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12

February 19 M arch 4, 2015

SCHOOL

COMMISSIONER
Nolan Langweil

Carolyn Grodinsky

Bridget Asay

Tina Muncy

PARK

COMMISSIONER
Steve Hingtgen

Bill Johnson

Jennifer Cahill Bean

Charlie Phillips

T O W N M E E T I N G D AY
Tom Golonka

COUNCIL
PERSON

Bridget Houston

DIS T RIC T 2

C O U N C I L Candidates Vie for Seats at


P E R S O N Montpelier City Meeting
DIS T RIC T 1
Anne Watson

The Bridge
P.O. Box 1143
Montpelier, VT 05601

PRSRT STD
CAR-RT SORT
U.S. Postage
PAID
Montpelier, VT
Permit NO. 123

Thomas Gram

Ben Eastwood

by Carla Occaso
MONTPELIER This years annual
meeting looks to be a lively one for candidates seeking to serve city government.
Two open seats on the school board have
five candidates incumbents Jennifer
Cahill Bean on the ballot and write-in
candidate Charlie Phillips, and three challengers, including educator Tina Muncy,
vintage trailer supply company owner
Steve Hingtgen and attorney Bridget Asay.
The stakes are high on the school board
race because the outcome of who is on
the school board affects property taxes,
enrichment programs, student-to-teacher
ratios and the attractiveness of Montpelier schools to incoming foreign students
who administrators hope will put tens of
thousands of tuition dollars into the school
coffers. The school board is not organized
by district, any resident of Montpelier
regardless of what district they reside
in may run for any open seat. On the
other hand, the city council is divided into
districts and those running for a particular
district must reside in the district they
hope to represent. This years council race

has contested races in District One and


District Two, but Jessica Edgerly has District Three all to herself. Not so the park
commissioner opening. Three people have
thrown their hats in the ring for that position, including Farmers Market organizer
Carolyn Grodinsky, retired state government worker Bill Johnson and senior legislative analyst Nolan Langweil.
The Bridge asked the following candidates
to describe who they are and why they are
running. Responses have been edited for
length and candidates are listed in alphabetical order, in order of the seat they are
seeking:
City Council District 1
Incumbent candidate Tom Golonka
The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Golonka: I am a partner in a local independent investment firm with offices in
Williston and Montpelier. I have lived in
Montpelier since 1996 and have raised five
children currently ranging in ages from 9
to 17.
The Bridge: How long have you been on

the council?
Golonka: After this term ends at the end
of the month, I will have been on the city
council for 10 years.
The Bridge: What are your priorities?
Golonka: (1) To continue the regional
effort of Montpelier and local neighboring communities through the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority, (2) increasing the grand list through more housing
development, (3) completion of the rezoning efforts and the Taylor Street projects.
The Bridge: Would you support putting
wind turbines on the hills of the city limits
of Montpelier to achieve net zero as stated
in council's initiative?
Golonka: I would not support putting
wind turbines on the hills of the city limits of Montpelier. I support the net zero
initiative and would instead focus on solar
projects as well as conservation efforts as a
first step in the project.
The Bridge: Anything you'd like to add?

Continued on Page 4

PAG E 2 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

Political Advertisement

THE BRIDGE

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 3

T H E B R I D G E

The
Bridge
Support
Committee
Wavell Cowan, Chair
Colyn Case
Phil Dodd
Larry Floersch
Nat Frothingham

A Note from Nat Frothingham, Publisher


I am extremely grateful to a small group of people that we are calling The Bridge
Support Committee. This group has been meeting during January and February to
take stock of the business, financial and organizational problems and opportunities
facing The Bridge.
Working together we have begun the task of proposing solutions to the problems the
paper faces. In the statement that follows, Wavell Cowan, the chair of our support
committee, outlines a few of the tangible steps we are taking to create a community
newspaper that is sustainable.

Ben Huffman
Donny Osman

A Sustainable Community Plan for the


Future of The Bridge
The Bridge Support Committee Goes Public

group of us recently responded to Nat Frothinghams request for help as he grappled with finding the money to continue publishing The Bridge. We
quickly came to appreciate the dedication of Nat and an overworked staff. As the mayor of Montpelier, John Hollar, has stated, The Bridge has been
an important institution in Montpelier for a long time. It is a true community newspaper.

The Bridge is currently a for-profit, LLC corporation that has rarely made a profit in its 20-year publishing history. The past few years have required Nat to not
only function as an unpaid editor-in-chief and publisher, but also to finance growing deficits with personally guaranteed bank loans.

Our initial gathering considered two questions that need to be addressed in order to move forward. Is The Bridge worth saving? Is there a realistic way to accomplish this? By the end of the meeting we conceived an approach that will answer the first question and realistically test out the second.
We decided to prove that The Bridge is indeed the valued community newspaper many, many people believe it to be, and to devise a proper business plan to
explain persuasively a way to transform The Bridge and guarantee a sustainable future for the paper. If we can do this, then we believe the community will support this plan with the annual contributions needed.
Before we left the meeting we had taken the first steps to reorganize The Bridge as a Vermont nonprofit corporation, helping to mark it as a genuine communityowned institution.
Transforming The Bridge
Subsequent meetings reviewed and critiqued the business side of The Bridge operation, and brainstormed just what a genuine community newspaper could
offer, above and beyond what The Bridge has successfully done in the past. It was fun. It was highly productive. And we think it will prove to be a successful
strategy, certainly worth pursuing.
Here is the Essence of Our Plan
Annual ad revenues attainable by The Bridge in the current digital marketplace appear to be of the order of $165,000. Once The Bridge becomes a Vermont
nonprofit, it will need to acquire 501(c)3 status from the IRS so that community contributions will become federal income tax deductible. We believe that in
order to qualify for this status we will be required to receive 25 to 30 percent of The Bridge's revenues from community contributions. This means that now
and into the future the community that The Bridge serves will need to contribute annually at least $55,000. Such an amount will, for the 2015 season, also keep
The Bridge solvent.
Looking Ahead
In the next few issues we will unveil many new initiatives concerning content, a corp of volunteers, a business plan, etc. These are initiatives that will transform
The Bridge into what we have come to see as its true role as a community resource, and establish a much-needed efficient business organization.
We believe that these initiatives will produce the convincing evidence needed to earn your ongoing financial support.
What We Need to Do Now
We are initiating The Bridges first
Community Budget Support Request, seen on the bottom corner of
this page. We understand that this will
be premature for some without yet
being able to report on the changes
and new initiatives that will provide
the evidence that this request is truly
deserved. But we've only been at this
for less than a month.
Imagine what we can do as we move
forward.
Wavell Cowan
Chair, The Bridge Support Committee

Community Budget
Support Request

2015 Community Budget Support Request for The Bridge


Name______________________________________________________
Address_____________________________________________________
City____________________________________ State_____Zip__________
Email_________________________________
$25

$50

$200 $250

$100 $150
Other $________

All community contributions, whatever suits the budget, will be welcomed.


Members of this Community Support Club will be periodically acknowledged in
I wish to remain anonymous
future issues of The Bridge.
Send this form and your check to:
The Bridge, P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601

Thank
You!

PAG E 4 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

THE BRIDGE

Candidates Vie for


Seats at Montpelier
City Meeting

Story Continued from Page 1


Golonka: I am excited to continue on the
Montpelier City Council and have been
honored to represent the residents of District One.
Challenger Thomas Gram
I'm a 23-year-old, lifelong Montpelier resident and I'm committed to this community. This town is safe, walkable and has
a strong consciousness of important global
issues here.
There are problems here, too. There's a
great deal of inequality of wealth and
power, and many young, working class
residents and retirees on fixed incomes
feel excluded from the discussions of our
towns future. I'm running for city council
because I want to offer a fresh perspective
that gives voice to the people in this town
who feel marginalized. I want to pursue
renewable energy options like cogenerators. I also want to investigate electrifying
unused dams in Montpelier. I also support
cooperative housing.
Lastly, I want to see local, green manufacturing established in our town. If we as a
community can pull together and overcome the entrenchment of the status quo,
we can make this a more vibrant community where young people will stay, everyone
will have a voice.
Challenger Bridget Houston
Houston: I grew up in Montpelier and
went through the Montpelier school system. Now I work full time at Capitol Copy
on Main Street in addition to being a fulltime student. I will bring a fresh perspective to Montpelier City Council as a young
person who has grown up in Montpelier
and decided to stay here. My priorities if
elected include creating more affordable
housing, ensuring everyone has access to
local food and goods, and making more
non-commercial community open spaces.
While I certainly support the use of natural
and sustainable energy sources, I feel the
wind turbine proposal needs further investigation regarding environmental impacts
before I can support it.

Jessica Edgerly
Walsh
City Council Person
District 3
City Council District 2
Challenger Ben Eastwood
The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Eastwood: I'm a dad to five great kids,
serve on the Montpelier Conservation
Commission and am creating a community
maker space on Barre Street.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be on the
council, and what would your priorities be?
Eastwood: I have a lifetime commitment
to serving my community; from Ground
Zero cleanup in NYC, to becoming a volunteer EMT, to my role on the conservation commission.
The Bridge: Would you support putting
wind turbines on the hills of the city limits
of Montpelier to achieve net zero as stated
in council's initiative?
Eastwood: Since our wind profile essentially precludes turbines, we need to look
at every alternative.
The Bridge: Anything else to add?
Eastwood: We need to return to our core
values by putting an end to this reckless
austerity, so we can build a community
that is accessible to all people, not just an
entitled few.
Incumbent Anne Watson

John Odum

Linda Berger

Douglas Hoyt

City Clerk

Green Mount Cemetery


Commissioner

Central Vermont Public


Safety Authority At-Large
Board Member

is hammering out a long-term budget plan


to both keep the tax rate reasonable and
preserve city services. Im also excited to
continue to make progress towards net-zero
energy, the development of 1 Taylor Street,
remediating our storm water, and extending our bike path.
The Bridge: Would you support putting
wind turbines on the hills of the city limits
of Montpelier to achieve net zero as stated
in council's initiative?
Watson: In general, yes, I would support
wind turbines in Montpelier, particularly if
they were co-operatively owned. However,
the last time I checked, the average wind
speed here was 4mph, not nearly enough
for turbines to be viable.

City Council District 3

The Bridge: What contribution can you


best make to the Montpelier school district?

Jessica Edgerly Walsh


The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Edgerly Walsh: I direct the community
outreach program at SunCommon, the
state's largest residential solar company.

The Bridge: What would your priorities be


if you are elected?

Hingtgen: I will advocate for changes to


the state education funding system. As a
parent of two daughters in our schools, I
will bring the first-hand perspective of how
important it is for our schools to meet the
individual and unique needs of children
and their families.
The Bridge: Do you believe the district
is underfunded? If so, how do you plan to
fix this?

Edgerly Walsh: I'll continue to push for


new housing. Adding to our grand list
would go a long way toward reducing
our property taxes. (I will try to) meet
Montpelier's goal of total clean energy. (In
addition,) many of the neighborhoods on
the other side of the river aren't far from
downtown, but walking into town can be
treacherous. I will continue to support extending the bike path from the Co-op out
to Gallison Hill Road to help residents get
into town safely without relying on their
cars and bring our city's roads and sidewalks back into a state of regular repair.

Hingtgen: On the school board, I will


defend reasonable budgets that fund our
schools.

The Bridge: Would you support putting


wind turbines on the hills of the city limits
of Montpelier to achieve net zero as stated
in council's initiative?

Muncy: I believe that I have a great deal of


knowledge and experience with all aspects
of education that would be useful to a
position on the school board. Now that I
am not working full time, I have time to
dedicate to the board.

Edgerly Walsh: Probably. We use power to


run our homes and businesses.
School Commissioner
Challenger Bridget Asay
The Bridge: What is your profession?
Asay: Attorney.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be on the
school board?
Asay: I want to make sure we maintain
thriving schools that give our children the
education they need to succeed and become engaged, productive adults.
The Bridge: What contribution can you
best make to the Montpelier school district?
Asay: Communication skills, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
Political Advertisement

Hingtgen: I own Vintage Trailer Supply, a


small business in Montpelier with six fulltime employees.

In America today, we have very few institutions that bring whole towns together to
struggle and succeed as one. Montpelier
schools do that.

Edgerly Walsh: Two years

Watson: One of the most important goals

The Bridge: What is your profession?

Im thankful for the many residents that


work to make Montpelier thrive. Its already a great place to live, and its getting
even better!

Watson: I teach high school science and


math at Montpelier High School.

The Bridge: What are your priorities?

Challenger Steve Hingtgen

The Bridge: Why do you want to be on the


school board?

The Bridge: How long have you been on


the council?

Watson: I was appointed in August 2012.

Asay: We spend less per pupil than many


similar districts, yet we're getting a great
education. As a parent, I know we could
use more resources to maintain aging
buildings, offer more afterschool programs,
and do more with technology. As a homeowner, I know that tax increases are hard
on families.

The Bridge: Anything you'd like to add?

The Bridge: What do you do for a living?

The Bridge: How long have you been on


the council?

is underfunded? If so, how do you plan to


fix this?

The Bridge: Do you believe the district

Challenger Tina Muncy


The Bridge: What is your profession?
Muncy: Education. I work for the Upper
Valley Educators Institute in a competency-based program.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be on
the school board? What contribution can
you best make to the Montpelier school
district?

The Bridge: Do you believe the district


is underfunded? If so, how do you plan to
fix this?
Muncy: The school board needs to work
on finding an answer to how we will continue to offer a quality education for our
children with smaller numbers at the high
school and less money from the state without raising taxes.
Incumbent Charlie Phillips, Write-In
Candidate
The Bridge: What is your profession?
Phillips: I was at Montpelier High School
for 37 years as an English teacher, athletic
director, and (then) I was principal.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be on the
school board? (This year would be Phillips
ninth)

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 5

T H E B R I D G E
Phillips: There is unfinished business.
The Montpelier school system is very
strong. We have a strong group of good
leaders and I want to see that we sustain
that momentum. The school system tries
to meet kids where they are at in terms of
what they need.

Johnson: I was active in the purchase and


conservation of over 80,000 acres of land
in the Northeast Kingdom and I oversaw
the administration of the states preferential property tax program for farm and
forest land.

The Bridge: What about the budget?

Johnson: The parks must serve a diversity


of users. We must respect and conserve the
parks natural environment. We need to
fiscally support the parks. The parks are
supported through an ad hoc approach.
This simply will become less tenable as the
demands on the parks inevitably increase.

Phillips: We need to keep the doors open


with U-32 to collaborate and cooperate.
Whether it saves money or not remains to
be seen, but it would improve the quality
of education for both schools. As a senior
citizen on a fixed income I understand
both sides of it: The need to provide a
quality education and the need to keep it
affordable.
Park Commissioner
Candidate Carolyn Grodinsky
The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Grodinsky: I manage the Capital City
Farmers Market.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be park
commissioner?
Grodinksy: I am passionate about the city
parks and have been so since moving to
Montpelier in 1992. The city has incredible green spaces. I'd like to improve the
parks and make them enjoyable for all.
The Bridge: What about your background
makes you qualified for this job?
Grodinsky: In addition for my passion for
the city parks, I have served on other city
committees, including five years on the
Montpelier Planning Commission. This
position and work on a zoning rewrite gave
me a good understanding of city master
planning goals of the citizens, the differing
interests in the city, as well as working collaboratively to find solutions. This is also
the case as manager of the farmers market.
The Bridge: What are your priorities?
Grodinsky: I am interested in linking
the city parks with the downtown and the
neighboring parks. I want to understand
all the interests in the park and help craft
solutions that work for everyone.
Candidate Bill Johnson
The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Johnson: I retired from state government.
I ended my state career serving for over 15
years as director of the property tax division within the Tax Department.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be park
commissioner?
Johnson: I have lived in Montpelier for
more than 25 years and during this time
Ive spent hundreds of hours in Hubbard
and North Branch parks.

The Bridge: What are your priorities?

The Bridge: Anything else?


Johnson: I live next to the park at the top
of Hubbard Park Drive. I have watched the
use of the park system grow dramatically.
I suspect the number of daily users has
trebled. There have been some recent conflicts. I have the experience and knowledge
to help bridge some of the differences so
all park users feel that their concerns have
been addressed.
Candidate Nolan Langweil
The Bridge: What do you do for a living?
Langweil: Senior analyst for the Vermont
Legislative Joint Fiscal Office
The Bridge: What about your background
makes you qualified?

Political Advertisement

Langweil: I help lawmakers find pragmatic solutions to complex issues. I also


serve as the vice-chair of the Montpelier
parking committee, where I helped to lift
the winter parking ban in non-inclement
weather.
The Bridge: Why do you want to be a
park commissioner?
My motivation is to do things that improve peoples lives and benefit our community. Given increasing demand for
our parks, lets keep them welcoming and
enjoyable for everyone.
The Bridge: What would your priorities
be as a park commissioner?
Langweil: Increasing community involvement in our parks, building stronger connections between our parks and downtown
businesses, creating more activities and
events for kids and families in the parks
and exploring ideas of integrating parks as
part of One Taylor Street.
The Bridge: Anything else?
Langweil: Our people, downtown and
parks help make Montpelier one of the
best small towns in America. Keeping the
parks vibrant and sustainable will only enhance our sense of place and community.

The Bridge: What about your background


makes you qualified?

Paid for by Bridget Asay, 12 Pearl Street, Montpelier, VT 05602

Political Advertisement

PAG E 6 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

THE BRIDGE

A Message From City Hall


This page was paid for by the City of Montpelier.

Annual Voting on March 3


by William Fraser, City Manager

he Annual City Election is right


around the corner. The actual election day is Tuesday, March 3 with
polls open at City Hall from 7 a.m. to 7
p.m. Early ballots are already available.
This years election includes the three city
council seats, two school board seats, one
City Clerk, one cemetery commissioner
and one parks commissioner. City, School
and Recreation budgets, Library funding,
regional public safety authority funding
and the downtown improvement district
tax rate are all on the ballot.
Annual Report
As I noted last month, the annual report
will not be delivered to every home this
year. It is out this week and available in
hard copy at City Hall, the Library, the Senior Center and the Schools. It is available
on line in searchable PDF form at the citys
website www.montpelier-vt.org.
Winter Parking Ban Reminder
The city is experimenting with using a
parking ban only during storms and storm
clean up. For up-to-date information on
whether the ban is in place or not one can
do any or all of the following: sign up for
VT Alerts, check the citys website, check
the citys Facebook page (search City of
Montpelier, VT - City Government), check
the citys Twitter account (@vtmontpelier),
read Front Porch Forum or call the parking
ban hot line 802-262-6200.
FY16 City Budget:
Much of the detail of the City budget is
included in the Annual Report. Information about the School Budget can also be
found in the annual report but will not be
addressed here.
Property Tax Impact:
Requires a 2.4 cent increase in the property tax rate. The capital/equipment plan
is increased by 1.8 cents while the remainder of the budget again requires just
0.6 cents. A 2.4 cent increase represents
a 2.5% property tax rate increase after a
0.5 cent (0.25%) increase in FY14 and
a 1.5 cent (1.6%) increase in FY15. For
the average residential property, this tax
rate represents an additional $53.65 on
the tax bill. The three year combined increase of 4.25% compares to a three year
combined inflation rate of 4.7% (1.7%,
1.5% and 1.5% respectively).
Independent ballot items for the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Central Vermont Public Safety Authority would add
$42,750 in new tax dollars. This is
equivalent to 0.5 cents on the tax rate or
$10.77 for the average residence.
Budget Numbers:
FY16 General Fund Budget totals
$12,622,056 which is an increase of
$450,600 (3.7%) from the comparable
FY15 spending plan. This number includes the Recreation, Library and Public Safety Authority budgets.

FY16 General Fund non-tax revenues


total $4,069,316 which is an increase
of $188,550 (4.9%) from FY14 non-tax
revenues.
Revenues from the State of Vermont
such as Highway Aid, Grand List Maintenance funding and the Justice Center
basic grant have been assumed to remain
at their present funding levels. Payment
in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) was adjusted
downward to reflect actual collection in
FY15.
Grand list value is calculated at 0.2%
increase from the FY15 level. With the
projected grand list, $85,146 represents
one cent on the tax rate.
Infrastructure:
The Capital Projects, Equipment and
Debt Service Program is fully funded
at $2,071,304. Of this $875,978 is in
annual funding, $680,326 is in existing
debt service and $515,000 is for equipment.
This matches the long term
funding plan and represents an overall
increase for these combined items of
$166,300. This results in an additional
$198,408 (29.3%) in annual funding
for FY16 infrastructure improvements.
Over a three year period (including this
proposed budget) infrastructure funding
has increased $498,900. The Capital/
Equipment Plan anticipates additional
increases of $166,300 in each of the next
three budget years FY17 through
FY19 in order to bring funding levels
to the projected steady state of maintenance and improvements.
The budget includes $43,200 for the
annual payment for the purchase of One
Taylor Street. This expense is offset by
lease revenue.
No bonds are proposed for FY16. Future
infrastructure bonds are planned with
subsequent bonds of $710,000 in FY17
and $705,000 in FY20. Future bonds
may be needed for bike path matching funds, a potential flood mitigation
project and matching funds for the One
Taylor Street project.
Personnel:
Total number of Full Time Equivalent
Employees (FTE) is 107.58 which is
0.67 FTE less than FY15. Reductions
were 1.0 FTE in DPW and 0.12 FTE in
the Senior Center. Additions were 0.4 In
Dispatch and 0.05 in Parks.
Cost of living allowances and step increases are built into all employee wage
and salary accounts consistent with col-

lective bargaining agreements and personnel policies. For this budget that
represents a 1.5% to 2.5% contracted
adjustment for Public Works union employees. A 1.5% or lower adjustment for
all other employees is budgeted. Neither
Fire nor Police union contracts are in
place for FY15 yet. Overall wage costs
are up by 1.8% in this budget.
The budget continues the high deductible health insurance plan which was
implemented three years ago. Overall
benefit costs are up by 6.6% in this
budget.
Other Funds:
The Water and Wastewater budgets have
both been balanced. The Wastewater
fund is now in a small surplus position
and the water fund is steadily reducing
its deficit. The budget assumes no Water
rate change, a 2.5% Sewer rate increase
and no Sewer or CSO benefit charge
changes. The rate structure for these
funds is under review now. Funding
from the CSO benefit charge is being
used to address new stormwater requirements.
The Parking fund is balanced while including a 5% set aside for alternate transportation funding.
The District Heat Fund budget will
cover the second full year of complete
operation. The General Fund is realizing approximately $65,000 in benefit
from District Heat, $20,000 to pay the
2009 bond and $45,000 for DPW costs
to maintain and operate the system.
Community Services:
Funding for the Housing Trust Fund has
been reduced from $41,000 to $21,000.
The Montpelier Community & Arts
Fund is funded at $110,175 which is
reduced by $8,000 from FY15 funding.
The Parks and Public Works budgets
contain $4,563 for operation of dog
waste stations. The budget assumes a
$12 increase per dog license to fund
these waste stations.
The budget includes $40,000 funding
for the GMTA circulator bus route.
Direct Services:
Police: The Police budget includes a new
contractual relationship with Capital
Fire Mutual Aid System for dispatching
services. This provides additional revenue and improved services for Montpe-

lier. A part time dispatcher position has


been expanded to full time. Tax funding
for the police canine program has been
eliminated.
Planning, Zoning & Community/Economic Development: The department
and public still struggle with the change
to a half time zoning administrator made
two years ago. A proposal to restore this
position to full time was not included in
the budget but would be appropriate to
meet the need. One VISTA position is
funded, down from two.
Public Works: The Street Supervisor
and Water/Sewer Supervisor have been
merged into one Supervisory position.
This has allowed for more blended work
among the two divisions. One full-time
position was reduced from this department as a result of this efficiency change.
Unmet Needs:
Both city staff and Matrix had identified
previously existing capacity shortcomings in the areas of human resources
management, facilities management and
communications. We have made some
progress in the communications area but
nothing in this budget specifically addresses the other concerns.
No funding is included for Economic
Development Strategic Plan, housing
initiatives, community survey, review
of ordinances, Net Zero initiatives or
downtown wireless.
Ballot Items:
Articles 1-10 are the annual election and
regular budget items. Note that Article 2
and Article 6 are for election and budget
approval for the new Central Vermont
Public Safety Authority.
Article 11 is for the continuation of the
downtown improvement district approved
two years ago where commercial properties within the designated zone pay an
additional tax increment with the funds
raised going directly for promotions and
improvements within that district. The article establishes the tax rate for the district.
Article 12 is for $316,698 for the Kellogg
Hubbard Library which is $8,025 higher
than last year. Five years ago, the City
Council chose to place the full amount
of the Library request on the ballot rather
than splitting the request between the ballot and the budget. This decision was made
because the Library is not a municipal
department under the Councils oversight
and therefore the Council has no influence
on the budget request.
Thank you for your interest in Montpelier
City Government. Please vote on March 3.
Feel free to contact me at wfraser@montpelier-vt.org or 802-223-9502 with questions
or concerns. Remember, Montpelier is on
Facebook (search City of Montpelier, VT City Government) and Twitter (@vtmontpelier). All the above referenced documents including the budget, the annual
report, and the ballot items are available
in their entirety at www.montpelier-vt.org.

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 7

T H E B R I D G E

Pellet Shortage Hits Town


by Carla Occaso
MONTPELIER If you live in this area and own a wood pellet stove, you might be
having trouble finding pellets, unless you already bought a years worth last fall. According to several local dealers, pellets have sold out early and they cant re-supply. Suggested
reasons for the dearth range from the small size of our market large dealers want to
sell out of state (some out of the country) where they can make more money to an
increased local demand due to more pellet stove purchases.

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Raymond Plagge, owner Vermont Stove Works, sells pellet stoves and pellets. His pellet
supply has been coming in and quickly depleting in recent weeks. Every year more and
more pellet stoves are brought into the market place. Every time you add a pellet stove
into the marketplace, you add six ton (of pellets) into the marketplace, Plagge said. He
said there was a spike in pellet stove purchases when the price of oil went up to the $3.50
to $4.50 per gallon range, but now it might make just as much sense to burn oil, with
the price of oil lower.
In addition, Plagge said his Canadian supplier sells a lot of pellets overseas rather than
in the U.S. I read in a trade magazine the little country of Italy burns more pellets
than the whole United States. It is not just Italy. They are going all over Europe. Europe
doesnt have any trees. The Germans arent cutting down that beautiful forest to make
wood pellets. They might be making cuckoo clocks, but they arent making pellets. ...
Ive had a contract with one of my pellet suppliers and they cut me back by four to three
truck loads, which is huge for me. They oversold in the summer, he said. Plagge said if
a customer came to purchase a pellet stove today, in light of the pellet supply situation,
he would attach a contract for them to buy a ton of pellets as well.
Tractor Supply sells the stoves and the pellets as well. Store manager Adam Lane said he
just got a shipment and he is rationing the amount he sells. Lane said keeping warm is
a full time job. In Vermont, we have the heating season and we have the getting-readyfor-heating season, he said. Lane said that when he sells a stove, he also warns customers
to purchase a full season of pellets with it.
Every year at this time there is almost always a shortage, said David Ide, owner of
Agway which has sold out of pellets months ago. Weve been telling people that it is
going to be difficult. Suppliers have been telling me they cant keep up with it. They
dont store well, so the vendors cant make extra. Ide said many factors contribute to
the shortage in central Vermont, including a lack of incentive for truckers to haul pellets
from Maine, Canada or New Hampshire if there is nothing to return with. In summer,
truckers can go up to Derby hauling cedar mulch, for example. But in winter, Vermont
doesnt have much for truckers to haul on the return trip. In addition, there are simply
fewer truckers around.
Forest Neill, manager at Guy's Farm and Yard, is out of pellets. Everyone was so nervous
about last years shortage that they pre-bought, Neill said. Even Wal-Mart cant keep
them in stock. It has been cold and demand is high, said assistant manager Ferdinand
Royer. The last supply he got has sold out.
Cliff Dodge, owner of the Dairy Creme, got into the pellet selling business due to a
shortage just like this one years ago. He could only find dealers who would sell him
hundreds of tons, not just a few tons, so he bought them in bulk and sold the rest. This
year the shortage has hit early. I ran out last November, he said. In addition, There
are just not enough manufacturing plants to supply us. A lot of us have to tell the supplier how much we want in advance. I ordered 300 ton. I got 300 ton and couldnt get
more, Dodge said. I used to burn cord wood, but it is so much work. Im an old geezer
now and pellets are easier."

Hospital Emphasizes Safer


Patient Handling

by Nat Frothingham

entral Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) now formally a part of the University of Vermont Health Network has made and is making a significant investment in safe patient handling and mobility.

CVMCs heightened commitment to these issues called MAPS (Moving All Patients
Safely) got its start in October 2014 with the acquisition of new patient handling and
moving equipment and staff training throughout the hospital involving more than 400
staff members in such departments as transport, radiology, rehab therapy and nursing.
The heightened commitment to safe patient handling will benefit both patients and
health care staff and addresses a number of current concerns.
According to a CVMC news release, Out-patient services have expanded and patients in
hospitals are those who are too sick to go through an out-patient department. Another
issue facing hospitals today is sicker patients and larger patients. In the words of the
CVMC press release, Obesity is a problem throughout the United States and is reflected
in larger people in our patient population.
Because hospital patients today are sicker and larger this is having impacts on the
health care professionals who lift, turn, boost and move patients. Similar programs such
as MAPS in some 800 hospital facilities have led to an average 84 percent reduction in
the number of patient handling injuries to health care staff.
According to Robert Patterson, CVMCs vice president of rehabilitation therapy and
human resources, the already-started MAPS program will be rolled out over three years
and will pay for new equipment and clinical support at an approximate cost of $500,000.
CVMC estimates a return on that investment in approximately 18 months with better
mobility outcomes for patients and sharp reductions in the number of patient handling
related injuries to health care staff.
According to the CVMC release the average nurse lifts about 1 and tons during a
working shift. Thats about the weight of a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle

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PAG E 8 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

THE BRIDGE

Opinion

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U-32 Budget Up Slightly,


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by Kari Bradley, vice-chair of the board

he challenge of operating schools these days is encapsulated in the budgeting


process. In these times of declining enrollment, rising property taxes and an
ever-expanding list of expectations for our schools, achieving the proper balance
between our educational responsibility to our students and our fiscal responsibility to
our tax-paying community is complex work. The U-32 school boards recommended
budget for the 2015-16 school year reflects our work to achieve that balance.
The budget calls for a 0.55 percent expense increase over the current year. This will
require reductions in several administrative, instructional and non-instructional support positions; however, we expect no reductions in course offerings or programming for
our students. The budget includes an additional $98,000 for capital expenses, bringing
us closer to a fully-funded capital fund consistent with our multi-year plan to sustain
our facility and avoid deferred maintenance expenses in the future. Unfortunately, as
a school we face two significant decreases in revenues next year: no support from our
fund balance and a projected decline of 19 tuition students from neighboring towns.
As a result, the total increase in tax rates from the proposed U-32 budget is 4.2 percent
To calculate the final tax rates, the U-32 budget is combined with each towns elementary school budget, its common level of appraisal and the statewide education tax rate.
As of this writing, the estimated local tax impact for each town is:
Berlin- 9.2 cent increase (or $92 per $100,000 assessed property value)
Calais- 16.3 cent increase ($163/$100,000)
East Montpelier- 19.8 cent increase ($198/$100,000)
Middlesex- 14.2 cent increase ($142/$100,000)
Worcester- 1.7 cent decrease (-$17/$100,000)
You can find more detail in your town report or by visiting www.wcsuonline.org.
It is critical to recognize that for most of our towns the majority of the increase is due
to the CLA and state tax rate, which are beyond our control. For this reason, the board
does not feel that further reductions to school expenses are in the communitys best
interest. In fact, to reduce the tax rate by a single penny (or $10 per $100,000) requires
an expense reduction of approximately $144,000, an amount that would undoubtedly
negatively impact school programming and what we can offer our students. To address
this disconnect between school expenses and local tax rates will require action by our
state government with respect to the current education financing system.
The board believes we have struck an appropriate balance between school quality and
fiscal responsibility this year. We are asking for your support this March and ask that
you urge others to approve the budget. We are, as always, grateful for our communitys
ongoing commitment to maintain quality education for all of our students current and
future.

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F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 9

T H E B R I D G E

Elks Club Struggles to


Sustain Itself
by Carla Occaso

Tim Hutchins, left, exalted ruler of the


Montpelier Elks Club and Scott Cameron,
chairman of the Elks Club Golf Committee, visited the office of The Bridge to
discuss the future. Photo by Carla Occaso.

MONTPELIER The Montpelier Elks Country Club, a local recreation staple since 1902,
has been in the hands of the Elks Club since the 1950s. Lately, though, with a huge decline in
interest in golf and with higher operating costs, the Elks can no longer afford to run the golf
course and facilities up on the hill across from Agway out on Route 2.
Scott Cameron, chairman of the Elks Club Golf Committee, and Tim Hutchins, exalted ruler
of the Elks Club, came to The Bridges office recently to explain their situation. The heyday
of social clubs where people went outside and did things together in groups has long passed,
according to Cameron. Membership in the Elks was at its highest around 1,600 members
at a time before the Internet, and social clubs and service clubs were popular. Membership
in the Elks Club has dwindled to 458 members today, Cameron said, adding, It is a trend
that people are not as eager to join organizations. In addition to golf, the Elks organize youth
programs, including a dictionary program for younger students where they distribute dictionaries to local schools. And the Elks Club offers scholarships to seniors in high school. They
also offer a drug awareness program, a basketball hoop shoot, a soccer shoot, a golf clinic, and
they help for local churches.
Cameron and Hutchins went on to discuss the history, function, and future of the Montpelier
Elks Country Club:
Hutchins: We offer a lot for local families who are in stress. We donate a lot. We have two great
dining facilities, and we have a large room at the club that can fit 300 people.

years, over 1,000 golf courses have closed. There are 4 million fewer people playing golf. We
are kind of fanatics about it. We are trying our best to build it back up.
Occaso: You guys love golf. What is so great about golf?
Cameron: Well, the best thing is that you are outside. Unlike other sports, at the end of the
day it is not whether the other guy is bigger or stronger or faster than you, it is a matter of
whether you can control your own emotions and everything else and play the golf course. It
is your swing. Your putt.
Hutchins: It is you against your own mind.

Hutchins: So a lot of times we donate that room. We set up food and help families out that
are in need.

Cameron: It is more of a psychological game, in many ways, than a physical game. Once
youve gotten down the physical components, you have to conquer the mental. It is a wonderful social game, too. You play with your friends. When you are out on the golf course, you
dont think of the little worries that bother you. You see fox, deer, pileated woodpeckers. It is
a calming place to be.

Cameron: Some have been Elks and their families, other are not. A year or two ago there was
a family from a nearby community, the kid had cancer. His mother had no automobile very
distressed. We did a fundraiser. People donated all kinds of things. We did a silent auction.
We raised over $15,000 for the family. The Humane Society also has been using our facilities
once a year for their big fundraiser.

We make enough money to cover our operational costs the superintendent, grounds crew,
pro shop and such, but we are unable to meet all our expenses, such as the property taxes.
Weve been trying to sell the whole facility. We are hoping we will be able to retain some space
there for the Elks Club and keep running the golf course, or build a smaller facility for the Elks
Club up there, but there is a lot of uncertainty right now.

Occaso: Does the country club have anything like ski trails or hiking trails, or is it all golf?

We are hoping people join us as members and come up and play the greens because that is the
only way that well be able to keep the course there. Weve been stewards of that golf course for
the last 50 or 60 years. Weve kept it alive for the people in the city of Montpelier and central
Vermont. The message wed like to get out to the folks who read The Bridge is that if this is
something that is important to you, we need your support. We need you to join. We need you
to come up and play golf.

Cameron: It is a 15,000-square-foot facility on 120 acres. That is part of our problem. It is


difficult to financially sustain that. When we had 1,600 members, it fit us better.

Cameron: In the winter we have activities that are non-golf up on the golf course. Maybe
youve seen those bikes with the fat tires? We put snowmobile trails up for them and, they
would have some competitions. I am sure people go cross country skiing up there as well.
Occaso: Is it open to the public, or do just Elks go there?
Cameron: It is a private club, but it is open to the public. The public can lease the facilities
for parties, weddings, and fundraising activities. We run the golf course, which is one of the
nicest 9-hole golf courses in Vermont. You dont have to be an Elk to use the golf course.
Anyone, whether they are an Elk or not, is free to use the golf course, including the bar and
the dining room.
Occaso: So it is like a clubhouse where you can play golf and have lunch?
Cameron: Yes. The Elks Club is nondiscriminatory. Men and women are equally involved.
Hutchins: Women do a ton for us up at the lodge. They are very important to our membership.
Cameron: At our golf course we have statewide and internal tournaments, we have a mens
golf league on Tuesdays, and a womens golf league on Wednesdays. It is very popular with
the women who golf up there. Golf has the reputation of being an exclusive sport, but I would
say ours is a working-mans golf course. Weve got a blue collar tinge to it. The country club
is very well taken care of, but it is a very relaxed and friendly place, and a great place to come
and learn golf.
We hosted the Montpelier High School boys and girls teams until last year, when their coach
made a decision to take them to Barre. We were disappointed. U-32 didnt have a golf team last
year, so U-32 players folded into Montpelier. They play matches there. We open our courses
to them.
Interest in golf in this country has dwindled quite a bit since 2008, and Vermont is no exception. Since the recession, people have to make decisions about how they are going to spend
limited funds. So, golf is a tough thing for two reasons: Money and time. Nationally, in recent

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PAG E 10 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

THE BRIDGE

New Chinese Students at Montpelier High School


Could be Start of Trend
by Phil Dodd

tarting in January, Montpelier High School welcomed five ninth-graders from


China into the student body as part of a pilot program being run with a Burlington
group called Spiral International. The program is designed to help foreign students
learn English and provide cross-cultural experiences for both the Chinese and Montpelier
students.
The program is also adding more money to the coffers of the Montpelier school system.
Each student is paying about $7,000 per semester to attend the school.

Of the extra money, Superintendent Brian Ricca said, We have no specific plans for the
revenue that is a result of the students for this semester. He also has not budgeted any
revenue for next year because the continuation of the program is not definite. Spiral International is working with other schools in Vermont, but Montpelier has the most students
so far. Burlington High School has one Chinese student.
If the pilot program is deemed successful and Spiral International continues to partner
with Montpelier High School, as many as 10 foreign students could be attending Montpelier High School next year and living with host families. But an even greater expansion
is being talked about.
Montpelier High School science and math teacher Anne Watson recently received a
$100,000 Rowland Foundation Fellowship that will allow her to work part time next
academic year while she explores the legal and logistic issues that would be needed to
recruit 20 or more foreign students to the high school and house them in dorms at the
Vermont College of Fine Arts, beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. The fellowship
money will allow Montpelier High School to hire substitutes to cover the courses Watson
will not be teaching next year.
Watson noted that Vermont private schools bring in international students, including
many students from China. If Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy can have
tuition-paying foreign students, why not Montpelier High School? Watson said.
By the year after next, Montpelier High School could have many as 20 foreign students
the minimum needed to run a boarding program at Vermont College with dorm parents,
Watson said, with perhaps others staying with host families.
She estimated students would pay about $15,000 for tuition, and another $15,000 for
room and board in the dorms, including three meals a day at the New England Culinary

Institute cafeteria. Additional funds would be needed for covering dorm parents and
other costs, so students could end up paying $40,000 a year to stay in the dorms. That
price is still below what boarding students pay to attend St. Johnsbury Academy and
Lyndon Institute, she said.
If everything goes well, a boarding program at the college could potentially be ramped up
to bring in 40 to 60 students, Watson said, which could net the school district as much
as half a million dollars and take pressure off property taxpayers in the city. Currently,
there is room for more students at the high school, she noted. Watson, also a member of
the city council, is in her 11th year teaching at Montpelier High School.
Watson has heard that some Chinese parents prefer that their children stay in dorms with
other Chinese students, although Spiral International President Dr. Emily Guo thinks
parents prefer that their sons and daughters stay in homes where they can learn more English and be immersed in American culture. She also said that living with and sharing with
other children in a home can be a good learning experience, since most Chinese students
come from one-child families. She said Spiral International believes that the number of
students at a high school should be limited to 10 or so, because a larger number might
create a sort of Chinese school within the school.
MHS principal Adam Bunting said the school will wait until after this semester ends in
June to decide the future of the current program. He added that he could imagine students from other parts of this country or in-state might also want to come to Montpelier
to attend the high school, creating a sort of Montpelier Academy. Bunting said he was
somewhat surprised that the first students to come live in town to attend high school
were from China.
Both Guo and Watson agree that there is a strong demand in China among parents to
have their children learn in an English-speaking environment. Guo noted that Vermont
students get the advantage of learning about another culture and perhaps considering
going abroad themselves.
Students can only come for one year in total because of federal restrictions on foreign
students in public schools (there are no restrictions for private schools). Guo said the
students currently in Montpelier are gradually adjusting to life in Vermont, including the
new foods, speaking English all the time, and experiencing colder temperatures than they
are used to. She said most of the ninth-graders are expected to return here for another
semester later in their high school careers.
By then, Montpelier educators and residents will have had a chance to consider if such
programs make sense, and if they do, how many foreign students are desirable and
whether it is better to house them in dorms or with parents, or to offer both options.

MSAC Writer's Corner


A venue for the Montpelier Senior Activity Center writers

The Giraffe

by Ruth Mary Youngblood

Its a mystery to me, and I really dont see


How the Maker could make such a gaffe!
What went on in His mind, when he dreamed and designed
That preposterous joke, the giraffe?
For it gallops on stilts, and it teeters and tilts
To the treetops in order to feed.
And just think of the strain, pumping blood to that brain!
A flaw in the blueprint, indeed!
I can only surmise that He thought it was wise
To foment and to foster a rumor.
That though fiery and fearful, He has moods that are cheerful,
And whats more, a great sense of humor!

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 11

T H E B R I D G E

HEARD ON

THE STREET
U-32 Update, Collaboration with MHS Discussed

EAST MONTPELIER The U-32 school board adopted learning outcomes at its meeting Feb. 4. The administration will use these to develop assessments and learning opportunities for students. Once this is done, the board will work to align all learning outcomes
in the supervisory union.
There was also a short discussion about the Montpelier school boards discussion of further
collaboration or merger with U-32. The U-32 board and the Washington Central Supervisory Union full board would like to hold off on discussions with Montpelier until later
this year after the boards have had time to analyze the recommendations from an efficiency
study done in late fall.
The board also discussed community use of the U-32 facility. There is a fee schedule used
to determine the cost for organizations depending on whether they are educational or civic,
local or non-local, non-profit, or for-profit organizations. These fees are used so that U-32
breaks even when the building is used for non-school functions. Groups that wish to use
U-32 need to fill in a building use form from the office.
Posted by Kari Bradley, U-32 school board member, to East Montpeliers Front Porch Forum.
Reprinted here, edited for length, with permission.

New Restaurant Opens On Elm Street


MONTPELIER Philamenas Restaurant is now operating in the space formerly occupied by Thats Life Soup at 41 Elm St. Philamenas, open Monday through Friday from 6
a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serves breakfast (available all day) and lunch. The cooks also make pasta,
sauces and meatballs from scratch that customers can take home for dinner.
The restaurant is named after owner Todd Whiteheads grandmother, whose family operated a deli on Long Island where Whitehead worked as a youth. Whitehead, of East Montpelier, has worked previously at Kismet in Montpelier and Park Row Caf in Waterbury.
Philamenas serves local products as much as possible, including local meats and cage-free
eggs for breakfast dishes, Whitehead said. Lunch fare includes paninis, baked subs, salads,
and sometimes risotto. All items are available as take-out. The menu can be seen at philamenas.com.
The restaurant had a soft opening in the third week of January and has experienced good
lunch traffic, Whitehead reported. The breakfast business is picking up, helped by the fact
the 6 a.m. opening is the earliest in the city, he said. When the outdoor farmers market
starts up this spring, Whitehead said he would be open on Saturdays as well.

Got a news tip? We want to know!


Send it to us at: editorial@montpelierbridge.com

Political Advertisement

PAG E 12 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

Voting Not Voting


Voting Occasionally
introduction by Nat Frothingham

everal days ago, I had an absorbing conversation with Catherine Rader and
Sue Rachenelli from the Vermont League of Womens Voters.
We talked principally about voting why some people vote almost as a matter
of personal conviction, why some people dont vote at all and why others vote
intermittently or once in a great while.
As part of our conversation, I asked Rader and Rachenelli if the League of
Womens Voters would make a financial contribution to The Bridge so that one
of our reporters, Ivan Shadis, could explore with voters why they vote, why they
dont vote or why they seldom vote.
In a recent phone conversation with Montpeliers City Clerk John Odum, he
reported that about three out of 10 registered voters in Montpelier vote in local
elections. That means, of course, that seven out of 10 people dont participate.
I am troubled by these voting statistics. Odum, I think, was less troubled. I
would describe our democracy as vigorous, vital. There are a lot of reasons people stay home: Sometimes its apathy, sometimes (not voting) is their vote not
to participate. My sense is that we certainly have a stable democracy. Whether
its functional enough to keep running, or whether its vibrant people will
have different opinions on this.
Thanks to the support of the League and thanks to the reporting of Ivan
Shadis, here is what half a dozen of our fellow citizens said about voting, not
voting or voting occasionally.

THE BRIDGE

Gaelan Brown, 38
The Bridge: Do you vote?
Gaelan Brown: I never vote for party politicians or incumbents, who are always impossibly corrupt by their power. I sometimes
vote for people who have a chance at beating
an incumbent. But really, voting is worse
than pointless because government is never
the best solution to any problem; the only
real solutions are people taking responsibility to do something positive personally,
collaborating and exchanging with others
for mutual benefit without being blocked by
cronyism inherent in all government structures (a.k.a. truly free markets). Innovation
and environmental sustainability will only
come from freedom, so governments only
valid role is to protect freedom. Therefore,
the only government Ill gladly vote for is
none.

Gaelan Brown of Waitsfield is a compost heat recovery entrepreneur and


author.

Ruth Pope, 65

Ian Weinstein, 25
Ruth Pope of Middlesex is an artist.
The Bridge: Do you think that voting works?
Ruth Pope: Ive always thought that but Im beginning to wonder. I feel like the people in
office are being bought by companies. The Koch brothers and the Walton family and all the
people that are in the corporate world are just buying the politicians. ... Well, they won't buy
Bernie Sanders or Leahy, I know that.
The Bridge: You have doubts, but you still vote?

Ian Weinstein of Montpelier and Cabot is an artist and


Renaissance fair worker
The Bridge: Can you tell me about yourself?
Ian Weinstein: I was a resident of Montpelier from 199197, Cabot was from 2000 to 2008
then I moved back to Montpelier for a couple of years. Now Im starting a jewelry business and traveling with the Renaissance fair my job takes me on a circuit throughout the
nation. I have left Vermont a handful of times and come back.
The Bridge: Do you vote?
Weinstein: I voted for Barack Obama that was the first time I voted. I had not been 18
for very long. I think it was the first opportunity I had to vote, and I only knew about the
presidential election when I made that vote. That was seven years ago. I did not vote for most
of the elections after that. I was also relatively disillusioned with the whole process. I didnt
have a lot of faith in the power of a vote.
The Bridge: Can you tell me more about that disillusionment?
Weinstein: Absolutely, I remember George Bush and the scandal of him and his family
you know essentially stealing an election from the American people. His brother was the
governor of Florida and after using a bunch of shady tactics to try to sway votes in their favor,
after that, the big horrible cherry on top of that cake of evil, was to then have a recount in the
state where his brother was the governor. They said Well, George W. Bush is president now.
It just kind of got strong-armed through. That was disillusioning for me. I understood that
there was corruption at that level, but I didnt understand how much the American people
were willing to be pushed over to let that kind of thing happen. It was a very extreme
thing somebody taking office by force and the American people just letting it happen.
The Bridge: Will you vote again?
Weinstein: In future voting Ill definitely be voting and trying to get other people who are
disillusioned with the process to vote also. ... I think it is an important thing to do. Anyone
who is made a policy maker or a decision maker affects many peoples' lives, and the capacity
to do good or evil in that position is huge. If I dont vote at all, Im letting whoever might
be wrong have an equal chance. Its about living a life with honor and even if the odds are
impossible they still have to be approached with honor and courage. If the vote has no impact
on the outcome it is still the honorable thing to do to cast that vote. If I didnt vote, I would
feel worse about what is going on a symbolic gesture can hold a lot of power. That vote
may not determine the outcome, necessarily, but it is still the right thing to do and its the
right statement to make before God.

Pope: I guess its my only hope here in little Vermont. What else am I going to do? Thats
the only way I can have any sense of power I do feel pretty powerless. But I dont feel like
theres any other alternative. Maybe I just dont completely understand it. It feels like were
being rendered powerless by the big corporations. Ill keep voting, what else? What else can
we do?

Zachary Rossi, 26
The Bridge: Do you vote?
Zachary Rossi: No. I have never voted in my
life.
The Bridge: Are you registered?
Rossi: No.
The Bridge: Why dont you vote?
Rossi: Simply put because I dont think the
system works for most people. Its become so
glaringly apparent that our government essentially caters to the 1 percent and the model
of making a ton of money and hoarding it
which doesnt really help out any but a select
few. ... I know a lot of people who dont vote
and say its because yeah, local government
Zachary Rossi of Montpelier
makes a difference but Im never going to vote
for president because it doesnt matter. I essentially take that even more thoroughly than most
people. I dont think voting even for my city council, even for my state representative is
really going to improve the quality of life for most of the people in Vermont. ... I find it really
gross. Theres a bunch of people who are doing just fine in Montpelier that see none of the
problems here, including people in almost all facets of government where theyre completely
separated from the problems. People in suits. Very rich and wealthy. Talking about stuff they
really have no idea about. ... I dont think the person from the bottom can ever, or at least at
this point can not, actively effect a large change. Were kind of stuck under the thumb of the
rich. We live under a government that is essentially run by businessmen and their politicians.
They come from money, have money. They dont come from a place of non-influence. They
are always the influencer. I refuse to take part in something that as a whole I see as evil, corrupt and power hungry. Instead Ill just choose not to, and therefore its not it becomes a
part of my world that Im not actively involved in which you could call either a stand or
willful ignorance.

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 13

T H E B R I D G E

Womens Right to Vote a Hard Fought Experiment


by Catherine Rader

he League of Women Voters was founded by suffragist Carrie


Chapman Catt on Valentines Day in 1920. Six months later,
the league celebrated victory of the historic 19th amendment,
giving women the right to vote for the first time.
The League of Women Voters began as a mighty political experiment
designed to help 20 million newly enfranchised women carry out their
voting responsibilities and participate in shaping public policy. From its
inception, the league has been a powerful force on the national, state,
and local scene. With its first success passage of the 1921 groundbreaking Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act providing federal aid for maternal and child care programs to informational
forums countering Sen. Joseph McCarthys attack on civil liberties,
and more recently, working toward equitable and affordable health care
for all Americans and advocating for campaign finance regulations, the
league represents the best of activist, nonpartisan grassroots organizing. In 1974, the league
amended its charter offering full membership to men.
The process by which the LWV takes a stand is its hallmark: Leagues choose issues to study,
present the findings of the study committee, arrive at a consensus opinion, and then take
action on the new position ranging from informal conversations to lobbying at all levels of
government.
After three years of effort, the LWV was instrumental in the passage of the National Voter
Registration Act of 1993, which brought us Motor Voter. The LWV of the Champlain Valley
advocated effectively for improving sewer treatment in Burlington, resulting in cleaner effluent going into Lake Champlain. The LWV of Vermont continues to advocate for same-day
voter registration, universal publicly funded health care for all Vermonters (concurrent with
the national league's advocacy for a national health care system), and mitigation of climate
change.
The league is best known for its voter service activities. The LWVUS sponsored presidential
debates until 1984. In 1987, the national Republican and Democratic parties announced the

creation of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission


chose the LWV Education Fund to sponsor the last presidential debate
of 1988, but placed so many rules and restrictions on the possible
format of the debate that the league voted unanimously to withdraw,
stating it had no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public. Nevertheless, state and local leagues
have continued the tradition of sponsoring nonpartisan state and local
candidate debates and forums.
This past October, the LWV of Central Vermont (LWVCEN) sponsored a forum for the Washington County Senate candidates, and cosponsored with the LWVVT a lieutenant governor candidate forum.
Both events were held at the Old Labor Hall in Barre and aired by
Onion River Public Access (ORCA) television. LWVCEN also hosted
a debate in the ORCA studio between the candidates for Washington
County state's attorney. The league will sponsor more such debates for offices whose function
and candidates are less well known.
In September 2014, leagues across the nation joined other organizations in National Voter
Registration Day. LWVCEN members registered voters at U-32 High School and the Berlin
Mall.
Our efforts at the mall were disappointing, even shocking. Many people stated outright that
they had no interest in voting and would not register. Later conversations with The Bridge
led to speculation as to why there is resistance to civic engagement. Why do people not vote?
Why do people vote? The right to vote is one that many of us take for granted. How can the
league best fulfill its mission to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in
government? Perhaps this issue of The Bridge will give us some answers.
The League of Women Voters of Central Vermont can be reached at 229-4737 or www.lwvofvt.
org. Annual dues: $40 for individuals, $60 per family.

Brett Campbell, 55

Elizabeth Parker, 58

Brett Campbell of East


Montpelier teaches college
when he can and is the
pool director at First in
Fitness in Berlin.

Elizabeth Parker of Montpelier.


Elizabeth Parker moved to Vermont in 1979 and resided in Marshfield where she raised her children and worked for the town as the zoning administrator. In 1992 she left Vermont for Arizona
and other places for 20 years. Since returning a few years ago, she lives in Montpelier with her
youngest daughter.
The Bridge: You do vote now, and you werent voting at other times in your life can you
tell me what that has been like?
Elizabeth Parker: I started out voting in 1980. It was Reagans first term I voted in that
election for Angela Davis of the Communist Party. I voted for a number of years, but then I
began to really ponder how effective voting was. I didnt vote in the election in which Clinton won and then we had the whole brouhaha with the Bush years. I promised myself that
if George Bush won a second term that I would leave the country become an expatriate
but my mom had died and my father was still alive. It wasnt practical for my family to do
that. Those experiences really disenchanted me. After [Bush was re-elected] I stopped voting
for an extensive period of time. It also had to do with where I was living I had moved out
of Vermont. I lived in Arizona for awhile. I think part of what has brought me back to voting
is the importance of voting in local elections. I really took my vote very seriously this past
election day. I voted only for Anthony Pollina. A postcard had been sent out by a PAC that
was misleading about Pollina, I needed to only put him as a protest vote over that happening. I feel that voting is tremendously important at the local level. Im still not sure of what
happens on the federal level.
The Bridge: Enchanted on the local level, disenchanted on the federal level?
Parker: I dont believe federal government is effective. Theyre spinning and presenting an
image. But in the end the wheels of politics are such that theres entrenchment and there
are relationships that maintain throughout different tenures and they, not we, have great
control over policy. Even if youre voting for someone you think is a good person, their power
becomes limited. American intervention in the domestic policies of other countries has given
me a deep sense of shame. All this has effected my integrity and my sense of what is truly
democratic. When I go through various phases where I am not voting that is more of a
prevalent sentiment. And because I moved around and I was not connected to the local vote
that was the time I felt this most and voted least. Now that Ive come back to Vermont,
and a scene that I care deeply about, it is imperative that I vote.

The Bridge: Can you tell me about yourself?


Brett Campbell: Im living in East Montpelier with the help of a friend. I lost my apartment
last year. Im broke and trying to rebuild my life after taking care of my mother for a year
and a half with her Alzheimer's. I was trying to be in the position of being both primary
caregiver and sole bread winner. Now shes gone and Im financially destitute for what I owe
on my student loan for my doctorate, the bills from taking care of Mom and from not being
able to work enough.
The Bridge: Given your recent struggles, where does voting fit in to your life right now? Do
you vote?
Campbell: I do vote.
The Bridge: Why do you vote?
Campbell: Its our only opportunity to say how we want to be governed. Whats getting discouraging about voting is the feeling that America has become the land of liberty and justice
for sale. I look at three areas in particular where the costs are skyrocketing while the quality
is plummeting: health care, higher education and the judicial law system. One of the things
I get the most infuriated about is that people profit off of other peoples illness and injury. I
believe the practice we have here, of putting pricetags on health care, is essentially barbaric.
I believe its barbaric. If youre in the upper echelons you can buy justice in this country. If
youre among the have-nots youre basically screwed by the whims of a system that tend to
make the worlds in Kafkas novels look a bit like Candyland. He called it, nearly a century
ago, the lack of humanity in the bureaucracies. I just dont think he realized how widespread
it would become.
The Bridge: How does a vote have meaning in a system like that?
Campbell: Its your only voice its your only voice. There are too many that feel like
What does it matter if I do or dont? because nothing is going to change. People are getting
incredibly discouraged. I vote, so that I can at least try to cast my voice against what I feel is
becoming an increasingly unjust country. Thats why I vote.

All interviews by Ivan Shadis

PAG E 14 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

THE BRIDGE

THURSDAY, FEB. 19

to attract new customers and sell more to your


existing customers using techniques and systems
that have been developed over years of trial and error and real world use. These marketing techniques
work for wholesale, retail, service businesses and
non-profits. 56:30 p.m. Food Venture Center,
141 Junction Rd. (Rte. 15), Hardwick. Free.
vtsbdc.org.

Songwriters Meeting. Meeting of the Northern


VT/NH chapter of the Nashville Songwriters
Association International. Bring copies of your
work. Third Thurs., 6:45 p.m. Catamount Arts, St.
Johnsbury. John, 633-2204.

Green Mountain Care Board Public Meeting.


14 p.m. GMCB Board Room, City Center
Building, 89 Main St., 2F, Montpelier. gmcboard.
vermont.gov.

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support. Monthly


group for people affected by a suicide death. Third
Thurs., 67:30 p.m. Central Vermont Medical
Center, conference rm. 1, Fisher Rd., Berlin. 2230924. calakel@comcast.com.afsp.org.

Federal and State Tax Preparation. AARP tax


certified volunteers can help you file your returns.
Appointment required. Free for seniors and low
income. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte. 2, E.
Montpelier. Call for appointment: 223-3322.
Preparer will tell you what to bring with you.

Lost Shul Mural. Jeff Potash and Aaron Goldberg


bring you the story of this priceless and unique
piece of art. Part of Third Thursday lunch program. Bring a brown bag lunch. Noon. Vermont
History Museum, 109 State St., Montpelier. Free.
828-2180. amanda.gustin@state.vt.us.

Brain Injury Support Group. Open to all survivors, caregivers and adult family members. Third
Thurs., 1:302:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130
Main St., Montpelier. 244-6850.
Diabetes Discussion Group. Focus on selfmanagement. Open to anyone with diabetes
and their families. Third Thurs., 1:30 p.m. The
Health Center, Plainfield. Free. Don 322-6600 or
dgrabowski@the-health-center.org.
Low to No Cost Marketing Techniques for Small
Businesses. Learn proven methods of marketing

Grandparents Raising Their Childrens Children. Third Thurs., 68 p.m. Child care provided.
Trinity United Methodist Church, 137 Main St.,
Montpelier. 476-1480.
A New Beginning: The Holistic Concept of
Throughput. What in the world is throughput
anyway? Come and find out. A Transition Town
program. 6 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135
Main St., Montpelier. Free. 223-3338. kellogghubbard.org.

FRIDAY, FEB. 20

CVCOA Chats. Have questions about health insurance/senior services? Sarah Willhoit, information
and assistance specialist with Central Vermont
Council on Aging, is available by appointment.
9 a.m.noon. Montpelier Senior Activity Center,
58 Barre St., Montpelier. Free; open to all seniors.
Call to set up appointment: 479-4400.

CVHS Adoption Center Birthday Party. Bring a


birthday present from the birthday wish list for the
animals and join our adoptable pets for a familyfriendly 5th birthday party. Bruce and Hobbes,
authors of "Hobbes Goes Home," will join us. 10
a.m.2 p.m.; Bruce and Hobbes 10:30 a.m.noon.
Central Vermont Humane Society, 1589 Rte. 14
S., E. Montpelier. 476-3811. centralvermonthumane.org.
Conversations from the Working Landscape
in Cabot. Jackie Folsom, former president of the
Vermont Farm Bureau, and local dairy farmer, will
focus on Selling Vermont Farm Products: How
the Market Landscape Has Changed and How to
Adapt for Success. Leslie and Jeremy Michaud of
the Kingdom Creamery will tell how their business
got started and the marketing choices they made
introducing their ice cream and yogurt. Part of a
series of exciting, free workshops for local businesses and entrepreneurs presented by the Cabot
Agricultural Network and the Cabot Community
Association. 10:30noon. Cabot Town Hall
(Willey Building), 3084 Main St., Cabot. Free.
563-3338. sjon@rhapsodynaturalfoods.com.

Computer Help. A local student from Main Street


Middle School will be available to provide technology assistance. Call to confirm times. 10:4511:45 Nested Spheres. Led by Margaret Blanchard. Usa.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre
ing the Celtic symbol of the double spiral as a temSt., Montpelier. Free; open to all seniors. 223-2518. plate for shared zones of development, participants
will explore their own unique stages, through
dialogues between past, present and future selves
within the nested spheres of larger contexts of
family, community and world. 35 p.m. UnitarCross-country Ski Greensboro with Green
ian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier. Donations
Mountain Club. Moderate to difficult terrain. 10
optional. margaret@sover.net.
miles. Highland Lodge to Craftsbury Outdoor

SATURDAY, FEB. 21

Center. The groomed trail traverses beautiful (challenging) hills and woods. We will shuttle from
Craftsbury Outdoor Center to Highland Lodge.
Bring snacks, lunch and water. Wear layered clothing. Participants must have appropriate gear and
cross-country ski experience. Limited to six people.
For more information contact Phyllis: 223-0020.
phyllis@phyllisrubensteinlaw.comcastbiz.net.
Additional Recyclables Collection Center. Accepting scores of hard-to-recycle items. Third Sat.,
9 a.m.1 p.m. 540 N. Main St. (old Times-Argus
building), Barre. $1 per carload. 229-9383 x106.
For list of accepted items, go to cvswmd.org/arccadditional-recyclables-collection-center.html.

Annual Brian R. Bill Memorial Challenge. Winter


military-style obstacle course race on Norwich
University campus and Paine Mountain. Fundraiser benefitting the sons and daughters of U.S.
Navy SEALs and those who have served in U.S.
Special Forces. Participants must be 18+. 9 a.m.4
p.m. Norwich University, 158 Harmon Dr.,
Northfield. Registration: $50 individual; $45 per
person on team. active.com/northfield-vt/running/
distance-running-races/brian-r-bill-memorialchallenge-2015. Event details: facebook.com/BrianBillMemorialChallenge.
Calligraphy Workshop. To celebrate the Chinese
New Year, instructor Ellie Hayes will show you
some basic strokes and a few simple characters.
1011:30 a.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center,
58 Barre St., Montpelier. $5 fee for materials
(brushes, ink and paper provided). Limited space.
Register in MSAC office by Feb. 17. MSAC: 2232518. Ellie: 479-4248.
Magic: The Gathering Tournament. An informal
tournament every first and third Sat., 10 a.m.1
p.m. Aldrich Library, Teen Room, 6 Washington
St., Barre. Free. 476-7550. aldrichlibrary@gmail.
com. aldrichpubliclibrary.org.
Capital City Indoor Farmers Market. Featuring
over 30 farmers, food producers and craftspeople.
10 a.m.2 p.m. Montpelier High School cafeteria, 5 High School Dr., Montpelier. manager@
montpelierfarmersmarket.com. capitalcityfarmersmarket.com.

Neighbors for Healthy Communities of Barre


Town. Local musicians will be playing music. Silent auction, family-friendly. 58 p.m. Old Labor
Hall, Granite St., Barre. Adults $10; children $6.
Reservations: 476-3710

2015 Clarke Lecture Series: Bhutan the Land


of the Thunder Dragon. Slide show presentation.
Learn about the people, geography and architecture. Hot cider and vegetarian dinner 6 p.m.; presentation 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main
St., Montpelier. $15. Reservations: 229-1246.
Chinese New Year Dinner. All proceeds of the
event will go toward expanding the acupuncture
services offered for cancer patients at National Life
Cancer Treatment Center. Traditional menu. Hear
tales of Chinese New Year's traditions and educating about how Chinese medicine approaches nutrition. 68 p.m. Central Vermont Medical Center,
Conference Rooms 1 and 2, 130 Fisher Rd.,
Berlin. $50. Menu and tickets: integrativeaom.
com. 223-0954.

SUNDAY, FEB. 22

Take-out or Eat-in Dinner. Menu is chicken,


mostaccioli garlic bread and dessert. Make your
reservations on Feb. 18 and 19. Benefits Meals on
Wheels program at TVSC. 46 p.m. Twin Valley
Senior Center, Rte.2, E. Montpelier. Susan: 2236954.

MONDAY, FEB. 23

Bereavement/Grief Support Group. Open to


anyone who has experienced the death of a loved
one. 6-7:30 p.m. Conference Center. 600 Granger
Road, Berlin. Free. 223-1878.
Monthly Book Group for Adults. Join us for the
Jaquith book group. For copies of the book, please
stop by the library. New members are always welcome. Fourth Mon., 7 p.m. Jaquith Public Library,
122 School St., Marshfield. 426-3581. jaquithpubliclibrary@gmail.com. jaquithpubliclibrary.org.
NAMI Vermont Family Support Group. Support
group for families and friends of individuals living
with mental illness. Fourth Mon., 7 p.m. Central

Performing Arts
THEATER,
STORYTELLING & COMEDY

Feb. 19: Kathleen Kanz Comedy Hour. Adult


content. Every third Thurs., 7 p.m. Capitol
Grounds. 27 State St., Montpelier. $5. 223-7800.
capitolgrounds.com.
Mar. 4: Extempo. Locals tell short-format,
first-person, true stories live on stage without any
notes or reading. 8 p.m. Sweet Melissas, 4 Lang-

don St., Montpelier. $5. 225-6012. storytelling@


extempovt.com. extempovt.com.

AUDITIONS

Feb. 2122: Auditions for The Plays the Thing.


By Ferenc Molnar, adapted by P.G. Wodehouse.
Performance dates in May. 1 p.m. Hyde Park
Opera House, 85 Main St., Hyde Park. For more
details: lcplayers.com.

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 15

T H E B R I D G E

Visual Arts
EXHIBITS
Through Feb. 21: 3 New Shows at SPA. Studio
Place Arts, 201 N. Main St., Barre. 479-7069.
studioplacearts.com. facebook.com/studioplacearts.
Main floor: Amore. More than 20 local artists
explore love and passion through their paintings, sculptures, prints and assemblages.
Second floor: Cecilia Kane, How Am I Feeling
Today? Portraits on vintage hankies.
Third floor: Ann Young, Autumn Pond Abstract. Paintings.
Through Feb. 22: David Powell and Peter
Thomashow Exhibition. Two-person exhibition
of sculpture (Peter Thomashow) and collage (W.
David Powell). The work is playful, scientific,
historical and a mix of imagined and real.
Gallery hours: Wed.Sun., noon5 p.m. Helen
Day Art Center, 90 Pond St., Stowe. Donations.
253-8358. mail@helenday.com. helenday.com/
exhibitions/east-gallery-upcoming
Through Feb. 22: Arthur Zorn, Line Dance
Exhibit. Abstract impressionist paintings. Gallery hours: Tues.Fri., 8:30 a.m.4 p.m. White
Meeting House, 8 N. Main St., Waterbury. Free.
244-8581. torreycsmith@yahoo.com. artzorn.
com.
Through Feb. 24: Paul Rau. Oil and watercolor
paintings. Gifford Medical Center Gallery, 44 S.
Main St., Randolph. Free. 728-7000.
Through Feb. 28: Jackie Smith, Heart-Shaped
World. Viewing the world through a heartshaped lens, both literally and figuratively; Jackie
Smith finds love in unexpected places in her
fanciful photographs. Cheshire Cat, 28 Elm St.,
Montpelier. 223-1981. cheshirecatclothing.com.
Through Feb. 28: Art Resource Association
Group Show. First group show of 2015 to celebrate the ARA 40th anniversary. City Center,
89 Main St., Montpelier. artresourceassociation.
com.
Vermont Medical Center, room 3, Berlin. 800-6396480 or namivt.org.

TUESDAY, FEB. 24

Medicare and You Workshop. New to Medicare?


Have questions? We have answers. Second and
fourth Tues., 34:30 p.m. 59 N. Main St., Ste.
200, Barre. Free, donations gratefully accepted.
479-0531. cvcoa@cvcoa.org. cvcoa.org.
International Folk Dance. Dance instruction
offered at the beginning. Sponsored by Unitarian Church of Montpelier and Kellogg-Hubbard
Library. 6:308:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130
Main St., Montpelier. Free. 223-3338. vista@kellogghubbard.org.
Parenting Group. Share tips you've had success
with and troubleshoot common frustrations with
other parents. Come with at least one idea of something that's worked well for you with your family,
and bring something you'd like help with. Parents
only please. 78 p.m. Jaquith Public Library, 122
School St., Marshfield. Free. 426-3581. jaquithpubliclibrary.org.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 25

Foot Care Clinic for All. By appointment. 8:30


a.m.noon. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte.
2, Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Call
CVHHH for appointment and the nurses will tell
you what to bring with you: 223-1878. Please arrive
15 minutes before your appointment.
Let's Grow Kids: Speakers Bureau Training.
Training to incorporate personal stories into campaign messaging about child development. Let's
Grow Kids is a statewide campaign working with
Vermont communities, organizations and more
to create positive lasting change that will allow all
of our children to succeed in life. By joining the
Speakers Bureau, you can help us educate Vermonters about the importance of positive experiences
in the first years of life. Light breakfast and lunch
provided. 9 a.m.3 p.m. Vermont College of Fine
Arts, Noble Hall, College St., Montpelier. Free.
Sign-up: letsgrowkids.org/join-lgk-speakers-bureau.
272-0795. kelly@vteca.org.

Through Mar. 1: Jen Lashua. Paintings. Lashuas


work is influenced by Intuitive Painting and
Color Energetics, and she is currently studying
to become a certified color aroma therapist. The
Shoe Horn Boutique, 8 Langdon St., Montpelier.
223-5454.
Through Mar. 2: Through Our Lens. Photography exhibit created by teens and young adults
participating in the The Big Picture Project. Gallery hours: Mon.Thurs., 9 a.m.4 p.m.; Fri., 9
a.m.2 p.m. The Copley Common Space Gallery
at River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville.
888-1261. riverartsvt.org.
Through Mar. 2: John Snell, This is Why I Live
Here. Photographs focusing on images made in
central Vermont throughout the four seasons
that highlight why Snell loves living here. Fri,
35 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., noon2 p.m. Chandler
Lower Gallery, 71-73 Main St., Randolph. 7286464.
Through Mar. 7: Paintings and drawings by
Katie Runde. Graphite, colored pencils and oils.
Reception: Mar. 5, 57 p.m. Library hours:
Tues.Fri., noon6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.1 p.m.
Royalton Memorial Library, 23 Alexander Pl., S.
Royalton. katierunde.com.
Through Mar. 8: The Art of Place. Showcasing
work from both well-established and emerging
artists from around the Northeast. The question
placed to these artists How do your surroundings inform your work drew responses from
28 photographers, fiber artists, printmakers,
installation artists, clay artists and painters. Fri.,
36 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., noon3 p.m. Chandler
Center for the Arts, 71-73 Main St., Randolph.
728-6464.
Through Mar. 21: W. Ward, Tiny Mighty. Ink,
watercolor, mixed media with a focus on folklore
with futurism. Jaquith Public Library, 122
School St., Marshfield. Free. 426-3581. jaquithpubliclibrary.org.

Through Mar. 27: Ray Brown. Abstract oil


paintings inspired by travel to Florida and Italy.
gallery SIX, 6 Barre St., Montpelier. 552-8620.
gallerysixvt@gmail.com. gallerysixvt.weebly.
com.
Through Mar. 28: HOOKED in the Valley. 36
hooked rug pieces by the Mad River Rug Hookers with a wide range of subject matter, color
and design. Mon.Fri, 10 a.m.3 p.m.; Sat. by
appointment. The Festival Gallery, #2 Village
Square, Waitsfield. 496-6682. valleyartsfoundation.org.
Through Mar. 29: Romancing the Garden.
Group show: flowers, fauna, farms, gardens,
buds and blossoms. Thur.Sun., 11 a.m.4 p.m.
Bryan Memorial Gallery, 180 Main St., Jeffersonville.
Through Mar. 31: The Eyes Have It: Portraits
and Figures by August Burns. A collection of
paintings and drawings of men and women by
one of the areas most accomplished portraitists. Gallery hours: MonFri., 8 a.m.4:30 p.m.
The Supreme Court Gallery, Montpelier. Free.
828-5657.
Through Mar. 31: Glen Coburn Hutcheson,
Sketches in Oil. A loose array of work from
observation, imagination, and memory, with
varying degrees of finish The Skinny Pancake,
89 Main St., Montpelier. glen@glencoburnhutcheson.com. glencoburnhutcheson.com.
Through Apr. 10: Green Mountain Graveyards:
Photo Exhibit. Fascinating look into the past
with these photographs. Vermont History Museum, 109 State St., Montpelier. Exhibit included
in museum fee. 828-2180. amanda.gustin@state.
vt.us. vermonthistory.org/calendar.
Through Apr. 12: Play. Interactive artwork from
regional and national artists. Gallery hours:
Wed.Sun., noon5 p.m. Helen Day Art Center,
90 Pond St., Stowe. Donation. 253-8358. mail@
helenday.com. helenday.com/exhibitions/upcoming.

Mar. 6Apr. 12: Experiments: recent paintings


and sculptures by Richard Whitten. Opening
reception: Mar. 6, 6 p.m.; artist talk 6:30 p.m.
Gallery hours: Wed.Sun., noon5 p.m. Helen
Day Art Center, 90 Pond St., Stowe. 253-8358.
helenday.com.
Mar. 5Apr. 29: Sarah-Lee Terrat, Inside the
Nitty Gritty- Commercial Art and the Creative
Process. Mixed media. Explore the creative process as it relates to design, illustration and public
art. Reception: Mar. 5, 57 p.m. Gallery hours:
Mon.Thur., 9 a.m.4 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m. 2 p.m.
The Gallery at River Arts, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. Free. 888-1261. riverartsvt.org.
Through Apr. 30: Michael T. Jermyn, New
American Impressionism. Local photographer
Michael T. Jermyn presents some new photographic works along with a few old favorites.
Tues.Sun., noon10 p.m. Chill, 32 State St.,
Montpelier. 223-2445 or 223-1570.
Through July 31: 1865, Out of the Ashes: Assassination, Reconstruction, and Healing the Nation. Focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, the rehabilitation
of the South and efforts to unify the country.
Museum hours: Mon.Fri., 8 a.m.4 p.m.; Sat.
11 a.m.4 p.m. Norwich University, Sullivan
Museum and History Center, Northfield. 4852183. academics.norwich.edu/museum/
Through July 31: Kara Walker, Juxtaposition,
Contemporary Specters, and Harpers Pictorial History of the Civil War. The artist combined her signature overlays of black silhouettes
with historic lithography to produce poignant
and sharp commentary on stereotypes found
in the nations history of slavery, Jim Crow and
segregation that still infiltrate present stereotypes. Mon.Fri., 8 a.m.4 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.4
p.m. Norwich University, Sullivan Museum and
History Center, Northfield. 485-2183. academics.norwich.edu/museum/

PAG E 16 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

What Lies Beneath the Surface? Uncovering


the story of two chairs from Holyroodhouse
traditional upholsterer Ellie Blachly. An Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute. 1:30 p.m.; doors open
12:30 p.m. for those wishing to bring a brown bag
lunch. Aldrich Public Library, 6 Washington St.,
Barre. $5 suggested donation.
Montpelier City Council Meeting. Second and
fourth Wed., 6:30 p.m. City Council Chambers,
Montpelier City Hall. 39 Main St., Montpelier.
montpelier-vt.org.

THURSDAY, FEB. 26

Multiplici-Tea! Informal meet up and tea time


for parents experiencing the unique challenge of
caring for multiple birth children (twins, triplets,
etc.) Play space for toddlers, resources provided.
Free coffee and tea. Fourth Thurs., 9:3011:30
a.m. Good Beginnings of Central Vermont, 174
River St., Montpelier. 595-7953. gbcv91@gmail.
com. goodbeginningscentralvt.org.
Green Mountain Care Board Public Meeting.
14 p.m. GMCB Board Room, City Center
Building, 89 Main St., 2F, Montpelier. gmcboard.
vermont.gov.
Montpelier Uke (Ukulele) Group. Sing along as
the uke group plays their songs. Guaranteed to
make you smile. Who knows maybe you'll take
up the ukulele! 6:30 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free. 223-3338.
vista@kellogghubbard.org.
Report from the International Space Station. A Todd Lecture Presentation by NASA
astronaut Michael E. Fossum. Q&A to follow.
79 p.m. Norwich University, Plumley Armory,
158 Harmon Dr., Northfield. Free. 485-2633. tls.
norwich.edu/
Green Mountain Dog Club Monthly Meeting.
Learn about the club and events. All dog lovers
welcome. Fourth Thurs., 7:30 p.m. Commodores
Inn, Stowe. 479-9843 or greenmountaindogclub.
org.

FRIDAY, FEB. 27

ICE SHIP: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram. Author and former state naturalist, Charles Johnson, with a presentation based
off his latest book. Part of Naturalist Journeys
2015 Slide Show and Lecture Series. 78:30 p.m.
Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier. $5
donation. 229-6206. info@northbranchnaturecenter.org. northbranchnaturecenter.org.
Friday Night Group. For youth age 1322 who
are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or
questioning. Pizza, soft drinks and conversation.
Cofacilitated by two trained, adult volunteers
from Outright VT. Second and fourth Fri.,
6:308 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St.,
Montpelier. Free. 223-7035. Micah@OutrightVT.
org.

SATURDAY, FEB. 28

Cross-country Ski Peacham with Green Mountain Club. Moderate. About 6.5 miles. Groton
State Forest. Ski from the Nature Center to
Peacham Bog and maybe even to Martin's Pond.
Call leader Steve for meeting place and time:
479-2304.
Susan Picking Finish Line Party. Concert and
party to celebrate Susan's new CD of children's
songs. 57 p.m. North Branch Caf, 41 State St.,
Montpelier. Free. 552-8105. thenorth-branch.com
552-8105.
Armchair Travel. Bill Doelger and Linda
Normandeau cruised to the Antarctic Peninsula
via the Falkland Islands and returned along the
Patagonia coast of Chile, witnessing raw natural
beauty along the way. Come view photos from
their trip. 6:308 p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity
Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Free; open to the
public. 223-2518.
Cabin Fever Spelling Bee. Two teams: Writers
and Readers. Team Writers consists of local authors. 7 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main
St., Montpelier. Tickets: $10 advance; $12 at door.
To be a contestant, enter at library or email vista@
kellogghubbard.org. 223-3338.

THE BRIDGE

SUNDAY, MARCH 1

Snowshoe Duxbury with Green Mountain Club.


Moderate. About 5 miles round trip. Snowshoe
to Montclair Glen Lodge from Couching Lion
parking lot. Meet at Montpelier High School, 5
High School Dr., Montpelier. Contact leader Michael for meeting time: 249-0520 or chernick5@
comcast.net.
Green Mountain United Way 2nd annual Touring the Trails Cross Country Ski/Snowshoe
Fundraiser. Get your friends and family to join
you for a fun afternoon in the snow. Gather as
many sponsorships as possible to help GMUW
continue its programs in education, income and
health. 15 p.m. Craftsbury Outdoor Center, 535
Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common. No trail
fees. No charge for equipment rental if needed.
Entry and sponsorship forms: gmunitedway.org/
touringtrails.shtml. 647-2148.

MONDAY, MARCH 2

Parent Meet-Up. Come meet other parents, share


information and chat over light snacks, coffee
and tea. First Mon., 1011:30 a.m. Hayes Room,
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free. mamasayszine@gmail.com.
Reception for Montpelier School Board
Candidate Tina Muncy. Discuss your concerns
and questions about education issues with Tina
Muncy. Everyone welcome. Light refreshments
provided. 4:306:30 p.m. North Branch Caf, 41
State St., Montpelier.

infants, identify safety hazards and prevent injuries, find and interview for babysitting jobs, and
more. Receive materials to help you be prepared
and professional. For ages 1115. 9 a.m.3 p.m.
Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High St., Plainfield.
Free. Must pre-register: 454-8504. cutlerlibrary.
org.
Womens Circle. Women and mothers discuss
motherhood, family life and womens health.
Hosted by midwives Chelsea Hastings and
Hannah Allen. First Tues., 68 p.m. Emerge
Midwifery and Family Health, 174 River St.,
Montpelier.
Library Book Delivery Service. First and third
Tues., 1 p.m. See sign-up sheet near office for
more info. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58
Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4

Bereavement/Grief Support Group. Open to


anyone who has experienced the death of a loved
one. 1011:30 a.m. Conference Center. 600
Granger Road, Berlin. Free. 223-1878.
Grandparents Raising Their Childrens Children. First Wed., 10 a.m.Noon. Barre Presbyterian Church, Summer St. 476-1480.
Cross-country Ski Hardwick with Green Mountain Club. Moderate. 6 miles. Hardwick trails.
The trailhead is behind Hazen Union School. 1
p.m. Meet at Hazen Union School, 126 Hazen
Union Dr., Hardwick. Steve: 479-2304.

Classic Book Club. New members always welcome. Most first Mon., 68 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High St. (Rte. 2), Plainfield. Free.
454-8504. cutlerlibrary.org/resources/bookclub.

The Good, the Bad, the Wolf. With biologist


Walter Medwid. An Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. 1:30 p.m.; doors open 12:30 p.m. for those
wishing to bring a brown bag lunch. Montpelier
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier.
$5 suggested donation. 223-2518.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3

Pastel Class. With Anne Unangst. 2 p.m. Twin


Valley Senior Center, Rte. 2, Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. 223-6954.

ADA Advisory Committee Meeting. First Tues.


City managers conference room, City Hall, 39
Main St., Montpelier. 223-9502.
American Red Cross Babysitters Safety Training Session. Learn how to supervise children and

Small Business Workshop. Learn how to start


or expand your small business with experienced
business counselors. 68 p.m. Capstone Community Action, 20 Gable Pl., Barre. Free. Laura:

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 17

T H E B R I D G E

Music
VENUES
Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. Free. 2299212. bagitos.com.
Feb.19: Tim Berry and Chanon Bernstein
(blues/swing) 68 p.m.
Feb.20: Eric Fernald (Americana) 68 p.m.
Feb. 21: Irish session with Sarah Blair, Hilari
Farrington, Benedict Koehler, Katrina VanTyne,
Bob Ryan and others, 25 p.m.; Small Axe
(acoustic) 68 p.m.
Feb. 22: Eric Friedman and Gretchen Doilon
(folk ballads) 11 a.m.1 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Peoples' Caf, 68 p.m.
Feb. 26: Autumn Chamberlain, 68 p.m.
Feb. 27: Erin Powers (indie folk) 68 p.m.
Feb. 28: Irish session with Sarah Blair, Hilari
Farrington, Benedict Koehler, Katrina VanTyne,
Bob Ryan and others, 25 p.m.
Charlie Os World Famous. 70 Main St., Montpelier. Free. 223-6820. Additional performances
T.B.A.
Feb. 19: Brave The Vertigo/ DJ Crucible (metal)
9 p.m.
Feb. 20: Abby Jenne (rock) 7 p.m.; Green
Mountain Playboys (Cajun) 10 p.m.
Feb. 21: Vicious Gift, Law Abiders (punk) 10
p.m.
Feb. 26: Vaporizer, Tribulation (metal) 10 p.m.
Feb. 27: Abby Jenne (rock) 7 p.m.; The Dead
L.A (rock) 10 p.m.
Feb. 28: Sara Grace (soul) 7 p.m.; The Grape
and the Grain (rock) 10 p.m.
477-5176, lsudhoff@capstonevt.org. Margaret:
477-5214, mferguson@capstonevt.org.
Cancer Support Group. First Wed., 6 p.m.
Potluck. For location, call Carole Mac-Intyre
229-5931.
U-32 School Board Meeting. Open to the public
and community members are always welcome to
attend. 6 p.m. U-32, Rm. 131, 930 Gallison Hill
Rd., Montpelier. 229-0321.
Dealing with Foreign Terrorism. Former CIA
Chief of Counterterrorism Haviland Smith
examines the history of foreign terrorism. 7 p.m.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. vista@kellogghubbard.org.
Montpelier School Board Meeting. 7 p.m.
Montpelier High School library, 5 High School
Dr., Montpelier. 225-8000.

THURSDAY, MARCH 5

MBAC Meeting. Meeting of the Montpelier


Bicycle Advisory Committee. First Thurs., 8 a.m.
Police Station Community Room, 534 Washington St., Montpelier. 262-6273.
Diabetes Support Group. First Thurs., 78 p.m.
Conference room 3, Central Vermont Medical
Center. 371-4152.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

Tax Assistance. AARP certified tax preparers can


help you prepare your federal and state taxes. By
appointment. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte. 2,
Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Free. Call to
set up appointment and you will be told the neces-

North Branch Caf. 41 State St., Montpelier.


7:309:30 p.m. Free. 552-8105. donia@thenorthbranch.com. thenorth-branch.com.
Feb. 19: James Secor (kora and guitar)
Feb. 21: Michelle Rodriguez (jazz/blues singersongwriter)
Nutty Stephs. 961C U.S. Rte. 2, Middlesex. All
performances are from 710 p.m. unless noted
otherwise. Free unless noted otherwise. 229-2090.
nightlife@nuttystephs.com. nuttystephs.com.
Feb. 19: Andric Severance
Feb. 20: Rauli Fernandez & Friends (Latin)
Feb. 21: Cooie & Friends
Feb. 26: Two Cents in the Till (bluegrass)
Feb. 27: Rauli Fernandez & Friends (Latin)
Feb. 28: Jazzyaoke
Positive Pie. 22 State St., Montpelier. 10 p.m. $5.
Ages 21+. 229-0453. positivepie.com.
Feb. 20: Binger
Feb. 27: Radio Flyer (rock/blues)
Sweet Melissas. 4 Langdon St., Montpelier. Free
unless otherwise noted. 225-6012. facebook.com/
sweetmelissasvt. Additional performances T.B.A.
Feb. 19: Emma Back, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20: Honky Tonk Happy Hour with Mark
LeGrand, 5 p.m.; Seth Yacovone Band, 9 p.m.
$5.
Feb. 21: Penny Arcade, 5 p.m.; Coquette, 9 p.m.
Feb. 24: Michael T., 5 p.m.; Open Mic Night,
7 p.m.
Feb. 25: Wine Down with D. Davis, 5 p.m.;
Ethan Ryea Wingwalker, 8 p.m.
Feb. 26: Radio Underground, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 27: Honky Tonk Happy Hour with Mark
LeGrand, 5 p.m.; Smokin' J's, 9 p.m.
Feb. 28: Dan Zura, 5 p.m.; Hillside Rounders,
9 p.m.
sary papers you need to bring with you: 223-3322.
Death Caf. Group discussion about death with
no agenda, objectives or themes. First Fri., 11:45
a.m.1 p.m. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte. 2,
Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Free. Bring
your own lunch or eat at the center for $4. 2233322.
Coffeehouse. Enjoy live music and share your
own. Fellowship, potluck snacks and beverages.
First Fri., 79 p.m. Trinity United Methodist
Church, 137 Main St., Montpelier (park and enter
at rear). Free. 244-5191, 472-8297 or rawilburjr@
comcast.net.
Green Mountain Club Taylor Lecture Series.
"Mountains at 15 Knots: Norway from the
Deck of Hurtigruten" with Reidun and Andrew Nuquist. 7 p.m. GMC headquarters, 4711
Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury Center. $8 nonmember; $5 member; kids under 12 free.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7

National Federation of the Blind, Montpelier


Chapter. First Sat. Lane Shops community room,
1 Mechanic St., Montpelier. 229-0093.
Magic: The Gathering Tournament. An
informal tournament every first and third Sat.,
10 a.m.1 p.m. Aldrich Library, Teen Room, 6
Washington St., Barre. Free. 476-7550. aldrichlibrary@gmail.com. aldrichpubliclibrary.org.
Capital City Indoor Farmers Market. Featuring
over 30 farmers, food producers and craftspeople.
10 a.m.2 p.m. Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main
St., Montpelier. manager@montpelierfarmersmarket.com. capitalcityfarmersmarket.com.

ARTISTS & SPECIAL


EVENTS
Feb 21: Dave Keller. One of the finest soul and
blues men of his generation. Solo show. Part of
February Frolics Benefit Concert Series. 7:30 p.m.
Lost Nation Theater, Montpelier City Hall Arts
Center. $15 advance; $20 at door. Kids 11 and
under $10 or free per accompanying paying adult.
229-0492. lostnationtheater.org.
Feb. 21: The Great Green Mountain Bob Dylan
Wannebe Contest. A benefit for Vermontivate! 7
p.m. U-32 High School, 930 Gallison Hill Rd.,
Montpelier. $15. Register: ginny@vermontivate.
com.
Feb. 22: Pianist Diane Huling. Solo recital to
include works by Debussy, Ludomir Rzycki,
Rachmaninoff, Chopin and the last sonata of
Schubert. 3 p.m. Barre Opera House, 6 N. Main
St., Barre. $1218. hulingperformances@gmail.
com. barreoperahouse.org.
Feb. 25: Farmers Night: From Plimoth to
Yorktown with Seven Times Salt. Music from
the American colonies. Program includes English
consorts, early shapenote hymns, songs of liberty
and taxation, wartime laments and George Washington's favorite dance tunes. 7:30 p.m. Vermont
State House, State St., Montpelier. 828-2180.
vermonthistory.org/calendar.
Feb. 27: TallGrass GetDown and Coquette.
Local indie bands and winners of 2014 Chandler
Center for the Arts Beat the Band contest. 7:30
p.m. Chandlers Main Hall, 71-73 Main St., Randolph. $12. 728-6464. chandler-arts.org.

Conversations from the Working Landscape


in Cabot. Who Is Your Market? Do You Really
Know or Do You Think You Know? presented by
Mateo Kehler of the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Part of
a series of exciting, free workshops for local businesses and entrepreneurs presented by the Cabot
Agricultural Network and the Cabot Community
Association. 10:15 a.m. Cabot Town Hall (Willey
Building), 3084 Main St., Cabot. Free. 563-3338.
info@rhapsodynaturalfoods.com.
Osteoporosis Education and Support Group.
For those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, have a family member
who has been diagnosed or want to learn about
osteoporosis. Learn from a variety of guest speakers and medical specialists. First Sat., 13 p.m.

Feb. 28: Puttin On The Ritz with the Onion


River Jazz Band. Traditional New Orleans
Dixieland jazz. 7:30 p.m. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, 7320 Mountain Rd., Stowe. $20
advance; $25 after 5 p.m. day of show. 760-4634.
Sprucepeakarts.org.
Feb. 28: The Mother Daughter String Band.
Featuring Abby Newton, Rosie Newton and Lyn
Hardy. Benefit performance for Cabot Connects
Mentoring Program. 7:30 p.m. Cabot School
Performing Arts Center, 25 Common Rd., Cabot.
$10 advance; $12 at door; $25 family. Reservations: 563-3338. For more information: 563-2999.
Feb. 28: Concert: Heartbeat. Dynamic blend
of Eastern and Arabic music, Western rock, hiphop, jazz and reggae. Heartbeat is an ensemble
of accomplished Arab and Jewish youth artists
ages 1822, who bring their powerful sound and
messages to the U.S. in an effort to end violence
and promote equality. 8 p.m. Haybarn Theatre
at Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Rd., Plainfield.
$15 advanced online; $20 day-of at the door. 3221685. meg.hammond@goddard.edu. goddard.
edu.
Mar. 7: Vermont Virtuosi: Resolutions. Featuring music by Max Reger, Arthur Foote, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Vermont composers
Thomas L. Read and David Gunn. 7:30 p.m.
Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier.
Free with suggested donation: Adults $10; seniors
and students $5. 881-9153. lamaurer@sisna.com.
laurelannmaurer.com.

Submit Your Event!


Send listings to
calendar@montpelierbridge.com
Deadline for the next issue is Feb. 27.
Community National Bank, Community Room,
Crawford Rd., Derby. 535-2011. mary@betterbonesnek.org. betterbonesnek.org.

Tell them
you saw it in
The Bridge!

PAG E 18 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

Weekly Events

Free.
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., 11
a.m.1 p.m.
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 11:30
a.m.1 p.m.
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., 11 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
Thurs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., 11:30
Beaders Group. All levels of beading experience
a.m.1 p.m.
welcome. Free instruction available. Come with
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., 11
a project for creativity and community. Sat., 11
a.m.12:30 p.m.
a.m.2 p.m. The Bead Hive, Plainfield. 454-1615.

ART & CRAFT

Noontime Knitters. All abilities welcome. Basics


taught. Crocheting, needlepoint and tatting also
welcome. Tues., noon1 p.m. Waterbury Public
Library, 28 N. Main St., Waterbury. 244-7036.
Women Knitting for Peace Group. Knit/crochet
items to be donated to those in need world-wide.
Bring yarn and needles. Thurs., 1011 a.m. and
67:30 p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center,
58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. For basic info.
and patterns: knitting4peace.org.

BICYCLING
Open Shop Nights. Volunteer-run community
bike shop: bike donations and repairs. Tues., 68
p.m.; other nights. Freeride Montpelier, 89 Barre
St., Montpelier. 552-3521. freeridemontpelier.org.

BOOKS & WORDS


Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and
practice your language skills with neighbors.
Noon1 p.m. Mon., Hebrew; Tues., Italian;
Wed., Spanish; Thurs., French. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
English Conversation Practice Group. For
students learning English for the first time. Tues.,
45 p.m. Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center, 100 State St.
223-3403.
Ongoing Reading Group. Improve your reading
and share some good books. Books chosen by
group. Thurs., 910 a.m. Central Vermont Adult
Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center,
100 State St. 223-3403.

BUSINESS, FINANCE,
COMPUTERS, EDUCATION
Computer and Online Help. One-on-one computer help. Tues. and Fri., 10 a.m.1 p.m. Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., Waterbury.
Free. Registration required: 244-7036.
Lunch & Learn. Various topics. Feb 24.: Increase
Your Productivity by Managing Your Attention
with Jill Davies. Every Tues., noon1 p.m. North
Branch Caf, 41 State St., Montpelier. Free.
Limited seating. Reservations: 552-8105. Detailed
info. on each topic: thenorth-branch.com/upcoming-events/
Personal Financial Management Workshops.
Learn about credit/debit cards, credit building and
repair, budgeting and identity theft, insurance,
investing, retirement. Tues., 68 p.m. Central
Vermont Medical Center, Conference Room 3.
Registration: 371-4191.

FOOD & DRINK


Community Meals in Montpelier. All welcome.

Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115


Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue),
4:305:30 p.m.
Lunches for Seniors. Mon., Wed., Fri., Noon.
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E.
Montpelier. $4 suggested donation. 223-3322.
twinvalleyseniors.org.

THE BRIDGE

vtcares.org.
Sexuality Class. Explore how sexuality shapes
every aspect of who we are as human beings. Part
of the Adults Our Whole Lives curriculum. Topics include: developing relationships, committed
relationships, diversity, family, aging and health.
For adults ages 35+. Every Thurs. Feb. 12Mar.
26. 79 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St.,
Montpelier. Free. Limited class size. Call to register: ucm.dre@gmail.com.
Growing Older Group. Informal drop-in group
to share experiences, thoughts and fears about
aging. Every Fri., 10:3011:30 a.m. Montpelier
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier.
223-2518.

KIDS & TEENS

Baby & Toddler Story Time. Every Mon., 10


Feast Together or Feast To Go. All proceeds ben- a.m. Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St.,
efit the Feast Senior Meal program. Tues. and Fri., Waterbury. Free. 244-7036. waterburypubliclinoon1 p.m. Live music every Tues., 10:3011:30 brary.com.
a.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58
The Basement Teen Center. Cable TV, PlayStaBarre St., Montpelier. Seniors 60+ free with $7
tion 3, pool table, free eats and fun events for
suggested donation; under 60 $9. Reservations:
teenagers. Mon.Thurs., 36 p.m.; Fri., 311 p.m.
262-6288 or justbasicsinc@gmail.com.
Basement Teen Center, 39 Main St., Montpelier.

HEALTH & WELLNESS


Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place
for individuals and their families in or seeking
recovery. Daily, 10 a.m.5 p.m. 489 North Main
St., Barre. 479-7373.
Sun.: Alchoholics Anonymous, 8:30 a.m.
Tues.: Making Recovery Easier workshops,
67:30 p.m.
Wed.: Wits End Parent Support Group, 6 p.m.
Thurs.: Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30 p.m.

Gamelan Rehearsals. Sun., 79 p.m. Pratt


Center, Goddard College. Free. 426-3498. steven.
light@jsc.edu. light.kathy@gmail.com.

RECYCLING
Additional Recycling. The Additional Recyclables
Collection Center accepts scores of hard-torecycle items. Tues. and Thurs., 12:30 p.m.5:30
p.m. ARCC, 540 North Main St., Barre. $1 per
carload. 229-9383 x106. For list of accepted items,
go to cvswmd.org/arcc-additional-recyclablescollection-center.html.

SOLIDARITY/IDENTITY
Womens Group. Women age 40 and older explore important issues and challenges in their lives
in a warm and supportive environment. Facilitated
by Amy Emler-Shaffer and Julia W. Gresser. Wed.
evenings. 41 Elm St., Montpelier. 262-6110.

229-9151.

SPIRITUALITY

Story Time and Playgroup. Story time with Sylvia Smith and playgroup with Melissa Seifert. For
ages birth6 and their grown-ups. We follow the
Twinfield Union School calendar and do not hold
programs when Twinfield is closed. Every Wed.
through June 3. 1011:30 a.m. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marshfield. Free. 426-3581.
jaquithpubliclibrary.org.

Christian Science Reading Room. You're invited


to visit the Reading Room and see what we
have for your spiritual growth. You can borrow,
purchase or simply enjoy material in a quiet study
room. When we are closed, we have free literature
out on the portico, over the bench, for you to read
or take with you. Hours: Tues., 11 a.m.5 p.m.;
Wed., 11 a.m.7:15 p.m.; Thurs.Sat., 11 a.m.1
p.m. 145 State St., Montpelier. 223-2477.

Read to Coco. Share a story with Coco, the resident licensed reading therapy dog, who loves to
hear kids practice reading aloud. Wed., 3:304:30
p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St.,
Montpelier. Sign up ahead: 223-4665 or at the
Early Bird Bone Builders Class. With Cort
Richardson, Osteoporosis exercise and prevention childrens desk. kellogghubbard.org.
program. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy
Story Time for Kids. Meet your neighbors and
shoes. Light weights provided or bring your own.
share quality time with the pre-schooler in your
All ages. Every Mon. and Wed., 78 a.m. Twin
life. Each week well read stories and spend time
Valley Senior Center, Rte. 2, Blueberry Comtogether. A great way to introduce your premons, E. Montpelier. Free. Cort: 223-3174 or
schooler to your local library. For ages 25. Every
238-0789.
Thurs., 10:30 a.m. Cutler Memorial Library, 151
High St., Plainfield. 454-8504. cutlerlibrary.org.
Bone Building Exercises. All seniors welcome.
Every Mon., Wed. and Fri. 10:4511:45 a.m. Twin
Read with Arlo. Meet reading therapy dog Arlo
Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. Montand his owner Brenda. Sign up for a 20-minute
pelier. Free. 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors.org.
block. Thurs., 45 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library,
135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665. kellogghubTai Chi for Seniors. Led by trained volunteers.
Every Mon. and Fri., 12 p.m. Twin Valley Senior bard.org.
Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. Montpelier. Free.
Preschool Story Time. Every Fri., 10 a.m. Water223-3322. twinvalleyseniors.org.
bury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., Waterbury.
Free. 244-7036. waterburypubliclibrary.com.
Living Strong Group. Volunteer-led group.
Sing while exercising. Open to all seniors. Every
Drop-in Kinder Arts Program. Innovative exMon., 2:303:30 p.m. and every Fri., 23 p.m.
ploratory arts program with artist/instructor Kelly
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.,
Holt. Age 35. Fri., 10:30 a.m.noon. River Arts
Montpelier. Free. Register: 223-2518. msac@
Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261.
montpelier-vt.org.
RiverArtsVT.org.
Sex Addicts Anonymous. Mon., 6:30 p.m. BethaTeen Fridays. Find out about the latest teen
ny Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. 552-3483.
books, use the gym, make art, play games and if
you need to, do your homework. Fri., 35 p.m.
Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve-step proJaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marshgram for physically, emotionally and spiritually
field. 426-3581.
overcoming overeating. Two meeting days and
locations. Every Tues., 5:306:30 p.m. and second
Mad River Valley Youth Group. Sun., 79 p.m.
Sat., 8:309:30 a.m. at Episcopal Church of the
Meets at various area churches. Call 497-4516 for
Good Shepherd, 39 Washington St., Barre. 249location and information.
3970. Every Fri., noon1 p.m. at Bethany Church,
115 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3079.
HIV Testing. Vermont CARES offers fast oral
testing. Thurs., 25 p.m. 58 East State St., Ste. 3
(entrance at back), Montpelier. Free. 371-6222.

p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre


St. 223-2518.

MUSIC & DANCE


Barre-Tones Womens Chorus. Open rehearsal.
Find your voice with 50 other women. Mon., 7
p.m. Alumni Hall, Barre. 223-2039. BarretonesVT.com.
Dance or Play with the Swinging over 60 Band.
Danceable tunes from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Recruiting musicians. Tues., 10:30 a.m.noon.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.,
Montpelier. 223-2518.

Christian Counseling. Tues. and Thurs. Daniel


Dr., Barre. Reasonable cost. By appt. only: 4790302.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For those
interested in learning about the Catholic faith, or
current Catholics who want to learn more. Wed.,
7 p.m. St. Monica Church, 79 Summer St., Barre.
Register: 479-3253.
Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging text
study and discussion on Jewish spirituality. Sun.,
4:456:15 p.m. Yearning for Learning Center,
Montpelier. 223-0583. info@yearning4learning.
org.

SPORTS & GAMES


Roller Derby Open Recruitment and Recreational Practice. Central Vermonts Wrecking
Doll Society invites quad skaters age 18 and up.
No experience necessary. Equipment provided:
first come, first served. Sat., 56:30 p.m. Montpelier Recreation Center, Barre St. First skate free.
centralvermontrollerderby.com.

YOGA & MEDITATION


Christian Meditation Group. People of all faiths
welcome. Mon., noon1 p.m. Christ Church,
Montpelier. 223-6043.
Zen Meditation. With Zen Affiliate of Vermont.
Wed., 6:307:30 p.m. 174 River St., Montpelier.
Free. Call for orientation: 229-0164.
Meditation Sitting Group. Facilitated by Sherry
Rhynard. A weekly meditation group offers ways
to find out more about meditation and gives support to an existing or a new practice. Every Thurs.,
5:306:30 p.m. Central Vermont Medical Center,
130 Fisher Rd., Berlin. Free. 272-2736. sherry@
easeofflow.com.
Shambhala Buddhist Meditation. Group meditation practice. Sun., 10 a.m.noon; Tues., 78
p.m.; Wed., 67 p.m. New location: Center for
Culture and Learning, 46 Barre Street, Montpelier. Free. 223-5137. montpeliershambala.org.

Sunday Sangha: Community Ashtanga Yoga.


Monteverdi Young Singers Chorus Rehearsal.
Every Sun., 5:407 p.m. Grateful Yoga, 15 State
New chorus members welcome. Wed., 45 p.m.
St., 3F, Montpelier. By donation.
Montpelier. Call 229-9000 for location and more
information.
Piano Workshop. Informal time to play, refresh
your skills and get feedback if desired with
other supportive musicians. Singers and listeners
welcome. Thurs., 45:30 p.m. Montpelier Senior
Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Free;
open to the public. 223-2518. msac@montpeliervt.org.
Ukelele Group. All levels welcome. Thurs., 68

Submit your calendar


listing by using our
online submission form at
montpelierbridge.com/
calendar-submissions
OR send listing to
calendar@montpelierbridge.com

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 19

T H E B R I D G E

Class listings and classifieds are 50 words for $25.


To place an ad, call Michael,
223-5112 ext. 11.

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38 Summer St.
Barre, VT 05641

WORKSHOPS:
COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS AT VERMONT
CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE HERBALISM
252 Main St., Montpelier.
pre-registration required; for details and
registration, visit vtherbcenter.org
Tree Medicine for the Earth
with Fearn Lickfield
March 4; 68 p.m.; $12
Best Medicinal Garden Plants
with Heather Irvine
March 11; 68 p.m.; $15
Techniques and Tips for Successful Plant
Propagation with Joann Darling
April 1; 68 p.m.; $12

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PAG E 2 0 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

Loved the Wig Goddess Story


Editor:
I loved your Valentines issue, most especially the cover article about the wig goddess.
Thanks for a newspaper we can all be proud
of and learn from.
Rebecca Riley

Support the Carbon Pollution


Tax Bill
Editor:
I am an about-to-be grandmother looking
forward to lots of play time outside with
my Vermont grandchild. As we know, the
outside is changing and we need to act now
to effect that change positively. For me, as an
aging baby-boomer, Eldridge Cleaver's words
have been a motto, "You either have to be
part of the solution, or you're going to be part
of the problem." So I have been investigating
the carbon pollution tax bill under construction in the legislature. In my extended family,
the biggest question seems to be, "how will
this affect middle- and low-income Vermonters?" The answer I discovered is heartening:
It will have positive short-term and longterm economic effects. We will all receive tax
rebates and people living on a low-income
will be offered additional benefits. When
I learned that Vermont community action
councils (including Capstone) are members
of the Energy Independent Vermont coalition
promoting the bill and that people living on
low-incomes are directly involved in formulating the proposed policies, I was further
encouraged. This bill is a great opportunity
for Vermont; 90 percent of the revenue from
taxes will be paid to Vermont individuals and
businesses/nonprofits; 10 percent will support energy efficiency programs available to
people with low-incomes; that is 100 percent
in Vermonters pockets. The carbon pollution tax bill taxes pollution on fuels sold in
Vermont, keeps money in Vermont, is equitable for those of us with greater incomes and
those of us struggling to make ends meet.
Act now! Do some investigation on your own
and let our legislators know that you support

the carbon pollution


tax bill.
Darryl Bloom
Montpelier

Letters

Vote Yes on Montpelier School


Budget
Editor:
A lot has changed since 1981 when we moved
our young family to Montpelier mostly
for the better. Over the years we have enjoyed watching the growth of a wide variety
of restaurants and other cultural fare that
have helped make our city a great place to
live and raise children. In fact, VPR reported
on February 10 that the website Best Choice
Reviews named Montpelier the best small
downtown in the country.
But when we sent our children to Montpeliers schools in the 1980s and 1990s the
conversation was different than now. Today
there is a vocal minority who insist we have
a school funding problem and who have actively worked to cut more and more programs
and staff from our schools. It didnt use to
be like this. Montpelier used to be a city
where its citizens recognized that high quality education for every child was essential to
maintain a strong and healthy community.
We believed then, as we do now, that a worldclass city needs a world-class school system to
draw and retain people who can help make
Montpelier thrive.
Today, despite the existence of acts 60 and
68 that insulate the lowest income among
us from an unfair property tax burden, the
debate seems to be centered not around are
we getting a good return on the investment
we are making in our schools, but sadly,
what programs and staff can we cut so we
can lower taxes by a couple hundred dollars.
Our three children all moved away after
graduating from Montpelier High, but all
three returned to central Vermont while
still in their 20s to start their own families;
one grandson now attends Union Elementary School. Montpelier High School wins

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Zoning and Land Use; Municipal Law & School Law

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and does it all at a cost in the middle of the
pack compared to other Vermont schools of
its size.

We are not only going to vote "Yes" on


the Montpelier school budget on March 3,
but we are adding our voices to the growing number of people who want to see our
schools adequately funded. We hope and
trust that most of our friends and neighbors,
even you who don't have kids or grandkids in
the school system, will do likewise.
Nat and Martha Winthrop
Montpelier

Grodinsky for Parks


Commissioner
Editor:
I will be supporting Carolyn Grodinsky for a
seat on the Parks Commission at Montpelier
City Meeting March 3. Carolyn has a long
history of positive, inclusive, civic engagement here in Montpelier. She is well-known,
accessible, and fair minded. I know she loves
Montpelier both for its downtown and its
special green spaces, like North Branch Park,
Hubbard Park, and Blanchard Park, to name
just a few. Through her work on the planning
commission, her management of the Capital
City Farmers Market, and other work in the
city, she has developed a pretty deep understanding of the many constituencies
many
of them park users that make up the city.
I know she would go the extra mile to be a
good steward of the citys parks.
Jake Brown
Montpelier

Re-elect Anne Watson


Editor:
I want to share a true story why I love Montpelier.
Anne Watson has demonstrated her ability
to find a balance between maintaining a
high quality of city services and keeping our
tax rate affordable for Montpelier residents.
Anne serves on the Restorative Justice Board,
The Harry Sheridan Scholarship Committee,
and the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. I serve with Anne as a volunteer on
the M.E.A.C.
Last December, while I was restocking shelves
at Hunger Mountain Co-op, I heard a parent
sharing: My high school daughter learned
how to save energy in her physics class this
fall. She put her knowledge to work, right
away, helping our family lower our heating
expenses. Anne Watson is her teacher.
This is the Anne I know! As a parent of
young adults who also learned important,
long lasting environmental values in public
school, I felt my tears of happiness. Please
join me in supporting Anne Watsons reelection to city council on March 3. I believe
we are fortunate to have her service in this
community.
Bill Chidsey
Solar Harvester Co., Montpelier

Watson for Council


Editor:
Anne Watson is an outstanding civic leader.
She has a proven record of listening to her
constituency, thinking outside the box, and
getting things done in Montpelier. I have
had the pleasure of working with Anne on
the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee
for several years and have seen her passion towards Net Zero Montpelier in action. Anne
has been involved with several projects on the
advisory committee to include the municipal solar project, gathering baseline data for
energy consumption, and how to influence
multi-family housing toward net zero. Anne
is a fixture of this community and deserves

THE BRIDGE
to serve Montpelier in her city council seat.
Tim Shea
Chair of Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee

Vote for Me, Vote for Nolan


Editor:
Im delighted to report that I am running to
continue to serve Montpelier as a city council
member from District 2. I am excited to continue projects that are already underway as
well as get started on some new ones.
One project is the solar PV system that the
city will be installing this summer with no
up-front cost to taxpayers. I cowrote the RFP
that got that process rolling, so its particularly satisfying to see it progressing. Additionally, the council will now be receiving
semiannual energy reports from our finance
director, so we know how municipal buildings are doing in terms of our progress towards net
zero energy. Again, this was a
change I helped facilitate.
Im interested in continuing to find efficiencies in our budget, potentially through a recreation department and senior center merge.
Please vote for me for city council on March
3! I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve the city in this way!
While Im writing here, I would like to recognize Nolan Langweil, who is running for
park commissioner. Nolan has been a diligent
member of the parking committee, which has
done great work for the city pioneering an as
needed winter parking ban. Nolan is an avid
outdoorsman, and I know he would make a
great addition to the parks commission.
Anne Watson

Support Asay
Editor:
I'm writing in support of Bridget Asay's candidacy for the Montpelier School Board. She
appreciates the importance of education to
the future of our children and our community. Bridget will work diligently to maintain
the quality of our schools by engaging with
parents, teachers, fellow board members, and
the community to further that goal.
Bridget has a son currently at Union Elementary School and has been actively engaged in
his education. Her professional background
as a dedicated attorney in public service, with
nearly 20 years' experience, well prepares her
to take on the complex issues facing our
school board. She understands the importance of community input and a respectful
exchange of ideas.
Bridget will bring the perspective of an active
school parent and a strong skill set to the
board at a crucial time for our schools. As
a good listener and effective communicator,
she will be our vote on the school board. I
encourage you to vote for Bridget Asay.
Jennifer Gordon
Montpelier

I say, Vote for Asay!


Editor:
I support Bridget Asay for school board commissioner. She has a perfect combination of
intelligence, integrity, thoughtfulness, and
determination for this challenging position.
Perhaps most importantly, she is a considerate, effective, and engaged communicator.
This is evident in her professional life when
advocating on behalf of the people of Vermont for the attorney general's office and in
her personal life. We are in a book group together in which our discussions usually relate
more to civic and family issues than to literature! She is very dedicated to the education in
Montpelier and we would be so fortunate to
have her work on our behalf!
Kelly McCracken
Montpelier

T H E B R I D G E

Vote for Asay and Hingtgen


Editor:
I write in strong support of the proposed
school budget. A "yes" vote on the budget
supports growing kids and a growing district
Montpelier Public School enrollment projections show our district growing almost 14
percent over the next decade. The proposed
budget is affordable and responsible a virtually flat (less than 1 percent increase) proposal that amounts to less than eight bucks
a month for an average property taxpayer.
And, strong support for schools protects the
value of our homes because it makes our community a desirable place to live and work.
Finally, I hope my friends and neighbors will
join me in supporting Bridget Asay and Steve
Hingtgen for school board. Both are parents
of young children in the schools and both
would bring talent, creativity, and expertise to
the board. Early voting is already underway,
so if your family plans to be away on vacation
over town meeting week, please take the time
to request an early ballot at the Office of the
City Clerk, or online: https://www.sec.state.
vt.us/media/53483/VTAbsenteeRequestGeneric.pdf. Vote now and make sure your voice
is heard!

Letters

staff. Balance is key to


the success of this conversation. I will be voting for Tina Muncy to
be that voice of reason, and I encourage you
to do the same.
Jill Remick
Montpelier

Muncy an Excellent Choice


Editor:
I strongly urge Montpelier residents to give
their vote to Tina Muncy for school board.
Throughout Tina's career she has demonstrated excellent rapport with students, parents, teachers and administrators. As a principal she exhibited her mastery of creating a
functional working budget that served the
students and community of Washington. In
her capacity as school improvement coordinator for the state of Vermont, Tina was able to
bring success to failing schools. Tina has the
experience, vision and common sense to help
Montpelier maintain excellence in our schools
without bankrupting the taxpayers.
Dan Boomhower, retired teacher
Montpelier

Christopher J. Curtis
Montpelier

Muncy for School Board


Editor:
Please join me on Town Meeting Day in voting for my friend, Tina Muncy for Montpelier
School Board. Tina is a longtime educator,
friend and resident of our city with a balanced
approach to the work of our local board.
Tina has spent her career dedicated to education. She has served as a teacher, principal,
administrator at the Vermont Agency of Education, as well as a parent of kids who went
through the Montpelier school system. She
is stepping up to the plate as both someone
who is an expert in what makes a high-quality
education for our area students, and also is
realistic and fair about what we can ask of our
system and our taxpayers.
We have an incredibly engaged and passionate community, but I am concerned by what
seems to be a misunderstanding of the roles of
a school board, an electorate and our school
administrators flavoring the conversation.
Some individuals may be running because
they are unhappy about a particular decision
made by our school leaders. This belies not
only a misunderstanding of the role of a policy board, but also an unfortunate tendency
to want to override or micromanage decisions
made by our well-trained administrators and

P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601


Phone: 802-223-5112
Fax: 802-223-7852
Editor & Publisher: Nat Frothingham
Managing Editor: Carla Occaso
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Editorial: 223-5112, ext. 14, or editorial@montpelierbridge.com.
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Copyright 2015 by The Bridge

montpelierbridge.com
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Vote for Tina


Editor:
Im writing to urge Montpelier residents to
vote for Tina Muncy for the school board.
Ive had the opportunity in recent years to get
to know Tina through her involvement with
the Montpelier Senior Activity Center and
the Unitarian Church. Ive taken one of her
classes and I serve on a committee with her.
In both circumstances, Tina has impressed
me with her intelligence, poise, integrity,
common sense, and sense of humor. The city
of Montpelier would be well served by having
Tina Muncy on the school board. Please join
me in supporting her candidacy.
Nancy Schulz
Montpelier

Tina Muncy for School


Commissioner

F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015 PAG E 21


pals.

When I was a school


board member several
years ago, I served on a
committee with Tina. I admire her ability
to ask questions and understand issues. She
will bring an active voice to discussions such
as those surrounding ways to collaborate with
the Washington Central Supervisory Union.
This idea needs to be seriously and creatively
explored; it is the key to maintaining, and
even expanding, educational opportunities
for our high school students.
Tina will also use her skills to ensure the
school district adopts sound budgets. I am
concerned that the school board is not adequately planning for our districts long-term
needs. If we dont spend carefully now, we
will not have the flexibility to address future
budget challenges. I think Tina has the necessary perspective to handle these issues. Tina
deserves your vote.
Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

Tina for School Board


Editor:
This year, I hope that as many registered voters in Montpelier as can, will take the time
to participate in our city by voting on Town
Meeting Day. One of the candidates for the
schools board is my neighbor, Tina Muncy. I
have known Tina for nine years. She is a parent and an educator with more than 20 years'
experience. Her children attended school in
Montpelier, Tina taught at the Main Street
Middle School for 10 years, and she has been
a school principal. Tina is a homeowner and
active community volunteer. I know her to
be a well-reasoned, thoughtful and life-long
supporter of education. Tina, at the invitation
of the Kingdom of Bhutan, has more than
once, gone to teach Bhutanese teachers better
skills. I can think of no one more qualified
and knowledgeable about all the demands,
challenges, skills and needs of our children
and our education system than Tina. I hope
you will join me in voting for Tina Muncy for
Montpelier School Board on March 3, 2015.
Susan Zeller

Editor:
Montpelier is fortunate to have several strong
candidates running for school board this year,
but Tina Muncy stands out. She has shown
a commitment to students through her years
as teacher at Main Street Middle School and
as a principal. She has worked to improve
the quality of education throughout the state
while working at the Vermont Agency of Education and by training and coaching princi-

Tina Muncy for Montpelier School


Board
Editor:
I am writing to urge you to vote for Tina
Muncy for Montpelier School Board.
Tina, a long-time Montpelier resident whose

two children attended school here, has a


wealth of experience in education. She was a
teacher at Main Street Middle School, a principal at the Washington (VT) Village School,
has worked for the state education department, and is now teaching other principals.
These days Tina is also chair of the Montpelier Senior Center board.
Tina has a practical and thoughtful approach
to education that values both students and
taxpayers. Here is what a member of Washington school board recently wrote about her:
Tina is something of a creative genius when
it comes to finances. She gets the best results
possible from the resources a community can
devote to its schools.
This year there are two open spots on the
school board, each for three-year terms. All
four candidates are competing citywide. I
hope you will vote for Tina Muncy. If you
support her, you can vote for Tina and one of
the other four candidates: Bridget Asay, Jen
Bean, Steve Hingtgen or Charlie Phillips, a
write-in candidate. Or you can cast a single
vote for just Tina and call it a day.
The city election is in just two weeks, on
March 3. Ballots are available now for early
voting. Vote wisely!
Thierry Guerlain
Montpelier

Elect Muncy and Phillips


Editor:
For Montpelier School Board commissioners
this year, please vote for Tina Muncy and
write in Charlie Phillips. Both are veteran
professional educators in our city, committed
to giving Montpelier children the best education at a cost respectful of all Montpelier
citizens.
Ben Huffman

What Do You Think?


Read something that you would
like to respond to? We welcome
your letters and opinion pieces.
Letters must be fewer than 300
words. Opinion pieces should
not exceed 600 words.
The Bridge reserves the right
to edit and cut pieces. Send
your piece to: editorial@
montpelierbridge.com.
Deadline for the next issue is
Feb. 27.

PAG E 2 2 F E B RUA RY 19 M A RC H 4 , 2 015

Letters
Strong Support for
Charlie Phillips
Editor:
I am writing in extremely strong support of
Charles (Charlie) Phillips in his pursuit for
election to the Montpelier School Board of
Commissioners on Town Meeting Day. At
that time, you will be able to vote for Charlie
as a "write in" candidate on your ballot.
In the 20-plus years that I have lived in
Montpelier, I don't know anyone who has
given more time and energy to the Montpelier public school system than Charlie. In
his long serving tenure as a professional at
Montpelier High School he has been an English teacher, cross-country running coach,
athletic director, and principal. In addition,
he is currently a member of the school board,
a position he has held for many years, and
hopes to continue to do so.
For over 50 years, Charlie has played a pivotal role in the development of the youth.
First and foremost, Charlie cares about kids
and realizes the investment that must put
into their development both academically
and socially. Charlie has been a role model
and mentor to several teachers and coaches
over the years and has provided tremendous
support to anyone looking to improve professionally in the field of education.
If you are looking for somebody who will
make the best decisions for kids, residents,
and our schools, then I encourage you to
write his name in on your ballot at the upcoming election.
George Cook
Montpelier

Vote Charlie Phillips for School


Commissioner
Editor:
Once again I am reminded that I am the
only perfect human being around here. It
came about when someone I thought was
near perfect goofed.
His name is Charlie Phillips and he wants to
continue his nine-year service on the Montpelier School Board. So he got his petition
filled with the necessary signatures for the
upcoming election and then what did he
do? He did a big oops. He was a day late
on filing. So now hes a write-in candidate
and thats why I writing this appeal to all
my other imperfect friends and neighbors.
Please, when you vote on or before Town
Meeting Day for school board candidates
remember to write Charlie Phillips name on
the ballot.
Charlie is a wise man and an experienced
educator with 47 years in local education as a

THE BRIDGE

teacher, coach, and principal, plus nine years


as a school board member. He also has four
grandchildren presently in the Montpelier
school system.

Or how about someone who has grandchildren in the Montpelier school system?

Notably, as a board member he has proposed


budget measures that would reduce expenditures while still maintaining the high quality
of education in Montpelier. He understands
all sides of the great question of the day: How
to maintain quality schools at an affordable
level?

Maybe someone with many years of educational administration experience?

We need Charlie Phillips to help steer our


ship. Please write his name on the school
board ballot.
Jim Higgins
Montpelier

Write In Charlie Phillips


Editor:
I write as a write-in candidate for the Montpelier School Board.
I have served on the board for nine years and
I have 46 years in education at Montpelier
High School and at U-32. I believe that my
experience in education has served the school
board well.
I am a senior citizen on a fixed income and
I have two daughters who have returned to
Montpelier with their families because of
the quality of the Montpelier schools. I well
understand the tension that exists between
these two important constituencies.
I have consistently demonstrated a willingness to find the middle ground that assures
educational quality that is affordable. This
year in the development of the budget I successfully urged the board to meet the goal of
reducing our student to staff ratio to 5:1. Additionally, I urged the board to keep the door
open for discussions with U-32 in order to
find ways to coordinate and cooperate. The
Montpelier school system is outstanding.
For the first time in many years our school
population is on an upward swing. The high
school has been consistently rated as one of
the best in Vermont and we often hear about
young families who have moved to Montpelier because of our schools.
The school board and the administration of
the Montpelier schools have worked hard
to create this positive momentum. I would
like to continue being a part of that effort.
I would greatly appreciate your write-in vote
on Town Meeting Day.
George Cook
Montpelier

Support Charlie's Write-In


Campaign
Editor:
What kind of person makes a good school
board member?
How about someone who has had children in
the Montpelier school system?

Perhaps someone with many years of teaching experience?

Definitely someone who cares deeply about


our community.
How about someone who has volunteered
hundreds of hours to Montpelier boards and
committees.
Of course someone who knows how our increasing taxes directly impacts our personal
budgets and finances.
How about someone who has been a mentor
and coach to hundreds of young men and
women?
How about someone who will answer your
questions by phone, by email or in the grocery store?
How lucky would we be if there was someone
who had a deep knowledge and history of
Montpelier schools but also has the desire
and vision to see Montpelier schools be innovators and leaders for change in education?
Voters you have that someone Charlie
Phillips.
Whether you know him as Mr. Phillips,
Coach, Chuck, Charlie, Pop Pop or Dad
Charlie Phillips is and has been your committed teacher, principal, advocate, coach,
family member, friend and he is ready to
continue to serve our community as your
school board member.
Please join me in writing-in Charlie Phillips
for school board on election day.
Adri Phillips Luhr
Montpelier

Write In My Dad, Charlie Phillips,


for School Board
Editor:
Im writing this letter in support of Charlie
Phillips candidacy for the Montpelier public
school board. My reason for supporting him
is clear; he is my father and I think he is one
of the most wonderful people on the face of
the earth. But here is why I think you should
vote for him. It involves a story from my
youth, so bear with me for a moment and
Ill try to keep it short. My dad was a teacher
and the athletic director at Montpelier High
School all of my childhood and at the moment I was in middle school in Montpelier.
Since the middle school did not have an
athletic director, my dad was the de facto
one for our building. There was an incident
one night on the bus after a middle school
girls basketball game. A few girls, fired up
after a big win, got a bit rowdy and thought
it would be hilarious to moon their coach in
downtown Montpelier as they drove back
through town. The next day at school the
girls' basketball team was summoned to the
library to meet with the coach, principal and
athletic director. The athletic director took

the lead explaining how the girls involved in


this incident had let down their team, coach,
parents, and community with their inappropriate and disrespectful behavior. Then he
asked all the girls who had not been involved
in the incident to leave the room. That left
me, my best friend and two others. My dad
was shocked I was still there, but he did not
miss a beat. In addition to informing us we
would be suspended from the team for the
remainder of the season, he went on to tell
us that all people make mistakes. We can
learn and grow based on these experiences
and the important people in our lives would
always still love us. He may have choked up
over those last few lines. The reason I tell you
this particular story is because it was a seminal moment in my dads educational career.
From that point on he tried to treat each
situation and the kids in it as if they were
his own children. I think my dad has done
a tremendous job doing just that for many,
many years. Based on his vast experiences as
a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal
and school board member and his love of
education and all Montpeliers kids, I ask for
your support of his candidacy for Montpelier
School Board on town meeting day.
Charlie is a write-in candidate. You will not
see his name on the ballot. You must write
it in.
Katie Phillips Gustafson

Appalled That Charlie Phillips


Banned from ORCA Forum
Editor:
My husband and I were appalled to read
in this mornings Times Argus that Charlie
Phillips (incumbent write-in candidate for
school commissioner) had been shut out of
an ORCA media forum in Montpelier for
school board candidates. This is a slap in
the face of a man who has more knowledge
about the Montpelier school system than
anyone else in this city. He was a magnificent teacher and principal at Montpelier
High School for many years, and is a threeterm incumbent on the Montpelier School
Board.
While we do not have any children in the
school system at this time, we are still very
interested in the city schools, as our future
depends on the education of todays students. Charlie has fought for years to provide
the very best education for its students and
at the same time, at a cost that residents can
sustain. He has grandchildren in the school
system, and obviously, wants the very best
education for them, and for all the other
students.
It truly is beyond belief that his knowledge
about the schools, his views, his ideas for
the future of the schools, would not want to
be heard at a forum. There is no reasonable
explanation for the decision to not allow him
to participate in the forum.
Our son and daughter, both with Ivy League
degrees, are very successful today, as a result
of the wonderful leadership and guidance of
Charlie Phillips throughout their years in the
school system in Montpelier. Please write-in
Charlie Phillips when you vote for school
board. Please do not ever shut him out he
has too much to offer.
Bob and Irene Stewart
Montpelier

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