State ot Vermont
Office of the Governor
Office of Policy Research
and Coordination

109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
802/ 828 -3326

TO: Terry Hoffman / Forest Supervisor Analyst
FROM: Michael Gilhooly / Governor's Policy
RE: Vermont State Agency reports on 1991 Rainbow gathering
DATE: July 17, 1991

As we agreed during initial planning for the Rainbow Family Gathering in June, vermont state Agencies which were involved in the event are submitting reports regarding their responsibilities, actions and impressions of the incident.

The following documents are being submitted:

1. Vermont State Rainbow Plan
2. Vermont State Police debriefings.
A. Support Services / Communications report
B. Field Force (Uniform Division) report
C. Bureau of Criminal Investigation report
3. Vermont Agency of Human Services debriefings.
D. Department of Health report
E. Vermont Department of Social Welfare report
F. Vermont Department of Corrections report
G. Vermont Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
H. Agency of Human Services log and overview (Mary Lou Bolt special assistant to Secretary Cornelius Hogan)

Terry, if there is anything else this office can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask. As I told you recently, I will be on vacation from July 19 to August 5. If you need any information while I am away, please call Chief of Staff Wibs Edwards at 828-3333.


State of Vermont
Office of the Governor
Office of Policy Research
and Coordination

109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
802-828 -3326

TO: Agency of Human Services - Vermont State Police - Military Dept.
FROM: Michael Gilhooly / Analyst, Governor's Policy Office
RE: Vermont Rainbow Plan
DATE: June 24, 1991


The following plan has been compiled for state agencies and departments with responsibility in the Rainbow Family gathering from June 25 through the end of the event.

This plan will cover the following areas:
Public Safety
Health Services
National Guard
Human Services


The Rainbow Family will gather on the Green Mountain National Forest in the town of Granville. The main gathering will be located approximately one mile by road northwest of Granville Village.

Access to the site is gained through one entrance off Route 100 in Granville and one entrance off Route 125 at Texas Falls.

Past experience from other Rainbow gatherings shows that traffic patterns, police services, health services, and welfare services within 25 miles of the gathering will be affected.

H - 2


The Department of Public Safety is charged with all aspects of law enforcement, peacekeeping and emergency management due to incidents which may arise during the Rainbow gathering. The Vermont State Police will have primary responsibility for police service in the area surrounding the gathering.

The mission of the VSP in this instance is to provide public protection and law enforcement in the immediate and surrounding area of the Rainbow gathering.

While the VSP will not initiate action for the purpose of confrontation, troopers will also not turn a blind eye to violations of Vermont and federal laws.

Regular patrols will be scheduled for the area and additional troopers will be on standby for the duration of the event should more manpower be needed.

For the duration of the event the VSP will provide:

On site mobile command C communications post.
Four, 2 trooper cruisers per shift on some shifts.
Eight one trooper cruisers per shift on some shifts. (assignments at discretion of commander)
A 20 trooper crowd control team on lowest alert status.
Coordination of needed services with Vermont National Guard.
A communications network to link state agencies providing services.
A media spokesman available at the command post.

VSP command structure for Rainbow event will consist of:

Overall Command - Captain James Nolan, Commander E Troop.
Operational Command - Lt. Bruce Lang, Bethel Barracks
Nights - Lt. Tom Yates, Middlesex Barracks
Public Affairs/Information - Sgt. Jim Ross

Command post phone number is 767-4324.

The scope of the VSP operation will be to run DWI and drug interdiction patrols in the area of the Rainbow gathering throughout the event. VSP's role is to maintain public order and deliver the clear message that there is no double standard for alcohol or drug abuse in Vermont. All citizens, whether gathering in small or large groups, are subject to the laws of the State of Vermont.



The mission of the Health Department is to provide routine health services to prevent diseases and emergency services in the event of a major outbreak.

During the initial set-up period of the gathering Health Department personnel have and will continue to provide:

Pre-event consultation and advice regarding sanitation procedures for organizers. This includes placement of latrines, operations of food facilities and water supply disinfection procedures.

Contact with local physicians to coordinate health services and provide information on what types of diseases may be encountered.

Coordination of ambulance services in surrounding towns.

During the actual event the Health Department will provide:

Twice daily walk-through inspections of food facilities and sanitation practices.

Health and sanitation information handouts for Rainbow leaders and those attending the gathering.

Coordination of emergency medical services in the event of major health emergency.

Major health concerns are food and water-borne diseases such as:

Salmonella - Bacterial illness which causes diarrhea or gastroenteritis, mild fevers etc. Develops 8 to 48 hours after ingestion of contaminated foods. Complications such as dehydration can cause serious illness.

Giardia - A parasite which causes diarrhea. The incubation period takes longer than with other diseases list here. Needs antibiotic treatment.

Shigella - A bacteria which causes abdominal pain, diarrhea. Needs antibiotic treatment.

Campylobacter - Bacterial type illness which causes diarrhea.

Note: According to Health Commissioner Jan Carney any large gathering of this type is a major problem waiting to happen. Many of the diseases are self limited or require 1 imited medical intervention. However, In the event of large-scale incapacitating disease, it is likely that medical services could become overwhelmed. On the other hand, Health Dept. officials and the Rainbows have worked hard to minimize the risk of a large-scale disease outbreak.


The Rainbows generally try to take care of illnesses on their own. It will be difficult for health officials to monitor small numbers of illnesses within the gathering. If people become sick enough to get to outside health officials, those illnesses will be reported through routine health reporting System. Notification of state officials in this case will be relatively fast because of prenotification of area medical facilities and doctors by the Health Dept.



The mission of the Corrections Department in this instance is to provide secure lockup facilities to hold people who are detained for illegal activities during the Rainbow gathering. Contingencies exist based on several different scenarios which are outlined below.

The Corrections Department can handle without much difficulty 10 individual arrests over a week to ten day period. Normal turnover in the centers would provide adequate space for routine arrests made for violent crimes, drug, alcohol or theft crimes.

However, 10 arrests at one time will activate different corrections contingencies. In the event of mass arrests (10 or more) the department has the following options available:
60 non-violent people can be handled in Chittick Auditorium at the state hospital.

50 people can be placed in the Weeks building at the state hospital.

Between 20 - 50 violent individuals can be housed for no more than 48 hours in the gym at the Northwest facility in St. Albans.

A mass arrest of violent offenders is the worst case scenario facing corrections officials. In such a case, corrections security would be quickly stretched to the limit, and consideration of help from National Guard in setting up a secure facility would be necessary.

Commissioner Patrissi advises that there is space on the Windsor Farm for the containment of a large number of angry or violent people, but the department does not have the resources such as fencing and tents to house them.

Contingencies for erecting secure facilities in the event that corrections faces limitations require coordination with the Vermont National Guard.



The National Guard has alerted a limited number of personnel to the possibility that civil authorities may need assistance, if mass arrests are necessary at the Rainbow gathering. While the possibility is considered unlikely, contingency plans are available to have the Governor request military assistance.

The national guard has pre-designated supplies such as fencing, tents and materials for latrines should it become necessary to erect a temporary detention facility.

Such a detention facility would be:

Constructed of barbed wire.
Use tents for housing those arrested.
Have either port-a-toilets or latrines.
Have potable water available.
Have food available.

On short notice such a facility could not provide:

Running water.
Creature comforts.

General Tom O'Donovan advises that a temporary detention facility to house 100 people could be erected within a day.

Security of that facility would be the responsibility of Vermont civilian authorities. (Corrections, VSP, or contract sheriff' s deputies.)

However, it appears that to procure large scale assistance from the national guard, the Governor will need to declare a state of emergency.

Helicopter medical assistance has already been provided for and will be rendered under federal regulations in life threatening circumstances when a doctor is on the scene.



Secretary Con Hogan has appointed Steve Chupack of his staff to issue a briefing on a needed basis for the duration of the Rainbow gathering.

That briefing will cover the following areas:

Emergency ambulance calls.
WIC applications.
ANFC applications.
Requests for food stamps.
Requests for General Assistance.
Sanitation reports.
Lodgings at corrections facilities.
Unusual incidents.

Steve Chupack has been appointed Human Services coordinator for the duration of the event to provide information for other state and federal agencies. His number is 241-2223.

In addition, the Secretary has alerted officials from Mental Health and SRS to the possibility that their assistance may be needed in the event of drug or alcohol related problems, runaways and protection of children whose parents have been arrested.

In regards to welfare benefits that are already being requested by members of the Rainbow family, Secretary Hogan advises that the agency will provide only that assistance as required by the law, nothing more, nothing less.



Waterbury, Vermont

TO: Colonel Robert A. Horton, Director Commander
FROM: Major Lane Marshall - Support Services
SUBJECT: Rainbow Family Gathering, Rochester Area

Per your request please find the following as our intaxpretation of the actions taken in our division's support for the public safety function during the rainbow family gathering in the National Forrest in the Rochester/Hancock/Granville area,

1. We conducted site surveys of the entire area to determine the best methods of supply adequate telephone and radio coverage in the area of the proposed Terrain, multiple agency jurisdiction, power limitations, location and total number of public safety personnel on site were but a few of the considerations necessary.

2. In order to obtain the best possible portable radio coverage we converted 150 Ib base repeater system to portable mode and transported to a high location and place in a remote hunting camp so that when out of their vehicles officers would have instant portable coverage with each other and the command post. in addition we altered the radio frequency so there could be no interruption in the coverage of these radios. Battery power was used to power the repeater but batteries had to be changed frequently to ensure It was working.

3. We installed telephone lines into the mobil command post from the telephone company drop and set up the telephone service.

4. We had to install, and then reinstall the antenna system for the channel 2 primary radio frequency. After some level of poor performance we discovered the antenna war part of the problem for reduced radio coverage but that an adequate 12 volt power supply was another. By morning of the second day we worked through problem and things began operating consistently

5. We installed two paths for data communication, (VLETS terminal). The first consisted of a hastily built arrangement out of spare parts which allowed us to operate the data set on radio frequency from Rochester to Killington Mountain. From there we transferred the data to microwave and tied it into the State Police headquarters building In Waterbury and, through modem, Into the message switch which is used by all other law enforcement agencies in Vermont.

H- 9

a back-up to that R/F link uc established a hard wired, (telephone), link to State Police and Quarters as a radundant system in the event the R/F link failed, Wa newer had to use the hard wire

6. We provided ongoing support during the duration of this event and even wound up repairing vandalized equipment for the Forrest Service or the Sheriff's Department.


Case we going to go through this type of event again for similar, or longer, duration I vould give serious consideration to some of the following ideas:
1. We really need to consider a true portable repeater system which can operate for an extend period of time on a single battery or perhaps one which is solar powered,

2. We need to purchased/obtain a real R/F radio link instead of having to "Rube Coldbatg" such a thing out of existing parts.

3. We happened to be lucky when this Incident occurred and had just ordered a new VLETS terminal for the airport. Frankly, we sidetracked that terminal for use in Rochester. At any other time we would have robbed one from a Station. It would he nice to have one available for just such incidents.

4. The two modems used were pulled out of a funk pile from Green Mountain power some time ago along with some other outdated equipment they gave us. The communications staff removed some pieces, added some spare parts and, "presto" two usable modems for a special purpose. Needless to say without those modems we would have been unable to provide data terminal service to the area, (Thank goodness for the junk pile, and old friends).

5. The two microwave ends, modem termination cards and related equipment for the microwave link were also redirected from other daily use for this purpose. obviously, we were lucky we didn't need them somewhere else.

The technology used is available and this last week shows vs can do It. I think we need to consider obtaining the proper equipment to set up and operate such a support function. pest assured my next budget recommendation wilt contain some recommendations to purchase some of the equipment I have discussed.


Waterbury, VERMONT

DATE: July 18, 1991
To: Michael Gilhooly, Governor's Policy Office
From: Major John H. Sincair, Field Force Commander
Subject: Rainbow Family Gathering - 1991

The gathering reached it's maximum participation on or about July 4, 1991 with an estimated attendance of approximately 16,000 people. Population was determined by counting the number of vehicles on site, then multiplying by five. There was no law enforcement presence in the gathering site. There were, without a doubt, crimes committed. Drug use was prevalent, marijuana, and LSD and probably other classes of drugs. There were unsubstantiated reports of at least one assult and one rape. These reports originated from the U.S. Forest Service. There is no question other offenses occurred.

The Vermont State Police responsibility at this function was to investigate any reported major crimes within the National Forest, one unattended death (SIDS), and patrol and State Highways, Route 100 and 125, and patrol the Town Roads which did not lead to the gathering site.

The U.S. Forest Service, with the assistance of the Addison County Sheriffs Department, were responsible for keeping order in the gathering site and patrolling the National Forest roads on the perimeter of the site.

A working and cooperative relationship was estalished early on with the law enforcement function of the U.S. Forest Service. Radio Communication capabilities were made available to the Forest Service. Twice daily Vermont State Police Commanders. Joint operations occurred on the perimeter of the gathering, drug stops, fugitive searches, and the investigation and recovery of the SIDS victim within the gathering was a cooperative effort. I would categorize the cooperative effort between the Vermont State Police, and the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Forest Service as very good.



Waterbury, VERMONT

DATE: July 18, 1991
To: Michael Gilhooly, Governor's Policy Office
From: Captain Kerry L. Sleeper, Chief Criminal Investigator
Subject: Rainbow Family Gathering - 1991

The most significant event of the Vermont Rainbow Gathering was the apparent sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.) death of an eleven week old child from Amherst, Mass. that occurred on 06-29-91. The investigating officer reported that the baby appeared to have been well cared for; there were no signs of abuse, neglect, or foul play relating to this death.

Our on scene sources learned of a few fist fights, a maliciously destroyed car windshield, and an unsubstiantiated (and unreported) sexual assult. The majority of those consuming alcoholic beverages. At one council meeting, the subject of females being verbally abused by those sonsuming alcohol at the "A" camp was discussed. One intoxicted male was observed being escorted out of the area by a group of Rainbows.

Open drug dealing was rare, although a plain clothed U.S. Marshall purchased L.S.D. from two males; 16,000 hits of L.S.D. were seized as a result of that investigation. The arrestees were from the Southwest and were reportedly not members of the Rainbow Family.

Communication between the Vermont State Police, the U.S. Park Service Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshall's service and the Addison County Sheriffs Department was generally open and adequate, with information being shared by the agencies.

Aside from the above data, I am not aware of any other major crime problems that have arisen from the Vermont Rainbow Gathering to date.



Appendix H - Continued

Vermont Report | PCU Administrative Record | Rainbow Regs Page