurrency as the preferred form of payment. Cryptocurrency is a peer-to-peer spending source commonly referred to as “Bitcoin.” Scammers like cryptocurrency, because there is no third-party banking institution involved in the transfer of funds and most transactions cannot be reversed.

Known cryptocurrency scams include:

•             Ponzi schemes

•             Investment scams and unlicensed sellers

•             Stock scams

•             Hackers and computer tech support scams

Computer hackers have drained personal accounts and have compromised entire cryptocurrency systems.   Use extreme caution when searching for computer tech support help. Seek guidance and advice from your friends and relatives when trying to locate a tech support company. Never allow remote access to your computer or click links in a strange email or pop-up, doing so can put all your accounts at risk.

As a new currency, cryptocurrency is complex.  Consumers must do thorough research before buying or investing in cryptocurrency.   Learn more about cryptocurrency and scams on the CAP Connection blog: https://blog.uvm.edu/cap/.

If you have been impacted by this scam, please contact the State of Vermont Consumer Assistance Program right away.  You can report scams using our online scam reporting form or call the Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424.  To Update your VT-Alert Profile - Click Here.  For info on VT-Alert go to WWW.VTALERT.GOV . If you want to unsubscribe from receiving email notifications, please contact the VT-ALERT Admin at [[dps.vtalert@vermont.gov]]

Vermont Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Program

Vermont Public Transportation Association (VPTA) is proud to provide Medicaid transportation services through the public transportation providers for the entire state of Vermont. If you, a family member or a patient you are working with needs either local or long-distance transportation to a Medicaid covered medical appointment, VPTA can help. Vermont’s NEMT services are provided by the membership of VPTA. We work closely with the public transportation providers throughout the state to offer local coordinated transportation to Medicaid members who qualify and need to get to and from Medicaid billable appointments with no access to other transportation.

You may already know this, but I thought some people might be interested in the following information.  There is also a Car Exception Form (which I have), so if there is a vehicle in the household but there is some reason it can’t be used to transport the person, Medicaid will pay for the trip.

Each ride will be determined based on the most cost-effective, medically appropriate mode by your transportation provider. These rides may be via public transportation bus, van, cab or volunteer driver and will be coordinated with other members and other programs whenever possible. If your trip meets eligibility requirements for transportation, your regional public transportation provider will make the trip arrangements for you.

How Do I Know If I Qualify? Medicaid will provide rides to Medicaid-billable or Blueprint-sponsored appointments for eligible members when it is determined that you have no other means of transportation available in your household. It must be proven by the member that no other transportation options exist. Call us toll-free if you have questions or need support at 833-387-7200.

3 Simple Steps to Determine Your Eligibility

1. Call your local transportation provider or call VPTA toll free (833-387-7200) to confirm eligibility.

2. A DMV check must be completed on you household prior to transportation These checks can take up to 24-48 hours to be completed and are repeated on an annual and random basis to confirm eligibility.

3. Fill out and sign the NEMT Rules and Guidelines document and review the code of conduct and any required forms that your local transportation provider states that you need. Please return them to us via mail at VPTA 160 Benmont Ave. Suite 11 Bennington, Vermont 05201. 

Double your 3Squaresvt Benefits!

When you spend $10 in 3SquaresVT benefits at a Farmers Market, you'll receive $10 in Crop Cash to purchase fruits, veggies and edible plants! This means $10 In 3SquaresVT buys $20 in Local food! Crop Cash helps Vermonters purchase more fresh produce from local farmers! Want to learn more about 3Squaresvt or need help applying? Please contact the CVCOA Helpline at 1-800-642-5119


Take the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Walking Tour - Map now available! 

Thanks to MSAC member Page Guertain for sharing this great resource with us - full brochure is here and we are getting some hard copies for distribution at MSAC! Along this tour you will visit and learn about a variety of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) practices and required maintenance. You will see bioretention basins/rain gardens, curb cuts, permeable pavement, and vegetated buffers. These GSI practices provide stormwater management and co-benefits such as wildlife habitat, urban heat island mitigation, and pollinator foraging sites. You will also see evidence of historic flooding in Montpelier and learn about the connection between land use here and water quality in Lake Champlain. All sites on this map are visible from a road or public right of way. Please use caution as you make your way from site to site. Consider bringing a trash bag to help maintain the sites.

Kellogg-Hubbard Library Book Sale – New Perpetual Format! 

New Perpetual format! Always open. Books restocked weekly. Check back often! We are still able to accept donations for the book sale.  For more info: https://www.kellogghubbard.org/book-sales

Heat Safety Tips from VT Dept. of Health

As it starts to get hot outside more often, there are important steps you can take to keep yourself and your friends and family safe. Beat the heat with these tips for staying cool, hydrated, informed. Also, how to listen to your body, stay in touch, cool your home, recognize symptoms and risk factors! Click here to read more as well as the item below!

Why Seniors are at an Increased Risk for Dehydration and How to Avoid it

Dehydration is a common problem for seniors. Seniors have a higher risk of becoming dehydrated than younger adults. As we age, our bodies are unable to retain as much water. This means that seniors have lower fluid reserves in their bodies. Older adults may not recognize when they're dehydrated. This is because the thirst response dulls with age. Dehydration can also result from medical issues that are more common in seniors. Click here to learn more about RISK FACTORS, EFFECTS and WARNING SIGNS of dehydration in this web resource provided by our friends at Home Care Assistance.

VHFA Mortgage Assistance Program

VT Housing Finance Agency has re-opened our Mortgage Assistance Program. It covers up to 12 months of past-due mortgage payments and property taxes for eligible Vermont households to help prevent foreclosure. We have a page of promotional materials including graphics and a program description to make sharing easy: https://www.vhfa.org/map-info/promotional-materials. You can also call the Senior HelpLine for assistance at 1-800-642-5119.

Five ways of honoring Senior Veterans 
We came across this great resource you might like to check out!

Have you heard? Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

WHAT IS IT? The benefit provides:

• Up to $50/month discount for broadband services;

• Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and

• A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE? A household is eligible if one member of the household:

• Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guide lines or participates in certain government assistance programs;

• Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program;

• Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

• Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020; or 

• Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to submit an application and to find participating providers near you.  For more details, click here or call 833-511-0311

What’s new with the Capital Area Neighborhoods (CAN)? 
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition (SMC) continues to support the Capital Area Neighborhoods network. SMC shares communications from the City’s Departments, partners and COVID-related updates with City residents through the CAN Network to ensure that everyone has the best information. Additionally, SMC works with CAN Coordinators to help identify neighborhood specific projects that will better the neighborhood and bring people together.

CAN is rolling out Neighborhood Information Kiosks (NIKs) in 6 different neighborhoods. The NIKs are a helpful and fun way to share information with neighbors. If you see a NIK, look for important notices, and if you have something to share with your community, feel free to post a flyer in the space provided!

CAN is still looking for more volunteer coordinators: 

  • River Street 
  • Barre Street 
  • Cummings Street
  • More CAN volunteers in the Downtown (State St from Main to Elm, along Elm up to Spring, from Spring St down Main up to the Shaw’s) 
  • Northfield Street College Street South (Kent, Ridge, Foster St area)
  •  Additional CAN volunteers for Elm Street (Meadows section)

    To get involved with CAN: email MontpelierCAN@gmail.com or call 802-272-1195.

3SquaresVT: You can buy seeds and plants!
3SquaresVT benefits can be used to buy seeds and plants at any retailer that accepts EBT. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can help stretch your food budget. To find out more about 3SquaresVT eligibility or using benefits to buy seeds and plants, visit vermontfoodhelp.com. For help to apply, call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119.  

Community Harvest of Central Vermont is Looking for Volunteers
CHCV is looking for volunteers of any age to join us for the coming gleaning season. We know the need for food is not going away any time soon for those that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. You can help feed our community! Interested volunteers can register at https://www.communityharvestvt.org/volunteer and then they will be invited to join all our gleans and other volunteer projects which they can then RSVP to join us as they have time. The majority of our work is outside with plenty of space for distancing and all volunteers wear face coverings as long as the state guidelines last.

Come join our community of committed volunteers that want to make sure ALL have access to the great food local farmers grow and keep any surplus they have from going to waste. Join us in feeding our hungry neighbors nutritious local food while making new friends and visiting beautiful local farms.

In 2020, 276 volunteers donated 2,443 hours and 5,515 miles and through their dedication helped us donate more than 138,000 pounds of nutritious food. 30 organizations received the gleaned and donated food, who collectively serve 11,270 individuals in need in Washington County.

CHCV is an important donor of local, fresh produce to MSAC’s FEAST Senior Meals Program! Register to become a gleaner today: https://www.communityharvestvt.org/volunteer .

Screenshot 2021-03-31 102331Activity Group and Virtual Social Time for Older Vermonters (phone-access friendly) Wednesdays, 2-3pm, free
A new weekly activity group for seniors! In an effort to help stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness, COVID Support VT has created a weekly phone-friendly activity group. You can chat, play games, and connect with others.
Call 2-1-1 and then press #2 with any questions or visit their website for more information: https://covidsupportvt.org/new-weekly-activity-group.../.

Fuel and Food Assistance Available
Vermont seniors may be eligible to receive fuel assistance if your household income is equal or less than 185% of the federal poverty level, regardless of resources. It is possible that people who live in your home will not be in your Fuel Assistance household, such as a caretaker, which means their income will not be counted when determining your eligibility. Visit this site: https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/fuel-assistance, call the State’s benefits center at 1-800-479-6151, or call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 to learn more or get help to apply.