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Heroin Busts on the Rise Page 8

February 16March 1, 2017

Race for
Thomas Gram Rosie Krueger
City Council
District 1

Anne Watson

Alex Aldrich Joe Kiernan Alison Soccodato

District 2

District 3
Pg. 7 Montpelier School

Pg. 10 Michael Arnowitts

Farewell Concert
Map courtesy of
Pg. 11 David Budbill to
be Honored Ashley Hill

Pg. 22 Editorial:
Econo Lodge Mess
Meet The Candidates, See The Budgets
by Carla Occaso

MONTPELIER Its that time of year which are contested. Alex Aldrich, Thomas leaving the council to simplify parenting

Permit NO. 123

Montpelier, VT

U.S. Postage

again, so get ready to grab a sharp pencil Gram, Joe Kiernan and Rosie Krueger are her young children in the evenings.

and line up to exercise your hard-fought vying for the District 1 seat to be vacated by However, Edgerly Walsh said, The last
right to vote. Tom Golonka. Golonka said he is leaving four years haven't always been easy, but
Ballot items 1 and 2 are set aside to because it has been 12 years and hes ready it has truly been an honor to serve. I'm
determine candidates to fill vacant slots on to move on. Golonka played a leading role very much going to miss it. Shes proud
boards, councils and commissions on Town with the Public Safety Authority, and is of the following projects she worked to
Meeting Day, March 7 at City Hall. This happy with the direction it is going. He implement/create: A funding source for
years meeting has no shortage of candidates also feels that the Housing Trust Fund has the bike and pedestrian infrastructure
for the open seats on the Montpelier Board of been a real success during his time on the plan, Montpelier in Motion, Montpelier's
School Commissioners and the Montpelier council. He noted that a lot has gone on in Economic Development Corps., and a plan
City Council. the past 12 years. Ive been involved in a lot that will bring infrastructure spending on
of it and hopefully Ive made a difference. roads, sidewalks, water and sewer to needed
Three candidates are running to fill levels for sound stewardship.
two open slots on the board of school Anne Watson, who is council president,
commissioners. Bridget Asay is seeking re- seeks re-election for her seat in District 2 in And finally, running unopposed for re-
election after being elected in 2015. Also order to make progress on completing city election is Jake Brown to keep his seat
running are Ira Shadis and Becky Bowen. projects and improve housing stock while on the cemetery commission. Daniel
Montpelier, VT 05601

All candidates say they want to provide increasing revenue sources. Also waging a Dickerson is the only candidate to fill a
students with the support they need. More campaign for the seat is Alison Soccodato, vacancy on the parks commission vacated
information on the candidates can be found who wants to keep tabs on limited resources. by Kip Roberts, who resigned last April.
P.O. Box 1143

on pages four and five. Also, regarding District 3, Ashley Hill, No candidates filed to fill the Central
The Bridge

former senatorial candidate, has the race Vermont Public Safety Authority At-Large
As for council members, there are seven Board Member slot.
candidates for three open seats, with one all to herself. The seat is left open by Jessica
Edgerly Walsh, who told The Bridge, she is Continued on Page 4
open seat in each of three districts, two of

We're online! or

PAG E 2 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 3


Library Seeks $330,633 At City Meeting Langdon Street Alive to Install New Art Exhibit
MONTPELIER The Kellogg Hubbard Library directors are seeking a $14,000 hike over last MONTPELIER The Langdon Street Alive project an effort to create a new civic space
years taxpayer appropriation. that will add social and economic vitality to our downtown through art and pocket park
The article voters will see on the Town Meeting Day ballot reads, Shall the voters appropriate installation has wintered over, but a new look is planned. Ward Joyce, the architect behind
the sum of $330,633 to be used by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 the idea, met with the Development Review Board Nov. 21 to discuss the matter. I noticed
to June 30, 2018? (This amount is in addition to the $29,252 for the library bond payment some of the art isnt experiencing all the same longevity, said Philip H. Zalinger, chair of the
included in the City General Fund Budget, ARTICLE 3) (By Petition). board. Joyce proposed taking down the art items that have overly weathered including the
colorful banners hanging down into the river that began shredding. I am going to jump in the
Speaking on the organizations spending and budgeting, library Executive Director Tom river this week and haul a few out, Joyce said.
McKone said in a recent council meeting, that other than the city allocation, operating funds
come from investments from an endowment, fundraising events and mailed donor appeals. I am not a member of the taste police, but I was hoping they would be refreshed, Zalinger said.

In addition to lending books, the library offers children's programs, public computers, free wifi Joyce sought and received permission to take down the damaged items while leaving up the rest
24-hours a day, ebooks and technology training. Council member Justin Turcotte praised the until spring.
library representatives for the programs they offer. My intention is we will come back in March and re-petition for the summer and it will be
new, Joyce said.
Ruling: Vermont College Building Is Not Tax-Exempt
For more information, go to
MONTPELIER The City of Montpelier has prevailed in a property tax dispute with the
Vermont College of Fine Arts, meaning the college is liable for $35,000 more in property Vermont Trading Company To Close
taxes for tax years 2013 and 2014 than if the colleges position had been upheld. The matter MONTPELIER Vermont Trading Company, 50 State St., has announced by Facebook and
was decided in a recent Vermont Supreme Court decision that examined the taxable status a sign in their window that they are closing their doors. From Facebook, "It is a bittersweet
of Schulmaier Hall, two-thirds of which Vermont College of Fine Arts rented to the State of time for us but we are ready to move on. It's time!! So come get your treasure so you have
Vermont in 2013 and 2014 for about $400,000 per year. your memory of us. Everything must go. Lots of wall hangings, tapestries, Noah bells, sparkly
Vermont College of Fine Arts, a nonprofit corporation, argued that leasing to the State should runners, Indian furniture, baskets from Africa, lots of beautiful Haitian art, ethnic pillows,
not make the building taxable, as the City maintained. But the decision stated that, although the clothing, scarves and so much more. Don't miss out and again it has been a pleasure to be your
building had been used for education in the past and could be in the future, it did not qualify for go-to store for many, many years. Much thanks. Lori and Terri Hill"
the public school property tax exemption at present. In addition, the Court said the building Moose Meanders Through Montpelier
did not qualify for the public use exemption because the owner and the lessee did not have a
single mission, as required by previous cases. MONTPELIER What next? On Feb. 4, the Montpelier Police Department posted a picture
of a moose in the parking lot with this posting: Being a 24 hour department and dispatch
The college had been paying the tax bill on Schulmaier Hall pending the outcome of the case, center, we sometimes get interesting visitors at odd hours. This big fella stopped by early this
and it also pays property taxes on other buildings it leases out. Because it is a low-residency morning but didn't have much to say.
educational institution, up to 62 percent of its built space was unoccupied and available for lease
in 2013 and 2014, the court decision said. According to the Vermont Game Wardens Association website, Montpelier officers successfully
guided this moose from Barre Street to the north end of State Street near the Green Mountain
Harris Hall Settlement Allows Office Use Cemetery. When Warden Sgt. Barrett arrived most of the work was already done. Sgt. Barrett
MONTPELIER The owners of Harris Hall at 56 College St. have been given the green light got out on foot and convinced it to go deeper into the woods.
to change the buildings use under the terms of a settlement agreement reached between the Newspaper, Muffin Sales Spike at Uncommon Market
building owners and the Montpelier City Council and approved by the council Feb. 2.
MONTPELIER It seems Trump is good news for the news industry. A local store has
Previously, the development review board nixed a proposal to change the use of the property, observed that in the short time since Donald J. Trump has been elected president of the United
formerly owned by New England Culinary Institute, from academic offices to general offices. States, people are buying more newspapers and while they are there food.
Now, following an appeal to Superior Court by the property owners and the subsequent
settlement, the building can go from a nonconforming use as an academic office (its use during From the Uncommon Market online newsletter, "I've noticed since Trump took office that The
the culinary institute years) to a nonconforming use as general offices. Uncommon Market has sold notably more New York Times on a daily basis than we ever have
before. I've also noticed that since Trump took office we've sold out of our fresh homemade
One of the owners, Jeff Nick, told The Bridge he was pleased we were able to settle, although muffins every day by 9 a.m. We're going to increase our muffin production and start laying in
he said the delay and legal fees caused by the review board decision had cost the owners time more NY Times because the trend is apt to continue. Be aware but stay warm."
and money. Nick said he is reaching out to potential tenants and expected the building will
eventually house two or three separate entities. The Uncommon Market is located at 1 School Street. They are open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Check them out at
The settlement requires that business hours be restricted to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., that lighting be
downcast and shielded, that on-site parking remain the same, and that parking in the driveway More Heard on the Street on Page 9
be prohibited.

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Meet The Candidates, See The Budgets Continued from Page 1

Bridget Asay As for the rest of the articles, voters will be asked to approve a $8,762,272 The Bridge: If you had to level fund next year, what would you cut from
city budget, $20,019,297 school budget and $100,000 ($53,000 from the school budget?
Barre City and $47,000 from the City of Montpelier) for the operating Bowen: Without additional information, I dont have specifics. I do know
budget of the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority for fiscal year July I would preserve funding for the arts, and services to students that struggle
1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. academically.
Also, monies are requested to compensate the mayor ($3,000), city council The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate
members ($1,200 each) and school commissioners ($1,300, chair; $1,000 for school board?
the rest).
Bowen: After decades managing financial and human resources, Im
In addition, voters are asked to authorize $3.9 million for the reconstruction comfortable with budget numbers and efficient investment in the future.
of Northfield Street. Im closely connected to the community, and work as the Human
A pre-town meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Resources Director at Central Vermont home health. My two African-
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St. American children have gone through the Montpelier schools, graduating
Candidates (In alphabetical order under category): this year and next. I hope I have your vote on March 7.

School Board of Commissioners: Ira Shadis

Becky Bowen
Bridget Asay The Bridge: What are your goals for Montpelier's public school system?
The Bridge: What are your goals for Montpelier's public school system? Shadis: I want to make sure that our school system continues to meet
the needs of our students, with a focus on building strong relationships
Asay: I want our schools to meet the needs of all students; stimulate our between the schools and the broader community.
students' passion for learning; and foster students' engagement with the
local and world community. Some specifics: expanded foreign language The Bridge: If you had to level fund next year, what would you cut from
instruction, improved science curriculum at UES and a focus on good the school budget?
communication and outreach to the community. Shadis: Should a mandate come down to freeze the budget, I will work to
The Bridge: If you had to level fund next year, what would you cut from ensure that we still find ways to invest strongly in our students. We need
the school budget? to continue to provide supportive services to those who need them most.
Asay: Level funding our growing district would hurt our students and The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate
undermine one of Montpelier's strongest assets its schools. I oppose for school board?
level funding. Shadis: We need to build relationships with our young people that provide
The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate them avenues to be valued citizens. I am in the same boat as our students.
for school board? I am young and I am determined to be a part of this town.
Ira Shadis
Asay: I bring problem-solving skills, a commitment to collaboration and District 1
teamwork, legal experience and good communication skills to the Board.
As a parent of a middle school student, I have personal experience with the
Alex Aldrich
strengths and needs of the district. The Bridge: What are your goals for the city?
Becky Bowen Aldrich: In my experience it is always tempting to make decisions based on
short-term returns. My primary goal is to be a voice for insisting that decisions
The Bridge: What are your goals for Montpelier's public school system? always take into consideration the long-term impact on the city's attractive
Bowen: Montpelier's school system is the city's best asset for attracting landscape, its walkability, its affordability and its quality of life. Many people
new businesses and taxpayers, and is growing in enrollment. We need to I have met claim to have the answer for what Montpelier needs to do (next).
expand our capacity to care for a more diverse student body, to more fully For me, the first step is to listen and understand. The rest will follow.
address the needs of those that dont fall in the top 50 percent of the class, The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city
while respecting taxpayer investment. administrators?
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 5

Aldrich: Yes, of course I am committed to working constructively with the city's administrators. work with school nutrition programs. Finally, I have direct experience building a new energy-
I can't claim to know them all at this time, but I believe they are professional and care deeply efficient home in the city including working with Montpeliers building code requirements,
about Montpelier. understanding green building principles and managing budgets and subcontractors. For two
The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council? years, I worked a full-time job while building a house I know how to work hard, and I
know how to get stuff done!
Aldrich: First, let me say that being the best candidate for city council is a stretch for me.
I'll take being the best candidate in District 1! Perhaps what sets me apart is the amount of District 2
traveling I have done all over the state (and to a lesser degree, the region) during the past 20 Alison Soccodato
years, observing and participating in projects and programs that have done so much to help
communities identify their own strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Governing is not an The Bridge: What are your goals for the city?
easy job; it gets messy and difficult. And quite often the general public does not like change Soccodato: I will strive to have an effective council that communicates well with each other
(of any kind) because, short term, it causes dislocation or economic suffering. But there are and is engaged with constituents. We need to be proactive in soliciting feedback.
countless examples in Vermont of towns and communities that have experienced a renaissance
The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city administrators?
because they have identified their communities' core values and made decisions in full view of
the public that reflect those values. Soccodato: I view the Council and administrators as partners. The Council is responsible for
setting the strategy, with input from administrators, and the administrators execute. To be
Thomas Gram successful, we need to work together.
The Bridge: What are your goals for the city? The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
Gram: My two major goals are seeking alternative sources of revenue to keep our essential city Soccodato: My background as a budget analyst and project manager will help us to use
services funded while slowing the growth of property taxes; and continuing the push toward our limited resources wisely. In these positions, I developed tools to monitor and improve
sustainability with a focus on helping low income residents lower carbon footprints and energy performance while leading stakeholders with competing priorities.
costs, while keeping externalities in mind and favoring appropriate technologies.
The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city administrators?
Anne Watson, Incumbent
The Bridge: What are your goals for the city?
Gram: Bill Fraser has been a competent, tenured city employee who's worked for the city in
an efficient and non-partisan way for a long career. I see no reason to change that in his case. Watson: Lets make progress toward net-zero energy. That includes finding parking solutions,
improving our wastewater system, completing One Taylor Street and the bike path. Lets
More importantly, if I see that any major decision about the city's staffing is being discussed,
increase and improve Montpelier's housing stock, while finding sources of revenue other than
I will do my utmost to ensure that that discussion happens in a way that is public and
accountable. The disregard for the spirit, and perhaps even the letter of Vermont's open
meetings law, by a few city officials surprised and disturbed many of Montpelier's residents. I The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city administrators?
was glad to see both representatives of District 1 were not implicated in that. District 1 voters Watson: I have been vocal in my support of Bill Fraser, and I look forward to working with
expect accountability and adherence to the spirit of the law from their representatives, and I him and the rest of the city staff. The quality of Bills work continues to be good, as hes
will absolutely continue to uphold those values as councilor. responsive to the requests of council.
The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council? The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
I may be young and inexperienced, but there are a few aspects which make me an important Watson: With five years experience on the council, Im familiar with citys systems, players,
voice on the council. The first is that city policy discussions often revolve around how to keep issues and opportunities. My background in physics allowed me to co-write the request for
young people here and reach out and engage people with lower incomes. As a young person proposal that landed the city a contract for one megawatt of solar electricity, at no cost to
with low income, I can provide some essential perspective and insight on those issues and taxpayers. As a teacher, I am committed to fostering community and equitable processes.
ensure that discussions of vibrancy and affordability go beyond simple lip service.
The second issue is that I'm a chemistry student with a significant interest and knowledge base
District 3
around appropriate technology and sustainability. Ashley Hill
Joe Kiernan The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
The Bridge: What are your goals for the city? Hill: As a Council member, I will be committed to expanding affordable housing opportunities,
focusing on environmental issues and continuing our investment into infrastructure
Kiernan: My short term goals for the city would be to look at options for affordable
development. I look forward to working with our friends, neighbors, community partners
residential development and work with developers to makes sure the city can provide them
and municipal employees to create comprehensive solutions to the challenges facing our city.
with the necessary infrastructure to make such development more economically feasible. The
biggest issue facing the city today is a stagnated population due to high taxes and a lack of The Bridge: Are you committed to continue working constructively with current city
affordable housing. My long term goal for the city would be to increase the population by 500 administrators?
to 1000 residents. With so much of Montpelier's taxable properties occupied by government Hill: Absolutely! I look forward to working with Bill in the upcoming session to tackle
and non-profit organizations, it is vital that the city increase its residential population to help affordable housing, economic development, environmental sustainability and infrastructure
supplement its tax income. This is the most straightforward and effective means of eventually development projects. Bill has served our city and our Council well over the years, and I look
lowering the property taxes experienced by residents of Montpelier. forward to continuing our relationship as we all collaborate on these difficult issues to create
The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city administrators? lasting solutions for our city!
Kiernan: I am committed to working constructively with all city administrators. Any The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
progress the city may hope to achieve would be made more difficult without cooperation Hill: I currently serve our state as a prosecutor and am profoundly proud to have the
between the city council and the city staff. Specifically regarding the city manager, I have not opportunity to work with our city to find innovative solutions to challenges in our community
been given any concrete reasons for the mayor's decision to attempt to remove him from his in the criminal legal system. I look forward to using my social and economic justice advocacy
position, which I feel is unacceptable. However, I am also committed to looking at the facts skills to work with area experts on affordable housing issues, environmental resource issues
and making an informed decision on what is best for the city. and infrastructure development.
The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
Kiernan: My professional experience includes working as a contractor, environmental Jake Brown is running for re-election on the cemetery commission and Daniel Dickerson is
consultant and civil engineer. These are areas of expertise which are underrepresented on the running for parks commission.
current council. During my time in construction I worked on several projects for the City
of Montpelier and have intimate knowledge of the challenges that will be facing our public
works and engineering departments in the near future. With approximately a third of our city
budget going to public works, having an experienced voice on the council would be invaluable
in helping the City make informed decisions.
Mary Rose Rosie Krueger
The Bridge: What are your goals for the city?
Krueger: I want everybody who wants to live here to be able to, while still maintaining the
things that make the community a great place to live. We want to have full services, plus some
nice extras on top of that. But we also need to ensure that the property tax weight of these nice
things isnt so heavy that only the wealthy can live here. The role of the council is to balance
these two needs. I am prepared to make these difficult choices.
The Bridge: Are you committed to work constructively with city administrators?
Krueger: Absolutely. I understand that the current council is planning to renew the city
managers contract prior to election day. I dont think there is anything to be gained at this
point by rehashing that decision.
The Bridge: What about your background makes you the best candidate for city council?
Krueger: We need city councilors who can think critically about proposed and existing
spending and policies, and decide if they actually are the most efficient and effective way to
get us where we want to go. As a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, and now at the State, I
am always thinking about how different regulations affect everyone involved; if they cause
unnecessary hardship; and if there is a better way to get there. In addition to these public
policy skills, I have experience with both public bidding and program management from my
PAG E 6 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

A Message From City Hall

This page was paid for by the City of Montpelier.

Montpelier Responds to Threats to

Immigrant Community
by Mayor John Hollar

he Trump Administrations Executive Order banning immigrants from seven Governor Phil Scott has responded forcefully and quickly to President Trumps actions.
Muslim nations has generated an enormous amount of anger and concern in He appointed a new Civil rights and Criminal Justice Cabinet. The Mayors Coalition
Montpelier and statewide. We can be proud that our state has reacted with near- designated Rutland Mayor Chris Louras as a member of that cabinet.
uniformity in rejecting this effort to demonize immigrants from certain nations and Attorney General T.J. Donovan has appointed his own Immigration Task Force and invited
unconstitutionally discriminate against Muslims. The Executive Order is particularly cruel the Mayors Coalition to designate a member to that body. We appointed an attorney in
in light of the unimaginable hardships that Syrian immigrants are enduring. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinbergers Office to represent us.
I was pleased to lead the effort in Montpelier in November to adopt Last week, Gov. Scott, Attorney General Donovan and legislative
a city council resolution that expresses our intention to become a leaders from both parties proposed legislation to limit the impact
Sanctuary City that values diversity and immigrants. That resolution of the Executive Order on Vermont immigrants. The bill would
directs our city staff to develop policies to ensure that Montpelier prohibit the collection of information regarding the private religious
does not assist with the enforcement of federal immigration law. I beliefs of any individual for the purpose of registration, and prohibits
opposed a recent effort on the city council to repeal that resolution any official other than the governor from entering into an agreement
in the face of threats by the Trump Administration to eliminate with the federal government for the purpose of enforcing immigration
funding for Sanctuary Cities. law. I strongly support this legislation.
The Vermont Mayors Coalition, of which I am a member, responded None of these responses are adequate, of course, to address the
quickly to condemn the Trump Administrations executive order hardship and unfairness created by the Presidents Executive Order.
shortly after it was issued on January 27. Our statement said that But it has been heartening to see the unified response by Vermonters
Vermont has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and their elected leaders.
and refugees from all cultures and backgrounds.

Highlights of Proposed FY 17 Municipal Budget

T he city council unanimously approved a budget for Montpelier voters to consider on Town Meeting Day.
The budget will increase local property taxes by 2.6%. That is slightly higher than I would have preferred
given the current rate of inflation and our relatively high tax rate, but I believe it fairly balances the interests of
the city council and needs of the community.
The budget includes three areas in which spending would increase by a significant amount:
$166,000 increase for infrastructure. This is our fourth year of similar increases and brings us close to our
target of $1 million in annual new spending for roads and sidewalks compared to FY 2013.
$100,000 for the newly-created Montpelier Development Corporation. The MDC was formed by the city
council this year to promote economic development in Montpelier, and this money will allow it to hire a
full-time employee.
$39,000 in new spending for the Housing Trust Fund for a total of $60,000. These funds will be used to
further the councils goal to create new housing.
The bulk of these spending increases will be financed through the recently-passed Local Options Tax that
was approved by Montpelier voters last March. That tax is expected to raise $218,000 next year. The states
Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) are also expected to increase next year to a total of nearly $1 million.
The budget begins implementing the Community Services department plan which consolidates work between
the Senior Center, Recreation and Parks/Tree departments. This consolidation will produce a small savings next
Farewell to Assistant City
year, with greater efficiencies and improved services over time. Manager Jessie Baker
By far the largest increase in the budget is for personnel costs, which are projected to increase by nearly nyone who has had the pleasure of working with
$400,000 next year. These costs have been increasing for many years at a faster rate than our overall budget, Assistant City Manager Jessie Baker over the last four
forcing us to reduce spending in other areas. The council and manager will be working in the coming months years knows the loss we will experience when she leaves
on a plan to address these rising costs. Montpelier this month to become city manager of Winooski.
Additional budget details are available on the citys web site. Her accomplishments are too many to describe here, but
they include her key role in the completion of the district
heat plant project, the merger of our community services
departments, progress on the bike path construction, the
creation of the new Montpelier Development Corporation
and many, many others. We will miss Jessies professionalism
and can-do approach to city government.

As always, please dont hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss these or

any other issues. I can be reached at or 793-3176.

Photo by Annie Tiberio Cameron

T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 7

School Sticks To Budget, Shuns Govs Level-Funding Dictum

by Carla Occaso

MONTPELIER The Montpelier Board of School Commissioners is presenting voters Many districts used one-time revenues to hold their fiscal year 2017 spending below Act
with the budget approved at their Jan. 11 meeting. It eschews Gov. Phil Scotts request for 46 growth thresholds this will likely create problems for these districts in 2018. Further,
school budgets to be level-funded. most school boards had worked exhaustively to create their budgets for the year, had them
The bottom line is, last years approved school budget was around $18 million. This years approved and many have already sent them to the printers by the time Scott made his
proposed budget sits at roughly $20 million. request. Sterling also made the point that disparities in local education grand lists is unfair
because it varies widely and that no income sensitivity or homeowner rebate for low-income
We did not change the budget. We adopted the budget at our Jan. 18 meeting and approved Vermonters. Plus, the call for teachers to pay 20 percent of health insurance premiums
the articles for the ballot, said Michele Braun, chair of the school board recently by telephone undermines collective bargaining rights and calls for reduction in spending at the same rate
to The Bridge. I would say, the majority of the board would not support the governors level of student increase or decrease could force drastic fluctuations.
funding proposal because it would not be in the best interest of our students.
In fact, during discussion at a Dec. 14 school board meeting, way before Scott called on
school board to level fund budgets during his address Jan. 24., several commissioners said Homeowners: What Will You Have To Pay?
years of cost cutting has damaged programs and hindered student progress. According to Montpelier Public Schools Superintendent Brian Ricca during a
Braun said by phone to The Bridge that the board has asked Peter Sterling, school mid-December budget presentation, the Montpelier common level of appraisal
commissioner, to prepare a letter to the governor based on an analysis Sterling did of the has dropped two points. That happens when property sells for higher prices than
Scotts proposal. Main points include that Scotts proposal unfairly rewards high spending it is valued. The effect on property owners is that taxes would go up $81 on a
districts and penalizes those districts which spend less in 2017. home valued at $100,000, $161 for a home valued at $200,000 and $242 for a
home valued at $300,000.
Sterling put in a memo to the board, which Braun forwarded to The Bridge saying that

Nature Center Preschool To Open Full Time by Carla Occaso

MONTPELIER Families in search of a full-time preschool program will soon have a and forest offer an unparalleled classroom in which to pay careful attention to each child,
unique, high-quality child-care option just two miles from downtown Montpelier. North nurture their development and support each individuals learning process, said Preschool
Branch Nature Centers Forest Preschool, in operation since 2012 as a morning program, Director Mary Zentara. Whether scaling dinosaur rock, engineering animal dens or
will open its doors this fall as a full-time, licensed preschool. exploring the many possibilities of mud, the children take advantage of endless opportunities
Forest Preschool, Vermonts first nature center-embedded preschool, is modeled on the to build resilience, develop agency and self-efficacy, cultivate caring relationships and lay a
European style Waldkindergrten in which children spend time immersed in nature, solid foundation for a lifelong love of learning.
playing and learning in local un-landscaped areas. In the fields and forests at North Branch Forest Preschool is hosting an Open House on Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. Pre-
Nature Center, Forest Preschoolers spend the majority of their hours learning through free registration for the 21072018 school year is currently open. To request a form or learn more
play in and with nature, following their curiosity and engaging all their senses to allow for about the program call 229-6206, visit, or stop by in
meaningful learning and connection to place. person at 713 Elm St.
When temperatures begin to fall in December, the centers newly renovated barn (now called
The Swallows Nest), with its panoramic views of the meadow, offers a cozy space for songs,
stories, meals and rest. Otherwise, the children are bundled and layered appropriately, ready
for dynamic movement and learning opportunities outside.
Forest Preschool empowers children to be active in their own learning process. The fields
PAG E 8 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Heroin Busts On The Rise Police Also Urge Treatment

by Carla Occaso

WASHINGTON COUNTY Curbing drug addiction is a priority among legislators and law of selling hard drugs and one with a federal weapons offense. Six are under 30-years-old. Five are
enforcement, nevertheless it is on the rise. So law enforcement is fighting back with both arrests and from Barre City or Barre Town.
offers of help. Involved in arrests were Middlesex State Police Barracks, Barre City Police Department, Barre Town
From Local Police: Police Department, Montpelier Police Department, Vergennes Police Department, State of Vermont
I would say in general there is more heroin now than there has ever been, said Barre City Police Department of Children and Families, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Chief Timothy Bombardier in a recent phone conversation with The Bridge. Opiate addiction, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
especially heroin, is making an impact all over Central Vermont (and beyond). The Bridge contacted Vermont is a consumer state, not a source state, Merrigan pointed out. Large quantities of heroin
Bombardier after a flurry of reports of heroin busts following lengthy investigations and sweeps in and cocaine come in from Mexico and South America and arrive first in New York City, eastern
several towns (including Barre). Massachusetts and Connecticut to be distributed throughout New England. The problem in
Bombardier pointed out that if youve had your car rifled through for petty change or are paying neighboring states of New Hampshire, Upstate New York and Maine is just as bad, but Vermont
higher prices at stores youve been touched by it. The situation is so prevalent, Bombardier says, has gotten a reputation possibly because its population is so small that the problem stands out by
that most likely everyone has a friend, or the child of a friend, relative or coworker suffering from comparison.
addiction and still using possibly selling heroin. Almost all our heroin is brought in by out of state sources. There is a relative
handful of people that are doing this (roughly 200 to 300). Those are the people
Everybody is at some point affected by drugs in Vermont either directly or
indirectly, Bombardier said, adding, Not what people want to hear, but you Everybody is at responsible for the big amounts. But it is Vermonters who are trafficking it,

some point affected

need to look at the big picture. The recent arrests in Barre were not for those Merrigan said.
who were just using, it was for selling, and in one case, a federal gun crime. People who are selling opiates to sustain their own habit are what Merrigan calls
Therefore, while arrests for drug sales are on the rise, police urge addicted users by drugs in Vermont the middle tier in the drug distribution system. It works almost like a pyramid

either directly or
who need help to seek it without fear of getting arrested. scheme, in which dealers have to find more and more people to sell to in order
Both Montpelier and Barre police departments are involved in a program called to get enough for their own habit free. An average addict uses around 6 to 10
Operation Safe Catch, a joining of forces among local, state and federal law indirectly. bags a day, or 70 per week, at $10 per bag costs $700 per week. To afford that,
a person would have to sell about 100 to 200 bags to get 70 for free. The profit
enforcement agencies along with mental health organizations. Barre City is also
only one of three communities with a social worker on duty. That person reaches - Barre City Police Chief margin is between 500 and 700 percent, depending on your street credibility.
out to people with addiction, mental health issues and people who are down Timothy Bombardier Then, on the bottom tier of distribution, Merrigan describes the street-level
on their luck. junkie going from injection to injection constantly dope sick because they
From the Montpelier Police Department website: Operation Safe Catch remains in effect in dont have any money. Young people may be turning to heroin to begin with because it is much easier
Montpelier. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, or you yourself are, please come to get than a six pack of beer if you are under 21.
to us and we will get you to treatment, not into trouble. We have such high demand because there are lots of addicts. The only way to be able to afford it
Bombardier went into detail saying if you walk through the front door (of the police department) is to sell drugs. It is tough to hold down a job if you are addicted to heroin, Merrigan said. In the
and if youve got paraphernalia and drugs on you ... weve got a place where you throw it away. And past we didnt always draw the correlations. It is not the out-of-staters who are making it worse. It is
we can get you help. us. It is Vermonters. It is that mid-level tier who have historically been characterized as victims.
They are not.
But if you are dealing, building up a client base and actively participating in a distribution network,
then law enforcement is on your tail. So, Bombardier said, if you are one of those people who come to Those middle level local dealers befriend the large out of state dealers, provide housing, introduce
a town with thousands of dollars worth of heroin and are making contacts with locals, you probably them to friends potential customers and drive them around in order to get a discount on drugs.
need to go to jail. Bombardiers Barre City Police Department is working closely with The Vermont People start using and selling usually from ages 16 to 17 up to 60.
State Police Drug Task Force and other agencies to investigate and bust dealers. Despite all that, if there is any good news in this story, it is that, so far, heroin doesnt seem to have
From State Police: gotten a foothold in schools, unless it is extremely well hidden. Although the situation sounds dire,
Merrigan said authorities are doing a good job and he believes the problem is solvable. Youll see a
Recently, most of the actively working drug dealers are local Vermonters rather than the large out-of- lot of arrest operations over the next few months. The sheer numbers are staggering.
state dealers who typically take blame. And things are getting worse.
From a Former Addict:
There is more heroin today than there was six months ago and there will be more six months from
now, said Captain John Merrigan, commander of Special Investigations with the Vermont State The Bridge talked to one former user, who said he started at age 19. His intimate partner offered
Police by phone to The Bridge Feb. 6. Merrigan said he has been with the state police for 18 years it to him and said, Its not that bad. People exaggerate, and slyly snagged a new customer. The
nearly entirely within that unit. former user said he was addicted for four months, did immoral things to get his fixes, but then
forced himself to quit. He said it was a tortuous few days of physical withdrawals followed by weeks
It is important for people to know that if you have a loved one who is suffering from this a heroin of bad feelings over what he did to get the drugs. Specifically, asking relatives for money under false
addict is more likely than not involved in the distribution. That is what is perpetuating our problem. pretenses, stealing change and squeegeeing to make money. Also, he literally stole food from a baby.
If we have x number of addicts, then they need to sell it. People need to know that. Most likely your
loved one this kid you see as an addict is very likely involved in heroin trafficking, Merrigan From the Mother of an addict:
said, adding, No family is immune. It touches all socioeconomic groups, towns, areas and The Bridge talked to the mother of a current opiate addict and learned she feels nearly hopeless. There
chances are someone you care about is a dealer. needs to be more rehabs. There needs to be longer term rehabs, said Lorelei Lissor, the mother of
Some towns get bad raps, but drug sales go beyond borders. Lately, investigators are rounding up an addict who has been in and out of jail for crimes related to his drug use since age 15. He is now
larger groups of mid-level Vermont-based dealers and publicizing it (recently 26 in Orleans County, 32. His opiate addiction was not to heroin, but to Oxycontin. She said he has been to every rehab
10 in Bennington County and eight in Rutland). Washington County just got swept as well. program in the state, but inevitably succumbs to addiction again. The last time he went I honestly
Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3, the Vermont Drug Task Force rounded up seven individuals: six accused had some hope, but..hes back in jail, she said. I know they have to do it themselves. They have to
do it themselves. Clinics are fine and good, but I dont believe that is the answer for everyone. When
I saw Maple Leaf had closed, I was like, No way. (Maple Leaf Treatment Center, one of Vermonts
three residential addiction treatment facilities, closed its doors suddenly on Feb. 9).
Editors note: Part of this story ran previously on The Bridge website:
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 9

No Tow? Heed Parking Ban Notices!
MONTPELIER If you dont want to get towed from a street in Montpelier, pay attention to the parking ban. According to City
Manager Bill Fraser Feb. 14, this is the third year implementing a parking ban that only goes into effect just before, during and after
actual snowfall. In previous years, the winter parking ban called for cars to be banned from city streets all winter long from mid-
November through mid-April.
However, for the last three years, cars have been allowed to park on city streets unless the winter ban goes into effect. If your car is out on
the street during a snowstorm, expect to go pick it up at Bobs Sunoco the next day. However, towing cars is the worst case scenario, said
Fraser. City officials would much rather prevent people from parking out on city streets and are continuing to improve communications
between themselves and car owners.
Fraser also wants residents to know the ban continues after the storm so the Department of Public Works can get rid of the snow
especially after large blizzards which can sometimes take days. We will let you park out on the street except when we need to be out
plowing and removing snow. Nobody wants to be towing 50 cars, Fraser said. The city rented two big flashing highway signs this year to
increase parking ban alert communications at street level. The ban is also announced on Front Porch Forum, the Montpelier city website: and the city Facebook page:

Police Chief Facos Joins Montpelier Rotary

MONTPELIER Police Chief Anthony Facos has joined the
Montpelier chapter of the Rotary Club. Rotarian Joe Choquette
said, As a Rotarian, the world will judge Rotary by your conduct
and regular attendance to weekly meetings. Facos is a Montpelier
native and a graduate of Norwich University with a masters degree.
He was also a champion on the ski team at Montpelier High School
and Norwich University. Facos joined the Montpelier Police Force
in 1985 and became chief in 2007.

Like The Bridge on


LR: Chief Tony Facos, Joe Choquette and Follow The Bridge
Rotary President Sue Kruthers on Twitter:

A Preview Of Ballot Articles

MONTPELIER The following are items to be voted on by ARTICLE 10. Shall the voters authorize the City Council
Montpelier registered voters Tuesday, March 7 at City Hall on Main to borrow a sum of money not to exceed $3.9 million for the
Street: reconstruction of Northfield Street? Work will include engineering
ARTICLES 1 and 2 are candidate elections. and construction of a new water distribution system in the amount
of approximately $1.6 million a new sewer collection system in the
ARTICLE 3. Shall the voters appropriate the sum of $8,762,272 for amount of approximately $1.2 million and roadway, sidewalk and
the payment of debts and current expenses of the City for carrying bicycle facility improvements in the amount of approximately $1.1
out any of the purposes of the Charter, plus payment of all state million. Final estimates will be completed prior to town meeting
and county taxes and obligations imposed upon the City by law to day. If approved, bonds for these capital items would be issued for
finance the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018? (Requested by a term of 20 years, approximately $89,500 would be required for
the City Council) the first year interest payment and approximately $305,941 for the
ARTICLE 4. Shall the voters of the school system approve the second year principal and interest payment and future payments
school board to expend $20,019,297 which is the amount the school declining each year as the principal is repaid. Payments would be
board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year? It split respectively between the water, sewer and general funds. State
is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in infrastructure financing would be utilized for reduced interest
education spending of $15,846 per equalized pupil. This projected rates with anticipated loan forgiveness on some components of
spending per equalized pupil is 5.5% higher than spending for the engineering services. (Requested by the City Council)
current year. (Local budget of $19,405,000 plus grant budget of ARTICLE 11. Shall the voters authorize the City to levy a special
$614,297, for a total school budget of $20,019,297.) (Requested by assessment of $0.0515 per $100 of appraisal value on properties
the School Board) within Montpeliers Designated Downtown not used entirely
ARTICLE 5. Shall the voters of the Central Vermont Public Safety for residential purposes? The assessment shall be apportioned
Authority appropriate the sum of $100,000 ($53,000 from Barre according to the listed value of such properties except that the
City and $47,000 from the City of Montpelier) for the operating assessment for any property also used for residential purposes shall
budget of the CVPSA for fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018? be reduced by the proportion that heated residential floor space
(Requested by Central Vermont Public Safety Authority) bears to heated floor space for such property. Funds raised by the
assessment shall be used to improve the downtown streetscape and
ARTICLE 6. Shall the voters appropriate the sum of $3,000 as
to market the downtown. (Requested by the City Council)
compensation to the Mayor for services for the fiscal year July 1, 2017
to June 30, 2018? (Requested by the City Council) ARTICLE 12. Shall the voters appropriate the sum of $330,633 to
be used by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for the fiscal year July 1,
ARTICLE 7. Shall the voters appropriate the sum of $7,200 ($1,200
2017 to June 30, 2018? (This amount is in addition to the $29,252
each) as compensation to the Council Members for their services for
for the library bond payment included in the City General Fund
the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018? (Requested by the City
Budget, ARTICLE 3) (By Petition)
ARTICLE 13. Shall the Voters appropriate the sum of $20,000
ARTICLE 8. Shall the voters appropriate the sum of $7,300
to be used by Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice for the
(Chair $1,300; others $1,000 each) as compensation to the School
fiscal year July 1, 2017-June 20, 2018? (By Petition)
Commissioners for their services for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to
June 30, 2018? (Requested by the School Board) ARTICLE 14. Shall the agreement between the City of Montpelier
and William J. Fraser, its City Manager, be renewed effective
ARTICLE 9. Shall the voters authorize the Board of School
March 12, 2017? (By Petition)
Commissioners to hold any audited fund balance as of June 30,
2017 in a reserve (restricted) fund to be expended under the ARTICLE 15. Be it hereby resolved that the City of Montpelier
control and direction of the Board of School Commissioners for the names the late David Budbill as "The People's Poet of Vermont.
purpose of operating the school? (Requested by the School Board) (Requested by the City Council)
PAG E 10 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Michael Arnowitt Will Perform in a Farewell Concert

by Nat Frothingham

MONTPELIER Michael Arnowitt who Montpelier community responded.

has been a musical force in Montpelier and In May 2016 more than 20 years after the
Central Vermont for 32 years as a classical Bosnian relief concert Arnowitt and others
pianist, jazz performer and arts organizer is organized another benefit concert this time
leaving Montpelier and moving to Ann Arbor, to benefit Syrian refugees. That was a little
Michigan. different, Arnowitt said as he compared the
In an email message of a few days ago and in May 2016 concert to the 1990s Bosnian relief
a subsequent phone call, Arnowitt confirmed event.
his decision to leave Montpelier. For the Syrian refugees, I wanted to present a
Its true, he wrote in his message, I am program of Syrian music and Syrian readings.
relocating to Ann Arbor, Michigan, not for a We only hear bad things about the country
position of my own, but because my girlfriend (meaning Syria), Arnowitt said.
(Therisa Rogers) found a job in the Detroit Photo by Jim Lowe But he believed strongly in celebrating Syrian
area. culture with readings of short stories, plays,
Arnowitt said that hes begun his move to Ann Arbor in stages. But he wants to keep coming poetry, along with religious and secular music. The benefit concert for Syrian refugees included
back to Montpelier and Vermont and hopes to keep his house here, rent it out and perhaps, 27 local performers.
as he wrote, use it as a foothold so I can come back to perform in the future in Vermont and In all the years that Arnowitt lived and worked in Montpelier, the largest project he undertook
New England. was the Vermont Millennium Music Festival at the dawning of the 21st century. The idea of
In saying goodbye, Arnowitt will be playing Chopins 24 Preludes and will conclude the the festival was to trace the progress and development of music from the year 1000 to the year
concert by playing Chopins Barcarolle (or boat song) that he described as a lovely piece of 2000.
sunshine evoking the atmosphere of Venice. That farewell concert is set for Sunday Afternoon, Arnowitt remembers the sheer size of the endeavor. It was Catherine Orrs idea originally, he
March 5 at 3 p.m. at Montpelier High Schools Smilie Auditorium. said of the big concept of celebrating 1,000 years of great music. But once the idea was in the
Many people in Central Vermont know Arnowitt as a classical music pianist. And many others air, Arnowitt refused to let it go.
remember his deep involvement in all kinds of music-making across the 32 years he has lived We had 24 concerts, said Arnowitt 24 concerts over a four-day period with 400 people
in Montpelier. performing in one way or another.
Early in his time in Central Vermont, Arnowitt organized performances of two of Johann It was a big, big effort. People came from other states. It was great, great fun for me. It showed
Sebastian Bachs greatest choral works Bachs B Minor Mass in 1988 and Bachs great St. the progress of how much changed over 1,000 years.
John's Passion in 1991. Arnowitt brought together the singers and musicians and conducted
the orchestra and chorus. These musical efforts, large and small, go forward, then come to an end. But as Arnowitt
remarked, the memory of these events stays with us. Arnowitt said that once in a great while
Living here, you can pull off these projects, he said. he will get a letter from someone, like a member of the chorus who sang in one of Bachs great
When asked to name some of the other major musical events from his time in Montpelier, oratorios, and the letter-writer cherishes a lively memory of having participated.
Arnowitt spoke about two concerts he had a hand in organizing. Toward the end of our phone conversation, Arnowitt said about Montpelier and Central
In the 1990s, he said, we did a memorable concert for Bosnian War refugees at the Unitarian Vermont, Without doubt, this is a special community and its been my good fortune to have
Church and we raised $10,000 in one concert. been part of it for the last 30 years.
But the benefit concert was just part of a community-wide Bosnian relief effort. We had Im 54 now, he said via phone. I feel Im still young enough to add another chapter to my life.
schoolchildren making first aid kits that were sent over, he said. In the days just before the Tickets for the Michael Arnowitts farewell concert on March 5 at Montpelier High Schools Smilie
big benefit concert, Arnowitt recalls, My phone was ringing, ringing, ringing. People wanted Auditorium at $20 apiece (students are free) are available in advance at Bear Pond Books (cash or
to help. It was the greatest humanitarian cause I was involved with, he said about how the checks only) and at the door on the afternoon of the performance.
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 11

Late Poet David Budbill To Be Honored

by Nat Frothingham

riends and admirers of Vermont poet Although Budbill many times was nominated
David Budbill who died at his Montpelier Photo David Budbill by Steve Solberg for the honor of Vermont Poet Laureate, he was
home on Sept. 25, 2016 are continuing to nonetheless never named to that position. But
remember and honor him. his many admirers have found a way to give
Even with his passing, his friends and admirers him posthumous recognition.
are finding fresh way to give Budbill recognition This spring, Lost Nation Theater will present
as a poet and appreciate him for the man he its third production of Budbills Judevine
was. which will open on Thursday, April 20 and
Andrea Stander who is one of Budbills many close on Sunday, May 7.
friends, saw in his spare and discerning poetry In a statement supporting the House-Senate
a voice that epitomizes Vermont. Stander said, resolution honoring Budbill, Lost Nation
He wrote about people and about things that Founding Artistic Director Kim Bent
Vermont can relate to. characterized Budbills many accomplishments.
In recent days Budbill has found fresh public Said Bent,
recognition from the wide range of people he I am proud to support todays resolution recognizing
touched with his poetic voice. David Budbills life-long accomplishments as a
Again as Stander said, The Town of Wolcott playwright and poet, a writer who captured the
where David and his wife Lois and family lived essential nature of our Vermont people. The iconic
for some 45 years will be dedicating this years characters he created in his poems and plays will
Town Report to him. And a moving tribute to Budbill in a concurrent Vermont House and live forever as true embodiments of our independence, self-reliance, resilience, hard work, frugality,
Senate resolution recalls his life in Vermont and his high professional achievements as a poet. common sense and cryptic wisdom.
Parts of that tribute include the following sentiments. Turning to the upcoming April production of Budbills Judevine, Bent continued.
Whereas, for 45 years, the multi-genre writer David Budbill resided in Wolcott where he found In April of this year, Lost Nation Theater will present its third production of Budbills play
an ideal homestead, and Whereas, a critic, reviewing David Budbills poetry collection, Judevine, Judevine, and I invite all legislators to attend. Like this resolution today, it will be a fitting way
described the volume as containing some of the most direct and clear-eyed poems of the half- to celebrate Davids life, his work and his memory.
century and compared the author favorably to Walt Whitman and Robert Frost, and Andrea Stander reflected on a Budbill poem that was offered to the Vermont House as part of a
Whereas, he soon chose the rural setting of Wolcott where he constructed a home, labored on devotional by another Vermont poet Geoff Hewitt on the day that Budbill was honored by the
a Christmas tree farm, tended a large vegetable garden, and pursued a notable literary career concurrent House-Senate resolution.
featuring the publication of 10 poetry books, seven plays, two novels, a short story collection, two Hewitt read two of Budbills poems. But it was Budbills poem Bugs in a Bowl that Stander
picture books for children and an opera libretto A Fleeting Animal: An Opera From Judevine, said resonated for me.
with composer Erik Nielsen.
Bugs in a Bowl
Whereas, he championed racial and economic justice as a writer and a citizen, and Whereas,
David Budbill was the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors, and Whereas, although Han Shan, that great and crazy, wonder-filled Chinese poet of a thousand years ago, said:
never named as the Vermont Poet Laureate, colleagues who have held this title wrote of David We're just like bugs in a bowl. All day going around never leaving their bowl.
Budbill in the most glowing and laudatory terms, signifying they considered him a professional I say, That's right! Every day climbing up
peer the steep sides, sliding back.
Over and over again. Around and around.
Up and back down.
Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
Photo David Budbill by Lois Eby cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.
Or. Look around. See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.
Say, Hey, how you doin'?
Say, Nice Bowl!
PAG E 12 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

On the Road: (F)LA Law

by Larry Floersch

o I was lying awake the other night thinking about up housing thousands of other states crazy dumb people.
that whole red-shift/blue-shift thing in the curvilinear I myself have personally witnessed one of these crazy dumb people on Interstate 95 near Ft.
four-dimensional space-time continuum when Lauderdale. He passed me at more than 75 miles an hour in his Ford Econoline while READING
it dawned on me that Vermont must not have enough A BOOK, which he was holding with his two hands, and STEERING WITH HIS BARE FEET!
attorneys. Now, I know what youre thinking: But Of course, that is nowhere near as saucy a story as the one from Brother Dave of a woman who
Lare, you didnt have to ponder Minkowski crashed her car on the Overseas Highway in the Keys while giving herself a bikini shave (she told
spacetime to figure that out. You could have the investigating officer she was going to visit her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to look her
used plain old Euclidean geometry. And youd best). This happened while she was managing the accelerator and brake and her EX-HUSBAND
be right, except that I needed to take into my was steering the car for her from the passenger seat. A classic case of double distracted driving in
calculations my geographic location, which which everyone involved was focused on one thing.
throws relativity into the mix.
Now Im not implying that the attorneys here in Florida are crazy dumb (although there was that
I came to this conclusion because each day I watch TV during the evening news hour. Back home guy back in my college days in Florida who was very proud that he was graduating LAST in his
in Vermont the advertisements separating the depressing news stories of the day often are themselves law school class). I know many attorneys, and they are good people. I even know a couple of real
depressing, focusing mostly on psoriasis, dry eyes, colds, flu, shingles, diabetes, insomnia, cancer, judges (as opposed to so-called judges). Judges are just like attorneys except they actually know
heart disease, stroke and, one that looms large in everyones life, irregularity. Not exactly something what all those Latin phrases used in law really mean, such as one that is particularly relevant today
to raise your spirits on a dark winter night. for obvious reasons, ipse dixit.
Here in Florida, when you watch the news you are greeted with ad after ad for law firms and I think the peninsula effect has created a situation where attorneys come down to Florida just like
attorneys. These ads are upbeat, with real attorneys not actors portraying attorneys, mind you! regular people, to check it out, play some golf with other attorneys, and take the kids to the beach
promising to secure justice and win you caboodles of money for injuries or losses suffered in auto or Disney/Universal Studios. But as we all know, when the number of attorneys reaches a critical
collisions, at the hands of large corporations, through medical malpractice, or from infringement of mass (WARNING: Cover the eyes of any young children in the room), they begin to LITIGATE.
copyrights or patents. And many of these ads promise that you pay nothing unless they win your And once they start litigating, it becomes an unstoppable chain reaction. They must litigate like
case. Its like a lottery in which you can become somewhat rich (after the attorney fees), the only rabbits down here. And that just attracts more attorneys eager to enjoy the pleasures of litigation.
difference being that instead of buying a lottery ticket, you have to go out and get hit by a car, or,
while sitting in your own car in front of a fast food restaurant, you have to spill scalding hot coffee Of course, there may be an alternative explanation (not to be confused with alternative facts of
in your crotch. recent fame). It may be that all these crazy dumb people down here need all these attorneys because
they so frequently crash their cars while reading, shaving and staring at billboards, such as one on
The ads are not just on TV. There are also attorney ads in newspapers, magazines and on the Interstate 75 near Micanopy that announces Caf Risque. We Bare All. Open 24 Hours. Truck
radio. There are even ads on billboards, which, for those of you Vermonters born after 1968, are Parking. Adult Toys. Exit 374. That one certainly caught MY eye!
large structures erected along the highways on which advertisements are displayed that divert your
attention just long enough to cause a crash that will get you into the lawsuit lottery. Come to think of it, because we have no billboards and the cold winters keep a lot of the crazy
dumb people who visit from staying, maybe Vermont has just the right number of attorneys after
The reason there are so many ads for attorneys here in Florida is because there are so many attorneys all. And maybe a Megabucks ticket and worrying about irregularity during the evening news is all
here in Florida. Ive been thinking about how it got that way, and I think I chalk it up to a theory I need.
similar to one put forth by fellow columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald in his book Best.
State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (G.P. Putnams Sons, 2016). Brother Daves
theory focuses on why there are so many crazy dumb people in Florida. According to Barry,
thousands of out-of-state people crowd down into Florida every day. Once theyve looked around,
the smart ones realize it is a peninsula, that is, a dead end, and eventually make their way back north
from whence they came. The crazy dumb ones cant figure that out and just stay, and Florida ends

Did You Know?

The issue The Bridge publishes on the third Thursday
of each month is mailed to every 05602 residence.
Advertise in The Bridge:
249-8666 or
223-5112 ext. 11 or

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T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 13

Green Up Day:
Student Contest Winners;
Support on State Tax Return
MONTPELIER Green Up Vermont announced winners in its annual student poster
design contest for Green Up Day 2017. The winning art entry for the promotional poster was
designed by Hope Petraro, Grade 9, of Montpelier. She painted a vibrant, warm sun setting
on a lovely Vermont lake. Hope said, I wanted to do something that would stand out and
show the beauty of Vermont; would be colorful but realistic; have trees, which are important;
have sensitive colors like peaches softly blending. I chose a bigger font for VERMONT
because its the beauty, and then theres GREEN UP, smaller but important for taking care
of it. Hope cares very much about the environment and taking care of it; she is actively
involved with other students to this end. She feels that the Green Up ethic aligns well with
her personally, her core values.
Winners were also chosen for recognition in three grade categories: K4 won by second
grader Misha Chirkov of Newbury; 58 won by Graciana Maier of Sunderland; 912 won
by Perin Patel of Bennington, grade 11, Mt. Anthony Union High School.
To view all the winning poster designs visit Hopes design will be
featured on the official 2017 Green Up Day poster. Posters distributed statewide in April help
promote participation in Green Up Day, May 6. Hope received $250 for her winning design,
and the grade category winners received $50 each.
Green Up Day is on its way! Always the first Saturday in May, Green Up Day will mark
47 years on May 6. Thousands of volunteers will take part in cleaning their communities
roadsides, public places and waterways. Vermont was the first state in the nation to designate
one special day for cleaning the entire state. Visit the Green Up website to find out who your
town coordinator is and where to pick up the green Green Up Day trash bags and learn your
towns plan for proper disposal.
Green Up Vermont is the charitable non-profit organization responsible for continuing
Vermonts Green Up Day tradition. There is still time to donate on to Green Up on the
Vermont State Income Tax Form, line 29. If taxes already filed, donations can be made
securely online anytime at

The winning Green Up Vermont poster painted by Hope Pertraro, grade 9, of Montpelier.
Got a news tip? We want to know!
Send it to us at:

Thank you
for reading
The Bridge!
PAG E 14 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Calendar of Events
Community Events
Book Signing & Presentation: Old Wheelways.
Join Velo Vermont Vintage for an evening of SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 Learning about Nonviolence: Childrens March
of 1963. Explore the planning and implementation
books, photos, vintage bikes and celebrate the joy Morning Garden Parent/Child Class Begins. of the Childrens March of 1963 in Birmingham,
of riding in the country. The book describes the New 10-week class, Saturdays 911 am. Share a AL. Participants of all ages will explore Kingian
first long-distance rides and adventurous tours rhythmic morning in a home-like setting in our Nonviolence (and more) through discussion and
Events happening by bike. 6:30 p.m. Onion River Sports, Langdon Early Childhood Farmhouse. Songs and stories, song. 10:3011:30 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library,
time to share questions and ideas about your
February 16 to March 4 St., Montpelier.
events/1059408090849268/ growing children, and outside time on our beautiful
campus. For beginning walkers up to age 3, with a Don't Quit Your Day Job: A Working Writers
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Film: A Tribute to David Budbill. Thanks to a
small group of David Budbills friends, including
caregiver. Orchard Valley Waldorf School, Rt. 14,
E. Montpelier. Register: 456-7400, lynn.n@ovws.
Workshop. Ryan Kriger and Christy Mihaly will
present a workshop for educators, librarians, and
The New Community Project with Pete Antos- poet Jody Gladding, poetry organizer Lisa von other book-loving folk who might be thinking, or
Ketcham. Learn how NCP uses Sustainable Kann, and painter Susan Walp, a sold-out tribute dreaming, about writing more seriously. 11 a.m.
Living Centers to promote energy efficiency, to one of Vermonts most beloved poets and Orchard Valley Waldorf School Early Childhood noon. Bear Pond Books, 77 Main St., Montpelier.
eco-building principles, sustainable transportation. playwrights took place on June 13, 2016 just Open House. Childcare for ages 6 weeks to 3 years. Free. 229-0774,, www.
68 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., three months before David died. The tribute Orchard Valleys Little Lambs Childcare Center,
Montpelier. 223-3338 which features a dozen poets, actors, and friends 203 Country Club Rd., Montpelier. enrollment@ or 456-7400 GED Testing. The GED is widely accepted high-
What Are You Really Practicing? Exploring reading Davids poetry, plays, and essays was
school-equivalency credential for adults who did not
the many different approaches to mindfulness hosted by Montpeliers Lost Nation Theater and Capital City Farmers Market. Fresh meat graduate from high school. 11 a.m. Barre Learning
and the variety of world views, experiences, and filmed by Susan Bettmann. Join David Budbills and produce, artisan bread and cheese, hot Center, 26 Washington St., Barre. 476-4588
relationships to nature, the body and being that daughter and literary executor, Nadine Budbill, and food and crafts. 10 a.m.2 p.m. New location:
they cultivate. 67:30 p.m. Free. Hunger Mountain videographer, Susan Bettmann, to view the film of City Center, 89 Main St., Montpelier. www. Vegetarian Dinner and Slide Presentation. Learn
Coop, Montpelier. the tribute, followed by refreshments and sharing. 7 about and see amazing photos of Vermonts majestic
p.m. Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. moose. With Alison Thomas of the VT Fish &
Pacem School Showcase of the Arts. No Strings Wildlife Dept. 6 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main
Marionette Company student puppet show, St., Montpelier. Dinner $15; slide presentation is
student art and talent, fabulous desserts! 68 p.m. Painting by Glen Coburn Hutcheson on display at The Front Gallery through March 11 as part of
SHOW 15 . The Front is located at 6 Barre St., Montpelier. free. Dinner tickets:
32 College St (Schulmaier Hall), Montpelier.
Free. 223-1010. www. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Natural Marshfield: Medicinal Uses of Invasive Snowshoe Duxbury with Green Mountain
Plants. Betsy Bancroft, VCIH Herbalist, will talk Club. Moderate. 6 miles. Montclair Glen Lodge.
about the medicinal uses of invasive plants. 7 p.m Snowshoe from the winter parking lot via the
Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. Monroe and Dean Trails past the Beaver Pond
426-3581. to the recently renovated lodge. Contact Michael
Chernick, 249-0520 or for
meeting times and place.
Recycling with Coca-Cola. Ray Dube,
Sustainability Manager for Coca-Cola of MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Northern New England, will discuss Coca-Colas Orchard Valley Waldorf School Early Childhood
Sustainability Program and its remarkable 96% Open House. Programs for ages 2.56. 46 p.m.
recycling rate. 12:301:15 p.m. Montpelier Senior Childs Garden in Montpelier, 155 Northfield St.,
Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Free; open Montpelier. or 456-7400.
to the public. 223-2518
Orchard Valley Waldorf School Early Childhood
Open House. Mixed-age kindergartens and Farm
& Forest Kindergarten, ages 3.56. 46 p.m.
For more event listings OVWS East Montpelier Main Campus, 2290 VT
Rt. 14N, East Montpelier. or
and event details visit 456-7400. Pacem School Open House. Learn about our

programs for full-time students and homeschoolers
in 5th12th grades. Meet current faculty, students,

Performing Arts
Feb. 18: Spiritual Storytelling. Listen to renowned storytellers
Burr Morse and Nona Estrin. Audience participation is invited by AUDITIONS
drawing names from the hat, or simply relax in the beauty of this Feb. 22: Mini Mud Variety Show. For youngsters ages
historic landmark building. 7 p.m.; potluck precedes at 6 p.m. The 618. Prospective performers are invited to bring a vocal or
Old Meeting House, 1620 Center Rd., E. Montpelier. Free. 249-
instrumental musical offering, a dance, skit or magic trick, juggling,
special drama piece or any another special talent to share, and
STORYTELLING, COMEDY Feb. 18: CD&FS Dance Performance. Diverse selection of dance are encouraged to get together in groups or ensembles, even with
performed by Teen Jazz, our only auditioned group, led by director original music or choreography. Acts should be well-rehearsed and
Feb. 17: PBS Kids Splash and Bubbles! Join us at Catamount and choreographer, Amia Cervantes. Performance followed by Q no more than three minutes in length. The performance will be held
Arts and watch Splash and Bubbles adventure the sea together! & A. Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio 18 Langdon St. on March 25. Contact Janet Watton at
9:3010:30 a.m. 115 Eastern Ave., St. Johnsbury. Free. 748-2600 Montpelier. $10 adults; $5 kids benefits Teen Jazz trip to NYC. or 728-9402 to sign up for an audition time during the afternoon
229-4676 of Feb. 22.
Feb. 17: 1st Annual Brew Haha. Featuring Justin Lander & Rose
Friedman from Modern Times Theater, creative improv with JSC Feb. 24: Bueno Comedy Showcase. A wide range of talented
Send your event listing to
theater students, Cheesecake Pirates, music with Lesley Grant and standup comics, from here and away, working longer sets. 8:30 p.m.
stand up comedy. 5:307:30 p.m. River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Espresso Bueno, 248 N. Main St., Barre. $6. 479-0896. events@ Deadline for print in the next issue
Morrisville. $10. is February 23.
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 15

Calendar of Events
Live Music
Reid, viola, and Evan Premo, bass. 7 p.m. Montpelier
Vermont Virtuosi presents New Beginnings on High School Auditorium, 5 High School Dr.,
March 4 at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier. Montpelier. Free; open to the public.
L-R, Emily Taubl, Laurel Ann Maurer, Karen Luttik Feb. 18: Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul
and Paul Orgel. Band. This octet blends Memphis soul and new
VENUES school R&B that aims right for your heart and soul.
7:30 p.m. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, 122
Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. Open mic every
Hourglass Dr., Stowe. $2035. 760-4634. www.
Wed. Other shows T.B.A.
Feb. 16: Red Clay Montpelier Jazz H.S. Band (high
energy jazz) 68 p.m. Feb. 22: Kingdom All-Stars. The Kingdom All-Stars
Feb. 17: Dave Loughran (acoustic classic rock) 68 present the evolution of rock music from its roots in
p.m. blues, R&B, gospel and country music. 10:3011:30
Feb. 18: Irish Session, 2 5 p.m. a.m. Fuller Hall, 1000 Main St., St. Johnsbury. $4.
Feb. 19: Bleecker & MacDougal (folk ballads) 11 748-2600.
a.m.1 p.m. Feb 25: Sally Olsons Carpenters Tribute Concert.
Feb. 21: Old Time Music Session, 68 p.m. Starring Sally Olson and her all-star band, the
6-8pm. Carpenters Tribute Concert is the definitive
Feb. 23: Italian Session, 68 p.m. show celebrating the music and history of the
Feb. 24: Squirrels Crackers (Cajun) 68 p.m. famed brother-sister duo. 7:30 p.m. . Spruce Peak
Feb. 25: Irish Session, 25 p.m. Performing Arts Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Stowe.
Feb. 26: Southern Old Time Music Jam, 10 a.m.1 $20 advance; $25 after 5 p.m. day of show. 760-
p.m. 4634.
Feb. 28: Moulton & Whipple, The Frozen Finger
Boys, 68 p.m. Feb. 26: Bach: Motets and Flute Sonatas. With
Karen Kevra, flute, Mary Jane Austin, harpsichord,
Charlie Os World Famous. 70 Main St., and John Dunlop, cello. 3 p.m. Unitarian Church,
Espresso Bueno. 248 N. Main St., Barre. 479-0896. Feb. 24: Nerbak Brothers (rock/blues)
Montpelier. Free. 223-6820. 130 Main St., Montpelier. Tickets available at the
Free/by donation unless otherwise noted. events@ Feb. 25: Stovepipe Mtn. Band (blues/Americana)
Every Mon.: Comedy Caf Open Mic, 8:30 p.m. door. Adults $20, seniors $15, students and limited March 2: Bakan Mind Meld (klezmer)
Every Tues.: Godfather Karaoke, 9:30 p.m. means $5.
Feb. 18: My Mothers Moustache (strange folk) 7 March 3: Thea Wren (singer/songwriter)
Feb. 17: Joe Sabourin (acoustic) 6 p.m.; Zeus p.m.; Belle of the Fall (indie folk) 8 p.m. March 4: Barn Band (Americana/folk/rock) March 4: Vermont Virtuosi: New Beginnings.
Springsteen (rock) 9 p.m. Music that illustrates how five composers have found
Feb. 18: Comedy Open Mic 6 p.m.; Tsunamibots,
The Martians (surf punk) 9 p.m.
Whammy Bar. 7 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 7:30 p.m. 31
County Rd., Calais. Thurs., Free. SPECIAL EVENTS fresh approaches to their creative process. Clarinetist
Karen Luttik, cellist Emily Taubl, and pianist Paul
Feb. 24: J&M Boutique (acoustic) 6 p.m.; The Every Wed.: Open Mic Feb. 16: Opus 2 - Montpelier Student Composition Orgel will join flutist and artistic director Laurel Ann
Pilgrims, Phil Yates & Affiliates (alt-indie) 9 p.m. Feb. 16: Full Of Trees (singer/songwriter) Concert. Musical works composed by Montpelier Maurer. 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St.,
Feb. 25: Comedy Open Mic 6 p.m.; Feb. 17: Shape and Color Trio (jazz) Public Schools middle and high school students will Montpelier. $10 suggested donation. 881-9153. www.
Nechromancer (electronic metal) Feb. 18: Bob Dylan Wannabe winners be premiered by MHS students as well as Hilary
Feb. 23: El*vis Camino (early rock and roll) Goldblatt, flute, Margaret Roddy, clarinet, Elizabeth

and parents. 4:306 p.m. 32 College St (Schulmaier 2326. All tennis players in Vermont and all of New Montpelier Uke (Ukulele) Group. Sing along as the Experience. Fascinating and delicious encounter
Hall), Montpelier. 223-1010 England are invited to participate. The cost to enter Uke Group play their songs. Guaranteed to make with the culture and cuisine of the Cochini Jews is $20 for singles and $32 for each doubles team. you smile! 6:308 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, of Kerala, India. 58 p.m. Beth Jacob Synagogue, 10
Anyone interested in playing should contact Scott Montpelier. 223-3338. Harrison Ave., Montpelier. $20 member; $25 non-
Washington County Mental Health Services
Barker at or by member; $36 member pair; $45 non-member pair.
Career Fair. Learn about our programs and services. Film and Discussion: "Planetary." The film
calling the Vermont Tennis Academy at 802-595-
On-site interviews for open positions. 4:306:30 features NASA footage of the Earth from space,
p.m. 579 S. Barre Rd., Barre. astronauts relating their experiences, climate experts
Public Hearing re: FairPoint Communications
Plant Spirit Fibers Pop Up Shop. See our collection
of beautiful and unique plant dyed fibers. All fibers
and spiritual guides describing the unity of all
life on the planet. 7 p.m. Plainfield Community MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27
and Consolidated Communications Merger. 6:30 LGBTQ Film: From Trauma to Activism. Powerful
dyed with our own Farm Grown Color, all dyes Center (above the Plainfield Co-op), 153 Main St.,
p.m. St. Johnsbury Academy, St. Johnsbury. http:// documentary about the move from personal
made from plants we grow and process on our Plainfield. to political for pioneers of LGBTQ political
certified organic farm. Wearing fibers dyed with
plants connects you to the healing spirit of that organizations. 6:309 p.m.nKellogg-Hubbard

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 plant. Noon5:30 p.m. Grian Herbs Apothecary, 34 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25 Library, Montpelier. 223-3338
Elm St, Montpelier. www. Cross-country Ski Plainfield with Green
AyurveDUH. Learn about your unique constitution 276-3839.
and ways to maintain balance through the seasonal
Mountain Club. Moderate. 7-8 miles. Spruce
Mountain to Seyon Ranch. This is a new trail which TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28
changes of your life. Create simple routines and The League of Women Voters of Central Vermont Film screening: "Merchants of Doubt." Discussion
Birthday Tea. Celebrate 97 years with us as we sip starts at the base of Spruce Mountain and goes
integrate supportive practices. Discover food that will follow the film. 6:30 p.m. Trinity United
tea, eat cake, talk, laugh and get to know each other. to Noyes Pond in Groton over moderate terrain.
fuels your vitality and herbs that are your allies. Methodist Church, 137 Main St., Montpelier. Free.
Come along, wed love to meet you and be sure Contact George Longenecker and Cynthia Martin,
Noon1:30 p.m. Grian Herbs Apothecary, 34 Elm 434-3397
to bring a friend. 45:30 p.m. 45:30 p.m. Down 229-9787 or for starting
St, Montpelier. Sliding scale $5 $15. RSVP to
Home Kitchen, downstairs lounge, 100 Main St., time, place and more information.
802-223-0043 Montpelier. Free. RSVP: or
An Afternoon Seminar: Fairy Tales and the THURSDAY, MARCH 2
RH Factor with Gretchen Stahl. Build new Stress and the BRAIN. ! Get a glimpse into your
Paint n Sip Pallette Party. Come paint a beautiful
Fundamentals of Pruning for Fruit Trees and appreciation for the importance of fairy tales. own brain and how it works on stress. Discover how
painting while sipping a nice glass of wine (or beer).
Shrubs. Learn the basics of winter pruning, for 14 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. to make your brain work Ffor you in times of stress.
68 p.m. Bagitos, 28 Main St., Montpelier.
health, beauty and fruitfulness. Discussion will cover Preregistration required: 223-3338. Includes yummy treats for your brain, recipes and
Reiki for Self-Transformation. Reiki enhances fruit trees, berry plants and brambles. 56 p.m. life-giving information and techniques. 5:306:30
Cabin Fever Spelling Bee. Adults readers team
our mind/body connection, encouraging optimal Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier. Free. p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier. $7
and writers team. Readers sign up at circulation
health. It supports emotional regulation and works members; $10 non-members.
desk. Writers email rysenechal@kellogghubbard.
at the root cause of disharmony in the mind, body Montpelier Community Lantern Parade. Union org. 79 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier.
and spirit. 67 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop, Elementary School invites the entire Montpelier Tickets on sale at adult circulation desk. $12 in
Montpelier. Free. community to join us for an evening lantern advance; $15 at the door. FRIDAY, MARCH 3
I Ching with Baylen Slote. Second part of 5-part procession to celebrate The Wonder of Winter! Led Lucid Path Wellness Open House Launch Party.
series. Slote will demystify this ancient Chinese by visual artist Gowri Savoor and the Burlington Lucid Path welcomes the Energy Genesis to
oracle by breaking the cryptic language of divination samba band Sambatucada, we will parade from the SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 Vermont and is home to the only EG machine in
back down to simple natural symbols. 78:30 p.m. school through downtown Montpelier carrying Wine & Solar. Join SunCommon for a free glass of the entire Northeast, one of only eight in the entire
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. our handmade lanterns. We will return to the UES wine and learn about how solar works in Vermont, world. This cutting edge technology is a safe and
223-3338. Upper Playground for a celebration with rainbow ice what incentives are available, and going solar at non-invasive stress management system that uses a
sculptures, live music, a fire dance performance, and no upfront cost. 46 p.m. Fresh Tracks Farm specific combination of light and sound frequencies
free hot chocolate and cider! 67 p.m. UES, 1 Park & Vineyard, 4373 VT-12, Montpelier. joel@ to create a resonance within its 360 degree interior.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Ave., Montpelier. 882-8651 57 p.m. Lucid Path Wellness, 97 State St.,
2017 Vermont Open Tennis Championships. Feb. Montpelier. Free.
"Cochini" Jews of Kerala, India: A Feast and an
For more event listings
and event details visit
Calendar of Events
PAG E 16 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Visual Arts
Exhibit. Includes work of twelve Guild members. SHOW 15 part of Vermont Arts 2017, a project as mad scientist in her most current body of work.
The Guilds mission is to provide a welcoming group of the Vermont Arts Council. Gallery hours: Sat., Walker Contemporary, 4403 Main St., Waitsfield.
that can teach, encourage, excite and inspire Guild 11 a.m.8 p.m./ Fri. & Sat., 58 p.m. 6 Barre St., Gallery hours: Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m.5:30 p.m.
members to reach whatever level of craft they are Montpelier. info@thefrontvt. 617.842.3332. www.
comfortable with. Works from the T.W. Wood com
EXHIBITS permanent Collection and the Works Progress
Through March 17: Response. Photography exhibit Through March 31: Linda Mirabile, Avian
Through Feb. 25: Twinfield Student Work. Administration: Federal Art Collection will also
featuring work by Vermont artists Kelly Holt, Inspired. A series of paintings inspired by the avian
Twinfield 2D Media and Painting students exhibit be showing. T. W. Wood Gallery, 46 Barre St.,
Duncan Johnson and Mary Zompetti. Part of the world by central Vermont artist and graphic designer
their work from this semester. Work will include Montpelier.
On Photography exhibit series. Johnson State Mirabile. The Gallery at Central Vermont Medical
charcoal drawings, pastels and acrylics. Jaquith Through March 4: 3 New Shows at Studio Place College, Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, Johnson. Center, Berlin. 279-6403.
Public Library, School St., Marshfield. Arts. SPA, 201 N. Main St., Barre. 469-7069. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues. Fri. and 10
Through April 8: Pria Cambio, And Somewhere
Through Feb. 28: Cathy Stevens-Pratt. Graphic a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 635-1469.
Else Theres a Beach. Vibrant beachscape paintings
designer and illustrator creates whimsical and colorful In the main floor gallery: Round & Around Through March 30: Kathy Stark, and the and drawings. Morse Block Deli, 260 N. Main St.,
paintings, prints and cards. Cheshire Cat, 28 Elm St., Art exploring spheres, circles and endless loops. journey continues Mixed media works. The Barre.
Montpelier. 223-1981. Curated by Janet Van Fleet. Spotlight Gallery in the Vermont Arts Council
In the second floor gallery: Clever Hand by Through April 8: Natalie Jeremijenko.
Through Feb. 28: Susan Morse, Naturescapes. Office, 136 State St., Montpelier. http://www.
Carol Radspecher; and International artist, inventor and engineer activates
Photography exhibit. Chelsea Public Library, 296
the galleries with past work and new initiatives
VT-110, Chelsea. 685-2188. In the third floor gallery: Classic to Through March 31: Lark Upson, Portraits. focused on environmental issues. Helen Day Art
Spontaneous Letterforms: Retrospective Attention to oil painting, especially portraits. Upson Center, 90 Pond St., Stowe. By donation. helenday.
Through Feb. 28: Lila Rees and Morgan Jacques. Exhibit of Rene Schalls Calligraphy
Oil paintings by tattoo artist, Lila Rees and nature also has a strong interest in the protection of our com
and portrait photography by Morgan Jacques. Through March 5: Glue, Paper, Scissors. An wildlife and environmental preservation. Vermont
March 2April 20: Elliot Burg, Sunset Park,
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. exhibit of collage, painted and drawn images by Supreme Court Gallery, 111 State St., Montpelier.
Brooklyn. Black and white photographs. Opening
223-3338. Marie LaPr Grabon and Kathy Stark. Both artists Through March 31: From Far Away Selected reception: March 2, 57 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
find inspiration through their personal observation, works by Stephen M. Schaub. Solo exhibition. Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier.
Through Feb. 28: Neysa Russo, Friends & reflection and interpretation of the world around
Lovers. Wool felt tapestries. Bagitos Cafe, Main Gallery hours: 8 a.m.4:30 p.m. Photo I.D. required.
Street, Montpelier., www.
them. The Gallery at River Arts, 74 Pleasant Street,
Governors Gallery, 109 State St., Montpelier SPECIAL EVENTS Feb. 17March 31: Amy Ross, Butterfly Effect. Feb. 23: Artist Talk: Marie LaPre Grabon and
Through March 11: SHOW 15. The Front Gallerys Using graphite, watercolor, walnut ink and collaged Kathy Stark. 5:306:30 p.m. River Arts Center, 74
Through March 3: Heart of Vermont Quilt Guild latest show of contemporary Vermont-made art. paper, Ross expands on her methodology of artist Pleasant St., Morrisville,

Self-Care Tools for Stressful Times. During Becoming a Healing Presence. Dr. Al Rossi
these intense times, its easy to feel overwhelmed, teaches courses in pastoral theology at St. Vladimirs Learn about the cow and bull moose of Vermont during a slide
distressed, angry, sad and a little loss. Ginny Seminary in New York. He has written numerous presentation of "Majestic Moose" on Feb. 18 at the Unitarian
Sassaman will lead the group in practicing a variety articles on psychology and religion and is a licensed Church in Montpelier. Pictured are a cow moose with her twins.
of methods to feel better, enjoy life more and clinical psychologist. 11 a.m.4:30 p.m. St. Jacobs
contribute to the greater well-being of others. 5:30 Orthodox Church, Rt. 12 Northfield Falls. By
7:30 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier. $8 donation. Lunch served. 485-4719.
members; $10 non-members. Friends of the Aldrich Library Annual Winter
Naturalist Journeys: Bobcat, Wolf, Marten. Banquet/Auction. Cash bar and appetizers 5
Presented by North Branch Nature. Kim p.m.; oven roasted beef dinner (vegetarian option
Royar, wildlife biologist for the Fish & Wildlife available) 6 p.m.; live auction follows. Barre
Department will walk through the history of land Elks, 10 Jefferson St., Barre. $25. Visit www.
use and the populations of species like bobcat, to see growing list of auction
beaver, wolves, lynx and marten. 7 p.m. Unitarian items.
Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier.
Send your event listing to
Cross-country Ski Craftsbury with Green Deadline for print in the next issue
Mountain Club. About 12 miles. Parts of the trail
are moderate, while others are more difficult. Length
makes it a challenging day. Carpool to or meet at
is February 23.
For more event listings
Craftsbury Outdoor Center and take the shuttle
to Highland Lodge. This trip is for experienced
cross-country skiers. Ski from Highland Lodge Tell them you saw
and event details visit
to Craftsbury Outdoor Center on groomed trails.
Trail pass or trail fee plus shuttle fee. For more
information, Contact Phyllis Rubenstein at 793- it in The Bridge!
6313 or Phyllis@PhyllisRubensteinLaw.comcastbiz.

Tax Preparation
Twin Valley Senior Center and AARP are now scheduling
appointments for Free Tax preparation. Call 223-3322 or email
Calendar of Events
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 17

HEALTH & WELLNESS Main St., Montpelier. Sign up ahead: 223-4665 or
at the childrens desk. RESOURCES
Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place Onion River Exchange Tool Library. More
Story Time and Playgroup. With Sylvia Smith
for individuals and their families in or seeking than 100 tools both power and manual. Onion
for story time and Cassie Bickford for playgroup.
recovery. Daily, 10 a.m.5 p.m. 489 North Main River Exchange is located at 46 Barre Street in
For ages birth6 and their grown-ups. We follow
St., Barre. 479-7373.
ARTS & CRAFTS Sun.: Alchoholics Anonymous, 8:30 a.m.
the Twinfield Union School calendar and do not
hold the program the days Twinfield is closed.
Montpelier. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday from 9-4. For more information or to
Beaders Group. All levels of beading experience Wed., 1011:30 a.m. Jaquith Public Library, donate tools call 802.661.8959. info@orexchange.
welcome. Free instruction available. Come with Tues.: Making Recovery Easier workshops, com.
67:30 p.m. 122 School St., Marshfield. Free. 426-3581.
a project for creativity and community. Sat., 11
a.m.2 p.m. The Bead Hive, Plainfield. 454-1615. Wed.: Wits End Parent Support Group, 6 p.m.
Story Time for Kids. Meet your neighbors and
Drop-in River Arts Elder Art Group. Work on art, Rainbow Umbrella of Central Vermont. An adult
Thurs.: Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30 p.m. share quality time with the pre-schooler in your LGBTQ group, meets every third Tues., 5:307
share techniques and get creative with others. Bring life. Each week well read stories and spend time
your own art supplies. For elders 60+. Every Fri., Al-Anon. Help for friends and families of p.m. All LGBT adults and allies are welcome to
Alcoholics. together. A great way to introduce your pre- attend for socializing, community building and
10 a.m.noon. River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., schooler to your local library. For ages 25. Every
Morrisville. Free. 888-1261. advocating for LGBT issues. MSAC, 58 Barre St.,
Sun.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., Montpelier Thurs., 10:30 a.m. Cutler Memorial Library, 151 Montpelier.
The Craftees. Crafts social group led by Nancy (back door) 6:157:30 p.m. High St., Plainfield. 454-8504.
Moran every Fri. Bring craft and potluck. 10 Bowling. Rainbow Umbrella of Central Vermont,
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Lego Club. Use our large Lego collection to create
a.m.2 p.m. Barre Area Senior Center, 131 S. Main an adult LGBTQ group, bowls at Twin City Lanes
Montpelier (basement) noon1 p.m. and play. All ages. Thurs., 34:30 p.m. Kellogg-
St., #4, Barre. $3. Register: 479-9512 on Sunday afternoons twice a month. For dates and
Wed.: Bethany Church,115 Main St., Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free. times, write to RUCVTAdmin@PrideCenterVT.
Art Classes. Fridays Jan. 27March 3, 35 p.m. Montpelier (basement) 78 p.m. 223-3338. org
Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte 2, East Montpelier.
Thurs.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Dads & Kids Playgroup. Playtime and free dinner.
To sign up or for more information call Susan
Montpelier (basement) noon1 p.m Every Thurs., 57 p.m. For Dads and their children
Crampton at 223-6954 or email cramptonsr@ Sat.: Turning Point, N. Main St., Barre, 5 p.m. ages birth5. Family Center of Washington
County, 383 Sherwood Dr., Montpelier. Christian Science Reading Room. You're invited
(child friendly meeting)
Arts & Crafts. Every third Fri. With Sandi to visit the Reading Room and see what we have for
Kirkland. 10 a.m.noon. Barre Area Senior Center, Bone Building Exercises. Open to all ages. Every Drop-in Kinder Arts Program. Innovative your spiritual growth. You can borrow, purchase or
131 S. Main St., #4, Barre. $3. Register: 479-9512 Mon., Wed. and Fri. 7:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. exploratory arts program with artist/instructor simply enjoy material in a quiet study room. Hours:
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. Kelly Holt. Age 35. Fri., 10:30 a.m.noon. River Wed., 11 a.m.7:15 p.m.; Thurs.Sat., 11 a.m.1
Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261. p.m. 145 State St., Montpelier. 223-2477.
BICYCLING Tai Chi for Seniors. Led by trained volunteers.
A Course in Miracles. A study in spiritual
Open Shop Nights. Volunteer-run community bike Advanced class: every Mon. and Fri., 12 p.m. Teen Fridays. Find out about the latest teen books, transformation. Group meets each Tues., 78 p.m.
shop: bike donations and repairs. Wed., 46 p.m.; Beginners class: Tues. and Thurs. 1011 a.m. use the gym, make art, play games and if you need Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St., Montpelier.
other nights. Freeride Montpelier, 89 Barre St., Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. to, do your homework. Fri., 35 p.m. Jaquith 279-1495.
Montpelier. 552-3521. Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. Public Library, 122 School St., Marshfield. 426-
3581. Christian Counseling. Tues. and Thurs. Daniel
Living Strong Group. Volunteer-led group. Dr., Barre. Reasonable cost. By appt. only: 479-
BOOKS & WORDS Sing while exercising. Open to all seniors. Every
Mon., 2:303:30 p.m. and every Fri., 23 p.m.
Musical Story Time. Join us for a melodious good
time. Ages birth6. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Kellogg-
Prayer Meeting. Ecumenical and charismatic
Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free.
practice your language skills with neighbors. 223-3338. prayer meeting. Every 1st and 3rd Thurs., 6:308
Montpelier. Free. Register: 223-2518. msac@
Noon1 p.m. Mon., American Sign Language; p.m. 8 Daniels Dr., Barre. 479-0302 Mad River Valley Youth Group. Sun., 79 p.m.
Tues., Italian; Wed., Spanish; Thurs., French. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For those
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Sex Addicts Anonymous. Mon., 6:30 p.m. Meets at various area churches. Call 497-4516 for
location and information. interested in learning about the Catholic faith, or
Montpelier. 223-3338. Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. 552-
current Catholics who want to learn more. Wed.,
English Conversation Practice Group. For 7 p.m. St. Monica Church, 79 Summer St., Barre.
students learning English for the first time. Tues., Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program.
Education and support to help adults at high risk
MUSIC & DANCE Register: 479-3253.
45 p.m. Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Barre-Tones Womens Chorus. Open rehearsal. Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging text
Montpelier Learning Center, 100 State St. 223- of developing type 2 diabetes adopt healthier eating Find your voice with 50 other women. Mon., study and discussion on Jewish spirituality. Sun.,
3403. and exercise habits that can lead to weight loss 7 p.m. Capital City Grange, Rt. 12, Berlin. 4:456:15 p.m. Yearning for Learning Center,
and reduced risk. Every Tues., 10:3011:30 a.m. 552-3489.
Ongoing Reading Group. Improve your reading Montpelier. 223-0583. info@yearning4learning.
Kingwood Health Center Conference Room (lower
and share some good books. Books chosen by Dance or Play with the Swinging Over 60 Band. org.
level), 1422 Rt. 66, Randolph. Free. Register: 728-
group. Thurs., 910 a.m. Central Vermont Adult 7714. Danceable tunes from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center, 100
State St. 223-3403. Tai Chi for Falls Prevention. With Diane Des
Recruiting musicians. Tues., 10:30 a.m.noon.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.,
Bois. Beginners and mixed levels welcome. 2:15 Montpelier. 223-2518. Bingo. Every Tuesday. Doors open 5 p.m.; games
p.m. Barre Area Senior Center, 131 S., Main St., start 6 p.m.Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte.
Monteverdi Young Singers Chorus Rehearsal.
BUSINESS, FINANCE, #4, Barre. Free. Register: 479-9512.
Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve-step program for
New chorus members welcome. Wed., 45 p.m.
2, E. Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors.
COMPUTERS, EDUCATION physically, emotionally and spiritually overcoming
Montpelier. Call 229-9000 for location and more
information. Roller Derby Open Recruitment and Recreational
One-on-One Technology Help Sessions. Free overeating. Two meeting days and locations. Every Practice. Central Vermonts Wrecking Doll
assistance to patrons needing help with their Tues., 5:306:30 p.m. and Sat., 8:309:30 a.m. Piano Workshop. Informal time to play, refresh Society invites quad skaters age 18 and up. No
computers and other personal electronic devices. at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 39 your skills and get feedback if desired with experience necessary. Equipment provided: first
30 min. one-on-one sessions every Tues., 10 a.m. Washington St., Barre. 279-0385. Every Mon., other supportive musicians. Singers and listeners come, first served. Sat., 56:30 p.m. Montpelier
noon. Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., 5:306:30 p.m. at Bethany Church, 115 Main St., welcome. Thurs., 45:30 p.m. Montpelier Senior Recreation Center, Barre St. First skate free.
Waterbury. Free. Registration required: 244-7036. Montpelier. 223-3079. Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Free;
open to the public. 223-2518. msac@montpelier-vt.
Personal Financial Management Workshops. Tai Chi Classes for All Ages. Every Tues. and org.
Learn about credit/debit cards, credit building and
repair, budgeting and identity theft, insurance,
Thurs., 1011 a.m. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rte.
2, Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Free. 223- Ukelele Group. All levels welcome. Thurs., 68
p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre Christian Meditation Group. People of all faiths
investing, retirement. Tues., 68 p.m. Central 3322.
St. 223-2518. welcome. Mon., noon1 p.m. Christ Church,
Vermont Medical Center, Conference Room 3. Weight Loss Support Group. Get help and Montpelier. 223-6043.
Registration: 371-4191. support on your weight loss journey every Wed., Barre Rock City Chorus. We sing songs from
Zen Meditation. With Zen Affiliate of Vermont.
67 p.m. Giffords Conference Center, 44 S. Main the 60s80s and beyond. All songs are taught by
rote using word sheets, so ability to read music is Wed., 6:307:30 p.m. 174 River St., Montpelier.
St., Randolph. Free. No registration required.
not required. All ages welcome; children under Free. Call for orientation: 229-0164.
Open to all regardless of where you are in your
Community Meals in Montpelier. All welcome. weight loss. 13 should come with a parent. Every Thurs., Montpelier Shambhala Meditation. Group
Free. 6:308:30 p.m. Church of the Good Shepherd, 39 meditation practice. Sun., 10 a.m.noon; Wed., 67
Wits End. Support group for parents, siblings, Washington St., Barre.
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., 11 p.m; learn to meditate free instruction the 1st
children, spouses and/or relationship partners of
a.m.1 p.m. Gamelan Rehearsals. Sun., 79 p.m. Pratt Center, Wed. of the month. New location: 5 State Street, 2nd
someone suffering with addiction whether it is
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 11:30 Goddard College. Free. 426-3498. steven.light@ floor, Montpelier.,
to alcohol, opiates, cocaine, heroin, marijuana or
a.m.1 p.m.
something else. Every Wed., 68 p.m. Turning
Point Center, 489 N. Main St., Barre. Louise: Sunday Sangha: Community Ashtanga Yoga.
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., 11 a.m.
279-6378. Every Sun., 5:407 p.m. Grateful Yoga, 15 State
12:30 p.m. St., 3F, Montpelier. By donation.
Thurs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., 11:30 HIV Testing. Vermont CARES offers fast oral Additional Recycling. The Additional Recyclables
testing. Wed., 25 p.m. 29 State St., Ste. 14 (above
a.m.1 p.m.
Rite Aid), Montpelier. Free and anonymous. 371-
Collection Center accepts scores of hard-to-recycle Send your event listing to
items. Mon., Wed., Fri., noon6 p.m.; Third Sat.,
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., 11 6224. 9 a.m.1 p.m. ARCC, 540 North Main St., Barre.
a.m.12:30 p.m. Deadline for print in the
NAMI Vermont Connection Recovery Support $1 per carload. 229-9383 x106. For list of accepted
Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115 Group. For ondividuals living with mental illness. items, go to next issue is February 23.
Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue), Every Fri., 34 p.m. Another Way, 125 Barre St.,
4:305:30 p.m. Montpelier. 876-7949.
Lunches for Seniors. Mon., Wed., Fri., Noon. The Center for Leadership Skills
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rt. 2, E.
Montpelier. $4 suggested donation. 223-3322. KIDS & TEENS BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT The Basement Teen Center. Safe drop-in space to
hang out, make music, play pool, ping-pong and
Feast Together or Feast To Go. All proceeds
benefit the Feast Senior Meal program. Tues. and
board games and eat free food. All activities are
free. Mon.Thurs., 26 p.m., Fridays 3-10 p.m.
Lindel James coaching & consulting
Fri., noon1 p.m. Live music every Tues., 10:30 Basement Teen Center, 39 Main St., Montpelier. Taking You from Frustration to Enthusiasm
11:30 a.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58
Barre St., Montpelier. Seniors 60+ free with $7 802 778 0626
suggested donation; under 60 $7. Reservations: Read to Clara. Sign up for a 20-minute slot and
choose your books beforehand to read to this
262-6288 or
special canine pal. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135
PAG E 18 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Central Vermont Good Soccodato is Fabulous
on Food Scrap Diversion Editor:
Editor: Alison Soccodato is a fabulous candidate for Representative
from District 2 on the Montpelier City Council.
Grow Compost of Vermonts piece on diverting food
scraps was written for a statewide audience. It noted that In addition to her vision of keeping all the good things that
Efforts to reduce waste have largely focused on glass, make Montpelier a city we love, she is also well versed in
plastic, and paper, yet, food waste make up 28 percent of improving some of the citys shortcomings. Her experience
excellence of Montpelier's schools for all students and close
trash Vermonters throw away. Grow Compost of Vermont in financial management makes her an excellent candidate
the achievement gap in our schools by providing resources
however recognizes the strong commitment of our local for those of us concerned about costs and budgets. Her prior
needed to help all our students succeed and thrive. It also
Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District to divert work experience listening to competing sides of various
gives teachers the resources to successfully implement the
food scraps in this region. The district has offered business issues helped her develop the ability to listen to all points
move to proficiency-based standards something our High
food scrap collection services since 2004, and continues to of view, carefully considering different sides of the issue,
school in particular is doing with rigor and vision and
educate schoolchildren about food scrap diversion, and teach and then, thoughtfully, develop responsible conclusions and
provide flexible pathways for students to learn. This budget
residents how to compost at home. recommendations.
is furthermore a solid building block for a comprehensive
three year plan the administration is developing that seeks to Personally, Alison is dedicated, calm, trustworthy, respectful
Carolyn Grodinsky, Sales Manager, Grow Compost of Vermont and a wonderful neighbor. She will be a tremendous asset
implement the visions and values of our community.
Meet The Trees to the Montpelier City Council. I urge all District 2
With our growing population of students, the budget calls
Editor: constituents to cast their vote for Alison Soccodato on town
for a spending increase of 5.5 percent per equalized pupil
meeting day!
It took me "a moment" to find a copy of the Feb. 2 issue that will result in a modest property tax increase, using
of The Bridge, but blown away I am (we are) by your current estimates of 2.74 percent. This translates to an Kathryn Provost
generosity, ingenuity and kindness in finding a place to increase of $45 per year for a house valued at $100,000, $89
include our description of the St. Paul Street Tree Project per year for a house valued at $200,000 and $134 per year Soccodato Has Energy And Skills
and Montpelier's Festival of Trees with a lovely color for a house valued at $300,000. This is only slightly higher Editor:
photo as well. Thank you. than the pace of inflation and comes after a year when the I am pleased to endorse Alison Soccodato for Montpelier
school budget resulted in essentially no tax increase. City Council, District 2. Alison will bring intelligence,
We need The Bridge more than ever as an authentic voice in
the community. I strongly urge voters to support this budget on Town energy and dedication to this position and to serving the
Meeting Day. City of Montpelier.
Thank you for your support of the St. Paul Street Tree Project
Growing Tree Stewards through Outdoor Classrooms. Alison is passionate about the City of Montpelier and
Jim Murphy, Commissioner, School Board of Commissioners, this community. As a community member and a parent
Heads Up! Come walk on St. Paul Street on Arbor Day
Montpelier she appreciates the vibrant downtown, the beautiful
May 5 you can meet the trees, their stewards and see the
students' Information Tour of Trees (iTOT). neighborhoods and the stellar schools. She is also aware of
Adopt School Budget
the challenges Montpelier faces, including infrastructure
Lynn Wild, On behalf of the Montpelier Tree Board repair and maintenance, smart growth and clean water.
On Town Meeting Day, March 7, I urge you to vote in
Thumbs Down On The S-51 Energy Bill As a fiscal moderate and former financial analyst to
support of our public schools budget. For many of us,
Editor: governments and businesses, she will bring a keen eye to
whether we attended public school, have kids in the public
utilizing city services and and tax payer dollars effectively.
If Vermont is so unwise as to make S-51 law, the total school or simply understand the importance of public
She will reach out to her constituency and stakeholders
amount of energy used to heat homes, move cars and buses education, the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary
to understand the issues and how they will affect people.
and power electrical devices will be forced to shrink by of Education raises significant concerns about the future
She will carefully weigh both input and data as she makes
15 percent in 33 years. Perhaps the senators framing this of quality public education. While it is important to stand
bill hope enough energy-consuming Vermonters will just up for these values at the national level, there could not be
leave for a more sensible state? We cannot attract, open and a more critical time to support our public education locally. Please join me in voting for Alison and bringing new energy
grow new businesses without using more energy, even with and skills and experience to the City Council.
Montpelier is fortunate compared to many Vermont schools
stringent conservation. We need more clean energy, not less. in that our student population is growing, and the schools Gail Carrigan, Montpelier
Deserts are low energy consumption, too, but I wouldn't continue to attract families to our community. Strong schools
want to live in one. are an essential part of a vibrant town and for developing We Support Soccodato
And how will the new Vermonters thrive, without new compassionate citizens and inquisitive thinkers. I have two Editor:
businesses to employ them? S.51 as law means our population boys in the school district and, in my experience, Montpelier Wed like to add our voices to the growing support for
will continue to wither, both in total numbers and in quality schools have many positives, including excellent teachers Alison Soccodato for City Council.
of life. and staff. But these schools have limited resources, and
there are unmet needs, including building and technology Were newcomers here, just starting our second year in this
George Clain, Barre upgrades and sufficient support to meet all types of learners. lovely city. Whether the topic is preserving Montpeliers
attractive character, making sensible investments in
Support School Budget The school administration and board worked hard this year infrastructure upgrades, protecting our water quality, or
Editor: to develop a budget that provides support for students while insuring quality schools while keeping a steady eye on the
being ever aware of fiscal constraints. The proposed budget budget, Alison has solid and sensible ideas for maintaining
As a Commissioner on the Montpelier School Board of would result in a modest 2.7 percent increase in property and improving quality of life in Montpelier. She is dedicated
Commissioners, I am writing to urge the voters of Montpelier taxes. The administration and school board targeted to keeping an open mind and listening to her constituents
to approve the budget being presented at Town Meeting resources on two important areas: addressing Montpeliers even residents new to the city. Her background as a
Day. The School Budget is a responsible budget that is the growing school population and providing much needed financial analyst and project manager for both government
product of unprecedented community outreach and input. support for students with the highest needs. and corporate entities will serve Montpelier well.
It restores certain losses that occurred during years of lower
These are difficult and uncertain times in our country We would be proud to have Alison Saccodato represent
enrollment, addresses the needs of our growing student body
including the state of our public education system. Lets go District 2 on the City Council. Please consider voting for
and reflects the community's values.
vote on Town Meeting Day to say, we support our children, her on March 7.
The budget is built around the principles of promoting we support our community and we support our public
equity, implementing proficiency-based learning and schools! Cynthia Bogard and Michael Strebe, 10 Sabin St., Montpelier
providing flexible pathways for students to achieve academic
success. The budget takes important measures to improve the Lyn Munno, Montpelier
More Letters on next page

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:
Deadline for the next issue is February 24.
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 19

Asay Dedicated To School System
Now is the time to support Montpeliers schools, one of our citys best assets.
As a parent and resident of Montpelier, I would like to express my support for Bridget Asay.
Through her work on the School Board, Bridget, an experienced advocate and attorney, has If They Could Speak
already proven her dedication and commitment to our school system.
Bridget has supported responsible budgets that give our schools the resources they need to (the man from strata east..) of needed fires,
serve all of our students. She has also advocated for strengthening after-school programs, Is that your cologne? raised fists,
a crucial need in our community, while also focusing on improving communication with She asked. which eventually sat
parents and the community. You smell like vibrant broken;
It is especially critical now for all of us to do our part. On town meeting day, voice your music or silenced
support for our schools and vote for Bridget Asay for school commissioner. on stoops,
released on a semi-obscure
which could also
(to many of your friends)
Edisa GR Muller, Montpelier testify
label if they could
Krueger Is Cost Concious mixed with ghosts Speak.
I am writing in strong support of Rosie Krueger for Montpelier City Council, District 1. by Reuben Jackson, host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio
Rosie is one of the most dedicated, intelligent and hardworking members of our community.
I encourage residents of District 1 to consider casting their vote for her on March 7.
My wife and I bought a house in Montpelier largely in part to our community. A community Poetry Workshop Announcement
that supports culture, education, the environment and safety. A community that also includes Save the date! On April 26 at 6 p.m., The Bridge, in conjunction with PoemCity, will host
folks like Rosie, a woman who cares deeply about the nutrition of our students during the day a poetry workshop led by Reuben Jackson. If you are interested, please register ahead of
and still has the energy to build a beautiful home on nights and weekends. time at so we know how many participants to expect. This
We plan to stay in the city for a long time, but we grow increasingly concerned that the cost event is free and open to the public.
of living will continue to increase without an eye on finding efficiencies. I know that Rosie
will be a strong supporter of our community values while keeping the cost of living in mind
so that young families, like ours, can move to and stay in Montpelier.

James Brady, Montpelier

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PAG E 2 0 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

Earth Day Compost Tote Recycling

by Cassandra Hemenway, Outreach Manager, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District

MONTPELIER Help save the life of a tote and show us your creative genius while 48-gallon wheeled carts as key equipment for managing large volumes of food scraps. The
youre at it! Join the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District in Project Tote, in carts, or toters, ready for reuse in Project Tote have served a long life, and are now aged
which we invite schools and community members to participate in a reuse and upcycling and cracked, rendering them unfit for holding food scraps. However, they are still in great
venture to keep our aged, cracked compost totes out of the landfill. The district is looking shape for use as recycling bins or almost anything else.
for creative minds to transform these compost totes into new recycling bins, or upcycle them We have invited schools to join us by repainting the totes in a design limited only by ones
into something completely different (chair, stool, table etc.) imagination, into a beautiful new recycling bin. Artists and the general public are invited
This project is inspired by Earth Day and its message of sustainability by responsibly to do the same, or consider the tote a raw material and cut it, shape it or form it into an
managing materials. entirely new item.
The retired compost totes in this project hail from the Business Organics Program, in which Participation in Project Tote is free of charge. Submissions will be revealed on Earth Day,
Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District hauls food scraps from restaurants and and small cash prizes will be awarded for the top picks by the public. To participate, go to:
grocery stores to farms and composting businesses. The program has diverted over 11,000 or email Participants are accepted on a first
tons of food scraps out of the landfill since its inception in 2004. The program relies on come, first serve basis until we run out of totes.

Opinion What is Sanctuary? by Margaret Blanchard, Montpelier

N ow that Montpelier is a Sanctuary City, it seems like a good time for us to reflect
together on what sanctuary means to us.
What does sanctuary mean to you personally?
In your personal or social life, have you ever needed it? Lost it? Found it?
The legal and moral issues involved are being thoroughly investigated through media, There is no one in this city, or this country, who has not personally or historically (through
government, and support organizations, but the emotional, symbolic, and historic dimensions ancestors) experienced the loss of a homeland (one interpretation of sanctuary) and/or the
of this designation are worth exploring, in solitude and in groups, within the safety of need for a haven (another meaning) or a home. What does it mean for us to offer such shelter
listening circles, through personal reflection and storytelling, through art, music, drama, to others?
dance, poetry and film (as creators or as audiences).
While this could also be a national
Vermont has a history of providing sanctuary, thanks to native Vermonters welcoming folks: conversation, our lively and thoughtful
from fugitives on the Underground Railroad to people fleeing the Holocaust; immigrants
leaving behind poverty and persecution; conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War;
city seems like a great place to start. As We want to hear
a city we are gifted with many venues for what's on your mind.
gay folks seeking civil unions; people of all ages rejecting urban sprawl for green lifestyles; and communal expression: our public library,
refugees escaping from civil war, ethnic cleansing, economic collapse and climate change. our publications, radio and TV shows,
Topics for discussion can range from sharing familial immigration or refugee tales to accounts our arts organizations, our singing groups,
of recent arrivals. Whether we share through listening circles or public performances, it seems choirs and orchestras, our theaters, our
Email us at
important for us to explore this topic together: schools and our churches.

P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601

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T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 21

Opinion Comments on the Definition of Independent

Contractor by Pat McDonald, Barre

he problem stems from the lack of a clear definition of independent contractor started her own consulting business so she had more flexibility to stay home with her child.
and employee. And while this is not a headline grabbing issue, it has an impact on Her intent was to continue working for her former employer and a few other businesses.
unemployment insurance and workers compensation, Vermonts economy and you Because her contracting services were considered like work to things that she was doing
the consumer. while she was an employee, they were not able to hire her as a contractor.
There is a test called the ABC test which the Department of Labor uses to determine the These individuals should be able to remain independent contractors, as long as they
nature of the relationship between an employer and an individual. All three criteria must understand the liabilities that go along with being independent. If businesses can hire
be met before an individual can be deemed an independent contractor (not an employee). independent contractors, they can better balance and schedule the number of workers
But the ABC test is open to interpretation and does not give the needed clarity. You have they need for a specific project. There is a fear by some that businesses will unfairly coerce
probably heard the term misclassification which occurs when a business does not classify individuals to become independent contractors in order to be hired, but businesses always
a job correctly because of the ambiguity that exists. Sometimes if a business misclassifies a need to have a set number of employees whose hours and work they can monitor and
job and they are audited, their insurance company could decide there are significant back control. Businesses have often said that they just want predictability and the flexibility to
premiums owed to the unemployment insurance and workers compensation funds. meet the needs of their clients and workers. They want a clear and concise definition of
Last year the House Commerce Committee unanimously passed H. 867 with bipartisan employee and independent contractor to comply with. They dont like surprises after
support. But objections were raised by organized labor unions after the bill was voted out of the fact. Without clear definitions, mistakes are made. If businesses are able to balance their
committee. Their objection was they want to see as many individuals as possible classified workforce between full time employees and independent contractors on an as-needed basis,
as employees which would assure unemployment insurance and workers compensation associated costs are manageable, competitive, and higher personnel costs are not passed on
coverage. In response to the objections of organized labor, the bill was sent back to the to the consumer.
committee to work on a compromise. The additional recommendations did not maintain In conclusion, all our guests agreed that predictability is the answer to resolving this long-
the clarity that the committee members felt they had achieved in the original draft H.867 standing problem. Hopefully this issue will be resolved during the 20172018 biennium. If
and an agreement could not be reached. you would like to see the show please go to for a complete listing of Vote for
What are the pros and cons of this issue to individuals and businesses? First, there are Vermont shows or our YouTube channel for the shows done in partnership with Campaign
individuals who like the freedom afforded to them by being an independent contractor. For for Vermont Prosperity.
example, especially in this digital age, there are individuals who like to take on numerous Pat McDonald producer and host of Vote For Vermont and Ben Kinsley, Executive Director of
projects from different businesses. They may work from home and have the freedom to Campaign for Vermont Prosperity co-hosted a show on Independent Contractors. Our guests were
manage their workload themselves, make arrangements that meets their individual needs Jon Guiffre, owner of Allied Building Contractors, LLC, John Hollar, Esq. from Downs, Rachlin
and schedule. An example was given of a woman who worked for a tech company and and Martin, and Representative Heidi Scheumann. The above was a summary of our discussion.

Opinion The Great Saturday That Was by Jules Rabin, Plainfield

here was a 17-year-old high school kid at the table last night, along with half a dozen We hadn't had any conscious intention of bringing the politics of the day into our private
of us from the larger family; some young, some wizened. It was the kid's birthday, and birthday party, but there we all were, still aglow with the unexpected triumph of the day
we had come together to celebrate him. before. And so that's what came out in our dinner conversation a review of the profound
The kid was the only one of our little party who had been unable to join that self-same family surprise-and-pleasure we had felt the day before and still felt at what we together had
group when it had come together the day before to join the vast and historical anti-Trump wrought in Montpelier, and so numerously around the country and the world, as well.
protest in little Montpelier, population 7,800. On that day, 15,000 to 20,000 people had I think we educated our lad in two things during the non-stop conversation that we carried on
packed into town, according to the State Police; in the process jamming up traffic on the at his birthday party, laughing and joking all the way, up to the concluding ceremony of the
adjacent I-89 Interstate for miles around. The kid had had to be at his job the day of the Happy Birthday song, and the parading in and dishing out of his be-candled 3-layer birthday
protest, and in consequence had missed out on being a part of the history that was made that cake.
day in Montpelier, following Trump's inauguration, and in hundreds of other cities around First, he would understand that the kind of people we and our friends and associates generally
the country and around the world. are, would and will protest when we fear for our rights and our futures protest on our feet
That birthday dinner, though, on the evening following the unprecedented mass protest and with our voices, protest on poster-board and cardboard, protest in the kind of venerable
against the Presidency of the ever improbable Donald Trump, brought our youngster into the print-on-paper you're reading now, and protest electronically, in the bargain. The young and
heart of the history that the 15,000 to 20,000 of us in Montpelier had made the day before. very young women girls, indeed at the Montpelier protest all the women present
All through dinner, we talked and joked and laughed, basking in the great triumph of the day there, walking and standing were something to behold, in their joyful militancy and,
before, when we thousands upon thousands had jam-packed dinky little Montpelier to declare remarkably, in the wit of the homemade signs they raised in the air, everywhere.
"NO! NO! NO!" and "Not In Our Name!" to the impending reign of Trump. A second educational point we unconsciously enacted, in our family party, was that when it
Because Trump is ridiculous, because Trump is preposterous, because Trump is pathologically comes to politics, the combination of jokes, satire, and straight-out laughter are in themselves
narcissistic beyond any President before him; because he is so, remarkably unequipped for the a potent alternative rhetoric: an intelligent formulation of the case, of another kind. A seeing
mental complexities and considerations and intricate "think-throughs" that are incumbent on through to the heart of the matter, by another means.
the President of the third-of-a-billion souls that we are the rhetorics of joking, satire, and So: slide yourself into the fray sideways, sometimes, just like that, on a good layer of jokes, and
laughter have pushed forward in the political comment surrounding Trump ("What will he you may grasp the deeper nature of things especially the preposterous things of the day like
say next?"), as never before in our national politics. At the mammoth demonstration the day the President's presumptive yellow toupee or his small hands. And his incessant fabulations.
before, I had again and again been astonished and tickled by the original wit and sassiness
and penetration of the posters I glimpsed, just glancing at the hundreds out of the great sea of Good jokes are another way into the heart of the matter. They disconcert, without drawing
them that crossed my field of vision: posters hand-made, posters homemade, posters witty and blood. They can be the best cousin of earnest, analytic prose. What a relief comes over us,
original, bobbing and wobbling above the mass of protesters. when we "get it."
Could humor save us? So: could that trio, of jokes, satire, and laughter, that are together possibly one of our unique
strengths as Americans, yield us a final, critical oomph in sliding our new emperor off his
As I took in my sampling of those signs, I wondered whether we all, as heirs of the wit throne? Ever so gently, it could be; but with a thud, yes, at the end.
of Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken and Will Rogers and as contemporaries of John Stewart,
Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and the slew of other comics rising up I wondered, are we That's what happened, isn't it, to the emperor of no clothes, in the story? Duped himself by
Americans after all endowed with an especially strong streak of humor, vinegared with satire? his tailors, he tried to get everyone else to fall in with his royal dupedness, and was laughed
Will we split our sides with laughter nationwide when we perceive that our pudgy Emperor, off the stage, naked and consigned to the far wings of history.
with the piss-yellow cotton candy hair (made of what?) that is his trademark when we
perceive that he's really, as you might say, naked, down to his little hands, and all?
We were merry that evening at the dinner table, elated; it was the kid's birthday party, after
all. And so, easily, and without our conscious intention, joking, satire, and laughter ruled the
rhetoric and mood in our discussion with our birthday child, of the heady event in Montpelier
that we had attended the day before.

Since 1972
Repairs New floors and walls
Crane work Decorative concrete
Consulting ICF foundations
114 Three Mile Bridge Rd., Middlesex, VT (802) 229-0480
PAG E 2 2 F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 THE BRIDGE

A Taxpayers Message to City Hall
Clean Up the Econo Lodge Mess
by Nat Frothingham; photos by Michael Jermyn

ow that the City of Montpelier is getting ready fire, safety, health and maintenance regulations. Moore, former City Planning and Zoning Administrator
this spring to launch a $3.9 million road, In no particular order, the Econo Lodge has been warned and Clancy DeSmet, former City Planning Director Gwen
sidewalk, bike land, sewer and water improvement notified, sometimes repeatedly, of trash in vacant buildings, Hallsmith, current City Zoning Administrator Sarah
project on Northfield Street its way past time to encourage, debris including mattresses and abandoned vehicles on the McShane, current City Housing Inspector Chris Lumbra
even demand, that City and State officials work together and property, holes in the roof, problems with the sprinkler and current Planning Director Mike Miller.
cut through red tape so they can take comprehensive and system and electricity and water services that need to be I've gotten pretty much nowhere, said Perreault about
effective action to clean up the Econo Lodge mess at 101 turned off. his repeated contacts with officials. Youve got to find
Northfield St. something to get rid of these buildings, he said urgently.
In truth, over the years, many of these deficiencies have
And the mess? been corrected by the Econo Lodge management. But the Then he added, The graffiti tells me there are kids around
At a May 11, 2016 Montpelier City Council meeting and in crummy look of the place with sheets of plywood covering the building. Which worried him.
recent phone calls to The Bridge residents of Montpeliers the windows and large scrawls of graffiti remain. On my Then he took his comments in a different direction, saying,
Northfield Street neighborhood expressed mounting own brief site visit, I noticed an open second story window I am personally embarrassed when friends and family come
frustration with the Econo Lodge mess. and the total look of the place suggests a willful neglect and to visit me and they have to look at that property. The City
Northfield Street residents complained about the visual a flagrant disrespect that is degrading the neighborhood and has failed, he said sternly and then added for emphasis:
blight being visited on the neighborhood from two vacant attacking the look and feel of the state capital. completely.
buildings on the Econo Lodge lot buildings whose On May 11, 2016, a group of Northfield residents turned out In a final comment he added, I know the City doesnt have
windows are covered up with sheets of plywood and scrawled in force to register their complaints about the Econo Lodge much teeth. But youve got to do something.
graffiti an eyesore that is on display to people walking situation at a city council meeting. It was this much teeth observation that I observed as
or driving as they leave downtown Montpelier along Route One resident worried aloud about suspicious late-night almost a theme repeated and repeated again as I talked with
12 headed north to Northfield, or as they approach the city traffic on the Econo Lodge property. What was happening important City Hall players, particularly in a recent phone
from the south on what ought to be a gateway to the capital late at night that would draw traffic and cell phone activity conversation with City Manager Bill Fraser.
city. in the Econo Lodge parking lot? Fraser said that yes, indeed, the City does have an
But the shabby look of the place is only one part of the Another resident reported that she had repeatedly seen Abandoned Building Ordinance and as it turns out, most
problem. animals going in and out of the abandoned property and of the requirements of that ordinance appear to have been
An examination of the Econo Lodge records in the City that she and as many as six other residents had been bitten fulfilled by the Econo Lodge. The services and utilities have
Hall Planning & Development office shows that difficulties by a rabid fox. been disconnected in the vacant buildings. The interior of
with the troubled motel date back at least 10 years. A Another resident, Bill Perreault, who served on the design these two buildings has been cleared of trash. The grounds
first violation in the file carried a date of Feb. 2, 2007. review committee in the late 1990s (and was chair of have been cleared of trash. And though there may be gaps,
Since that time the City of Montpelier and the State of the committee for a time) took issue with the Econo it appears that the two buildings are almost completely
Vermont have continuously cited the Econo Lodge owners Lodge lighting. He contended the lighting had inconsistent secured. Moreover, the vacant building are reasonably
and management for problems at the two vacant building values. watertight, waterproof, rodent proof and in good repair.
on the property. At least four thick file folders in the Well, on the health and safety hazard front, Planning
Planning Office detail a depressing account of inspections, Then he went down a list of past and current city officials
he had contacted about problems at the Econo Lodge. Those Director Mike Miller made a comment at the May 11
violations, and penalties that urge the motel to make needed meeting that deserves close attention.
improvements and come into compliance with city and state officials included: Former City Housing Inspector Glenn
T H E B R I D G E F E B RUA RY 16 M A RC H 1, 2 017 PAG E 2 3

Millers began by stating his belief that it was the Citys job to work with and support
landowners and private property rights. Then he made his major point, saying, That
building is a disaster. There is asbestos in that building.
Miller also said that the State of Vermont has a loan program that offers financial help to
property owners in paying for the costs of removing asbestos. Perhaps the Econo Lodge could
explore this option, he said.
Summing up, then.
First, theres been a long history during the past 10 or so years in which the Econo Lodge
has been the object of repeated state and city inspections, with notices of violations, some
penalties and admittedly some forward progress in meeting city and state fire, building,
health and safety codes and directives.
Second, theres been a sustained and intensifying drumbeat of citizen displeasure and
frustration at the blighted appearance of the vacant Econo Lodge buildings along with
concerns about neighborhood health and safety.
Out of this local maelstrom, two recent developments may offer some hope to the Northfield
Street neighborhood as they call for solid improvement to the Econo Lodge situation.
In a recent phone conversation with Bob Sponable, regional manager of the Vermont State
Division of Fire Safety (Barre office), Sponable said state fire officials are working closely with
their Montpelier counterparts on what he called intricate cases. And the Econo Lodge is
such an intricate case.
In the fall of 2016, state and city officials collaborated on a structural evaluation of the two What follows is a letter from Northampton, Massachusetts resident
vacant Econo Lodge buildings. The most recent inspection was carried out on Nov. 26, 2016. Kitty Jerome commenting on what it was like as a visitor to
Sponable noted that state law requires vacant building be secured. But inspections revealed Montpelier to spend a single night at the Econo Lodge on Northfield
the following and this is a quote from Sponable: Various times weve been up to inspect Street.
that building and that building has been wide open. Doors are unlocked. Doors are still left Greetings,
I am writing after a one-night stay at the Econo Lodge at 101 Northfield Street in
Late fall inspections of the two vacant buildings resulted in a directive that the Econo Lodge Montpelier the night of September 29, 2012.
produce a maintenance plan for the vacant buildings no later than Jan. 20.
I am from out of state, but can't imagine your health and safety codes are very different
But according to Sponable that maintenance plan was never submitted and, On Jan. 27 an from those in Massachusetts. This hotel was in such bad repair and seemed so unhealthy and
administrative penalty was issued on the owners of COPS INC., the company that owns the potentially dangerous, I was appalled that it was open (unfortunately, it was not booked full,
Econo Lodge. as was every other hotel within an hour's drive that night or I never would have stayed.)
Our goal, said Sponable, is to use our administrative penalty as a last resort. To get code It was unclean form filthy carpeting to broken radiator pipes to peeling wallpaper. It
compliance. reeked of air freshener.
So, thats one new development the State of Vermont is taking enforcement action in the It felt unsafe there is no second egress from any room both the door and window exit
Econo Lodge case. to the same hallway. If there was a fire or other danger blocking that hallway, there is no
Then, just days ago, Montpelier City Manager Bill Fraser released a memorandum from his alternative.
office saying that he was currently reviewing drafts of a new, much tougher, city ordinance to It felt unsafe neither the window nor the door had secure locks or were secure in their
deal with situations like that at the Econo Lodge. Fraser is looking at ordinances from other frames.
Vermont municipalities that could be a guide to Montpelier City Council deliberations in
March. Nothing was functional this may or may not be a health or safety issue, but could be
contributing factors, as the heat was not functional, there was no or very limited hot water
In a phoned-in comment to The Bridge, Justin Turcotte, one of two councilors representing (none in the sink for hand washing, the shower provided some which quickly ran out.)
the Northfield Street neighborhood on the city council, made the following statement (in Lights were extremely dim (to hide the filth?) which combined with the torn carpet provided
part): multiple "trip" opportunities for my 82-year-old mother traveling with me.
I walked the site with the owners a couple of years ago and these buildings in the Northfield the limited access was blocked we were told the closest entrance from the parking lot to
Street gateway to our city are never going to be inhabitable again. By choosing not to submit our room was the far entrance (maybe these are called the back stairs? He didn't say that.)
a plan for fire safety, the owners are exposing themselves to fines and further regulatory We went in that door and found laundry carts blocking both the downstairs and upstairs
scrutiny. landings of this broken stairwell. There did not appear to be an elevator (ADA?) but had
We should be looking for carrots, not just sticks, and I believe that there are significant there been I'm not sure I would have trusted it.
opportunities during the scheduled reconstruction of Northfield Street to remove these Had there been a fire or emergency that night, I shudder to think how I would have managed
condemned buildings and I would encourage the owners or the owners agents to reach out getting my mom out safely (she is, by the way, a Vermont resident though I no longer am.)
to our city manager to explore the possibilities, and start making money on this site again.
The manager was pleasant but unable to do anything for me. I have submitted a full
Theres two ways we can move forward. Turcotte said in conclusion, one is further complaint to the Choice Hotels group through which I found the Econo Lodge budget
regulation, the other is to work together to explore possibilities. But the owner has got to is one thing, unhealthy and unsafe is unacceptable. I hope you will think so as well, and
come to the table. conduct an inspection of this facility to determine if it is safe for occupancy.
Heres what should be done now. Thank you for your work,
First, city and state officials should continue to work together on enforcement actions in the Kitty Jerome
Econo Lodge case.
Second, the city manager and council should enact a much tougher abandoned/vacant
building ordinance with teeth in it.
Third, Montpelier citizens, not just along Northfield Street, but across the city, should put A Note from Nat Frothingham about Attempts to
pressure on the city administration and city council to deal completely with the Econo Lodge Contact the Econo Lodge Management

mess. s part of writing an editorial about the Econo Lodge situation, I made two attempts
Surely as councilor Turcotte suggests, with the road and infrastructure improvements to contact management officials both at the motel in Montpelier and at the corporate
scheduled to take place along Northfield Street this spring, it is more timely than ever to find offices of COPS, Inc. that owns the motel.
a comprehensive solution to the Econo Lodge mess. I did contact a man at the (Montpelier) Econo Lodge who identified himself as Dave
Shah. Shah provided me with a phone number to call COPS, Inc. After dialing the
number, I was advised by a recorded voice that the message answering machine was full
and could not take additional messages.
After identifying myself and telling Shah that I was from The Bridge newspaper I asked
him to react to an administrative enforcement action being taken by the State of Vermont
against the Econo Lodge.
Shah said, I will have to see what the violations are. If there is something that needs
attention, we will take care of it.
I asked him if he was aware of a needed State-ordered maintenance plan and he said, No,
I am not aware of it.
Then he said, Im not really involved in the day-to-day management of the property.
I am more involved with group sales. Maybe you were looking for an ad in your
newspaper, he suggested.
After giving me the COPS Inc. corporate phone number, the conversation ended.
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