From the mayor's desk

The State's new plan to expand health care coverage, Catamount Health, is scheduled to begin November 1. Those who could be eligible for Catamount Health can apply beginning October 1. The cost of Catamount coverage is based on household income and in general you need to be uninsured for the previous 12 months to qualify. I encourage everyone who may be eligible to consider applying for coverage and learning more about the program. We need universal health care coverage, and while Catamount doesn't accomplish that, it will provide more health coverage to more people. There is more information about Catamount at http://hcr.vermont.gov/ or you can call 1-800-250-8427.

For the 15th year, the South End Art Hop will happen on Friday September 7 and Saturday September 8. This unique celebration of local art organized by the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) has garnered national attention and is a major late-summer event for artists, residents and tourists. There will be more events throughout the month, including displays at several venues across the South End. Find out more about the Art Hop at http://www.seaba.com/ .

September is National Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month. Recovery Month recognizes substance abuse recovery efforts across the country. Its goal is to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug addiction in all its forms is possible. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 53 percent of men and women in the United States report that one or more of their close relatives have a drinking problem. Alcohol and drug dependence cut across age, gender, race, and socio-economic class.

The South End Art Hop and the observance of Recovery Month will come together as The Turning Point Center of Chittenden County, located at 61 Main Street, will be an Art Hop venue for the first time. The mission of the Turning Point Center is to provide a safe, supportive, and substance-free environment for those interested in recovery. The Center will be open to the public during the Art Hop to view their new, permanent art gallery which has been created to showcase the work of artists-in-recovery. The Turning Point Center will also host a workshop for all ages during the Art Hop on Saturday, September 8, from 9:30 am to 11 am, titled "Collage-Making for all Ages" and presented by Diane Hulphers, an artist-in-recovery.

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