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Connecting Montpelier and nearby communities since 1993 | AUGUST 215, 2012


New England Culinary Institute


Sketch by Tom Leytham

Norwich architecture students travel to China

DISTRESS SIGNAL Council and residents clash over wireless transmissions

Yestermorrow Design/Build School


by Bob Nuner

Vermont Woodworking School

EDUCATION WITHOUT SCHOOL Local homeschoolers discuss learning

A KICKING ALBUM Reviewing Banjo Dans latest

growing number of educational institutions in Vermont recognize the importance of hands-on learning. In June, The Bridge interviewed high-school seniors at the Barre Technical Center who were pleased with their learning, progress and confidence development in hands-on classes. For this story, we looked at a sampling of area organizations providing career-development opportunities to students ranging from recent high-school graduates to middle-age career-changers and beyond. In addition to graduating trained professionals in a variety of fields, these institutions have a greater economic impact on their communities than many may realize.

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

hef Lyndon Virkler says his connection with the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) began in a very handson way in 1980, when he hired an intern from NECIs first class for his kitchen at Sam Ruperts restaurant in Warren. He worked with NECI interns for eight years before joining the school that trained them. He has been aboard for 24 years, currently as the department chair of culinary arts. Virkler explains that NECI offers short certificate programs of 15 weeks but also associates and bachelors of arts degrees. NECI instructs students in baking, pastry, the culinary arts, hospitality and the management of organizations offering those services. The associates of occupational studies degree requires two internships and two residencies each. The bachelor of arts program requires three each. Virkler also mentions a new online BA program targeted primarily at industry and management professionals. Online courses can be successfully completed without a residency. NECIs students include high-school grads, industry professionals and career changers. Virkler reflects warmly on the interaction

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

building skills into professional awareness, Yestermorrow now reaches over a thousand students a year, in programs that range from one or two days to 16-week for-credit semesters. Kate Stephenson, Yestermorrow executive director, likens the credit program to a study abroad programbut in Montpelier, offering training that augments conventional architecture education. On one level are courses Yestermorrow has provided from its birth, teaching basics of design and building to aspiring homeowners. At the other end is the design/build program affiliated with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) architecture school. Stephenson says Yestermorrow chose UMass because they were a public (and therefore more affordable) institution, had a strong interdisciplinary approach to instruction, and were well-recognized, so students who take the program will have recognized credits on their transcripts and may be more eligible for financial aid. Beyond Yestermorrows basic instruction programs, its weekend or two-week special subject courses and its for-credit program (at the Vermont College of Fine Arts campus), the bulk of Yestermorrows Warren programs serve individuals enhancing their professional skills or changing careers. Professionals come to learn about a particular aspect of, for example, green building techniques, which Yestermorrow has championed from its beginnings. Stephenson notes that another of Yestermorrows functions is to enable careerchangers to test their dreams, but it also proestermorrow Design / Build vides cross-fertilization, exposing students to School in Warren was founded on other possible avenues that might carry even the notion of hands-on learning. Founded more interest, when, perhaps, immersion in in 1980 by John Connell, an architecturesee LEARNING, page 4 school graduate who saw a need to integrate

among experienced industry professionals studying to advance their game, mature career-changers, and young people with stamina and energy just embarking on a new career. Whats energizing for the 30 or so fulltime faculty, Virkler says, is the passion these carefully vetted students bringyounger or older. NECIs faculty may come from a European instructional environment or American culinary establishments. Asked about the economic influence of the school, Virkler points to the 1,000-plus NECI graduates and former instructors now part of Vermonts culinary environment. In addition, the school sources its materials, vegetables, produce, meats and cheeses from local suppliers, and its teaching/dining facilities are a recognized part of the local landscape: NECI on Main, which supports the local-food Farm To Table movement, the Chefs Table, for wine dinners and special events, La Brioche bakery, and the Dewey Hall (Vermont College of Fine Arts) and National Life cafeterias. Other impacts that Virkler notes are NECIs service learning opportunities that benefit local nonprofits, like the work that NECI students have done in partnerships with the Montpelier Food Pantry, FoodWorks, and No Hunger organizations. NECI reports 480 students annually, an $8 million payroll in central Vermont, $7 million paid in rents, food, and alcohol, 180 employees and $200,000 paid annually in rooms and meals taxes to the State of Vermont.

Energy Supplement Coming Up August 16! Next issue will contain our annual, well-received exploration of all things energy. To advertise in this special supplement, contact our ad reps, Carolyn and Carl, at 223-5112, ext. 11, or

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Vermicomposting WORKSHOP
This Saturday, August 4, at 1 p.m.

LEARN ABOUT: composting with worms as an alternative or supplement to outdoor composting how to set up, maintain, and harvest a worm bin applications for worm manure, or vermicast, on potted plants and in the garden. and more

Call or come in to the store to sign up.

HOURS: MonFri, 86; Sat 85


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 3

Monday Morning Montpelier Mishaps


have seen so many robins suddenly, after not seeing any for a while. Coming through in waves, drifting somewhere, even before the monarch butterflies have built up their numbers. I know robins dont migrate until fall, but on years with either downpours that kill untold millions of worms or droughts that dry up small streams and render the ground hard as clay, they are suddenly in flocks eating food of last resort, red Tartarian honeysuckle berries. They are on the move. I saw 25 on phone wires and in the bushes of an overgrown field today doing exactly that. I wanted to yell, Wait, not yet, still time for another brood before fall! But they were not in a listening mood, so I kept my mouth shut. Nona Estrin

Nature Watch

The Bridge is seeking a well-organized, friendly and energetic person to become a member of our advertising sales team. We are looking for someone who knows and likes The Bridge and who wants to help us reach out to and work with our ad clients in the central Vermont business community. You will work with other members of our solid ad sales team. This is an ideal part-time position for someone who wants to add to their income or for someone who wants to break into the workforce and get to know people in Montpelier and nearby communities. Interested? E-mail Nat Frothingham, editor and publisher, at
ontpeliers Main Street closed between School and State Streets Monday morning when the fire department responded to a grease fire at McGillicuddys Irish Pub on Langdon Street. According to neighboring business Onion River Sports, the restaurants fire suppression system worked as required, and a quick response helped contain further trouble. (Above, firemen ready a fan to remove smoke from the building after the fire. Photo courtesy Onion River Sports.) At around the same time, Montpelier police were asked to conduct a welfare check on Elm Street, where a woman armed with a knife had barricaded herself in an apartment with another individual and was threatening self-harm. Police established contact through the apartment door, then engaged in a two-hour negotiation, ultimately defusing the situation and transporting the women to Central Vermont Medical Center for further attention after a willing exit from the apartment. The Montpelier police were assisted by state police and Washington County Mental Health staff.

Consider Running for Council

esidents of Montpeliers District 2 have until Wednesday, August 15, at 4:30 p.m. to submit applications to city clerk John Odum for the council seat about to be vacated by Sarah Jarvis. Applicants need a minimum of 25 District 2 signatures in original, hard-copy form. Additionally, applicants must provide a statement about why they want the job, what public-service experience theyve had in the last five years, what parts of city government are of particular interest and any other pertinent information. The support documents may also be submitted electronically to by the same deadline. The council will hold interviews August 22 with applicants whove submitted the required information and petitions by the deadline. The council expects to decide that same evening whom they will invite aboard.

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An Inspired Store

nspired Creations has opened its doors at 97 State Street, across from Capitol Plaza, where the Knitting Studio used to be. The store sells crafts and souvenirs and offers jewelry, games, woodwork, Danforth pewter, T-shirts, hats, home decor and Vermont specialty foods. Owner Polly Walsh says there is also an artist-of-the-month program for wall art (paintings, photography, quilts, etc), and that they continue to add inventory as the store establishes itself. Walsh and her husband opened the store at the end of June; she says its their first sojourn into the retail-business world. Located near the State House complex and the Pavillion, the store is targeted at the tourist trade, but Walsh sees it as a source of gifts for locals as well.

FoodWorks Projects
P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601 Phone: 802-223-5112 | Fax: 802-223-7852; Published every first and third Thursday
Editor & Publisher: Nat Frothingham General Manager: Bob Nuner Production Manager: Marisa Keller Sales Representatives: Carl Campbell, Carolyn Grodinsky, Rick McMahan Graphic Design & Layout: Dana Dwinell-Yardley Calendar Editor: Dana Dwinell-Yardley Bookkeeper: Kathryn Leith Distribution: Kevin Fair, Diana Koliander-Hart, Daniel Renfro Website & Social Media Manager: Dana Dwinell-Yardley Advertising: For information about advertising deadlines and rates, contact: 223-5112, ext. 11, or Editorial: Contact Bob, 223-5112, ext. 14, or Location: The Bridge office is located at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, on the lower level of Schulmaier Hall. Subscriptions: You can receive The Bridge by mail for $50 a year. Make out your check to The Bridge, and mail to The Bridge, PO Box 1143, Montpelier VT 05601.
Copyright 2012 by The Montpelier Bridge

rowing Localfest, presented by FoodWorks at Two Rivers Center in Montpelier, has issued a call to central Vermont artists interested in showing their wares September 8 at Localfest 2012, the best of the best of central Vermont in a one-day celebration. The event will feature local music, food, artists, beverages, entertainment, demos and more on the grounds of FoodWorks historic, 19-acre Two Rivers Center farm (behind Cabot Creamery offices near the junction of Routes 2 and 302). Artists are invited to share and sell handmade arts and fine crafts at the festival, which will run from noon to 6 p.m. The fee for artists is $30 and will benefit FoodWorks and its mission to build lasting, local food security for central Vermont. Contact Liz at for a vendor application. The deadline for artists to register for a table is August 17. In other news, FoodWorks Caleb Kinney has been conducting half-hour cooking classes at food shelves in Barre and Waterbury. While the schedule is a bit fluid, he expects to continue in Montpelier at Trinity Churchs lunches on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and at the Barre and Waterbury food shelves on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Kinney demonstrates technique, offers recipes and provides produce for people to take home to practice what he has demonstrated.

Financial Adviser Encourages School-Supply Donations

att Calhoun, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Montpelier, has announced that his office is supporting a Montpelier School District school-supplies donation campaign and has offered his office at 89 Main Street, in the city center, as a drop-off for school supplies during regular business hours from August 1 to September 7. Suggested items include pencils, pens, erasers, tape, glue sticks, paper of all kinds, markers, highlighters, crayons, binders, file folders, batteries, calculators, rulers, Wite-Out and hand sanitizer. all items by Bob Nuner

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LEARNING, from page 1

independently juried admission process, and grants in aid of $600 to $900 per session are available for those who need assistance. The VSC hosts a guest artist or writer for each session, Elfer said, to create additional stimulation in the community of artists. As to economic impact, Elfer put the VSCs full-time staff at 30, plus the presence of yearlong intern/staff positions. She noted that attendees may offset some costs by providing services in the kitchen, dining room or other areas. The VSC also offers a Vermont Week, when Vermont artists and writers pay only $200 for a weeks studio space, meals and lodging. The center describes itself as The largest international artists and writers residency program in the United States. Theyve also fitted a silo with six rooms, as enrollment has grown, and purchased a house in Jeffersonville for student housing. The school offers two separate tracks: Their own immersion courses of varying lengths, depending upon the specificity of the course, and the Burlington College credit programs. Ewoldsen remarks that VWS was a pioneer of the academic affiliation model, recognizing the benefits that financial assistance could bring through Americorps, Vista and the G.I. Bill programs. For its noncredit immersion program, theres assistance available (for now) through a VSAC nondegree assistance program. Ewoldsen describes his students in three cohorts: about a third have a background in woodworking and wish to expand their skills; another third are changing careers, perhaps availing themselves of funding through programs like the G.I. Bill, and the others are younger, recent college grads or students, ready to learn furniture design and construction. Their common successful personality trait, notes Ewoldsen, is creativity. In a cautionary aside, he notes that careerhaters looking for a change may not thrive. To address that problem, VWS subjects immersion-program beginners to four long, intense days of basic introduction. The intensive successfully washes out those who discover they dont really love woodworking. But if students love those four days, the cost of the intensive is folded into the full immersion course, and on they go. Of the schools economic impact, Ewoldsen points to the presence of 25 or so students averaging nine months in the immersion program and three years in the credit program. While the school purchases and supplies housing, students buy gas and food and require other services. VWS has approximately five full-time instructors, of eight, if you count the time instructors spend teaching both separate programs. Ewoldsen also notes that VWS buys local where it can (lumber, supplies, etc.). Acknowledging Obama-administration desires for measurable results from student aid programs, Ewoldsen notes VWSs training both their immersion and Burlington College students in running a successful business. He points to success in placing grads in fine millwork shops across the country and in craft studios like the Shelburne Craft Schools incubator space, creating successful, productive employees and smallbusiness owners.

the initial dream reveals elements individuals dislike. Now in its 32nd year, Yestermorrow has an adjunct faculty of about 150 professional practitioners from all over the country. With a full-time staff of 10 and a budget of $1.1 million, they contribute to the economic life of the Mad River Valleyand they involve themselves in the community. Yestermorrows basic skill classes, such as their short courses for women, build structures that the school provides to area nonprofits, and Yestermorrow students from various classes are providing Warren Elementary school with design and construction services that help control project costs.

he Adamant Music School offers classical musicians a noncompetitive place to strengthen and focus on piano skills. The schools business manager, Jean Palmisano, said the school hosts 100 to 125 students, if you include auditors who may fly in for just a day or two to audit a class by a master teacher. The school offers pianists 27 studios, each with one or two pianos, for daily practice. Students range from their teens to 80 and come from as far away as South Africa, Poland or China to attend three master-class weeks or a regular session of three weeks. The public can attend performances throughout the sessions. The school houses students, but some those who visit only briefly may stay in the neighborhood. Above the year-round business manager and caretaker services, the school employs kitchen staff and a chef, gardener, pianotuner and housekeeping staff.

ifteen miles west of VSC, the Vermont Woodworking School (VWS) offers for-credit and noncredit training to individuals who wish to design and build furniture. Cofounder Blake Ewoldsen says the school began in a Colchester industrial space with no natural light. Six years later, they provide housing to their students from all over the country in a Fairfax farmhouse across the road from the converted barn that houses their classroom/shop space.

Rebuilding Montpeliers History

Vermont Youth Learn Skills in Local Food, Farming and Historic Restoration

he Vermont Studio Center (VSC) in Johnson hosts 60 artists and writers per two-week session, year-round, according to Effie Elfer, travel coordinator for VSC. Most attendees come for a monthtwo sessionsbut some may stay as long as eight weeks, especially if they come from overseas. VSC is not so much a school as a place to work without interruption in the company of like-minded artists. It has fellowship deadlines for which applicants apply to be admitted to the program. Application is an

his summer, Vermont youth age 15 to 21 participated in a hands-on training program developed and run by FoodWorks at Two Rivers Center at the historic Two Rivers farmstead in Montpelier. The program, developed in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Labor, provided the participants with training in basic carpentry, farming, the local food industry, food preparation and nutrition. Tom Beck, a carpenter and one of the programs instructors, supervised the participants as they worked to help rebuild the historic Two Rivers Farmone of Montpeliers oldest and most historic properties, built in 1836. These kids performed work they didnt even know they could do before they started here in June, Beck said. Here on the building, they jacked up the barn, installed siding, sealed the foundation, put up trusses on the second floor. On the farm, they learned to identify and pull weeds, harvested crops and put food

into storage. They are the next generation of skilled laborers in our community. In addition to their work on the farm, program participants attended team-building and educational events and assisted FoodWorks food, farm and nutrition educator, Caleb Kinney, in providing nutrition and food-preparation demonstrations at the Waterbury and Barre food shelves. Several of the youth will now stay on at the center to further assist Beck in the ongoing restorations of the Two Rivers barn. Plans for the building include a teaching kitchen and open classroom to be used for food processing and further job-skills training. Beck notes that the remaining participants will now move from basic carpentry skills into apprentice-level carpentry, with an eye to developing the skills needed to enter the trade. For more information about FoodWorks and the Two Rivers Center, visit James Askew

The Versatile Noah Nielsen: Circus Performer and Barn Builder

to it. You can actually throw the diabolo up in the air and catch it again. The world record is performing with five diabolos at once. Noah can already perform with three. Hes working on adding a fourth. As Facebook has emerged, Noah has made direct connections with circus performers across the world. Peter said, Noah continues to learn an incredible amount about diabolo, juggling, acrobatics and other arts by connecting with a tight [worldwide] community of circus performers. In 2007, when he was 12, Noah attended his first summer camp at Circus Smirkus in Greensboro. In 2009, he auditioned for the Big Top Tour. He didnt make it then, but in 2010 he tried again and got in. This summer is his third year performing with Circus Smirkus. Peter described Smirkus as one of the best, if not the best, opportunities for youth to train and prepare to become professional circus artists, or performing artists of any kind. Circus Smirkus has gained a worldwide reputation and respect, he said. Getting chosen for the Big Top Tour is a big deal. Of the hundreds of young people who apply, about 15 are chosen each year just to audition. When they arrive in Greensboro in early June, they have precisely 21 days to put together their touring show. The troupe is helped by 10 professional coaches from around the worldincluding a Hollywood stuntman, a Broadway choreographer and a European wire-walker. At the end of 21 days, the coaches leave for home, and the troupe goes out on the road to perform 70 shows over seven weeks across the New England and New York State. A few days ago, I talked via phone with Noah, who was calling from Waltham, Massachusetts, where Circus Smirkus was performing. Noah talked about his performing roles: diabolo, trampoline, unicycle and ball juggling. We try to do dropless, he said about not wanting to make mistakes. We try for an act thats flawless. Noahs plan is to go back to Circus Smirkus for a final Big Top Tour next summer. But this winter he will be auditioning for a spot in one of two Canadian circus schoolsthe National Circus School (Ecole Nationale de Cirque) in Montreal, or the Quebec Circus School (LEcole du Cirque de Quebec) in Quebec City. Noah wants a career as a professional circus performer, but hes realistic. You can only do circus for so long, he said. After circus, he wants to go to school for architecture or graphic design or film. As a high-school junior at MHS, in an alternative program sanctioned by the Vermont Department of Education, Noah studied sustainable building design at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield. As a senior, Noah plans to continue studying at Yestermorrow. For his senior project, he will work with timber framer Josh Jackson in Middlesex to design and then build a 40-by-60-foot barn for Circus Smirkus in Greensboro. The timber will be cut and the foundation will be poured this fall, and the new barn will be raised next spring. I asked Noah to talk about a high point, a thrill hes experienced this summer in performing. We try to keep the show new every day, Noah said, adding that one of the best feelings is waiting to go into the ring and perform. Waiting out there, you might not be feeling really high energy. But its really awesome to step into the ring and leave that behind and go in and do your best and give the audience everything they paid for, he said.

Noah Nielsen, working on a barn at Yestermorrow Design/ Build School in Waitsfield. Photo courtesy Peter Nielsen.

by Nat Frothingham

alk about hands-on pursuits: consider the exploits of Noah Nielsen. A rising senior at Montpelier High School (MHS), Noah has two passions, circus performing and design, architecture and building. As a child growing up in Montpelier, Noah saw a number of circus shows and was immediately attracted to circus performing. A friend of his dads made him a pair of stilts, and he started stilt-walking in Montpeliers Independence Day parades at age 7. According to his father, Peter Nielsen, Noah was an early adopter of YouTube how-to videos. He taught himself how to juggle. From juggling he went to diabolos, now his circus specialty act. As Noah explains it, The diabolo is like a large yo-yo with a string attached


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Council Decreases Antenna Signal Frequency; Hebert Road Residents Still Concerned
by Steven M. Cliche

esidents of Hebert Road testified at the July 18 Montpelier City Council meeting on their continued concern about a nearby sewage-pump antenna that emits a radio transmission. Citizens who live near the pump first brought forward their concerns in April about the potential health effects of living close to the antenna. According to councilor Angela Timpone, the three-person committee assigned to deal with the matter, including herself and councilors Tom Golonka and Thierry Guerlain, met with concerned residents twice in an effort to come up with a resolution. Many residents at the meeting stood in protest with signs that read City Council Follow Through With Alternative Options. According to Guerlain, the pump, which is in compliance, emits a signal twice a minute. The council has made a recommendation based on expert testimony from consultant Tom Allen that the signal be cut down to no less than once every three minutes. This would reduce the signal by 83 percent. The

cost of changing the pump station over to a phone-line-driven signal could cost the city upwards of $5,000. Resident Laura Merchant, who lives closest to the antenna, voiced her displeasure with what she sees as a brush-off from the council. I dont have a microwave. I dont have Wi-Fi in my home. Yet 50 feet from my daughters room is this antenna, she said. An 83 percent reduction sounds great, but were still getting this signal hundreds of times a day. Its not removing the antenna, so its not addressing the issue. There are many studies that show adverse health effects from long-term exposure to radiation signal. Ive lived in my house for 11 years; I consider that long term. Merchant went on to criticize the council for not including residents in the meetings that followed the initial complaint. She also stated that the residents of Hebert Road are not accepting what she sees as a this or nothing ultimatum from the council. Hebert Road resident Heather Bouchard shared her concerns, saying, If this antenna

is linked to negative health effects, what are the implications for the liability of our city? Golonka said that the committee was in no way put together to assess what the health risks might be from the antenna but instead to work with residents to come to a conclusion that made sense for both the city and the residents. He said that the committees decision to decrease the signal was not a this or nothing ultimatum but simply a suggestion on how to move forward. He said that he felt the residents of the road were giving the council a remove or nothing ultimatum, and if that was indeed the case, he would choose nothing. After a few more tense moments, the council and residents agreed to decrease the signals and, under the suggestion of Timpone, continue to work together to find a solution. Arts Organization Receives Grant for Barre Street Development The council has approved a $30,000 grant for the Center for Arts, Learning and Music

(CALM) predevelopment activities at 46 Barre Street. CALM is a collective partnership of the T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center, River Rock School, and Monteverdi Music School; the grant, approved at the councils July 18 meeting, will be used toward preliminary design plans and the initial cost estimate to renovate the space. The organization, headed by Kevin Casey and Ruth Ann Sullivan, hopes the space will eventually become a community facility for education in art and music. With the new senior center now open next door and many buildings in the area having been renovated recently, Casey believes that the new space will make Barre Street into a strong community anchor in the coming years. The grant is federally funded, but the city is the platform through which the money will come. Parklets: A Possibility Montpelier Alive led a discussion at the council meeting on the potential use of parklets for downtown businesses. A parklet is typically a privately funded, temporary outdoor seating space that takes up two to three parking spaces. The business in question would lease the parking spaces from the city in order to make up for the lost revenue generated by parking meters. Architect Greg Gossens presented a slideshow of the various ways parklets have been set up in other cities and recommended the council consider allowing Montpelier Alive to take the idea forward. The council was generally favorable on the idea, but at least one business owner in the community voiced her concerns about the already limited parking in Montpelier. Cindra Conison, owner of the Quirky Pet on State Street, said that she relies heavily on out-of-town support and that Montpelier is far too small for parklets. The council decided, based on limited community research, to gather input on the idea before making a decision either way.

School Board Works to Meet Responsibly

by Diana Koliander-Hart

he Montpelier school board discussed the Vermont open meetings law, among other items, at their meeting Wednesday, July 18. In accordance with the law, if a majority of the board meets, even as a committee, the meeting must be warned and minutes be taken. In May, four schoolboard members met (as a subcommittee) unknowingly in violation of this law. The board had a broad discussion about the law, and how, in the future, to coordinate with central office to warn such meetings. Board member Lowell VanDerlip suggested that

any committee charged by the board should have a chair appointed who will be responsible for connecting with central office. All board members agreed, as did Superintendent Brian Ricca. There was further discussion about a potential school bond that needs to be submitted for Election Day, November 6. Ricca expressed he would take direction from the board as board member Charlie Phillips suggested prioritizing projects in advance of the September 26 filing deadline. The bond, as discussed at the June 6 meeting, would cover improvements to any of the three school buildings in the areas of health and

safety and maintenance. Ricca also said that Tom Wood, director of facilities, will be at this meeting with his packet of prioritized items from his assessment of all the buildings for further discussion and planning. Finalists for the position of director of curriculum, instruction and assessment are scheduled to visit a special school-board meeting Wednesday, August 1, at 6 p.m. (after press time). The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be on Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. at the Montpelier High School library. For information about Montpelier public schools, visit their website at


handsomely from field or quarried stone
call Padma 456.7474 ~

Tell them you saw it in The Bridge!

PAG E 6 AU G U S T 215, 2012


The Importance of Reading Earnest(ly)

Conscientious contracting Int./ext. makeovers & paint Healthy whole-home solutions Deep energy retrofits Kitchens, baths, additions Doors, windows, roofs


by R. Brett Campbell
believe that I am a reasonably well-read individual, especially after having earned a PhD in literature. Lately, however, I question exactly how well I have read over the years and how well I do so now. I hope this reflection of mine might give you pause to ask yourself likewise. Reading, I believe, is something that many of us practice (perhaps) daily, but often unreflectively, if not even unconsciouslymuch like breathing. If only we lived as dependently on reading as we do on breathing for the continuance of life. By way of metaphor, to aid your consideration of active, engaged reading, I point out that in many forms of meditation this usually ignored activity of breathing should be at the forefront of consciousness. With similarly heightened concentration, does the book you are reading come to your minds forefront and become the focus of your thought? Do you work to understand the message the author has worked to present to you? Do you read works that exercise your mind? This is just as important as exercising your body. What about works that stretch your spirit as well as your mind? For such works exist. The great philosophical traditions of the East and West have been passed down through the ages primarily to us through the written word. So their benefits and their mysteries can only be unlocked by reading themwell. As I am now at a point in my life where there are fewer years ahead than behind, I have become much more concerned about what materials I devote my reading time to and to reading books that are full-course literary feasts, rather than printed junk food. And I find fine meals on a paupers budget. In the past year, I purchased and read affordable paperback editions of classicsthe Tao Te Ching, The War of the Worlds, TwentyThousand Leagues Under the Sea, among others, all cheaper than most magazines and eminently more deserving of your reading time and attention. I finally landed that leviathan of a novel, Moby-Dick, and was set back only five bucks (all Dover editions). Actually, it was an investment. Voyaging with Ahab and crew is worth your time. I shall sail with them again one day soon. For those who claim little time to read, I counter that the day has pockets of time available to you. Pockets in your clothing

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David Diamantis

fax: 454-8646

Certified Green Professional EMP/RRP EcoStar Roof Applicator



help too. It is inevitable that over the course of the day you will visit places where you will have to wait in line: banks, post offices or queues for cashiers at stores. While I wait to pay at the supermarket, I could kill time scanning the tabloid headlines, or I can fish out a paperback of Aristotles Ethics and invest my time in something worth reflecting upon as I wait my turn. And its OK to argue with him. These are choices I make that I believe foster my growthintellectually, morally and spiritually. I offer them only in the spirit of suggestion. I believe that reading the classics of philosophic and literary traditions helps me to reach my potential as a human beingthat is, a creature of curiosity with a powerful yearning for learning. I believe it will help you, too. There are two excellent books about reading well that I recommend. One is How to Read a Book, first published by Mortimer Adler in 1940 and extensively revised by him and Charles Van Doren in 1972. Both versions are worth reading, although the revision addresses the problems of teaching reading in our public schools and our colleges and universities with more contemporary findings and critiques. In this revision, the authors explain various levels of reading, including elementary, inspectional, analytical and syntopicalthe most complex level. The other book is An Experiment in Criticism, by C. S. Lewis. In it he expounds on some of the finest and highest reasons for reading well: We seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than we are. And: We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own. He comes to a striking conclusion: In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. . . . I see with . . . myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. . . . I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do. I have more to say on thissuch as how books can be time machinesand on similar issues that might be of interest to those who genuinely question the extensiveness and the liberating qualities of their education and who commit themselves to lifelong learning. R. Brett Campbell is a writer and educator. He lives in Montpelier.


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 7

Homeschooling in Community, Not Isolation

Finding the Ideal Educational Experience
of high school. Oliver has already pursued plenty of experiential education, including studying Irish music under various mentors and an apprenticeship with a blacksmith. He says that he learns more through doing than through theoretical studying. Agafia Andreyev, a freshman from Brookfield, echoed Olivers thoughts on hands-on learning. I think my highschool education would be based on experiences, she wrote in an e-mail, rather than reading a textbook about it. What I love about homeschooling is you can do that, you can mold a curriculum that suits you personally to make the best of the topic and make it interesting to you. Owen Matthews, another teen homeschooler, from Richmond, agreed on the importance of shaping your own education: [The ideal high-school homeschool experience is] being able to pick the curriculum thats right for you and moving at the pace that works for you, whether its fast or slow. Zeichner adds, I like that when homeschooling, I have a more flexible schedule. It enables me to pursue interests or educational opportunities that might not be available when studying under a stricter schedule. However, Ive taken plenty of in-classroom classes, solo or in groups, and never had a problem with them. A wide spectrum of classes, found at local public schools, Community College of Vermont and state colleges such as the University of Vermont, and offered independently in peoples homes or at homeschool centers such as Montpeliers Pacem School and Homeschool Center, take a central role in many high-school-age homeschoolers educations. Many of these classes, however, are not free. A high-school-level homeschooler should have access to all programs and classes his/ her community offers, wrote Eli Gould, a Montpelier homeschooler. Eli left U-32 high school in East Montpelier to homeschool after his freshman year. [Students] should not have to take any mandatory classes, he continued, although he said he thinks taking standardized tests helps to get into college. Homeschooled teens also seek community and find it in many forms: group classes, sports and a multitude of other activities with people of all ages. It can require more effort, though. Earlier in the homeschooling process, and even now, its harder to create a circle of friends and support groups, since I dont have constant access to people my own age

by Julian Kelly

bout 2,200 students currently homeschool in Vermont. This number has grown from 92 students in 1981, according to Cindy Ellen Hill of Vermont Woman newspaper. As homeschooling grows in popularity, an increasing number of students choose to homeschool through high school. A quick search on Amazon brings up many books on the subject, with titles like Homeschooling High School and Preparing Your Homeschooled Child for College. Most of these books are written by parents, for parents, and lack the perspective of the students themselves. So we asked homeschooled teens across the state of Vermont: What is your ideal educational experience? Getting to fly across the country to interview your favorite band, wrote James Cross, a former homeschooler from Barre. James now attends college in Boston and manages the band Dented Personality. I would find an apprenticeship and/or some other forms of hands-on learning, wrote Oliver Zeichner, a homeschooler from Northfield, whos in his sophomore year


through high school, Zeichner. This past year Zeichner attended the Earthwalk Teen Land Project two days a week and homeschool classes with students his age. But Zeichner, like many teens, wants more. I have to go out of my way to find people to connect with. Some sort of study group and more opportunities to meet people wouldve been helpful. Claire Boyer, a former homeschooler currently living in Australia, also wants the ideal mix, a supportive community that gives [her] support and freedom to direct [her] own learning. Creating ones own educational experience from the rich variety of opportunities available takes time and often leads to allconsuming projects. Liam OConnor Genereaux, a homeschooled junior from Ryegate, has, the time and resources to pursue whatever projects I want, with access to whatever knowledge I need to pursue them, and he said that not having a standard 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. public-school day leads to a highly active schedule. Id say more, Genereaux said, but Im busy making a movie. Reporting contributed by David Fischer, Josephine Kelly and Colette Kelly. Julian Kelly is a homeschooled teen who lives in Montpelier.


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PAG E 8 AU G U S T 215, 2012


Review: Banjo Dan, Kick Molly Through the Wall

by Cassandra Hemenway Brush

n his latest CD, Kick Molly Through the Wall, Montpelierite Dan Lindneraka Banjo Danbrings together a slew of musicians hes worked with past and present to create a sweet collection of banjo-heavy bluegrass, including gospel, political songs, break-up songs, the horse-race song that inspired the albums name, an Appalachian murder ballad and one tune thats more swing than bluegrass. Lindner writes of his most recent venture, Banjo Dans latest is a solid bluegrass effort featur[ing] fourteen rollicking original songs along with the Plowboy version of the great western classic Way Out There, featuring an all-star cast of Plowboys and pals including Bob Amos of Front Range fame. Also featured: Phil Bloch, fiddle, viola; Jon Henry Drake, vocals; Rich Hamilton, fiddle, vocals; Jaye Lindner and Deanna Booth, vocals; Willy Lindner, mandolin, vocals; Paul Miller, vocals; Jim Pitman, dobro; and Peter Riley, vocals. Its hard to pick only one favorite of the generous 15 songs on this CD, but if I had to, it would be the opener, Rise and Shine, an upbeat gospel song that virtually defies the listener not to leap up and dance around the room for the sheer glory of the Lord. I love those rousing old bluegrass gospel songs; thought Id try writing one myself,


writes Lindner in his liner notes, crediting the songs solid vocals to lead singer Bob Amos (who also features on vocals and guitar throughout the CD and is master mixer of the album from his studio, Stark Brook Productions, in St. Johnsbury.) The ballad, Murder of Crows, a rather twisted story having little to do with ornithology, is another favorite, mainly for lines such as, The tangle of tresses that fell down her back was black as a murder of crows. Plus the phrase murder of crows is just so much fun to say, and the story line of an evil-intentioned man is captivating. More sinister, however, is The Heat, another gem among the many featured here, which starts out with Get ready for the hurricane, get ready for the heat; get ready for the holocaust this worlds about to meet. The message of the song seems slightly at odds with the upbeat, danceable music that accompanies it; if you didnt hear the lyrics you might mistake this one for a reel. But, both condemning and straightforward, Lindner doesnt mince words: Damn your air conditioner and damn your SUV/dont blame the damn Republicrats, it starts with you and me. Living for the Music stands out for how starkly it does not fit into the rest of the lineup in Kick Molly. Contrary to its lively-sounding name, this piece of cursing and cynicism comes off as a real downer

Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys in 2009. Photo courtesy compared to the fun and lovely repertoire surrounding it. Perhaps most bizarrely, Livingnotable for the number of times it features the words f and peckerimmediately follows the sweet instrumental, Avas Tune, which Lindner wrote for his granddaughter. When I upload this CD onto my iPod, Ill be leaving Living for the Music off. The rest, however, Im delighted to listen to over and over again. This review wouldnt be complete without mention of its title song, Kick Molly Through the Wall, which starts off sounding like the soundtrack for the Beverly Hillbillies and quickly gets original with a classic bluegrass tale with a twist. In his description, Lindner notes: On the fourth of July, 1878 a match race was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville between a top Kentucky thoroughbred named Ten Broeck and Miss Millie [sic] McCarthy, a highly-touted California mare. The story of that race was captured in a minstrel song that eventually made its way into the bluegrass repertoire and was immortalized in Bill Monroes wonderful 1957 recording of Molly and Tenbrooks. A verse Monroe omitted in that version goes Tenbrooks in the stable, Molly in the stall, Tenbrooks kicked the plank off, kicked Molly through the wall. Lindner sells copies of Kick Molly Through the Wall on

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AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 9

Learning and Reciting Poems by Heart

by Laura Atkinson
A word is dead / when it is said / Some say. I say it just / begins to live / That day Emily Dickinson you access the underground stream of your deeper life. Poems learned in this way are always yours. They are like stored wealth: you can share them with others, and lines spring forth giving comfort and illumination in times of joy and sorrow. The metaphors and imagery can shake you loose from the tyranny of left-brain, logical thinking and catapult you into understandings through unexpected connections. Garrison Keillor, in his anthology Good Poems, writes: Rarely in ordinary conversation do people speak from their heart and mean what they say. How often in the past week did anyone offer you something from the heart? Its there in poetry. Forget everything you ever read about poetry, it doesnt matterpoetry is the last preserve of honest speech and the outspoken heart.

Writing on the Bones


group of poetry lovers will be gathering at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Wednesday, August 8, at 6 p.m. to recite poetry, following the process described by Kim Rosen in her remarkable book, Saved by a a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words. Saved by a Poem begins with an invitation: Poetry is the language of the soul. From below the surface of your life, the truth of who you are calls to you through the poems you love. Even if you have been touched by only one poem, or just a single line heard at a crucial moment and remembered, those words are an invitation from within. To take them deeply into your life and speak them aloud brings every level of who you areyour thoughts, your words, your feelings, and even your physical energiesinto alignment with what matters most to you. Since reading an interview with Rosen in the Sun magazine, my sister Charlotte and I have been inviting poems deeply into our lives by committing them to heart, a term Rosen prefers to memorization. In Tibetan Buddhism, this process is known as writing on the bones. It is a very different way to experience poetry. You live with a poem for days and weeks and come to appreciate all of its nuances. It resonates with your experiences and helps

New Vermont History Exhibit in Barre

he Emergence of the Granite CityBarre from 1880 to 1940 is the subject of an exhibit that opened July 26 at the Vermont History Center (VHC) in Barre. Between 1880 and 1900, with the growth of granite quarrying and manufacture, Barre population numbers grew from 2,206 to 11,855. Soon Barre became known as the granite center of the world. With the growth of the granite industry, numbers of people from diverse backgrounds were drawn to work in Barre. VHC Director Mark Hudson notes, In addition to their diverse customs and languages, many of the new residents also had political beliefs that contrasted with [those of] the natives. With immigrant populations from French Canada, Scotland, Italy and many other European countries, Barre became a cosmopolitan city distinct from others in Vermont. VHC is located at 60 Washington Street in Barre and is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 4 p.m. and closed on state and federal holidays. Admission to the exhibit is free through December 31. For more information, call 479-8500 or visit Nat Frothingham


Poetry is intended to be spoken aloud, and sharing it with others can connect us in a way that is not easy or common these days. Theres still enough time to commit a poem to heart, but even if you havent learned the entire poem, come on August 8 and share your favorite line with us or simply read a poem aloud. You can buy a copy of Kim Rosens book at Bear Pond Books. If you ask for it at the counter and tell them its for this gathering, youll receive a 20 percent discount. We hope you will join us. Call 223-4842 for more information.

Laura Atkinson is an elder-care provider. She lives in Worcester with her husband, Rich.

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PAG E 10 AU G U S T 215, 2012


Teachers Deserve Free Chocolate

Every Monday, all K12 school employees are entitled to 1 FREE CHOCOLATE BAR with any purchase of beer, wine, homemade soda or chocolate drink.

Notes from the Hill

Innovative Education
The adviser provides extensive written critiques, or, as is more often the case these days with the advent of Skype and other technologies, the adviser and student have a real-time conversation. After six months of intensive work in this way, the student returns for another residency, and a new project with a new faculty adviser begins. From 1963 until the late 1990s, there were only a handful of low-residency programs in the country, the majority of them at Vermont College and at Goddard. Since then there has been a rapid proliferation of low-residency programs, particularly in the arts. The reason is simple: we as a people are much more transitory than we once were, and the ability to communicate and to travel has changed radically. As a result, the very notion of college has changed as well. Placewhile still criticalis not an end unto itself. You can now live in Paris and study writing in Vermont. In 2008, when we created an independent Vermont College of Fine Arts, we created the first low-residency college focused entirely on graduate education in the arts. I recently read a remarkable book on Black Mountain College by Martin Duberman. For those unfamiliar with Black Mountain, it was a small, progressive college located in the hills of North Carolina that was founded in 1933 and closed in 1957. Reading the book, I was struck by the incredible similarities between Black Mountain and what we are doing at VCFA. Like Black Mountain, VCFA was formed out of another institution. VCFA, too, is located on a small hillside in a rural state. And most importantly, VCFA combines the principles of progressive education with the centrality of the arts. Black Mountains run was short, but its impact was great. Robert Creeley, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller and Merce Cunningham, to name a few, all passed through those doors. Today, many of the leading artists, writers, musicians and designers are coming through Montpelier on their way to finding their voices and making a difference in the world of arts and culture. At VCFA, we are built to endure. And one of the main reasons for this is the foundation that Evelyn Bates created 10 miles up the road. My late colleague and friend, Dick Hathaway, who is memorialized on a bench on the VCFA campus, often lamented to me near the end of his life that Evelyn never got her due for the pioneer that she was. Hopefully, thanks to our colleagues up the road, this is no longer the case. Thomas C. Greene is a novelist and the founding president of the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Illustra tion by a Barbar Carter

Class picture or pay stub as proof of current employment required, except teachers retired for 20 years can show proof of that. See you Monday at the chocolate bar!

by Thomas C. Greene


Only at Nutty Stephs.

read with interest recently that Goddard College would be recognizing Evelyn Bates posthumously with an honorary degree. This is a well-deserved honor and one that is greatly overdue. Evelyn Bates is hardly a household name in higher education, but she should be. In 1963, she created the adult degree program, the nations first low-residency program. In 1978, when Goddard College was going through one of its cyclical financial upheavals, it sold the adult degree program to Norwich University, which at the time owned Vermont College. Today, thanks to Evelyns vision, lowresidency education no longer sits at the margins of higher education. In fact, one could argue that, almost 50 years later, it is poised to become the defining model for the new century. The principle behind low-residency education is simple. Students can live wherever they want, provided they can get to campus for one week every six months for a residency. Residencies are great gatherings of faculty and students from around the world. They are deeply intensive, begin early in the morning and last late into the night. During residency, each student is paired with an experienced faculty mentor who serves as an adviser, and together they plan the work that will be done over the course of the semester. The discussion always begins with the students interestwhat drives his or her work? What is the student trying to accomplish? The work itself is not course-based, or composed of lessons, but is instead comprehensive and built on critical reading and deep learning into one intensive subject. For writers, this might take the shape of working on a novel and reading books that inform their writing. For visual artists, it might combine studio work with critical reading and writing in order to place their work in a larger social context. Following residency, the student returns home and sends work monthly, or on an agreed-upon schedule, to the faculty adviser.

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AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 11

A City Adventure
Post-Olympic Beijing

story by Meg Ostrum; sketches by Tom Leytham

his spring, opportunity landed me in Beijing, a city that planned the last Summer Olympic Games in 2008 as its debut onto the world stage. The trip allowed me not only to assess the effects of this much-anticipated event (which for so many host cities has not delivered the expected economic bounce), but also to gain exposure to the chaotic, brave new world of a 21st-century megacity. I am still making sense of the dizzying spectacle I witnessed there during a sojourn from May 18 to May 30.
continued on page 12

PAG E 12 AU G U S T 215, 2012

BEIJING, from page 11

economic metamorphosis of Beijing through images from her visits over the last 20 years. An excellent book that she recommended, The Last Days of Old Beijing, augmented her broad survey with a firsthand, eye-opening account of how the build-up to the 2008 Olympics had accelerated the urban makeover. Written by Michael Meyer, an American travel writer who had spent 200506 teaching and living in one of the threatened neighborhoods in central Beijing, this elegiac work documents the destruction of vernacular buildings and the human cost of modernization. Beside the curious place names (Safe and Sound Boulevard, New Ancient Culture Street), two facts Meyer cited really made an impression: Beijing in 1950 had a population of 1.4 million, and there were only 15 architects working in the country. Today it is a city of 14-plus million, sprawling over an area the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, where real-estate developers hold sway. A few key bits of information about the history of urbanism in China (which I gleaned from his book and from other background reading) also provided grounding for the visit. First, there is a fundamental difference in the notion of civilization. Whereas our Western concept derives from the Latin civitas and is associated with the development of urban settlements and public institutions, the Chinese equivalent word wen hua connotes literacy, literarily, the transforming influence of writing. Second, the Chinese word for city is the same as for wall, so a city was essentially thought of as a citadel. Third, building design and materials, along with urban planning, has changed little over 2,000 years. Also, though tradition may be venerated, preserving architectural heritage meant making the old look new, either through expedient, cosmetic freshening or, more likely, tearing down and rebuilding with modern materials and methods, frequently Disney-ifying historic structures. Final trip preparation involved getting hepatitis shots, assembling a group first aid kit, buying gifts for our hosts, organizing a small set of art supplies and collecting an assortment of hard-to-find items that Blake had requested. Mixed into Toms and my suitcases were an impressive stock of drugstore items ranging from antiseptic blister Band-Aids to respiratory masks (recommended by other travelers), Vermont souvenirs, various types of pens, and tie rod ends and ball joints for an American sedan. The Expedition Begins Montreala city that had gained status as a world-class destination through hosting international events (Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics)was our launching pad to what Napoleon termed the land of the sleeping dragon. The previous pep talks that Tom had delivered about his intolerance of lateness and the necessity of functioning as a group paid off. Proudly, we passed our first test of 12 people being punctual in the early hours of the morning and successfully navigating the confusing labyrinth of surrounding construction and the inefficiencies of Montreals aging airport complex. Twenty hours later we set foot in the dazzling, airy, spotless Beijing airport. Our arrival was a fitting introduction to the vision of greatness encapsulated in a propaganda slogan promoted by the Chinese government: Build a New Beijing to Welcome a New Olympics (repeatedly cited with irony in Meyers book). Designed by the British architect Norman Foster, the facility lives up to its claim of being the largest and most technologically advanced airport in the world. Among its features are a bodytemperature sensor that travelers arriving and departing must pass through to weed out people who pose health risks. Our good fortune was that we easily connected with Blake and Lili and were out of the airport within 45 minutes (even the vast parking garage is brightly lit and colorful, with its glossy purple concrete floor). Our bad luck was that it was late Friday afternoon, and we had to traverse the full northern expanse of the city from the east to the west side. The ultraefficiency of the airport experience was soon eclipsed by the frustration of heavy traffic congestion in afternoon rush hour on one of the citys outer ring roadsour initiation into the Beijinger, slalom-style approach to highway driving. Our slow progress also afforded a first look at Beijings fast-changing complexion and geography. The city is situated on a flat plain shielded by mountains to the north and west. The same northern ridges on which the Great Wall was built to keep out nomadic invasions now keep the heavily polluted air hanging over the basin, especially in warm weather. Though the moderate smog did not afford long views, we did get a glimpse of the Birds Nest stadium and the Water Cube, the iconic buildings of the Olympic site. Lining the fifth ring road were five and sixstory megashopping malls (adorned with the logos of Western consumer brands and advertisements for home design centers) and many banks of 20-plus-story apartments, new and under construction, some drab, others colorful. We learned from Blake and Lili that, in fact, many of these high-rise residential buildings were only partially occupied. Because of the upward pressure on housing, developers were playing the speculation game by leaving floors unfinished so that they could continue to jack up squarefoot costs for the units. With a silhouette of a tall pagoda rising from one of the citys few hills (an imperial shrine at the Summer Palace that would soon become our point of orientation), at last, after an hour and a half, we were almost to our destination. Barely visible in the distance were the wooded mountainsides forming the northwestern edge of the city. Just a few minutes off the highway we changed psychological gears once again and entered the walled and terraced compound of Fragrant Hills, also the name of the surrounding area. Arriving sight unseen, we knew little about our accommodations other than that we would be lodged in guest apartments (with hard beds) adjacent to a private residence/conference center, that it was in a suburban area of the city (taxis have a hard time finding us) and that the influential owner was a rare combination in go-go China of successful businesswoman, delegate to the lower house of the National Peoples Congress, arts patron, philanthropist and devout Buddhist. As it turned out, we arrived barely 24 hours after a team of editors and photographers from Architectural Digest had finished a marathon three-day photo shoot for an upcoming feature article. So Blake and Lili were as weary as their 12 jetlagged American guests (the first large group of international visitors to the retreat center). We were quickly immersed in the rarefied world of this beautiful, serene haven: a courtyard complex centered around an elevated, multilevel main building (entered through a temple-like portal) with two adjoining townhouse residences, all surrounded by elegant stone patios and lush gardens. Both on the exterior and interior, the center presented an unusual and pleasing fusion of 1950s-era American Desert Modernism (think hardedge silhouette and interior finishes, wide overhangs, banks of glass and a flowing, open plan) and traditional Chinese domestic and religious design features and colors. On display was an extensive collection of museum-quality, Buddhist-themed decorative arts and historic and contemporary ink paintings and calligraphy. As Blake explained, redoing and enlarging a concrete exterior shell for the central structure (already under construction when he

Getting Ready The impetus for the trip was an unexpected invitation in early January from a young architect and former Norwich University student of my husband, Tom Leytham. Blake Civiello has been living and working in Beijing since fall 2010. He thought the city would be an interesting site for Toms spring 2012 Sketching School, an intensive field program in architectural drawing. (May was the recommended month for the class, after the spring sand storms subside and before the sweltering summer heat sets in). Sweetening the offer was a place to stay and work: a private retreat center with an art studio that he and his Chinese American girlfriend, Lili Liu, had just completed in the northwestern district of the city. Plus, Lili could serve as our translator and guide. For Tom the proposed trip well fit one of his pedagogical goals: to get students out of their comfort zone in order to develop new observation and drawing skills. For me, it fulfilled the criteria for venturing to China, a place that I considered frontier in terms of travel. Reports, beginning in the 1980s, from colleagues, friends and family who had done whirlwind tours of the country had convinced me that I wanted to travel there only with a small group and be introduced to it by an insider and based in one place. In a few short months, miraculously, Tom recruited 10 students, procured a travel grant through a special Norwich program, booked flights, worked out the itinerary with Blake and Lili, and obtained the visas. While I gladly accepted that my unofficial role was to be a camp follower (general factotum and chronicler), when I reluctantly marked the box housewife among the limited choices for traveler status on the visa application, I became convinced that this was going to be a trip like none other. The fast-track planning left time for very limited advance study. A lecture/discussion by Norwich professor Lisa Schrenk introduced the group to the architectural and

Norwich architecture students sketching on a temple porch overlooking the Forbidden City. From left, Christina McMahon, Thomas (a Chinese boy who attached himself to the group), Amanda Larner, Blake Civiello, Nat St. Pierre, Miranda Otto and Tom Leytham. Photo by Meg Ostrum.


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 13

arrived) had proved to be part of the job. As he had discovered, there is a preference for simply using standardized building plans. More importantly, the word architect is not even part of Chinese vocabulary. The only recognized roles are engineer, interior decorator, contractor and feng shui master. (Besides Blakes design corrections, a feng shui master had made recommendations on adjustments to the buildings energy flow throughout the building process and even after it was furnished). Among other challenges of this, Blakes first major architectural project in China, was creating circulation patterns in the central building that accommodated the need for privacy (the owners living quarters were on the top floor) and for segregation of diverse activitiesbusiness meetings, art classes, spiritual lecture/prayer sessionsthat might be happening simultaneously. As a result, an elevator and discreet stairways are ingeniously integrated into the design. Blake also bemoaned the fact that craftsmanship was in short supply and things had had to be redone repeatedly, which made his and Lilis achievement all the more incredible (Lili served as project manager). Looking south from the vantage point of our spacious, fourth-floor apartment (appointed with a mix of Ikea furnishings, Chinese antiques and traditional paintings), the murky atmosphere at dusk afforded only a limited panorama of the vast urban area. A sizable band of tree-covered terrain in the near distance thankfully masked the noise from the highway traffic. Blocking our view to the north was a steep, forested hillside, but our arrival coincided with a remarkable scene that we would come to witness twice daily: small contingents of bare-chested Chinese soldiers running up and down the narrow lane on the other side of our walled compound. Thus came the second revelation of that first afternoon: we were in a highly secure, VIP neighborhood. As Lili explained, hidden away in that hillside was a Camp Davidlike

retreat for Premier Wen Jiabao, and the exercising soldiers were stationed just a few hundred yards away in a modern military barracks. Getting Our Bearings Our first 24 hours were devoted to exploring the neighborhood and going on the first drawing expedition, both experiences providing a hefty dose of culture shock. The retreat center was actually a compound within a larger gated community of townhouses owned by successful Beijingers and adjacent to another exclusive townhouse development, both built within the last 10 years. Bookending these two small suburban residential enclaves were colonies of migrant workers, another rising group within boomtown Beijing, but at the opposite end of the socio-economic spectrum. Known as urban villages, these were a warren of outdoor stalls, tiny shops and dwellings in old and new low-rise, brick, rubble and concrete vernacular buildings lining narrow, winding streets. Along the major boulevard at the edge of these villages were a few large restaurants with brightly lit outdoor terraces (essentially parking lots with tables, chairs, and charcoal grills). One of these, Lo Ma, a favorite hangout of Blakes and Lilis, provided our first dining experience and a chance to see the nighttime animation of the local neighborhood. A Hui (Muslimone of the countrys ethnic minorities) restaurant literally brought the country to the city. The owner ran a sixmonth exchange program for young people from a restaurant in his home village to intern in his Beijing establishment to get a taste of city life. Their uniform was a yellow soccer shirt blazoned with the name of Torino (according to Blake, these change according to the cheapest shirts the owner can buy). No General Tsos chicken? No sweet and sour pork? No egg rolls? No rice? No fortune cookies? For most of the Norwich students, this was new culinary territory.

Some tentative, others more adventuresome, they sampled plates of grilled fare, along with gooey long noodles, and stir-fried and stewed dishes of eggplant, peppers and lotus root, washed down with sour plum juice or beer that Lili had ordered. While we dined, we surveyed the mostly male groups of workers drinking, eating, smoking and relaxing. Likely, though Lili and Blake dine there often, such a large group of young Westerners in this nontouristic neighborhood was equally a sight to these migrant workers, especially some of our efforts to eat with chopsticks. We took away leftovers, and 14 of us ate for $32. On our short walk back, we noticed across the major boulevard a small encampment of men sitting outside makeshift tents surrounded by beehives. As we learned, these were itinerant beekeepers who came to the city to provide pollinators for the local cherry and peach orchards. Just as the traditional courtyard houses in central Beijing are fast disappearing due to the relentless march of the bulldozer, these suburban orchards, too, are vestiges of a shrinking greenbelt/agricultural zone originally intended to provide a buffer/boundary to the dense, urban area. A 20-minute city bus ride the next day (Saturday) brought us to the Summer Palace. What was originally an imperial pleasure garden filled with lakes and canals is now a playground overflowing with thousands of Beijingers seeking outdoor recreation. Picture the scene of wall-to-wall humanity at a free concert in Central Park, and that comes close to what greeted us on just a normal day. Toms intention was to rent six-person motorized boats and have the students do a series of minute contour sketches of the bridges, shoreline pavilions and pagodas, a basic loosening-up exercise to get the hand to follow the eye. However, dodging the various other excursion watercraft on the crowded lake was more of a bumper-car experience, plus the weed-infested lake repeatedly clogged the motors. After a frustrating

45 minutes, the boats had to be towed back to shore. Instead, Tom decided to have the sketching exercise take place on a stone-walled peninsula by the lakes edge. There, along with several Chinese artisans doing demonstrations, the American students quickly became a point of attraction for the milling throngs of people. Passersby photographed the students or lingered, many leaning over their shoulders. Surprisingly, the students, so absorbed in their drawings, paid little heed. Besides being an introduction to freehand architectural drawing, the park expedition exposed the group to the earthier side of Chinese culture . . . not just squat toilets, but hard-to-die habits such as spitting, blowing snot and babies peeing in public. Despite the pre-Olympic public-education campaigns to improve citizens manners, these behaviors were definitely still in practice. The visit also gave the students, coached by Lili and Blake, their first chance to practice their bargaining skills with the aggressive vendors hawking their wares. The refrains of hello, hello and looka, looka were ones we would hear repeatedly, no matter the venue, over the ensuing days. City Sampler The general rhythm of the next 10 days was a morning drawing excursion followed by a midday break, then, in the late afternoon and evening, continued work, technical demonstrations with various water media and a critique back in the art/calligraphy studio. Viewshedsdistant landscapes, aerial perspectives, tight streetscapesstructured our urban exploration. This odyssey in freehand drawing took us all over Beijing. One day we had a bus trip outside the city to visit a restored section of the Great Wall at Badaling. In fact, the itinerary provided a streamlined architectural survey of centuries of Chinese political and economic history, as well as insights into
see BEIJING, page 14

PAG E 14 AU G U S T 215, 2012

BEIJING, from page 13

crossed the citys east and west sides and traveled around the peripheral ring roads (a misnomer, because they actually follow the rectilinear pattern of the walls of the Forbidden City), I learned that to relieve the inflow of traffic to the center city, there are plans afoot not only to move government offices out to the eastern edge but also to build an even bigger airport there. In the language of cultural geography, this megalopolis is on its way to becoming a galactic cityan urban conglomeration of cities. Our one trip on the subway to the central city was the least stressful commuting experience. Mostly, we moved around in two vans; Blake and Lili were our drivers, and Tom and I alternated riding shotgun. One day our commute involved a moment of panic, when Lili realized that she might get fined because she was driving in a noncirculation period designated by the last number on the license plate (as a traffic reduction measure, Beijing drivers must stay off the road one weekday). She knew the checkpoints, though, and so we took a more circuitous route to our destination. For me, these excursions also proved to be fascinating tutorial opportunities with our hosts/guides on wide-ranging topics related to the urbanization of China and the rise of a middle class, and specifically, the exponential growth of Beijing. Our discussionsa travelers impressions corrected or amplified by their expat insightswere usually sparked by a detail or sight. For instance, my inquiry about propaganda banners bearing the words in Chinese and English, Patriotism, Innovation, Inclusiveness, Virtue yielded a commentary on the recently launched Beijing Spirit campaign, a post-Olympic government effort to promote civic pride and duty and refresh the notion of solidarity at a time when the social fabric is fraying. Evidently, below the surface of optimism is fear of what could happen if the economic engine slows down. There is also concern that the growing income gap between rich and poor, as well as growing distrust of the corrupt system of crony communism, could spark another revolution. Our conversations also veered into the subject of how long our hosts expat experience would last. The citys redevelopment and growth, together with the lack of trained Chinese architects, make it a mecca for foreign professionals. Yet issues of food security, endless rules (invisible to a tourist) and general livability create an ongoing dilemma. Our adventure in Beijing was a culinary sampler as well. Blake and Lili took us for lunch and dinner to popular restaurants specializing in Peking duck, spicy crayfish, Mongolian hot pot (a fondue), and Manchurian wild game. The students also quickly became regulars at the neighborhood Hui restaurant, using the photos on the menu to order. A variety of fast-food establishments (KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway), which in China are more like American family restaurants, provided a reliable source of comfort food.

the varying influence of the West. In addition to a second visit to the Summer Palace, other imperial sites on our list included the Forbidden City and the Old Summer Palace grounds (with the ruins of European style, 18th-century waterworks and structures that earned it the name of the Versailles of the East). Chinas modern story can also be easily read through the built landscape in Beijing. The infamous Tiananmen Square, bordering the Forbidden City, clearly remains the central icon of the Communist Revolution and early Maoist era of Chinese Communism. A former 1950s decommissioned military production complex in northeastern Beijing evidenced both the citys current postindustrial transformation and the countrys redirection toward a capitalist-influenced, market-driven economy that began three decades ago. With some of the interiors still bearing the remnants of worker propaganda, this massive, 175-acre, East Germanbuilt compound of factories and warehouses is now the trendy 798 Arts District, filled with galleries, bookstores, cafes and designer workshops. (Its aging metal structures and equipment make it as interesting a place for wedding and fashion photo shoots as for drawing). And the bold structures at Olympic Park, along with a scattered crop of other new, ultramodern, idiosyncratic landmark buildings designed by foreign architects, are definitive symbols of Chinas current vaulting ambitions as a global superpower. In contrast to these well-trafficked, showcase tourist sites, a morning spent sketching in the neighboring urban village provided more intimate and gritty views of everyday life. Doorways, facades, lighting fixtures, signs and the loopy patterns of wires were the subjects that caught the students attention. No one attempted to draw the makeshift outdoor pool hall wedged into a line of fruit and vegetable stalls. Quiet and uncrowded due to the daytime absence of most of the inhabitants, this drawing site was the only place where the students had few sidewalk spectators observing their work in progress. One day at Jiangshan Park, a hill overlooking the wall and rooftops of the Forbidden City, Tom briefly had an 11th student when a six-year-old Chinese boy named Thomas requested pencil and paper to join the group. Following the example of the students using their pencils as a measuring device, he methodically delineated the North Gate of the imperial city. His miniature rendering was among the best and won great admiration from the class. Each of our drawing outings, except for the five-minute walk to the urban village, was a commuting experience that required a 60- to 90-minute ride both ways. Watching the bicycles and motorized delivery bicycles, overloaded with everything from food to building supplies, maneuver in traffic along the usually gridlocked local arteries was decidedly a spectator sport for us. As we criss-

The Norwich students visit the Great Wall. Photo by Meg Ostrum. Our tight schedule, unfortunately, did not allow time to go to a performance by the Peking acrobats, usually a must-see event for first-time visitors. We did, however, get to witness another virtuosic demonstration of Chinese traditional arts. One afternoon, two master artists, a traditional painter and a seventh-generation calligrapher, were invited to the art studio. We watched them, trancelike, stroke-by-stroke, transform white paper into visual poetry. The calligraphers speed, precision and fluidity were particularly amazing, and his demonstration included creating an 8-foot-long mural. Afterwards, the students got to try their hands at ink painting, using all sizes of special calligraphy brushes from the workshop. We took turns using a giant brush with water to make letter-like designs on the unsealed stone floor, a special feature that Blake had had installed. Between the artists performances and the students experimentation, this four-hour session turned into one of the most memorable learning experiences of the trip. Finale By the end of the class, the previously empty 20-foot white wall in the art studio had become a dense, quilt-like display of ink and watercolor sketches that the students had produced. Most had advanced a few levels in their drawing skills, and some had made giant leaps forward, but all had new confidence. At the outset, Blake had explained that each student, as a token of appreciation for being a guest at the center, would leave a drawing to continue the furnishing of the buildings. On the last day Tom presented this modest collection of student work to the owner, as well as an elegant, Shaker-style wood tray crafted by a Vermont woodworker, which she ceremonially accepted with a few polite words in English. Also, he distributed maroon baseball caps with the Norwich University logo to the 10 staff members, garnering similar nods and thank yous. (Less ceremoniously, but with pleasure and relief, we gave our completely unused first-aid kit to Blake and Lili). The farewell lunch was one of the best meals of the trip. Working side by side with the owner and the staff (some wearing their baseball hats) in a production line in the main kitchen, we made trays and trays of dumplings filled with various combinations of ground pork, green beans, ginger and fennel, which were then boiled. As Lili explained, dumplings are considered a traditional good luck dish for departing travelers. We feasted, knowing the slim pickings of airline and airport food awaiting us. The hair-raising, midafternoon bus trip to the airport confirmed our suspicion that Beijing is where the notorious, freestyle Fung Wah drivers (who make the Boston-New York run in record time) get their training. As we zoomed along the fifth ring road, we had a last chance to spot several buildings we had seen over the course of the trip, including the giant Pangu Complex, a line of towers the length of seven football fields adjacent to the Olympic Park. Designed by a Chinese architect, its configuration was meant to evoke a dragon, but it has earned the distinction from Beijinger magazine of being one of the ugliest/oddest new buildings in the city. Though the superstructure of the lead building imitates the curve of the monsters head, to me, its silhouette looks much more like a dragon that swallowed a cash register, a fitting parting image of the voracious urban development that characterizes Beijing. As to my final verdict about the impact of the 2008 Olympics on the transformation of the city: Yes, Beijing can claim now to be both a modern and global city. A great city? Not yet. Meg Ostrum is an art and museum consultant and writer. Tom Leytham is an architect and adjunct professor at Norwich University. They live in Middlesex.


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Chris Bohjalian, who will read at Bear Pond Books on Tuesday, August 7.

Plant Spirit Yoga Retreat. With Lydia Russell-McDade. Practice plant -pirit yoga and meditation and outdoor plant journeying in woods and gardens. Organic lunch. Intermediate yoga; no experience with meditation or plant-spirit medicine required. Twin Pond Retreat, Brookeld. $60$120 sliding scale. Registration required: Roxbury Community Yard Sale. Rain or shine. 8 a.m.2 p.m. Roxbury School parking lot or Town Hall, Route 12A (across from Warren Mountain Road). Shape-Note Sing. Ian Smiley leads tunes from The Sacred Harp. All welcome; no experience necessary. 6:308 p.m. Tulsi Tea Room, 34 Elm Street, Montpelier. By donation. Ian, 229-4008 or Event happens every rst and third Saturday. Contra Dance. All dances taught; no partner necessary. All ages welcome. Bring shoes not worn outdoors. 811 p.m. Capital City Grange, 6612 Route 12 (Northeld Street), Berlin. $8. 7446163 or Event happens every rst, third and fth Saturday. Young Choreographers. See Friday, August 3, for description and information.

Cheese Tasting: A Guided Tour of Local & Global Cheeses. With cheese enthusiast Leslie Polubinski. Bring your own alcoholic beverages; nonalcoholic drinks provided. 78:30 p.m. Old Town Hall, Brookeld. Free, but RSVP required: 2763535 or


Upcoming Events
The Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Drop your stued buddy o with any special instructions on Friday, then pick up your friend in the morning and enjoy a snack, story and slideshow of the wild night the animals had. Drop o any time Friday; pick up Saturday, 9 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard childrens library, Montpelier. Free. 223-4665. The Wonderful World of Bats. An all-ages presentation with Jerry Schneider. Learn about local and tropical bats via slides and taped bat calls. Step beyond the old stereotypes to understand the vital role bats play in helping control insects, pollinate owers and disperse seeds. Kids age 5 and older can create a T-shirt at the end of the program: bring your own or buy one for $4. 10 a.m. Cafeteria, Thatcher Brook Elementary School. Free, but registration requested at 244-7036. Zombie Apocalypse Party and Film Screening. Watch central Vermonts own zombie movie, Rookie Plague, lmed in Northeld by Norwich University students. Afterward, cast members and zombie makeup artists help you create your own living dead look, then wanna-be zombies impress judges on the undead catwalk. Spooky zombie snacks served. 45:30 p.m. Milne Community Room, Aldrich Public Library, Barre. 839-5045 or Friday Night Fix: Flat Fix and Troubleshooting Encore Edition. Onion River Sports mechanics show you how to x a front or rear at, help you identify what at-x gear you need and teach you how to self-diagnose other bike maladies. Final event of the series. 67 p.m. Onion River Sports, Montpelier. Coffeehouse. Enjoy live music and share your own. Fellowship, potluck snacks and beverages. 79 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church, 137 Main Street, Montpelier (park and enter at rear). Free. Dick, 244-5191, 472-8297 or Event happens every rst Friday. House Concert Indra and Rani Arbo. The Danish jazz trio, joined by Arbo, performs jazz, fusion folk, gospel, blues and traditional folk music. 7 p.m. Home of Tom and Susannah Blachly, Marsheld. Directions and more information at 426-3955. Young Choreographers. Young area stars rock the barn with original dances. New work by Maryjo Cahilly-Bretzin, Martin Gutierrez, Jasmine Cohen, Olivia Zoecklein, Emma LutzHiggins, Isador Snapp and more. 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15. Event repeats Saturday, August 4.


Kids Movie and Popcorn Party. Bring the whole family for Up, the 2009 Disney-Pixar lm about the adventures of an elderly man and a young stowaway who y to South America by oating in a house. 35 p.m. Old Town Hall, Brookeld. Free. Goddard College Visiting Scholar: Hillary Webb. The psychological anthropologist presents Schrdingers Cat Is Dead, Schrdingers Cat Is Not Dead: Adventures in Andean Complementary Dualism and reads from her book Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World. 7:158:45 p.m. Haybarn Theater, Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Road, Plaineld. Free. 454-8311 or

Leslie Polubinski, who will lead a cheese tasting on Tuesday, August 7, in Brookfield.


Classic Book Club: Alice in Wonderland. 6 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, Route 2, Plaineld. Free. Daniel, 793-0418. Event happens every rst Monday. Peace Walk. Walk from the State House lawn to the river by Montpelier High School for a Japanese Obon ceremony to commemorate the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Meet at 6:45 p.m. at the State House, Montpelier. 223-1879. Goddard College Visiting Scholar: John Hanson Mitchell. The nonction writer and former journalist presents his new book, Looking for Mr. Gilbert: The Reimagined Life of an African American, along with an account of his 25-year research into the true identity of a Harvard assistant. Historical photographs presented. 7:15 p.m. Haybarn Theater, Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Road, Plaineld. Free. 454-8311 or Fiction Ruined My Family. Phantom alumna Jeanne Darst reads from her critically acclaimed book, featured on NPRs This American Life and Vogue magazine. 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15.

Write Your Own Story. Faye Lane, winner of both New Yorks and LAs Moth Storyslams, helps you bring your own story to life in this interactive, all-ages workshop. Lane performs her own stories on Wednesday, August 8. 7 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15 workshop only; $25 workshop and nextday performance. Summer Music from Greensboro: Eli Newbergers Gershwin Constellation. Newberger, a founding member of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, brings six musicians together for an all-Gershwin night of jazz. 8 p.m. Church of Christ, Wilson Street, Greensboro. $20 adults, free for youth under 18. 533-2301 or Event happens every Tuesday through August 14.



Movie with the Womens International league for Peace and Freedom. View a lm about the trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, followed by discussion and light snacks. 4:30 p.m. Aldrich Public Library, Barre. 229-5027. Community Forum on the Future of the Cutler Library. Light local meal provided by the Dancing Goat Caf, followed by a concise series of brief presentations and facilitated brainstorming exercises to help identify what community members want the library to focus on in coming years. 69 p.m. Grace Methodist Church, Plaineld. Free. 454-8504 or Author Reading and Signing: Chris Bohjalian/The Sandcastle Girls. The award-winning Vermont author reads from his newest novel, a historical love story exploring the Armenian genocide. 7 p.m. Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier. 229-0774. Saturday, August 4, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lost Nation Theater, 39 Main Street, Montpelier. $5. Tickets at 229-0492 or AT QUARRYWORKS THEATER The Ugly Duckling, a childrens show, followed by The Importance of Being Earnest, a classic comedy. Duckling through August 5, Saturday, 2 and 5 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.; Earnest August 919, ThursdaySaturday, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matinees Sundays, August 12 and 19. Quarry Road, Adamant. Free, but space is limited: reservations at 229-6978.

AUDITIONS FOR CABARET Singing, nonsinging and dancing parts available for Kander and Ebbs musical set in 1920s Berlin. Saturday, August 4, 25 p.m.; and Tuesday, August 7, 68 p.m. Valley Players Theater, Waitseld. Bring your own material or learn a piece at the audition. HAMLET, PART I Culmination of the two-week Shakespeare in the Hills youth acting camp. Part II next summer. Friday, August

10, 7 p.m.; and Saturday, August 11, 2 p.m. Outdoor tent, Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Road, Plaineld. $8 adults, $5 students and seniors. 454-9334 or AT UNADILLA THEATRE Local actors perform Shakespeares Henry IV, Part I; Athol Fugards The Road to Mecca; and Samuel Becketts Happy Days. Henry IV through August 4; Mecca and Happy Days August 925. ThursdaySaturday, 7:30 p.m. 501 Blachly Road, East Calais. $20 adults, $10 children 12 and under. Tickets at 456-8968. DR. SEUSS FAST AND LOOSE: THE LORAX Presented by actors age 1013 in Lost Nations youth theater production camp.

Create a Vision Board. With Marianne Mullen, life empowerment coach. Create a vision board, a fun and creative tool to focus your intentions and maximize your motivation. 5:307:30 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop community room, Montpelier. $5 co-op member/owners, $7 nonmembers. Register at 223-8004, ext. 202, or Quilting Group. Working meeting of the Dog River Quilters. Lets quilt together. 5:30 p.m. Community room, Brown Public Library, Northeld. Jean, 223-7984. Event happens every second Wednesday. Poetry Gathering. Recite your favorite poetry or simply read it aloud, following the process described by Kim Rosen in her book Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words. 6 p.m. Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. 223-4842. Authors at the Aldrich: Jack DeBrul. The thriller writer talks about his book Charons Landing. 6 p.m. Aldrich Public Library, Barre. Event happens every Wednesday through August 22. Middlesex Summer Concerts: Anthony Santor Quartet. Santor, jazz bassist and bandleader, leads a quartet playing the best of solid classic jazz. 6:30 p.m. Martha PellerinAndy Shapiro Memorial Bandstand (next to Rumney School), 433 Shady Rill Road, Middlesex. Free. 229-0881. Event happens every Wednesday through August 15. Summer Concerts in Barre: Over Orange Heights. 78 p.m. Currier Park; rain location Universalist Church, 19 Church Street. Free. Event happens every Wednesday through August 22. Beauty Shop Stories. Faye Lane blends story and song in her wild, uproarious and poignant tales of growing up in her mothers Texas beauty shop. 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15 performance only; $25 performance and Tuesday, August 7, workshop.



Brown Bag Concert Series: Patti Casey. Local singer/ songwriter. Noon. Christ Church courtyard, State Street, Montpelier. Free; donations to the courtyard fund welcome. montpelieralive. org/brownbag. Event happens every Thursday through August 30. see UPCOMING EVENTS, page 16

PAG E 16 AU G U S T 215, 2012


UPCOMING EVENTS, from page 15 Partner Yoga Playshop. Yoga for twooutdoors, weather depending. 5:307 p.m. All Together Now, East Montpelier, $8$18 suggested donation. 324-1737 or Dragons. Ivan McBeth of the Green Mountain Druid Order will talk about dragons, discuss ways to communicate and build relationship with these awesome creatures, and teach the Dragon Dance. 67:30 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop community room, Montpelier. $8 co-op member/owners, $10 nonmembers. Register at 223-8004, ext. 202, or Ukulele Group. All ages and abilities welcome. 68 p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 46 Barre Street, Montpelier. 2232518. Event happens every second and fourth Thursday. Free Concerts in Waterbury: Phil N the Blanks. Slamming country and hot new rock. 6 p.m. Rusty Parker Memorial Park, Waterbury. Sponsored by the Rotary Club. Event happens every Thursday through August 16. Author Reading: Judith Edwards. The Springeld author reads from Trouble on the Mountain, the second book of her trilogy about the Civilian Conservation Corps in Vermont. 6 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, Route 2, Plaineld. Free. 454-8504 or Free Summer Concert Series in Marshfield: Michele Fay Band. The Vermont-based acoustic quartet features original and roots music. Fays heartfelt lyrics are backed by a comfortable groove of folk, swing and bluegrass. Food available for purchase. Final event in series. 6:30 p.m. Old Schoolhouse Common gazebo, 122 School Street, Marsheld. Free. 426-3581 or jaquithpub Ecumenical Group. Songs of praise, Bible teaching, fellowship. 79 p.m. Jabbok Center for Christian Living, 8 Daniel Drive, Barre. Free. 476-3873. Event happens every second and fourth Thursday. Film Music Festival. View a variety of approaches to the marriage of music to picture, as oered by Music In Media faculty and students. A short discussion with the composers will precede

each screening. Evening. Noble Lounge, College Street, Montpelier. Outside Eyes. An informal showing of works in progress by former members of Same Planet Dance, the newly reestablished Montpelier Movement Collective and others. 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15.


Vermont Jazz Ensemble. The 17-piece big band performs a concert of jazz works by MFA music students. 7 p.m. Chapel, College Hall, 36 College Street, Montpelier. Open Mic Comedy Night: Stroke Your Joke. See live stand-up as comics try new material in front of an audience. Sign up at 7:30 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. Espresso Bueno, 136 North Main Street, Barre. Free; donations accepted. Bob, 793-3884.


Hike with the Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club. Hike Mount Jeerson in New Hampshires White Mountains. Very steep and dicult. Summit via the Caps Ridge Trail; descent is groups choice. Must contact leader Paul DeLuca, 479-7987 or, for meeting time and place. Rain date Sunday, August 12. Pet First Aid and CPR Class. Get Red Crosscertied with this hands-on training course on animal handling, restraint, pet rst aid and CPR, using realistic animal mannequins. 8:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. Central Vermont Humane Society. $100. 4763811 or Cabots Town-Wide Lawn Sale. More than 16 sales at locations all over Cabot and beyond, plus lawn sales, craft and ea market vendors on the Common. 9 a.m.4 p.m.; hot dogs and hamburgers served 11 a.m.2 p.m. Continues Sunday, August 12. Innovative (Tree)Homes Tour. Tour the Mad River Valleys aerial building innovations, including playhouses, pavilions, handicapped-accessible treehouses and a guesthouse, with

the treehouse designer/builders. 9:30 a.m4:30 p.m. $50; includes lunch and transportation; all proceeds benet Yestermorrows scholarship fund. Reservations at 888-496-5541. Puppet Show: Let Your Dreams Take Wing. The Hamel family presents a show for ages 3 and up. 10 a.m. Waterbury Public Library. Free. 244-7036. Choreography Forum. With Polly Motley. For experienced choreographers or performance artists looking to establish a network of support and collaborate on a performance project. 11 a.m. Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio, 18 Langdon Street (third oor), Montpelier. $5$10 suggested donation. RSVP to Hanna at 229-4676 or Acro Yoga with Lori Flower. 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. River House Yoga, Plaineld. $20. Register by August 10 at 324-1737. Moon Group. With Mary Anna Abuzahra. Track the moon cycle in your astrological natal chart, gain self-awareness and learn a helpful way to study astrology. 2 p.m. Private oce, 34 Elm Street, Montpelier. $10$20. Preregistration required; contact Mary Anna, 272-0827. Event repeats September 15 and October 13. MSAC and Dharma Film Series: Unmistaken Child. 2008 documentary of a monks journey to locate a successor to Lama Konchog. 7 p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre Street, Montpelier (enter via side door). 223-2518. Cosponsored by MSAC and the Dharma Film Series Group. Callithumpian Consort. Percussion pieces by the ensemble-in-residence, including works by Georges Aperghis, Wolfgang Rihm, Milton Babbitt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Frederic Rzewski. 7 p.m. Chapel, College Hall, 36 College Street, Montpelier. Rob Morse and Miriam Bernardo in Concert. 7 p.m. Old Meeting House, East Montpelier. Tickets at Bear Pond Books. Sponsored by the churchs arts ministries; benets the patient fund at Central Vermont Medical Centers cancer center. Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Pops Concert. Music director Lou Kosma leads the orchestra in

Live Music
BAGITOS 28 Main Street, Montpelier. All shows 68 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 229-9212 or Every Saturday Irish/Celtic session, 25 p.m. Every Wednesday Acoustic blues jam with the Usual Suspects Sunday, August 5 Art Herttua, 11 a.m.1 p.m. Thursday, August 9 Mark Cain Friday, August 10 Ricky Powell Sunday, August 12 James McSherey, 11 a.m.1 p.m. BIG PICTURE THEATER 48 Carroll Road (just o Route 100), Waitseld. 496-8994 or Friday, August 3 Phineas Gage, 79 p.m. (folk/funk/grassicana) The Grift, 9:30 p.m. (roots/rock/pop/jam) BLACK DOOR 44 Main Street, Montpelier. All shows start at 9:30 p.m. with $5 cover unless otherwise noted. 225-6479 or Friday, August 3 Evan Crandell and friends (funk) Saturday, August 4 Sara Grace Band (soul/folk) Thursday, August 9 Old-time night with the New Apocalypsians Friday, August 10 Tritium Well (eclectic/roots)

Saturday, August 11 The Aerolites (rock) CHARLIE OS 70 Main Street, Montpelier. 223-6820. Every Tuesday Karaoke Thursday, August 9 The Killbillies (alt-bluegrass) Friday, August 10 Starline Rhythm Boys (honky-tonk/rockabilly) Saturday, August 11 Lava Moss (rock) NECI ON MAIN: THE CELLAR 118 Main Street, Montpelier. All shows 69 p.m., no cover. 223-3188 or Thursday, August 9 Jairo Sequeira (Latin acoustic) Thursday, August 16 Abby Jenne (rock/blues) NUTTY STEPHS CHOCOLATERIE Route 2, Middlesex. All shows 710 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 229-2090 or Every Thursday Bacon Thursdays, hot music and live conversation, 6 p.m.midnight SKINNY PANCAKE 89 Main Street, Montpelier. 262-2253 or Every Sunday Old-time sessions with Katie Trautz and friends, 46 p.m. (intermediate to advanced players welcome to sit in) Sunday, August 5 Kelley McRae (singer/songwriter) Sunday, August 12 The Old Fashioneds (old time/bluegrass)

Art & Exhibits

CITY CENTER Brush and Lens Times Five, works by Linda Maney, Missy Storrow, Jack Sabon, Karin Gottlieb and Robin LaHue. 89 Main Street, Montpelier. August 5September 8. CHANDLER GALLERY Red Fields & Yellow Skies: The Art of the Landscape, group show by 12 state- and nationally renowned artists. 7173 Main Street, Randolph. Through September 2. 431-0204 or CONTEMPORARY DANCE & FITNESS STUDIO Pastel Landscapes, works by Joy Huckins-Noss. 18 Langdon Street (third oor), Montpelier. Through September 8. 229-4676 or GREEN BEAN ART GALLERY Random Bits of Nature, photography by Elizabeth DesLauriers. Above, Sun Flower. Capitol Grounds, 27 State Street, Montpelier. Through August 31. curator@capitolgrounds .com. KELLOGG-HUBBARD LIBRARY On the rst oor: Wings, photography by Bryan Pfeier. On the second oor: Wowie Maui, watercolors, oils and acrylics by Jeanne Evans. 135 Main Street, Montpelier. Maui through August 27; Wings through August 29. 223-3338.

MADSONIAN MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN Walter Dorwin Teague: His Life, Work, and Inuence, a wide breadth of work by the man who designed numerous Kodak cameras, the Bluebird Radio, Steuben glassware and more. 45 Bridge Street, Waitseld. Through August. STUDIO PLACE ARTS O the Wall, sculptural works made from a variety of media ying o the walls, ceiling and pedestals; Baled to Abstraction, paintings by Robert Chapla; and a 75-year retrospective of DAnn Calhoun Fagos work. 201 North Main Street, Barre. Through September 8. 479-7069 or SULLIVAN MUSEUM Tol ko Po Russky, Pozhaluista (Russian Only, Please), chronicling the history of the Russian school at Norwich University, 19682000. Norwich University, Northeld. Through January 2013. 485-2183. TULSI TEA ROOM Textures of the Earth, photos by Christian Tubau Arjona, a Spanish artist living in Vermont. 34 Elm Street, Montpelier. Through September 21. 223-0043. VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS Sound Gallery, listening stations of selected works by current MFA music students and faculty members. College Hall gallery, 36 College Street, Montpelier. August 612.

Kelley McRae, who will play at the Skinny Pancake on Sunday, August 5.


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 17

rousing performances of popular and classical favorites. Featuring Metropolitan Opera tenor Adam Laurence Herskowitz. 7:30 p.m. Barre Opera House. $15 adults, $12 seniors, $5 students, $32 family. Tickets at 476-8188 or Concert repeats Sunday, August 12. Poetry in the Barn. David Budbill and Michael Collier headline a special evening of spoken word. 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $15.


Circus Smirkus, who will perform in Montpelier on August 15 and 16.


Hike with the Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club. Moderate trek to Taylor Lodge from the Lake Manseld Trout Club in Moscow. Contact leader Ken Hertz, 229-4737 or, for meeting time and place. Cabots Town-Wide Lawn Sale. See Saturday, August 11, for description and information; today, brunch and music at noon at Cabot Church. Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Pops Concert. See Saturday, August 11, for description. 4 p.m.; grounds open for picnicking at 3 p.m. Moose Meadow Lodge, Duxbury; rain location: Thatcher Brook Elementary School, Waterbury. $15 adults, $12 seniors, $5 students, $32 family. Tickets at 476-8188 or Shape Note/Sacred Harp Sing. No experience needed. All welcome. 57 p.m. Plaineld Community Center (above the co-op). By donation. 426-3849 or 426-3850. Event happens every second Sunday. A Moth in the Barn. Theme: School Daze. Hosted by Bobby Stoddard. True stories of (mis)adventure told by your friends and neighborsor you: rehearse your own 5-minute story and put your name in the hat for a chance to tell it. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. Phantom Theater, 970 Dump Road, Warren. $10.


Digital Download Wednesdays. Confused about how to work your e-book reader? Get one-on-one help and see a demo on how to download your favorite books. 10:30 a.m.7 p.m. Waterbury Public Library. Sign up for a 30-minute session at 244-7036. Event happens every third Wednesday. Mindful Business Success Circle Networking Group. For service professionals and small-business owners working to make a dierence in their communities and the world. Thirty minutes of optional sitting meditation, followed by an hour of networking and one-on-one connection with peers. 10:45 a.m.12:30 p.m. Shambhala Center, 64 Main Street (third oor), Montpelier. Free. RSVP at 225-5960. Event happens every third Wednesday. Circus Smirkus 25th Anniversary Big Top Tour: Topsy Turvy Time Travel. Vermonts acclaimed traveling youth circuswith nine Vermonters in the ring this yearcelebrates its 25th anniversary with blasts from the past and fun from the future. 2 and 7 p.m. Montpelier High School. $20 adults, $16.50 kids 212, free for kids under 2. Tickets at 877-764-7587 or Shows continue Thursday, August 16. Enjoy the Wonders of Fungi. With Eric Swanson of Vermush. See Swansons recent pictures and projects and learn

Meditation Group. People of all abilities and experience levels welcome for meditation and discussion based on Adyashantis writings and talks. 6:307:45 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. Sherry, 479-3223, or


Medicare and You. New to Medicare? Have questions? We have answers. 34:30 p.m. Central Vermont Council on Aging, 59 North Main Street, suite 200, Barre. Free. Register at 479-0531. Event happens every second and fourth Tuesday. Wild Edibles Slideshow and Discussion. With Annie McCleary of Wisdom of the Herbs School. Learn about Vermonts wild bounty and how to use what nature oers. 67:30 p.m. Old Town Hall, Brookeld. Free. Summer Music from Greensboro: Czech-Mate. Vladimr Buka, viola virtuoso and member of the renowned Talich Quartet, is joined by utist Karen Kevra and pianist Jerey Chappell to perfomr works by Dvorak, Martinu, Stamitz and Brahms. Final concert in series. See Tuesday, August 7, for time, location and information.

how to culture and grow mycelium into fungi. Everyone will bring home their own oyster mushroom spawn. 57 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop community room, Montpelier. $10 co-op member/owners, $12 nonmembers. Register at 223-8004, ext. 202, or Authors at the Aldrich: Chris Tebbetts. The youngadult novelist talks about his book Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. See Wednesday, August 8, for time, location and information. Middlesex Summer Concerts: Doug Perkins Bluegrass Unit. Central Vermont guitarist and composor Santor leads a hot all-bluegrass ensemble. Final concert in series. See Wednesday, August 8, for time, location and information. Summer Concerts in Barre: Michael Arnowitt Jazz Trio. See Wednesday, August 8, for time, location and information. Ecstatic Dance. Freestyle boogie with DJ using Gabrielle Roths mediative dance form, 5Rhythms. 79 p.m. Worcester Town Hall, corner of Elmore Road and Calais Road. $5$10 donation. Fearn, 505-8011 or Event happens every rst and third Wednesday, and fourth Wednesdays at the Plaineld Community Center. see UPCOMING EVENTS, page 18

Support Groups
Bereavement Support Group. For anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one. Every other Monday, 68 p.m., through August 20; starts up again September 10. Every other Wednesday, 1011:30 a.m., through August 15; starts up again September 5. Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre. Ginny, 223-1878. Bereaved Parents Support Group. Facilitated by Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice (CVHHH). Second Wednesdays, 68 p.m. CVHHH, 600 Granger Road, Berlin. Jeneane Lunn, 793-2376. Survivors of Suicide. Facilitated by Cory Gould. Third Thursdays, 56:30 p.m. Board room, Central Vermont Medical Center, Fisher Road, Berlin. Karen, 229-0591.

Medical Center. Lunch provided. 225-5449 Writing to Enrich Your Life. For anyone aected by cancer. Third Tuesdays, noon to 1 p.m. Cancer Center resource room, Central Vermont Medical Center. 225-5449. Cancer Support Group. Third Wednesdays, 6 p.m. Potluck. For location, call Carole MacIntyre, 229-5931. Man-To-Man Prostate Cancer Support Group. Third Wednesdays, 68 p.m. Conference room 2, Central Vermont Medical Center. 872-6308 or 866-466-0626 (press 3).

Church, 137 Main Street. Child care provided in Montpelier and Waterbury. Evelyn, 476-1480.





Kindred Connections. For anyone aected by cancer. Get help from Kindred Connections members who have been in your shoes. A program of the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network. Call Sherry, 479-3223, for more information. Living with Advanced or Metastatic Cancer. Second Tuesdays, noon to 1 p.m. Cancer Center resource room, Central Vermont

Hurricane Irene Support Group for Recovery Workers. Get peer support and help processing emotions, strengthen relationships and learn coping skills. Every other Monday, 3:30 p.m. (next meeting August 6). Unitarian Church, 130 Main Street, Montpelier. 279-4670. Hurricane Irene Support Group. Share your story, listen to others, learn coping skills, build community and support your neighbors. Refreshments provided. Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. August 15, September 12 and September 26. Berlin Elementary School. 279-8246.


Grandparents Raising Their Childrens Children. First Wednesdays, 10 a.m.noon, Barre Presbyterian Church, Summer Street. Second Tuesdays, 68 p.m., Wesley Methodist Church, Main Street, Waterbury. Third Thursdays, 68 p.m., Trinity United Methodist

Brain Injury Support Groups. Open to all survivors, caregivers and adult family members. Evening group facilitated by Marsha Bancroft; day group facilitated by Kathy Grange and Jane Hulstrunk. Evening group meets rst Mondays, 5:307:30 p.m., DisAbility Rights of Vermont, 141 Main Street, Suite 7, Montpelier, 800-834-7890, ext. 106. Day group meets rst and third Thursdays, 1:302:30 p.m., Unitarian Church, 130 Main Street, Montpelier, 244-6850. NAMI: Connection. A peer-led, recovery-oriented group for individuals living with mental illness. First and third Thursdays, 67:30 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. 800639-6480 or Celiac and Food Allergy Support Group. With Lisa Mas of Harmonized Cookery. Second Wednesdays, 4:306 p.m. Conference room 3, Central Vermont Medical Center. Diabetes Discussion Group. Focus on self-management. Open to anyone with diabetes and their families. Third Thursdays, 1:30 p.m. The Health Center, Plaineld. Free. Don, 322-6600 or Diabetes Support Group. First Thursdays, 78 p.m. Conference room 3, Central Vermont Medical Center. 371-4152.

Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place for individuals and their families in or seeking recovery. Alchoholics Anonymous, Sundays, 8:30 a.m. Making Recovery Easier workshops, Tuesdays, 67:30 p.m. Wits End Parent Support Group, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous, Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. Open daily, 10 a.m.5 p.m. 489 North Main Street, Barre. 479-7373. Overeaters Anonymous. Twelvestep program for physically, emotionally and spiritually overcoming overeating. Fridays, noon1 p.m. Bethany Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier. 223-3079.


Mens Group. Men discuss challenges of and insights about being male. Thursdays, 6:158:15 p.m. 174 Elm Street, Montpelier. Interview required: contact Neil Davis, psychologist-master, 223-3753. National Federation of the Blind, Montpelier Chapter. First Saturdays. Lane Shops community room, 1 Mechanic Street, Montpelier. 229-0093. Families of Color. Open to all. Play, eat and discuss issues of adoption, race and multiculturalism. Bring snacks and games to share, and dress for the weather. Third Sundays, 35 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main Street, Montpelier. Alyson, 439-6096 or alyson@suncatchervt .com.

PAG E 18 AU G U S T 215, 2012


UPCOMING EVENTS, from page 17 Nature at Night: Coneheads and Katydids. Look for, listen for and learn about singing insects like swordbearing coneheads, Texas bush katydids, Allards ground crickets and more. 7:309:30 p.m. North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street, Montpelier. $5 nature-center members, $10 nonmembers, $3 children. 229-6206.


Brown Bag Concert Series: Panhandlers Steel Band. See Thursday, August 9 for time, location and information. Meeting on Disability Issues. Share stories and concerns. 13 p.m. Vermont Center for Independent Living, 11 East State Street, Montpelier. 639-1522 or 229-0501 (both are also V/TTY numbers). Event happens every third Thursday. Circus Smirkus 25th Anniversary Big Top Tour: Topsy Turvy Time Travel. See Wednesday, August 15 for description and information.

Nature Hikes with Onion River Kids. 3:30 p.m. Location varies: call 223-6025 for details. Event happens every rst and third Thursday through August. Five Common Barriers to Healing. With Alicia Feltus, nutritionist at Cedar Wood Natural Health Center. Learn about the ve common barriers to healing and how nutrition response testing can detect chemical toxicity, metal toxicity, immune imbalances, food sensitivities and scar tissues that may be blocking you from healing. 5:306:30 p.m. Hunger Mountain Coop community room, Montpelier. Free. Register at 223-8004, ext. 202, or Science of Mind Principles. Study group for inquiring minds of all faiths. 68 p.m. Universal Rivers of Life, 28 East State Street, suite 4 (second oor), Montpelier. 223-3427 or Event happens every rst and third Thursday. Free Concerts in Waterbury: Blues Harmonica Blowout. Final concert of the series. See Thursday, August 9, for time, location and information.

Waterbury Mindfulness Series. For ood survivors and recovery workers. Learn simple stress-reduction and mindfulness techniques, including foot reexology, mandala making and guided meditation. Refreshments provided. 6 p.m. St. Leos Hall, Main Street, Waterbury. 279-4670. Third Thursday Travel Talks. 6:30 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, Route 2, Plaineld. Free. 454-8504 or Event happens every third Thursday. Songwriters Meeting. Meeting of the Northern VT/NH chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Bring copies of your work. 6:45 p.m. Catamount Arts, St. Johnsbury. John, 633-2204. Event happens every third Thursday. Clean Slate Quiz. Assemble your best small team, and enjoy food and drink service outside on the patio while you play a dynamic trivia game! 7 p.m. Clean Slate Cafe, 107 State Street, Montpelier. Free. 225-6166 or


Weekly Events
Weekly General Assembly for Occupy Central Vermont. Saturdays, 35 p.m. Outside City Hall, Montpelier; rain location Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Agendas and locations at Heather,


Open Shop Nights. Have questions or a bike to donate, or need help with a bike repair? Come visit the volunteer-run community bike shop. Mondays and Wednesdays, 57 p.m. Tuesdays, 68 p.m. Freeride Montpelier, 89 Barre Street, Montpelier. By donation. 552-3521 or Weekly Rides at Onion River Sports. Come in proper physical condition depending on ride, bring water and a snack and dress appropriately for weather. Helmets required. Anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult; anyone under 18 must have a signed parental permission form. Mondays Cyclocross Cruise, 6 p.m., 1- to 2-hour, moderate, casual cyclocross ride, climbing and descending beautiful dirt roads Tuesdays Cycling 101 with Linda Freeman, 5:30 p.m., all levels welcome Wednesdays Mountain Bike Ride, 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., intermediate to advanced rides on dierent area trails each week; for carpooling and more information, e-mail Onion River Racing Wednesday Night World Championships, 5:30 p.m., fast ride with town line sprints and competitions for bragging rights, route announced at ride time; Thursdays Onion River Racing Thursday Night Nationals, 5:30 p.m., pace is zone 1 and 2, no-drop ride, route announced at ride time; onionriverracing. com.

1313 Haggett Road. Rain or shine. Call 223-5760 for this weeks menu items. Plainfield Farmers Market. Local vegetables, fruits, meat, maple syrup, prepared foods, plants, body-care products, medicinal herbs, crafts, drums, knives, special appearances by Cutler Memorial Library and more. Fridays, 47 p.m. Mill Street Park, corner of Mill and Main Street, Plaineld. Through October 5. 454-8614 or Capital City Farmers Market. On August 4 and 11: seasonal cooking demos by the New England Culinary Institute. Vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, maple syrup, ne crafts, prepared foods, plants and more. Live music all summer. Saturdays, 9 a.m.1 p.m. 60 State Street (corner of State and Elm), Montpelier. Through October 27. Carolyn, 223-2958 or manager@mont Gospel Brunch: A Community Meal. All-you-can-eat buet of fresh fruit, bread, salmon and local meats and cheeses. Mimosas and other drinks available for purchase from both Red Hen and Nutty Stephs. Sundays, 10 a.m.2 pm. Nutty Stephs and Red Hen Baking Company, Route 2, Middlesex. $10 adult, $5 children 12 and under.


Apollo Duplicate Bridge Club. All welcome. Partners sometimes available. Fridays, 6:45 p.m. Bethany Church, Montpelier. 485-8990 or 223-3922.

Youth Group. Games, movies, snacks and music. Mondays, 79 p.m. Church of the Crucied One, Route 100, Moretown. 496-4516. Story Time and Playgroup. Story time: for children age 06. Playgroup: story, art, song, nature activities and cooperative games. Dress for the weather. Story time: Mondays, 10 a.m. Playgroup: Wednesdays, 1011:30 a.m. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School Street, Marsheld. 426-3581 or Summer Storytime. With Bill Palin. Stories, critters, crafts and snack. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. Ainsworth Public Library, Main Street, Williamstown. 433-5887 or ainsworthpubliclibrary. Cub Capers Storytime and Songs. For children age 35 and their families. Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. Childrens room, Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier. 229-0774. Morning Playgroup. Storytelling inspired by seasonal plants, fruits and herbs with in-house astrologer Mary Anna Abuzahra, plus crafts, games and activities. Walk follows. All ages welcome. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Tulsi Tea Room, 34 Main Street, Montpelier. Free. Second-Language Story Time. Tales in American Sign Language, plus monthly special events with native speakers. Tuesdays, 3 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, Route 2, Plaineld. Free. 454-8504 or Story Time at Onion River Kids. Outdoor adventure tales and childhood classics. Sundays, 10:30 a.m. 7 Langdon Street, Montpelier. 223-6025.

illon. Rain or shine. Demo and tour of bell tower follows. Saturdays, 1 p.m., through August 4. Free. Diana, 485-2318 or


Free Fridays: Expanded Recycling Opportunities. Drop o hard-to-recycle items (everything from bottle caps to VHS cassette tapes). Hosted by the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District. Fridays, noon6 p.m., through August. Barre facility, 3 Williams Lane, Barre. 229-9383, ext. 106; complete list of accepted items at



Free HIV Testing. Vermont CARES oers fast oral testing. Thursdays, 25 p.m. 58 East State Street, suite 3 (entrance at the back), Montpelier.


Ongoing Reading Group. Improve your reading and share some good books. Books chosen by group. Thursdays, 910 a.m. Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center, 100 State Street. 223-3403.


Beaders Group. All levels of beading experience welcome. Free instruction available. Come with a project for creativity and community. Saturdays, 11 a.m.2 p.m. The Bead Hive, Plaineld. 454-1615.

Adamant Co-op Friday Night Cookouts. Great food, wonderful conversation and more ambiance than you can shake a poundcake at. Sausages, jumbo hotdogs, marinated portabellas, salmon cakes, seasonal salads and decadent desserts. Fridays, 5:307 p.m., through August 24. About $10. Adamant Co-op,

English Conversation Practice Group. For students learning English for the rst time. Tuesdays, 45 p.m. Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center, 100 State Street. Sarah, 223-3403. Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and practice your language skills with The Basement Teen Center. Cable neighbors. Noon1 p.m. Mondays, Hebrew. TV, PlayStation 3, pool table, free eats and fun Tuesdays, Italian. Wednesdays, Spanish. Thursevents for teenagers. MondayThursday, 36 p.m.; days, French. Fridays, German. Kellogg-Hubbard Friday, 311 p.m. Basement Teen Center, 39 Main Library, Montpelier. 223-3338. Street, Montpelier. 229-9151. Story Time at the Waterbury Public Library. Mondays, age 1836 months. Wednesdays, age 018 months. Fridays, age 36 Sing With the Barre Tones. Womens a years. 10 a.m. Waterbury Public Library. Free. cappella chorus. Mondays, 6:30 p.m. Alumni Hall 244-7036. (second oor), near Barre Auditorium. 223-2039 or Library Activities for Kids Story time, Tuesdays, 10:3011:30 a.m. Summer Song Circle. Soulful mountain Crafts, rst Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. rhythms for singers of all ages and ability levels, Games, second Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. led by Carly Joynt. Bring drums, songs or just Lego club, third Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. your voice. Wednesdays, 6:308 p.m., through Teen Advisory Group meeting, fourth TuesAugust 15. Yoga Mountain Center, Montpelier. By days, 3:30 p.m. donation. Carly, Chess club, Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. (call RobCapital Band Concert. Bring a lawn chair ert, 229-1207, for information) or blanket and enjoy live music with your neigh Young Adult Nights (games, movies, food, bors. Want to play along? Bring your instrument, crafting and more for youth age 1017), third music stand and a chair. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Fridays, 69 p.m. State House lawn near the Pavilion Building. Free. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. Free. 223Through August 15. 4665. Norwich Universitys Summer CarilEvents for Teens and Kids at the lon Concert Series. Bring a picnic and a Aldrich Library. Free lunch every day lawn chair for free outdoor concerts on Norwichs MondayFriday, no-obligations teen book club 47-bell Charlotte Nichols Greene Memorial Caron Mondays, Wednesday teen game nights, and crafts and events for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lunch, noon; crafts, 1 p.m.; teen events, indicates new or revised listing 5 p.m. Lunch and crafts through August 17. Aldrich Public Library, Barre. 476-7550.



Christian Science. Gods love meeting human needs. Reading room: TuesdaySaturday, 11 a.m.1 p.m.; Tuesdays, 58 p.m.; and Wednesdays, 57:15 p.m. Testimony meeting: Wednesdays, 7:308:30 p.m., nursery available. Worship service: Sundays, 10:3011:30 a.m., Sunday school and nursery available. 145 State Street, Montpelier. 223-2477. Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging text study and discussion on Jewish spirituality. Sundays, 4:456:15 p.m. Yearning for Learning Center, Montpelier. Rabbi Tobie Weisman, 223-0583 or Christian Meditation Group. People of all faiths welcome. Mondays, noon1 p.m. Christ Church, Montpelier. Regis, 223-6043. Shambhala Buddhist Meditation. Instruction available. All welcome. Sundays, 10 a.m.noon, and Wednesdays, 67 p.m. Program and discussion follow Wednesday meditation. Shambhala Center, 64 Main Street, Montpelier. Free. 223-5137. Zen Meditation. Wednesdays, 6:307:30 p.m. 174 River Street, Montpelier. Call Tom for orientation, 229-0164. With Zen Aliate of Vermont.



Roller Derby Open Recruitment and Recreational Practice. Central Vermonts Wrecking Doll Society invites quad skaters age 18 and up to try out the action. No experience necessary. Equipment provided: rst come, rst served. Saturdays, 56:30 p.m. Montpelier Recreation Center, Barre Street. First skate free. Coed Adult Floor Hockey. Equipment provided. Sundays, 35 p.m. Montpelier Recreation Center, Barre Street. $5. 363-1531, or vermontoorhockey .com.


Yoga with Lydia Russell-McDade. Build strength and exibility as you learn safe alignment in a nourishing, supportive and inspiring environment. Mondays, 5:306:45 p.m., River House Yoga, Plaineld; Wednesdays, 4:305:45 p.m., Green Mountain Girls Farm, Northeld (no class August 22). $5$20. Schedule at Rhythmic Flow Vinyasa. With Lori Flower. Outdoors if weather permits. Bring your own mat. Tuesdays, 67:15 p.m. All Together Now, East Montpelier. $5$15 suggested donation. Reserve a space at 324-1737. sattvayoga.wordpress .com.


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 19


United Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier. For more information, contact Patrick: 451-8395 or Registration open through October 5.


BODYWORK, SELF CARE & WELLNESS FOR BEGINNERS With Bob Onne of the Universal Institute of Healing Arts, starting October 2, for 10 Tuesdays. Focus on wellness, self-care, anatomy, physiology, and massage techniques. 79:30 p.m. 90 Three Mile Bridge Road, Middlesex. $475, deposit $25. ($450 if paid by September 4). Payment plan available. Limited to 12. 229-4844 or


WRITING COACH Are you struggling with beginning, continuing, nishing? Do you need tools and rules to keep you working from concept to completion? Art really is long, and life really short. WRITE NOW is what we have. Thirty years writing and coaching writers in all genres. Free consultation., 225-6415.




T&T REPEATS Bikes, name-brand clothes, small household furniture and more. At least two free parking spaces for T&T customers. 116 Main Street, Montpelier, or call 224-1360. TRINITY COMMUNITY THRIFT STORE Grand reopening Tuesday, August 7; spend $10 and get four items free. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.4 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church, 137 Main Street (use rear entrance), Montpelier. Donations accepted during normal business hours. 229-9155 or

STUDIOS Studios for solo artists or to share starting at $150. Three larger rooms of various sizes also available. Join us as we transform a historic convent and school into a unique center for the arts, music and learning. Call Paul for a tour at 223-2120 or 461-6222.



TAI CHI CHUAN IN MONTPELIER Beginners class. Cheng Man-ching simplied Yang-style. Taught by Patrick Cavanaugh of the Long River Tai Chi Circle. Begins Tuesday, September 4. Time: 78 p.m. Location: Bethany

HOUSE PAINTER Since 1986. Small interior jobs ideal. Neat, prompt, friendly. Local references. Pitz Quattrone, 229-4952. TRUCK FOR HIRE Call T&T Repeats, 224-1360.

D.O., P.C.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Independent Medical Examinations

4 Practicing in Montpelier since 1984 Office hours by Appointment 229-9418 72 Barre Street

Love Playing Piano

ages 4 to 104

The Bridge is seeking a well-organized, friendly and energetic person to become a member of our advertising sales team. We are looking for someone who knows and likes The Bridge and who wants to help us reach out to and work with our ad clients in the central Vermont business community. You will work with other members of our solid ad sales team. This is an ideal part-time position for someone who wants to add to their income or for someone who wants to break into the workforce and get to know people in Montpelier and nearby communities. Interested? E-mail Nat Frothingham, editor and publisher, at

CELL 522-5708

We specialize in drain cleaning and power snaking, and we have a 100-foot camera to locate any problems in your plumbing. We also do boiler cleanings and tune-ups, plus oil tank swap-outs!

PAG E 20 AU G U S T 215, 2012


Sponsored by: Century 21 Jack Associates, 223-6302


Inside Design
Renovation Survival Kit

Now that the kids are going back to school, you can get back to planting your fruit groves . . .

elmore roots fruit tree & berry nursery

The Capital for Edibles, just a half hour north of the Capital. SunFri, 9:305; closed Saturdays | 802 888 3305 or

Flexibility Projects rarely go according to plan. Carpenters find a problem when they are ripping things apart; materials are delayed; or subcontractors get hung up on another job. Realizing that there are going to be hiccups along the way and taking them in stride will make the unexpected more manageable. Alternate arrangements There are lots of creative ways to manage day-to-day life while your home is under renovation. Renting another property or house-sitting gets you completely out of the way. Renting a camper so you can live on your property is another option. Both our bathrooms with showers are torn apart, so we put in an outdoor shower. Kitchens are more challenging, but grills, camp stoves (used outside!) microwaves and other handy appliances can get you a long way.

by Alisa Darmstadt

he past few months I have been forced to walk in my own shoes, as we have been renovating our second floor. As many times as I have ushered people through their renovations, it is another thing entirely to live though my own. This is not my first renovation, but how easily we forget between times! In hopes that others can learn from my experiences, I have created a packing list for your renovation survival kit. Communication Clear and open communication with your contractor and other tradespeople is critical to a successful project. I learned this lesson years ago, so it hasnt been a problem this time around. If youre not home during the day, be sure to establish regular meetings to go over details. Get everything in writing and keep a copy for yourself. Plans drawn on a wall and later covered up with a built-in will not be available when there is a disagreement. Shop-Vac Even if your workers clean up after themselves, there will still be areas of your home you need to clean. Sheetrock and sawdust are not good for household vacuum cleaners, so invest in a shop vacuum and go after all that debris. Later you can use it to clean your car! Organization system Along with all the dust, there is going to be a lot of paperplans, receipts, sketches and lists. Early on, establish a way to keep all of this organizedbinders, accordion folders, whatever works for you. Take all your notes in one place so you can refer back to them. Hospitality Comfortable and happy workers make the job go smoothly. Offering cold drinks, hot coffee or the occasional treat will be appreciated by all on site. Let them know where they can relax on their breaks, but also be clear about areas that are off-limits. Let them know whether or not they can rummage through your garage and workbench for a forgotten tool, extra lightbulb or scrap of wood.

Timing One way to experience the least disruption is to get all the new materials ordered and delivered before the demolition starts. That way you can use your space up until the last minute and get it back as quickly as possible. Some materials cannot be ordered until the project is partially done (such as countertops), but having everything else on hand will avoid delays. Drop cloths We left our heaviest furniture on the second floor and covered it with drop cloths to keep the dust to a minimum. Cloths, plastic or paper can also protect your floors, as workers cannot be expected to work barefoot or spend a lot of time taking shoes on and off. Trash plan If youre tearing a lot of stuff apart, rent a dumpster. Have a supply of contractor bags on hand as well for smaller cleanups. Encourage your workers to recycle as much as possible. If you burn wood, take advantage of all the kindling that can come off a construction site. Reusable materials can be hauled away by ReSource for sale in its Barre store. Perspective Whatever level your renovation may be on (simple to luxury), remember that mistakes get made, materials can be imperfect and delays happen. One of my clients said it best when they had to endure a delay in their project: This is a first-world problem. I have repeated that many times to myself during this project. As the customer, I make sure I am getting what I asked for, but I also remember that these skilled folks are people who deserve my patience and respect. Finally, as an extra bonus, remember to keep your eye on the prize. The process may be hard to endure, but the results are going to be fabulous and well earned.

Alisa Darmstadt is an interior decorator and fabric, design and color junkie living in Middlesex. She contributes regularly to a collective design blog, Feathered Nest Diaries. Alisa can be reached at She welcomes questions and suggestions.


AU G U S T 2 15, 2 012 PAG E 21


Sponsored by: Century 21 Jack Associates, 223-6302

Berlin Contemporary Berlin Townhouse Unit

New 2 bedrooms, den, 2.5 baths with 1-car attached garage. Full basement, front porch, rear deck. Only one left. $216,900. Call 229-2721. 3 bedrooms, 1.75 baths, 1 acre, 1,600 sq.ft., attached 2-bay garage. Quiet location, convenient to I-89, school, hospital and Montpelier. See more at: $239,900. Call Dan at 5784494.

Incredible Find Montpelier Condo

2-bedroom condo in downtown Montpelier. Walk to everything. Hardwood oors. Just painted. $131,500. Call for appointment: 426-3425. Stunning 12-room home by the longest Vermont waterfall. Dozens of charming features private, spacious, light lled. B&B potential. 15.5+ acres, cooks kitchen, octagon gazebo. Organic gardens. $495,000. Marsheld. Marlene, McCarty Real Estate, 229-9479.

Wonderful Location
Built in 2005, this cozy 3-bedroom East Montpelier country home sits privately on 7 maple-tree acres. Walk-out basement with radiant oor. Value at $279,000! Marlene, McCarty Real Estate, 229-9479.

Get your real estate LISTED!

Contact Carl, 223-5112, ext. 11, or ccampbell@montpelier Home With Big Heart!
6 Mt King Run, Barre. $115,000. 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1,300 sq.ft. Wonderful artfully renovated interior. Views, convenient location, organic gardens, near bike path and trails. Call 479-1925.

Plaineld Village
Circa 1875 home. 4 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, forced hot air/wood heat, 1,500 sq.ft. Attached but separate apartment pays mortgage. Near co-op, eateries, rec path. $129,900. FSBO. 456-8711.

Beautiful Cabin
In the quaint town of Washington, Vermont. 50-mile views to Camel Back Mountain, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths on 4.10 acres. 20 minutes to Montpelier. $229,000. 592-3081.

E. Montpelier Land
Old Trail Road. 35 acres with nice views. Mostly wooded with abundant wildlife, southern exposure, approved septic. Adjacent to conserved farmland. $249,000. More details at or 229-5988.

Growing Your Business

Why Do Your Customers Purchase Your Service?
by Lindel James

re you selling to peoples needs? Do you understand the difference? Are you looking to satisfy your clients needs, or are you looking to increase your own profits? Are you really solution driven and working to solve your clients problems? I cant advise you strongly enough to become a solution-driven business. Here are some tips on becoming the business that will help you develop loyal clients and a strong referral source: First, ask questions. Discover the real need of your client. Since this need is usually buried under a want, you need to become skilled at asking the right questions. When you ask questions, you are demonstrating a sincere interest in your client. As you gather information from your prospect or client, you begin to develop a relationship. This relationship helps you to treat your customer as you would an old friend, and old friends work together to look for solutions to needs. Second, think about the best relationships you have with your clients. Where do these clients come from? What industry are they a part of? What are the common traits? What do you enjoy the most about them? These questions help you to determine your

marketing niche. Answering these questions could turn your business around. It is very important to realize that we all need a specific marketing niche. Third, perhaps the most significant component of your business-development process is developing a clear understanding of why your clients do business with you. Could you tell me today why your clients are buying from you? Have you ever taken the time to identify their reasons? Or have you just been lucky to get clients for no apparent reason? You must take the time to figure this out! You must discover the most powerful advantage or benefit your clients find in working with you, or they will soon be moving on to a business that comes up with a more exciting promotion. Start today. Develop your own plan for getting to know your ideal client. Understand their wants and deliver to their needs. Become masterful at asking the right questions and fully understand why your clients do business with you. Lindel James is a business-growth strategist and marketing consultant, as well as a certified Guerrilla Marketing trainer and coach. She lives and works in Montpelier and serves clients throughout North America. She can be reached at 778-0626.

Advertise! 223-5112

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Hubbard Park: Communication Needed

Let Voters Keep Deciding Funds To the Editor: Thank you for publishing David Abbotts opinion in your July 19 issue. I believe he speaks for many of us, while city council members seem determined to curtail city services. I chose to move to Montpelier because of the high level of services and the cultural/ community environment. I am willing to pay a significant portion of my income to the city to maintain this level of services and community, and I have consistently voted that way on budget items. I educate myself before I vote and have a clear idea of what Im voting for (and against). Last year, Thierry Guerlain and a couple of hundred others circulated a petition, inaccurately claiming, as Mr. Abbott points out, that taxes were increasing, while services were declining. I reviewed the petition and discovered that the folks generating it wanted to both cut taxes and have the city ensure a 3 percent increase in funds available for infrastructure repair. The petitioners also wished to decrease funding for core services like the fire and police but maintain funding for community events like First Night and Independence Day. The city council responded to this set of contradictory and confusing desires by breaking out every single nonprofit request, so that citizens could indicate which services they wished to keep and which to defund. As Mr. Abbot points out, we clearly indicated that we wanted to support every single funding request. Now the mayor and the city council have come up with another idea to control nonprofit requests, one that moves the decisionmaking to a nonelected committee. Funding would be restricted to a total of $100,000, which would clearly exclude a number of requests. I decry this effort by the city council and the mayor to remove this decision from the hands of the voters. I urge the council to reject this idea and continue to use town meeting balloting to determine the level of services (and taxes) the citizens of this city desire. Leane Page Garland, Montpelier A Progressive Montpelier is Affordable for Everyone To the Editor: In defending Montpeliers highest-in-thestate municipal tax bill, David Abbott, in his [July 19] opinion in The Bridge, casts aspersions about the nature of the people who have volunteered their time to examine the citys budget and make recommendations to the city council. I am on the committee, and in the three meetings I have attended, I have never heard the words tax cut used by anyone on the committee. For Mr. Abbott to suggest that we are tax cutters or that the council has turned over the keys of the budget process to our committee is hyperbolic and fear mongering. The meetings are open to the public, and I might suggest that Mr. Abbott attend so that when he writes an op-ed piece in the future it will be informed by more than half truths and name calling. Perhaps the essence of Mr. Abbotts agenda lies in this quote from his column: There is a strong case to be made that Montpelier is an affordable place to live once one is living here. Seriously? While Mr. Abbott frets about his property values in the column, he seems to either lack empathy or the understanding that many average residents of Montpelier, people on fixed incomes, working people and young families, are struggling to keep up with the tax burden in the city. Is this the type of attitude that passes for progressive thinking in Montpelier? This devolution of progressive politics into elitism and exclusivity is troubling to me and, in my opinion, lies at the heart of our tax and budget challenges. My hope is that a truly progressive vision of the city includes people from all walks of life who can afford to live here because we have had the courage to make the difficult decisions required to keep our taxes reasonable without betraying our ideals. Robert Kasow, Montpelier Support Chandar Hall To the Editor: As a close friend of Chandar Halls, I want to thank The Bridge for the July 19 editorial about the challenges shes having to deal with due to the aftermath of the flooding of the basement of her Northfield home during Tropical Storm Irene. The good news is that shes finally found a doctor who is willing to coordinate the treatment of her multiple health symptoms with the help of various specialists. Unfortunately, she still hasnt been able to find a new place to live, since shes learned that shes not eligible to sign a lease because of not having a proven source of income, which she doesnt expect to have until her federal disability claim is approved. However, she is hopeful of finding a room to rent somewhere in the greater Burlington area soon. Chandar greatly appreciates the financial donations shes received from the community, friends and former strangers alike, and she would welcome more contributions at P.O. Box 2021, South Burlington, VT 05407. Yona Shahar, Montpelier Thank You, Montpelier Police and Fire To the Editor: On July 30, 2012, the Montpelier fire and police staff were busy with multiple crisis situations, including a potentially more dangerous downtown fire and a police stand-off with an armed individual. I am continually grateful and proud of the dedication and well-trained staff we have in Montpelier. Thank you for your hard work when our community needs you. Angela M. Timpone, Montpelier city council member, District 3 Push for ADA Access and Civil Rights To the Editor: As the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) marks the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the civil rights of many Americans are under attack. Womens rights are being challenged again. Lowincome Americans dont have equal access to health care. New Americans face profiling by police. The hotel industry is lobbying hard to roll back the ADA on swimming-pool access. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that civil-rights organizations work shoulder-toshoulder to beat back the current attacks on our collective civil rights. Social responsibility has many faces. Its discouraging that today, after all the decades of progress made in the disabilityrights movement and other social-change movements, we need to fight harder than ever. We need everyone on the front line. Together with our community partners campaigns, VCIL believes the civil rights of people with disabilities will be won, in time. VCIL, arm-in-arm with its sister and brother organizations, will see everyones civil rights honored. We will see the Violence Against Women Act passed, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified
see LETTERS, page 23

n a conversation with Montpelier resident whose beloved dog died, I found out that she had joined others in town in placing a personal memento at a spot in Hubbard Park where there was a little, out-of-the-way memorial to animals who have died. It appears that the memorial was spontaneously created along a brook in Hubbard Park. A number of pet owners remembered their animals by leaving a rock, a feather, a treasured object or, in one case, a hunk of rose quartz. However, the presence of the memorial was apparently reported to Parks Director Geoff Beyer, who instructed a staff member to remove any inorganic items that had been left behind. The memorial was taken apart and disposed of. But no notice was given to pet owners that this was about to happen. The dog owner who talked with me was genuinely upsetnot so much that the memorial had been taken apart as that no notice had been given. In a note addressed to Dog Owners and Park Visitors, Beyer wrote in part, Had the Parks Director known the nature of the site he would have preferred taking the time to put up a notice informing people that man-made items would have to be removed so that people would have had the time to collect any special items. But that did not happen. A notice was never posted. There may be lessons here. If anyone wants to place something like a memorial in Hubbard Park, he or she should get in touch with the Beyer in advance. Apparently there have been repeated requests from park users and city residents to create special memorials in Hubbard Park, not just to remember pets but to remember people who have died, many of whom used and enjoyed the park during their lives. I am not aware of how numerous these requests have been, but if Hubbard Park was filled with names, memorials, even, perhaps, structures, that would change the park experience. And the parks commission, I think, is right to respect Hubbard Parks natural feeling and experience. A second lesson might be this. Remember the park rules. As Beyer explains in his note to dog owners and park visitors, Carry in/carry out is a park rule that has been in force for many years . . . For over 30 years the written rule has been, Take only pictures, leave only footprints. He adds that any deviation from this rule requires park users to be in touch and seek permission from the parks commission. We need better communication between people who use the park and the park officials. That cant be stressed enough.

Remembering and Thanking Idora Tucker

dora Tucker was remembered and honored for a life well-lived at a memorial service in Randolph on Saturday, July 28. Idora died at her home in Randolph, at the age of 91, on July 15. Among her many achievements, Idora was remembered for her work with Vermont schoolchildren who were struggling, sometimes to read, often to learn. She was also remembered for her pioneering role in the early days of special education, when she worked in Montpelier from 1980 to 1986. I first met Idora when I came to Vermont in 1971 to teach English at Randolph Union High School. I remember trying to get help for a young man with a speech impediment, who was having trouble reading and therefore learning. When I drew attention to the problems this young man was having, there was no dispute about his difficulties. But when I asked the school to get him help, I was told he was a high-school junior, that he would be leaving the school in a year. The implication was, what did it matter? After all, he would be gone in a year. I should have pressed the matter, but I didnt. And that young man left school without getting the help he needed to read and learn. Since my high-school teaching days, both in Vermont and across the nation there has been a welcome sea change, as schools and teachers and the nation-at-large have accepted their responsibilities for offering help and services to schoolchildren with learning difficulties. This change of attitude and acceptance of responsibility toward students in our schools did not happen immediately. Nor did it happen without overcoming resistance. After Idoras death, her daughter, Sara Tucker, wrote an account of her mothers life. As part of that account, Idora is quoted discussing what it was like, in those early days of fresh awareness, to bring about a change of public attitude and public acceptance of responsibility for children who sometimes need help with their learning. Idora wrote: The laws about special education were new and were much resented by almost everyone except parents of the children who needed special education. I was often bitterly attacked in meetings. At first I felt very threatened. Later, I realized that those who gave me such a hard time were merely venting their frustration at doing something they didnt want to do, and I was the person telling them that the law required it. After that I stopped taking it personally and just went about doing my job to the best of my ability. In a phone call to Sara after Idoras death, a former colleague, Judy Eklund, said, Idora was at the forefront of making that happen. She was a visionary and an organizer, and she knew how to get the job done. According to Sara, Idora traveled some 120,000 miles over Vermont roads to arrange teacher training around the state. One, and just one, of Idoras many life achievements amounts to an enormous gift to Vermont schoolchildren: If they are having trouble learning, because of special education they wont just get ignored and passed along. They will get the help they need.

A Message About Climate Change from Bill McKibben

n article by Vermont climate-change activist Bill McKibben appeared on the cover of the July 19 Rolling Stone magazine. McKibben wrote about the piece in an e-mail, I think [it] may be the most important writing Ive done since The End of Nature, way back in 1989. Visit to read the piece.


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Dollars, Data, Schools and Strings

by Elijah Hawkes

ast week, I heard that the Vermont Department of Education (DOE) had secured $5 million in federal funds to build a tool to collect classroom-level data, school by school, teacher by teacher, across the state. As a public-school administrator, I appreciate any tool that the DOE can design to help us more effectively gather data and analyze trends. When I heard the news, however, I felt uneasy. Is this the first sign that Vermont is now joining the so-called Race to the Top, the Obama administrations program that incentivizes opening the public sector to private charter schools and using value-added measures to determine teacher worth? This problematic means of evaluating teachers is scientifically unreliable and generally unfair, creates a climate of competition and shame, often leads to systemic cheating and unethical behavior, and generally spawns turmoil in a public-school system. Ive just returned to Vermont after more than a decade in New York City schools, and this is exactly whats happening there now. I contacted the DOE to review the application. Happily, I found no mention of value-added measures. I did find that Ver-

mont intends to create a Growth Data Mart to measure and report on student, educator, school, district and state growth. Data mart? Ive never heard that term before. It sounds like an information convenience store. I wonder, will the DOEs Data Mart encourage a healthy information diet, or will it be more like a quickie mart tempting us with data-doughnuts and info-Cheetos: tasty, but not so good for the body politic? The Data Mart, according to the application, will allow us to design, develop, and support growth models based on student/staff performance. The rigorous and fair evaluation of progress is an essential aspect of any healthy organization. But how will teacher growth be evaluated? The DOEs grant is intentionally vague: the Data Mart proposed here, by design, does not specify the measures by which growth is defined. There is no mention of using standardized test scores to rank or evaluate teachers, which is the string I feared was attached. Indeed, in an e-mail from the DOE I am reassured, You are right to be vigilant but


please be assured that there are no such requirements tied to this money. However, even though the DOE doesnt envision the use of the data in this way, once we have the capacity, will not some people be inclined to use our standardized test scores to rank and sort teachers and schools? Who will ensure that this doesnt happen? Theres nothing that tears a public-school community apart like using flawed and unreliable data to publicly evaluate and compare its teachers. What if, as has happened in other parts of the country, forces intent on dismantling public-sector schools and unions come to Vermont to push us in the same direction? What if the DOE, in future years, adds in teacher value-added measures to secure more federal millions? Once the data is there, maybe the press will sueas it did in New Yorkfor access to the information, and then publish it? Or will certain organizationsas happened in Californiaget hold of the classroom data and develop their own ranking scheme, and then publicize a list of teachers in Vermont from No. 1 to worst?

Will the evaluation of teachers suddenly become the work of a news anchor or radio talk-show host, their judgments of teachers packaged in a quick story after the sports and weather, instead of the job of trained school administrators like me? I do have faith that Vermonts media is a responsible lot, and that the DOE will be data-wise in any data-driven approach. But still, lets be proactive. Now is the time for Vermonters to declare what data should be used to judge our teachers and schools. The legislature determined this year to create a secretary of education, an unelected positionthough appointed by the governorwith significant new power over our schools. Lets tell him or her right now how to use this new tool. Lets listen closely, come November, to what our candidates for governor are saying about how to assess our education system, and lets tell them what we think. Above all, lets make sure the most important strings attached to our schools are the good threads of the social fabric, ties that always ought to bind us and make us strong. Elijah Hawkes is associate principal at Randolph Union High School.

Vermont Boy Scouts Faces an Uncertain Future

by Richard Sheir

he Texas-based Boy Scouts Of America has refused to honor their written promise to provide a rationale for their recent decision to uphold their ban on openly gay scouts and openly gay scoutmasters. This decision has left Vermont scouting caught between the norms of their community and an inflexible corporate overstructure that promotes a cultural vision that is clearly out of step with the realities of contemporary New England. The Green Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America issued a policy statement immediately after the Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the Boy Scouts could regulate the sexuality of their scouts and scoutmasters and bar openly LGBT scouts and scoutmasters. Vermonts policy statement included the following: Scouting values respect for the dignity of individuals and acceptance of beliefs, characteristics and customs that are different. Scouting teaches tolerance and promotes
LETTERS, from page 22

diversity, and asks those with differing viewpoints to accord Scouting the same respect. The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America does not inquire into the sexual orientation of prospective members, youth or adult. The Green Mountain Council will not permit its organization to be used as a vehicle to promote any other (than the values of Scout Oath and Law) personal, political, social or religious agenda. From 2001 on, the Green Mountain Council has implemented a strict policy of Dont Ask, Dont Tell, where Vermont scouts are not asked their sexual orientation. The problem the council has faced is that it still has to ask those seeking to be scoutmasters. As the president of Vermont scouting, Ed McCollin, put it, This is very, very difficult for us in Vermont. Everyone knows a same-sex parent up here. This is not fun. McCollin stressed that same-sex parents are encouraged to participate in every way that other parents do in terms of pitching in as other parents do. rights, job accommodations and large-print meeting agendas. The ADA means bigger bathrooms, assistive-listening devices at the movies and eating out at restaurants with family. The ADA means swimming at the public pool. The ADA means diversity and equality in our communities. Sarah Launderville, executive director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living

The national organization, however, prohibits their becoming scoutmasters. In other words, if a parent lies on the form, they become a scoutmaster morally fit to teach the principles of citizenship; If they are truthful, they are deemed morally unfit to teach citizenship. All questions on the rationale for a policy which clearly finds little public support in Vermont were referred to the national organization, which had previously assured the Green Mountain Council that it would cover for it and provide the proper context for present Vermont scouting. It didnt, and it wont. Its silence is cowardly and speaks volumes. The organization has left the many well-intentioned adults involved in Vermont scouting hanging in the wind, unfairly tarred with the broad brush of bigotry and intolerance. A broad, old-school, negative stereotype is being applied to tag each and every same-sex parent as morally unfit to watch the children of others. Logic would apply this same standard to Irish parents who wish to be scoutmasters as their old-school stereotype

is that they cant stay sober or black parents whose old-school stereotype is that they arent responsible. The person on the street in Montpelier can see through this. When asked if Vermont scouting had ever considered aligning with Scouts Canada or even the World Organization of the Scout Movement, which across the globe promotes nondiscrimination instead of the Texasbased version, Ed McCollin said, Weve never considered that. Its long past time for Vermont scouting to seriously consider that option. They owe it to Vermont boys as they owe it to our community in general. Scouting is clearly a very positive, ennobling experience for both boys and their parents. Propping up a blatant bigotry that is totally foreign to mainstream New England social mores clearly isnt. Its not suitable for our children. Richard Sheir is a computer consultant and parent. He lives in Montpelier.

75 Years of DAnns Art

by Congress, health care as a human right achieved in Vermont, and compliance with the ADA met. VCIL calls on Vermonters to continue to push for access improvements. Complying with the ADA produces a community that works better for everyone. The ADA means curb cuts, ramped entrances and kneeling buses. The ADA means equal

The Bridge Launches Redesigned Website

hile our real-life, newsprint paper remains the core of The Bridge, we are also committed to our online presence. That presence recently got a major facelift: a completely redesigned and updated went live just as this issue went to press. We hope that the new site will make it easier for readers to browse, search for, read and share articlesand, like our print paper, our online content is always free. Visit the new site, take a look and let us know what you think. While youre online, dont forget to follow us on Facebook at Many thanks to Bridge staff member Dana Dwinell-Yardley for designing and managing the new site and to Ian Sears of Vermont Computing (our Web hosts) for his back-end work to make the site go live. Thanks also to Mike Berry, our outgoing Web master, for his many years of service.

tudio Place Arts in Barre is exhibiting a retrospective exhibit spanning 75 years of the art of DAnn Calhoun Fago. As described by fellow artist Janet Van Fleet, the current show of Fagos work, which runs through September 8, includes 29 of the artists works, including watercolor, ink, graphite and oils. Her earliest work in the exhibit dates from 1936, and the most recent work is a drawing that Fago made for her son, John, this year. Van Fleet wrote, DAnns subject[s] during the early DAnn Calhoun Fago. Photo phase of her artistic career in the 1930s provide a rare courtesy Jack Rowell. glimpse of the people who lived in rural Kentucky where she grew up. Her paintings and drawing[s] from this period depict men and women struggling amidst economic and social hardships; they are self-knowing portraits. Van Fleet stated that Fago is widely acknowledged as the founder of Vermonts crafts movement. In 1941, toward the end of the Great Depression, the Vermont legislature established the Vermont Arts and Crafts Service. In 1968, Fago became its fourth director, and, according to a Vermont Crafts Council website, she served until 1975, when the service was shut down during a severe economic downturn. After the Arts and Crafts Service closed, Fago returned to her own art work. She is also a published writer. She most recently participated in Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing project in Randolph. Studio Place Arts is located at 201 North Main Street in downtown Barre. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 479-7069 or visit Nat Frothingham

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