Downtowns and village centers are a quintessential element of the state’s landscape. As a matter of fact, in 2007, Vermont’s downtowns were one of three finalists for a Destination Award given by the World Travel and Tourism Council. While international recognition is gratifying, surviving in the face of an economic downturn, aging infrastructure, shopping malls and the internet has been the challenge for town centers. Add in a fire like the one that hit downtown Brattleboro last week and the stresses become even more daunting.
We look at what tools are at the disposal of these town centers with Leanne Tingay of the Vermont Downtown Program and Paul Bruhn from Preservation Trust of Vermont. Andrea Livermore of Building a Better Brattleboro also provides an update of the future of that town in the face of the Brooks House fire.
Also, "60 Minutes" claims aspects of Greg Mortenson’s book "Three Cups of Tea" may be untrue or exaggerated. A Vermont organization, Direct Aid International, also builds schools and libraries in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hoffman, DAI’s director, provides insight into the controversy and explains how his organization spends the money they raise each year.
Plus, we hear all about Poultney and the audio walking and driving tours that have been created by the Poultney Historical Society.