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CBD br i ng s A roMe d New Succe s s — and New Space • Page 16

A pril 19–M ay 2, 2018

Artwork by Steve Hogan

IN THIS ISSUE: Nat Frothingham Bids Farewell to The Bridge

Pg. 4 Interview with
t its beginnings, The Bridge was Hall, in our schools and colleges. And what paying freelance writers by the word and
Anne Watson then, and in many ways is still, a about the Montpelier Farmers Market? we still pay freelance writers by the word.
very grassroots enterprise. What about downtown? And what about The committee structure was democratic
Pg. 13 New Korean I have a strong memory of that very first the increasingly dynamic books and arts but cumbersome. We didn’t always agree.
moment in May 1993 when Phil Dodd and and theater and night life scene? We didn’t agree about publishing a story
Eatery, Banchan I sat down over a cup of coffee at the old I continue to marvel at the support we about Berlin Pond because Berlin Pond,
Horn of the Moon Café on Langdon Street enjoyed from the downtown business the source of Montpelier’s drinking water
Pg. 18 Gardening for and talked about founding a Montpelier community as business owners bought supply, is situated in the Town of Berlin and
community newspaper. advertising in our first paper. We had not everyone approved of our publishing a
Pollinators nothing to show. We had never published a story that was outside of Montpelier. We
Phil and I were quickly joined by about
20 to 30 other people, all volunteers— paper before. And yet they were buying ads wrangled about whether or not to accept
in The Bridge—for me—an unforgettable paid advertising inserts in The Bridge. Not
U.S. Postage PAID

people who kept their involvement with the

Permit NO. 123
Montpelier, VT

act of faith. everyone liked inserts. Inserts, many felt,


paper—Bernie Folta, Jake Brown, Nancy

Schulz, Greg Gerdel, Kate Mueller, Dan For that first issue, some of us reported and were trashy. But they provided needed
Pfister, Dan Renfro, the list goes on and wrote stories. Some of us sold ads as well. revenue. We disagreed with our board of
on. Steve Larose designed our first issue on directors about whether or not The Bridge
his computer and it was printed by Upper should publish its own editorial comment.
We met about once a week or so for six The board didn’t like the idea and we held
months to lay the groundwork for the first Valley Press. We simply took the money we
got from selling ads and paid the printing off on publishing our own clearly marked
issue of The Bridge that was published in editorials for a number of years.
December 1993. bill.
We were not an overnight success—far After a time, Jake Brown and I proposed
As I remember it, the push for a community to the board of directors that we buy the
paper had its roots in wanting to dig harder from it. We put out that first issue in
December 1993 and may have published paper and change it from a not-for-profit
and know more about what was happening into a private business, with the aim of
in Montpelier and a need for better, more four issues in 1994. We ran the paper by
committee. We rotated editors, reported putting out a paper that was good enough
in-depth, reporting.
stories, sold ads, distributed the paper Continued on Page 3
We started with very little. We had ourselves, and crawled forward. At some
ourselves. But we had no money, no office, point during our first 10 years of life, we
Montpelier, VT 05601

no track record of putting out a paper, and managed to publish 12 issues a year—or
nobody got paid a dime. once a month.
But we knew we wanted to create a
P.O. Box 1143

Getting our first office was a very big

community paper that would celebrate the deal. Paying out a small commission to a
The Bridge

wonderful life and diversity of Montpelier. few people who sold ads was another step
We wanted a paper that would tell readers forward. Over time, we assembled a very
what was happening in Montpelier, at City small, part-time staff. Eventually we began

We're online! or

PAG E 2 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Advertise in the NEXT ISSUE:

Montpelier Arts, Nature Watch

by Nona Estrin

Mother's Day
Fox Sparrows

e returned from 24 hours in
Putney, during which an icy
In Circulation May 3–May 16 storm gripped the state, to
find fox sparrows, on their way north
ALL AD MATERIALS AND AD SPACE to Canadian breeding grounds, here for
RESERVATIONS DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 27. rest and nourishment. My favorite April
bird, a large rusty-red, chicken-scratching
For more information about advertising deadlines, rates, sparrow with an alto song. I only hear
and the design of your ad, contact one of our representatives: that song once a year—now! I wonder
Rick McMahan • 249-8666 how many did not find enough food to
survive this storm? Hope they stay awhile, replenishing on seed we throw down for
Michael Jermyn • 223-5112 ext.11 Watercolor Nona Estrin them as long as snow covers the ground.

Do What You Do Best.

Bookkeeping · Payroll · Consulting


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T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 3

Nat Frothingham Bids Farewell to The Bridge Continued from Page 1

to make money. In a split vote, the board agreed and The Bridge became a limited liability House and three state senators who represent Washington County. Wherever there is tax
corporation (LLC). money being spent, a useful paper would insist upon accountability. Locally, we have
Jake and I had a dynamic and joyous business partnership. But running the paper as a business and corporate players and their contributions to our discussions are critical.
business didn’t produce the money we wanted. In the heyday of our partnership, each of A useful paper would be smart and probing on the local issues. It would offer timely and
us took home a paycheck of $400/month, a meager return on our efforts. informed leadership when indicated. It would affirm and draw attention to the work
Many people who experienced the moment, never forgot exactly where they were and of artists, teachers, writers, actors, and musicians in our midst. A useful paper would
what they were doing on September 11, 2001 when the terrorist planes flew into the twin honor the charitable organizations that add so much to our community: the library, our
towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and later, as the towers collapsed. churches, colleges, the nature center, meal sites and shelters, health centers, clinics and
After the 9/11 attacks, something changed forever. We were still running The Bridge,
selling ads, reporting the news. But both the national and the Vermont economy suffered It’s no secret that the past 25 years have been a profoundly difficult time for news
in the months and years after those attacks. As a nation, we became aware of our gathering and reporting organizations, even for the First Amendment itself.
vulnerability and in due course, America was at war overseas. Many papers have cut their newsroom staff. Many papers have seen a sharp decline
In 2004, Jake Brown left the business partnership but on genuinely friendly terms. in readers. Some papers have shut down. Some papers have backed away from their
investigative and reporting responsibilities because of a shortage of resources.
Suddenly, I was owner of The Bridge and running the paper as editor and publisher.
In many ways, regrettably, the field of play has been take over by vested interest groups,
I remember a friend, himself a very successful businessman, meeting with me and saying huge corporations, pressure groups and their politicians-for-hire—and the U.S. Congress
candidly, “Nat, you don’t have a single business bone in your body.” He was right. I was is awash with lobbyists and influence peddlars.
running a paper and trying to even out the revenues with the expenditures.
Personally, I worry. I haven’t figured everything out. But I’d like to think that our
Running the paper was a ride—sometimes a very bumpy ride. When our then business American system of government—so precious, so fragile, so imperiled—can be renewed
manager embezzled some $14,000—that hurt. Then we decided to become a weekly. But in our time. And it must be renewed. It must be renewed because democracy cannot be
when the big banks began to fail in 2008 and 2009 with the federal bailouts that followed, any stronger than the free press that informs and protects it.
we found ourselves racking up a mountain of debt—and the paper almost folded.
I’m leaving and I will miss the paper. But the paper is here and its mission continues. In
But The Bridge did not fold. It did not fold because we scaled back our publication no way do I regret stepping aside and making space for fresh— and I hope—adventurous,
schedule, we moved the paper’s office up to space at Vermont College of Fine Arts. And new leadership. It’s time.
we didn’t fold because people in Montpelier and surrounding communities wanted to
keep the paper alive and contributed their own money to make that happen.
Slowly, and over a number of years, we dug ourselves out of debt.
As we emerged from debt, I began feeling, strongly, that although I was owner of The
Bridge, the paper really belonged to the community that was there for us when we needed
In 2013, as we marked the 20th anniversary of the paper’s founding, I knew, and a few
of my close personal friends knew, that at some point I would want to step aside as editor
and publisher and open the door to fresh leadership.
Over the past three to four years, and Phil Dodd has often been in a leadership role
here, The Bridge has once again become a community-owned and directed not-for-profit
It’s humbling to know that as we approach our 25th anniversary this coming fall, The
Bridge is still here and laying plans for the better and sharper and more useful paper we
want to become.
What would that more useful paper be like?
Well, as described by my friend Bill Porter, who for many years was managing editor
of the Times-Argus, a useful paper can be described as the community’s “first citizen.”
That first citizen is doing what any citizen would do if he or she had the time attending
Nat Frothingham
and reporting on meetings, digging into complex local stories. But none of us can be in
all places at once. But a paper that’s delivering on its mission is at City Hall, at the State
House, at School Board meetings, talking to business owners downtown, and telling the
stories that people need to understand if they are going to be well-informed and effective
citizens. Support The Bridge
At city meeting last March, we voted about $23 million for Montpelier schools and about
$9 million for the City of Montpelier. Montpelier has two representatives in the Vermont
Become a Community Contributor!
Bridge Community Media, Inc. City____________________________________ State_____Zip__________
P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601 / Ph: 802-223-5112
Editor & Publisher: Nat Frothingham Editorial: 223-5112, ext. 14
Managing Editor: Mike Dunphy, All community contributions, whatever
❑ $25 ❑ $50* ❑ $100 ❑ $150
Copy Editor: Larry Floersch suits your budget, will be welcomed.
Location: The Bridge office is located at ❑ $200 ❑ $250 ❑ Other $________
Layout, Calendar Editor: Marichel Vaught
Proofreader, Calendar Editor: Sarah Davin the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Stone
Science Hall. *Contributions of $50 or more are eligible to receive a one-year subscription.
Sales Representatives: Michael Jermyn,
Subscriptions: You can receive The Please mark the box if you have contributed $50 or more and would like The
Rick McMahan Bridge by mail for $50 a year. Make out Bridge delivered to you. oYES, Send me every issue of The Bridge for one year!
Distribution: Tim Johnson, Amy Lester, your check to The Bridge, and mail to
Daniel Renfro The Bridge, PO Box 1143, Montpelier VT Friends of The Bridge will be periodically acknowledged in future issues of
Board Members: Chairman Donny 05601. The Bridge. ❑ I wish to remain anonymous
Osman, Jake Brown, Phil Dodd, Josh
Send this form and your check to:
Fitzhugh, Irene Racz, Ivan Shadis, Tim
Simard, Ashley Witzenberger
Twitter: @montpbridge The Bridge, P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601 Thank
Copyright 2018 by The Bridge Donations may also be made online at You!
PAG E 4 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

An Interview with Montpelier’s New Mayor, Anne Watson

ack on Town Meeting Day, Montpelier voters elected So far, in your experience as mayor, what have you seen that
a new mayor, Anne Watson, an award-winning physics has inspired you as mayor and what has brought you down
teacher at Montpelier High School, where she has taught to earth and shown you the cold realities?
for the past 13 years. In between her classes and meetings, The It’s all the little personal interactions that are encouraging. I
Bridge sat down with Mayor Watson to get her views on her might say, “Hey! I’ve got this idea. What do you think about it?”
new job, recent controversies, and her vision for Montpelier. And you get responses like, “Let’s talk about that. That seems
The Bridge: Being mayor seems like a job that is probably like a cool idea. What if we did it like this?” I love that! I love
thankless in many ways and a tremendous amount of the collaboration. I love the brainstorming. I love the thinking
pressure and headaches—for very little money. Why would outside the box, and I love being heard.
you want to take that on? Another thing that’s been good is the synergy of the council right
Anne Watson: It is also joyful. It is very satisfying to get to say, now. I feel like we’re in a really good place of listening to each
“Here are some priorities and agendas. These are topics that are other, and it’s got a really good vibe.
worth looking into in our community. Let’s make change on And the cold reality?
these fronts.” I’ve been on the city council for five years now,
almost six, and I’ve enjoyed my time on the council. It’s been It’s always tough to make decisions that you know will disappoint
tough at times for sure, but it’s really wonderful to start with, people. And we had that just recently with an appointment. We
“There’s a problem in town. Let’s make a decision about how had a lot of people weighing in, and we knew that we would
we can address that problem,” and then see a change. be disappointing some folks, and that’s tough. There’s often no
perfect decision, and there are downsides to everything. And
Somebody was asking me the same question the other day, and people have different priorities.
I sort of related it to why people have kids. Yeah, there can be
pains, and it can be really difficult, and it takes a lot of time, It can be tough sometimes to put your intention out there and
but, of course, it is also wonderful. then to be misunderstood. That’s a little more complicated,
I guess. I don’t want to throw the media under the bus or
So being mayor is sort of like having a child? anything. Sometimes you sort of worry about being misquoted,
I guess! Kind of! Photo courtesy of Anne Watson about being misunderstood by the people.
I think it is pretty amazing that the mayor only gets $4,000 Let’s talk about your agenda. You wrote on your website,
a year. “I’m committed to having intentional dialogue about the services we can and we can’t
And I’m putting it all toward professional development. afford.” What can we afford and not afford?
Does that really seem enough? Should being mayor of Vermont’s capital city be more Just for context, in the past, the way we’ve done the budget is that we’ve just said, “This is our
than just a part-time job? tolerance for a budget increase. Dear Bill [Fraser], please come back to us with a budget that does
not go over this percentage of an increase.” And then we really didn’t have a lot of dialogue about
This has come up a few times. If we made it a full-time job, it would require a charter change. it, or we would have dialogue, but after it had already been presented to us. My philosophy is
It would also mean changing our style of government, which would probably mean not that it should be the council together with the staff that evaluates what we can and can’t afford.
having a city manager at all and switching to a “strong-mayor” form of government. We could So there are questions like, “Can we afford another police officer” or “If we don’t add another
do that. But I have gotten some advice on this, and the thing that is guiding my thinking is police officer is that actually more expensive?”
that in order for a strong-mayor system to work well, you need to have a certain population
size that can support a race for that type of job. So whether we can or can’t afford something has not been determined thus far?
You want something like 10,000 people or so before you start thinking about a strong-mayor My ideal case is theoretically if we keep performing all the services we currently have at the
form of government. The strong-mayor system might work for a couple of years with a smaller current levels, that would mean our budget would come in at the inflation rate. That would
population, but if you burn out the people who are available and qualified to do the work, and be the percentage of increase. It almost never works out that way. So then you have to look at
then you get someone in there who really is not qualified, it could be really bad. If the strong- how much over budget we are versus the investment, with money possibly coming back to us
mayor system works, it would work about as well as things are working now. If it doesn’t, it in the future. I’m more inclined to make investments that I know are going to give us returns
could be really catastrophic. But it’s worth having that conversation. in the future.
Have you been able to effectively handle teaching and the duties of mayor? So coming back to your question about what we can afford, we have some big projects on the
horizon that might require bonding, and that’s really where it comes into a question of what we
It’s been a little tough because I’m also coaching a boys Ultimate Frisbee team. The season can we afford, because we have a very clear line that we’ve drawn. There’s a debt limit that we
goes through the beginning of June, and once I get through June, school will almost be over. have imposed on ourselves. If we are going to try to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility,
And in the summer it will be very different story. I would say it’s tough right now. I knew it for example, the facilities need a ballpark $9 million worth of work. Are we prepared to bond
would be tough. for that? And even if we spread that out over time, what does that do to our bonding capacity
Teaching is the kind of profession that you can give to endlessly, and eventually you just as we try to upgrade roads and such?
have to draw a line and say, “Okay, I’m going to work on the rest of this tomorrow.” I think So what is at the top of your list of things worth investing the money in?
being mayor to some degree is the same, because if I was to do only what is asked of me from
the charter, outside of city council meetings, I could very well be just about done. But I’m The things that rise to the top are affordable housing and energy efforts. I spend a lot of time
interested and involved in the city, and anyone who’s worth their salt as a mayor is going to thinking about how 40 percent of Montpelier’s housing units are rentals. If we have this net-zero
be interested and involved. But, again, you just have to draw a line and say, “Okay, I’ve had energy goal, how does the renting population have any agency over their energy use? If the heat
enough meetings today” or “That topic is just going to have to wait.” is not included in the rent, then ostensibly the landlord is not financially motivated to do any
energy conservation work on that building.
The other thing that is of concern to me is the river. We did get an initial report from the Army
Corps of Engineers about some options to help prevent flooding. Montpelier floods almost on
a yearly basis. It’s a huge problem, and we know that climate change is going to make it worse.
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 5

If we don’t do something, that’s damage we’re going to end up The recent city council statement you read to the public me, who I knew were not supporting the person we appointed,
paying for anyway. about excessive “vitriol, personal attacks, and absurd and said, “Thank you for your work. I know you had a really
Any progress on getting Montpelier more into the digital insinuations” has been interpreted by some to be targeted at tough decision.” And that’s the kind of response I hope for. I
age and upgrading technical infrastructure? the people who spoke at the public hearing on the District know we’re going to make decisions that disappoint people, and
2 vacancy. The statement does say you have witnessed this I don’t regret the process that we went through. I think it was
Yes and no. One of the things that I’ve been working with the behavior “over the past several months,” but, if that is all entirely appropriate.
city staff about is the searchability of documents, and we have true, why did you issue it as part of the council decision
actually made some progress on that front. It’s very frustrating I think a lot of this job is adequately hearing people, because
about filling the vacancy rather than at some other council I think if people know that you have really heard them and
if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the city website. We meeting?
are in fact making progress on that, but what I would really like weighed what they have to say, and they ultimately also disagree
is to have a lot of data about the city available to the public. I’m That’s a great question. When I commented earlier about with you, at least they’ve had a fair hearing. It was tough in the
interested in creating some kind of a dashboard for city data. It being misunderstood, that was actually what I was thinking appointments situation because we couldn’t comment that we
would be interesting to know how many jobs we have here or about. It has been an issue for the last few months, and we did heard people.
how many fires or how many car crashes and how long it takes actually address it when it came up previously in those council What is your view on the Hampton Inn Hotel project? Are
us to respond to those crashes. meetings, and we were just seeing a theme that we wanted to you fully behind that or do you have some concerns about
address. it, especially traffic and parking.
Is this the best way to spend the city’s limited resources
when businesses are struggling downtown? Was it really so bad? I think there are some real questions that need to be to be
The data is important. I’ll tell you why. We can’t improve what In one of our previous council meetings we had looked at the discussed, particularly if the city is going to help with some
we can’t measure. I am a science teacher, and it is my job to sit sprinkler ordinance, and one of our councilors got a call from upfront TIFF funding. One, is it something we can afford?
with data and think about what it all means. So let’s say we someone who said that Rosie and I were “naive young women,” And two, is it something that is going to help get our TIFF
could count the number of cars coming off the highway. We who had been bullied into the position we had taken, and that application approved, because we need to show that the project
would be able to see that after we put in “wayfinding signage” we were ill equipped to stand up to it. wouldn’t happen but for that upfront investment. Regarding
the number of cars coming off the highway increased or it In hindsight I wish we had not used the word “vitriolic.” I think the traffic and what that’s going to do to intersections, those are
didn’t increase, but then at least we would know. Not only does that was stronger than what would describe that conversation. studies that we’re going to have to look at.
the data tell us where to focus our attention in terms of what Sure, people were disagreeing with each other, and it seemed I’m actually really excited about the possibility of getting the
the problems are, but the data also tells us how effective any like some people were getting upset. But there was a comment Hampton Inn downtown. It’s a better use of space, and with the
attempted remediation has been. That for me is ground zero for made at that meeting that I would call inappropriate. If I had to parking garage going in, we could be looking at net increases
everything. If we’re thinking about how to improve downtown do it again, I think I would’ve used the word “inappropriate.” in spaces. One of the things that is also going to be a benefit is
businesses, what are the key measures we can be trying to up Is there any hindsight about that entire process? that we’re going to get additional rooms-and-meals and alcohol
to make that work? taxes out of the hotel. That should theoretically help with our
I’ve been very grateful that there were some people came up to budgeting.
PAG E 6 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Nat Frothingham Steps Down

Statement from the Board of Directors
Dear Dedicated Readers and Supporters,
What is a bridge? A bridge is a bond that connects side to side, person to person,
and community to community. It was this on this principle, Montpelier’s hometown
newspaper, The Bridge, was founded, and we have pursued this goal with full heart and
earnest determination. Thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work and the generous
support of readers, advertisers, donors, and volunteers, The Bridge remains a free,
independent, and local newspaper—an increasingly rare thing in the Green Mountain
Any success The Bridge has seen until now comes thanks to a hardworking staff of
editors, writers, graphic designers, bookkeepers, and salespeople. But the lion’s share goes
to founder, editor, and publisher, Nat Frothingham, who has been involved with The
Bridge since its first page came hot off the presses. He will be sorely missed as he steps
down after the June 7 issue. While we knew this time would eventually come, it’s with
heavy hearts that the board of directors makes this announcement.
It’s as much to Nat as the community of Montpelier that we at The Bridge dedicate
ourselves anew. With refreshed vigor, we pledge to continue Nat’s vision and purpose to
serve and support the people of Central Vermont not just as an observer, but a member
of the community.
We welcome all respectful voices in our pages to look through the lens with an inquisitive
and investigative eye at the politics, business, art, and culture of Central Vermont. We
believe it’s through this dialogue—and across this bridge—we can bring the community
together, however wide the chasm may appear at times.
The board of directors is pleased to announce that Mike Dunphy, who has served as
managing editor for five months, will assume the position of editor-in-chief as of June 8.
“Mike’s energy has been an incredibly valuable addition to The Bridge since his arrival.
He brings deep experience in print media and has a thoughtful vision for the future of
The Bridge, that we fully support,” says Donny Osman, board president.
The board is planning a public sendoff for Frothingham on May 31 at the Vermont
College of Fine Arts to thank him for his dedication. We will also be talking more about
the 25th anniversary and how we plan to mark this major milestone. We look forward to
sharing our vision for the future of The Bridge and feel lucky to know that we can count
on the great support of the Central Vermont community during this time of transition.
The community is invited to contact The Bridge with well-wishes for Nat or suggestions
and feedback about our future. We are dedicated to The Bridge remaining a true
community newspaper for a long time to come and the door is always open to anyone
who wishes to contribute.
Please also consider visiting our website to give a donation in honor of Nat. You can also
send donations and well wishes to the office of The Bridge at P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier,
Vermont 05601.
The Bridge Newspaper Board of Directors
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 7

A Message From City Hall

This page was paid for by the City of Montpelier.

Looking Forward by Mayor Anne Watson

saw my first crocuses of the season just last week, and besides being simple and What could Montpelier be like
colorful, they’re a welcome reminder that the seasons are in fact changing, and in the near future? Let’s suppose
something new is on its way. I’ve been feeling very forward-looking with my that we’re two years in the future,
new mayorship, especially with this time of year. I’ve been thinking about what’s to looking back on what’s been done.
come. What are we, as a council and as a city, going to work toward? What do we Here are a few things I hope we
love and want to preserve about Montpelier? What can we improve? can say.
The science teacher in me wants to answer this question through the use of data. Economy
Certainly all the things that are good or bad about our community don’t lend The Transportation Center is completed. We have a new hotel downtown. New
themselves to measurement, but for those things that can be measured, meaningful agricultural businesses have opened in Montpelier. State Street is closed every
data points can serve as indicators about how we’re doing. In general, the data I Saturday in the summer for the farmer’s market. The farmers market continues
find the most interesting is data that tells a story. I hope to tell a lot of stories about to be on State Street, and Langdon Street is closed periodically to through traffic.
Montpelier through our data over the next two years. Landlords who keep storefronts perpetually vacant are encouraged to fill them.
Why is data important? If we don’t measure what we want to improve, then we can’t There are plans to develop the Grossman’s lot. The old Brown Derby site has plans
know how effective our remedies have been. If we don’t keep track of important for something awesome.
indicators, then we might not see trends happening in front of us. Data can help Recreation
us identify where we most need to focus our attention and resources, and data can
help tell us if we’re adequately solving our problems. We have multiple access points to the river. We have well-vetted plans for addressing
ice jam and fluvial flooding. We have started checking off projects on our
If we ask ourselves, “How are we doing as a City?” what indicators would help us stormwater master plan. Bicyclists can ride from Gallison Hill Road (or close to it)
best answer that question? What data might be useful for us to track? The council all the way to the train station at Montpelier Junction. You can safely bike or walk
will sit down in May to do some strategic planning. My hope is that during this to the Dog River fields.
time we will identify some key indicators about our city that we think are worth
tracking over time. Affordable Housing and Equity
I think it’s useful to divide the indicators into a couple of categories, general We’ve added ~500 new homes to Montpelier and added ~1000 more residents.
statistics and municipal performance indicators. Tracking municipal performance The percent of Montpelier’s mortgaged homeowners and renters who are housing
data would indicate how well the city operations are functioning. Tracking general burdened is trending downward. Montpelier is a place where non-citizens and new
statistics will measure the well-being of the population of Montpelier. Here are ten citizens feel welcome. Montpelier ensures that anyone it contracts with is paying
general areas of data that would be interesting to track over time, not necessarily their workers a living wage. Parents have access to affordable childcare.
performance measures for city operations. A lot of this data is being collected Energy and the Environment
already. We just need to compile and interpret it. Having it all in one place will
Montpelier tracks energy data for the whole city. We see progress toward increased
make it easier to access and understand in context.
renewable sources and a reduction in total energy use. Our bus system is easy and
1. Grandlist convenient to navigate. The average number of miles driven per year has decreased.
2. Jobs We have banned single-use plastic bags. The City invests its money in a socially
3. Population responsible way.
4. Affordability City Budgeting and Infrastructure
• Percentage of homeowners and renters who are “housing burdened” or We have finally paid off our upstream water treatment debt. We fund water main
paying more than 30% of income towards their housing. repairs so that the pipes are deep enough to withstand freeze-thaw cycles. We have
an ADA-accessible Recreation Building, or at least plans for one. Central Vermont
• Average percent of income spent on transportation and energy
Internet is up and running in Montpelier.
5. Crime rates
• Drug-related crime
Montpelier is increasingly an opiate-resistant community. Drug-related crime is
6. Happiness Index (or some other soft measure that captures quality of life) trending downward, and people know where people-at-risk can receive social
7. Vacancy Rates services. We continue to be a “fair and impartial” policing community.
• Rentals Conclusion
• Commercial (storefronts) I’m excited to be your mayor. These are
8. Carbon Profile, in terms of heat, the ideas I have right now, and they may
electricity, and transportation) evolve. I welcome your collaboration and
input on these ideas. We have made a
9. Flood-related statistics lot of progress toward big goals over the
10. School-related statistics last few years, but much has yet to be
We need to have this data in one place. done to prepare for the future. As we
There, it will tell a clear story about centralize data about our city, the task
where we are. From there, we can see how of collaborative and informed planning
effective our solutions might be. Even becomes easier. We’ll be able to make
based on the data that we have now, better decisions on how best to use our
we can recognize that Montpelier can be funds and resources.
an expensive place to live, and we have
flooding issues.
PAG E 8 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE


Redstone Property to be Sold to Party and Prizes to Mark Capital Montpelier Alive Announces July Mountains, maple syrup shots, early season
Highest Bidder Kitchen’s Tenth Anniversary 3rd Trophy Sculpture Contest burning legs, and a little gravel magic along
the way. Proceeds benefit the Montpelier
The historic Redstone building, located on As part of its tenth anniversary celebration, Montpelier Alive invites local artists to
Area Mountain Bike Association (MAMBA)
10 acres at 26 Terrace Street in Montpelier, Capital Kitchen in downtown Montpelier submit proposals for a sculpture that will be
and the North Branch Park Trails Project—
will sold by the state “as is” to the party will be holding an open house and party on used as the Best Green Parade Entry Award.
rad mountain bike trails in Montpelier!—
who submits the highest bid by May 4, Friday, May 4, from 5 to 8 pm—the same The trophy sculpture should be made from
MAMBA's new pump track project, and the
according to a bid notice issued by the evening as Art Walk. The open house will recyclables or from repurposed discarded
Catamount Trail Association.
state Department of Buildings & General feature free desserts baked by owner Jessica items and celebrate the patriotic and/or green
Services. A 2016 appraisal estimated the Turner and a wide variety of prizes donated theme of the July 3rd Union Mutual Parade The annual Montpelier Bike Swap is also
value of the 8,609-square-foot stone-and- by vendors. Competition. The winner will receive a returning, kicking off Cinco de Mayo at the
brick building and land at $1 million. $250 prize and have their artwork displayed usual spot on Langdon Street. Onion River
“I love giving away prizes,” said Turner,
during the July 3rd Independence Day Outdoors invites you to check out the new
Redstone was built in 1890 as a private who has accumulated hundreds of items
Celebration and at City Hall throughout store and join them for the familiar, family-
summer residence for a Columbia University to give away. She said the prizes include
the year. The winner will also be invited to friendly fun at their one-day consignment
professor and his wife, a Montpelier native. lots of bakeware, a set of Wusthof knives,
participate in the Independence Day Parade sale. They’ll be accepting bikes, joggers,
In 1910, the City of Montpelier considered a mixing bowl set, various gadgets, and a
as the July 3rd Trophy Sculpture Contest trikes, trailers, and tag-a-longs April 29
buying Redstone and converting it into a variety of other items that have proven to be
Winner. through May 4. Cash, credit, and trade-up
high school, but critics argued the location popular with the store’s customers. Turner
value available. Over 400 used bikes for sale
was not central enough and the idea was said she may give away some of the prizes Entries will be collected through a Google
starting at 9 am, Saturday, May 5!
dropped. in the week leading up to the party, but will Form available at
The property changed hands in 1911 and save the bulk of them for the Friday event, Parade. All entries will be reviewed by the SHOW 25 opens at
was eventually sold in 1949 to the state, which she said she is excited about. For more July 3rd Planning Committee, and the top The Front Gallery
which used it as the headquarters for the information about the giveaways, see the three will be selected. The local community The Front, downtown Montpelier’s
state police for many years. More recently, store’s Facebook page. will be invited to vote for their favorite collective art gallery, presents SHOW 25.
it was used by the secretary of state’s office, Capital Kitchen, located at 18 State Street, trophy sculpture proposal and a winner The opening reception is on Friday, March
but for the last decade or so the building was sells “serious tools for everyday cooks,” will be announced May 8. The completed 4, 2018, from 4 to 8 pm and in conjunction
empty or used as temporary state offices. according to its website. Turner opened trophy will be unveiled on June 19. with Montpelier Art Walk. Enjoy live music
According to the bid requirements, the the store on May 1, 2008 after another Onion River Outdoors Kicks Off by composer and musician Ben Cosgrove,
property is subject to covenants running Montpelier kitchen store where she had the Season with Muddy Onion and light refreshments, and drinks during the
with the land for the benefit of the Vermont worked, Mise En Place, closed its doors. Bike Swap May 4th opening reception.
Division for Historic Preservation, and any Turner, a Montpelier resident, said her store Onion River Outdoors opens its doors The exhibition, running May 4 through
proposed use and development may be has been well supported over the years. later this month and is celebrating with June 16, will showcase the latest works
subject to local and state permitting. “People here like to eat; they care about the Sixth Annual Muddy Onion on April of the gallery’s membership of Vermont-
food, they care about where their food comes 28. Celebrate early spring in true Vermont based contemporary artists. In addition,
The property will be open for inspection by
from, and they like to cook at home,” she style and come explore New England's most The Front will present work by guest artist
potential bidders on Friday, April 27, from
said. She sees the party, the first of its type beautiful, scenic, and iconic dirt roads at Mary Admasian, a multidisciplinary artist
10 am to noon and 2 pm until 4 pm. Bids
she has held, as a way to thank her customers this 38-mile, fully-supported gravel ride. who explores raw forms, layered spaces, and
are due at 2 pm on May 4, and the winning
for “keeping us here and supporting brick- Then stick around afterward for their abstract perception.
bidder will be notified by May 11.
and-mortar stores.” famous post-ride barbecue—complimentary Learn more about The Front at
For more information, go tobgs.vermont. with registration! As for the ride itself, expect and (802) 552-0877.
gov/property-management/sale. no less than incredible views of the Green
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 9

Wayfinding Project Gets Boost from Grant Funds by Michael Bielawski

ontpelier was one of seven City manager Bill Fraser said his staff has Department said he thinks this is grant revitalize Vermont’s downtowns and villages
communities in the state to been working on this as well. “We’re very money well-spent. is a team sport, so I truly appreciate the
be awarded money from the excited,” Fraser said. “It’s been a long time “I think anybody who has lived here has growing number of state, local, public, and
Main Street Grants program. in planning, and we’re glad to see some experienced standing in front of City Hall private partners who are working to build
Grant awards from the program are intended results. I think generally there’s a sense that and having somebody come up and ask, stronger, more vibrant communities,” he
to improve infrastructure, parks, buildings, signage for parking and major attractions is ‘Is that the State House?’” he said. “If your said.
signage, and other downtown improvements. considered a best practice, to have a good- focus is on tourism and making downtown Michael Bielawski is a freelance reporter for
In all, $85,000—$70,500 from the National looking sign plan that people can count on.” more accessible, it’s a great project. This will The Bridge. He can be reached at bielawski82@
Life Group Foundation and $15,000 from They have budgeted for two phases in the point people to the important sights.”
the Vermont Community Foundation—was project. One is to scope out locations and
paid out to seven Vermont communities: He noted there are some big changes coming
designs. This included hiring a consultant soon to the downtown area and this project Artist rendering of the wayfinding sign
Barre, Bennington, Montpelier, St. Albans, for the past year. This stage is “nearly
St. Johnsbury, Waterbury, and Wilmington. will help point people to the new locations.
complete,” Markow said. For instance, there’s going to be a new
Montpelier received $9,000, which will go Next is the “fabrication and installation transit center, new bike path connections,
to “wayfinding” signage to highlight historic phase.” This includes more fundraising in and there’s currently a new hotel proposal.
and cultural sites throughout the city as well addition to the Main Street Grants money.
as need-to-find spots such as parking and “The downtown is going to change
They will then return to the city council dramatically,” he said.
municipal services. with a final plan over the next month.
At the helm the project is David Markow, Surface Matter Design, which is based in He also noted this could be a good
president of Montpelier Alive. He also Providence, Rhode Island, was selected for opportunity to create some cohesiveness and
wrote the grant proposal to help make this the construction of the signs after a request- themes from one neighborhood to the next.
possible. “A couple of years ago, the business for-proposals process. He said when you go to other communities
community and the Montpelier Business that are known tourist areas, there is often
Three entry points into the city will get attractive looking and consistent signage.
Association brought to Montpelier Alive an special welcoming signs, one near the high
idea for doing new wayfinding signage for school, one near the rotary on the Barre- “You can start to see those little designs that
the city,” he said. “And it was also around Montpelier Road, and another by the rotary make a big difference,” he said.
the same time that the city did rebranding near the middle school. These signs will Meanwhile, another project from the Main
for a whole range of things around the city, be more about letting people know they Street Grants program is just down the
and Montpelier Alive did as well.” are entering Montpelier, whereas the signs road in Barre. They are getting $5,500 for
He added the city council has been a key within the city will be more instructional. a historic walking area in the downtown as
supporter, and working together, they found This plan has also been approved by the well as a bicycling connection to Graniteville.
money within the budget of the downtown Montpelier Transportation Committee and Governor Scott has commented on the
investment district to advance the project. other relevant state agencies. Kevin Casey grants, praising downtown development in
This money is in addition to the newly of the city’s Planning and Development all the communities involved. “The work to
obtained grant money.
PAG E 10 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Looking Ahead to Spring at NECI on Main by Nat Frothingham

he calendar and the weather are at odds again. The calendar is telling us it’s
spring, but the weather is telling that an almost vengeful winter with snow, ice,
and freezing rain is still very much with us.
Despite the weather, a few days ago, in expectation of spring Chef Jean-Louis Gerin
assembled a small number of NECI chefs to think about spring and food.
Sitting together around a table at NECI on Main and talking about the coming of
spring and food were Chef-Instructor Lyndon Virkler Jr. and Chef-Instructor Martha
Along with fellow writer Darryl Benjamin, Chef Lyndon Virkler, Jr. wrote the seminal
(2016) book Farm to Table: The Essential Guide to Sustainable Food Systems for Students,
Professionals, and Consumers.
But as Chef Virkler observed, it’s no longer 2016. In fact, it’s 2018, and the Trump
administration has in many ways set back the idea of sustainable food systems. “We are
having to re-argue the case for sustainability,” said Virkler.
But not all is lost. Said Virkler, “People are coming to us because they want to learn
about sustainability.”
“I should be concerned about where my food is coming from,” said Chef Instructor
Martha Franklin. She insists with students that they “know who their vendors are.”
“Leave your situation in better shape than you found it,” she says. “And don’t forget to NECI's Chef Lyndon with Deondre, Horace, and Alejandro. Photo by Michael Jermyn
look for your food at the local farmers’ market.”
Turning to the NECI on Main menu, Chef Jean-Louis said that locally sources beef for
Chef Frankin said that NECI graduates are taking the sustainability message to their two was popular as was Prime Ribeye for Two (or not). And the “Fresh Catch Fish of
work assignments around the world. the Day” was also a big hit.
And NECI graduates are quickly rising in their profession. “Our experience tells that Chef Jean-Louis said that last fall’s La Brioche makeover has been very successful. And
NECI graduates will be in management positions in less than five years after they leave he noted that NECI on Main opens from 3:30 to 9 pm.
us,” said Jean-Louis.
As to NECI on Main’s commitment to fresh food, he said, “We want to be precisely in
the moment.”
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 11

French Horn Player Brad

Gemeinhardt to Perform in
the Brahms Horn Trio
by Nat Frothingham

t its final concert of the 2017–2018 season, Capital City Concerts will be
presenting three chamber music masterpieces. One of the masterpieces on the
program is the Horn Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40 composed by Johannes Brahms
in 1865.
Brad Gemeinhardt, who is third horn for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, will perform
on the horn in the Brahms’ Horn Trio. In a recent phone conversation with The Bridge,
Gemeinhardt expressed his admiration for the Brahms Horn Trio. He noted the huge
number of chamber music pieces written for stringed instruments. But it was Brahms who
was the first to write a chamber music piece for horn, violin, and piano.
“It inspired many later pieces,” Gemeinhardt said. “But I believe it is the first.”
Gemeinhardt was an elementary school child, when he first became attracted to the horn.
His mother was a junior high band director, he related. “In the fifth grade I would go to
the band room after school.” And he found that the horn was “the easiest instrument for
me to make a sound on.”
As early as the eighth grade, Gemeinhardt was becoming interested in the playing the
horn as a career. He remembers first hearing the Brahms’ Horn Trio at about that time,
and said, “I remember getting my parents to buy me a recording of it and listening to it
over and over again.
The Brahms Horn Trio had a special significance for Johannes Brahms. Said Gemeinhardt,
“The third movement of the Horn Trio was written just after Brahms’ mother died. And
if you listen to the third movement, it’s one of his great movements. It’s very somber and
dark. Then suddenly everything opens up and it becomes, just for a minute, joyous. But
it quickly returns to the darkness he experienced when his mother died.”
In his phone conversation with The Bridge, Gemeinhardt drew attention to the sound
produced by a trio consisting of a French horn along with the violin and piano. “The tone
qualities work well together,” he said. “Combining the horn with the piano and violin, it’s
pretty extraordinary what [Brahms] did with the piece,” he said.
That final concert will be performed on Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 pm. at the Unitarian
Church of Montpelier.

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PAG E 12 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Changes Coming to the

Capital City Farmers’ Market
by Ashton Kirol

his year is the 41st season for the Capital City Farmers’ Market, and there will be
some big changes to the market. Our outdoor market will be held at a new location
on State Street in downtown Montpelier this year. We trialled this location last fall
for three market days, and it was a huge success. State Street will be shut down between
Main and Elm Street on market days, which makes for an easily walkable downtown area.
Our regular market lot will be open for parking, which will be a net gain of parking
spots compared with what we take up on the street. Last year’s trial markets had a great
community feel. There were musicians playing along the street, and shoppers could flow
between market vendors and downtown businesses along the street.
Our goal this year is to continue building on this vision of a walkable downtown
Montpelier. We are excited to work with the City of Montpelier and groups such as the
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition to grow the offering of local food and art downtown.
There is also the opportunity to increase the area of a walkable downtown by closing
Langdon Street and partnering with arts groups to hold events there during or after market
hours. We envision a downtown where people can come down Saturday morning and shop
directly from local farms, get a locally sourced breakfast or lunch, and easily walk between
market vendors and local shops or art exhibits.
The market itself will offer the same great vendor mix that makes the market such a fun
destination for locals and visitors to the area. We feature over 65 full-time and seasonal
vendors from Central Vermont that grow or make 100 percent of the products they sell.
This includes everything from seasonal produce to small-batch cheese and one-of-a-kind
crafts. The majority of our vendors this season are returning vendors, but we do have some
new craft and local food vendors that will be at the market part time.
During the trial markets in the fall of 2017 we surveyed hundreds of visitors to the market
to see how they felt about the on-street location. Seventy percent said they liked the State
Street location better than our usual space. We had a similar percentage of vendors prefer
the new location as well. A new location is something that the market has looked at for
years, but the right opportunity had not come along. Last year, the Sustainable Montpelier
Coalition helped spearhead the idea with the market board, and they helped organize the
move with the city. The three trial markets resulted in the best stretch of sales the market
has had in the last five years.
The outdoor market begins May 5th, during Montpelier’s May Day festivities. The market
is open from 9 am to 1 pm every Saturday from May through October. Our live music
series begins May 19 and runs all summer long. People can stay up to date on market
vendors, music, and events by following us on Facebook, signing up for our weekly
newsletter, or going to
Ashton Kirol is the manager or the Capital City Farmers’ Market
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 13

Banchan Brings a Taste of

Korea to Montpelier
by Suzanne Podhaizer

t Banchan, a new Korean restaurant in Montpelier, the first thing visitors receive is
a pot filled with roasted corn tea. In the cup, the liquid is amber, with a sweet and
nutty flavor. The dining room walls are painted pale green and deep teal, both of
which are reminiscent of the ocean. On one wall hangs dozens of lacquered bowls—most a
rich red, accented with black and gold—and a single round mirror.
Banchan, which opened to the public on March 27, is notable for several reasons. Firstly, it
offers a cuisine that is barely represented in the Green Mountains: The restaurant—which
is named for a collection of small, shared dishes—joins Naru in Williston and Shin-La in
Brattleboro to form a trio of Korean restaurants, all located along the corridor of Vermont’s
major highways, separated by many miles.
The eatery is located in the former home of Philamena’s on Elm Street in Montpelier. The
capital city is also home to Wilaiwan’s, a much-lauded Thai restaurant that offers highly
spiced lunch dishes on weekdays; Double King, an exceptional Chinese pop-up that does
business out of Kismet; two Vietnamese restaurants; two casual Chinese spots; a Japanese
restaurant with a focus on sushi and sashimi; with a second Thai eatery to round out the
selection. In a New England City with a population of fewer than 8,000—and around 45
eateries in total—the proportion of Asian restaurants is startling.
But most importantly, the food at Banchan is simply lovely. Hewing to the ideal of purchasing
food from area farms, the owners—a pair of sisters and their mother—offer dishes that are
beautiful to look at and exciting to eat.
Order the Ssam-bap Jun-shim and receive a tray holding a bowl of bone broth garnished with
slender enoki mushrooms and scallions, a cast iron dish filled with your protein of choice—
spicy pork, in my case—purple sticky rice, a collection of sauces including sweet and spicy
gochujang, and a cup filled with crisp lettuce leaves. The diner wraps the meat and rice in a
leaf before eating.
Bi-bim-bap—white rice, vegetables and meat topped with a seaweed-laced egg—requires
less hands-on participation. For an extra dollar, the same combo can be served in a special
Korean stone bowl. Another variant of the dish, kim-bap, which is made with similar
ingredients but is rolled up in seaweed like Japanese maki, can be ordered in the restaurant,
or purchased as takeout for a neat and easy meal on the go.
How are the namesake Banchan ? On one snowy day in April, the three dishes we received
included kimchi, slices of vegetable pancake, and gamja jorim, a dish of sweet and salty
braised potatoes. The potatoes alone would merit another visit.
Banchan currently offers breakfast and lunch, and soon, will also begin serving dinner. The
evening meal will include the same dishes that are served midday, plus some enticing “dishes
for sharing,” which are printed tantalizingly on the menu. Had I been able to order the
Korean fried chicken wings, beef and kimchi sliders, seafood pancake, or braised pork belly
taco buns on my first visit, I would have done so in a heartbeat.
A liquor license, which will allow Banchan to serve cocktails made with soju—a Korean
liquor—as well as sake, beer, and wine, is forthcoming, too. In the interim, nobody should
miss the maesil ju: plum juice blended with still or sparkling water (try it sparkling).
When you dine at Banchan, where many of the dishes are meant to be shared, it’s ideal to
bring along a good friend. On this occasion, I shared my fare with William Alexander, a
winner of the National Book Award and faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine
Will is a colleague of one of Banchan’s owners, An Na, a novelist whose most recent book,
The Place Between Breaths, was released on the same day that her family's restaurant opened.
If you find that you wish to dine there, but are alone, perhaps you can bring a copy of the
book along, to keep you company between sips of soup, and bites of spicy pork ssam.
PAG E 14 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Recollections of a Dairy Farm Wife by Mimi Clark

ifty years ago, my father was a career and Mr. Green Jeans, who showed part single-family operations that relied In the early 1970s, when I married a
soldier in the US Army, and when us charming glimpses into tiny home entirely on multiple-generation husband- the medium-large dairy, I had a vision
he left for Vietnam, we moved to operations that boasted having two of and-wife teams and their children to carry of the old ways that rewarded a person
Vermont. Back then there were more cows every kind of domestic animal, much like on after them. every day with the sense of a job well
than people living in the Fourteenth Star, the mural in the Montpelier Agway store. By mid-century, after the post-World done. Before our eyes, that dream was
and most of those cows were black and What wasn’t obvious to the casual War II baby boom, the demand for dairy being replaced by the fear of not keeping
white. Green is the midpoint on the light observer were the imperceptible changes products was greater than ever, and dairy up. Staying small now meant losing the
spectrum between black and white, and taking place in the romantic red barns farming offered a good healthy lifestyle ability to support three or four families of
one didn’t have to be a colorist to know and the colonial clapboard homes that for people who loved to live off the land children and their spouses. The expansion
that the cows were a perfect adornment to accompanied them. After the turn of the and work hard for not much money, now demanded even larger cows that had
the green hills. 20th century, when the sheep and wool people who were willing to sacrifice to produce a hundred pounds of milk
Before moving to Vermont, the only farms industry was entirely lost to Australia, everything for the sake of passing on land (twelve and half gallons!) per day. More
I had ever seen up close were immense when 90 percent of the land in Vermont and a livelihood to their progeny in one of crops had to be raised to feed them, more
vegetable fields in Minnesota, where was bare of trees, small family dairies the most physically beautiful but climate- grain had to be bought, more silos built
my Uncle Lloyd and his wife Beulah, popped up everywhere to meet the great severe places on earth. for storage, more buildings built to house
whose parents were from East Thetford, demand for milk in the urban areas of more cows, all to make ends meet.
By the time Rachel Carson published
Vermont, grew peas and green beans New England and New York. Trains with Silent Spring, the post-war prosperity had Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of
for the Green Giant corporation. On ice cars took fresh milk, cream, and butter accelerated to a dangerous point, not only American landscape architecture, the co-
television, there was Captain Kangaroo to the cities. The farms were for the most for the environment but also for the cows designer of Central Park, came to Vermont
and the people who husbanded them. in the middle of the nineteenth century
Television and slick salesmen pushed all to design the landscape at Shelburne
kinds of new chemical products that were Farms. He wrote an essay published in
better, cleaner, easier to use, and promised an excellent volume called So Fine a
higher yields. Machinery got bigger and Prospect by a woman, Alan Emmet. It was
bigger. The idea of increased production prophetic advice that has gone unnoticed
with less human labor gave hope to for too long. Olmsted was very critical
dairymen who were rapidly succumbing of Vermont soils. He found them to be
to promises that with all the new and poor and stony. He felt the small hillside
improved methods, they would make fields would never be able to sustain large
more profits and have more time to spend animals, especially large numbers of them.
relaxing with their families. Expensive He was right.
refrigerated tanker trucks hauled milk Not only are large numbers of dairy cows
for more and more middlemen, who were not sustainable in Vermont, but many
taking more than their share of the pie, to people are much better off, healthier, if
far-away destinations. Higher efficiency they seldom eat dairy products. Ironically
with stricter regulations became the name the list includes me, my dairy farmer
of the game. Those who wouldn’t play by husband, and our children. It is time
the new rules were being left behind, left for the dairy industry to wake up and
out, and most of all in danger of losing smell the coffee and change to sheep,
the next generation of farmers who were chicken, or goats. It is unrealistic to ask
tired of working so hard for so little gain. the Vermont populace to help perpetuate
The youths were being lured to urban the gross overproduction of milk by giant
areas farther south, where the weather cows that have gone the way of the Swiss
was easier and the financial opportunities watch, American cars, and other icons lost
more lucrative. to the past.
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 15

Cultivating Gardens, Family, and Community in Montpelier

by Melisa Oliva

was born in El Salvador, Central America. After I started to travel, I learned that I Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. I personally deliver produce to our
could not go back to live in El Salvador and adapt myself again to the social paranoia, neighbors’ homes. It has been a great way to place us in the organic food market and at
which one has to normalize when you live amidst violence, extreme poverty, and a the same time connect us with wonderful people.
macho culture that can kill women with impunity. Since 2009, I have lived in many Last year we found the perfect spot for accomplishing our mission: to serve our
countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Switzerland, India, and the United States. community, improve the natural landscape, and promote healthy living. We bought
Before I even dreamt about living in Vermont, some friends from Vermont told me an organic dairy farm on Horn of the Moon Road. Since we moved we have been
“Vermont is so you! You are going to love it up there!” So in 2013, when I came to visit constantly working to improve the infrastructure and develop a farmstead and
the man who now is my husband, falling in love “in” Vermont and “with” Vermont farm-based education facilities. We are also increasing our CSA membership for our
seemed quite natural. Vermont was a place with natural beauty and where people care convenient home delivery.
about and protect their resources. What a great place to raise a family, I thought. We plant mostly “core vegetables” such as salad greens, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic,
Years later, when I was pregnant and our family needed to establish roots, we considered peas, beets, radishes, greens (kale, collards, Swiss chard), zucchini, broccoli, squash,
Vermont as probably the best place to do it. My husband Patrick moved to Vermont cabbages, eggplants, sweet peppers, and herbs. We will have some specialty crops
after finishing a program on organic farming at the University of California, Santa such as turmeric and ginger this year. Also this year we will be planting asparagus,
Cruz. He came to Vermont to be part of a farming cooperative in Barnard—The Fable blueberries, and strawberries. These take a while to become established, so they will
Farm—which was a great group of young people trying to create a vibrant community. be available in a couple of years. In the future, we are considering a “pick your own”
He loved it, but there was something missing. He was missing us, his own family, of program for these, but for now just planting them is a very exciting project.
course! We are currently not sure if we will be at the Capital City Farmers Market. We were
I met him in El Salvador. I wasn’t even living in El Salvador at the time, just visiting, last year, but the board has not yet approved us for this year. What we know for sure is
while finishing a master’s degree in expressive arts therapy in Switzerland. He was in we will continue to deliver to our CSA members and a farm stand once a week, every
El Salvador on a “farmer-to-farmer” exchange with the Northeast Organic Farmers Wednesday from June to October.
Association of Vermont. Of all the places in the world, I chose Vermont as my home. I honestly feel I am a
Before I met him, I had taken an urban gardening program, and my spiritual path as a Vermonter. This is where my daughter learned to talk, both in English and Spanish,
yoga teacher-vegetarian led me to feel the need to reconnect with nature. I thought the this is where my friends are, and this is where I want to be of service to the world. This
best way to do it would be to learn how to grow my own food, and I wanted to do it in is home.
the most respectful and careful way. Vermont does have an impressive landscape, but there are many other beautiful places
By the time our daughter Ananda was born in 2014, organic gardening was at the in the world. So it is not just Vermont`s beauty that makes us believe in a future here.
center of our family, and that is why we ultimately came to Vermont. We were looking It is the community, the sense of belonging to a broader project, where we can care
for a community that would embrace organic farming and support it. We wanted to be for one another and appreciate organic farming as a responsible way to create wellness
part of the solution and grow our family surrounded by like-minded people. We chose for ourselves and for the planet. As part of this community, I feel the challenge to
Montpelier because we felt we could bring something important to the community: support the local economy and organic farming to build a vibrant community. We
fresh, organic produce that was convenient and accessible. want Montpelier to be a diverse, welcoming, and vibrant place. Ananda Gardens is our
Ananda Gardens is the name of our farm. We started it in 2015 on rented land and humble offering to all of you. We invite you to know us.
with the support of a co-housing community on Dillon Road. We started a small Melisa Oliva is the co-owner of Ananda Gardens
PAG E 16 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

CBD Brings AroMed New Success—and New Space by Mike Dunphy

J ust as the breath of life involves contraction

and expansion, so too does Montpelier’s
downtown business community. Adding a
sweeter fragrance to that air is Lauren Andrews,
the shop’s most popular product—an arnica and
white willow based lotion that includes organic,
analgesic essential oils of clove bud, spike lavender,
and plai, as well as CBD extract. Thanks to locals
owner of AroMed, who has expanded her business who have shared the product with friends living
thanks to rapid growth and a loyal customer base out of state, tourists who pick it up while in town,
here and in the flatlands. While the retail space and, according to Andrews, “cuz it’s really good,”
will remain at 8 State Street, Andrews has taken orders for the lotion come in from as far away as
over a second space on the third floor of 73 Main Hawaii.
Street to serve as an office, production facility, and This online component is a big reason why the
workshop. larger production facility is needed, as are AroMed’s
“The retail space has been very successful, and sales to wholesalers, which grows daily despite
we’ve been doing all of our production there,” almost no active effort. “We have our products in
Andrews explains, “but as we have gained more 12 stores from Brattleboro to Burlington so far, and
wholesale orders for our CBD line and our essential we haven’t even put in a lot of effort. Retailers are
oils, and our online presence has increased, we’ve calling us,” she notes. “It’s really clear that there’s a
outgrown that space. I was feeling claustrophobic real demand for our products.”
and had no space to do any creative work. I really It’s also important to Andrews that she supports
got away from what my passion is, and that is Vermont farmers whenever possible, noting that
making the products.” the CBD oil she uses is extracted by Nutraceutical
The popularity of CBD, or cannabidiol—a non- Science Laboratories, just a few miles away in
pyschoactive chemical in cannabis that’s inserted in Waterbury, “This is where we are ahead of the
everything from coffee and dog food to chocolates game and why so many people are seeking out
in Montpelier nowadays—is certainly a major part AroMed CBD, because we support Central
of what’s driving AroMed’s sales. But it’s not the Vermont farmers,” She explains. “It feels very good
only one, according to Andrews. “CBD has played knowing that our money is not spent in Colorado
a part in our success, absolutely, but people are or Kentucky, where most of the CBD sold in
Lauren Andrews
also fans of our body care products and essential Vermont is coming from, We are selling Vermont
oils because we are very committed to having CBD.”
synthetic-free products.” With the July 1 date set for marijuana legalization, Andrews is already thinking ahead.
Indeed, it’s not the ingredients alone that win customers but skill in the preparation “I have entered into a joint venture with Buzz Ferver from Perfect Circle Farm. We are
and combination of those ingredients, skill that Andrews learned starting in her years starting a consultation venture together as we approach July 1. We anticipate many
as a psychiatric nurse. “I was working at Central Vermont Medical Center. We were community members will want to grow their own marijuana and need help obtaining
developing a sensory integration program, and we didn’t have anything for olfaction, so female clones, guidance on cultivation techniques, and education on how to make
I introduced essential oil use to the patients. It was extremely popular, and I realized I cannabis remedies.”
needed to educate myself.” Nor is Andrews worried that once THC becomes commercially legal, it will eat into
From there she attended a five-week course at the Aromahead Institute in Ithaca, New the CBD sales, noting that many customers specifically ask for products that do not
York. “What impressed me about aromatherapy is all the science that backs up why produce the high. Indeed, the impact of the opioid crisis has brought in many people
essential oils are so effective. Really, aromatherapy at its essence is chemistry.” Once seeking relief from pain but without the psychoactive effects. “One thing is becoming
CBD got into the mix, Andrews got a Professional Certificate in Cannabis Science and more clear to me when getting feedback from customers is that CBD and essential oil
Medicine from the University of Vermont. “I felt that if you are selling this, you have therapies are helping people decrease the number of pharmaceuticals they are currently
a responsibility to know how to teach people to use these products safely.” on, or in some cases, helping people avoid taking pharmaceuticals altogether. So when
One example of how her training, knowledge, and intuition has grown the business is given a choice between CBD or a potentially addictive drug for pain reduction, of
course more and more people are reaching for CBD.”

Thank You for

reading The Bridge!
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 17

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD by Lauren Andrews

What is CBD? Are there side effects of using CBD? Is it safe?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of dozens of active chemical compounds (or cannabinoids) found The only significant known risk is vaping CBD oils
in the hemp plant. that were produced with a thinning agent, such as
Does CBD come from marijuana or hemp? propylene glycol. When vaped, propylene glycol
produces a known carcinogen, formaldehyde. CBD oils
Marijuana and industrial hemp are two different varieties of cannabis that come from the produced by carbon dioxide extraction for vaping are
same species of plant (Cannabis sativa L). In general, CBD is found abundantly in both. It is much safer with better efficacy. CBD is generally safe
CBD extracted from industrial hemp that is legal, and currently being marketed in Vermont, with no known side effects, although some users have
and must contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If a hemp plant reported sedation, lightheadedness, or lowered blood
contains more than 0.3 percent THC, it is then technically a “marijuana” plant. pressure. Collaboration with your health care provider
Will CBD get me high? related to CBD use is recommended, particularly if you
are taking pharmaceuticals.
CBD will not get you high. It is the THC molecule that binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors
in the brain that is responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana. CBD can, however, Is CBD legal?
decrease anxiety and facilitate a calming or sedating effect on some users. CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal in Vermont
How does CBD work? (and retail sales are taxed), but legality in some other
states, and on the federal level, differ. The confusion
CBD functions by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s own endocannabinoid
related to the legal status of CBD is largely related to
system. “These receptors have been found in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands,
the Drug Enforcement Administration’s designation of
and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the
all cannabis extracts, including CBD, as a Schedule I drug (i.e., heroin, LSD, or mescaline)
goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment.” Go
with no medicinal value. Cannabis has never met the criteria of a Schedule I drug. But, there
to if you want to learn more.
is big news just in, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently threw his support
How do I take CBD? behind the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would legalize the growing and selling hemp
* CBD is best taken orally via drops placed under the tongue, and held for 60 seconds before under federal law.
swallowing. The CBD is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream via the capillaries in the Does CBD show up in drug tests?
THC is the “problematic” cannabinoid looked for in drug tests. CBD is not, and generally
* Topical creams, oils, and salves are also helpful for skin conditions and addressing aches a non-issue for those that require testing. That being said, when purchasing CBD products,
and pains, but only about 10 percent of applied CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream via choose your source carefully and be sure batch testing is being done to ensure purity and that
the skin. For chronic inflammatory issues, a combination of topicals and internal use is most THC levels are indeed below 0.3 percent.
How do I discern quality?
* CBD, taken in capsule form, is best when addressing gastrointestinal inflammation, such
Reputable CBD producers, product makers, and sellers are transparent and share test results
as IBS.
upon request. Other markers of quality are sustainable, organic growing practices and using
* Vaping or smoking CBD rich hemp is a rapid route of absorption and can be a useful locally grown and extracted Vermont CBD hemp oil. Many CBD products sold in Vermont
delivery method when a quick response is needed, e.g., for anxiety, pain reduction, or come from Colorado or Kentucky. That fact is not widely known by local consumers who
insomnia. believe they are supporting local farmers.
* Edibles, such as truffles, cookies, coffee, or gummy bears are popular and delicious Where can I find medical studies on CBD?
introductions to CBD, the “gateway” CBD product, if you will.
Project CBD is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting the research progress
How do I know what dose of CBD to take? on CBD, and references hundreds of scientific/medical peer-reviewed studies. The studies
Dosing involves many variables, and is person specific. Finding the correct dose for you may reference CBD use as it relates to ADHD, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer,
require attentive self-monitoring and experimentation. Many of AroMed’s customers report diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, migraines, neurodegeneration, chronic pain, and many
dosing between 10 and 60 mg of CBD per day total, depending on the health issue being more. Visit
addressed. Lauren Andrews, RN, Clinical Aromatherapist and President of AroMed Aromatherapy is a
graduate of UVM’s Cannabis Science and Medicine Certification Program.

Cody Chevrolet Congratulates The Bridge

On Over 20 Years of Business!
PAG E 18 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Gardening for Pollinators, Birds, and Beauty by Erin O’Hara

cience shows us that biodiversity leads to a more productive ecosystem in which more “nativars,” which is short for “native cultivar.” For instance, purple coneflower (Echinacea
oxygen is produced, more carbon dioxide stored, more water purified, and more energy purpurea) has seen its flower petals changed from pink to lime green for novelty’s sake. It has
from the sun transformed into food and biomass. The key to maximizing biodiversity been shown that changing plants in this way usually makes them less attractive to wildlife.
in our gardens and landscapes is native plants. Straight-species natives can be purchased locally through nurseries such as Arcana Perennials
If we focus on butterflies and birds, we can see how planting natives can pay huge dividends. in Jericho and Perennial Pleasures in East Hardwick. They will often be sold alongside non-
It turns out that the majority of butterfly species are plant specialists, particularly in the larval native plants and nativars, so be sure to ask for assistance if you are not sure what is what.
stage. This means that the average caterpillar has the ability to eat, and not be poisoned by, Turtle Hill Native Plants is a small landscaping business and nursery that I started last year.
a limited number of indigenous plants with which it has coevolved. An example of this is You can visit to see the schedule of plant sales this
the monarch butterfly, whose caterpillars rely exclusively on native milkweed species such year.
as common milkweed and rose milkweed. In recent decades, millions of acres of milkweed Gardening for wildlife involves more than just replacing cultivars and non-natives with
habitat have been eradicated to make way for bigger farms and for development, particularly native species, although that is an excellent place to start. Birds and pollinators need a clean,
in the Midwest. In that time, we have seen a corresponding plummet in the numbers of safe water source, nesting sights, and shelter from weather and predators. There are many
monarchs. simple steps we can take to achieve this when designing our landscapes.
The story doesn’t end there, as the widespread destruction of native plant communities has It is popular to widely space plants in a garden bed and fill in the gaps with bark mulch.
not only led to huge decreases in insect biomass but also to decreases in the numbers of all However, a denser planting scheme will provide superior shelter for small birds and insects,
the creatures in the food web that rely on insects for food and other services. Birds have been keep more water in the soil through shading, capture more carbon, and reduce weed
especially hard hit. Over 90 percent of terrestrial birds feed their young almost exclusively on pressure. This will have the side benefit of cutting down on the labor and expense involved
insects. Studies have shown significant losses in bird numbers in recent decades. in watering, weeding, and mulching the garden.
The realities that our ecosystems face are indeed disturbing, and we should all be forgiven Shrubs and small trees can make excellent habitats for nesting and shelter, but birds are
for feeling depressed. However, there is much we can do to start repairing the damage, and more likely to benefit if shrubs are massed instead of grown as isolated specimens. Eight feet
there is no better place to start than our own backyards. or more in width is considered ideal. This can be achieved through planting two parallel
As stated earlier, native plants are key because of their connection to insect numbers but also rows of shrubs instead of one to make a hedge or windbreak, or through massing shrubs
because birds and other animals are more likely to benefit from the berries, nuts, and shelter in the back corner of the garden. Important native species include highbush cranberry
that native trees, shrubs, and perennials provide. (Viburnum trilobum), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), and
When looking to acquire plant stock, it is important to look for the “straight” species. Many black elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). I mainly acquire my shrubs through Fedco Trees in
of our indigenous plants have been altered by plant breeders—these plants are known as Maine and Easthill Tree Farm in Plainfield, Vermont.
As a stand-in, or in addition to shrubs, brush piles can also provide excellent shelter for
insects and birds. Start with a base of leaves and dead plant stalks. Pile branches on top of
that. Build it six feet tall and at least eight feet wide. Most people will want to put a brush
pile in a hidden part of the garden.
Providing one or more water sources for drinking and bathing will bring more birds onto
your property. Birdbaths are a cheap and easy way to achieve this. Different species of birds
prefer water of varying depths, so choose a birdbath with a bowl that is ½- to 1-inch deep at
the edge and slopes to a maximum of 3 inches at the center. Get a birdbath mounted on a
pedestal to protect against cat predation. Larger birds such as robins and blue jays will drink
and bathe in the depths, while little goldfinches, song sparrows, and chickadees will use the
Gardening for wildlife does not and should not mean sacrificing aesthetics. The pallet of
flowers, leaf textures, and form is immense among native plants. However, you may find
your definition of beauty is expanding, along with the number and variety of new species
showing up on your property. In addition to attractive foliage and blossoms, you will have
more bird song, colorful butterflies, and all manner of buzzing, slithering, jumping, and
soaring creatures to add drama and beauty to your homestead.
Learn more about Gardening for Pollinators, Birds & Beauty with Erin O'Hara at his workshop
at Hunger Mountain Co-op on April 21, 10:30 am–12 pm Preregistration is required
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 19

Sap and Climate Change by Laura Sorkin

ince we started sugaring at Runamok Maple in 2009, every year has seen different night. Maple Open House is always scheduled toward the end of March in Vermont
weather patterns and with it, new challenges. When the snow storms came in because it was a good bet sugarmakers would be in full swing, ready to welcome visitors
March this year, the amount of snow on Mt. Mansfield doubled from 50 inches to into steamy sugarhouses.
100 inches inside of a week. The ski community was thrilled, but for us sugarmakers it Since we have been in operation, there have been no reliable patterns, and for the past
created a difficult situation. four Open House weekends the rigs have been dry and quiet because of the cold. We
Many of the lines that carry the sap from the taps through the network of tubing down begin tapping at the beginning of January in anticipation of unpredictable weather, and
to the sugarhouse were buried. When temperatures warmed and the snow compressed, this approach has served us well. When we are asked when our best sap runs generally
it dragged lines down with it, pulling out taps. In addition, ice jams formed in the lines occur, we answer that there is no normal season anymore. We just get our taps in early
under the snow, building up pressure in the tubing, which also caused taps to pop off. and see what the year brings us.
We manage 71,000 taps on the western side of Mt. Mansfield and only became aware When scientists first noticed that average global temperatures were rising, they named
of the seriousness of the problem at the start of the biggest sap run of the year. the phenomenon “global warming” for obvious reasons. But as the repercussions of
We had good sugaring weather at the end of February, but March was mostly too cold. rising temperatures are playing themselves out, they have renamed it “climate change,”
When the weather is stalled like that, a general anxiety sets in that April will warm since hotter temperatures in some places are shifting weather patterns in others. An
quickly and the season will finish in a few days. But when the temperatures finally rose unusual blast of warm air coming off the ocean on one side of the earth may set in
at the end of March, relief was replaced by panic when we realized we had to check all motion cold winds down to our region just as we are anticipating spring.
71,000 taps immediately. As I am writing this in the second week of April, a week when many sugarmakers in
We sent the entire woods crew out every day. Even the employees who work in the our area are often done for the season, we awakened to another blanket of snow, and
office and on the bottling line were deputized to head out to the forest and help; some the trees are frozen. Politicians can argue the “ifs” and origins of climate change all they
of them had never been on snow shoes before. This is the urgency of sugaring in action; like, but we are living it, right here, right now.
we only have a few weeks to make a year’s worth of product, and every good sap run People who choose a livelihood dependent on the weather have always understood the
counts. It took many people hours of trekking through deep snow on steep slopes to risk; you only have so much control over how your season will go. Epic snowfalls in
check every tap, but within a week the network was running smoothly again. We heard March are not unheard of, after all, even before we humans started messing with our
that many other sugarmakers dealt with the same issue, even up in Quebec. Most added atmosphere. But those of us whose success can tip one direction or another due to a few
that they had never experienced anything like it. degrees of temperature change are especially vulnerable. We will do our part where we
We have been producing maple syrup for ten years, which is a relatively short time can to mitigate climate change, but it is already here and has forced us to come up with
in comparison with many of our fellow sugarmakers, who have been doing it for a strategy. The plan is to continue to expect the unexpected. We started in this business
generations. Our understanding of the season when we first entered the business was untethered to any notion of how the season is supposed to go, and we will continue
that the bulk of the syrup was made in March because that is the month that typically ready for anything.
sees the most favorable conditions; warm during the day with freezing temperatures at Laura Sorkin is the co-owner of Runamok Maple in Cambridge, VT
PAG E 2 0 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Let the Breeding Begin—

Vermont’s Amphibians Head
to Vernal Pools by Mike Dunphy

hile the classic video game Frogger may elicit squeals of nostalgic fun for those of a
certain age, the squeals of tires on the road make a very different impression on the
frogs themselves, as they cross in the thousands during the great spring migration
to vernal pools for the annual breeding party. On heavily trafficked Vermont roads, this can
amount to a death toll of more than 50 percent.
In the Montpelier area, particularly at high-volume crossing zones such as those at the junction
of Route 12 and Shady Rill Road, on East Hill Road, and on Center Road, deliverance doesn’t
come at the hands of a radioactive super lizard able to leap buildings in a single bound or stop
cars in their tracks, but from a cadre of volunteer crossing guards in raincoats and reflective vests
working under the auspices of the North Branch Nature Center on Elm Street. In addition their
raincoats and vests, these amphibian crossing guards are requested to bring “a hat with a brim,
a clean bucket for carrying amphibians across the road,” and a spatula “for scooping dead ones
off the road.” Because most migration takes places after sundown, a heavy-duty flashlight is also
essential. It’s also important volunteers to wash their hands clean, because amphibians breathe
through their skin, making any lotion, perfume, and soap residue potentially dangerous.
That as many critters as possible make it to the vernal breeding pools is important for the
ecosystem. Frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians not only provide food for other wildlife,
they themselves consume millions of insects, insects that you won’t have to swat away or
spray crops against. In addition, many of these species on the move are considered “High and
Medium priority Species of Greatest Conservation Need” in the Vermont Wildlife Action Plan,
particularly the blue-spotted, four-toed, and Jefferson salamanders.
Named “vernal” from the Latin vernālis, from vernus “of spring,” the pools can be easy to
miss to the untrained eye. According to the definition of the Vermont Vernal Pool Mapping
Project, conducted by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (2009–2011), vernal pools
must satisfy four requirements: (1) occur in a forested context, (2) have an ephemeral (seasonal)
hydrology, (3) be hydrologically isolated from permanent water sources, and (4) have the presence
of at least one of six indicator species: wood frog, spotted salamander, Jefferson salamander, blue-
spotted salamander, fairy shrimp, or fingernail clams.
For John Jose, who is leading a workshop about vernal pools at Hunger Mountain Co-op on
Earth Day (April 21), the amphibian residents of vernal pools offer something the more popular
birds, bears, beavers, and other forest mammals don’t. “When you are out looking for mammals
and birds, you find droppings, tracks, and other signs here and there, but with amphibians, you
can find them under rocks and in stream beds. So you actually get to interact with the animal
versus just finding signs of it. From an environmental education perspective, especially with kids,
they can get an up-close personal encounter with herps.”
Jose’s workshop also includes carpooling to see actual vernal pools in Hubbard Park in
Montpelier. “What I’m expecting is by the time we get there, the spotted salamanders and the
frogs will have already begun to move to the pool.” If the timing is right, attendees should get the
chance to see the gelatinous egg masses themselves. “You can actually tell from the egg masses
what species has been there,” Jose explains, “One of the things I try to do in the workshop
through the use of videos is show the folks basically what they missed—the movement of the
animals to the pool, the breeding that takes place, and the egg mass deposition. So when they
look at the egg masses, they have it in context.”
Weather conditions in the Montpelier area this year, however, do raise some concern for Jose. “At
least here in Montpelier, up until a couple of storms back, the ground was virtually bare, so that
the initial pulse of water that goes into the pools when it rains and the snow melts was somewhat
lacking.” Ideally, he said, the snow needs to hang around and melt at the right time, which is the
middle to the end of April. “That brings up the whole issue of climate change,” he points out.
“As we get more warmer weather and more rain versus snow, it makes it more difficult for that
snow pack to accumulate and stick around.”
Raising awareness about vernal pools also brings an understanding of their fragility, particularly
if human activity is nearby. “If you want to have a viable vernal pool, you have to maintain the
surrounding landscape. It doesn’t mean you need a completely intact, no-go, no-activity forest,
but you do have to manage it wisely so that the forest is intact enough to support these animals.”
According to the research of Steve Faccio of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE), this “life
zone” around the pool should be about 575 feet extending out from the pool in all directions.
“What we've done,” Jose explains, “when the City of Montpelier was going through its recent
zoning rights update, we asked for and got a 500-foot buffer.” That doesn’t mean no activity can
take place around the pool, but it is more closely watched and checked if need be.
Jose isn’t the only person giving a workshop about vernal pools on Earth Day (April 21). At
North Branch Nature Center, Liza Morse, the ECO AmeriCorps Vernal Pool Monitoring
Program Coordinator at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies will be discussing vernal pools and
also welcoming participants into the Center’s new citizen science program: the Vermont Vernal
Pool Monitoring Project. Attendees will also visit nearby vernal pools and be trained to map and
monitor the pools according to project protocols. By participating in the workshop, interested
attendees will be ready to go out and monitor vernal pools as VPMon citizen scientists.
John Jose’s workshop is 3–5 pm at Hunger Mountain Co-op. Liza Morse’s workshop is 9 am–12
pm at North Branch Nature Center. For more information visit and
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 21

An Excerpt on the Myth of the Small Farm from

Daniel Hecht’s New Novel, “On Brassard’s Farm”
J ust as I’d had imbecilic notions of the
forest, I had childlike misconceptions
about farms, farming, and farmers. I had
an imaginary “farm” in my mind.
So I came to Brassard’s farm with that blurry-
edged cameo image still underlying my
Brassard didn’t spend his time stroking the
velvety noses of his horses and giving them
sugar lumps, because he didn’t have any horses,
and his pockets had keys and tools and rags
I had begun acquiring a truer sense of things
I knew that most of our food is grown on even before my Hindenburg imitation. I in them, not sugar lumps. In fact, he spent
factory farms run by giant corporations. I knew literally got an overview, because I’d sometimes hours each day in his office, once a first-
that growing lots of a single crop or raising lots sit in a comfortable glade just above the steep floor bedroom, at his computer, working his
of a single kind of animal was the rule. I knew cliffs facing the farm, where, through gaps spreadsheets, juggling cash and debt, writing
that the self-sufficient family farm was a dying in the trees, I could see everybody’s comings checks for equipment loans, reviewing the price
institution. I’d read about these things in the and goings. I’d go there to write in my journal of milk and feed on the exchanges. Farming is
Boston Globe and New York Times. and then get distracted and just watch, pages a business, and he was a capable businessman.
But as a kid, I had learned my letters by poring unmarked. Manure was a big part of his day. In colder
over picture books that depicted cozy farms If it were a film played fast, you’d see months, when the cows lived inside, the
with red and white barns, some friendly horses humans zipping here and there, trucks and manure flowed to a sort of pond; Brassard
and sheep at the paddock fence, the fuddy- tractors whipping about. In summer, you’d periodically pumped the pond’s contents into
a special tank trailer that he towed behind the stuff was blown into the silo to feed the cows
duddy farmer and his plump wife, the rows see a mottled tide of cows funneling into during the winter.
of vegetables, the henhouses, all surrounded the milking parlor, then spraying out again tractor across the fields, spraying the stuff onto
by fields thick with grain. I loved Charlotte’s across the pasture. In winter, as I learned later, the soil. The shed for the younger cows, those Brassard also grew ninety acres of hay, which he
Web. At school, we sang “Old McDonald Had the cows moved indoors and then you’d see not yet lactating, was set up so the manure cut several times a summer, left in windrows,
a Farm.” Every TV ad for cereal still reinforces manure being moved, piled, and spread on the fell into straw on the floor, creating a more and then raked to fluff and flip it so it dried
the myth: A hale middle-aged farmer sits fields, stall bedding and silage being carted here solid form that he moved around with the uniformly. He baled some but rolled most of
to his breakfast—whatever cereal is being and there. And snow being pushed and heaped. bucket on the front of his tractor. He piled it it into huge wheels that he wrapped in heavy
marketed—in his sunny kitchen. Behind him in a big U-shaped concrete berm he called the white plastic, leaving the fields scattered with
Inside the barn, there’s no three-legged stool “stack,” and in spring he loaded it into another six-foot marshmallows.
are flowery curtains and a counter displaying and bucket: Milking is done by machines. You
other totems of rural life: a colander piled specialized trailer that flung the stuff out in The farmyard, just to the side of this island
usher the cows into the milking parlor—they lumps as he drove. Both activities trailed a
with just-collected pure-white eggs, a bowl of don’t need much coercion, because their udders of order, wasn’t pretty. It was shapeless and
blueberries, a bunch of fresh carrots, and some plume of odor that filled the valley. often muddy and marked by the braided ruts
ache and they know there’s relief in there—
greens ready for the missus to chop for dinner. where you attach suction devices to the four He bought hundreds of tons of feed grain, but made by tractor wheels. Tractors and tractor
Cut to him heading out, full of vigor, to his teats. Once all the cows have been drained, he also raised a lot of his own cow food. Think attachments sat haphazardly when not in use,
spotless small-farm compound, then fade to a you have to purge the whole apparatus with of it as a recipe for a cake or loaf of bread: To along with various cars and Brassard’s truck—a
close-up of the nodding heads of golden grain near-boiling water, scrape up the fresh manure, 110 acres of soil, sift in manure and chemical massive red double-cab Dodge Ram that he
in his wheat field. and then hose the whole area. fertilizers. Whisk with spades and harrows, washed often and took great pride in. Earnest’s
The myth lives on in our beguiled minds; it mix in corn seed. Let stand until it rises. Baste regular pickup was often there, and sometimes
The milk in the holding tank gets picked as needed with insecticides or herbicides. Bake his big old warhorse stake-side, the one he used
resonates inside us, a template of all that is good up every other day by a big stainless-steel
and honest. I have a theory that we grow much in sun. for his tree business, decorated the place as well.
tank truck that holds thousands of gallons.
like trees, that every period of our lifetimes That’s the Agri-Mark truck, from the farmers’ This wasn’t sweet corn, so it was never So cows, manure, machines, and corn are the
remains fully intact inside us, just covered over cooperative that processes and markets the harvested for human consumption. The cobs most obvious elements of the small dairy farm.
with the next layer and the next. Later layers milk. It idles for a while as it pumps the dried on the stalk, and in autumn the golden- I wasn’t exactly disillusioned by the realities of
may not accord with the early ones—we know stuff out, and the driver hands Brassard a brown fields were felled by a combine that Brassard’s operation, but for a while it did leave
there’s no Santa Claus, but the five-year-old is computer-generated receipt. The milk goes to chopped both cob and stalk and hurtled the a hollow in me where the ideal farm used to
still in there, waking on Christmas morning the processing plant; Brassard gets a check. mixed chaff into a high-sided trailer. The fields glow. The six-year-old in me, you could say,
delirious with expectation. were left with uniform rows of stubble, and the mourned the dream’s passing.
PAG E 2 2 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

C a l e n d a r o f E ve n t s
Community Events
Defending Our Democracy: A Conversation 10 am–2 pm. NVU-Lyndon, Alexander featuring scratch-made goodness. 4 pm. Down
about Election Cybersecurity with Twilight Theatre lobby. Home Kitchen, 100 Main St., Montpelier.
Secretary of State Jim Condos. Secretary The Gary Residence Open House. Door Charge for food and tea.
Condos will be joined by Deputy Secretary of prizes and light refreshments. 10 am–2 pm.
Events happening State Chris Winters, Elections Director Will MONDAY, APRIL 23
149 Main St., Montpelier. RSVP: 223-3881. Monthly Book Group for Adults. No is Not
April 19–May 5 Senning and Matt McCann from the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics
a national partner with Vermont in election New Café: Cycles of Life. Every third and Winning the World We Need by Naomi
THURSDAY, APRIL 19 Friday. Come together to listen, talk, and Klein. 7 pm. Jaquith Public Library, School
The Northern Vermont University- cybersecurity efforts. 4–6 pm. Pavilion
Auditorium, 109 State St., Montpelier. share about the things in life’s cycle we are St., Marshfield.
Johnson Spring Career & Internship Fair. all experiencing in our own way now for
About 50 employers and graduate school FRIDAY, APRIL 20 ourselves and the earth we live on. 11:45 TUESDAY, APRIL 24
representatives will participate from sectors Young Adventurers Club (YAC) Walk. am–1 pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt. 2, Bike Montpelier to Adamant with Green
that include health care and social services, Marshfield. Easy. 1-2 miles. Stranahan Town East Montpelier. 223-3322 Mountain Club. Easy. 15 miles. County
nonprofits, state and federal government, law Forest. Enjoy the old logging roads and trails Road to Bliss Pond Rd. to Adamant Rd. to
enforcement, tourism and hospitality, and Aldrich Friends Spring Book Sale. April Center St. to Bliss Rd. to County Rd. Lunch
of this beautiful town forest. Mett at 10 am 20–21. Books, DVDs, and more. Noon–6
other areas. 11 am–3 pm. NVU-Johnson, at the parking lot on Hollister Hill. Contact at the Adamant Coop. Leave from Morse
SHAPE Center, Johnson. pm. Aldrich Public Library, Milne Room, 6 Farm at 10 am. Helmet required. Contact
Sharon Plumb at Washington St., Barre. 476-7550
The Hurricane of 1938. Author Stephen for more info. George Plumb, 883-2313 or
Long will discuss how this major weather SATURDAY, APRIL 21
Walk-a-Mile Event April 20 at NVU-Lyndon.
event impacted New England for decades to Beneath the Surface: Walk a Mile in Their Hunger Mountain Co-op’s Community Author Anastasia Goodman. Goodman
come. Noon. Vermont History Museum, 109 Shoes raises awareness about issues people Earth Day Celebration. Clothing, Book discusses her books Loose Ends and The
State St., Montpelier. Free. with physical and mental challenges face. & Media Swap, cell phone & battery Sasha Perlov Mystery Series. 2 pm. Jewish
479-8500 Interactive applications and web activities will recycling, solar-powered bouncy house, local Community of Greater Stowe, 1189 Cape
The Gary Residence Open House. Door be available to demonstrate how people with vendor demos, and 5% shopping discount Cod Rd., Stowe. Free. 253-1800.
prizes and light refreshments. 3–6 pm. 149 dyslexia and those who are blind and have for member-owners. 8 am–8 pm. Hunger Elena Georgiou Book Launch: "The
Main St., Montpelier. RSVP: 223-3881. other physical challenges live. Mountain Co-op, Montpelier. See full event Immigrant's Refrigerator." Elena Georgiou, schedule: author of the short story collection The
The Gary Residence Open House. Door Immigrant’s Refrigerator, and Laurie Stavrand
prizes and light refreshments. 10 am–2 pm. of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement
149 Main St., Montpelier. RSVP: 223-3881. Program, discuss immigration and how it affects one’s story of oneself. With reading
Aldrich Friends Spring Book Sale. 10 am–3 & book signing. 10% of book sales will be
pm. Books, DVDs, and more. Noon–6 donated to VRRP, which helps refugees
pm. Aldrich Public Library, Milne Room, 6 begin new lives in Vermont. 7–8 pm. Bear
Washington St., Barre. 476-7550 Pond Books, 77 Main St., Montpelier.
Gardening for Pollinators, Birds, & Beauty.
Learn to use attractive native trees, shrubs, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
and perennials to provide high quality Waterbury Historical Society Meeting.
food and habitat for our Vermont wildlife. The Annual Waterbury Historical Society’s
1-:30 am–noon. Hunger Mountain Co-op meeting. A Remembrance Dinner at 5:30
community room, Montpelier. Free. RSVP: pm will kick off the meeting to celebrate a look back at 60 years of Waterbury Historical
Walk Berlin Pond with Green Mountain Society. Commemoration program at 7 pm.
Club. Easy. 5 miles. Walk around Berlin American Legion, Stowe St., Waterbury.
Pond. Meet at Berlin Pond parking spot at $15 roast beef dinner with all the fixings by
1 pm. Leaders: Mary Garcia, 622-0585 and reservation. 244-8089.
Mary Smith, 505-0603 What Are You Really Practicing? Deepening
The North Branch Café's 5th Birthday practice through exploring the many different
Party. Come celebrate with us! Enjoy free approaches to mindfulness and the variety
wine tasting, cheesecake tasting, tea samples, of world views, experiences, and relationships
trivia and more! 1–6 pm. North Branch Café, to nature, the “body” and being that they
41 State St., Montpelier. 552-8105 cultivate. 6–7:30 pm. Hunger Mountain
Co-op community room, Montpelier. Free.
Vernal Pool Exploration. Following slides, RSVP:
videos and discussion on the fascinating
world of vernal pool ecology, we’ll carpool to Mid-Week Movie: Lady Bird. 6–8 pm.
Hubbard Park to observe egg masses of wood Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick
frogs and spotted salamanders, and other St., Greensboro. $5.
vernal pool creatures. Supervised children are Movie About Dams and Rivers. This award
welcome. 3–5 pm. Hunger Mountain Co-op winning documentary explores the change
community room, Montpelier. Free. RSVP: in national attitudes regarding dams and the lives of rivers. 7 pm. Jaquith Public Library,
School St., Marshfield.
22nd Annual Mutt Strut. A fun, 3-mile THURSDAY, APRIL 26
race for dogs and dog lovers. All dogs must Early Spring Community Wild Plant Walk.
be vaccinated and leashed. Runners without Explore herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs in
dogs are welcome. Proceeds go to the Central their spring glory! Learn edible and medicinal
Vermont Humane Society. Prizes. 10 am. properties. 4:30–6:30 pm. 1005 County
Little River State Park, Waterbury. $10 entry Rd., Woodbury. $25 to 0, sliding scale.
fee. 223-5738 456-8122
Six Old Poets Tea Party. Join PoemCity Gourmet Nut/Seed Cheese. Get a very
for tea as we hear the voices of teachers special gourmet nut/seed cheese recipe
and students of Montpelier Senior Activity to become the envy of your friends and
Center: Charlie Barasch, Liz Benjamin, family! Perfect as an appetizer, on salads, in
Jane E. Bryant, Jeanne Weston Cook, Sarah sandwiches/wraps, and in stews. 6–7 pm.
Franklin, and Geof Hewitt. Down Home Hunger Mountain Co-op community room,
Kitchen will wow us with a delicious tea Montpelier. $8 members; $11 non-members.
Calendar of Events
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 2 3

Branding 101 - Free Business Workshop. Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Clean

Performing Arts THEATER, DANCE,

We’ll go over the importance of creating a out your medicine cabinets and safely
well-rounded brand, what that includes, how dispose of expired or unwanted prescription
to establish all aspects of your brand, and medications. Proper disposal helps avoid STORYTELLING, COMEDY
how to help yourself and others involved stay poisonings, misuse, addiction, and protects April 19–May 6: Lost Nation Theater presents “Silent Sky.” Play by Lauren Gunderson
consistently on-brand. 6–7:30 pm. Capstone the environment. Free and anonymous that has us looking to the stars with dreams, determination, desire, and humor as it shares the
Community Action, 19 Gable Pl., Barre. disposal at the following sites: incredible true story of boundary-shattering astronomer Henrietta Leavitt in the 1900s. Thurs.– • Washington County Sheriff's Dept, 10 Sat., 7:30 pm; Sun., 2 pm. Lost Nation Theater, City Hall Arts Center, Main St., Montpelier.
Elm St., Montpelier $15–30. Student & senior discount. 229-0492.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27 • Montpelier Police Dept,1 Pitkin Court,
MSAC Poetry Reading & Poetry Collection April 26–29: “Nine.” Musical presented by the student theater troupe at Northern Vermont
Dedication. Enjoy a reading by MSAC University-Johnson about the challenges of an Italian filmmaker. It is based on the 1963 Federico
• Barre City Police Dept,15 Fourth St, Barre
members following FEAST Together lunch Fellini film “8 ½.” April 26–28, 7 pm; April 29, 2 pm. NVU-Johnson, Dibden Center for the
• Northfield Police Dept,110 Wall St,.
(call 262-6288 for lunch reservations). Arts, Johnson. $10 cash only. Reservations: 635-1476,
There will also be a dedication of the late • Kinney Drugs at 800 Rt 302, Berlin. April 27: Bueno Comedy Showcase. A wide range of talented standup comics, from here and
Sherry Olson’s poetry library, which her supported by Berlin PD away, working longer sets. 8:30 p.m. Espresso Bueno, 248 N. Main St., Barre. Free; by donation.
husband has donated to MSAC. 1–2:30 pm. • Vermont State Police,1080 Rt 2, Middlesex 479-0896.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre For more information contact Central VT May 4: Age Out Loud: Still Aging After All These Years. An evening of comedic storytelling
St., Montpelier. New Directions Coalition 223-4949 www. about aging and families. With Susanne Schmidt, Kevin Gallagher, live music from The Brevity
Keys to Kayaking: Flatwater Thing, and special guest performance by Willem Lange. 7:30 pm. Barre Opera House, 6 N.
Fundamentals. This workshop covers what Primo Maggio. April 28–29. Honors Barre’s Main St., Barre. $30.
to consider when buying a kayak and gear; historic Old Labor Hall’s founding granite
how to safely transport kayaks; essential items
to bring on the water; how to get into and out
workers with a 2-day program of speakers and
a community dinner. Both days will feature For more event listings and event details
of a kayak without ending up in the water;
and the best paddling spots in VT. 5:30–7:30
presentations about historical, labor-related
topics. April 28: social hour at 5 pm followed
pm. Hunger Mountain Co-op community by a traditional Italian dinner. Rachel d’Usseau had its Broadway debut in 1953. the precedents, implications, and possibilities
room, Montpelier. Free. RSVP: info@ C. Donaldson’s presentation, “Solidarity The play features Parker’s classic wit as it of Montpelier examining whether or not to Forever: Preserving Historic Union Halls” focuses on the lives of six women who live in move towards allowing non-citizens to vote
that explores the tradition of social spaces a hotel on Manhattan’s upper east side. Parts in city elections. 7 pm. Montpelier City Hall,
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 begins at 7 pm. Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite
Muddy Onion Gravel Bike Ride. Presented will be chosen at random. All are welcome to City Council Chambers.
St., Barre. $25. Oldlaborhall,org read or to simply relax and enjoy listening.
by Onion River Outdoors. 21 and 38 mile WEDNESDAY, MAY 2
6:30–8:30 pm. Montpelier Senior Activity
loop options. Post-ride BBQ and party. SUNDAY, APRIL 29 Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Nancy Walk-Through Wednesday at Orchard
Benefits Catamount Trail Association, Primo Maggio. Dr. William Tortolano’s Valley. Visit to the OVWS grades school
MAMBA, and the North Branch Trails Schulz:
illustrated presentation “The WPA: the (8:30–9:30 am) and our mixed-age
Initiative. For more info: Depression and Great Art” will examine TUESDAY, MAY 1 kindergarten and Farm & Forest classes
onionriveroutdoors. 225-6736. the murals, sculpture, posters, and other Community Discussion: Should Montpelier (9:30–10:30 am) on our East Montpelier
Capital City Winter Farmers Market. representations commissioned by the federal Residents Who Aren't US Citizens be campus. Campus tour and Q&A time during
Shop from over 20 farms and producers government during the Great Depression. Allowed to Vote in City Elections? each. Orchard Valley Waldorf School, 2290
in downtown Montpelier. Our producer- 4 pm. Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite St., Barre. Montpelier Attorney Dan Daniel Richardson VT Rt. 14N, East Montpelier. Register: 456-
only market means everything is grown or Free; donations accepted. Oldlaborhall,org and University of Minnesota Professor 7400,
handmade in central Vermont. 10 am–2 Doug Chapin, Director of the Program for
pm. City Center, 89 State St., Montpelier. MONDAY, APRIL 30 Excellence in Election Administration at the
Bike Ride with Green Mountain Club. East
Reader’s Theater Evening. “The Ladies of Montpelier. Easy. 20 miles. East Montpelier University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School to Calais on back roads. Leave from the
the Corridor,” by Dorothy Parker and Arnaud of Public Affairs will be on hand to discuss

Monday Evenings Starting April 30

Calendar of Events
PAG E 24 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Through April 30: MSAC Photography and acrylic paintings, she releases all boundaries and Gallery, Barre St., Montpelier.

Visual Arts
Poetry Exhibit. MSAC members –- most are definition of the landscape, reflecting the story of Through Sept. 30: James Peterson,
students of Jeanne Cook and Linda Hogan her life’s journey and relationships along the way. Dreamcatcher. Large-scale interactive
— display their poems and photographs in The HiVE (next to the Red Hen Baking Co.), installation that was inspired by the magical
celebration of PoemCity. Montpelier Senior 961 Route 2, Middlesex.
EXHIBITS Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier April 20–June 7: Material Flows: Rhythm in
ice caves of Kamchatka in Siberia. The grounds
of Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, 122
Through April 27: Nourishment. A juried show
Through May 12: Hannah Morris, The Feast Collage and Sculpture, by Rob Hitzig, Louise Hourglass Dr., Stowe.
of Vermont artists’ work, and an exhibit from
of Fools. Painted collages and soft sculpture LaPlante, and Brian Walters. Group show
the members of the Central Vermont Hub of
the Vermont Watercolor Society. T.W. Wood
installations exploring the intersection of the of collage works and sculptures that visually SPECIAL EVENTS
sublime, the absurd, and the mundane in explores material space as rhythm, disruption, April 20: Big Arty SPA Happening (BASH)
Art Gallery, 46 Barre St., Montpelier. 262-6035.
recognizable moments and places. Studio Place and disorder. Goddard Art Gallery in the Eliot at Studio Place Arts. Enjoy great art, music
Arts, Barre. Pratt Library, Plainfield. 322-1604. & eats – and help raise funds for SPA art
Through April 27: Vermont Abenaki Artists programs. Musical performance by Old
Through May 19: Sande French-Stockwell, April 22–June 8: Resa Blatman, Trouble in
Association Exhibit. Although many mediums Rocket, a Southern Old-Time String band
Portraits of a Different Kind. Ms. Stockwell Paradise. Exhibition of 17 elegantly crafted
are represented in the exhibit, the unifying including Dana and Susan Robinson, and
has fallen in love with the creative freedom and exuberant paintings, the artist offers up a
theme is all of the art is inspired by Abenaki special guest Tom MacKenzie. Cash bar.
newly found in plaster. Axel’s Gallery, 5 Stowe visual commentary on climate change and its
culture. T.W. Wood Gallery, 46 Barre St., 7–9 pm. SPA, 201 N. Main St., Barre. $15
St., Waterbury. increasing threat to migratory birds and other
Montpelier. advance; $25 day-of.
Through May 28: Post-Apocalypse for 3/4 animal species. Special related programming
Through April 28: The Front presents SHOW such as free gallery talks and filmscreenings will April 28: Grand Opening: "Anything for
Empire. Peter Schumann’s woodcuts, Come
24. The latest works of the gallery’s membership be scheduled throughout the course of the show. Speed: Automobile Racing in Vermont."
by for a special event on Sunday, May 20 to
of Vermont-based contemporary artists. In Catamount Arts Main Gallery, St., Johnsbury. Exhibit explores over a century of the history
celebrate the work, including an artist’s talk,
addition, the Front will present work by guest 748-2600. and evolution of racing in Vermont through
music, and performances by Peter Schumann
artist Athena Petra Tasiopoulos. The Front the objects, photographs and recollections that
and Company. Per Bread & Puppet tradition, Through June 10: Vermont Landscapes. 38
Gallery, 6 Barre St., Montpelier. comprise this unique story. Vermont History
bread and aioli will be served; cheap art, Bread paintings by 19 artists, all of whom paint in Center, 60 Washington St., Barre. Free
and Puppet Press publications, and exhibit Vermont. The Lamoille County Courthouse,
Through April 28: Toni Gildone, Depth of banners will be for sale. Highland Center for the 154 Main St, Hyde Park. admission 9 am–noon; $5-7/person after that.
Perception. Photographer. Portraits of children. Arts, 2875 Hardwick Street, Greensboro.
Through June 28: Tom Merwin, The Effects
Chelsea Public Library. 685-2188 May 4: Montpelier Art Walk. Central
Through May 28: Muse. Three Vermont artists of Bird Song on Shifting Strata.Paintings.
Through April 28: Valley Arts Members’ reflect on spirit guides, journeying, introspection Montpelier Art Walk, May 4, 4–7 pm. Vermont artists are featured at participating
Exhibit: Spring Mix Valley Arts Multi-Media and winter’s quiet. Where inspiration and magic Vermont Supreme Court Gallery, 111 State St., downtown Montpelier businesses and
Exhibition of Talented Members. Thurs.–Sat., live side by side and a deep appreciation for the Montpelier. organizations. 4–7 pm.
1–4 pm. Valley Arts Gallery, 5031 Main St., natural world permeates everything. Artists are May 4: Ronald Slayton: Master of
Through June 28: Carolyn Egeli, For the Love
Waitsfield. 246-6682, Amanda Weisenfeld (hand felter), Jess Polanshek Watercolor Opening Reception and Art
of Vermont. Paintings. Montpelier Art Walk, (illustrator), and Kristin Richland (painter/ Talk. Panel with Nancy Price Graff, Bobby
May 4, 4–7 pm. Governor’s Gallery, 109 State
Through April 29: Artist to Watch Part 1. illustrator). Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 St., Montpelier. Photo ID required for entry. Gosh and Tom Slayton and moderated by
Presented by the Vermont Arts Council, in Hardwick St., Greensboro. gallery curator Phillip Robertson. 5–8 pm.
May 1–June 29: Ronald Slayton, Master of
partnership with Kasini House. A survey of Through May 29: Anecdotes: Paintings by T.W. Wood Gallery, 46 Barre St., Montpelier.
Watercolor. Highlights two watercolor murals
contemporary Vermont art. Part 2 opens May Philip Hagopian. Rural landscapes. Furchgott May 5: Art Open House at Twin Valley Senior
“The Last Supper” (1985) and “The Hunger
5. The Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery, Sourdiffe Gallery, 86 Falls Rd., Shelburne. Center. Featuring Art work by Jan Danziger
Dream” (1985). Art Talk panel discussion:
136 State St., Montpelier. and the Art class students. 9 am–2 pm. TVSC,
May 4, 5–8 pm. with Nancy Price Graff,
Through May 31: Kumari Patricia. In Patricia’s Bobby Gosh, and Tom Slayton. T.W. Wood Rt. 2, East Montpelier. 223-3322.

parking area at #10 Pond in Calais at 10 am. are welcome. 6:30–8:30 pm. 134 S. Main St.,
Bring a lunch as there is no place to buy lunch.
THURSDAY, MAY 3 FRIDAY, MAY 4 Bethel. Free; donations accepted.
Helmet required. Contact George Plumb, 883- Self-organization, Co-evolution, Resiliency Young Adventurers Club Outing. events
2313 or and Stability with Tom Wessels. How Marshfield. Easy. 1-2 miles. Martin Bridge
ecosystems develop resilience and stability and Park is on Rte. 2, just a few miles outside of SATURDAY, MAY 5
Early Spring Community Wild Plant Walk. what we can learn from natural models. Tom Plainfield Village on the right hand side. Join Green Up Day. Over 22,000 volunteers come
Explore herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs in Wessels is a terrestrial ecologist and a professor us at 10 am to explore this picturesque covered together to remove litter from Vermont’s
their spring glory! Learn edible and medicinal at Antioch University New England in the bridge, recently restored. Sweet trails perfect roadsides and public spaces. In Montpelier,
properties. 4:30–6:30 pm. 1005 County Department of Environmental Studies, where for kiddos and their caretakers! Contact bags are picked up at our registration table at
Rd., Woodbury. $25 to 0, sliding scale. he founded a master’s program in conservation Sharon Plumb, the Farmer's Market and full bags can be left 456-8122 biology. 7 pm. Plainfield Town Hall Opera curbside for the Dept. of Public Works to pick
Turkey Take Out Dinner. Turkey & gravy,
Mid-Week Movie: Zootopia. 6–8 pm. House, Rt. 2, Plainfield. Donations acception. stuffing, mashed potato, vegetable, rolls, up. To find our where to pick up bags in your
Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick 426-8504 cranberry sauce, and dessert. Pick up 4–6 area visit and click on
St., Greensboro. $5 donation. highlandartsvt. pm. Waterbury Center Community Church, “Get Involved.”
org Rt. 100 (next to Cold Hollow Cider Mill), Hike Peacham Bog with Green Mountain
Waterbury Center. $11. Reservations: 244- Club. Groton State forest. Easy. 5.4 miles.
8089. Deliveries, in the local area, for people We’ll check out beautiful spring wildflowers
in need. along the way. Contact Phyllis Rubenstein,
Bethel First Friday Flicks - Free Family 793-6313 or Phyllis@PhyllisRubensteinLaw.
Movie. Free family movie at the Bethel Town for meeting time and place.
Hall on the first Friday of every month. All
Calendar of Events
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 2 5

Live Music
April 26: Noontime Concerts at Christ April 29: An Evening with Bruce Cockburn.
SPECIAL EVENTS Church. Golden Oldies: Baroque Music Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career
April 19: Noontime Concerts at Christ from the Living Woods Ensemble. Bring a shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical
Church. Sweet Prospect: Music for bag lunch! Noon. 64 State St., Montpelier. diversity. Jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles.
VENUES Women’s Voices. Bring a bag lunch! Donations welcome. 7:30 pm. Spruce Peak Performing Arts
Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. Other Noon. 64 State St., Montpelier. Donations 223-3631. Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Stowe. $20–65.
shows T.B.A. welcome. 223-3631.
April 27: Carlin Tripp at Fresh Tracks
Charlie O’s World Famous. 70 Main St. April 21: Studio Stomp: The Craftsbury Farm. Laid back folk rocker drawing from a May 3: Noontime Concerts at Christ
Montpelier. Free. 223-6820. Vibrations with Natalie Allen. Blend life spent roaming this great country, seeking Church. Umlaut, a new ensemble led by
Every Tues.: Karaoke with DJ Vociferous, of up-tempo country, rock, and pop. out rare experiences and making new friends John Harrison. Bring a bag lunch! Noon.
9 pm–1 am 7:30 pm. Hardwick Center for the Arts, along the way. 7–9 pm. Fresh Tracks Farm 64 State St., Montpelier. Donations welcome.
April 20: Clever Girls/ Kate Lorenz & the 2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. $10. Vineyard & Winery, Rt. 12, Berlin. 223-3631.
Constellations (rock) 9 pm
April 27: Jazzyaoke. Sing the standards May 3: First Thursdays Music: Jacob
April 21: Scott Graves & Chris Martin April 22: Resurrection: Green Mountain backed by a live six-piece jazz band; all lyrics Schiller. Multi-instrumentalist, producer,
(rock) 6 pm; FlpSide (rock) 9 pm Mahler Festival. Concert under the provided. 7:30–10:30 pm. deMena’s, 44 and songwriter brings his blend of
April 27: Yestrogen (indie pop) 6 pm; direction of conductor Daniel Bruce Main St., Montpelier. $5. 613-3172. psychedelic folk-funk-groove to the Café.
Megan Jean & the KFB (folk punk) 9 pm features vocal soloists Melissa Dickerson
April 28: Spruce Peak Chamber Music 6–8 pm. Highland Center for the Arts,
April 28: Alex Culbreth/Wild Leek River and Wendy Hoffman Farrell and the
Society. An intimate concert with Sean Lee, 2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. Free.
(outlaw country) 9 pm combined forces of the Green Mountain
violin, Jia Kim, cello, and Euntaek Kim,
Espresso Bueno. 248 N. Main St., Barre. Mahler Festival, the Burlington Civic
Symphony, the Champlain Philharmonic piano. Includes Mozart’s Piano Trio in E May 4: The Steph Pappas Experience
479-0896. Free/by donation unless
Orchestra, and the South Burlington Major K. 542, Johannes Brahms’ C Major at Lamp Club Light Shop. American
otherwise noted. events@espressobueno.
Community Chorus with chorus master Trio and Schubert’s second Piano Trio in underground. 7 pm. 12 Winooski Ave.,
Matthew LaRocca. 3 pm. Spruce Peak E-flat. 7 pm. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Burlington. No cover; tip jar. stephpappas.
April 27: Alex Smith (trad folk) 7:30 pm
Performing Arts Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Stowe. $34. com
Positive Pie. 22 State St., Montpelier.
Stowe. $20 advance; $25 day of concert. May 5: Swing Dance and Big Band Concert.
229-0453. April 28–29: Mainly Maurice. The final Swing dance benefit for Green Mountain
April 27: DJ Gagu with Harder They
April 22: The Many Faces of Mozart: A Vermont Virtuosi concert series of the season Youth Symphony. Music by Green Mountain
Come (electronic) 10 pm. $5.
Life Told Through Music and Letters. will feature music mostly of Maurice Ravel, swing. Dance lessons. 6:45–10 pm. Old
May 4: Soule Monde (funk) 10 pm. $5.
This fascinating program pairs keyboard including a four-part arrangement of his Labor Hall, 46 Granite St., Barre. Adults $15;
Sweet Melissa's. 4 Langdon St., Mother Goose Suite and his Introduction children $10.
works from throughout Mozart’s career
Montpelier. and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet, and
with letters written by the composer to his
April 18: John Lackard Blues Jam, 7:30
family and friends. From K. 1, a minuet string quartet. Flutist and artistic director
Laurel Ann Maurer, harpist Rebecca
that Mozart composed at age 8, to the GMYS Auditions. Auditions for summer and
pm. Kauffman, clarinetist Karen Luttik, violinists
transcendent Adagio for glass harmonica fall placement in all three orchestras and
Whammy Bar. 7 pm; Fri. and Sat., written in his final year, all will be Letitia Quante and Brooke Quiggins, violist
CAMP: May 5, 19 & June 20. Open seats for
7:30 pm. 31 County Rd., Calais. Thurs., complemented by readings from Mozart’s Stefanie Taylor, and cellist John Dunlop
musicians novice through advanced next fall.
Free. incredibly colorful letters. 4 pm. Plainfield will also play music by Vincent Persichetti,
9 am. Center for Arts & Learning, 46 Barre
Every Wed.: Open Mic Town Hall Opera House, Rt. 2, Plainfield. Rebecca Clarke, and the world premiere of
St., Montpelier.; 888-
April 20: Marc Delgado (singer- $15; seniors $10; students and special rate Cesta domov, a clarinet quintet by Vermont
4470 $25 audition fee; the GMYS programs
songwriter) $5. composer David Gunn. $10 suggested
charge tuition, but need-based assistance is
April 21: Birch Hill Trio donation. 881-9153.
April 22: “Simon & Garfunkel Through available!
April 27: Big Hat No Cattle (Texas swing) April 28: 7:30 pm. Unitarian Church, 130
the Years” – Tribute by Bookends. Main St., Montpelier.
April 28: Broken String Band (bluegrass)
Acclaimed tribute duo sing the songs of April 29: 3 pm. First Baptist Church, 81
Simon & Garfunkel. 7 pm. Barre Opera St. Paul St., Burlington.
House, 6 N. Main St., Barre. $24–28. 476-8188.

CVSWMD Hazardous Waste Special Northfield. Lunch $13. Share Your Event!
Collection. 9 am–1 pm. Barre Town Garage, Dog Mountain Hosts 6th Annual Labor of Send your calendar listings to
129 Websterville Rd., Barre. $20 per car in- Love Volunteer Event. May 5–6. All who Due date for print in the next issue is April 26
district; $100 per car out-of-district. See website love Dog Mountain and The Dog Chapel are
for details: 229-9383 ext. 105 invited to come volunteer their time, talents,
Monthly Day-Long Retreats. Provides and expertise to throw Dog Mountain a party
an opportunity to deepen through a more of repairs, maintenance, and general sprucing
sustained period of practice. The schedule up. It’s a chance for everyone who enjoys Dog
includes periods of sitting and walking Mountain to honor the legacy of Stephen
meditation and dharma talks. Come for the and Gwen Huneck and to give back to the
morning only for the whole day. Light lunch community. Lunch provided. 10 am–4 pm.
is offered. 9 am–4 pm. Wellspring Center, Dog Mountain, Parks Rd., St. Johnsbury. www.
39 Church St., Hardwick. Free; donations 800-449-2580
welcome.; 917- People’s Health & Wellness Clinic’s 12th
4364 ext. 1 annual Bowl-A-Thon. Form your team and
Montpelier Bike Swap Presented by Onion reserve your lane today! 1–3 pm. Twin City
River Outdoors. Spring bike swap is back! Family Fun Center, Rt. 302, Berlin. Teams are
Hundreds of bikes of all types and sizes. asked to raise a minimum of $250 (or $50/
Consignments accepted April 29–May 4. 9 bowler on a team of 5) 479-1229.
am–noon. Onion River Outdoors, 20 Langdon
St., Montpelier.
Capital City Farmers Market. Shop from 50
local farms and producers all season long, rain
or shine. All products are grown or hand made
by vendors from central Vermont. Featuring
live music. 9 am–1 pm. State St., Montpelier.
Vermont Old Cemetery Association Spring
Meeting. Lunch then a presentation by Linda
DeNeergaard on the Richardson Cemetery
Restoration Project. Tour of the ongoing
restoration projects at the Roxbury Cemeteries.
Coffee hour: 9–10 am; meeting: 10 am–
noon; lunch: noon–1 pm; presentation: 1–2
pm. Brown Public Library, 93 S. Main St.,
PAG E 26 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE
Calendar of Events

noon–1 p.m. Live music every Tues., 10:30–11:45 Monteverdi Young Singers Chorus Rehearsal. Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve-step program for
am. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre New chorus members welcome. Wed., 4–5 pm. physically, emotionally and spiritually overcoming
St., Montpelier. Seniors 60+ free with $5 suggested Montpelier. Call 229-9000 for location and more overeating. Sat., 8:30–9:30 am at Episcopal Church
donation; under 60 $7. Reservations: 262-6288 information. of the Good Shepherd, 39 Washington St., Barre.
or 249-3970.
Ukelele Group. All levels welcome. Thurs., 6–8
HEALTH & WELLNESS pm. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St. Mooditude Support Group. A professional and
Bone Building Exercises. Open to all ages. 223-2518. peer-led support group, not a therapy group. For
Every Mon., Wed. and Fri. 7:30 am and 9:15 am. people with depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal
Barre Rock City Chorus. We sing songs from the
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E. affective disorder, dysthymia etc.). Every Wed.,
‘60s to ‘80s and beyond. All songs are taught by rote
ARTS & CRAFTS Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. using word sheets, so ability to read music is not
4–5 pm. Bethany Church,115 Main St., Montpelier.
Beaders’ Group. All levels of beading experience (downstairs at end of hallway). Free. 223-4111 or
Tai Chi for Seniors. Led by trained volunteers. required. All ages welcome; children under 13 should
welcome. Free instruction available. Come with a 522-0775.
Advanced class: every Mon. and Fri., 1–2 p.m. come with a parent. Every Thurs., 6:30–8:30 pm.
project for creativity and community. Sat., 11 am–2 pm Church of the Good Shepherd, 39 Washington St., Weight Loss Support Group. Get help and support
Beginners class: Tues. and Thurs. 10–11 am.
The Bead Hive, Plainfield. 454-1615. Barre. on your weight loss journey every Wed., 6–7
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rte. 2, E.
Tuesday Night Knitters. Every week except for the Montpelier. Free. 223-3322. pm. Giffords Conference Center, 44 S. Main St.,
Gamelan Rehearsals. Sun., 7–9 pm. Pratt Center,
first Tuesday of each month. All levels encouraged! Randolph. Free. No registration required. Open to
Living Strong Group. Volunteer-led group. Sing Goddard College. Free. 426-3498. steven.light@jsc.
A small but dedicated group of knitters invite you to all regardless of where you are in your weight loss.
while exercising. Open to all seniors. Every Mon., edu.
share your projects, questions, and enthusiasm for Wit’s End. Support group for parents, siblings,
2:30–3:30 p.m. and every Fri., 2–3 pm. Montpelier OUTDOORS
the fiber arts! Cutler Memorial Library, children, spouses and/or relationship partners of
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier.
151 High Street (US Route 2), Plainfield. 454-8504, Walks with Joan. Easy to moderate walks around someone suffering with addiction, whether it is
Free. Register: 223-2518. Montpelier for healthy exercise and conversation. to alcohol, opiates, cocaine, heroin, marijuana or
Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program. Every Tues., 10–11 am. Montpelier Senior Activity something else. Every Wed., 6–8 pm. Turning Point
Crafters Group. Bring your own projects, or work
Education and support to help adults at high risk Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518.  Center, 489 N. Main St., Barre. Louise: 279-6378.
together on projects to sell to benefit the Senior
of developing type 2 diabetes adopt healthier
Activity Center. We can all learn from each other! Trash Tramps. Walk around Montpelier collecting National Alliance on Mental Illness VT Peer
eating and exercise habits that can lead to weight
Every Wed., noon–2 pm. Montpelier Senior Activity trash to help beautify our city. Bring gloves, other Support Group. For anyone with any type of
loss and reduced risk. Every Tues., 10:30–11:30
Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. supplies provided. Every Tues., 2–3 pm. Montpelier mental health condition looking for confidential
am. Kingwood Health Center Conference Room
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. peer-led support among others living with mental
Photography Club. Every Thurs., noon–1 pm. Led (lower level), 1422 Rt. 66, Randolph. Free. Register:
223-2518. health issues. Every 2nd Thurs., 4–5:30 pm in
by professional photographer Linda Hogan. Great 728-7714.
chance to get and give some feedback on your work the Boardroom (basement level near cafeteria) at
Tai Chi for Falls Prevention. With Diane Des Bois. RECYCLING Central VT Medical Center on Fisher Rd in Berlin.
and see what others are doing. Montpelier Senior Additional Recycling. The Additional Recyclables
Beginners and mixed levels welcome. 2:15 pm. Barre Questions: Call Nick Martin at 876-7949 ext. 102 or
Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. Collection Center accepts scores of hard-to-recycle
Area Senior Center, 131 S., Main St., #4, Barre. Free.
Drop-in River Arts Elder Art Group. Work on art, Register: 479-9512. items. Mon., Wed., Fri., noon–6 pm; Third Sat.,
share techniques, and get creative with others. Bring
Tai Chi Classes for All Ages. Every Tues. and
9 am–1 pm ARCC, 540 North Main St., Barre. SPIRITUALITY
your own art supplies. For elders 60+. Every Fri., $5 per carload. 229-9383 x106. For list of accepted Christian Science Reading Room. You're invited
Thurs., 10–11 am. Twin Valley Senior Center,
10 am–noon. River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., items, go to to visit the Reading Room and see what we have for
Rte. 2, Blueberry Commons, E. Montpelier. Free.
Morrisville. Free. 888-1261. your spiritual growth. You can borrow, purchase or
223-3322. RESOURCES simply enjoy material in a quiet study room. Hours:
BICYCLING HIV Testing. Vermont CARES offers fast oral Onion River Exchange Tool Library. More than Wed.–Sat., 11 am–2 pm; Wed., 5–7:15 pm. 145 State
Open Shop Nights. Volunteer-run community bike testing. Wed., 2–5 pm. 29 State St., Ste. 14 (above 100 tools both power and manual. Onion River St., Montpelier. 223-2477.
shop: bike donations and repairs. Wed., 4–6 pm; Rite Aid), Montpelier. Free and anonymous. Exchange is located at 46 Barre Street in Montpelier.
other nights. Freeride Montpelier, 89 Barre St., 371-6224. Hours are Wed. and Thurs., 10 am–2 pm. For more A Course in Miracles. A study in spiritual
Montpelier. 552-3521. info. or to donate tools: 661-8959 or transformation. Group meets each Tues., 7–8 pm
KIDS & TEENS Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St., Montpelier.
BOOKS & WORDS The Basement Teen Center. Safe drop-in space 279-1495.
Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and to hang out, make music, play pool, ping-pong SOLIDARITY/IDENTITY Christian Counseling. Tues. and Thurs. Daniel Dr.,
practice your language skills with neighbors. Noon– and board games and eat free food. All activities Rainbow Umbrella of Central VT. Adult LGBTQ Barre. Reasonable cost. By appt. only: 479-0302.
1 pm Mon., American Sign Language; Tues., Italian; are free. Mon.–Thurs., 2–6 pm., Fridays 3–10 pm. group, meets the third Tuesday evening of the month
Wed., Spanish; Thurs., French. Kellogg-Hubbard Basement Teen Center, 39 Main St., Montpelier. at 5:45 pm. for a casual dinner at a local restaurant. Prayer Meeting. Ecumenical and charismatic prayer
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338. The gathering place is 58 Barre St. in Montpelier. meeting. Every 1st and 3rd Thurs., 6:30–8 pm.
Info: 8 Daniel Dr., Barre. 479-0302
Club de Français Intermédiaire. Lecture (reading). Story Time and Playgroup. With Sylvia Smith for
Conversation. Grammaire. Every Mon., story time and Cassie Bickford for playgroup. For Friday Night Group. Social gathering of LGBTQ Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For those
12:45–2 pm. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, ages birth–6 and their grown-ups. We follow the youth, ages 13–22. 2nd and 4th Fridays of the interested in learning about the Catholic faith, or
58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518. Twinfield Union School calendar and do not hold month, 6:30–8 pm. Free pizza and soft drinks. current Catholics who want to learn more. Wed.,
the program the days Twinfield is closed. Wed., Supervised by LGBT adults trained by Outright 7 pm. St. Monica Church, 79 Summer St., Barre.
Italian Group. A fun-loving group meets to converse Register: 479-3253.
10–11:30 am. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Vermont. Unitarian Church, Montpelier. For more
in Italian. Every Tues., 1:15–2:45 pm. Montpelier
Marshfield. Free. 426-3581. info, email Nancy: Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging text
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier.
223-2518.    Lego Club. Use our large Lego collection to create Bowling. Rainbow Umbrella of Central Vermont, study and discussion on Jewish spirituality. Sun.,
and play. All ages. Thurs., 3–4:30 pm. Kellogg- an adult LGBTQ group, bowls at Twin City Lanes 4:45–6:15 pm. Yearning for Learning Center,
BUSINESS, FINANCE, COMPUTERS, Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Free. on Sunday afternoons twice a month. For dates and Montpelier. 223-0583.
EDUCATION 223-3338. times, write to
One-on-One Technology Help Sessions. Free
assistance to patrons needing help with their
Dads & Kids Playgroup. Playtime and free dinner. SUPPORT Roller Derby Open Recruitment and Recreational
Every Thurs., 5–7 pm. For dads and their children Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place for Practice. Central Vermont’s Wrecking Doll
computers and other personal electronic devices. ages birth–5. Family Center of Washington County, Society invites quad skaters age 18 and up. No
30 min. one-on-one sessions every Tues., 10 am– individuals and their families in or seeking recovery.
383 Sherwood Dr., Montpelier. Daily, 10 am–5 pm. 489 North Main St., Barre. experience necessary. Equipment provided: first
noon. Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., come, first served. Sat., 5–6:30 pm. Montpelier
Waterbury. Free. Registration required: 244-7036. Drop-in Kinder Arts Program. Innovative 479-7373.
exploratory arts program with artist/instructor Sun.: Alchoholics Anonymous, 8:30 am. Recreation Center, Barre St. First skate free.
FOOD & DRINK Kelly Holt. Age 3–5. Fri., 10:30 am–noon. River Tues.: Making Recovery Easier workshops,
Community Meals in Montpelier. All welcome. Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261. 6–7:30 pm. Wed.: Wit’s End Parent Support Group, 6 pm.
Free. Christian Meditation Group. People of all faiths
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Thurs.: Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30 pm.
Teen Fridays. Find out about the latest teen books, welcome. Mon., noon–1 pm. Christ Church,
11 am–12:30 pm use the gym, make art, play games and if you need Al-Anon. Help for friends and families of Alcoholics. Montpelier. 223-6043.
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., to, do your homework. Fri., 3–5 pm Jaquith Public Sun.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., Montpelier
11:30 am–1 pm (back door) 6:15–7:30 pm. Zen Meditation. With Zen Affiliate of Vermont.
Library, 122 School St., Marshfield. 426-3581.
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier Wed., 6:30–7:30 pm. 174 River St., Montpelier.
11 am–12:30 pm Mad River Valley Youth Group. Sun., 7–9 pm. Free. Call for orientation: 229-0164.
(basement) noon–1 pm.
Thurs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., Meets at various area churches. Call 497-4516 for
Wed.: Bethany Church,115 Main St., Montpelier Montpelier Shambhala Meditation. Group
11:30 am–1 pm location and information.
(basement) 7–8 pm. meditation practice. Sun., 10 am–noon; Wed.,
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., Thurs.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 6–7 pm; learn to meditate — free instruction the 1st
11 am–12:30 pm MUSIC & DANCE Montpelier (basement) noon–1 pm Wed. of the month. New location: 5 State Street, 2nd
Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115 Barre-Tones Women’s Chorus. Open rehearsal. Find Sat.: Turning Point, N. Main St., Barre, 5 pm. floor, Montpelier.,
Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue), your voice with 50 other women. Mon., 7 pm. Capital (child friendly meeting)
4:30–5:30 pm City Grange, Rt. 12, Berlin.
Sex Addicts Anonymous. Mon., 6:30 pm. Bethany Sunday Sangha: Community Ashtanga Yoga.
Lunches for Seniors. Mon., Wed., Fri., Noon. 552-3489. Sunday, 7:15–8:15 pm Mantra and Pranayama.
Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. 552-3483.
Twin Valley Senior Center, 4583 U.S. Rt. 2, E. Dance or Play with the Swinging Over 60 Band. Saturday, 10–11:30 am. Funk N Flow Yoga. Grateful
Montpelier. $4 suggested donation. 223-3322. Danceable tunes from the 1930s to the 1960s. Yoga, 15 State St., 3F, Montpelier. By donation. Recruiting musicians. Tues., 10:30–11:45 am.
Feast Together or Feast To Go. All proceeds benefit Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Share Your Event!
the Feast Senior Meal program. Tues. and Fri., Montpelier. 223-2518. Send your calendar listings to
Due date for print in the next issue is April 26
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 27

ECONOMY is seeking to hire a Development
Manager to join our team in Hardwick.
This role would be a critical support person
sought for a new gear shop (carrying on
the spirit of the former, well-loved shop
THE BRIDGE SEEKS A SALES REPRESENTATIVE for our Executive Director and Board of
Directors, who set the fundraising goals and
in the same location). Full-time and part-
time, year-round and seasonal positions
DO YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR FREE, LOCAL AND INDEPENDENT strategies for the organization each year. available for both mechanics and sales
JOURNALISM IN VERMONT? Primary duties include: associates. Passion for outdoor pursuits,
The Bridge is seeking the assistance of a sales representative to help cover the Central Vermont managing the donor database, working with great communication skills, and personal
region, including Montpelier, Barre, Plainfield, Calais, Middlesex, Berlin, and Waterbury. Development Committee to implement experience with outdoor gear required.
specific fundraising activities, supporting the Bonus points for applicants who have
Candidates with sales experience and contacts in the region are preferred, but we are also
organization and implementation of Annual experience teaching outdoor activities, and
open to training someone with enthusiasm, charm, creativity, and old-fashioned moxie.
Appeal mailings and summer fundraiser, for mechanics who can morph into nordic/
We offer generous commissions on each sale and opportunity for advancement. Furthermore, BC ski techs for the winter. Both positions
and supporting grant research and writing.
the job is part-time and flexible regarding hours. assist with events and group rides. Some
• O.5 FTE: Halftime position with the weekend and holiday hours are a given,
For more information, contact Mike Dunphy at
potential to grow but so is a fun workplace in an active
• Compensation: Commensurate with community. Bring your big energy and
experience, range begins at $22,000 good ideas about how to create a successful
business and workplace. Paid vacation,
LEAD CARPENTER To advertise • Reports to: Executive Director
competitive wages, and other benefits
NEW FRAMEWORKS, a worker-owned, employment Please send your resume and cover letter to
Sarah Waring, sarah@hardwickagriculture.
available. Reply with resume and cover
email to
high performance natural building
company based in Burlington, VT is
opportunities at org.

looking for a Lead Carpenter to join our your business call Please include 3 references, and please ensure
that your cover letter addresses why you’d
team. Our ideal candidate has 10+ years
of construction experience, with at least 2 249-8666 or like to work with the CAE, and what your Tell them you saw
best fundraising activity or event has been in
years experience leading and supervising 223-5112 ext.11 a past work experience. it in The Bridge!
a crew. They are savvy in carpentry,
renovation, building science and high
performance construction techniques,
and are always eager to learn more. This
position requires strong communication
skills and interacts frequently with clients, COMPOST
subcontractors, vendors, and the whole New GROW COMPOST IS HIRING
Frameworks team. A full job description LABORERS. We are seeking at least 1
is available at part-time laborer. Must be willing to work
To apply, please email a cover letter and outside in all conditions, lift 50 pounds
resume to New repeatedly, and have a positive attitude. A
Frameworks is committed to creating and full time position is an option for the right
nurturing a culture which welcomes and person. We pay $12/hour to start, which
supports women, transgender and gender may increase based on performance. Email
nonconforming people, and those of diverse to apply.
racial, ethnic, religious, sexuality or other
marginalized groups, and urges them to
organization of school superintendents,
• Middle School Math Interventionist, seeks a Director for Communications and
BCEMS Professional Development.
• Library/Media Para Educator (2),
BCEMS This position develops and implements
• Office Manager, BCEMS VSA’s communications and professional
• Special Educator Long Term Substitute, development activities and supports the
BT overall work of the Association. The work
• Para educators for SHS, BCEMS, BT is accomplished with other VSA staff,
• VT Certified Librarian, Library Media Association members, the media and
Specialist long term sub, BT education partners. Other work in support
• Clerical Substitute, BSU Central Office of the Association’s overall mission will also
• Music Teacher Long Term Substitute - be performed. The position reports to the
April to June, BT VSA Executive Director.
• The following positions for FY18/19 at The ideal candidate possesses exemplary
BCEMS: communications expertise, the ability
• 3 Grade Teacher to develop and execute professional
• 2 Grade Teacher Anticipated development programs, analytical skills,
• Special Educator strong initiative and success in working in a
• Intensive Needs Special Educator team environment. Experience within, and/
Please apply through - or a strong familiarity with Vermont’s public
employment opportunities. Submit resume education system is desirable. Anticipated
and three reference letters and all applicable starting date is July 1, 2018. EOE
information requested. Please submit resume and cover letter to:
For more information: Contact Carol VSA Executive Director, 2 Prospect Street,
Marold 476-5011 ext. 1001 Suite 2, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 OR
PAG E 2 8 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

McCullough Fits Our Needs each brought in skill and experience in order us now. The means in this case, our City
Editor, to match the appointee with the needs of Charter, did justify the end.
the Council. Jack McCullough’s expertise Dot Helling, Montpelier
I had intended to let sleeping dogs lie, so and experience fills the gap. The fact that he
to speak. However, I have now listened to did not run in the March election is a non- Protect Moose, Don’t Hunt Them
the full recording of the City Council's issue. Perhaps he supported Casey or Geller
Special Meeting on April 5–6, held to Editor,
or Lalitha Mailwaganam, perhaps Casey
Complete Streets Committee appoint a District 2 representative for Mayor supporters would not have supported Geller The population of moose has drastically
Working to Make City Safer Watson's vacant seat. I did not find the or vice versa, perhaps Geller stacked the declined in Vermont as a result of winter
Editor, public participation as vitriolic as others March vote just as it appeared the Special ticks, brainworms, lungworms, loss of
have described, although the tension and Meeting of the City Council was stacked. As habitat, and hunting. Yet the Vermont
Readers of The Bridge might like to attitudes in the room were concerning. I one candidate said, we will never know how Department of Fish and Wildlife still
know: apologize to all three candidates for my the election would have gone if Watson had supports a 2018 moose hunt. For too
* Citizen volunteers are working to make comments on Front Porch Forum without not become mayor, or if Casey had not run, long the Department of Fish and Wildlife
Montpelier a friendlier, safer city for having been present and before having or had all of our District 2 registered voters and its board (solely made up of hunters
pedestrians and bicyclists. listened to the testimony. cast a ballot. and trappers with vested self-interests)
* Some of these volunteers serve on I am a District 2 registered voter. There have catered to hunters and trappers at
In my view the City Council did not the expense of wildlife, homeowners, and
the Complete Streets Committee, are 2,518 residents in the district who substitute their judgment for that of the
which meets in City Hall on the third were eligible to vote at this year’s Town non-hunting Vermonters.
District 2 voters, they looked at the merits.
Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to Meeting. Our district spoke loudly, but not Not all District 2 voters were heard. No one The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board’s
6:30 pm. overwhelmingly, in supporting Conor Casey looked at the political bent of the applicants rationale (and that of many moose hunters
* All are welcome to the meetings. to win the March election. Alex Geller did in deciding that each one of them would and hunting guides) is that if the moose
not win, nor did he or Casey come close to have been qualified. It turns out that the hunt is suspended, it will be hard to
* The Committee has six members and a majority of the district’s voters. I disagree reinstate it. This is how wildlife policy is
room for three more. If you’re interested best fit for the needs of this city right now
that Geller was entitled to be appointed is Jack McCullough, who has dedicated a made—by pandering to “sport” hunters
in joining, please contact me for more because he came in second in the polls. Even and irrational, self-serving thinking.
information. lifetime to the work of housing and what
the total votes cast for both Casey and Geller is good for this community. So what if he In the 1800s, the moose population was
*Many Montpelier businesses are offering do not add up to the voice of our district did not launch a masterful campaign, sit in nearly wiped out because of hunting. Now
discounts to pedestrians and bicyclists when barely a third of our voters cast ballots. peoples’ living rooms, and spend significant the moose again are suffering. Moose that
who are spotted using reflectors and What we need to work on is “getting out the time and money meeting us one on one? are injured and not recovered do not even
lights at night. Be seen and you could vote” so that our district is truly heard. Jack is a known entity. We should embrace count toward a hunter’s “bag limit.” Why
win! I agree with the City Council that the his willingness to take on this assignment is it that the Department of Fish and
Nancy Schulz, appointment merited an independent look and not expect him to wait two years to run Wildlife and the Board cater to a few
at the credentials of the applicants and what in an election when he can do so much for when the majority of Vermonters want to
Continued on next page
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 29

see ethical and responsible management?
Letters to the paper are not fact-
checked and do not necessarily
The fact that the non-hunting public and represent the views of The Bridge.
homeowners have so little say in the way
wildlife is managed by the Department
of Fish and Wildlife is undemocratic and
irresponsible. Animals can be trapped What Do You Think?
without having to be reported. Traps can
be set nearly anywhere, including on public
Read something that you
land near walking and hiking trails. Vermont would like to respond to? We
allows killing “contests” and “open” seasons welcome your letters and
on a number of animals. The way wildlife is
managed—or mismanaged—by Vermont’s
opinion pieces. Letters must
Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to be fewer than 300 words.
change. Opinion pieces should not
There are many Vermonters who enjoy exceed 600 words. The Bridge
viewing wildlife. Viewing wildlife provides
peace, beauty, and tranquility to hectic
reserves the right to edit and
lives. Wildlife watching, including viewing cut pieces.
moose, contributes to the economy. In
many states, it contributes far more than
Send your piece to:
hunting does. Those who like to view or editorial@
photograph wildlife, hike, and participate in
non-consumptive outdoor recreation need to
have a say in how policy is made and how Deadline for the next
wildlife is managed in Vermont. issue is April 27.
Alana Stevenson, Charlotte
PAG E 3 0 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

Remembering Daniel A. Neary (1940–2018)

Remembering Dan Neary as a Remembering My Father: A Writer’s Life
Friend of The Bridge by Jessica Neary
by Nat Frothingham Today, April 17, 2018, my father would have been 78.
In the past few weeks, I have been working closely with Instead he died peacefully a month ago at Woodridge
Carla Occaso to assemble a spread to remember and honor Nursing Home.
her father Dan Neary. My earliest memory of the importance of language in
Neary; who had a career as a writer, journalist and our family was in 1969. We were watching the moon
photographer; died on March 9. landing at my grandparents’ house in Mount Holly. My
grandfather exclaimed, “Look at all the detritus!” We
We remember and honor Dan Neary for a number of
laughed at the fancy word for moon rocks, and it struck
compelling reasons.
me that precision in language could be delightful.
In the earliest days of The Bridge, even before our first issue
My father was precise, not just in words but what he
was published, Carla remembers her father’s excitement
didn't say. He was not a talker, but a listener. His first
about the idea of a new Montpelier paper. He attended some
Vermont memory was a farmer calling his cows, “Ca-
of the early planning meetings and said Carla, “He would
Boss! Ca-Boss!” That simple call informed his writing
talk about The Bridge around the kitchen table at home.”
for the rest of his life. His career was dedicated to
Over the past few years, Dan expressed his friendship to voicing the concerns of Vermont farmers.
The Bridge by contributing his writing and photography. As
My father was funny. When serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer
an experienced journalist, he read the paper carefully and
was in the news my father declared,
critically and was keenly interested in its success.
“I would never associate with Jeffrey Dahmer!”
Until just a few months ago, Dan’s daughter Carla Occaso
was managing editor of The Bridge and from time to “Why not, Daddy?”
time Dan would join us at the paper for birthday parties “Because of his odious behavior!” He smiled as he spoke
and other special events. He quickly became part of our the understatement, at which I laughed out loud. No
extended family. word would have fit the subject, but “odious” was the
Neary was born in New York City. When he was a boy, his closest word he had.
family bought a summer house in Mount Holly, and he He read biographies of writers, and those written by
found himself drawn to Vermont. great writers. His journalism background lent a plainness to his style. He was resolutely
As a young man in his 20s, Neary graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree prosaic, yet his prose could rise to poetry.
in English. Subsequently, he earned a master’s degree in writing from Vermont College (now A source of literary pride to him was an early headline he crafted in the 1960s, as a
Vermont College of Fine Arts). After he met and married the former Emily Virginia Chew, reporter for the Portland Press-Herald in Portland, Maine. Describing a story about
the young couple moved to Vermont and finally settled in East Montpelier. the Kennebunkport Dump Society, he wrote, “A Refuge for Those who are Interested
Neary’s first job in Vermont was as a reporter for the Rutland Herald. From 1968 to 1973, in Refuse.”
Neary served as Bureau Chief for the Associated Press in Montpelier. He also worked for That was Daniel A. Neary, Jr. in a nutshell: clever, concise, words for their own sake.
the Vermont Department of Employment and Training. In local press circles, Neary is
still remembered for publishing several newspaper articles about the Vermont Legislature’s I miss him terribly. Every day I hear his voice and always will.
enactment of a law that required dairy farmers to install “bulk tanks.” This bulk tank Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney wrote about the Latin plaques in arboreta that they
requirement caused a flood of dairy farm foreclosures. weren’t needed, “And yet I like the names.”
The spread that follow includes a remembrance of Dan Neary by his daughter Jessica Neary. So did my father, and in there his greatness lay.
It also includes Dan Neary's essay about the coming of spring in Vermont, entitled "The
Coming of Green. And the spread includes a small selection of Dan Neary's photographs.

Since 1972
Repairs • New floors and walls
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114 Three Mile Bridge Rd., Middlesex, VT • (802) 229-0480 •
T H E B R I D G E A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 • PAG E 31

The Coming of the Green

by Daniel A. Neary Jr. Rocque Long
Between the whites of the melting
snows and the whites of blooming
apple blossoms, the green comes to • Insured
Vermont. Usually in early May, it rolls • 30+ years professional
northward and upward saturating the experience
fields, bushes and trees with verdure. • local references.
Naturalist Way Teale says spring green
creeps northward at the average rate
of about 15 miles a day and climbs
mountains at about a hundred feet a
It is an annual event of unsurpassed
visual beauty in Vermont (a state which
many believe owes half of its name to
the color green). In the springtime, the
color green takes on many shades. At
first, the shoots of grass penetrate the
matted browns in the fields. In the
woods, wild plants and weeds push
through the wrinkled leaves pressed
together by the weight of the thick
snow. Ferns yo-yo upward. Patches of
skunk cabbage unwind slowly, showing
large, corrugated leaves, even before
the buds appear on the trees.
For a short period in the early spring,
the green changes from a yellow, lighter shade to a bluer, darker color. Face into the sunlight
in the morning or evening, and the spots of the leaves from the poplar trees will shimmer
and glow in a delicate effulgence. At about the same time, the strands of leaves of the willows
will pick up color before the leaves appear on other trees. Patches of poplars and willows will
stand out as swatches of light green on an otherwise leafless hillside, long before it is drenched
in foliage. Buds of the maples, first tinted red and yellow will coruscate. Look across a green
meadow in the afternoon, and it will make you envy the grass-eating animals of this world …
luxuriant, yellow-green blades of grass are everywhere.
Grey planes of mountainsides are now a hodge-podge of colors of the lighter greens of the
meadows, next to the still darker blue green of the strands of spruce. It is all quite a contrast
from the white, dark green and grey of winter and the flat browns of early spring.
In some years, when there is a sunny spell coincident with the arrival of the green, a
phenomenon of incredible beauty takes place. It is impossible to photograph because the total
effect occurs over several days. Only the elements comprising this natural, impressionistic Design & Build • New Construction
sight can be pictured. The rest takes a little imagination and the ability to sustain visual
experience over a couple of days. Custom Energy-Efficient Homes • Renovations
With the sun at your back, face a ridge of mountains. Imagine the mountains are rocks on the
seacoast. Look at them: cold and grey, like rocks on the shore. When the wind blows, think
Additions • Timber Frames • Woodworking
Weatherization • Remodeling
of it as water rushing, filling the valley; the wind becomes the water turning the branches, • General Contracting
making them sparkle in the light. This sense of filling and crashing of water onto rocks also Kitchens • Bathrooms • Flooring
occurs when the green arrives. Foliage pours northward and upward over the craggy, worn
forms … a wave of green takes not seconds but days to roll, crest, splash and tumble. Tiling • Cabinetry • Fine Woodwork
The mountain ridge fills with the
green of spring like a wave of differing
shades, patterns, swirls and froth of
dotted green—first the buds bursting
in the valleys on the southern side, 223-3447
and then, the gentler greens of the leaf
sprigs in the foothills—buds at the
higher elevation—now in aggregate
looking almost white—in any event—
lighter than the greens below. Think
of the wave, the sea water rolling
forward, taking on colors of the rocks
and sky. At the top is the foam and
then the spray. Droplets form a mist
against the grey rocks. Finally, a halo
of mist and spray sparkles in the light.
That’s the way green looks on the sides
of the mountains in Vermont in the
spring—the movement, the rolling—a
time lapse sequence of spring—ocean
style. Spring greens go higher up the
mountains each day. Green climbs the
mountain—all that it takes to get the
name Vermont.
PAG E 32 • A P R I L 19 – M AY 2 , 2 018 THE BRIDGE

North Branch Nature Center Expands Programs by Sean Beckett

he warm spring winds mark the new position greatly expands the reach and our “New to Nature” events this spring and sings when passionate partners work toward
return of eastern bluebirds, the diversity of the public programming that summer: an exploration of 19th-century common goals from multiple angles. Our
emergence of spring wildflowers, the Nature Center can offer. ghost farmsteads hidden in our forests, a upcoming Montpelier BioBlitz (July 21–
and exciting new growth at the North I am that new full-time naturalist, and my “Bike and Bird” event to shatter the barrier 22) is a unique example of this sort of
Branch Nature Center. Since the unveiling primary goal over the next three years is between birdwatchers and mountain cross-pollination. The Nature Center, the
of our new community room in October, to engage a much wider cross-section of bikers, a “Feral Apple” outing to pick and Montpelier Conservation Commission,
the Nature Center has already become humanity with our natural world. Birding press cider from long lost wild orchards, a and the Montpelier Community Services
a regional hub for dozens of partner or botany walks, while bulwarks of every community storytelling potluck to gather Department will together be presenting
organizations and a place in which nature center, are but a small slice of the around common experiences and shared the largest nature festival that Vermont
thousands of guests can convene, learn, possible entry points that entice and inspire food. has ever seen. This 24-hour event is heavily
and conserve. But the new community- Vermonters. There will always be a place To launch such a truly diverse program flavored by each of its three hosts and
oriented facilities also came with new for birding and botany at North Branch, series, we’re cultivating a network of is packed with family activities, music,
“software:” a new full-time staff naturalist but we are now developing offerings for partner organizations with which to co- games, nature walks, live animals,
funded by a generous grant from the new audiences at the “edges” of traditional host collaborative programs. Rising tides camping, food, and more. Meanwhile,
Canaday Family Charitable Trust. This nature programming. Keep an eye out for lift all boats, and our collective impact biologists from across the northeast will
be conducting conservation-driven species
inventories of all of Montpelier’s natural
spaces. Designed to offer something for
everyone, we expect this BioBlitz to be a
partnership model that will inspire similar
collaborations in future seasons.
My role is also to helm and expand the
Nature Center’s citizen science initiatives.
There are few better ways to build a lasting
environmental ethic than by playing an
active role in the research and conservation
of our wildlife and wild places. This spring
we expanded our amphibian conservation
work with the launch of our Amphibian
Road Crossing Project. We are now
welcoming scores of volunteer “Crossing
Guards.” These dedicated volunteers are
stewarding over 130 migratory corridors
across central Vermont by rescuing
salamanders and frogs from busy roadways
while collecting data to assist state and
local transportation planners in advocating
for amphibian-friendly road design. As fall
approaches, we’ll also be expanding our
opportunities for volunteers to get involved
in our bird and owl banding research.
Longtime nature lovers can also expect
plenty of new opportunities to enrich their
knowledge of natural history. Although
we are working hard to connect nature
neophytes to the Vermont wilds, we are
simultaneously growing North Branch
as a center for immersive natural history
study. We’ve kicked off this initiative with
a spring series of mini-courses in field
ornithology, digital nature photography,
and forest forensics, and will offer a similar
menu of offerings this fall. The Nature
Center will soon be launching a Montpelier
chapter of the Vermont Master Naturalist
Program for residents seeking a deeper
understanding of their local landscape.
I join North Branch Nature Center
from the University of Vermont’s Field
Naturalist and Ecological Planning
Program, where my work centered on
place-based community engagement
around Burlington urban wilds. Before
that, I worked several years as a field
biologist and wildlife safari guide in the
heart of the northern Rockies. Working
around the country with critters and
citizens of all stripes, I learned that living
well, and living sustainably, ultimately
comes down to building relationships:
with our neighbors, with our community,
and with the creatures flying, swimming,
or growing around it. I see my role as
staff naturalist as that of a community
builder with an extra-large definition of