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Ta x I ncrement F i nanci ng i n Mont pel ier • Page 4

JANUARY 4–JANUARY 17, 2018

2018
Governor Scott
Discusses Issues
Facing Vermonters

Governor Phil Scott Vermont State House
Photo by Michael Jermyn Photo by Marichel Vaught

W
ith a new legislative session begun on January 3, economy. We need more workers.
2018, many questions are on the mind and tongues Three Critical Numbers
of Vermonters across the state. Governor Phil Scott sat
down with the The Bridge to discuss several issues confronting The Bridge: Can we quickly review the numbers we are facing? I
IN THIS ISSUE: his office, the legislature, and the voting public in the new year.
Excerpts from that interview follow here:
know some of the numbers are grim.
Gov. Scott: Let me run through those three numbers: six, three,
Pg. 5 Repair Cafés On the New Tax Bill from Washington one. Those are the three numbers that keep me up at night.
The Bridge: When I interviewed a couple of local legislators a few Six, every morning that we wake up, on average, we have six fewer
days ago they were saying, “We don’t know what Washington, D.C. workers in the workforce. That's about 2,200 fewer workers every
Pg. 6 Lt. Gov. Zuckerman will do.” In other words, they are worried about how the just-passed single year. That has to do with the demographics of the retiring
workforce and workers leaving the state. That’s problematic.
Talks Marijuana tax bill will affect Vermont.
Gov. Scott: The tax proposal has passed Congress and the The “three” represents three fewer students in our educational
President has signed it. It’s over 500 pages long, and it includes a lot facilities than we had the day before. That’s about 1,300 fewer
Pg. 11 Local Legislators of policy. There’s going to be some winners and losers. We’re trying students every single year. When you look back over 25 years, it’s
to contemplate what that might mean for Vermont. We have our about 301,000 fewer students.
Wish List tax commissioner and others taking a look. It’s not just a tax bill. Let’s talk about the “one.” That one stands for nearly one baby born
It crosses many different agencies. We’re trying to pull it apart and exposed to addiction every single day. To be more exact, there are
come to some conclusion as to what it may mean. Our goal is to some 300 babies born in Vermont each year exposed to addiction.
see that Vermonters are not harmed in any way. There may be more
Let me go on to talk about staff to student ratios in Vermont schools.
winners than losers.
There are actually something like 76,000 students now in our K‒12
Priorities for the New Year educational system whereas once there was about 106,000.
CAR-RT SORT

Permit NO. 123
Montpelier, VT
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U.S. Postage

The Bridge: Looking ahead to the new session, are our priorities
PAID

We spend about $1.6 billion to educate these 76,000 students.
the same as they were a year ago or have they changed? We are one of the highest per pupil spending states in the nation
Gov. Scott: Grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable, because of the smaller population of students. You look at the staff
and protect the most vulnerable. Those three very simple principles to student ratio. Right now we average about four staff members
guide us in every decision we make on a daily basis, whether we’re [for each student], one of the lowest ratios, if not the lowest ratio in
contemplating a new position or currently moving a program the country. When saying “staff members,” I include bus drivers,
forward–we ask those three questions. maintenance people, teachers–it’s across the board–all of them.
Last year, with the budget we passed, we did not raise taxes and We were once around six to one.
fees. We kept Vermont affordable, all the while making investments That’s our challenge. I’ve said at one point if you could magically
in our economy. Last year’s budget satisfied all three of those throw that switch—which is not possible—and change that ratio
principles. So we’re continuing to build on the work we’ve done and to five to one, you’d save $100 million. And we would still be the
hope to do more. lowest in the country at five to one.
As part of the budget we will be able to make investments in We have a shortfall in the education fund in some respects. Our tax
housing which I think is critical–a $35 million housing bond that commissioner is responsible for issuing a letter saying what our tax
we believe will leverage another $65 million in other funds to make rate would be in December. If we do nothing, if we take no action
Montpelier, VT 05601

it the largest single investment in housing throughout our entire at all, we could see upwards of nine cents of tax rate increase, if we
geographical network that Vermont has ever seen. I wanted to make do nothing. I personally think that’s unacceptable. We have to do
P.O. Box 1143

sure we focus on affordable housing for our workers. I think that’s something.
critical as we try to move the “affordability needle” and grow this
The Bridge

Continued on Page 10

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PAG E 2 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

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THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 3

HEARD ON THE STREET
Buch Spieler Records Launching Community DJ Program Deadlines Announced for Green Up Vermont Annual Student Contests
Contemporary DJing is not like the old competitive days of turntable battles, when DJs sought for Writing and Poster Design
dominance through inventive scratching techniques and beat juggling. Today’s version is more Any student in kindergarten through grade 12 may submit one entry each for Green Up
democratized and curatorial, celebrating the art of selection. It's in this spirit that Buch Spieler Vermont’s annual contests for poster design and for writing. Entries for the poster design
Records is launching a series of bimonthly community DJ events, starting in January and contest must be received by January 31, 2018. One poster design is selected as the official
taking place Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm. Green Up Day poster, promoting Green Up Day, the first Saturday in May, which this year
Each event in this series will showcase two one-hour sets by two vinyl collectors, who will will be May 5. Poster entries should be 11 x 14 inches, created by hand, without the aid of
spin highlights from their personal record collection inside the store’s own DJ booth, with two computers, and must include the words “Green Up Vermont.” Writing entries should be a
turntables, a mixer, and headphones at their command. The only requirement for participation poem or essay of no more than 200 words about Green Up Day and why it is important.
is to bring your own records. Interested parties should contact Buch Spieler directly to arrange Writing entries must be received by March 1. The overall winner in each contest receives $250.
a date. It’s first come, first served. All rights for use and reproduction belong to Green Up Vermont. Entries will not be returned.
Reading of Que’ Nochebuena Set for January 6 All poster and writing entries must include the following information, on the back upper right-
hand corner: student name, grade, county, home address; parent/guardian name and phone;
Que’ Nochebuena, a play by Inez Martinez, will be read at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier school name (if it is a classroom project), address, phone, and teacher. Entries do not have to
on Saturday, January 6, at 7 pm. Facilitator Sarah Franklin says, “We are excited to present this be part of a classroom project and can be entered individually. All entries should be mailed
nativity-play-with-a-twist because it speaks to the civility and empathy needed for inclusion in to Green Up Vermont, P.O. Box 1191, Montpelier, VT 05601-1191, or delivered to the Green
order to address immigration reform.” Up Vermont office at 14-16 Baldwin Street in Montpelier by January 31st. For questions, call
The show—“What a Christmas Eve” in English—offers a poignant, contemporary version 802-229-4586 or 1-800-974-3259 or visit the Contests page at greenupvermont.org for more
of family, community, and Christmas. Guatemalan immigrants, 18-year-old Carlos, and his information.
pregnant younger sister, Felicia, seek refuge in a Mexican-American community in northern
New Mexico. There they encounter the elderly Corazon, caught in grieving the loss of her son Louis Moyse To Be Honored at “French Connection” Concert
in war, and her grandchild Adela, soul-searching over why God would come to Earth as a boy on January 21
rather than as a girl. Capital City Concerts will present a performance on the theme “French Connection” on
Carlos and Felicia are pursued by Bob, an immigration agent intent on deporting them, and Sunday afternoon, January 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier.
Kim, a refugee Vietnamese medical aide, intent on creating a different ending than her own for This is a concert to remember and honor Louis Moyse whose influence on Capital City
Felicia. All the characters’ unexpectedly finding each other on Christmas Eve brings renewed Concerts’ artistic director Karen Kevra was profound. An acclaimed flutist, composer and
soul to the meaning of America and renewed depth to the meaning of Christmas. teacher, Moyse lived for a number of years toward the end of his life in Montpelier and Kevra
The Central Vermont Refugee Action Network will co-sponsor the reading along with the said of Moyse that he was “the guiding force behind Capital City Concerts.”
Social Responsibility Committee of the Unitarian Church. The January 21 concert includes Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Flute and Piano and a short
Inez Martinez is a poet, novelist, essayist, CUNY Emerita Professor, Jungian scholar, and composition of Louis Moyse. During the second half of the program Kevra will perform
native of New Mexico who now lives in Wilmington, Vermont. a number of works from a collection of ten virtuoso flute works that were selected by Louis
Moyse and performed by Paris Conservatory students as part of their examinations.
Feeling Overwhelmed as a Family Caregiver? Central Vermont Council During the intermission that precedes the performances of these flute compositions, audience
on Aging’s Powerful Tools for Caregivers Coming to Waterbury members will vote on the compositions they most want to hear.
Are you caring for a spouse with dementia, an aging parent, or an ill family member? Or are Pianist Jeffrey Chappell, who has many times appeared at Capital City Concert events, will
you now raising your grandchildren? Is the stress of caregiving taking its toll on your health or once again perform. At the January 21 concert, Chappell will perform what Kevra describes as
your relationships? Then Powerful Tools for Caregivers is for you! “Ravel’s exquisite “Jeux d’Eau” for solo piano.
The Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA), in partnership with the Community For more information and to charge tickets, please go online to capitalcityconcerts.org.
Health Team, Central Vermont Medical Center Family Medicine in Waterbury will be
presenting Powerful Tools for Caregivers at the Waterbury Area Senior Center at 14 Stowe Street,
Waterbury. The class will be held over six consecutive Fridays, February 2 through March 9, Pianist Jeffrey Chappell
from 2 to 4 pm. A $30 donation to CVCOA is suggested but not required to attend the class.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-session class designed to provide you with the tools you
need to take good care of yourself. This program helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve
self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make
tough decisions, and locate helpful resources. Action planning with an emphasis on self-care
is an important part of the program. Participants receive a copy of The Caregiver Helpbook,
which was developed specifically for the class.
As one caregiver reflected, participating in Powerful Tools made her more “confident and
positive” in her role and better able to provide care “…with help. I realize I don’t have to do it
alone.” You don’t have to do it alone either!
For more information and to register for the class, please contact Barb Asen, Central Vermont
Council on Aging’s Family Caregiver Support Coordinator, at basen@cvcoa.org or call 802-
476-2681. Class size is limited so register soon!

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PAG E 4 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Montpelier: Consultant
Stephanie Hainley Speaks Out compiled by Nat Frothingham

N
ow that it’s 2018 – “Tax Increment Financing”–or TIF–is back in the news Hainley: It’s a two-step approach. The feasibility study cost $20,000. To develop the
because sometime in January, the real estate consulting firm White + Burke, plan and the application is another $30,000. We estimate about six months before [the
which has been hired by the City of Montpelier to explore the idea of City of Montpelier] is ready to apply. You have to talk to local property owners, city
establishing a TIF district in downtown Montpelier, will be reporting on a feasibility planning, city council. The state can only hear applications one at a time. We [White +
analysis and either recommend going ahead with a formal application to the State of Burke] can’t make promises based on other people’s schedules. The city could have an
Vermont—or not going ahead at all. application ready by summer 2018
TIF can be described as a tool that municipalities, like Montpelier, use to finance public The Bridge: When do the city’s voters get involved?
infrastructure and other improvements. Such improvements can be streets, sidewalks, Hainley: City voters have key input, including decision-making authority. The voters can
storm water management, systems, parking structures, and the like. TIF money can be come out at the City Council and at the bond vote. The City Council makes the first
activated in this way. A municipality, like Montpelier, files an application with the State of decision and the state makes the second decision. There have to be two warned public
Vermont to establish a TIF district in town. If that application is approved, voters in town meetings on a TIF district plan. The voters can provide input at either public hearing,
are asked to authorize municipal bonds or other debt to finance public improvements. before the City Council decides whether or not to approve the district plan. When a bond
Once the public improvements are made, these improvements attract private investment. is proposed the city’s voters vote on a bond.
And the increasing value of the grand list and of the property in the TIF district repays
the municipal bonds over time and thus pays for the public improvements. The Bridge: Can you tell me about a Vermont city or town that developed a successful
TIF district?
Back on November 14, 2017, when the Bashara family announced plans to construct a
completely new five-story hotel to be allied to the worldwide Hilton Hotel chain and Hainley: The City of St. Albans had a blank, surface parking lot sitting on top of
called Hampton Inn & Suites, Fred Bashara—president of the existing Capitol Plaza a brownfield [a contaminated site]. The city wanted to build a state office building
Hotel—made it very clear he was hoping Montpelier would quickly apply to the state downtown. But you couldn’t build on that parking lot site because you can’t disturb
of Vermont to establish a “Tax Increment Financing” district. This would include the it. It had all that contamination underneath and developers didn’t want to use that site.
nearby One Taylor Street project ($14 to $15 million) and the proposed new Bashara The City of St. Albans bonded for a multi-floor parking garage. The city decided
family five-story hotel and parking structure ($15 to $20 million). to put that parking garage on the contaminated site. The city said, “We will fix the
Timing appears to be an issue. contamination, and we will be able to make enough parking for the state employees.”
Then the state agreed to move into downtown with a state employment office. “We’ll
Fred Bashara hopes the City of Montpelier can expeditiously create a Tax Increment put employees into a building,” the state said. The developer will pay taxes. State workers
district and that TIF money generated from investment and project tax revenues can help will have a parking garage. They will patronize stores downtown. Then a hotel came in
pay for the new parking structure. He points out that the new parking structure will not because there was plenty of parking. Now, there’s more bustle, more commercial business
only benefit the new hotel, but the whole of downtown Montpelier. activity. Now, their taxes are being collected. Those taxes are going to pay down that
Here’s the timeline for what’s happened so far. debt. [In a TIF district] it’s got to be more than one building. You have to do it as a
Back in June 2017, Gov. Scott signed a bill into law that provides for six additional district.
TIF districts across the state. Then in July, the Montpelier City Council agreed to pay The Bridge: Can you tell me about a TIF district that failed?
$20,000 to hire the Burlington (VT) real estate consulting firm of White + Burke to Hainley: I can’t in Vermont.
pursue the first of two steps leading to a possible TIF district in Montpelier.
The Bridge: What about some other state?
Step one, now in progress, is a feasibility analysis with results of that analysis to be
presented to the Montpelier City Council in January 2018. That analysis could Hainley: I can give you one example. This is a common story in the Midwest. It happened
recommend that the city of Montpelier put together a formal application to the State to communities that wanted to get a Walmart into town. They put money into extending
of Vermont for a TIF district or not go ahead at all. If the city proceeds to step two—a facilities to the highway so that a Walmart would locate there. But Walmart never came.
formal application—White + Burke would offer additional help at a cost of $30,000. They put in the water and sewer line to the (highway) interchange. They had no agreement.
They didn’t have other users. Now, the taxpayers are paying for a sewer line that didn’t go
The Bridge conducted a question-and-answer interview about Montpelier’s possible TIF anywhere.
application with White + Burke’s Stephanie Hainley. Excerpts from that interview follow:
In Vermont, there just have not been projects that have failed. Everyone is paying their
The Bridge: The new state law signed by Gov. Scott in June creates six additional TIF debts just fine. But we will know more in 20 years when these projects are matured.
districts across Vermont. What’s the competition like at the moment for one of these six
TIF designations? The Bridge: What’s the range of projects that a TIF district can pay for?
Hainley: Bennington has already applied. [After this interview, Bennington’s application Hainley: Parks, open space, green space, streetscapes, benches, curbing. Or utilities, sewer
was approved]. Another town considering applying is Springfield. They are conducting and water pipes, putting electrical wires underground. Or cleaning up a brownfield on a
a feasibility study. Like Montpelier, they, too, don’t know if they are going ahead with contaminated site. There’s another category called “public amenities.” In South Burlington
an application. they applied for their public library: a storm water project.
The Bridge: Let’s say the City of Montpelier goes ahead with an application to the State The Bridge: What about flood plain mitigation?
of Vermont. How long would it take for Montpelier to put together that application? Hainley: That’s not a category. You need to make sure (your project) has resiliency to it.

Bridge Community Media, Inc.
P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT
05601
Ph: 802-223-5112
Editor & Publisher: Nat Frothingham
Managing Editor: Mike Dunphy
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Editorial: 223-5112, ext. 14, or
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THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 5

Repair Cafés Come to Central Vermont by Cara Stapleford

I
magine that you could fix your broken blender instead of tossing it in the trash, or how match you up with one of our fixperts. As the fixpert works on your item, we encourage you to
about that loose-legged chair? What about the light with a broken switch, or any other engage in the repair. Ask questions; observe the action, and soak up knowledge as much as you
household item that just isn’t working? We all have these kinds of things sitting around our can. You may learn a thing or two that you never knew and might even want to start repairing
home. Many of us will recycle or throw them away and buy a new one. Now you don’t have things yourself. You may bring more than one item to be fixed, but if there’s a long line, we’ll
to; the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District and Onion River Exchange are ask participants to get one item fixed, then return to the back of the line before getting a second
hosting a Repair Café at the First Church Universalist, 19 Church Street, Barre, on Saturday, or third item fixed. Before coming, prioritize which item is most important to you.
January 20, noon – 4 pm. Tip: Bring along any parts you think you may need for repair. If you don’t need them, you can
Repair Cafés reduce the number of items sent to the landfill simply by reusing what you already return them, but it will save you a trip to the hardware store in the middle of the event if you
have. They also revive the art of practical repair skills, help spread valuable knowledge, keep do end up needing them. Examples include: zippers, replacement batteries, wiring or switches
cash in your wallet, and promote community ties by bringing neighbors together. A Repair for lamps, yarn for a sweater fix, and the like.
Café is a community event, where participants bring broken household items to be fixed for The Repair Café will also feature a reading table with resources and books to help you get
free (donations accepted) and where you can also learn how your item can be fixed. inspired and learn more about how to fix your own things. Both the Kellogg-Hubbard Library
The concept was developed in the Netherlands by Martine Postma in 2009 as a solution to our and the Aldrich Public Library will be displaying books featuring fixing skills during the week
throw-away economy. The average American throws out 4.4 pounds of trash a day, but most leading up to January 20 as well.
broken items that are tossed require only a simple fix. Of course, the café will offer hot drinks and a few eats available by donation. Our goal is to
At the Barre Repair Café, you’ll find tools, materials, resources and, most importantly, create an atmosphere where people can hang out, learn about the art of repair, grab a coffee or
volunteer “fixperts” with a wide variety of expertise. Many of the repair experts in our lives a book, and meet some new neighbors, as well as attend to the practical matter of fixing things.
don’t recognize themselves as such, but we do. So, we’ve borrowed the term “fixpert” to We can’t guarantee that everything will get fixed, but we can guarantee that everyone there will
describe neighborhood volunteers who are dedicating their time and talents so that you can try. If it’s not reparable during our four-hour event, you’ll know a lot more about the best way
get your stuff fixed. to move forward after you’ve participated.
Unsure of what to bring to the event? Here’s an idea. My favorite sweater that I’ve had for ages We hope that enthusiasm for repair becomes contagious. No more of those tired toasters or
has seen better days. The zipper no longer works, but I can’t bear to part with it. It’s been sitting lazy laptops. Next time something breaks, before you throw it away, think to yourself, could
in the back of my closet for half a year in hopes that it will be made whole again someday. it be fixed?
Lately, I’ve been so busy organizing the Repair Café that I forgot about my old sweater. It Contact repaircafevt@gmail.com or 802-229-9383 x 113. You can also visit cvswmd.org for
wasn’t until I spoke with one of our fixperts the other day that it dawned on me: this is what more information. *Inclement weather back-up date is January 27, same place and time.
I have been waiting for. Finally, a chance to get my sweater fixed and be given the new zipper
it deserves! Cara Stapleford is an Eco-AmeriCorps service member, currently serving as the Zero Waste Assistant
at the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District.
Now it’s your turn: Bring a broken but beloved household item that needs a repair and we’ll

Senator Leahy Cuts Ribbon at Vermont Evaporator Company
in Montpelier by Mike Dunphy

W
hat’s more Vermont than a home maple sugaring system? Kate and Justin McCabe Senator Patrick Leahy stopped by to show his support and pay tribute to his hometown of
have now made it possible for maple lovers to bring one of the state’s favorite Montpelier. “I love witnessing the agricultural renaissance we have here today. You go into a
pastimes home when a sugar shack is not in the backyard or close at hand. They store in New York City or Washington DC, and you see Vermont agricultural products. Not
received further encouragement from their 10-acre property full of maple trees north of only do they taste good, but they tell a story and give a sense of Vermont.” He also pointed to
Montpelier, where the couple moved in 2013, following six years on Elm Street. the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit in Vermont. “If we don’t have people like Kate and
After several years of experimentation, lots of propane, and burned turkey broiling pans in Justin in Vermont, we don’t continue as a state. We are not going to attract people and create
pursuit of a backyard sap evaporator that didn’t cost a fortune or necessitate the construction jobs just by our size, but because we have the greatest innovation.”
of a sugar house, and could be moved around when not in use, Justin settled on a final design, The success of Vermont Evaporator Company is proof positive. “We will produce 250
which he dubbed the Sapling. evaporators for this sugaring season,” Kate reveals. “We have sold and delivered nearly 50 since
In McCabe’s evaporator, the boiling sap moves from section to section in a baffled stainless- last season. Our ‘high’ sales season starts in January and extends through April.”
steel tray set atop a 55-gallon steel barrel powder-coated with high temperature paint to resist That’s certainly enough to fuel one of Senator Leahy’s favorite pastimes. “I love going back
cracking, flaking, and corrosion. A four-foot exhaust stack expels the smoke from the wood-fed to Washington and telling stories about things that work,” he told the crowd at the grand
fire inside. With eureka on his lips, he then constructed 12 units, which he sold on Craigslist opening, “and they are always about Vermont.”
in just 10 days. The surprising success inspired the establishment of The Vermont Evaporator
Company.
One year later, the garage was no longer large enough to allow the McCabes to meet demand,
so the couple moved into a 2,500-square-foot former granite shed in Pioneer Center, subletting
half the space, then eventually moving into the other half. After six months of renovation and
$50,000 of capital improvements to this building, the new production facility officially opened
its doors on December 28. “This is two and a half years of hard work, risk taking, and grit,”
said Kate in her opening remarks. “It’s also because of your help and investment,” she added,
referring to the $30,000 raised on Milk Money, a Vermont-based fundraising website that
connects local investors with local entrepreneurs.

photo by Jay Ericson
PAG E 6 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman Talks Marijuana
and Legalization by Mike Dunphy

W
ith the 2018 legislative session underway, under-representing rather than over. Many people, such as
marijuana legalization is once more at the top doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and so on, are hesitant
of the to-do list, with some form of legalization to publicly announce their support of this because of the
expected to pass within the first few months. In support, societal pressures that may come as a result.
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman and a coalition of Bridge: Of all the arguments on the “no” side of
cannabis reform groups, medical marijuana patients and marijuana legalization, are there any you sympathize
caregivers, farmers, and local business representatives are with or consider valid?
gathering at the Statehouse on January 9 for a full day of
press, advocacy, and education. Zuckerman: Certainly some of the points our opponents
make are very important with respect to how cannabis or
The goal of this event, according to the organizers, is to any other substance that a young person uses in his or
further inform lawmakers and the public on the importance her teens can actually lead them to a life with a greater
of timely cannabis reform in Vermont. This comes in the face potential for addiction, and there’s no doubt those are very
of increased resistance to the proposed legalization by newly real issues. We need to have a much better education and
formed groups, such as Physicians, Families and Friends for a prevention system to slow this societal epidemic of younger
Better Vermont, who expressed their opposition at the State people using substances that in the long term can have a
House on December 22. serious effect on their lives. I think those are very real and
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman sat down with The valid concerns. Access is the issue, and as a society, we have
Bridge to discuss the upcoming legislation, the arguments of to look at the best way to reduce it. Obviously, I’ve come
those who oppose it, and why he believes legalization is the to the conclusion that a regulated system is better than an
best path forward for Vermont. unregulated underground one.
The Bridge: Tell us about the upcoming day of advocacy Bridge: Do you expect the legislation to pass in January
at the statehouse. or February?
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman: On January 9, we are having a Zuckerman: I certainly expect what is called the Washington
citizens’ advocacy day for cannabis reform at the State House DC model, H. 511, which would be a home production and
to continue to bring more voices from across the state into Photo provided by Lt. Governor home consumption bill, to pass fairly early in the session.
the political process. We are hosting this day to encourage What is now the further debate and discussion is whether or
citizens to support cannabis reform for whatever reason. However, there have been a couple things that have not rolled not a fully regulated system of production, sale, and so on, is
Some support it because they understand that drug dealers out well. In Colorado, there was very little regulation on going to make it across the finish line.
don’t check IDs, and youths have unfettered access. Some edibles, and you had extremely strong products in servings
that were disproportional to what people should consume, so Bridge: Do you have any concern about the Justice
people support it because they are adults who responsibly Department in Washington, which is in direct conflict
consume cannabis on occasion but feel like they always have there’s no doubt that we should either delay allowing edibles
or not have them. If at some point we do, they should be in with states that have legalized cannabis? Might it open
to do it in the shadows; some people support it because they up Vermont to some aggressive action from the federal
believe it should be part of our above-ground economy and single-serving packages and not appearing in child-oriented
candy. government?
would be a benefit to the state.
In other states, they’ve also run out of cannabis, and we want Zuckerman: There’s no doubt that anything is possible.
Bridge: Considering how easy it already is for young But they haven’t done much in this first year in states
people to get marijuana, how could legalization possibly to make sure we don’t run out because otherwise the whole
idea of eliminating or reducing the underground market such as Colorado, Alaska, and Nevada, which are not
make it more difficult for them? particularly blue states. The federal government, or the
disappears.
Zuckerman: Certainly some of the opponents roll out Trump administration, is a little bit hamstrung, because if
the argument that it would be easier to get; I think that is Bridge: Considering the huge problem with opioids, why they really choose to go after this they’d be doing so in states
completely untrue. What I would argue is quite the opposite. would it be helpful to make marijuana legal? Doesn’t that he would need to get re-elected.
A drug dealer doesn’t check IDs or care how old anybody is. present a mixed message?
Bridge: As you know, Governor Phil Scott vetoed the first
They just want to make some money, and in fact they may Zuckerman: Ultimately, I think it’s important to look at bill that passed. Did that veto—and the additional time
offer them something else more addictive to get more repeat every drug individually. Would we say because of the opioid it gave—help create a better bill this time around?
customers. So I would argue that legalization through a crisis, let’s ban pharmaceutical drugs? We don’t say that, and
regulated system would actually reduce access to that group yet pharmaceutical drugs are the main source of our opioid Zuckerman: The bill now is not significantly changed from
of young people. crisis. At the same time, many pharmaceutical drugs are what he vetoed in terms of the actual law affecting everyday
beneficial to our medical system. Vermonters and their ability to produce and have their own.
In Colorado, you have to show an ID just to walk into the I don’t think his veto made this bill any better in that regard;
stores, much less purchase products. Yes, there probably What I find interesting is that cannabis is starting to be it simply delayed things further.
will continue to be an underground market; however, in shown as both an alternative for some of the pain for
Colorado, 60 percent of the market has come aboveboard. which people are getting OxyContin and other gateway The other issue that he brought up with the original bill
Also the underground market there is being fed by their opioids, so why not use cannabis more and opioid-based relative to what is in this one, is that bill had a commission
loosely regulated medical cannabis market, and we have a pharmaceuticals less? Plus, we are constantly under pressure looking at how to best implement a tax-and-regulate system.
very highly regulated one, so far less will be diverted into the to have resources for prevention and education, and legalizing His veto backed that off to look at the issues that he has
underground market, and therefore youth access will decline. cannabis would give us the tax revenue to have a robust brought up, although the judicial committees had already
education, prevention, and treatment program. been looking at those issues. This has been studied for four
Bridge: What do you take from other states’ experiences or five years in the legislature. While he may not have been
with legalization, particularly any downsides, to shape Bridge: Do you believe that polls that show majority overly involved in those reviews in the last few years, the
the legislation in Vermont to avoid some of the more support for legalization in Vermont are accurate? If legislature had been looking at those issues.
negative results? so, why not pursue a referendum or ballot measure as
other states have done instead of legalizing through the Primarily, the only function of that veto was to significantly
Zuckerman: First, what we have noticed in the states that delay progress toward the ultimate resolution of this issue.
have rolled it out, the fears predicted by the opposition have legislature?
In my opinion, I think that will actually hurt Vermont
not really been borne out in any grand scale. Otherwise that Zuckerman: Actually, in Vermont, we don’t have a more than help it by delaying resources for highway safety,
would be front page news and those states would have rolled referendum process. And regarding polling, I would say education, prevention, and treatment, as well as delaying
back the laws. That has not happened. that more people support it than are publically willing to the economic benefits that may well come from a taxed and
say they are, and therefore I think the polling is probably regulated system.

RecyclE This Paper!
THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 7

Five Great Area Soups to
Warm the Core by Mike Dunphy
Did You Know?
The issue The Bridge publishes on the third Thursday
of each month is mailed to every 05602 residence.

Perfect for promoting your business,
event, store sale and more!

Advertise in The Bridge:
249-8666 or rick@montpelierbridge.com
223-5112 ext. 11 or michael@montpelierbridge.com

Mulligatawny at Red Hen Baking. Photo by Nikki Eddy

D
oes soup ever taste better than when the temperature turns breath into icicles?
Perhaps that’s because warmth always feels better coming from the inside out
rather than the outside in. In the midst of the current Arctic blast, area chefs
are turning up the heat on the stoves and Crock-Pots, cooking up a range of soups that
both show off culinary skill and warm the core. Although the soup du jour may change
according to the jour, these five are scheduled to make appearances in January at area
restaurants.
Chicken Chili at Café Anna in Montpelier:
It’s worth the trudge uphill to the Vermont School of Fine Arts for a bowl of chicken chili
at Café Anna. Made according to a family recipe from café manager Elizabeth Deringer,
the deliciously peppery brew uses a “secret” eight-spice blend that features cumin. What
fuses it all so well together is eight hours of simmering in a Crock Pot.
36 College St., Vermont College of Fine Arts, 828-8699, http://cafeanna.vcfa.edu
Ramen at Beau in Montpelier:
Every Friday evening, Beau serves possibly the best soup in central Vermont. The
Tonkatsu Pork Belly Ramen uses noodles from Vermont Fresh Pasta, while the strips of
pork belly come from PT Farm in Haverhill, New Hampshire. The broth alone, made
from pigs at PT Farm and chickens from Maple Wind Farm in Richmond, is almost
worth the price. Garnishes and other ingredients change weekly.
207 Barre St., 225 6447, http://beauvt.com
Mulligatawny at Red Hen Baking in Middlesex:
Named for the Tamil word miḷakutaṇṇīr, which means “pepper water,” this traditional
curry soup of Indian origin varies widely in taste and body, as each chef adds his or her
own twist. Red Hen Baking’s version continues to win fans with its blend of Misty Knoll
chicken, Foote Brook Farm Yukon Gold potatoes, Deep Root Organic Co-op carrots,
fresh ginger and garlic, curry spices, organic red lentils, and organic coconut milk. The
Champlain Orchards apples make it all the more Vermonty.
961 US-2, 223-5200, redhenbaking.com
Coconut Dahl at Stowe Street Café in Waterbury
This hearty, vegan, and gluten-free soup grew so popular, it was featured in the 2017
Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook by local author Tracey Medieros. The recipe calls for
boiled red lentils mixed with cayenne pepper and turmeric, and then combined with a
separate blend of coconut oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala, before
being finished off with coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice.
29 Stowe St #1, 882-8229, stowestreetcafe.com
Tomato Fennel at Bohemian Bakery in Montpelier
Bohemian Bakery co-owner Annie Bakst always tries to serve soups no one else has,
including Italian red lentil, and chard and Italian sausage. However, the tomato fennel
soup may win the crown with its mix of fresh fennel, roasted tomatoes, secret herbs and
spices, and a drizzle of the house-made basil pesto. Just when it couldn’t taste any better,
Bohemian adds a few strips of focaccia toasted with cheddar cheese for dipping.
78 Barre St., 461-8119, bohemianbakeryvt.com
PAG E 8 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Four-Day “Spice on Snow” Winter Festival Opens on
January 25 Across Montpelier

T
April Verch Band he Eighth Annual “Spice on Snow Winter Music Festival” will spread
out across Montpelier with a wide variety of musical, dance, theater, and
workshop events from Thursday evening, January 25 through Sunday
afternoon, January 28.
And this selected list only suggests the variety of the Spice on Snow four-day
extravaganza in an overall program that lists some 30 separate offerings.
Thursday night, “Dana and Susan Robinson” (Americana) at Skinny Pancake, 6
to 7:30 pm;“Kick ‘em Jenny” (Old Time) at Charlie O’s, 7:30 to 9:30 pm; and “Big
Night” (Cajun, Country Swing) at Charlie O’s, 9:30 pm to 12:30 am.
Friday night, Cajun Dinner at City Hall Arts Center, 6 to 7:30 pm; Cajun Dance
Lesson at City Hall Arts Center, 7:30 to 8 pm; and “David Greeley and Blake
Miller” (Cajun and Louisiana Roots music), 8 to 10 pm.
Saturday afternoon/evening, “Patti Casey” (Bluegrass Jam) at Skinny Pancake,
2:30 to 4 p.m.; “Granite Junction” (Old Time) at Capitol Grounds, 3 to 4:30 pm;
“Montpelier Gospel Choir” sing-along at Bethany Church, 4 to 5 pm.
David Greely and Cajun Dinner at Bethany Basement – Music by Two Cents in the Till (Folk/
Blake Miller Bluegrass), 5 to 6:30 pm; Evening Concert at Bethany Sanctuary with “Young
Tradition Touring Group,” 7 to 7:30 pm, “Scott Ainslie,” (Old Time Southern
Appalachian), 7:45 to 8:30 pm, “April Verch Band,” 8:45 to 9:45 pm; “Late Night
Cajun Dance Party” at Positive Piece, 10 pm to midnight.
One of the four-day headliners is fiddler, step dancer and singer April Verch,
who began her touring career in 2000 and has performed worldwide. A press
release describes her performing versatility in these words: “But on stage, Verch is
almost superhuman, flawlessly intertwining and overlapping different performative
elements. She stepdances while fiddling. She sings while stepdancing. Sometimes
she sings, steps, and fiddles all at once with apparent ease and precision.”
For further information and the complete “Spice on Snow” schedule please go
online to summit-school.org

What Do You Think?
Read something that you would
like to respond to? We welcome
your letters and opinion pieces.
Letters must be fewer than 300
words. Opinion pieces should not
exceed 600 words. The Bridge
reserves the right to edit and cut
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is January 12.

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THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 9

Of (Not So) Human Bondage by Larry Floersch

T
hose of you out there who I easily opened the bubble using guy finesse: I ripped off the cardboard back. The dolls were
do not have children and indeed “shrink-wrapped” into another sheet of clear plastic, their faces and the fronts of their
grandchildren may not bodies exposed to air, I supposed so they could breathe to prolong the claustrophobia.
understand the tremendous pressure we dads and granddads I managed to pop free Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer. But when I tried to remove
are under at this time of the year. the dashing hero Kristoff, he wouldn’t budge. Try as I might to deform the clear plastic
It used to be that the most dreaded words on a toy’s partially encasing Kristoff, he would not move. The same was true for Anna (the sweet sister
package were “20 AA Batteries Required. Batteries who doesn’t understand why her sibling has moved into an ice castle to live alone) and Queen
Not Included”! There is nothing so frustrating as Elsa (who had frozen the entire known world using just her touch). I could not free them from
roaming town at 8:30 on Christmas Eve looking the grip of the plastic.
for a store that sells AA batteries only to discover I therefore did what any guy would do. I tried brute force. That raised the unpleasant image
that the last place open has already been hit by in my mind of having to hand over Kristoff’s body parts to my granddaughter.
every other dad in town looking for batteries and there are only 19 AA batteries left.
After the application of a brighter light and my reading glasses and modestly looking beneath
The horror of “Batteries Not Included” was recently replaced by the phrase “Some Assembly his clothing, I discovered that Kristoff’s ankles were tied to the plastic with nearly invisible
Required.” It was just a year ago on Christmas Eve I had to help my son assemble a scooter for fishing line. I carefully cut it with my pocket knife and freed his legs. Working my way up,
his daughter. The scooter, when removed from its box, had nine parts, including the nuts and I found he also had ligatures around his waist, wrists, and throat. I felt like a detective in a
bolts. Now I will admit, because my granddaughter was asleep and had visions of sugarplums Scandinavian murder mystery investigating a grisly crime scene—Kurt Wallander meets “Toy
dancing in her head, before we started, her dad and I had kicked back and enjoyed a sip or Story.”
two of eggnog with just a skosh of bourbon. I will also say that over the years I have acquired
some experience in working on my own cars, so I like to think I know which end of a crescent After freeing Kristoff, I turned my attention to the young heroines. Since I now knew the
wrench means business. And my son holds a degree in computer science, so supposedly he’s no perpetrator’s methods, I knew what to look for (again, modestly, beneath their clothing), and
dope, because he passed calculus on the third try to get it. Even so, it took us 1 hour and 47 sure enough, like Kristoff, the girls were bound at the ankles, waist, wrists, and neck. But the
minutes to assemble the scooter. That was because we had to keep disassembling the scooter sick fiend still had a surprise in store. There were also ligatures holding their hair to the plastic,
and reassembling it. in particular Queen Elsa’s long blonde braid. In a sadistic twist the perp had used fishing line
of the same color.
We prefer to think this had nothing to do with the bourbon. We are convinced the assembly
diagram was prepared by someone who graduated last in his class at assembly diagram- It took a while, but at last the entire cast was freed and reunited on the stage of the coffee table.
drawing school. It also was one of those diagrams that doesn’t use any words, only numbers, My granddaughter was delighted, at least until she discovered she could not remove the shoes
because the company that made the scooter is an “international” corporation, and the use of from the heroines. A close look revealed the perpetrator also had a shoe fetish and had tied the
words would require the instructions to be translated into 1,654 different languages, including dolls’ shoes to their feet with the fishing line.
the 780 languages of the Indian subcontinent. So the dolls were free and barefoot and the packaging (which I’m sure had been wiped clean
But this Christmas I discovered that the fearsome nature of “Some Assembly Required” has of fingerprints) sent to the trash. Still mysteries remain. Who was the evil mastermind behind
lost its punch. That is because it is now impossible to get to the “Some-Assembly-Required” this? Why did the dolls need to be tied to the plastic when it had been shrunk to hold them?
part. You can’t get toys OUT OF THE PACKAGING! And there are no warning labels to Why were only the humanlike dolls bound to the plastic and not the reindeer and snow man?
alert you to that fact. And what other challenges lie ahead for us dads and granddads who must open, assemble, and
This Christmas, my granddaughter received as a gift a collection of small dolls. These dolls energize toys for the youngest members of our families? I’m sure we’ll learn more in the next
resemble the characters in the animated feature-length movie, “Frozen,” which was popular episode. There is after all a birthday just down the road.
just a few years ago. She handed the package to her grandmother and begged, “Open?”
Her grandmother, who realizes her shortcomings when it comes to things mechanical (and
also lacks a pocket knife), said, “Take it to Gramps. He’ll open it for you.” Thus began an
adventure in someone else’s perversions in bondage.
The package she handed to me was a plastic bubble with a cardboard back. Inside the bubble
the dolls looked submerged in yet more clear plastic, sort of like Han Solo looked after Jabba
the Hutt had him frozen in carbonite.
PAG E 10 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Governor Scott Discusses Raising the Minimum Wage
and More Continued from Page 1

The Bridge: There was a bit of a struggle at the causing that. So we need to do whatever we can to
end of the last [2017] session. As I recall there reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in order to counter
was talk about a statewide healthcare package for climate change.
teachers. I believe renewables is the answer from a number of
Gov. Scott: We had an opportunity at that point to different standpoints. If we could be more energy
save $26 million if every teacher was on the same independent, I think a lot of the conflicts we see
health care plan. That was met by some resistance across the world are due to oil. So I think the sooner
in the legislature. In fact, I vetoed the budget over we can do that the better.
that issue. We did come to an agreement. It wasn’t Technology is changing so that we can accomplish
what I wanted. It wasn’t what they wanted. We that. I had the good fortune of listening to Elon
found a way to save $13 million over a three-year Musk this summer. He predicts that in ten years
period. The legislature thought that some of the half of the cars will be electric. In 20 years, he
negotiations would come to the same conclusion believes that 90 percent of the manufactured cars
and that local school board would be able to save a will be electric. Think about that transition. We’ll
little bit of money on their own. It doesn’t look as if see that in our lifetimes. I believe that’s all for the
that’s going to be the case. better because most of the carbon emissions are
As a result of the agreement we had, we put together from transportation. So it is happening. I don’t
a commission made up of people I appointed and think the carbon tax is going to make that happen
the legislature appointed. They just voted last week. any quicker.
And they came to a conclusion that a statewide Photo by Michael Jermyn Legalizing Marijuana
teachers’ contract for health care would be best for
Vermont. And we might save money by doing so. We’ll bring that forward and see what the The Bridge: About a year ago you were saying we don’t have a foolproof test for those
legislature thinks because the contract will open up again in another year. driving under the influence of marijuana. Yet rumor has it you could well sign a bill legalizing
marijuana in the first couple of months of the 2018 session.
The Spike in Highway Fatalities
Gov. Scott: Let’s take a step back and see what it means. This bill has passed the Senate. It’s
The Bridge: I have been tracking highway reports this year from the Vermont State Police on the floor of the House right now. It’s more of a “libertarian” approach. If you grow your
and there are some pretty distressing highway statistics. Am I wrong in this? own–there are a certain number of plants–then you can consume it in your own home. This
Gov. Scott: There have been more highway deaths this year. isn’t a full-blown commercialization approach. This isn’t part of the tax structure. This isn’t
anything close to that. You can grow it; you can consume it. That’s the bill I said I would sign.
The Bridge: Highway deaths are up from 2015 and 2016?
The Bridge: They may grow and consume it, but they will still be out on the road.
Gov. Scott: That’s right. If you go back a few years there were years with more highway deaths
than this year. And that’s not acceptable either. We’re seeing a trend nationwide, I believe, Gov. Scott: I think they are now.
personally, anecdotally, [deaths] due to distracted driving. I see how people are choosing to The Bridge: So that’s OK?
spend their time while they’re driving. Many times it’s not steering and paying attention to
the road. It’s doing other things. It’s talking on the phone. It’s texting. But we are seeing an Gov. Scott: No, it’s not OK. But what we’re doing is focusing on behavior on the road. That’s
increase nationwide. the trick, by the way, when you think about it, impairment on our highways is what we want to
prevent whether it’s by drugs, alcohol, heroin, opiates. So let’s not just focus on one. Let’s focus
The Bridge: There was a slew of accidents around August 11. on impairment. That’s what we’re charged to do. I put together a Marijuana Commission to
Gov. Scott: There was a spike around that period. I brought the commissioner of public safety try to address this. We’re watching other states, what they do.
in–and we put together a plan. Commissioner Lynch put in a plan to increase the amount of Canada is about ready to move forward with legalization. Interestingly enough, Canada, from
enforcement around Vermont where we were seeing the most crashes. I think it did curtail what I hear, and again this is anecdotal, they may institute a saliva test for THC.
some of the increase, which is good news. But we’re still seeing deaths on our highway, and
we’re still seeing “unbelted” drivers. We heard in Colorado for instance, they have a limit on the amount of THC in a saliva test.
The Bridge: Practically 25 percent–less than one-quarter of highway deaths involve “unbelted” I’ve put a clear line in the sand, I will not support anything on a commercial standpoint, on
drivers. a retail level without a determination of impairment in some way, whether it’s a saliva test, a
dexterity test of some sort, whatever it is, we need to put that into place. Legalization is strictly
Gov. Scott: It may be a bit higher than 25 percent. We’re trying to get the material together. a libertarian approach.
What are the trends? Or whether something we’re seeing has been going on for some time?
We don’t have a primary enforcement law in Vermont (for drivers not wearing a seat belt). The Bridge: I’ve been reading various reports coming from Colorado. Both sides are taking
It’s a secondary offense. They can’t pull you over. There are some who feel we ought to make the information and saying, “It’s working.” And the opponents are saying, “No, it’s not
it a primary offense. I’ve been resistant to that over the years because we have such a high working.” What are you seeing from Colorado?
compliance rate. We need to take a look at the data to see if that’s a trend. Gov. Scott: I probably read some of the same information that you do on both sides of the
A Carbon Tax fence. I don’t want to institute fear. But at the same time we have to pay attention to the data.
I believe in science. I believe in data. And I haven’t seen the full extent of any repercussions
The Bridge: Climate change activists support a carbon tax, but the commission you’ve from legalization in those states as of yet.
appointed does not support a carbon tax. Why not?
We’ve had a five-year window. This is not enough time to determine what effects this may
Gov. Scott: It’s no secret that I think a carbon tax would be counter-productive to economic have on society. We are going to be forced into this in some respects because regardless of
recovery and development. It would have a detrimental effect on our economy. We’re such whatever we decide, Massachusetts and Maine have, and as I have said, Canada is poised and
a small state for us to go it alone. It would place more of a burden on everyday Vermonters, ready. It puts us right in the center. And that’s why I’ve said that impairment is important as
particularly in a rural state where people are driving long distances. well as education of our youth. And the edibles that we’re seeing, that’s very critical, and it’s
The Bridge: I’ve had some activists who are angry at me because I editorialized against something I’m aware of in terms of Colorado. They’ve done things a little bit differently with
industrial wind. There’s a lot of passion out there. edibles. So we should learn from that.
Gov. Scott: There certainly is, and I believe that passion may be well intentioned. When I Raising the Minimum Wage
took office, many thought I might take a step backwards on our commitment to all renewables The Bridge: I’m aware of downtown retailers who are saying, “Taxes are high. It’s tough.
by 2050. Climate change is real. There’s no doubt about it from my standpoint. I believe we’re I’m running the business. It’s hard to find great workers. Now, they want minimum wage
legislation.” And retailers don’t want that. They’re saying, “Please don’t push us again with a
$15 per hour minimum wage. Please don’t do that.” Where do you stand on this?
Gov Scott: I’m hearing the same thing from those main street businesses and enterprises. I’m
fearful about what that artificial inflation would do to our economy. I think it would have a
ratcheting effect across the board. I’ve used this example. “If you instituted a $15 minimum
wage, those who are already making $15 per hour are going to want $18, and if you’re making
$20 per hour, you are going to want $25. And those who are making $25 per hour are going
to want $30.”
Now I want to preface this by saying, “I want everyone to make more money.” But to
artificially increase wages isn’t going to make a better economy. Because those added costs have
to be passed on to someone. Someone has to pay. It could be the increased cost of services. Or
the increased cost of the product itself. Or in the case of the small business owner, increased
hours. And I’m not sure they can work any more hours.
Because of the position that main street businesses are in at this point. I think 80 percent of
the small business owners in Vermont hire fewer than 20 employees. That’s the vast majority
of them. And with the pressures they are feeling from Amazon, Walmart, and the online
marketplace, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Are we willing to do that
and further splinter our communities?
T H E B R I D G E J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 11

Local Legislators Share their Wish Lists for 2018
by Nat Frothingham

A
s the Vermont General Assembly gathers Vermont Senate
for the new session, representatives arrive Washington County is represented in the Vermont
with a lengthy wish list, from minimum Senate by Ann Cummings, Anthony Pollina
wage to paid family leave to school staffing to tax and Francis Brooks. Ann Cummings is Chair
reform to marijuana legalization. What lies at the of the Senate Committee on Finance and first
top, however, depends upon the representative. took office in 1998. Anthony Pollina first took
The Bridge sat down with Washington County’s office in 2010 and is Vice Chair of the Senate
and Montpelier’s representatives and senators to Committee on Agriculture and also serves on the
get their perspective on the upcoming session and Finance Committee. Francis Brooks was elected
what each hopes to see—and expects—for the to the Vermont Senate in 2016 and took office in
State House in 2018. 2017. He sits on the Agriculture and Institutions
Vermont House Committees.
Montpelier is represented in the Vermont Senator Cummings concentrated her remarks on
House of Representatives by Democrats Warren getting the state’s economy “moving better than it
Kitzmiller and Mary Hooper. has been moving.”
Kitzmiller was appointed to the Vermont “We have been so long on totally restrictive
House in 2001 after the death of his wife Karen budgets,” she said. “We’re trying to hold on.”
Kitzmiller. He currently serves as the Ranking Education is also important to her. “We do need
Member of the House Government Operations to get more of our high school graduates to
Committee. Mary Hooper was elected to the continue their education,” she said. “It doesn’t
Vermont House in 2008 and serves on the House have to be college. They need to get the high
Committee on Appropriations. school education they need so they can get a job in the new economy.”
Like many other legislators, he is concerned about impacts from the recently passed federal tax Turning to the current discussion of raising the minimum wage, she said, “The average
reform bill. “We have to worry about potential changes coming out of Washington,” he said. Vermonter’s income has been stagnant for 10 years. There’s been very little wage growth.
“We were expecting cuts to programs that help people.” Ninety percent of our businesses have less than 20 employees. A lot of us want to make the
Kitzmiller said that the Vermont House would like to work on a minimum wage bill and that minimum wage a living wage. And that’s going to be the recommendation from the study
the Vermont Senate would like to work on paid family leave. committee. But how quickly can we get there without causing a major disruption? This could
“I would support raising it,” he said about a minimum wage bill. Kitzmiller believes that if affect agencies that depend on state money.” She noted even some small town employers aren’t
wages were raised, people could survive with a bigger paycheck and programs to help people in making more than $15/hour. “It’s walking a very narrow line, trying to do what we want to
need could be reduced. “Keep children fed,” he reasoned, “Keep children and adults healthy. do,” she said.
School meal programs could be reduced because fewer people might need them.” Cummings said the state’s economy is “very complex.” True enough people with investments
Kitzmiller identified water quality as an issue, with needed spending to improve Lake in the stock market have done well. “But wages aren’t going up and the costs are. Everyone is
Champlain. He believes that the legislature will legalize marijuana but worries about testing working two or three jobs. People are buying online. People in retail are hurting. Any number
for impairment, particularly behind the wheel. “There are already people driving while high,” of things can go wrong,” she said.
he said and predicted there would be more of such people. State Senator Anthony Pollina is calling for reforming Vermont’s tax system so that it is more
Kitzmiller thinks that a lot of legislators will have problems with Gov. Scott’s desire to cut fair. He pointed out that low and middle class Vermonters are paying a higher percentage of
the staff in the state schools. “A lot of us are going to have a real problem with that,” he said. their total income on taxes. But really high-income people are paying a smaller percentage of
their total income on taxes. “I have a specific bill,” he said, “I’m putting in to make education
He also supports a carbon tax, with the hope that the increased cost of gas at the pump would funding more fair. It would move us from property-based to income-based taxes to pay for
lead to greater sales of electric cars. schools. It raises significant new revenue to help pay for schools and makes tuition-free college
It’s a hope echoed by Rep. Mary Hooper, who considers climate change a major issue and has available for most Vermonters.”
been devoting significant energy and time to addressing it throughout her political career. As “The number one problem we face is inequality,” Pollina declared. “Middle class Vermonters
Montpelier’s mayor, Hooper supported city building energy audits, which resulted in more don’t have the resources they need,” he said. “And a shrinking middle class undermines tax
energy efficient motors in heating, cooling, and ventilation systems as well as upgrades to revenues and business. When people have money, we have a strong economy,” he argued.
lighting systems.
“What would it be like to live on $10 per hour?” Pollina asked. Answering his own question,
As a legislator she says she was “a ringleader for renewable energy when I was on the [House] he said, “It’s not enough to make ends meet. Not enough to pay for rent, food, health care,
Institutions Committee. basic expenses.”
Hooper identified mental health particularly high on her to-do list. “Last year we found $8.6 Like others in the legislature, Pollina puts water quality issues on the table. “We have to do
million to put into the state’s designated [mental health] agencies. “We need to hang onto the something about water quality this year,” he said. “We have to raise money to invest in clean
people doing incredible work taking care of people in a mental health crisis,” she said. “And we water projects.”
need to do substantially more.” She noted her particular concern for people in a mental health
crisis who are sometimes “stuck in emergency rooms.” Senator Brooks, speaking as a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, took note of the
need to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi. But taking action will
Greater economic security is another goal. On the subject of minimum wage legislation, she not be cheap. “That’s an expensive price tag,” he said.
said she subscribes to the philosophy that everyone needs a decent wage, a decent home, and
access to health care. “I want to push the family leave bill to the finish line,” she said. Brooks sees strong arguments on both sides of whether to raise the minimum wage. “I
personally would work favorably for that concept,” he said.
On the subject of good government, she feels that “We’ve not been spending enough in
making our state government work properly. We need to make more choices about what When asked about the apparent closure of Onion River Sports in downtown Montpelier,
government can and can’t do.” This includes more transparency. About the workings of the Brooks said that “the ivory tower people are saying that employment is high, and the stock
Appropriations Committee, she said, “Why not hold a budget hearing at the beginning of market is going bananas.” Brooks called these “high altitude statements.” He said that
the process. Typically we write a budget. Why not ask them [the voting public] to address despite these exaggerated descriptions of what’s happening to the nation’s economy, the acid
the committee at the beginning of the session so that we can create a budget to meet those test or what he called “the ultimate reality” is what’s happening to people locally. And he
expectations?” acknowledged that many individuals “are struggling economically.”
PAG E 12 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

C a l e n d a r o f E ve n t s
Community Events
exploration, discovery, song, nature-inspired art, and oral

Performing Arts
storytelling. This playgroup is based entirely outdoors. Please
be prepared with water, snack, and warm clothing that is
suitable for getting wet and dirty! 10am–noon. North Branch
Events happening Nature Center, 713 Elm St., Montpelier. Donations welcome.
northbranchnaturecenter.org. 229-6206. THEATER, DANCE,
January 4–20 Grief & Bereavement Support Group. Open to anyone who has STORYTELLING, COMEDY
experienced the death of a loved one. 6–7:30pm. CVHHH, 600 Jan. 6: FEMCOM. All-female standup comedy. 8:30 p.m. Espresso
THURSDAY, JAN. 4 Granger Rd., Barre. Free. 223-1878 Bueno, 248 N. Main St., Barre. Free/by donation. 479-0896.
Green Smoothies with a Twist. Amp up your green smoothies TEDTALK: Adam Grant's "The Surprising Habits of Original events@espressobueno.com. espressobueno.com.
with essential oils and herbs to bring you back to health this winter. Thinkers." Which internet browser you use reveals some Jan. 14: Comedy Night at Sweet Melissa's. Comedy showcase
Join Linda Mahns for fun with greens! 6–7 p.m. Hunger Mountain interesting things about you, according to Adam Grant. And how with Kathleen Kanz, Gabe Chaves, Gina Tron, Aaron LaRoche,
Co-op community room, Montpelier. $8 members; $10 non- much you procrastinate before tackling a problem provides a pretty and Richard Bowen. 6pm. Followed by comedy open mic at 7pm
members. RSVP: info@hungermountain.coop accurate indicator of your level of creativity. In his TED talk Grant and live band karaoke at 8pm. Sweet Melissa’s, 4 Langdon St.,
The Book of Resting Places with Thomas Mira Y Lopez. In the shares research-based insights into how original thinkers differ Montpelier. By donation. Adult content.
aftermath of his father’s untimely death and his family’s indecision from other people. Come for the 15-minute talk and stay for the
over what to do with the remains, Thomas Mira y Lopez became
obsessed with the type and variety of places where we lay the dead
discussion afterwards. 6:30pm. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135
Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
AUDITIONS
Jan. 7–8: General Auditions for 2018 Season at Lost Nation
to rest. The result is a singular collection of essays that weaves
Theater. Actors, singers, movers ages 15+. Prepare two contrasting
together history, mythology, journalism, and personal narrative into
the author’s search for a place to process grief. Bear Pond Books will WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10 monologues and 16 bars of a song (optional) no longer than two
total minutes. Bring a headshot and resume. Roles open in most
sell books at this event. 7 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Warm Me Up! Registered herbalist & owner of Earth Rhythm
shows. Shows include: The Humans, Urinetown-the Musical,
St., Montpelier. 223-3338. Herbal, Shona MacDougall
Twelfth Night, and Disappearances. Does not include LNT’s
will discuss herbs to warm you during the cold winter months. Young Company show. Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main St.,
Learn about Fire Cider, herbs to promote circulation and
SATURDAY, JAN. 6 warmth, and taste test a few herbs. 6–7:30pm. Hunger Mountain
Montpelier. By appointment: Jan. 7, 5–8pm; Jan. 8, 5–9pm. Sign-
up: info@lostnationtheater.org
Capital City Winter Farmers Market. Eat local all winter long. Co-op community room, Montpelier. Free. RSVP: info@
Shop from over 20 farms and producers. Our producer-only hungermountain.coop
market means everything is grown or handmade in Central We ask that persons living with dementia be accompanied by a care
Vermont. 10am–2pm. City Center, 89 Main St., Montpelier. Yours, Mine, Ours-Money with your Honey. Free Financial partner. 10–11:30am. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre
montpelierfarmersmarket.com. Workshop: Communicating with your partner about money (come St., Montpelier. Free. 223-2518.
with or without your partner!) 6–7:30pm. Capstone Community
Que’ Nochebuena. Play by Inez Martinez will be read at the Action, 20 Gable Pl., Barre. 477-5215. lscharf@capstonevt.org
Unitarian Church of Montpelier. Martinez is a poet, novelist,
essayist, CUNY Emerita Professor, Jungian scholar and native of Is Climate Change Real? See a 2016 National Geographic that SUNDAY, JAN. 14
follows Leonardo DiCaprio’s travels as a United Nations Messenger Expanded Worship Service at Unitarian Church. Two services:
New Mexico who lives now in Wilmington. 7pm. 130 Main St., 9am and 11am. 130 Main St., Montpelier. ucmvt.org.
Montpelier. of Peace to document devastating effects of climate change already
occurring around the world, the efforts of many to meet the
challenge, and the efforts of some to close our eyes to the problem.
SUNDAY, JAN. 7 7pm. Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. 426-3581. MONDAY, JAN. 15
jaquithpubliclibrary.org Dr. King Day of Service Community Meal and Food Drive. Join
Expanded Worship Service at Unitarian Church. Two services: AmeriCorps members as we honor Dr. King with a community
9am and 11am. 130 Main St., Montpelier. ucmvt.org. meal and food drive. 11am. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St.,
The VT Playwrights Circle Presents Staged Readings. Join VPC
for an afternoon of staged readings. Actors will present rehearsed
THURSDAY, JAN. 11 Montpelier. 225-8694. vermontyouthamericorps.org
Earth: Remedies for Digestion and Energy. Enjoy an engaging Still They Persisted: Immigrant & Community Solidarity in the
readings, scripts in-hand, of three short plays by local authors discussion about practical ways to boost your digestion and gain 1912 Bread & Roses Strike. Talk with professor Robert Forrant
Jeanne Beckwith, Kim Ward, and Nan Prince. The audience will more energy. Learn taoist clinical medicine (TCM) remedies, from UMass, Lowell focused on issues related to immigration,
have a chance to discuss/ask questions about the plays and the including guidance with supplements, food medicine, qi gong, and worker’s rights, and industrialization. Annual program by the
writing process. VPC is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting in the acupressure tools you can use at home. 6¬–7pm. Hunger Mountain Vermont Historical Society commemorating the legacy of Dr.
writing, development, and production of plays by local authors. Co-op community room, Montpelier. Free. RSVP: info@ Martin Luther King, Jr. 2pm. Vermont History Center, 60
They hold free workshops once a month at MSAC, staged readings hungermountain.coop Washington St. Barre. 479-8500. vermonthistory.org
periodically, and an annual Ten-Minute play festival called
“TenFest,” which is coming into its 11th season in 2018. 2–4pm.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-
2518. vtplays.com
FRIDAY, JAN. 12 TUESDAY, JAN. 16
Art Class. “Unusual Landscapes from around the World” Fridays Blood Drive. Giving blood is a simple thing to do, but it can
Dance, Sing, and Jump Around! A family dance for all ages. Circle through Feb. 16. All levels welcome. 3–5pm. Twin Valley Senior make a big difference in the lives of others. So please, stop by the
and line dances and singing games, all taught and called. Live Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier. Register: 223-6954. center and donate. 10am–3pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt.2,
traditional music. All dances taught and called by Liz Benjamin Naturalist Journeys Series: Thunder Beasts and Swamp East Montpelier. Get a $5 Dunkin Donuts card when you donate.
and Ethan Guiles. 3–4:30pm. Plainfield Town Hall Opera House, Donkeys. Bison, moose, wolves, and bears are entangled in Schedule appt.: 223-3322 or twinvalleyseniors@myfairpoint.net
Rt. 2, Plainfield. Suggested donation: $5 per adult. Free for a delicate dance of ecology and conservation in the Greater Lt. Governor David Zuckerman Visits FEAST. Lt. Governor
children. No one is turned away. dancesingandjumparound.weebly. Yellowstone Ecosystem. Witness grand migrations, life, death, Zuckerman visits MSAC to mingle with members, speak, and
com struggle, and survival in this photographic odyssey to the wildest answer constituents’ questions. He may also have time to help serve
Community Song Circles. A community sing-along open to of the west with NBNC Staff Naturalist Sean Beckett on an FEAST lunch! 11:30am–12:30pm. Montpelier Senior Activity
ALL ages and musical abilities – all you need is a love of singing. exploration of “America’s Serengeti.” 7pm. North Branch Nature Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Meal is $7 for anyone under 60
We use the popular songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Center, Maxham Room, 713 Elm St., Montpelier. By donation. and $5 suggested donation for anyone 60 or older. 223-2518.
Bring your copies if you have them; books will also be available
to borrow or purchase. 6–8 pm. Center for Arts and Learning,
46 Barre St., Montpelier. Free; donations welcome. cal-vt.org. SATURDAY, JAN. 13 WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17
vtcommunitysing@gmail.com Montpelier Memory Café. Join us to celebrate our 4th anniversary Grief & Bereavement Support Group. Open to anyone who has
with guest musician Luke Rackers. Rackers is the volunteer experienced the death of a loved one. 10–11:30am. CVHHH,
coordinator at the Central Vermont Council on Aging. The Cafe is Granger Rd., Barre. Free. 223-1878
MONDAY, JAN. 8 a social gathering where people in early to mid-stage memory loss Kids’ Movies. For kids of all ages and their grown-ups. Come
Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup. An outdoor playgroup for disorders, and their care partners, can come together to connect enjoy a short, 30 minute film before community supper is served.
parents, caregivers, and children ages 0-5. Spontaneous play, and support one another in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. 5:30pm. Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. 426-3581.
THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 13

Calendar of Events
Visual Arts
Seeing. Opening reception: Jan. 4, 5–7 pm./Artist talk: Feb. 2, 5:30–7 pm followed by Q&A with f
EXHIBITS 7 group. T.W. Wood Art Gallery, 46 Barre St., Montpelier. twwoodgallery.org
Through Jan. 6: SHOW 22 @ The Front Gallery. The
Through Feb. 25: Justin Kenney, The Parley of the Curve. Kenney’s imagery represents architecture
exhibition will showcase the latest works of the gallery’s
of society in opposition with nature. Opening reception: Jan. 4, 5–7 pm. The Gallery at River Arts, 74
membership of Vermont-based contemporary artists. The
Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261. riverartsvt.org
Front Gallery, Barre St., Montpelier. thefront.com
Through Feb. 28: Jaquith Invitational Group Art Show. Reception: Jan. 12, 6–8pm. Jaquith Public
Through Jan. 26: The Book of Changes: Symbolic Landscapes of the I Ching. 64 works by Elizabeth
Library, 122 School St. RM 2, Marshfield. 426-3581.
Nelson inspired by the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick St.
Greensboro. 533-9075. highlandartsvt.org. Through March 30: Linda Mirabile, Avian Inspired. Images of birds are painted on birch panel or
watercolor paper with acrylics. Opening reception: Jan. 11, 4–7 pm. Pavilion Office Building, 109 State
Through Jan. 30: Art in the Adult Library: Street Scapes of Vermont. Watercolors by Nitya Brighenti.
St., 5th fl. Montpelier. Photo ID is required for admission.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
Through March 30: Claire Van Vliet, Sky and Earth. Pulp paintings created from 1995 to 2011.
Through Jan. 31: Margaret Sparrow, Still Time. Easel paintings and works on paper. These works have
Opening reception: Jan. 11, 4–7pm. Artwalk, Feb. 2, 4–7pm. Vermont Supreme Court Gallery, 111
never before been exhibited in Vermont. The Gallery at Central Vermont Medical Center, 130 Fisher Rd.,
State St., Montpelier.
Berlin. For more info: 279-6403 or moetown52@comcast.net.
Through April 15: Robert Chapla, Herding in All the Usual Places … And Then Some. Urban and
Through Feb. 12: Merry Schmidt. Watercolor paintings. Merry will donate 15 percent of sale proceeds to
rural herding differences are on display in this show of 18 oil and acrylic paintings. Presented by Studio
MSAC. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518.
Place Arts. Morse Block Deli, 260 N. Main St., Barre. robertchapla.com.
Through Feb. 23: Susan Abbott, Warm Places. Opening reception: Jan. 4, 5–7 pm. T.W. Wood Art
Ongoing: Michael Jermyn, New American Impressionism. Photographs. Positive Pie, N. Main St.,
Gallery, 46 Barre St., Montpelier. twwoodgallery.org
Barre.
Through Feb 23: Axel Stohlberg, Abstraction Around Me/f 7 Photography Group, Seven Ways of

jaquithpubliclibrary.org center? Shelly offers creative strategies for transitioning to adult day. trailhead in Worcester and hike up to White Rock Mountain,
Yours, Mine, Ours-Money with your Honey. Free Financial 1–2pm. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. returning on the same trail. We will use snowshoes or microspikes
Workshop: Communicating with your partner about money (come 223-2518. depending upon conditions. Contact Steve or Heather Bailey, 622-
with or without your partner!) 6–7:30pm. Capstone Community 4516 or stevecbailey@gmail.com for meeting time and place.
Action, 20 Gable Pl., Barre. 477-5215. lscharf@capstonevt.org FRIDAY, JAN. 19 Capital City Winter Farmers Market. Eat local all winter long.
Shop from over 20 farms and producers. Our producer-only
Movie Night at the Jaquith Library. An eclectic selection of movies Art Class. “Unusual landscapes from around the World” Fridays
that deserve a big screen with perspectives we don’t usually see, and through Feb. 16. All levels welcome. 3–5pm. Twin Valley Senior market means everything is grown or handmade in Central
humor. 7pm. Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. Call Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier. Register: 223-6954. Vermont. 10am–2pm. City Center, 89 Main St., Montpelier.
library for film title: 426-3581. jaquithpubliclibrary.org montpelierfarmersmarket.com.
Slideshow: Mother-Daughter Long Trail Hiking. Come to look
and listen as Montpelier Green Mountain Club members Lexi and Fundraising Dinner at Twin Valley Senior Center. Fill your plate
THURSDAY, JAN. 18 Linnaea Shear, mother and daughter, present a slideshow on their
Long Trail End-to-End hike this past summer. 7pm. T.W. Wood
with just one dish or try multiple scoops of the many dishes offered.
There will be many choices of main courses and sides. Along with
Adult Day – What, Why, When, and How! Shelly Ehrman, Project
Gallery & Art Center, 46 Barre St, Montpelier. 262-6035. many different homemade pies for dessert along with coffee and
Independence’s Outreach and Caregiver Support Specialist and
tea. 4–7pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier.
a nurse since 1985 with extensive experience in mental health,
$10. Large groups, please RSVP. 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors@
homecare and geriatrics, will answer such questions as: What are
the benefits of Adult Day? Why should I consider Adult Day? When
SATURDAY, JAN. 20 myfairpoint.net
Snowshoe White Rock Mountain with Green Mountain Club.
is it time for someone to attend? How is it different from a senior Moderate. 5.2 miles. Worcester. Start at the Hunger Mountain

For more event listings and event details visit montpelierbridge.com
Artist Margaret Sparrow Explores “Still Time” at
The Central Vermont Medical Center Gallery by Mike Dunphy

“A
uthentic art has no use for proclamations…,” reads an inscription by Marcel
Proust in the Central Vermont Medical Center Gallery in Berlin, “It accomplishes
its work in silence.” There may be little silence in the long entryway and lobby
that hosts the new exhibition, “Still Time,” by Vermont-based artist Margaret Sparrow,
with the beeps and whirs of medical machinery and almost audible, nervous brain-firings
of waiting patients, but the art retains its own.
For some, the busyness of the corridor and lobby may not allow the deep contemplation,
reflection, and engagement the art would receive in a quiet, separate room. It’s a concern
shared by Sparrow, but the skill of hospital gallery curator Maureen Burgess put her more
at ease. “If this had been simply a hallway, I would not have agreed to put paintings up
here,” Sparrow reflected, “One wants one's work to be displayed appropriately. I went to
look at the space and the lighting before agreeing to do this exhibit. It's an excellent small
space for displaying works of art and that's because it's handled so professionally.”
Indeed, the hospital setting offers a unique venue and context for an artist that can imbue
new meaning and effect. “I think for everyone connected with a health center, doctors,
staff, and patients,” Sparrow considers, “the presence of something visual and completely
unconnected with the possible difficulties of the day is refreshing and helpful. If a
painting can help to brighten the time for a patient or take his or her mind, if even for a
moment, away from some worrisome consideration, it is doing good.”
Encompassing water and oil on cotton, linen, and paper, the 21 works of various sizes
cover the usual still-life subjects of fruits and vegetables—apples, pears, plums, melons,
squash—in bowls, pots, platters, and plates, or rolling free of them all. They span a
40-year period from Sparrow’s years in NYC to more recent pieces completed here in
Vermont. Many had been exhibited at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph,
Missouri under the name "Still Time," which Ms. Burgess suggested keeping for this
show.
As with any art, interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. To me, very little seems
still. The composition, angles, and the semi-warped perspective—as if gazing through Painting by Margaret Sparrow
a thin veil of still water—adds a certain dreaminess to it, makes the images seem like
resurrected memories rather than real-life records of specific moment. A gauzy veneer
created by infusing nearly every color with white paint adds to the effect. Add to this the
disheveled nature of several paintings, including half-naked tables, scrunched up cloths,
and half-turned teapots, and it seems we’ve actually just missed the action that put them
there by a few minutes.
“Everyone who views this work will see something different,” Sparrow reminds, “My hope
is that people will take the time to really see these pieces and try to sense the loveliness
and wonder of these simple objects that are so moving to me, and which constitute the
world we live in, with its possibility, at any moment, to astonish us, if we just take the
time to look.”
As with all shows at CVMC, the paintings are for sale, with 25 percent of the published
selling price, which in Sparrow’s show ranges from $240 to $8,000, going to maintain the
gallery and cover expenses such as promotional materials, transportation, and hanging
systems. It is not considered a donation to the hospital.
“Still Time” is on display at the Central Vermont Medical Center through January 2018.
PAG E 14 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Calendar of Events
Live Music Vermont Virtuosi perform
Jan. 13 and 14. Vermont
Virtuosi is, clockwise from
top, Laurel Ann Maurer, Sam
VENUES Whitesell, Sarah Cullins,
Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. Other shows T.B.A. bagitos.com. Erik Kroncke.
Every Wed.: Open Mic
Charlie O’s World Famous. 70 Main St. Montpelier. Free. 223-6820.
Every Tues.: Karaoke with DJ Vociferous, 9 p.m–1 a.m.
Jan. 5: Solo acoustic 6pm; Wild Leek River (country) 9pm
Jan. 6: Mad Mountain Scramblers (bluegrass) 9pm
Jan. 12: Bishop LaVey (acoustic) 6pm; Dolphin Strikers (ska) 9pm
Jan. 13: Papa Greybeard (blues) 6pm; Lake Superior/Jessica Rabbit Syndrome (rock) 9pm
Jan. 19: Dallas Higgins (indie) 6pm; Megan Jean & the KFB (Gypsy folk) 9pm
Jan. 20: Barbacoa/ Tsunamibots/Beware the Dangers of the Ghost Scorpian (surf) 9pm
Espresso Bueno. 248 N. Main St., Barre. 479-0896. Free/by donation unless otherwise noted.
events@espressobueno.com. espressobueno.com.
Jan. 6: Larks in the Attic (traditional) 7:30pm
Jan. 13: Jazzyaoke (live jazz karaoke) 7:30pm, $5.
Whammy Bar. 7 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 7:30 p.m. 31 County Rd., Calais. Thurs., Free. whammybar1.
com.
Every Wed.: Open Mic
Jan. 4: Halle's Band, Nancy's Band, Artie's Band
Jan. 5: D. Davis and Ruth Einstein (Django swing jazz-inspired)
Jan. 6: Anachronist (original alt rock)
Jan. 12: Red Hot Juba
Jan. 13: Stelvis Carbo (original rock/funk/jazz) "From a portrait of Inez Martinez" by
Jan. 17: Special Show: Myra Flynn and Paul Boffa (No Open Mic) S.B. Sowbel.
Jan. 19: Brevity Thing A reading of the play Que’ Nochebuena
Jan. 20: Kelly Ravin and Halle Toulis (original alt country) by Inez Martinez will be read at the
Unitarian Church of Montpelier Jan. 6.
SPECIAL EVENTS at 7pm.
Jan. 4: John Lackard Blues. 7pm. Blackback Pub, 1 Stowe St., Waterbury. No cover. Que’ Nochebuena (What a Christmas
Jan. 13–14: Vermont Virtuosi presents Proper Opera. Features soprano Sarah Cullins, bass Eve) offers a poignant, contemporary
Erik Kroncke, flutist Laurel Ann Maurer, and pianist Sam Whitesell performing music by Georges version of family, community, and
Bizet, Giuseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Christmas.
Rogers and Hammerstein and more, as well as the premiere of a work by Vermont composer Dennis
Bathory-Kitsz based on themes from his 2011 opera, Erzsébet. Free; donations welcome. 881-9153.
LaMaurerFlute.com.
Jan. 13: 7:30pm. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier
Jan. 14: 3pm: First Baptist Church, 8 St. Paul St., Burlington
Send your event listing to
calendar@montpelierbridge.com.
Deadline for print in the next
issue is January 11.
THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 15

Calendar of Events

Weekly
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rt. 2, E. Montpelier. 223-2518. Washington St., Barre. 249-3970.
Montpelier. $4 suggested donation. 223-3322. Mooditude Support Group. A professional and
Monteverdi Young Singers Chorus Rehearsal.
twinvalleyseniors.org. peer-led support group, not a therapy group.
New chorus members welcome. Wed., 4–5 p.m.
Feast Together or Feast To Go. All proceeds Montpelier. Call 229-9000 for location and more For people with depression, bipolar disorder,
benefit the Feast Senior Meal program. Tues. and information. seasonal affective disorder, dysthymia etc.). Every
Fri., noon–1 p.m. Live music every Tues., 10:30– Wed., 4–5 p.m. Bethany Church,115 Main St.,
Ukelele Group. All levels welcome. Thurs., 6–8
11:45 a.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Montpelier. (downstairs at end of hallway). Free.
ARTS & CRAFTS Barre St., Montpelier. Seniors 60+ free with $5
suggested donation; under 60 $7. Reservations:
p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre
St. 223-2518.
223-4111 or 522-0775.
Beaders’ Group. All levels of beading experience Weight Loss Support Group. Get help and
welcome. Free instruction available. Come with 262-6288 or FEAST@montpelier-vt.org. Barre Rock City Chorus. We sing songs from the
support on your weight loss journey every Wed.,
a project for creativity and community. Sat., 11 '60s to '80s and beyond. All songs are taught by
6–7 p.m. Giffords Conference Center, 44 S. Main
rote using word sheets, so ability to read music is
a.m.–2 p.m. The Bead Hive, Plainfield. 454-1615.
Tuesday Night Knitters. Every week except
HEALTH & WELLNESS not required. All ages welcome; children under
St., Randolph. Free. No registration required.
Open to all regardless of where you are in your
Bone Building Exercises. Open to all ages. Every 13 should come with a parent. Every Thurs.,
for the first Tuesday of each month. All levels weight loss.
Mon., Wed. and Fri. 7:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. 6:30–8:30 p.m. Church of the Good Shepherd, 39
encouraged! A small but dedicated group Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. Washington St., Barre. Wit’s End. Support group for parents, siblings,
of knitters invite you to share your projects, Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors. children, spouses and/or relationship partners of
questions and enthusiasm for the fiber arts! At Gamelan Rehearsals. Sun., 7–9 p.m. Pratt Center,
org. someone suffering with addiction — whether it is
the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street Goddard College. Free. 426-3498. steven.light@
to alcohol, opiates, cocaine, heroin, marijuana or
(US Route 2), Plainfield. 454-8504, www. Tai Chi for Seniors. Led by trained volunteers. jsc.edu. light.kathy@gmail.com.
something else. Every Wed., 6–8 p.m. Turning
cutlerlibrary.org. Advanced class: every Mon. and Fri., 1–2 p.m.
Point Center, 489 N. Main St., Barre. Louise:
Crafters Group. Bring your own projects, or
work together on projects to sell to benefit the
Beginners class: Tues. and Thurs. 10–11 a.m.
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. OUTDOORS 279-6378.
Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors. Walks with Joan. Easy to moderate walks around National Alliance on Mental Illness VT Peer
Senior Activity Center. We can all learn from org. Montpelier for healthy exercise and conversation. Support Group. For anyone with any type of
each other! Every Wed., noon–2 p.m. Montpelier Every Tues., 10–11 a.m. Montpelier Senior Activity mental health condition looking for confidential
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Living Strong Group. Volunteer-led group.
Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. peer-led support among others living with mental
223-2518. Sing while exercising. Open to all seniors. Every
Trash Tramps. Walk around Montpelier health issues. Every 2nd Thurs., 4–5:30pm in
Mon., 2:30–3:30 p.m. and every Fri., 2–3 p.m.
Photography Club. Every Thurs., noon–1 p.m. collecting trash to help beautify our City. Bring the Boardroom (basement level near cafeteria)
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.,
Led by professional photographer Linda Hogan. gloves, other supplies provided. Every Tues., at Central VT Medical Center on Fisher Rd in
Montpelier. Free. Register: 223-2518. msac@
Great chance to get and give some feedback 2–3 p.m. Tuesdays 2-3pm, Montpelier Senior Berlin. Questions: Call Nick Martin at 876-7949
montpelier-vt.org.
on your work and see what others are doing. Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223- ext. 102 or info@namivt.org.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program.
2518.
SPIRITUALITY
Montpelier. 223-2518. Education and support to help adults at high risk
of developing type 2 diabetes adopt healthier
Drop-in River Arts Elder Art Group. Work on
art, share techniques and get creative with others.
eating and exercise habits that can lead to weight
loss and reduced risk. Every Tues., 10:30–11:30
RECYCLING Christian Science Reading Room. You're invited
to visit the Reading Room and see what we
Bring your own art supplies. For elders 60+. Every Additional Recycling. The Additional Recyclables
a.m. Kingwood Health Center Conference Collection Center accepts scores of hard-to-recycle have for your spiritual growth. You can borrow,
Fri., 10 a.m.–noon. River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant Room (lower level), 1422 Rt. 66, Randolph. Free. purchase or simply enjoy material in a quiet study
St., Morrisville. Free. 888-1261. riverartsvt.org. items. Mon., Wed., Fri., noon–6 p.m.; Third Sat.,
Register: 728-7714. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. ARCC, 540 North Main St., Barre. room. Hours: Wed.–Sat., 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Wed.,
Tai Chi for Falls Prevention. With Diane Des $5 per carload. 229-9383 x106. For list of accepted 5–7:15 p.m. 145 State St., Montpelier. 223-2477.
BICYCLING Bois. Beginners and mixed levels welcome. 2:15
p.m. Barre Area Senior Center, 131 S., Main St.,
items, go to cvswmd.org/arcc. A Course in Miracles. A study in spiritual
transformation. Group meets each Tues., 7–8 p.m.
Open Shop Nights. Volunteer-run community
bike shop: bike donations and repairs. Wed., 4–6
p.m.; other nights. Freeride Montpelier, 89 Barre
#4, Barre. Free. Register: 479-9512.
Tai Chi Classes for All Ages. Every Tues. and
RESOURCES Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St., Montpelier.
279-1495.
St., Montpelier. 552-3521. freeridemontpelier.org. Onion River Exchange Tool Library. More
Thurs., 10–11 a.m. Twin Valley Senior Center, Christian Counseling. Tues. and Thurs. Daniel
than 100 tools both power and manual. Onion
Rte. 2, Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Free. Dr., Barre. Reasonable cost. By appt. only: 479-
River Exchange is located at 46 Barre Street in
BOOKS & WORDS 223-3322. twinvalleyseniors@myfairpoint.net
HIV Testing. Vermont CARES offers fast
Montpelier. Hours are Wed. and Thurs., 10 a.m.–2
p.m. For more info. or to donate tools: 661-8959 or
0302.
Prayer Meeting. Ecumenical and charismatic
Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and
practice your language skills with neighbors. oral testing. Wed., 2–5 p.m. 29 State St., Ste. info@orexchange.com. prayer meeting. Every 1st and 3rd Thurs., 6:30–8
Noon–1 p.m. Mon., American Sign Language; 14 (above Rite Aid), Montpelier. Free and p.m. 8 Daniel Dr., Barre. 479-0302
Tues., Italian; Wed., Spanish; Thurs., French. anonymous. 371-6224. vtcares.org.
SOLIDARITY/IDENTITY Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For those
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., interested in learning about the Catholic faith, or
Montpelier. 223-3338.
Club de Français Intermédiaire. Lecture
KIDS & TEENS Rainbow Umbrella of Central VT. Adult
LGBTQ group, meets the third Tuesday evening
current Catholics who want to learn more. Wed.,
7 p.m. St. Monica Church, 79 Summer St., Barre.
The Basement Teen Center. Safe drop-in space of the month at 5:45 p.m. for a casual dinner
(reading). Conversation. Grammaire. Every Mon., Register: 479-3253.
to hang out, make music, play pool, ping-pong at a local restaurant. The gathering place is 58
12;45–2 p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, and board games and eat free food. All activities Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging text
58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. Barre St. in Montpelier. Info: RUCVTAdmin@
are free. Mon.–Thurs., 2–6 p.m., Fridays 3-10 p.m. study and discussion on Jewish spirituality. Sun.,
PrideCenterVT.org
Italian Group. A fun-loving group meets to Basement Teen Center, 39 Main St., Montpelier. 4:45–6:15 p.m. Yearning for Learning Center,
converse in Italian. Every Tues., 1:15–2:45 BasementTeenCenter.org Friday Night Group. Social gathering of LGBTQ Montpelier. 223-0583. info@yearning4learning.
p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre youth, ages 13 – 22. 2nd and 4th Fridays of the org.
Story Time and Playgroup. With Sylvia Smith month, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Free pizza and soft drinks.
St., Montpelier. 223-2518. for story time and Cassie Bickford for playgroup. Supervised by LGBT adults trained by Outright
Ongoing Reading Group. Improve your reading
and share some good books. Books chosen by
For ages birth–6 and their grown-ups. We follow
the Twinfield Union School calendar and do not
Vermont. Unitarian Church, Montpelier. For more
info, email Nancy: SaddleShoes2@gmail.com
SPORTS & GAMES
group. Thurs., 9–10 a.m. Central Vermont Adult hold the program the days Twinfield is closed. Roller Derby Open Recruitment and
Basic Education, Montpelier Learning Center, Wed., 10–11:30 a.m. Jaquith Public Library, Bowling. Rainbow Umbrella of Central Vermont, Recreational Practice. Central Vermont’s
100 State St. 223-3403. 122 School St., Marshfield. Free. 426-3581. an adult LGBTQ group, bowls at Twin City Wrecking Doll Society invites quad skaters age
jaquithpubliclibrary.org. Lanes on Sunday afternoons twice a month. 18 and up. No experience necessary. Equipment
Chapters in History: Exploring Several For dates and times, write to RUCVTAdmin@ provided: first come, first served. Sat., 5–6:30 p.m.
American Presidencies. Saturdays at 2 p.m. Lego Club. Use our large Lego collection to create PrideCenterVT.org Montpelier Recreation Center, Barre St. First skate
Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield. and play. All ages. Thurs., 3–4:30 p.m. Kellogg- free. centralvermontrollerderby.com.
For info: 802-426-3581 or visit our website: Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free.
jaquithpubliclibrary.org 223-3338. kellogghubbard.org. SUPPORT
Dads & Kids Playgroup. Playtime and free dinner. Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place YOGA & MEDITATION
Christian Meditation Group. People of all faiths
BUSINESS, FINANCE, Every Thurs., 5–7 p.m. For Dads and their children
ages birth–5. Family Center of Washington
for individuals and their families in or seeking
recovery. Daily, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 489 North Main welcome. Mon., noon–1 p.m. Christ Church,
COMPUTERS, EDUCATION County, 383 Sherwood Dr., Montpelier. fcwcvt.org St., Barre. 479-7373.
Sun.: Alchoholics Anonymous, 8:30 a.m.
Montpelier. 223-6043.
One-on-One Technology Help Sessions. Free Drop-in Kinder Arts Program. Innovative Zen Meditation. With Zen Affiliate of Vermont.
assistance to patrons needing help with their Tues.: Making Recovery Easier workshops, Wed., 6:30–7:30 p.m. 174 River St., Montpelier.
exploratory arts program with artist/instructor
computers and other personal electronic devices. 6–7:30 p.m. Free. Call for orientation: 229-0164.
Kelly Holt. Age 3–5. Fri., 10:30 a.m.–noon. River
30 min. one-on-one sessions every Tues., 10 a.m.– Wed.: Wit’s End Parent Support Group, 6 p.m.
Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261. Montpelier Shambhala Meditation. Group
noon. Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., Thurs.: Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30 p.m.
RiverArtsVT.org. meditation practice. Sun., 10 a.m.–noon; Wed.,
Waterbury. Free. Registration required: 244-7036. Al-Anon. Help for friends and families of
Teen Fridays. Find out about the latest teen 6–7 p.m; learn to meditate — free instruction
Alcoholics. the 1st Wed. of the month. New location:
books, use the gym, make art, play games and if
FOOD & DRINK you need to, do your homework. Fri., 3–5 p.m.
Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marshfield.
Sun.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St.,
Montpelier (back door) 6:15–7:30 p.m.
5 State Street, 2nd floor, Montpelier. info@
montpeliershambhala.org, www.montpelier.
Community Meals in Montpelier. All welcome. Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St.,
426-3581. shambhala.org
Free. Montpelier (basement) noon–1 p.m.
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., 11 Mad River Valley Youth Group. Sun., 7–9 p.m. Wed.: Bethany Church,115 Main St., Sunday Sangha: Community Ashtanga Yoga.
a.m.–12:30 p.m. Meets at various area churches. Call 497-4516 for Montpelier (basement) 7–8 p.m. Sunday, 7:15–8:15 p.m Mantra and Pranayama.
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 11:30 location and information. Thurs.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Saturday, 10–11:30 a.m. Funk N Flow Yoga.
a.m.–1 p.m. Montpelier (basement) noon–1 p.m Grateful Yoga, 15 State St., 3F, Montpelier. By
donation
MUSIC & DANCE
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., 11 a.m.– Sat.: Turning Point, N. Main St., Barre, 5 p.m.
12:30 p.m. (child friendly meeting) ROOTS. Join Martha Holden and friends and
Thurs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., 11:30 Barre-Tones Women’s Chorus. Open rehearsal. get support and practical experience through
a.m.–1 p.m. Sex Addicts Anonymous. Mon., 6:30 p.m.
Find your voice with 50 other women. Mon., discussion and guided meditation for accessing
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., 11 Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. 552-
7 p.m. Capital City Grange, Rt. 12, Berlin. wisdom, strength and community, that we
a.m.–12:30 p.m. 3483.
BarretonesVT.com. 552-3489. may better engage in our lives and our world.
Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115 Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve-step program First Fri., 1:30-3:30 pm; last Thurs., 6–7:30
Dance or Play with the Swinging Over 60 Band.
Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue), for physically, emotionally and spiritually pm. through March. Kellogg-Hubbard Library,
Danceable tunes from the 1930s to the 1960s.
4:30–5:30 p.m. overcoming overeating. Sat., 8:30–9:30 a.m. at Hayes Room, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free.
Recruiting musicians. Tues., 10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
Lunches for Seniors. Mon., Wed., Fri., Noon. Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 39 roots@sparkofhumanity.net
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.,

Send your event listing to calendar@montpelierbridge.com. Deadline for print in the next issue is January 11.
PAG E 16 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Letters
Expand the Bottle Bill
Editor,
As volunteers with the "Trash Tramps" group, which picks up trash every Tuesday in
Montpelier, we're well acquainted with litter in the downtown. Every week, we and other
volunteers pick up a wide variety of empty beverage containers that probably would not be
there if our current bottle bill was expanded to include them.
EPA Delaying Action on Toxic Chemicals An expanded bottle bill and an increased deposit on containers would result in cleaner streets
Editor, and rivers throughout Vermont, which would have economic benefits in addition to benefits
for wildlife and public health. Please join us in urging our legislators to support an expanded
I'm alarmed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's decision to bottle bill in the upcoming legislative session.
kick the can down the road on toxic chemicals. On December 19, news broke that his agency
has indefinitely postponed bans on certain uses of three dangerous chemicals: methylene Nancy Schulz and Anne Ferguson, Montpelier
chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, and trichloroethylene. These chemicals are linked to cancer, Support Sale of Vermont Yankee
developmental toxicity, and other health problems. You can find some of them on the shelves Editor,
of your local hardware store.
As I was reading a recent op-ed by a legislator, I was struck by his praise of the state’s
Protecting American consumers and workers from dangerous chemicals is at the heart of the “aggressive oversight of Vermont Yankee” in its attempt to curb carbon emissions.
EPA’s mission. And action on these toxic chemicals is long overdue. Their health risks are
serious and well documented. In fact, a 21-year-old in Tennessee died recently after stripping Yes, Vermont is a leader in in-state low-carbon generation, but we buy more out-of-state fossil
a bathtub with a product containing methylene chloride. fuel than ever since Vermont Yankee closed. If this “aggressive oversight” in fact contributed
to Vermont Yankee’s closure, it cost Vermonters their largest zero-carbon energy provider.
Delaying these rules will needlessly expose two million workers and consumers to these
hazardous chemicals. Yet Administrator Pruitt and his team have prioritized the chemical In just a few weeks, Vermonters will have the opportunity to voice their support for the sale
lobby ahead of our health. of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar. However, if the same antagonism dressed up as “aggressive
oversight” is applied to NorthStar, we could once again see an end to a project of economic
Workers and families need more, not less, protection from toxic chemicals. The EPA should and environmental value.
end this dangerous delay.
Let’s not repeat mistakes that have already been made. NorthStar has a thorough
Sally Colman, Plainfield decommissioning plan. I look forward to the approval of the sale and the strong economic
Supports Bottle Bill Expansion future that will soon follow.
Editor, George Clain, Barre
I am writing to express support for expansion of Vermont’s bottle redemption program. I am Let’s Tax Meat
much more likely to buy a bottle of water or juice than a bottle or can of soda or beer, so for Editor,
years I’ve been dismayed that the empty bottles I accumulate are considered worthless by
redemption centers. Like soda or beer bottles, natural resources are required to make water, With Congressional Republicans succeeding in putting a new tax bill on President's Trump's
juice, and other bottles and these bottles end up taking space in recycling centers or landfills. desk before Christmas, here comes the respected British publication The Guardian suggesting
State policy should encourage redemption of all bottles. That would provide extra incentive, a new source of tax revenue: meat. Yes, a tax on meat, to beat the health and climate crises.
such as a little pocket change now and then, plus it would help keep bottles off our roads and The concept is hardly radical. We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sugary sodas, plastic
out of our rivers! bags, and other consumables that afflict the public health and create other social costs.
There may be attempts by lobbyists again this year to repeal Vermont’s bottle redemption The revenue would reimburse Medicare, Medicaid, and other government healthcare
program. Rather than repeal it, we need to expand it to include more bottles. And we need programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively to
to be able to keep the unredeemed deposits in our state. Vermonters pay this deposit at the consumption of animal products. It also could be used to contribute to the costs of restoring
counter, and we should make sure the money is put to good use. We could be spending it air and water quality and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these
for environmental or recycling programs here rather than sending it out-of-state to the big items.
beverage industry! Benjamin Franklin noted that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, death can
Thanks for listening and supporting an expanded and improved bottle redemption program be deferred substantially by taxing the very products that make us sick.
in Vermont. Maxwell Branset, Montpelier
Brenda Bean

What Do You Think?
Read something that you would like to respond to? We welcome your letters and
opinion pieces. Letters must be fewer than 300 words. Opinion pieces should not
exceed 600 words. The Bridge reserves the right to edit and cut pieces.
Send your piece to: editorial@montpelierbridge.com.
Deadline for the next issue is January 12.
THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 17

Bear Pond Books Shares its Winter Reading List
I
f there’s anything good about the deep freeze out the window, it’s that it makes for prime reading time,
especially when wrapped in an electric blanket against a wood stove with a mug of Baileys-spiked
hot chocolate. However, if the only thing on your reading list is a cold question mark, the staff of
Montpelier’s own Bear Pond Books can change that into a hot exclamation point with their favorite books
for the winter season.
George recommends Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson
I loved this thriller set in an isolated Icelandic fishing village that has been stranded by an avalanche. The
quiet is interrupted when an unconscious woman is found bleeding in the snow, a local writer falls to his
death, and a rookie cop is brought in on the case. The author is an Icelandic lawyer who writes in the style
of Agatha Christie, whose novels he has translated.
Claire recommends Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge
In 1993, Kagge—a Norwegian explorer, art collector, writer, and philosopher—spent fifty days alone
walking across Antarctica. This book recounts his experiences and shows how essential silence is to the
human spirit in this noisy world. It's the perfect read for a cold, quiet January when we can take the time
to hear ourselves think.
Cora recommends Slow Knitting: A Journey from Sheep to Skein to Stitch by Hannah Thiessen
This beautiful book urges us all to slow down and celebrate what makes knitting such a compelling passion
and think of your knitting as a process that begins with sourcing your yarn responsibly. With beautiful
photographs and patterns, it's a great inspiration for winter projects sitting by the wood stove.
Amanda recommends Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
In winter I like to curl up with a nice fat classic, and this is one of my favorite Dickens books. A young
society man is being forced to marry a stranger in order to get his inheritance. When his body is found
floating in the Thames, a story of hidden identities, attempted murder, love, and redemption ensues. It's
great and timeless social commentary.
Jane recommends Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
This great middle-grade novel is set in a Vermont winter and is about an 11-year-old bi-racial girl who
lives with her aging grandfather. Robbie is a feisty character who can fix cars and tap maple trees but
unfortunately also gets into fights at school. They are an unconventional family who learn about embracing
differences and all the ways there are to make a family. Recommended for ages 8–12.
Rob recommends The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
If you're having a hard time with Vermont's frigid start to winter this year, imagine living in the deep woods
of Maine for almost 30 years with no shelter beyond a tattered tent. Christopher Knight did just that and Photo by Michael Jermyn
this fascinating memoir explores how he became a true hermit and why. Finkel's approach to this unique
character is compassionate and thought-provoking and makes for compelling reading.

Berlin Mall and Green Mountain Club Combine To Present
Year Two of “Walk The Long Trail At Berlin Mall”
F
rom January 13 (MLK Weekend)-April 22, 2018 (Earth Day), the Berlin Mall once All registered walkers receive a commemorative poster and colorful milestone stickers to
more welcomes walkers to experience an indoor version of the Long Trail, and help track progress, plus special offers and giveaways. Walkers can register online at theberlinmall.
raise funds for the Green Mountain Club (GMC)—official stewards of The Long com/walk, and onsite at the mall. In addition, special events featuring awards, prizes, and
Trail. Last year, nearly 600 registered mall walkers logged about 12,000 miles, raising light refreshments will mark the opening and closing of the “Walk.”
$5,000 for the Green Mountain Club. The following businesses have stepped up to help underwrite this four-month event: Walmart,
By walking 544 laps in the mall’s heated, enclosed common area, participants can walk Central Vermont Medical Center, Green Stripes Landscaping, Planet Fitness, Avonda Air,
the equivalent of the Long Trail’s 272 miles, which run along the high ridge of Vermont’s Casella, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Community National Bank, Land Strategies, Supercuts,
Green Mountains from Massachusetts to Quebec. The trail exists thanks to the efforts of and WDEV. More sponsors are expected.
the GMC and its 1,000-plus volunteers, plus donors, who work hard to keep it going. The event also fits in with the long term plans of the owners of the Berlin Mall. “Our vision
Photos, graphics, and other media in the mall provide the sense of being immersed in the is to create a vibrant town center where people of all ages live, work, and play in a way that
Trail and its surroundings. Participants’ walking distances are recorded as they achieve embraces community and celebrates life in Central Vermont,” said Michael Rushman,
milestones along the way, and the mall owners (Heidenberg Properties Group) are donating Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning. “Walk The Long Trail At Berlin Mall is
funds to the Green Mountain Club, based on the number of miles people walk. a great example of how a town center concept brings people of all ages together, and is a
glimpse of exciting things to come at Berlin Mall,” added Rushman.

Classifieds
HELP WANTED
CENTRAL VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER INC. SEEKS
ENDOCRINOLOGIST to work at CVMC in Berlin, VT, to understand,
treat, & manage a variety of endocrine conditions as well as diagnose &
treat diseases & dysfunctions of the thyroid, pituitary, adrenals, ovaries, &
testes, including a variety of endocrinology conditions, such as diabetes,
gestational diabetes, & thyroid disease. Send CV & cover letter with
salary requirements to Sarah Child, Manager of Physician Services, Central
Vermont Medical Center, P.O. Box 547, Barre, VT, 05641.

Text-only classifieds are 50 words for $25.
Call 249-8666 or 223-5112 ext. 11
PAG E 18 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Opinion A Tale of Two Cities and a Tiff with TIF
by Gerard Renfro

There was some vague misgiving things were going wrong... lead to a financial imbalance of support. raising municipal bonds can pay for itself only if the town
the comfort was that all the company were perfectly dressed. - Likewise, regarding the vacant area behind the Capitol becomes economically wealthier to pay that debt. Thus, the
Charles Dickens Plaza Hotel, there seems to be a double standard of why whole discussion is a newer, convoluted "creates more jobs"

W
hen two acquaintances (whom I will call agents things suddenly become priorities. Decades of planning argument that has failed miserably since the 1980s.
Mulder and Scully) read about plans for the have brought us nothing for that area. Two years ago we Questions of how the whole community benefits should be
Bashara Hilton, they reminded me of when a impatiently attempted to apply eminent domain upon M & answered before we commit. From what I understand from
handful of us locals decided to take on the McDonald's M Beverage while having ignored the adjacent, partly empty my two secret agents, one of whom worked at a Hilton, this
franchise years ago. After reading the article on Tax Increment building for years. company has a "draconian corporate policy" in regards to
Financing in The Bridge and on the city website, I realized Also, what happened to last year's big non-profiteer plan to how its staff is treated. If Montpelier's new hotel chain is
not much has changed in how a certain degree of favoritism redesign Montpelier as environmentally friendly? When a going to survive by copying Vermont's farm policy (which
leans toward the bigger, more prestigious projects at the private operator comes in, suddenly we are in a hurry to take depends on desperate low-wage earners), then things do
expense of smaller operations. advantage of the "opportunities" offered by TIF. not look good. This is not an unrealistic concern. Some
Some of us may still remember Somers Hardware and Montpelier businesses hire young'uns specifically to avoid
The city webpage describes Tax Increment Financing as paying real-world wages to adults.
Stephens and Co. Both went out of business largely due "a tool that municipalities use to finance improvements
to the fact they could not get their contracted supplier to for public infrastructure," with the optimistic view that The logic that tax assistance allows new business to create
provide supplies, thus their shelves were often bare. Phoenix "TIF leverages additional private investment that builds and jobs is meaningless. Any business creates jobs, but some pay
Rising attempted to obtain a loan from your "friendly renovates the... space needed to grow jobs and the economy... labor and taxes better than others and require less welfare.
neighborhood" bank but could not, despite having excellent As the infrastructure is built... the private sector follows with This is not an attack on any private or government entity,
collateral. investments in new and renovated buildings." only an attempt to raise essential questions. If we continue to
There was also a group of reuse businesses that attempted to pamper one part of the economy at the expense of the other,
So, what public infrastructure work is being done to justify then this will contribute to a growing friction between the
move into the old National Guard armory. As I understand, the TIF, and why the hurry? An email exchange with City
their efforts were stalled for three years by the city, which haves and have-lesses. The haves can live comfortably outside
Hall left me with the impression that there was some vague the realm of lower-class financial concerns. Meanwhile, the
was pushing voters to move the police department into possibility that a pricey new complex would affect the town
the armory. Eventually, the reuse businesses folded. When have-lesses cannot afford their apartment leases, and the
positively, but no impartial study has been done concerning resulting friction is not some vague misgiving.
Cabot Creamery moved into that very building the city any TIF-induced changes concerning the Hilton.
congratulated itself for a job well done. Intentional or not, Gerard Renfro thanks City Hall and agents Mulder and Scully,
these are examples of how prestige-induced favoritism can It all sounds like the public is being asked to pay up whose resemblance to his apartment mates is purely incidental.
front for a big maybe of the future. The debt caused by

Opinion
The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Reflects on 2017 by Bill Moore

W
hat a year 2017 has been! plan, and I am proud to report that by We launched Chamber $marts and ¢ents, We are also reviewing our social media activity
Between the daily eruptions and sticking to the vision adopted by our board of our educational seminars on issues as with an eye toward developing a more robust
mistrust in Washington; the slow directors, we are tracking well for the future. important as “Using Social Media to presence on sites beyond Facebook.
revelation of politicians and celebrities whose In 2016 the board adopted a strategic plan Market Your Business,” “HR: What You As for stewardship of Beaulieu Place, our
sexual proclivities spurred on the #MeToo that contained four critical areas of focus Need to Know,” and “Legislative Issues headquarters, we completely repaved the
movement; North Korea and nuclear tensions; for the chamber: advocacy for the business and Workforce Preparedness”. Along with parking lot, are re-insulating the building,
and hurricanes, violent storms, and forest fires community; financial stewardship; enhanced the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of and we are bringing new tenants into our
across the country, the Caribbean, and around technology, and stewardship of Beaulieu Commerce, we presented a luncheon address office complex (two small offices are still
the world (hurricanes in Ireland?), it seems Place. So, did we follow our strategic plan, by the president of the Boston Federal Reserve available). The conference rooms in Beaulieu
like there’s been no letup of bad news. did we meet our objectives for 2017? The Bank, Eric Rosengren. Our monthly “after Place are rented to groups on almost a daily
While Vermont and Central Vermont have answer is a resounding “Yes!” hours” mixers bring an average of 60 business basis.
not been immune to the negative, there are leaders together in a relaxed setting to
Advocacy takes on many forms: advocating conduct business and develop leads. Looking back, it has been a busy year for the
always reasons for hope. For the first time in in the public policy arena, presenting timely chamber. Our focus on our strategic plan
memory, the governor and general assembly educational programs for businesses, creating Our finance committee convened, helps us ensure that we are living up to our
enacted a budget with no new taxes or fees. networking opportunities for businesses, and managed, and monitored the chamber’s mission statement, “To guide, inspire and
Snow returned to the Green Mountain State. being visible in the community. In this regard, finances. Included in that was overseeing promote the best interests of the businesses
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was renewed we were very engaged with public policy. our income and expenses, watching the and professionals of the area, and to enhance
and intense, and the Patriots capped off an chamber’s investments, and developing and the economic, cultural, educational, and
amazing Super Bowl to wrest a championship We led the effort to defeat the imposition of a recommending a budget for 2018.
tax increase in Barre City by fighting the local recreational opportunities of its citizens and
from the jaws of defeat. In 2017, we launched our new website, visitors.”
option tax. We were very engaged “under the
At the Central Vermont Chamber of dome” in Montpelier on issues as diverse as centralvt.com. Our technology task force met All our efforts are geared toward creating
Commerce, we are closing out the year on a increasing the minimum wage, independent and reviewed an inventory of the chamber’s a pro-business, pro-growth economy and to
high note. contractors, carbon tax, and revisions to Act hardware and software and will be making create good jobs.
In 2017, we began implementing our strategic 250. recommendations for appropriate upgrades.
On behalf of the members, the board of
directors, and the staff of the Central Vermont
Chamber of Commerce, I wish everyone a
very healthy and happy 2018.

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THE BRIDGE J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 • PAG E 19

Editorial Two Thousand and Froze to Death by John O'Brien

T
his morning, in Nome, Alaska, it’s 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Fairbanks is at 8, while in not pulling. We discuss how farm animals react to extreme cold. “I’ve seen chickens’ combs
Skagway, Alaska, it’s 38 and raining. Meanwhile, where I’m writing from, Tunbridge, frozen off. I’ve seen ducks’ feet frozen off. Walk around with peg legs,” recalls Shane.
Vermont, the outside air temperature is minus 13. In this screwy climate change world Gary Mullen, my colleague on the Tunbridge selectboard, milks cows across the valley. On
of ours, I could go to Barrow, Alaska, deep inside the Arctic Circle, in January, where the sun warm winter days, his cows will bask in the sun outside, contentedly chewing their cuds.
never rises, and feel a little warmer (minus 2 there). When it’s below zero, the cows will last about an hour in the barnyard before they’ve had
According to AccuWeather, we’re currently enduring a cold snap that’s as bad as anything in enough. “You open the barn door,” Gary says, “and you better get out of the way.” As if dairy
the last 100 years. Arctic blasts do hit Vermont. My brother, who once had a job measuring farming isn’t hard enough, sub-zero dairy farming is one crisis after another. “Man, things get
the water temperature of the White River at the Fish Hatchery in Stockbridge, vividly recalls miserable,” reports Gary, an incorrigible optimist, adding, “One frozen turd will ruin your
February, 1979, when the thermometer never got above zero for thirteen days in a row. What whole day.” This truism emerged from a story about yesterday’s broken gutter cleaner, which
makes our current stretch of very cold weather unusual is how early it is in the winter and how brought up the issue of technology. “When we didn’t have a gutter cleaner, cold weather wasn’t
long it’s been cold. a problem,” pointed out Gary, who remembers shoveling all that manure by hand.
It could be worse. In 1816, or “the famine year,” or “eighteen hundred and froze to death,” “I was rugged in those days,” says my neighbor, Kathleen Welch, nonagenarian, recalling her
when there were killing frosts every month of summer and the crops failed and there was no childhood, “The cold didn’t bother me.” She says she used to play outside in winter as much as
hay to feed the livestock, Dorothy Canfield Fisher wrote, “Nettles, wild turnips, hedgehogs, she could because the alternative was doing chores inside, “the beds had to be made, dishes had
and other crude substitutes for ordinary fare kept all but a few of the human inhabitants to be washed, bedrooms swept.” What would she do outdoors? “My father made us a traverse
from starvation, but the suffering was so intense that the year proved a vital factor in greatly sled. And we’d find some barrel staves and make jumpers.” Did they burn a lot of wood in
increasing the emigration from Vermont to the lands of promise in the West.” a winter? “We must have because my brother and I had to keep the wood box full and that
Personally, I’d rather eat braised nettles on a bed of hedgehogs than live in the West with its was a lot of work.” They had a kitchen stove and a stove in the parlor. Was it cold upstairs in
promise of endless droughts and wildfires the size of New Hampshire. your bedroom? “Oh, yes.” Could you see your breath? “Oh, yes.” How did you stay warm?
“We had a lot of quilts. And I slept with my sister, Gladys. My brothers slept together in one
As the thermometer drops, our moods change. Below zero, our personalities are more bed, too. Nowadays, brothers won’t sleep with brothers and sisters won’t sleep with sisters.”
pronounced. There’s a Paul Bunyan effect that brings out the storytellers; mention it was 23
below at your house when you woke up at 6 am and the toppers will always report a colder Looking out the window at her bird feeder and the parade of chickadees, I see a giant
reading at their house and an earlier rising hour, “48 below when I got up at 3:30,” they’ll say. thermometer reading nine below zero. “I can’t see it,” admits Kathleen, whose eyes aren’t what
There’s also a Jack London effect that bitterly embraces a downward spiral towards death and they used to be. “I loved snowshoeing,” she suddenly says, her eyes lighting up. “After the war,
a frozen hell: “I’ve had it with this (expletive) place,” rings out from every valley in Vermont I got a pair. I’d go out for hours. I like to wander through the woods. But four or five years
when a car won’t start, a pipe bursts, a furnace runs out of oil. ago, I had to give it up because I couldn’t get anybody to go with me. I fell when I was alone
and couldn’t get up for a long time.”
“If you maintain a positive attitude, you will adapt,” advises Shane Young, my neighbor who is
a logger and a teamster. “How you dress is tricky; wool will save your life,” says Shane, talking Next door, Shane Young’s daughter, Hannah, a fourth grader, just heard from her mother,
about a problem few of us have—sweating from physical labor when it’s 10 below outside. The Jena, that when school starts after the holidays, there may be no recess on account of the
same goes for his draft horses, a pair of Suffolk Punches called “Nick” and “Hank.” They’ll dangerous cold. “Mom, it’s not cold!” she protests. If you want to get through this effing
get sweaty drawing logs so Shane keeps horse blankets ready to throw over them when they’re arctic bullshit crap cold, be eight years-old.

Editorial What Explains our Unusually Cold Weather
in the Northeast Right Now by Roger Hill

S
ince 2000, Roger Hill has been forecasting the weather for the listeners of Radio Vermont United States are a function of warming in California and the western states. Everywhere in
(WDEV, WLVB, WCVT, and 101 The One). He first learned his trade in the Army in the planet except for North America is warmer than usual.
Hawaii and worked for the National Weather Service in diverse stations such as Los Angeles, We live in the Northeast. We tend to be Northeast “centrists.” We think that what we’re
Montana, Cape Hatteras and Burlington, Vermont. experiencing here is what everyone else is experiencing elsewhere. That’s 100 percent wrong.
The very cold weather we are experiencing now is only unusual in the last decade or so. I Our science-challenged President Trump think that the weather wherever he is right now
know a lot of people who are climate change skeptics will shake this off, but the cold weather is the weather that’s just the same for everyone else in the world. Of course, that’s wrong.
right now can be explained by the loss of sea ice in the Beaufort and Bering Seas, to the north If you were to look at weather across the globe, the American Northeast is the only part of
and west of Alaska and in the eastern part of Siberia. the world that’s experiencing this severe cold.
The loss of sea ice is redirecting the jet stream. I predicted this was going to happen last
September. But I thought it would happen later this winter. But it looks like we’re getting to
the heart of the beast right now. It’s a direct result from climate change and the loss of sea ice.
It’s kind of complicated but here it is in a nutshell. We have this ridge of high pressure that
located north and west of Alaska. And what that ridge does disturbs the stratosphere, which
weakens the stratospheric polar vortex, which then comes down to the troposphere, the
lowest layer of our atmosphere (where weather occurs), and also weakens that, releasing the
cold air.
Sometimes the arctic cold will come into Europe. Generally it starts in Siberia. Essentially
the climate change is creating ice loss and the ice loss is creating colder continents in the
wintertime. That’s what we’re seeing now. The wildfires in California and the western
PAG E 2 0 • J A N UA RY 4 – J A N UA RY 17, 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Careful What You Wish For Photo by Aron Vaught

by Walt Amses

N
ow that it’s January, I need to apologize. In the month leading up to the holidays I
hoped for tons of snow, essentially “An old fashioned Vermont winter.” I’m sorry I
didn’t clarify that by “old,” I hadn’t meant Ice-Age old, merely the kind of winter
with snow that didn’t immediately enter the melt-freeze/rain-snow cycle that’s become
familiar these past few years. Anyway, I’m not used to having my wishes granted, so it was
as much of a surprise to me as it was to you when the snow that came by the dump-truck
load was enhanced by a touch of Siberia.
Growing up way south of here—in Bayonne, New Jersey, in the shadow of the Statue of
Liberty—all the holiday hubbub including Santa himself was predicated on billowing,
beautiful snow. Christmas cards depicted country homes with glowing, frosted windows
buried in feet of glistening snow, inhabitants left to the imagination, but judging from the
smoke emanating from the chimney, likely gathered around the hearth, eating home-made
holiday cookies, drinking hot chocolate, and softly singing carols.
Evidently forgotten by Hallmark were inebriated fathers screaming obscenities while
tangled in multicolored lights and balled-up metallic tinsel from the previous year, and
December temperatures stuck in the 40s with the only available snow in cellophane
packages from F. W. Woolworth Company, the original five and dime. The only natural
snow we saw transitioned to gray slush within 24 hours of falling, clogging gutters and
transforming intersections into ankle-deep, bone-chilling puddles of icy water.
Attending parochial school (until 10th grade, when I was expelled for rampant normalcy)
was the source of myriad tortures including, unlike the public institutions, literally never
having a snow day. It was something about if God wanted you to miss a day of school he’d
send an angel to either break your legs or infect you with some flu-like illness, which the
good sisters—a misnomer if there ever was one—called “the grippe.” When my wish-granted ticket was finally punched this year, it became apparent that
I should have been a little more meticulous in outlining my expectations. When cold-
When the occasional Nor’easter developed without much advanced noticed in the days enough to retain the snow morphed into cold enough to send brass monkeys into a frenzied
before weather satellites, my non-Catholic friends snuggled in their warm beds, while we exodus to Miami Beach and a dozen or so wild turkeys showed up with the chickadees at
soldiers in Christ’s army trudged through drifts in black rubber boots with metal buckles my bird feeders every morning, I realized my carelessly fabricated hankerings had upset
that went over our shoes. Designed to keep you dry rather than warm, they did neither, the balance of nature.
filling with snow almost immediately, which eventually encased our feet in slush. But
most of these storms occurred well after the holidays. Having forced myself to get out on snowshoes a few times these past weeks (as a kind
of penance), I can safely say that the snow remains pristine and as fine as baby powder,
Rarely, if ever, were our white Christmas prayers answered. Some of us (me anyway) kept although, the inability to flex my fingers or feel my feet was somewhat disconcerting. My
hoping well into adulthood with pretty much the same results. Things began looking facial expression was a mystery to me as well, perhaps incongruous with my mood, since I
up 35 years ago when we fled the metro miasma, heading north on the thruway and was no longer able to control any exposed flesh, which didn’t matter much since I was the
landing in a place where holiday snow was more of a birthright than a remote possibility. only pedestrian for miles. I encountered only one vehicle while crossing a road. The driver
It was here where I narrowed my meteorological focus to December 24 and 25: it had to asked: “Are you OK?”, but I knew he really meant: “Are you out of your bleeping mind?”
be snowing heavily on those days and cold enough to keep it on the ground, sufficiently
powdery to provide a dreamlike atmosphere for outdoor activities. It seemed redundant. I’d been asking myself the same thing.

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