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Will Montpelier’s Youngest Voters Turn Out?

• Page 5

N ovember 1–N ovember 14, 2018
N ovember 1–N ovember 14, 2018

IN THIS ISSUE:

Pg. 4 French Block Apartments

Pg. 12 Vermont Laws and #MeToo

Pg. 16 Scooters Spark Debate

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Incumbents Thrive on Quiet Elections

By Tom Brown

W hether it’s the lack of compelling races on the statewide

ballot or Trump burnout, this year’s midterm election

in

Vermont

seems

to

lack the

energy one might

expect, given the tumultuous national political atmosphere.

“As an incumbent, it’s interesting, because the quieter it is the better it is for incumbents, because people have a hard time getting to know your opponent,” he said. “It’s incumbent on the challenger to challenge the incumbent.”

That doesn’t mean turnout will be low, especially in Montpelier, where two major bond issues and two proposed charter changes have sparked plenty of debate, but overall interest in candidates and campaigns appear down despite the persistent stream of divisiveness from Washington over immigration, the Kavanaugh

confirmation, attacks on the media, and more.

“It’s the quietest campaign I can recall,” four-term Washington County Sen. Anthony Pollina said. “There’s not a lot of excitement. When you do talk to people about politics, they want to talk about the national scene, or they don’t want to talk

about politics at all. It’s one or the other.”

Driving around central Vermont there appear to be fewer yard signs than usual, a lack of public candidate forums, and less political advertising on radio and TV, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s clear that at the local level incumbents are the beneficiaries of an electorate that might be distracted, and perhaps turned off, by the vitriol that permeates the national political debate.

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Vermont incumbents won 88 percent of their state legislative races in the 2016 election. That’s actually the lowest rate in New England and below the national average of 92 percent, but it could be a powerful deterrent to would-be candidates. The percentage of incumbents keeping their jobs is greater for statewide office holders, such as governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and so on.

Pollina said quiet campaigns favor the incumbent and are not good for democracy.

That’s evident in his own race, in which seven candidates are vying for three senate seats. Pollina said there has been only one candidate forum thus far, and it was not well attended. Vermont prides itself on the accessible retail nature of its politics. It remains one of the few places where if you want to meet a candidate and tell him or her face-to-face what’s on your mind, you can.

Part of the slow campaign season, Pollina said, is the lack of well- known Republicans running for statewide office. Republicans barely participated in the primary races for statewide offices, with perennial candidate H. Brooke Paige claiming wins in the races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, Treasurer, and Attorney General (and was unopposed in the last four). The party has since appointed candidates to run for those offices in the general election, but none has experience on the statewide level and only one, outgoing state Rep. Janssen Willhoit, running for Attorney General, has served in Montpelier.

Likewise, Democrats have not sufficiently challenged incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott, Pollina said. Democratic nominee Christine Hallquist, a former utility CEO in her first political race, has not been effective in pushing Scott on the issues, he said.

“The Democrats should be raising the issue of income inequality every day and challenging him that you can’t just cut taxes. You have to be willing to make investments and revitalize the economy,” Pollina said. “Phil runs a low-key campaign and that plays into his whole strategy.”

Will Montpelier’s Youngest Voters Turn Out? • Page 5 N ovember 1–N ovember 14, 2018 IN

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PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER

1

– NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Nature Watch by Nona Estrin
PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Nature Watch by Nona Estrin

Nature Watch

by Nona Estrin

PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Nature Watch by Nona Estrin

Moving Farther from the Sun

A n ethereal and

unexpected singing

of fox sparrows,

passing through from the Arctic Circle this morning, in a brief sunny moment of season reversal. These gray days highlight everything gold. Ginkgo leaves begin to turn and poplars, birch, tamarack, and beech hold center stage. Blueberry leaves burnish to peachy reds in the garden corner. Our position in the solar system tilts further from the sun each day as winter bides it's time.

Watercolor by Nona Estrin

PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Nature Watch by Nona Estrin

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER

1 – NOVEMBER

14,

2018 •

PAGE 3

HEARD ON THE STREET

Aubuchon Expands into Former Flower Shop

Aubuchon Hardware is expanding into the former flower shop space next door, a change that will increase the store’s footprint by about 15 percent, according to Aubuchon store manager Henry Witte. The new space, which will be used primarily for housewares and kitchenware, had been left vacant when Petals and Things moved farther up Main Street, Witte said.

Both the hardware store space and the former flower shop space are owned by Aubuchon Realty, a separate but affiliated company that recently sold the upstairs floors to Downstreet Housing for new affordable housing units. Witte said the hardware store lost about 200 hundred square feet in the back of its paint department for an elevator that will serve the housing units.

Business at the hardware store is “really good,” Witte said, and he noted that he looks forward to having occupied units upstairs. Two holes have already been created in the wall between the hardware store and the old flower store, and Witte said he hopes the store expansion will be completed by late spring “at the latest.”

Group Plans to Build Pocket Neighborhoods in Montpelier

As an outgrowth of recent “downsizing” meetings and discussions, a group of local households has formed the Silver Maple Community with the goal of building two small planned communities, one intergenerational and the other for residents over 55 years of age. The owner-occupied homes will be small, and the communities will be designed as “pocket neighborhoods,” with a central green as well as open space.

There will be an informational meeting for those interested in this initiative, whether for themselves or others, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, November 15, at the Montpelier Senior Center on Barre Street. Anyone unable to attend can email Silver Maple at silvermaplecommunity@gmail.com for a brochure.

Deer Hunting Season Runs Nov. 10‒25

Vermont’s regular deer-hunting season opens Saturday, November 10, and runs through Sunday, November 25. The state’s second archery season for deer will run December

1‒9.

In Montpelier, using a rifle within city limits is prohibited, according to Police Chief Tony Facos. However, hunters can use shotguns or bows and arrows to hunt within city limits. Crossbows are allowed for hunters 50 years or older. Montpelier requires that shotguns (and air rifles) not be discharged within 200 yards of any building or 100 yards of a road.

By state law, hunting is prohibited in any town on land that is posted. Posting land involves registering with the town clerk annually and posting approved signs at each corner of a property and at no less than 400-foot intervals along each boundary. State law also allows landowners to create safety zones where no shooting is allowed within 500 feet of their residences or other buildings. Approved safety zone signs must be posted at the corners of the safety zone and no more than 200 feet apart.

Rec Center Discussions Move Forward

The first of at least three public meetings was held on Thursday, October 25, on the feasibility of upgrading the Barre Street Recreation Center or constructing a new recreational facility to serve the needs of the community. The proposed model includes one or two indoor pools and, in partnership with the city, has been driven by the local citizens committee Jump and Splash. Ken Ballard of Ballard*King & Associates, a firm out of Denver with extensive expertise on the subject, moderated the meeting and is also holding meetings with private interest and community focus groups. There will also be a random survey conducted in the near future with an intended completion date for the study of late winter or early spring. Central Vermont residents are invited to join in the conversation.

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PAGE 4 • NOVEMBER

1

– NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Leasing Begins in January for French Block Apartments

By Phil Dodd

PAGE 4 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Leasing Begins in January for
Photos courtesy of Downstreet Housing and Community Development
Photos courtesy of Downstreet Housing and Community Development

T he 18 one-bedroom and studio apartments being built in the French Block

over Aubuchon Hardware are expected to be ready for leasing in January and

should be filled by May, according to Liz Genge, director of property and

asset management for Downstreet Housing and Community Development, which is developing the affordable housing project.

Monthly rents will be in the $800 to $875 range, including heat, for the units that are income restricted. Most of the units fall into that category. The rent will be somewhat higher for the few market-rate units. There is no parking associated with the units, except for two handicapped spaces behind the building that will be assigned to tenants. Other tenants will be able to purchase parking permits from the city at reduced rates.

Genge said 30 people have sent in applications for the 18 units, which are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify. That does not mean it is too late

PAGE 4 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Leasing Begins in January for

to sign up, though, as there are different categories of units depending on income, and not all applications will be approved, she said.

Nine units in the French Block will be available to single tenants with $32,640 or less in income (or two people with an income of $37,320 or less). One unit in the French Block will be available for a single person with an income of $43,500 or less (or two people with an income of $49,750 or less). For tenants, income is generally defined as gross income, Genge said.

Five units will be available for Section 8 federal housing assistance vouchers to single people with an income of $27,200 or less (or two persons with an income of $31,100 or less) and who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. Three of the units are market rate and will be available, regardless of income. Genge said she has heard, anecdotally, that there is a lot of interest in the market rate units.

Downstreet Housing has recently renovated three of the other apartment buildings it owns in Montpelier (at 15 Baldwin Street, 11 Bailey Avenue, and 37 Barre Street) and is now leasing those units. There is strong interest, and they should be filled by the end of the year, Genge said. To obtain applications for any Downstreet units, and for more information, go to downstreet.org.

PAGE 4 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Leasing Begins in January for

THE BRIDGE

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PAGE 5

Will Montpelier’s Youngest Voters Turn Out?

By Mike Dunphy

J ust as with student participation in a classroom, voter participation during elections is essential to making democracy successful and beneficial to all. Unfortunately, the nation’s second-largest voting bloc (and soon to be largest)—Millennials and

“Post-Millennials”—often participates the least, according to the data. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that just 51 percent of them cast a ballot, compared with

  • 63 percent of Gen X, 69 percent of Boomers, and 70 percent of those older.

Looking ahead to the midterms, which traditionally see fewer voters than in presidential years, polls show equally dismal numbers and often worse. One conducted in June by The Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic Monthly showed only 28 percent of those aged 18 to 29 say they are “absolutely certain” they’ll vote. A September Gallup Poll echoes this, with only 26 percent of the same age group saying they intend to vote.

On a local level, it’s difficult to say whether poll numbers will show the same low numbers, but what is sure, however, is that political consciousness is up in Montpelier High School, where The Bridge sat down to speak with three MHS seniors—Willem Slade, Adam Blair, and Sophia Currier—who plan to make their first votes this November.

“I haven’t heard anyone who says, ‘I don’t think I will vote,’ or ‘I don’t see the importance,’” says Blair of his voting-eligible classmates.

For Slade, “The students at Montpelier High School are very socially aware of local politics as well as national politics. There’s talk a lot in classrooms by the students about what’s going on in the world and why it’s important to bring these topics up and take action.”

Certainly, the fact that that the high school sits a stone’s throw from the State House and inside an activist city helps, but Currier also credits the political discussions and engagement in the classroom. “I think our school definitely hits that mark,” she notes. “They very much make it a point that if you want change you should be able to go out there and vote and have your voice heard.”

“I think the students, especially in the twelfth grade, try to start to incorporate some of that talk into the class where it might not be normally incorporated,” Slade reflects. “Teachers might not have that in their curriculum necessarily, but the classrooms in Montpelier High School and the teachers are open to having those kinds of conversations.” Indeed, all three students noted particular attention to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, which were streamed live in at least one classroom.

Political consciousness and discussion is often woven into the curriculum of the high school, starting in students’ freshman year, with a full semester government/civics class as part of a course called Principles of Social Studies, despite the fact that no civics course is actually required by the state of Vermont—one of 10 states that share this status. Nor does Vermont require students pass a civics exam to graduate, as in

  • 17 states.

That said, civics education is embedded in the state’s “global citizenship” standards, and schools develop their own standards regardless of whether they are part of an independent civics course or not. At MHS, civics education is woven into Principle of Social Studies, which includes a semester that asks students to “focus on the U.S. political system with an in-depth view of the main forces of our government. A deeper look into the lawmaking process students will understand many different elements influencing change. Students will understand how power and authority have been used, abused, expanded and limited through the role of elected officials and everyday citizens.”

According to MHS teacher, Heather McLane, these “concepts” of civics are also woven into several other courses. “We study civics for between an eighth to a quarter of the year in a class called Global Issues and Perspectives (GIP),” she explains. “I also teach a semester-long economics course and have a little bit of civics woven into that.”

In GIP, for example, students take part in “Project Citizen,” where they tackle an issue, ideally on a state or local level. “They then spend the next two weeks researching the history of the problem and the constraints and the perspectives of different stakeholders,” McLane explains, “Then they compile their learning into a presentation or report and present the findings to the relevant policy makers.”

Examples of past projects presented to city c ouncil members were about banning plastic bags, whether to build a new rec center, leash laws, skateboarding ordinances, net-zero proposals, and so forth. To school administrators, committees, or the school board, students have discussed a no-homework policy, banning plastic water bottles in the cafeteria, merging with U-32, and improving integration of personalized learning plans into the curriculum.

Several clubs are also active on campus, including Club Action, which McLane advises. “They organized the Race Against Racism, advocated for gun safety with petitions, rallies, and advocated for a constitutional amendment in Vermont to fully ban slavery.

This year they have organized the second annual Race Against Racism and now are working on get-out-the-vote efforts.”

Whether this translates into showing up at the polls remains to be seen, but the implication is clear. “I think a lot of the importance behind voting comes from those discussions,” Blair said, “and maybe we aren’t directly saying ‘This is why it’s important to vote,’ but we get to that by talking about issues.”

Students and teachers alike admit that while the issues are discussed and heavily engaged with by the students of MHS, the nuts and bolts of the voting process could perhaps get a bit more attention; for example how, when, and where to register; what the ballot looks like; when and where to vote; how to vote early or by mail; what to do if you are turned away; and so on. “I don’t know that we get a whole lot of structured teaching about voting and the importance of voting in class,” Slade reflects, while McLane notes, “Yes, I would agree that this is probably not focused on….”

For Currier, the motivation to vote may be damped by a perceived lack of respect from older generations. “Any vote counts. It just depends if people are going to take it seriously or not. To a lot of people, 18-year-olds are just mindless. We’re not old enough to be wise and know what’s going on. But we are just as aware, if not more so, because that’s what's going to affect us when we’re 50.”

Sadly, it took bullets and blood in the classrooms of America to get many leaders to finally listen to students in a serious way. “It’s the kids who are being shot,” Currier says, “so I think people took us more seriously with that topic.” No doubt it was helped by the walk-out of 150 Montpelier High School students on March 21, when they joined other Vermont high school students at a rally on the State House steps. Gov. Phil Scott’s signature on a trio of gun-control bills—S.221, H.422, and S.55—soon after, in April, also seems to provide evidence they were listened to.

Will they ride this success to the voting booths? Only the election results will tell.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 5 Will Montpelier’s Youngest Voters Turn

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THE BRIDGE

OP-ED

Montpelier Mayor Urges ‘Yes’ Vote on Ballot Items

By Anne Watson

Hey Montpelier,

As November 6 approaches, friends of mine have been asking me what I think about the upcoming ballot items, so I thought I’d share with everyone my thoughts on each article, not including candidates running for office. Here’s what you’ll have the opportunity to vote on, and for what it’s worth, what I think about each item.

The Parking Garage

The parking garage is going to be a great improvement to our downtown. Here are a bunch of reasons why:

• Once built, the stormwater runoff will be better than it is now, as it’s currently just an asphalt parking lot. This new plan includes stormwater remediations.

We’re planning to put solar panels on the roof. If it weren’t for the elevators, this building would be net-zero energy.

• We plan on putting in electric vehicle charging stations, with capacity to add more.

• With so many more parking spaces available here, the green space of Confluence Park will be bigger, as we’ll reduce the parking at the 1 Taylor Street transit center by six spots.

• There’s going to be public art on the side facing the river. Delightful!

• Alongside the public art, as well as on other sides of the garage, there will be greenery growing.

• Have you seen the rendering of the deck and the connection to the bike path? I think it looks welcoming and pleasant.

• The increased parking on this site will enable affordable housing projects in the area, more specifically, housing behind Christ Church.

• Montpelier could use more parking, and this project will add 160 net new parking spaces right downtown. This represents a 26 percent increase in the total number of public parking spaces available.

• Once we build it, we can use our limited surface area elsewhere for things other than parking.

• The land was donated by the Basharas. • This garage will leverage a new 80-room hotel. This means • More festivals and conferences in Montpelier • More people downtown, more activity, and more customers • More meals, rooms, and alcohol tax revenue

• The $10.5 million cost to build the garage will be paid back over time. The plan is that there will be no need to spend taxpayer dollars on this, and ultimately this will be revenue generating for the city.

I recognize that this is an article about which reasonable people can disagree. I’ve heard one or two friends asking, “Why are we building car infrastructure when cars contribute to global warming?” You may have seen images showing how much of the downtown surface area is dedicated to parking. I believe that stacking parking is a better solution than dedicating so much of our land to parking. This will also enable other projects, potentially a bike lane on Barre Street, or new parklets, both of which will require losing parking spaces elsewhere.

My vision for the transportation system in Montpelier recognizes that no one solution will work for everybody. While no single solution will work for everyone, I believe that a net-zero future for Montpelier includes electric vehicles. (If you haven’t seen Tony Seba’s talk on YouTube about the Clean Energy Disruption, check it out!) A parking garage with electric vehicle charging stations (and room to add more) is a legitimate part of a clean-energy future. Electric vehicles will need to be charged somewhere during the day. Let it be here, in this parking garage.

So please vote yes.

PAGE 6 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE OP-ED Montpelier Mayor Urges ‘Yes’

Water Resource Recovery Facility, Organics-to-Energy Upgrades

This item will have a significant impact on our city’s energy profile. In most municipalities their wastewater treatment facility is the single biggest energy consumer operated by the city. We continue to make energy improvements to ours, but this project will take our waste water treatment facility to thermal net-zero energy, with the potential for generating electricity in the future as well.

Seventeen million dollars is a lot of money, but we will have new contracts to take additional fluid organic waste that will pay for that investment over time. Future fluctuations in water or sewer rates will actually be improved because of this deal. This is because the developer, Energy Systems Group, is giving us a guaranteed return. In case Energy Systems Group folds, we’ll have a surety bond to back up their guarantee. Even if we bond for both the garage and the organics-to-energy project, we will still be within our self-imposed debt limit and significantly well within the legal debt limit for municipalities.

So please vote yes.

Legal Resident Non-Citizen Voting

Like most people, I used to think that it was just not legal for non-citizens to vote. Period. But it turns out that according to federal law, non-citizens are only barred from voting in state and federal elections. Nothing expressly prohibits non-citizens from voting in local elections. Great, so if it’s not prohibited, maybe we can extend this privilege to our legally documented, non-citizen, tax-paying, permanent resident, green-card-holding neighbors. If we wanted to allow non-citizen residents to vote on Montpelier-only ballot items, we need to approve a charter change to allow us to do that. (This would not include any school-related items, since we just merged with Roxbury.)

To be clear, we’re talking about people who are here legally and fully documented. We’re talking about our friends, spouses, and neighbors who live, work, and raise their families in Montpelier. These people pay taxes.

So please vote yes.

Plastic Bag Ban

If we want to ban plastic bags, we’ll need to change our charter to get permission to do this. I think of this item as a tool for aligning our beliefs and our actions. No one especially wants to be using plastics. We know they’re bad, but we keep using them. I probably don’t need to tell you about the Pacific gyre, the plastic island larger than Texas. I don’t want to pull too much on your heart strings—I know they’re probably a little sore these days.

Academically, I know that the chemical composition of plastics is bad for the

environment, but that message does not always translate into remembering to bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. People have survived without plastic bags. It will be okay. This is common in Europe and

Mayor Anne Watson
Mayor Anne Watson

in many cities across the United States. Brattleboro has banned plastic bags. We can’t be outdone by Brattleboro! I’m sure I’ll forget my reusable bags a few times, and I’ll need to carry my groceries home awkwardly, but eventually I’ll remember, too. We’ll get through it, and there will be less plastic in the ocean as a result. The problem of plastic pollution is so significant I believe any step we can reasonably take toward cutting out single-use plastics from our lives is a step worth taking.

You’ll notice that the language of the charter change also includes straws and other single-use plastics. The council has no immediate plans to regulate straws or other single use plastics, but perhaps in the future we could make plastic straws available only when requested. Those are conversations we can have in the future, and we’ll want public input. At least with this charter change we can have the conversation.

Our local Shaw’s, by the way, is for a plastic bag ban.

So please vote yes.

THE BRIDGE

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PAGE 7

Sample Ballot

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 7 Sample Ballot Charter Change Ballot

Charter Change Ballot Items Explained

I f you’re like us, you have found yourself

in the voting booth on Election Day

being asked to decide yea or nay on a

legalistically worded ballot question and discover you have no idea what it’s about. Well here are the two charter change proposals Montpelier voters will be asked to decide on November 6 and what they would actually do.

The bold text is the wording you will see on the ballot and below that is the actual charter change language that is proposed. Article III is whether to allow non-U.S. citizens who live in Montpelier to vote on municipal matters, and Article 4 would give the city council the authority to ban the use of certain non-reusable plastics in the city. Each charter change, if passed by voters, must be approved the state legislature.

ARTICLE III Shall the city amend the city charter by adding Subchapter 15 —Supplemental Voting Registry to Section II allowing non-citizen legal residents to vote on Montpelier city ballot items?:

Charter change language:

Subchapter

15

Supplemental

Voting

Registry

§

5–1501

Eligibility

of

Non-Citizen

Voters

 

In addition to

17 V.S.A.

§ 2121,

any

person may register to vote in Montpelier

City elections who, on election day:

  • (a) is a legal resident of the United States;

  • (b) is a resident of the city of Montpelier as

defined in 17 V.S.A. § 2122(b);

  • (c) has taken the voter’s oath; and

  • (d) is 18 years of age or more.

§ 5–1502 Supplemental Voter Registry; City Clerk Duties to Maintain

Any non-citizen voter shall be placed on a separate, supplemental voter registry held by the City Clerk. This supplemental voter registry shall be treated and maintained in the same manner as a voter checklist under 17 V.S.A. §§ 2141–et seq. The City Clerk shall develop all necessary forms and procedures for implementation of this subchapter.

§ 5–1503 City Election Ballot

In any election involving: (1) a federal, state, county, special district, or school district office or question; and (2) a city question or city office; the City Clerk shall prepare and provide to any non-citizen voter a ballot that contains only the city questions and candidates.

Continued on next page

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§ 5–1504 Definitions

  • (a) “Legal resident of the United States”

means any non-citizen who resides

in

the

United States

on a permanent

or

indefinite basis in compliance with federal

immigration laws.

  • (b) “Non-citizen voter” means any voter

that registers and qualifies to vote in city elections under § 5–1501 but is not a citizen of the United States. A non-citizen voter shall not be eligible to vote on any state or federal candidate or question by virtue of registration under § 5–1501.

  • (c) “Supplemental Voter Registry” means

a voter checklist populated by voters who qualify under §5–1501 but are not citizens of the United States. Such checklist shall be held separate from any other voter checklist held or maintained by the City.

ARTICLE IV Shall the city amend section 5-301 the city charter to allow the city to regulate issues and activities within the city that relate to community and environmental sustainability, as agreed to by the City Council on October 3rd?

Charter change language adds item (9) to Council powers:

§ 5–301.

Powers and duties of City

Council

(9) Regulate, license, or prohibit, within the boundaries of the City, point of sale distribution of non-reusable plastic bags, non-reusable plastic straws and similar plastic products that are not reusable, and to define what constitutes reusable in this context.

PAGE 8 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE § 5–1504 Definitions (a) “Legal

Sample Ballot

PAGE 8 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE § 5–1504 Definitions (a) “Legal

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PAGE 9

Incumbents Thrive on Quiet Elections

Continued from Page 1

One race in which Republicans have fielded a strong candidate is that for lieutenant governor, where Rep. Don Turner, House minority leader, is challenging Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, a Progressive/Democrat.

Pollina said if more elected Republicans such as Turner would compete for statewide office, it would raise the party’s profile and build its bench, even if those candidates should lose. “If you lose, you lose,” he said. “Only one gets to win. It doesn’t mean you're not as smart or not as good, it just means you didn’t get as many votes.”

And more compelling races at the top of the ticket builds more excitement and interest in down-ballot contests, he said.

“Without the energy at the top it’s hard to create energy at the lower level,” Pollina said. “Because of what is going on at the national level, there’s burnout and a lot of fear. It’s a time when voters may feel perfectly comfortable with the people in office. As it is we have a kind of stability here that other parts of the country don’t have.”

In addition to the state senate race, incumbents are looking to hang onto their part-time jobs in nine Washington County House races. Only the Washington-1 district, which includes Northfield and Berlin, has an open seat (see story on page 10). Three of the other eight races are uncontested. Here’s a look:

Washington-4 (Montpelier): Democratic Rep. Warren F. Kitzmiller is seeking his ninth elected term after being appointed in 2001 to fill the seat held by his late wife, Karen Kitzmiller. Democrat Mary Hooper, who sits on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, is seeking her sixth term. They are being challenged by Norwich University adjunct professor Glennie Sewell, a Progressive.

Washington-2 (Barre Town): Democrat J. Guy Isabelle looks to unseat incumbent Rep. Rob LaClair, a Republican, or Rep. Francis “Topper” McFaun, a Republican/Democrat.

Washington-3 (Barre City): Incumbents Paul N. Poirier, an independent, and Tommy Walz, a Democrat, face off against Democrat Peter Anthony and Republican John Steinman in the two-seat district.

Washington-5 (East Montpelier, Middlesex):

Incumbent

Democrat

Kimberly

Jessup

is

unopposed.

Washington-6 (Calais, Marshfield, Plainfield): Incumbent Democrat Janet Ancel is unopposed.

Washington-7 (Duxbury, Fayston,

Moretown, Waitsfield, Warren): Incumbent Democrat Maxine Grad and independent Ed Read are seeking re-election against challengers Kari Dolan, a Democrat; Bob Readie, an independent; and Neil Johnson of the Green Mountain Party.

Washington-Chittenden (Bolton, Buels

Gore, Huntington, Waterbury): Incumbent Reps. Tom Stevens and Theresa Wood are unopposed.

Lamoille-Washington (Elmore, Morristown,

Woodbury, Worcester): Reps. Gary Nolan, a Republican, and David Yacovone, a Democrat, are challenged by Democrat Avram Patt.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 9 Incumbents Thrive on Quiet Elections
THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 9 Incumbents Thrive on Quiet Elections

PAGE 10 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER

14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Vacant Seat Attracts Six Contenders in Northfield, Berlin

By Tom Brown

O pen House seats in Washington County are as rare as hen’s teeth, but voters in Northfield and Berlin will find one such cuspid on the November ballot.

Six candidates are vying to fill two seats in the Washington-1 House district, including the one vacated by incumbent Republican Rep. Patti Lewis, who is not seeking re- election after serving four terms.

Two Democrats, Denise MacMartin of Northfield and Jeremy Hansen of Berlin (who is also a Progressive), are seeking to make inroads in a district that has been solidly Republican in recent years. They will face two Republicans, incumbent Rep. Anne Donahue and businessman Kenneth Goslant, as well as independent Rebecca Trower and Gordon Bock, who was defeated in the August Democratic primary but is on the ballot representing the “Berlin-Northfield Alliance.” The last four are all from Northfield.

PAGE 10 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Vacant Seat Attracts Six Contenders

Anne Donahue, Republican

Donahue, who is seeking her ninth two-year term, is certainly favored to retain her seat, leaving Lewis’s spot up for grabs.

Donahue is vice-chair

of

the

House

Committee on Health Care and has been active in the areas of healthcare reform and mental health advocacy throughout her tenure.

“I never would have envisioned serving this long,” she said. “It’s always been a decision made every two years. If I’m still a benefit to the people in the community that’s good. If I’m not doing what people think needs to be done, or if the agenda is different, they will let me know.”

She said she supports the state’s movement toward accountable care organizations (ACOs) in which medical providers are paid for maintaining the health of a certain patient population rather than traditional fee-for- service billing.

“Accountable care organizations can create uniformity,” Donahue said, “because doctors are paid to keep patients well by working together.” But she worries about ACOs becoming another layer of bureaucracy.

She also said she has decided to support a taxed and regulated retail marijuana market but will push for amendments that protect children and address DUI issues.

Donahue is not convinced that moving the funding mechanism for education away from property taxes and toward income taxes is the solution to Vermont’s declining enrollment and increasing school costs.

“The biggest problem is what we are spending, not which pot we take from to pay for it,” she said, adding that the current income sensitivity program shields people with high property values and low incomes.

PAGE 10 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Vacant Seat Attracts Six Contenders

Ken Goslant, Republican

Goslant, owner

of

a

granite memorial

business and chair of the Northfield

Selectboard, said the

state

needs to

find

ways to increase affordability and attract

young families.

“I think we should focus on affordability and living within our means,” he said. “I support affordable health care, career and technical education, and ways to encourage more businesses. I support the governor’s policy to spend within our means. We cannot keep spending more than we take in.”

He said millions spent on pursuing a single- payer health care system was “wasted” and that the state needs more competition among private insurers.

Goslant said he was willing to listen on the issue of a taxed and regulated marijuana market but was concerned about enforcement.

He said he finds the divisiveness of politics unnecessary. “I can’t stand the constant fighting. Why can’t we sit around and talk things out? Let’s go into a room, have grown-up conversation, and find a solution that makes Vermont a better place.”

PAGE 10 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Vacant Seat Attracts Six Contenders

Jeremy Hansen, Progressive/Democrat

This is Hansen’s third bid for the House (he also ran for Senate once). Hansen, an associate professor of computer science at Norwich University and vice-chair of the Berlin Selectboard, finished third in the two- seat district in 2014 and 2016.

He said he is running because he believes his communities are not being properly represented by Republicans who align with Gov. Phil Scott.

“The fact that we passed a minimum wage bill this year, and a family leave bill this year, and a toxics bill this year, all of which were vetoed by the governor, reinforced in me why the folks in Northfield and Berlin need another representative that is going to vote for those things and not against those things.”

He said his focus will be on infrastructure (including communications and broadband as well as roads and bridges), education, and universal health care.

Specifically, he believes the state should provide universal primary care, which would provide checkups for every resident of the state.

“A lot of people don’t go for a checkup because they have crummy insurance or essentially no insurance and they are saddled with a bill of however much just from a checkup,” Hansen said.

Hansen is also leading the effort to create a fiber-optic broadband network in Central Vermont. His Central Vermont Internet group has 16 towns interested, including Montpelier.

I’m already working for folks in Northfield and Berlin and have been in a variety of ways,” he said. “I’m just looking to do so in a slightly different capacity.”

PAGE 10 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Vacant Seat Attracts Six Contenders

Denise MacMartin, Democrat

MacMartin, a retired college administrator, was inspired to run because of concerns she has about the availability of good quality child care, student debt loads, and affordability issues faced by young working families in Vermont.

“Child care is an investment in something that we get a return on by keeping parents in the workforce,” MacMartin said. “Pay for child care providers needs to be adequate as well.”

MacMartin, who also supports a $15 minimum wage, said the lack of child care keeps parents from holding down jobs and contributes to childhood poverty and other social issues.

She suggested an increase in the state’s child care subsidy “to make it more in line with what it costs,” and said the state could better guide child care providers through the maze of regulations to obtain proper credentials.

MacMartin believes the state should move to a more income-based method of paying for schools and does not believe the state should mandate staff-to-student ratios.

“There’s a lot of possibility in that model of income tax,” she said. “As our population in schools decreases, schools are going to start cutting staff in an natural and organic way.”

The general election is Tuesday, November 6, and early voting is underway.

Gordon Bock, Berlin-Northfield Alliance

Bock, an advocate for inmate rights, finished fourth in the Democratic primary but said he decided to stay in the race because he believes he the most qualified to serve in Montpelier.

"Other than Anne Donahue, I am the only one who has experience testifying before legislative committees and represent be a positive change for good in the State House," he said.

A foot injury and subsequent infection limited his ability to campaign but he points votes to his website GordonBock.org.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 11
THE BRIDGE
NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER
14,
2018
PAGE 11

PAGE 12 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER

14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Are Vermont Laws Keeping up with #MeToo?

By Sarah Davin

A ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women

will experience sexual violence at some point in their lives, and this national statistic doesn’t even begin to address the additional effects of race, sexuality, disability,

and nontraditional gender identities. There is no evidence to suggest that the situation in Vermont differs at all from this statistic.

In 2017, 1,376 sexual violence victims were served by the Vermont Network Coalition, a collection of organizations that provide services to individuals who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. These services have always been important, but the rise of the #MeToo movement catapulted conversation about sexual violence into the mainstream, and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings highlighted the adversity victims face after coming forward and the complex nature of trauma.

Of 1,000 rapes, only six rapists will be incarcerated, says the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. When faced with abysmal results like this and a cultural drive for change, has the Vermont Legislature been keeping up? Laws surrounding sexual violence received a big upgrade last year. In 2017, the state’s statute for sexual assault was updated from having a statute of limitations of six years to no time limit.

This is an important change when dealing with trauma. “We did that because the criminal legal system functions on a timeline, but trauma does not,” said Auburn Watersong, Public Policy Director of the Vermont Network. “Those stories can be hung on to for a long while until there is some event or some reason that a victim would want to bring that story forward.” In May 2017, Vermont passed a piece of legislation known as the Sexual Violence Survivors Bill of Rights. Last year, the statute of limitations for “lewd and lascivious conduct against a child” and “sexual exploitation of a child” was also changed from 6 to 40 years.

Making laws around sexual violence isn’t always easy or straightforward. While other states have “sexual battery” or “non-consensual sexual contact” statutes, Vermont has a very old statute for “lewd and lascivious conduct,” which covers “all things sexual and improper.” This statute also addresses prostitution and indecent exposure. Last year, stakeholders met to look at the lascivious conduct statute in depth and considered creating a new statute to

PAGE 12 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Are Vermont Laws Keeping up
PAGE 12 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Are Vermont Laws Keeping up

address sexual violence that is not considered sexual assault—in this case, legally defined as rape. However, rewriting a statute also eliminates valuable prior case law.

Ultimately, the stakeholders decided to leave the lascivious conduct statute alone. Cara Cookson, Public Policy Director and Victim Assistance Program Coordinator for the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, explained, “The answer to [the] question ‘would it better’ doesn’t have an easy answer—there are pluses and minuses. Ultimately, though, I’m not hearing that we have a problem along the lines of conduct that should be criminal isn’t covered, at least not until the conversation starts to move toward the fine line between protected speech/expressive conduct that is protected by the First Amendment and conduct that is threatening and/or involves a physical component.”

While it is essential to address potential legal weaknesses, change must also be made culturally. A good example of this is problems preventing sexual harassment. Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect against sexual harassment in workplace and educational settings as a matter of gender discrimination. However, outside of those settings, things get more challenging. Unless it carries a threat or involves stalking, sexual harassment that is purely speech cannot be prosecuted because it is protected by the First Amendment. Although acts such as catcalling are socially condemnable, it is harder to create legal repercussions without overstepping boundaries.

Although Vermont made progress last year, activists believe there is a much more that still needs to be done. Currently, there are multiple state bills listed on the Vermont Network’s 2018 Policy Agenda intended to benefit victims of domestic and sexual assault. One such bill would “include psychological abuse as a factor in applying for a Relief from Abuse Order.” Another bill in progress would help “prevent retraumatization of child and vulnerable adult victims in court proceedings.”

As November 6 approaches, Vermonters will have an opportunity to further support victims of sexual and domestic violence. When asked what kind of changes he would like to see, Keith Goslant, sexual violence survivor, responded, “I hope people are asking candidates when they go to do the door-to-door and the open forum about supporting victims. One of the concerns I have always had, and get from doing advocacy work with other survivors of sexual violence is, if you look at how our judicial system is structured, there’s a public defender who represents the interest of the alleged perpetrator, and then there’s the state’s attorney who is representing the interest of the state. The state’s attorney doesn’t represent the interest or the rights necessarily of the victim of the crime.”

Anna Nasset is the owner of Stand Up Resources, which provides marketing, design, and communications services to victims services centers and agencies. Recently, she has also begun publicly speaking about her own experience as a victim and survivor. Nasset recounted,

“Recently a friend said to me, ‘I feel like the mountain we’re climbing keeps getting bigger and bigger.’ I said to her, ‘No, the mountain isn’t getting bigger and bigger, we’re just seeing it clearer. The clouds are rolling away, and we’re seeing how big it’s always been.’”

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 –

NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 13

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 13 Town Clerks of Central Vermont

Town Clerks of Central Vermont

By Dot Helling

W hen Eva Morse was town clerk of Calais, the office was located in a small

addition and sun porch of her house off a dirt road near Maple Corner.

Inside, you had to squeeze onto a small antique table to do title searches. The

land records were stored in a very old safe and carefully placed like a jigsaw puzzle to make them fit. More than one lawyer working in the space on a complicated title was a challenge, more than two was impossible.

Not only were you shoulder to shoulder with Eva, but you were also surrounded by her massive orchid collection and a dozen or so cats, which often sat on your papers in the hopes of a scratch under the ears. The office was a hub of town business affairs, and there was no missing out on the latest news and gossip. Today, Calais has a very new and efficient town office with the land records safely and neatly organized inside a spacious walk-in safe.

Few of the other offices were as cozy and unique as the one in Calais, but many town clerks remain housed in older buildings with plenty of history and aged qualities. One of my favorite places to search titles was the old Moretown Town Clerk offices, which were washed out by Tropical Storm Irene and forced to move. They closed for lunch, and I would take the hour to run around Moretown, directed to new roads and trails by the locals. I spent days and days searching title on Ward Lumber Company properties and almost became a title record myself.

The town clerk’s office in Brookfield is another that retains its historic character. It shares a small clapboard building in the lower village with the town library. It has creaky floors, tricky plumbing, and drafty windows, but, again, has lots of history and character. Even in Montpelier and Barre, where the city offices are located in large “hall buildings,” we are embraced by the past. Whatever structures they work in, our town and city clerks carry large responsibilities, which include the recording and protection of public records and the most important job of overseeing our voters and elections.

Town and city clerks are elected officials charged with duties under Title 24 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated. The East Montpelier charter, which is consistent with other Vermont towns and cities, describes their “Duties and Responsibilities” this way:

• Serve as chief election officer of the town and as such: conduct all elections in accordance with state and federal laws; manage registration of voters; direct activities of election volunteers; and, communicate as mandated with the Vermont Secretary of State.

• Serve as a member of, and clerk to, the East Montpelier Boards of Civil Authority and Tax Abatement.

• Manage recording of all deeds and official documents. • Manage issuance of necessary documents for, and recording of, all vital statistics (births, deaths, marriages, etc.); serve as registrar of all vital records. • Serve as custodian of town records; ensure the safety and preservation of all records. • Ensure accuracy and attention to detail in the management of voter registration, issuance of licenses and certificates, and recording of Property Transfer Tax Returns and other legal instruments; maintain associated records of documentation at the town and state levels. • Manage the collection and recordkeeping of fees for licenses, recordings, and other documents, as well as for professional research; work with the town treasurer on any required reporting and revenue transfers to the state. • Ensure good customer service to all professionals and members of the public accessing the services provided in the East Montpelier municipal office. • Provide the public with accurate municipal information. • Contribute to town report, website, and East Montpelier Signpost newsletter. • Routinely participate in workshops, trainings, and other educational opportunities to ensure that the town knows and applies best practices to record and database management, and is aware of and properly handles state mandates and expectations regarding election issues, vital statistics, licensing, and recordkeeping.

• Perform other duties as necessary or requested to ensure the proper functioning of the town government.”

Most of our town clerks hold their offices as a life career. As a result, they know the pulse of the community and may be your first line of inquiry whenever you need assistance and don’t know where to turn. The responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially on election day, and especially when races and bond issues are contested. When you go to the polls on November 6, remember to thank the staff for their services, particularly in such days of emotional controversy around our politicians and ballot issues. They manage the system fairly and independently so that we voters can be heard.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 13 Town Clerks of Central Vermont
THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 13 Town Clerks of Central Vermont

PAGE 14 • NOVEMBER

1

– NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Hunger Mountain Seeks Donations for Holiday Grocery Bags

E ach December for the past 15 years, Hunger Mountain Co-op has supported local organizations and area schools by donating grocery bags filled with nutritious food.

To fill the Holiday Grocery Bags with high-need, healthy staples, the co-op collaborates with Northfield Savings Bank, co-op members, shoppers, and vendors, such as Vermont Coffee Company, Albert’s Organics, and La Panciata Bakery. Through these partnerships, the co-op sources high-quality, nutritious products, including organic peanut butter, local apples, and freshly baked bread, to fill 650 grocery bags. The retail value of each bag is more than $30.

In mid-December, volunteers and co-op staff will gather at the Vermont Foodbank’s warehouse in Barre to assemble this year’s bags. Five local organizations and three area schools, including Barre City Elementary, Barre Town School, Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, Family Center of Washington County, Montpelier Food Pantry, Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Union Elementary School, and the Washington Elves, will pick up the packed bags for direct distribution to their clients, students, and families.

When you shop at Hunger Mountain Co-op now through December 30, you can choose to Give Change by rounding up your total to the nearest dollar. All of the change collected at the register in November and December will be used to purchase healthy pantry staples to fill this year’s Holiday Grocery Bags. Co-op members interested in volunteering to pack grocery bags can email info@hungermountain.coop or call 802-262-3202.

You can also help a neighbor in need year-round just by remembering your reusable bags! For every reusable bag that you use, the co-op will donate five cents to the Montpelier Food Pantry. Over the past two years, Hunger Mountain Co-op shoppers have raised more than $28,000 for the local food pantry.

PAGE 14 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Hunger Mountain Seeks Donations for

Hunger Mountain Co-op's holiday grocery pack. Photo by Jess Knapp, Hunger Mountain Co-op Marketing Assistant.

PAGE 14 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Hunger Mountain Seeks Donations for

All Welcome at 46th Annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Montpelier

Mason helps serve the Thanksgiving Day Meal. Photo courtesy of the Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys
Mason helps serve the
Thanksgiving Day Meal.
Photo courtesy of the
Washington County Youth
Service Bureau/Boys &
Girls Club

T he Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club, with

support from the Central Vermont community, is hosting the 46th Annual

Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday, November 22, at the

Bethany Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier. The meal will be served from 11:30 am to 2 pm.

All are welcome to partake in this family-style dinner with all the fixings. Thanksgiving delivery service is available for those unable to leave their homes and can be scheduled by calling 229-9151.

The Bureau is seeking volunteers for Thanksgiving Day, as well as pie bakers and turkey cookers. If you are available to volunteer or would like to make a donation, please call 229-9151 between 8:30 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. This event served 742 Central Vermont citizens in 2017, with 428 guests at the sit-down meal and 314 deliveries.

At this time of year, we are grateful to those who support the Bureau as well as all the community efforts that make this Thanksgiving.

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 –

NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 15

Co-op Donates More Than $7,000 to Central Vermont Organizations

By Tim Simard

F or the seventh year in a row, the Hunger Mountain Cooperative has made a significant donation to several local organizations through its Community Fund. Seven Central Vermont organizations received grants totaling $7,650 to

help fund needed projects and initiatives.

“We love this and our members love this. [The Community Fund] fits right in with our mission and helps us create more partners in our community,” says co-op general manager Kari Bradley.

The community grant recipients are to be announced Thursday, November 1, at the co-op’s annual membership meeting. (See the box below for the full list.)

In 2018, many of the groups that asked for grants had food preservation projects in the works.

“It became kind of a theme for this year, and we noticed more and more a prevalent need. Awards of $500 to $1,500 can make a real difference for some organizations,” Bradley says.

Twin Valley Senior Center was one of the grant recipients, earning one of the highest amounts of $1,500. The center’s executive director, Rita Copeland, said the money will go toward purchasing a new commercial freezer. Twin Valley Senior Center distributes Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors throughout six Central Vermont communities, and hosts breakfasts and lunches three days a week from its East Montpelier location.

“We have several freezers that were donated that are a little old and inefficient. For some time we’ve wanted a new, conventional, double-door freezer for our center’s needs and this will help us do that,” Copeland says.

Copeland adds that her organization serves 225 senior citizens at least three times a week through Meals on Wheels, as well as 75 more people at the center when it’s open.

“It’s a lot for a small organization like us, but community donations and grants like the co-op’s get us there,” she says, adding that the center will purchase a new freezer later this year.

Bradley says the co-op received 27 grant applications this year from a variety of organizations—community groups, local businesses, and area farms. Some of these organizations, such as the Twin Valley Senior Center and Capstone Community Action, have received Community Fund grants in past years for various projects.

Other groups, such as Steadyfoot Farm in Walden, are first-time recipients. Steadyfoot Farm received $500 to increase cold storage capacity.

“The co-op likes to support the next generation of farmers who are just getting on their feet,” Bradley says.

Members of the co-op’s council are among those who decide which groups receive the grants each year. Each project has to meet certain benchmarks to receive funding.

The Community Fund is largely driven by the co-op’s members, who can choose to set aside a portion of their dues specifically for this cause.

“It’s something that our members are becoming more and more aware of since we started this in 2011,” Bradley says.

He added that since the Community Fund’s inception, the co-op has donated more than $45,000 in grant money.

The Recipients:

• Ananda Gardens, $500 for barn retrofit for wash/pack station. • Another Way Community Center, $1,500 for commercial kitchen stove up - grade. • Capstone Community Action, $1,000 to add freezer capacity to its food shelf. • Good Samaritan Haven, $1,150 to purchase new commercial freezer. • Salvation Farms, $1,500 to outfit its Lamoille Valley Gleaning cooler space. • Steadyfoot Farm, $500 to increase cold storage capacity. • Twin Valley Senior Center, $1,500 to purchase commercial freezer.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 15 Co-op Donates More Than $7,000
THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 15 Co-op Donates More Than $7,000

PAGE 16 • NOVEMBER

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– NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Scooters Spark Debate—and Questions—in Montpelier

By Mike Dunphy

PAGE 16 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Scooters Spark Debate—and Questions—in Montpelier

Bird scooters wait for riders on State Street By Julio's. Photo by Tom Brown

O n October 18, 100 electric scooters by Bird went online in Montpelier and were placed in “nests” around

the city in an experiment to offer locals a new mode of transit and take one more step toward net-zero goals, in the hopes that people will leave their cars at home more often—and, of course, to experience a bit of fun.

As with anything new in Montpelier, the scooters ignited intense debate, particularly on Front Porch Forum, over the fitness and safety of the program for the city, and a number of good questions have been raised. With the input of Police Chief Anthony Facos, Mayor Anne Watson, and City Councilor Conor Casey, The Bridge has endeavored to answers these and some of our own questions.

What motivated the idea?

The idea of bringing the scooters to Montpelier began with a trip to Detroit taken by a friend of City Councilor Conor

How long will the pilot program last?

The scooters will be in town for 60 days and then will be removed for the winter. If the program continues, it would be on a seasonal basis, returning in the spring after the snow melts.

Does the city make any money from it?

The city gets $1 a day per scooter—used or not—which translates to $700 per week and $3,000 per month. Revenue is channeled directly to the general fund.

Why now?

With winter darkening the skies, some people have questioned the timing of program, and Mayor Watson did prefer to wait until after the snow melted, stating, “I'm worried about some legal and ordinance issues.” Casey and other council members felt it was better to do it now. “Given how much public input we wanted in this process and how many things we need to iron out,” he explains,

Casey. “He planted the idea in my head. He said he had used the scooters to get around without the need to rent a car and talked about the environmental benefits about it and using it as a practical way to get around the city.”

“I thought having the Birds on the ground several months in the meantime to catch a breath, talk to people, and look at whether it was a good fit after there was the chance to try them out a bit.”

How and why was the pilot program approved?

What are the safety concerns?

Casey brought the idea to the city council, because it seemed to tick the boxes of three leading goals of the city: reducing the carbon footprint toward net-zero goals, creating a more affordable town, and reducing traffic and parking congestion. At that point, Watson, Casey, and Councilor Jack McCullough held a meeting with a representative from Bird and sought input from Facos regarding safety issues. After consultation, the pilot program was approved by the council in a 6-0 vote.

PAGE 16 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Scooters Spark Debate—and Questions—in Montpelier

The safety of the scooters is the main concern for Chief Facos. “I’m just here to make sure that if they are here to stay, do we have the appropriate regulatory process and safeguards in place? I am really concerned that people are going to ride them inappropriately; they’re going to be on the sidewalks where they are not supposed to be. There’s a definite fear of pedestrians and the elderly population that they might get hit by one of these. Also, it’s a small wheel, so it’s very prone, if you hit an obstacle or obstruction, to crashing these things. They don’t track as straight as a bicycle, so there’s a learning curve of operator skill.”

Have there been any incidents of crashes or injuries so far?

As of the publishing date, no injuries or accidents have been reported to the police, although there have been four “police-documented incidents,” but no tickets issued.

Who is liable if there is an injury?

As part of the contract with Bird, the city is indemnified against any legal action, should someone get hurt. Whether a lawsuit would be directed at the rider or the company remains an open question, and there have indeed been several directed at the company in other parts of the country. The company assumes liability, according to Casey.

PAGE 16 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Scooters Spark Debate—and Questions—in Montpelier

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER

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2018 •

PAGE 17

What are the rules?

According to Bird’s policies, riders must be 18 years old, ride in the streets, and leave the scooters out of the way of traffic when finished. Because the scooter motors are under 50cc, a helmet is not required but is strongly recommended by all those involved. In Montpelier, the scooters are welcome on the bike path, just as is an e-bike, but definitely not allowed on sidewalks.

How are rules enforced?

Enforcement of the rules largely falls to the police, although Facos stresses that it’s currently more about education rather than ticketing or reprimanding violators. The hope is that once people become familiar with the rules and system, there will be little reason to do so. “What I’ve directed our staff to do is be very proactive and educational in response right now. If you see somebody who’s riding on the sidewalk, instead of just writing tickets, let’s do what we can to educate. Just like we do with bicyclists.”

Casey notes some community enforcement he witnessed. “I was heartened to see somebody riding a scooter without a helmet, and somebody on the other side of the street yelled, ‘Hey, they’re going to take these away from us if you don’t play by the rules.’”

How many people have used Bird scooters so far?

As of October 25, Bird has registered 946 rides taken by 156 unique riders, totaling more than 1,000 miles traveled. Casey notes that that translates into a reduction of 941 lbs of carbon dioxide if those miles were traveled in a car.

Who picks up and organizes the scooters?

Early in the morning, from 4 to 7 am, five “chargers” pick up the scooters, bring them home to recharge them, and then redeposit them in “nests” at various points around the city. According to one post on Front Porch Forum, this has led to some competition among the chargers. “There are people from all over the area (not just Montpelierites) in town at 9 pm flooding our streets attempting to pick up the scooters whose value each was around $11. It was like a battleground; a dirty red Chevrolet Silverado almost hit my vehicle doing an illegal U-turn at the State-Main intersection.”

The Bridge reached out to Bird to confirm fees and policies regarding collection but did not get a clear response.

What is the community response?

It’s difficult to gauge the true response of the public, becauses those against them are more likely to share that opinion with police, city officials, and, of course, Front Porch Forum, where negative (and sometimes outright hostile) comments outnumber positive ones about 60 percent to 40 percent.

Casey does not consider the Forum as representative of the overall response, noting his own feedback is about 75 percent positive. “I notice the majority of negative comments are by people who haven’t tried the scooters,” adding, “I would argue if you dropped 100 bicycles in town, and no one had ever used a bicycle, you’d probably have a similar reaction.”

For Watson, response from the public has been mostly negative. “I heard from one dear older friend who said she’s afraid to walk down the street,” she recalls, “because she can’t afford to fall and break her hip. I’ve also heard some thoughtful commentary from friends of mine who were reluctant to give up so much visual space on our landscape to a corporation.”

If the scooters return in the spring, what changes could be made?

During the evaluation and feedback process that would take place throughout the winter, a number of questions will be discussed, starting with the size of the fleet. “Maybe we don’t need 100 on the ground,” Casey says. “We might have too many.” He also suggests establishing a community board as part of the regular education and communication about scooter use.

For Facos, establishing what the scooters are exactly from a regulatory point of view would help greatly. “There needs to be clear definition of what these devices are as opposed to trying to twist old definitions, for example a motorcycle or moped, so it encompasses a scooter,” he explains. “From there we can determine as a state how these should be regulated.”

Another question is if an operating or vending license should be required, which is not the case at the moment in Vermont. For Casey, he prefers not. “I still stick with freedom, like a bike.” On that point, Watson agrees. “I don't think licensing the scooters themselves will do much,” but she adds, “I would like to see helmets be required, not just suggested. I’d like to see the police start giving out tickets to people using them on the sidewalks. Mostly, though, I’ll be advocating that we not renew our contract with them.”

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 17 What are the rules? According

Got a news tip? We want to know! Send it to us at:

mdunphy@

montpelierbridge.com

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 17 What are the rules? According

PAGE 18 • NOVEMBER

1

– NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

PAGE 18 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Montpelier wins competition for a

Montpelier wins competition for a free implementation of ArcGIS Hub

S tone Environmental has chosen the City of Montpelier for

implementation of a web-based technology for community

engagement using ArcGIS Hub technology by Esri,

an international supplier of geographic information system software, web geographical information S ystems (GIS), and geodatabase management applications. Stone will be providing their community service and innovation hours to support the development of a citizen engagement website so that the city can take advantage of the latest tools to better inform its citizens.

ArcGIS Hub is a powerful tool specifically designed to engage communities around city initiatives by adding context to real- world data. Once an initiative is defined—what streets are scheduled for paving, for instance—datasets can be used to show the status of the initiative relative to goals using graphs, charts, and dynamic maps. For this example, a hub could ultimately be used to explain decisions about the city’s paving priorities to its citizens. Most Vermont agencies, regional planning commissions, and municipalities use these GIS software solutions.

Stone sponsored the statewide competition to help a Vermont community leverage technology and data to communicate with its citizens, and to provide an example of an ArcGIS Hub solution that other communities may be able to use, soliciting implementation ideas throughout Vermont. Stone hopes to demonstrate how this valuable tool can help a community meet its goals.

Montpelier has requested help in setting up an ArcGIS Hub site to share public works and housing development activities, proposals, and plans with their residents. The city has suggested that developing housing is a challenge, but increasing community engagement in the process should help decide the best housing development plans.

Stone Environmental will be working pro bono with the city to create this outreach site and give it the framework to build its own outreach sites for other initiatives in the future. Esri will donate the first year of site-hosting to the city.

Stone believes that our communities will be stronger and more vibrant if the citizens are actively engaged in the decision-making that shapes where they live.

PAGE 18 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Montpelier wins competition for a

Thank You for reading The Bridge !

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER

14,

2018

PAGE 19

Lawson’s Finest announces Waitsfield opening

  • L awson’s Finest Liquids has announced the official opening of its brewery, taproom, and retail store at 155 Carroll Road in Waitsfield, which is open from 12 to 7 pm, seven days a week.

Karen Lawson states, “We couldn’t be happier to finally have a public destination for our guests. For our first ten years, the Warren brewery was not open to the public due to our residential location, so this is the epitome of what our fans have been asking for.”

The hand-hewn timber frame taproom offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere where guests can enjoy freshly brewed beer on draft, as well as wine, cider, and non- alcoholic beverages to pair with local charcuterie, cheeses, warm pretzels, and other light fare.

Outside there is a four-season beer garden featuring fire bowls, comfortable seating, and corn hole games. The retail store is packed with apparel and freshly canned beer to stock up and take home. Guests are welcome to visit the brewery viewing area to get the wonderful sensory experience of the sights, sounds, and aromas of fresh beer being brewed and packaged.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 19 Lawson’s Finest announces Waitsfield opening

Co-owner Sean Lawson said “Creating economic vitality in the Mad River Valley has been an essential part of our overall plan and vision. We hope to become an important part of the community as well as a popular destination for travelers.” Lawson’s Finest has chosen to pay staff living wage salaries with full benefits. It also has a “no tip” business model, however, if guests choose to leave a donation, 100 percent will be given to selected charitable organizations.

Lawson’s Finest has also partnered with the Mad River Path Association to enhance the existing pedestrian thoroughfare in Waitsfield, including a new boardwalk directly to the taproom door, connections to area restaurants and shops, and a planned walkway along Carroll Road to connect to Route 100 sidewalks.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 19 Lawson’s Finest announces Waitsfield opening
THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 19 Lawson’s Finest announces Waitsfield opening

Photos courtesy of Lawson’s Finest Liquids

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 19 Lawson’s Finest announces Waitsfield opening

PAGE 20 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

PAGE 20 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Subscribe to The Bridge A

Subscribe to The Bridge

A $50 subscription gets you 24 issues of The Bridge in your mail anywhere in the country for a year.

To subscribe, either mail a check made out to The Bridge to:

The Bridge Circulation Department, PO Box 1143, Montpelier, VT 05601 Or go to www.montpelierbridge.com and look for the "Subscribe" link at the top of the home page

Attorney General, Department of Public Service Announce Third Privacy Hearing

A public meeting to consider issues

relating to privacy protections

for Vermonters will take place in

Montpelier on Thursday, November 15, 5:30 –8:30 pm at the Pavilion Building, 109 State Street, 3rd Floor. Interested parties or members of the public should email MyLanh.Graves@vermont.gov to confirm attendance. The meeting is part of a legislative mandate to determine whether additional privacy protections for Vermonters are warranted. The meetings are organized and hosted by the Attorney General and the Department of Public Service.

Topics under consideration will include, but are not be limited to:

Adoption of regulations concerning telecommunications privacy and whether to model such rules after the FCC’s 2016 Privacy Order, WC Docket No. 16-106, FCC 16-148, adopted Oct. 27, 2016. The request for this recommendation was made in Act 66 of 2017.

Whether Vermont should designate a Chief Privacy Officer, and what the responsibilities of that Officer would be.

This request was made in Act 171 of

2018.

Whether to regulate businesses that handle the data of consumers with whom they have a direct relationship, as requested in Act 171.

Questions, concerns, and recommendations regarding the implementation of the Data Broker Registry, as authorized in Act 171.

Whether changes should be made to Vermont’s Security Breach Notice Act, 9 V.S.A. § 2453.

Whether there are questions or concerns regarding citizen data held by the State of Vermont.

Whether there are specific, identifiable laws or regulations that may be adopted to encourage the growth of privacy-oriented technology companies in Vermont.

The necessity of any additional approaches to protecting the data security and privacy of Vermont consumers.

The Attorney General’s Office has created a webpage at http://ago.vermont. gov/privacy-working-group/ to host the latest information on hearings, comments submitted, links to video of hearings, and other relevant documents.

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14,

2018 •

PAGE 21

Former Gov. Kunin Reflects on Aging, Politics, Feminism in New Book

F ormer Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin’s new book

Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties is a reflection

on the emotional and physical manifestations of

aging. Kunin served as governor of Vermont from 1985 to 1991 and later served as U.S. deputy secretary of education and U.S. ambassador to Switzerland. Few women are as uniquely qualified to observe the political effects of the #MeToo movement and the rise of feminism in public office. Here is an excerpt from her new book.

Excerpt from Coming of Age – by Madeleine Kunin

On January 21, 2017, I spoke at the Women’s March in Montpelier on the steps in front of the Vermont State House. There were ten- to twenty-thousand people assembled below. The State Police had to close the interstate exit to prevent more people from coming because traffic had clogged the streets.

One day after President Trump was sworn into office, women marched who never had marched before. They became instant activists because of Trump’s frightening campaign promises, including the repeal of Roe vs. Wade and the destruction of the Affordable Care Act. Vermont held one of 633 women’s marches that took place around the world. The march in Washington was the largest protest in a single day in history.

Some observers questioned the march’s impact—that it would be destined to be a one-time event, that women would pack up their signs and go home.

They were wrong.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 21 Former Gov. Kunin Reflects on

We march for equal pay. We march for the right to control our bodies. We march for a livable planet. We march for the end of violence against women. We march for health care for all. We march for public education. We march for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

And who are we? We are brown, black, yellow, and white. We are gay, straight, transgender, and queer. We are wives, mothers, grandmothers, singles, sisters, daughters, and lovers. We are teachers, students, professors, waitresses, sales clerks, bartenders, nurses, doctors, artists, lawyers, farmers, factory workers, cooks, and caregivers. And we are immigrants.

We are here to pledge to be our sister’s and brother’s keepers. And we are here because women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights, all over the world. Can we do this?

Will we make a difference? Have we got the power?

The pendulum has swung so fast from Obama to Trump that we are experiencing whiplash. I assure it will swing back again— when we push hard. We have a rock to stand on. It is called Democracy. It is called the Constitution. The center will hold.

But, only if we are vigilant. Only if we use our voices and our feet. We must demonstrate that there is another America. An

America that looks like us, that thinks like us, that believes in the America that we believe in.

The surge of activism that burst out of the marches has not died. One indicator is the record number of women who are running for office. And several have upset long-time incumbents. Change is happening where it never surfaced before. For example, the teachers’ strikes last spring in several conservative states resulted in teachers winning higher wages and increased funding for school supplies. And the MeToo movement has toppled sexual abusers off their pedestals at a dizzying rate.

But the rate of devastating decisions made by the president—from his Supreme Court nomination to his separation of immigrant children from their parents—has left many women and men outraged, but fatigued. I am often asked: “Tell me, what can we do?”

I give a short-term and a long-term answer. One, continue to protest, because sometimes it works. The Trump family separation policy was stopped (but not fixed) after members of both parties expressed outrage. The answer is that we must continue to take to the streets the old-fashioned way. Be vocal and visible. The long-term answer is at the ballot box. Organize, vote, register voters, and get out the vote. It sounds simple, but it’s hard work.

The following is the speech I gave at the march in Montpelier. The spirit of the Women’s March cannot flag. Women are beginning to turn their outrage against injustice into action in the workplace, the home, and the community. We cannot stop now.

Hello Everybody, Sisters, and Brothers,

What a beautiful sight you are. It’s like spring has arrived in Vermont and thousands of flowers are blooming in front of the State House. I feel a “crowd hug.”

We are not alone in our fear; we are not alone in our despair; we are not alone in our grief for what might have been. We are together in our strength, together in our power, and together we march.

Why do we march? We march for respect.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 21 Former Gov. Kunin Reflects on

It is we who make America. It is we who make America great. We are the makers, the doers, the dreamers. We are the citizens who have the power of the vote.

In the next four years, we will be heard, not only in this place, at this time, but throughout the land, in towns and cities and in our nation’s capital, and all over the world where people are marching with us.

We pledge not to be silent. We pledge not to be interrupted. We pledge not to be sidelined. We pledge not to be stopped. We pledge not to be afraid, and we pledge not to lose hope.

We must keep hope alive. I will read the first stanza of a poem called “Hope” by Emily Dickinson.

Hope is a thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all. This excerpt was provided by Green Writers Press

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 21 Former Gov. Kunin Reflects on

PAGE 22 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

OP-ED

Sustainable Montpelier Coalition Stays Neutral on Garage

By Dan Jones and Elizabeth Courtney

O ver the past few weeks, we at the Sustainable Montpelier Coalition have been

regularly implored to take a stand on “the garage.” People wonder at the public

silence regarding the division that has grown within our small city as to the wisdom

and costs of this development project. The board and staff, no surprise, reflect those divisions within our community. We offer here a look at our perception of the two sides of this controversy so that you might understand our consciously chosen organizational neutrality.

Most of those urging us to take a stand on the parking garage correctly assume that this project is not reflective of our core mission to build a sustainable downtown for the future. The garage, as an investment in the auto infrastructure and right on the river, is the antithesis of the smart city design that was publicly embraced in the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition of two years ago. It also will create 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide pollution just to bake the concrete for its construction, thereby negating the City Council’s recent resolution to be “net zero” in fossil fuel use for city operations. Then there are the questions of financial favoritism in the financing. All together this makes the case for strong opposition.

off the bond by commitments that will come from the Capitol Plaza owners. Thus, the local forces of commerce and investment are arrayed in support of the project.

This brings us back to the Sustainable Montpelier Coalition. Our role is to serve as both a builder and a steward of a vision for a future that will provide security and resilience in a world dominated by climate challenge and economic change. While that vision may have been supported by public embrace in the competition, the public voting carried no force of law. We own no property and are supported by modest resources. Our only power is to bring people together in coalition so that we can address the critical challenges and shape our hoped-for future.

And there’s the rub. If we take sides in this controversy we will inevitably negate the work that is our mission: To bring together in coalition the disparate silos of the community. Our opposition to the garage would mean that at least some of the players would see us as adversaries rather than potential partners. In that case the work we need to do to change the challenge from that of parking to one of transportation would be stymied. Our efforts to help create green and open space downtown would be undermined. In short, we need to work with our whole city, not just a faction of it.

On the other hand, there are compelling demands supporting the garage. In a city hungry for economic development after a long stagnation, the prospect of an investment in the hotel and garage is overwhelming. Many believe that if the city turns down the garage it will prevent any serious investment downtown for years.

The claim is that Montpelier is so demanding and difficult to work with that no developer wants to waste the money trying to start projects in this environment. The downtown merchants, struggling in a slowly eroding economy, have heard their customers complain about the lack of parking. To them, the combination of new hotel visitors and easier access for current customers is the core to a hoped-for economic renaissance. The city pins its hopes on the long-term economic support through guaranteed parking fees to pay

Our goal is to be a continuing force for expression of the best possible future for our city. To do so, we must simply work on building a common vision. On other issues, if we fail to find consensus, we will organizationally abstain. We trust that with the help of the Coalition, the citizens of Montpelier will work out the best response to the challenges we face through their voices, their votes, and their collective good will.

Dan

Jones

is

the

Executive

Director of the Sustainable Montpelier Coalition. He lives in Montpelier and may be reached at dan@sustainablemontpelier.org

Elizabeth Courtney

is

an

author,

a

landscape

architect,

and a consultant

to nonprofit

organizations.

She

lives

in

Montpelier and

may be reached

at elizabethcourtneyvt@gmail.com

PAGE 22 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE OP-ED Sustainable Montpelier Coalition Stays
Cody Chevrolet Congratulates The Bridge On 25 Years of Business!
Cody Chevrolet Congratulates
The Bridge On 25 Years of Business!
PAGE 22 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE OP-ED Sustainable Montpelier Coalition Stays

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 23

OP-ED

8 Steps to Getting You and Your Car Ready for Winter

By Amy Mattinat

  • 1. Clean your vehicle inside and out. Have

the body of your vehicle washed and waxed. This preventative measure will protect the paint surfaces from snowy bombardments, and it will also make snow and ice easier to brush off.

Since you will be sitting in your car with the windows up and the heat on for the next six months, do yourself a favor and give your car a thorough cleaning ASAP. Remove any debris that has collected over the summer, and vacuum the seats and floor. Dust the dash, wash the windows, and clean the upholstery. To prevent that stale air/locker room smell, consider replacing your cabin air filter and then hang up an organic air-freshener. It’s also a great idea to take out your carpeted floor mats and replace them with a set of water- resistant vinyl or rubber mats.

  • 2. Make sure you can see. A winter storm

is the worst possible time to run out of windshield washer fluid or to discover your blades aren’t clearing the windshield properly. Wiper blades usually last for about six months. Since visibility is a key ingredient to safety, be sure to invest in some new wiper blades if needed. We recommend using the “beam style” wipers. When the snow freezes on the metal blade, it can prevent the wiper from working and make it hard to see. Also, make sure the washer fluid is good to –20 F. Never use plain water. It will freeze all over your windshield.

  • 3. Ensuring that your heating system is functioning properly should be a top priority.

While a functioning heater and defroster are necessary to keep the windshield nice and clear, they also offer you shelter from the cold. Trust me; you do not want to be trapped in a cold car in the months to come. Also, check that the rear window defroster is working.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 23 OP-ED 8 Steps to Getting

tires is critical during the winter. Braking, acceleration, and handling are all impacted while driving on slippery roads. Give yourself an edge with great winter tires.

Tire pressure is also important during the winter. Since traction is compromised by wet or snowy conditions, it is critical to have properly inflated tires. Please remember that with lower temperatures, the air pressure in a cold tire will drop. Why? Because air is a gas, and gas contracts when it gets cold and expands with heat. Plus, having full and balanced tires can save you 2–3 miles per gallon of gas. That’s extra money in your pocket.

7. Get the antifreeze mixture just right.

The ideal mixture of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your vehicle’s radiator is 50/50. This will prevent the mixture from freezing in those ridiculously cold temperatures that occur every winter in Vermont. Antifreeze is very important to your engine. It cools the car’s engine, protects it from freezing in the cold weather, and is the key agent in providing heat inside the car.

8. Prepare an emergency kit. Even the most meticulously maintained vehicle can develop problems on the road, especially during the winter. That’s when it pays to be prepared for an emergency.

Your Winter Survival Kit Should Include:

A spare tire with air in it

• Extra windshield washer fluid and paper towels

• Tire-changing equipment

  • 4. Give your battery a little TLC. A battery gives little notice before it dies, and very cold

temperatures can reduce a vehicle’s battery power by up to 50 percent. If your vehicle battery is older than three years, have the battery tested when you take your car in to get your winter tires put on. Also, have them check that the battery posts and connections are free of corrosion. No one wants to be stranded with a dead battery in the bitter cold. Our best recommendation is to purchase an Interstate battery—we feel they are the best.

  • 5. Belts and hoses. While they are testing your battery, make sure they inspect the belts and

hoses for wear and tear—even if you’re driving a newer car. The belts and hoses in modern cars lead long lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t die. Cold weather can do a number on belts and hoses, so they deserve attention too.

• A bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt, or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.

• A flashlight, flares, and a first-aid kit. • Jumper cables, a tool kit, and tire chains. • A blanket and extra warm clothes (scarves, gloves, hats, boots) • Contact information of people to be called in case of an emergency • A snow brush with an aggressive ice scraper and a snow shovel. • High-protein, non-perishable foods such as protein bars, nuts, raisins, and water.

  • 6. Tires: Need I remind you that the tire is the only part of your automobile that touches

the ground? Having good winter tires on your car is the most important thing you can

do to insure the next six months of worry-free winter driving. The condition of your car’s

• An all-weather power source that will permit you to jumpstart your vehicle without another vehicle. That can be comforting if you’re by yourself.

Amy Mattinat is the President of Auto Craftsmen

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 23 OP-ED 8 Steps to Getting
THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 23 OP-ED 8 Steps to Getting

PAGE 24 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

This American Tragedy By Margaret Blanchard

O ur current national crisis feels tragic, but unlike classic

tragedies, it lacks a flawed hero to embody the psyche of the whole. Instead we have a bully and fool at the center of

our media stage. History is full of such “rulers,” from the Emperor with No Clothes to Nero fiddling while Rome, upon his orders, burned, to Bavaria’s Mad King Ludwig and his lavish palaces and debt-ridden finances. While fitting precedents for our current president, they’re not heroes. No, our tragic hero seems more collective in character. Perhaps the Republican Party?

The Soapbox
The
Soapbox

would not exist, but it remains all but invisible to men, history, and God,” whereas male bonding appears to have shaped most of the formal institutions of society: government, army, priesthood, university, and corporation. As she describes this sisterhood, “it tends to be casual, unformulated, un-hierarchical, ad hoc rather than fixed, flexible rather than rigid, and more collaborative than competitive.” (p.102)

Currently, women are less than 20 percent of the American Congress. That minority must operate within well-established

A true tragedy, in the classic sense, evokes a “catharsis” of pity and fear, leading to a sense of renewal. Our current tragedy has evoked fear, without pity. Recently, a friend and I discussed the impossibility of our empathizing with Trump because his meanness and cruel policies make us so angry. She found comfort in Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron’s describing how corrosive anger can be to our own hearts. I found comfort in a video of Heather Heyer’s mother meeting with a young, white supremacist. Genuine resolution comes from compassion. As Trump unravels, pity might emerge, but empathy remains elusive.

Maybe the tragic flaw itself is collective. This is not the only American tragedy. The first was Europeans invading and occupying the Americas. Instead of learning from ancient cultures how to live harmoniously with nature, in community, in ceremony, the first settlers “conquered” the first Americans through genocide. Another American tragedy, slavery, then segregation, culminating in the Civil War and Civil Rights, giving us tragic heroes, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Then there was the Great Depression. Our next looming catastrophe is environmental.

Every one of these tragedies is rooted in one basic human flaw: greed, which reduces all values (wisdom, people, land, water, air, skill, work, and generosity) to money and profits, leaving the body politic, like King Midas, starving for lack of true nourishment, still waiting for a hero to save us.

Because this villainy is systemic, rooted in the patriarchal system, leaving us obsessed with corruption of, and sabotage by, one deranged millionaire, I believe this “hero” will not be a solo male but a flock of women.

This potential antidote to national poison is described by Ursula Le Guin in her book of essays, No Time to Spare (2017). “Without female solidarity,” she says, “human society

strictures of that traditionally patriarchal and partisan institution. Yet in the 1930s one friendship between two powerful women, Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins, led to New Deal policies that helped the country recover from the Depression, establishing social policies that fulfilled their shared vision of government for the people.

The solution to our current malaise is not simply to elect a woman president to head up (and be confined by) traditional hierarchy. If more women are elected to national office, as predicted, opportunities for camaraderie will increase. But behind these politicians are alliances of women who’ve experienced solidarity wherever connections are more diverse than usually provided by family ties, wherever exists a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration: from the Girl Scouts to faith communities, from reunions of old friends to quilting circles and book groups, from unions of service workers and teachers to civil rights activists and veterans of the women’s movement—all good sources of strategies for positive change to reduce suffering, heal hearts, enhance lives, and create webs of connection.

So, given growing income disparity, dominance of corporate might, environmental disasters, and cultural divides, I believe a catharsis from our country’s current tragedy can only be experienced through a national healing process powered by the cooperation of women, supported, but not controlled by men. It’s past time for us to move forward to restore, maybe even improve upon, our country’s deeper values.

Think of this not as a revolution but akin to the shift in a mobius strip where the inside (women) turns out and the outside (men) turns in, neither dominant, both on the same side with the same boundary, together in harmony, allowing for differences without discrimination or dominance. Our revolving together could ultimately be liberating for all but those heavily invested in patriarchal capitalism.

PAGE 24 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE This American Tragedy By Margaret
PAGE 24 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE This American Tragedy By Margaret

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Interested? Email mdunphy@montpelierbridge.com

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NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 25

Scrag Mountain Welcomes Aizuri Quartet

Aizuri Quartet. Photo courtesy of Scrag Mountain Music
Aizuri Quartet. Photo courtesy of Scrag Mountain Music

S crag Mountain Music is excited to welcome the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet back to Vermont for “Aizuri Quartet: Deeply Known,” a program featuring the world premiere of Scrag co-Artistic Director Evan Premo’s String Quartet No. 1, Deeply Known.

Of his first-ever string quartet, Scrag co-Artistic Director Evan Premo writes, “Through this piece, I wanted to explore the idea of vulnerability in myself and in music. I see vulnerability as an important part of being human and how we relate to one another. But I also see that there is a danger in vulnerability—that there are two completely contradictory sides to the term necessary for it to work. My piece aims to examine this concept in four very different movements. I’m grateful to the Aizuri Quartet for coming along this journey with me, and I look forward to sharing this exploration with our audiences.”

The Aizuri Quartet returns to Scrag Mountain Music after a triumphant season as Quartet- in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and having won the 2018 Grand Prize at the M Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

Also on the program is Gabriella Smith’s rocking Carrot Revolution, a work commissioned by the quartet and included on the group’s new debut album Blueprinting; a series of spirited Armenian Folk Songs by Komitas Vartabed; and, rounding out the program, Arnold Schoenberg’s masterpiece String Quartet No. 2 Opus 10, where the quartet will be joined by Scrag co-Artistic Director and soprano Mary Bonhag.

“Aizuri Quartet: Deeply Known” will be presented in one very open rehearsal on November 7 and three concerts between November 8 and 10. All concerts are “Come as you are. Pay what you can.” with at-will donations collected at intermission. Advanced sign-up for the concerts is encouraged at scragmountainmusic.org.

Concerts:

• Thursday,

November 8, 2018,

at

7:30

pm

at

Bread & Butter Farm,

200

Leduc Farm Rd., Shelburne.

 

• Friday, November 9, 2018, at 7:30 pm at Unitarian Church of Montpelier,

130

Main St., Montpelier.

November 10,

• Saturday,

2018,

at

7:30

pm

at

Warren United Church,

339

Main St., Warren.

 

Very Open Rehearsal:

 

• Wednesday,

November 7,

7:00

at

pm

Green Mountain Girls Farm,

at

923

Loop Rd., Northfield.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 25 Scrag Mountain Welcomes Aizuri Quartet

Recycle

THIS PAPER!

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 25 Scrag Mountain Welcomes Aizuri Quartet

PAGE 26 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Calendar of Events

Community Events

Events happening November 1–17

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Open Ears at Bagitos. Join Montpelier city councilor Glen Coburn Hutcheson to talk about the city or anything else. 8:30–9:30 am. Bagitos, 28 Main St., Montpelier. ghutcheson@ montpelier-vt.org, 839-5349.

Trinity United Methodist Church Community

Lunch. 11:30 am–1 pm. 137 Main St., Montpelier.

Guest Lecture by Jacob Atem, Former "Lost

Boy"of South Sudan. An inspiring guest lecture by Dr. Jacob Atem, former “Lost Boy of Sudan” and currently a Postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Humanitarian Health. 6 pm. Helen Day Art Center, 90 Pond St., Stowe. By donation. helenday.com

VTDigger Hosts Lieutenant Governor

Forum. A moderated forum with incumbent Progressive/Democrat Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and his Republican challenger Rep. Don Turner. 6:30 pm. Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. highlandartsvt.org

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

Peacham Corner Guild Annual Christmas

Show. Featuring small antiques, fine handcrafted gifts, specialty foods, ornaments, invited artists. 10 am–7 pm. Upstairs at the Peacham Town Hall.

Bethel First Friday Flicks - Free Family Movie.

Bring a blanket or beanbag if you want to get comfy (regular chairs available too). Popcorn and drinks for sale; donations gladly accepted to cover movie cost. 6:30–8:30 pm. Bethel Town Hall, 134 S. Main St., Bethel. bri-vt.org/events

Bullets Into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond

to Gun Violence. Poets Major Jackson, Brian Clements, Matthew Olzmann, and Kerrin McCadden, along with survivors and activists Clai Lasher-Sommers, Abbey Clements, and a representative of Newtown Action Alliance, share poems and stories from the anthology “Bullets Into Bells,” a moving testament to the urgent need to end gun violence. 7:30 pm. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier. $5. Tickets available at Bear Pond Books or bearpondbooks.com

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3

Walk Calais with Green Mountain Club. Easy, about 5 miles. Number 10 Pond to Cranberry Meadow Road and back. See petroglyph, possibly migrating waterfowl. Bring water, lunch and snacks. Contact Phyllis Rubenstein,

PAGE 26 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Calendar of Events Community Events

THEATER, DANCE, STORYTELLING, COMEDY

Performing Arts

Nov 8–10, 15–17: Smoke and Mirrors. Plainfield Little Theater announces the premiere production of a new play by local Vermont playwright Tom Blachly about the wild and rollicking 1840 Presidential election, with much contemporary relevance to our own political campaigns and culture. 7 pm. Plainfield Town Hall Opera House, Rt. 2, Plainfield. $12; students and seniors $10. 229-5290. blachly@together.net

Nov. 8–12: “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play.” The three-act play, written by Anne Washburn is a dark comedy about a post-apocalyptic world without electricity, set about a century in the future, and centers on discussion of an episode of “The Simpsons” from the ’90s. Nov. 8–10 at 7 pm, Nov. 11 at 2 pm. Northern Vermont University-Johnson, Dibden Center for the Arts. $10. 635-1476

Nov. 8–10: Spaulding High School Presents Pride and Prejudice. Spaulding Drama Club presents Jane Austen’s best-loved work. 7:30 pm. Spaulding High School, 155 Ayers St., Barre. Adults $10; students, staff, and seniors $7; children $5. shs@u61.org

Nov. 3: FEMCOM. All-female standup comedy. 8:30 pm. Espresso Bueno, 248 N. Main St., Barre. Free/by donation. 479-0896. espressobueno.com.

793-6313 or phyllis@PhyllisRubensteinLaw. comcastbiz.net for meeting time and place.

Barre Congregational Church Community Meal. 7:30 am–9 am. 35 Church St., Barre.

Alpenglow Fitness Intro to Studio Cycling.

An instructor will orient you to the studio, get your bike fitted properly, and guide you through a gentle first ride. Learn the positions and lingo. 10–10:45 am. 54 Main St., Montpelier. Free. Register: alpenglowfitness.com

Hunger Mountain Co-op Fall Food & Wellness

Fair. Product samples from 50 Hunger Mountain Co-op vendors, mini sessions with local wellness practitioners and holistic healers, kid’s activities, face painting. 10 am–2 pm. Montpelier City Hall, Main St., Montpelier. hungermountain.coop

The Gray Building Artists Annual Open

Studio and Sale. Paintings, basketry, fairy houses, notecards, used art supplies, and more. 10 am–3 pm. 168 North Main St., Northfield.

Peacham Corner Guild Annual Christmas

Show. See description under Nov. 2. Sunday hours: 10 am–3 pm

Another Way Community Center Open

House. Join us for and evening exhibition of our facilities and program. Another Way is a peer-run support organization open 365 days per year. Our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming place to share community, to network, and to learn from each other. 3–7 pm. 125 Barre St., Montpelier. elaine@ anotherwayvt.org

Major Jackson is one of the poets reading from Bullets Into Bells on Nov. 2 at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier. Photo courtesy of Bear Pond Books

PAGE 26 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Calendar of Events Community Events

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 27

Calendar of Events

Visual Arts

EXHIBITS

Through Nov. 2: That’s Not Me. Vermont artist Randa Morris’s mixed media drawings. Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, Northern Vermont University-Johnson. 635-1469

Through Nov. 2: Macaulay in Montpelier:

selected sketches and drawings.

Internationally recognized author and illustrator will exhibit images from eight of his books, including preliminary sketches and finished art created between 1982 and 2010. Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery, 136 State St., Montpelier.

Through Nov. 3: Exhibits at Studio Place Arts.

201 N. Main St., Barre. studioplacearts.com Rock Solid XVIII. Annual stone sculpture exhibit showcases stone sculptures and assemblages by area artists and other work that depicts the beautiful qualities of stone. Finding the Quiet. Works in rust, eucalyptus, and indigo by Linda Finkelstein TENSION. Site-specific installation art of socio-cultural and environmental datascapes by Tuyen Nguyen and Misook Park.

Through Nov. 3: Familiars: Valerie Hammond

and Kiki Smith. This exhibition demonstrates the uniqueness, as well as the intersections, of the printmaking practices that Hammond and Smith have developed over the last 20 years. Helen Day Art Center Main Gallery, 90 Pond St., Stowe. mail@helenday.com

Through Nov. 9: Mountains, Mesas, and

Monoliths: Gold-toned Brownprints of Zion Canyon by Matt Larson. 18 framed, smaller- scaled gold-toned brownprints and 8 large-scale, unframed gold-toned brownprints of Zion Canyon, Utah. Morse Block Deli, 260 N. Main St., Barre.

Nov. 5–16: Nourish — Soil & Soul. Kathie Lovett’s paintings, sculpture and installation art. Opening reception: Nov. 7, 3–5 pm. Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, Northern Vermont University-Johnson. 635-1469

Visual Arts EXHIBITS Through Nov. 2: That’s Not Me. Vermont artist Randa Morris’s mixed media drawings.

We Were Puppets by Michelle Saffran on display at The Front Gallery in Montpelier through Dec, 2

Through Nov. 20: Listening to Rocks: Work by Dianne Shullenberger and John Snell.

Shullenberger is well known for intricate fabric collage pieces. Snell is a photographer from Montpelier. Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery, 86 Falls Rd., Shelburne Village. 985-3848

Through Nov. 23: Matthew Sylvester Exhibit. Art by painter and illustrator Matthew Sylvester of East Calais. Quimby Gallery at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon. matthewsylvesterart.com

Through Nov 28: Paintings by Greg Kotyk.

Oil paintings includes mountainous landscapes from Vermont to Wyoming. The Gifford

Gallery at Gifford Medical Center, 44 S. Main St., Randolph. 728-2380

Through Nov. 30: Carole Naquin Exhibition.

Soft pastel paintings that capture the energy of sky, river, and field. Artisans Hand Gallery, Main St., Montpelier

Through Dec. 2: Driving the Back Roads:

In Search of Old-Time Vermonters. This retrospective of Ethan Hubbard’s documentary work and his life living alongside the people of North-Central Vermont showcases more than 40 of Hubbard’s large-format black and white photographic portraits. Highland Center for the Arts, Hardwick St., Greensboro.

Through Dec. 2: Show 28. The Front celebrates the opening of Show 28, featuring latest work of the gallery’s member artists, including new members. 6 Barre St., Montpelier. thefrontvt.com

Through Dec. 16: Gerald Auten: Graphite

Insomnia. Auten uses powdered graphite or graphite pencils on dense, smooth, hot-pressed paper or onto the back of old museum posters and postcards. White River Gallery, 35 South Windsor St., South Royalton. 498-8438

Nov. 9–Dec. 28: Seven Women, Seven Walls. Featuring rotating exhibits by Vermont artists Mary Admasian, Alisa Dworsky, Karen Henderson, Evie Lovett, Hannah Morris, Janet Van Fleet, and Kristen M. Watson. Opening reception: Nov. 9, 5–7 pm. Vermont Arts Council, 136 State St., Monpelier.

Through Jan. 7: Altered Spaces Group

Exhibition. The exhibition opens with a dynamic collection of work—collage, photography, painting, and multimedia installation in September that will build in layers throughout the fall—inviting the public to revisit and interact as the exhibition continues. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Stowe. sprucepeakarts.org

SPECIAL EVENTS

Nov. 11: Art Night: Digital Photography

Exhibition. Work by Twinfield Digital Photography Students of Jeneane Lunn. Twinfield students have worked hard on adding artistic elements to their photographs and learning to use Photoshop Elements for post- production. 6–8 pm. Jaquith Public Library, School St., Marshfield.

Nov. 12: The Baird Art Collective Art Sale.

Come explore the historic Baird Apartment building near downtown Montpelier and peruse

a pre-holiday local art sale. 10 am–2 pm.

  • 7 Baird St., Montpelier.

Nov. 16: Artist Reception for photo exhibit.

Meet and talk with the f/7 Photographers about

“Grace” hanging in the church through Dec. 30. Waterbury Congregational Church,

  • 8 North Main St., Waterbury. waterburyucc. com. 244-6606

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Hike Seyon Lodge State Park with Green

Mountain Club. Plainfield. Moderate. About 7 miles round trip. From base of Spruce Mountain in Plainfield. Rolling terrain, wet in places. Bring bag lunch and water. Email Nancy Schulz, saddleshoes2@gmail.com for meeting time and place.

Community Lunch at Unitarian Church

Montpelier. 11 am–12:30 pm. 130 Main St., Montpelier.

Salvation Army Community Lunch. Noon–1 pm. 25 Keith Ave., Barre.

LGBTQ Film & Discussion Series: “City of

Borders ” This documentary follows the daily lives of five Israeli and Palestinian patrons of this

gay bar as they navigate the minefield of politics, religion and discrimination to live and love openly. 6:30 pm. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6

Barre Congregational Church Community Meal. 7:30–9 am. 35 Church St., Barre.

Goddard Graduate Institute Virtual Info

Session. Join the Goddard Graduate Institute Director, Ruth Farmer, and Admissions Counselor, Daphne Kinney-Landis, who will discuss our graduate programs and answer your questions. This Info Session will be hosted on Zoom. 6 pm. RSVP: https://goo.gl/ forms/9HcmZyDSV8TIFneG2. 322-1646

Sharing My Cambodian Experience. Harris Webster, a world traveler and volunteer, retired social studies teacher, lifelong global citizen and longtime MSAC member will be presenting on the Cambodian and international scene as he recently experienced it. 7–8:30 pm. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7

Hike Waterbury with Green Mountain Club.

Moderate. About 7 miles. Perry Hill network of

trails in Waterbury. Rolling terrain with steep sections and some narrow bridge crossings. Bring water and bag lunch. Email Leader: Nancy Schulz, saddleshoes2@gmail.com for meeting time and place.

The Christ Church Community Lunch.

11 am–12:30 pm. 64 Main St., Montpelier.

Salvation Army Community Lunch. Noon–1 pm. 25 Keith Ave., Barre.

Coping with Grief during the Holidays. This workshop is intended for those struggling with grief and bereavement, or individuals supporting a loved one who is grieving. Bring with you items you want in your memory box, photos, mementos, trinkets, etc that feel meaningful. Also bring a framed picture of your love one or special memento to be placed on our remembrance table. 4–6 pm. Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice, 600 Granger Rd., Berlin. Space is limited. Reservations required:

224-2241 or dmoore@cvhhh.org

Mid-Week Movie: “Three Identical Strangers.”

6–7:30 pm. Highland Center for the Arts,

2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. $5 suggested donation.

Understanding Opiate Addiction. 3-class community workshop, Nov. 7, 14, and 28. Learn and share about the opiate crisis, signs of opiate addiction, the effect of opiate addiction on people and their families, what your community can do, and what you can do to help. 6–8:15 pm. Central Vermont Career Center, 155 Ayers St., Barre. $30, scholarships available. 476-6237 ext. 1191. CVTCC.org

Yestermorrow Speaker Series. Daniel Hewett of RISD will introduce UrbanFrame, a youth and teen design/build program. 7–8 pm. 4254 Main St., Waitsfield. Free. info@yestermorrow. org

News, “Fake News,” and Democracy in

America. Mark Potok, former editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, considers the role of a serious free press in a post-industrial democracy. A Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesdays program. 7 pm. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier.

THE BRIDGE NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 27 Calendar of Events Visual Arts

PAGE 28 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Calendar of Events

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8

Open Ears at Bagitos. See description under Nov. 1

Trinity United Methodist Church Community

Lunch. 11:30 am–1 pm. 137 Main St., Montpelier.

In Our Own Backyard: Cindy and Ted's Great Adventure. Stowe Free Library Director Cindy Weber’ discusses her experiences to the Far East with her husband, Ted Weber, President of Bolton Furniture in Morrisville. 7–8 pm. 90 Pond St., Stowe. 253-6145

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9

Santa Workshop Sale. A lot of Christmas decorations, a gift shop, and a collectibles

corner. The church craft group will have unique homemade items for gifts. Baked goods.

  • 9 am–5 pm. Waterbury Center Community

Church, Rt. 100 (next to Cold Hollow Cider

Mill), Waterbury Center. 244-8089

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10

Walk the Stowe Bike Path with Green

Mountain Club. Easy. 3–5 miles. Enjoy a fall walk. Plan to have lunch at McCarthy’s. Contact Mary Smith, 505-0603 or Mary Garcia, 622-0585 for meeting time and place.

Barre Congregational Church Community Meal. 7:30 am–9 am. 35 Church St., Barre.

Milarepa Center Retreat Day. Each retreat day will have a schedule for the day, a “working theme” which will guide our practice sessions, lunch and tea breaks, time for personal reflection, journaling, studying texts, walking outside, or walking around the stupa/prayer wheels.

  • 9 am–4 pm. 1344 Rt. 5, Barnet. By donation. Register: 633-4136 or milarepa@milarepacenter.org

8th Annual Craft and Product Sale. The St. John the Evangelist Church is hosting 20 Vermont crafters in the church to exhibit their products. 9:30–4 pm. 206 Vine St., Northfield. fbmkw@trans-video.net

The Gray Building Artists Annual Open Studio and Sale. See description under Nov. 3

Sustaining Yourself in the Age of #MeToo:

A Self-Care Expressive Arts Workshop for

Women of all Ages. This two part-workshop uses writing, music and art to express and share thoughts and feelings about how women can find our place in today’s world in a supportive group

PAGE 28 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Calendar of Events THURSDAY, NOVEMBER

Artwork by Lydia Gatzow on display at The Front Gallery in Montpelier through Dec, 2.

setting. For ages 16+. 10 am–12:30 pm. Kellogg- Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier.

223-3338

American Sign Language (ASL). Bring a bag lunch and a language dictionary, if you have one. THIS IS NOT A CLASS, but a place to practice sign language. Noon–1 pm. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338

Chapters in History Two: Mark Twain: A Life.

With Ron Powers. 2 pm. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marshfield.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11

8th Annual Craft and Product Sale. See description under Nov. 10.

Family Dance at Plainfield Town Hall. All ages welcome. All dances will be taught and called by Liz Benjamin, Ethan Guiles, and Stan Carlson. Live traditional music and healthy snacks. 3–4:30 pm. Plainfield Town Hall Opera House, Rt. 2, Plainfield. $5 donation per adult but no one is turned away. dancesingandjumparound. weebly.com

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12

Community Lunch at Unitarian Church

Montpelier. 11 am–12:30 pm. 130 Main St., Montpelier.

Salvation Army Community Lunch.

Noon–1 pm. 25 Keith Ave., Barre.

Veterans Day Dinner. Arrive between 11:30 and noon. Dinner served at 12:30 pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier. Veterans are our guests, all others $5 donation. RSVP:

223-3322 or twinvalleyseniors@fairpoint.net.

MSAC Open House. Music by Allison Mann and Colin McCaffrey, class demos, tours, sneak preview of winter programming. 3–6:30 pm. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier. Limited transportation available upon request, reserve by Nov. 7: 223-2518.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13

Barre Congregational Church Community Meal. 7:30–9 am. 35 Church St., Barre.

Benefit for Kellogg-Hubbard Library at Three Penny Taproom. Three Penny Taproom will be

donating 5% of their sales to the library.

  • 11 am–midnight.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14

The Christ Church Community Lunch.

  • 11 am–12:30 pm. 64 Main St., Montpelier.

PAGE 28 • NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 THE BRIDGE Calendar of Events THURSDAY, NOVEMBER

Salvation Army Community Lunch.

Noon–1 pm. 25 Keith Ave., Barre.

2018 Governor's Arts Awards. Reception to honor recipients and awards ceremony. Reception at 5 pm in the State House lobby. Awards ceremony at 6 pm in House Chamber. Vermont State House, Montpelier. RSVP: 828-3291

Understanding Opiate Addiction. See description under Nov. 7.

Mid Week Movie: “The Post.” 6–8 pm. Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. $5 suggested donation.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15

Open Ears at Bagitos. See description under Nov. 1

Trinity United Methodist Church Community

Lunch. 11:30 am–1 pm. 137 Main St., Montpelier.

Central Vermont Career Center Open House

and College Fair. 5:30–7:30 pm. 155 Ayers St., Barre.

Green Mountain Club Meeting and Slideshow.

General membership meeting (open to the public). Phyllis Rubenstein presents “The Walker’s Haute Route: From Chamonix to Zermatt”—a talk about her 120 mile hike in the French and Swiss Alps. 7 pm. T.W. Wood Art Gallery, 46 Barre St., Montpelier

Central Vermont Climate Action - Monthly

Meeting. Take action for climate justice locally. Node group of 350Vermont meets every third Sunday. 7–8:30 pm. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Cycles of Life. We invite you to join with us in this place of comfort where we can all come together to listen, talk and share about the things in life’s cycle we are all experiencing in our own way now for ourselves and the earth we live on. 11:45 am–1 pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier. 223-3322

The 2018 Chandler Artisans Market Begins.

Market runs through Dec. 23. Chandler Center

for the Arts, 71-73 Main St., Randolph.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Barre Congregational Church Community Meal. 7:30 am–9 am. 35 Church St., Barre.

Winter Clothing Drive. Free good quality clothing is available at the Old Schoolhouse Common gym. If you have good quality clothes to donate, please drop them off at the library during the week before the event. 9 am–1 pm. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marshfield.

Orchard Valley's Annual Holiday Market. Treat yourself to this fun holiday shopping event with

gifts handcrafted by local artisans. 10 am–3 pm. Vermont College of Fine Arts Gallery,

36

College St., Montpelier. ovws.org. 456-7400

Sustaining Yourself in the Age of #MeToo:

A Self-Care Expressive Arts Workshop for

Women of all Ages. See description under Nov.

10

Capital City Thanksgiving Farmers Market.

50

local vendors will be selling seasonal produce,

local meat, artisan bread and cheese, hot food, handmade crafts, and more. Get everything you need for your Thanksgiving meal from local

farms. Featuring prize drawings throughout the day. 10 am–2 pm. Montpelier High School Gym, 5 High School Dr., Montpelier. 793-8347

THE BRIDGE

NOVEMBER 1 – NOVEMBER 14, 2018 • PAGE 29

Calendar of Events

Live Music

VENUES

Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. 229-9212. Bagitos.com Nov. 1: Colin McCaffrey and Friends, 6 pm Nov. 3: Irish Session, 2 pm Nov. 4: Eric Friedman, 11 am Nov. 8: Old Time Music Session, 6 pm Nov. 10: Irish Session, 2 pm; Peter Wayne Burton, 6 pm Nov. 11: Southern Old Time Music Jam, 10 am Nov. 16: Dave Loughran, 6 pm Nov. 17: Irish Session, 2 pm; Hillary & Andy Leicher, 6 pm

Charlie O’s World Famous. 70 Main St. Montpelier. Free. 223-6820. Nov. 2: Scott Graves & Brad Beaudet (acoustic), 6 pm; Zeus Springsteen/Barbacoa (rock/surf), 9 pm Nov. 3: Rust Bucket (old time), 9 pm Nov. 7: Blues Jam hosted by John Lackard (open jam), 6 pm Nov. 9: Sara Grace & Andy Suits (soul), 6 pm; Mavstar/Humble/Konflik/Mr. Burns (hip-hop), 9 pm Nov. 10: Funk Shui (disco), 9 pm Nov.12: Sex Trivia, 7:30 pm Nov. 14: DuPont Brothers (folk-rock), 7:30 pm Nov. 16: Slowcookers (folk), 6 pm; Not Quite Dead (rock), 9 pm Nov. 17: The Hate Girls/Putsch/I Love You (punk), 9 pm

Espresso Bueno. 248 N. Main St., Barre. 479-0896. espressobueno.com. Nov. 3: AliT (indie pop), 7:30 pm Nov. 10: Jazzyaoke (live jazz karaoke), 7:30 pm, $5

Gusto’s. 28 Prospect St., Barre. 476-7919. Ages 21+. No cover unless indicated. Nov. 1: Cooie DeFrancesco, 5 pm; DJ Rome 802, 8 pm Nov. 2: Tim Brick, 5 pm; Robin Gottfried Band, 9 pm, $5. Nov. 3: DJ KAOS, 9:30 pm Nov. 8: Chris Powers, 5 pm; DJ Rome 802, 8 pm Nov. 9: Joe Sabourin, 5 pm; NOS482, 9 pm,

$5.

Nov. 10: DJ KAOS, 9:30 pm Nov. 15: DJ Rome 802, 8 pm Nov. 16: Elizabeth Renaud, 5 pm Nov. 17: DJ LaFountaine, 9:30 pm

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers play the Barre Opera House Nov. 9
Tommy Castro & The
Painkillers play the Barre
Opera House Nov. 9

Whammy Bar. 31 W. County Rd., Calais.

whammybar1.com

Nov. 1: Open Mic, 7 pm Nov. 2: Big Hat No Cattle (Texas swing), 7:30 pm Nov. 3: Jenn and John, 7:30 pm

SPECIAL EVENTS

Nov. 2: Collaboration: Radio Jarocho and

Zenen Zeferino. 10 am student matinee at Spuce Peak Performing Arts Center, 122 Hourglass Dr., Stowe. 1 pm at Stowe Elementary School. sprucepeakarts.org

Nov. 3: Capital City Concerts presents

Magnificat. J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, and arias featuring soprano Hyunah Yu, mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne, tenor Joshua Collier, and bass David Tinervia. 7:30 pm. St. Augustine’s

Church, Barre St., Montpelier. $15–25. capitalcityconcerts.org

Nov. 3: Collaboration: Radio Jarocho and

Zenen Zeferino. 9 pm. Zenbarn, Waterbury Center.

Nov. 3: Muriel Anderson: “Eclipse.” Her world-renowned guitar and harp guitar playing is highlighted by a backdrop of stunning visuals by celebrated photo-artist Bryan Allen,

including a visual reenactment of a solar eclipse. 7 pm. Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick St., Greensboro. $10–25. highlandartsvt.org

Nov. 5: Jane Boxall and Montpelier Chamber

Orchestra. Boxall will perform the Concerto para Marimba y Orchestra No. 1, Op. 20 (1957) by Guatemalan composer Jorge Sarmientos. 7 pm. Vermont College of Fine Arts, College St., Montpelier. Free. mcovt.org.

Nov. 7: Aizuri Quartet: Deeply Known - Open Rehearsal. 7 pm. Green Mountain Girls Farm, 923 Loop Rd., Northfield. scragmountainmusic.org

Nov. 9: Aizuri Quartet: Deeply Known.

Featuring the World Premiere of Evan Premo’s String Quartet No. 1 Deeply Known, Gabriella Smith’s rocking Carrot Revolution, and Arnold Schoenberg’s masterpiece String Quartet No. 2 Opus 10. 7:30 pm. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier. By

donation. scragmountainmusic.org.

Nov. 9: The T & T Tour. An explosive blues double bill featuring two of today’s hottest blues artists, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and Tinsley Ellis. 8 pm. Barre Opera House, 6 N. Main St., Barre. $22–32. barreoperahouse.org.

Nov. 16: Young at Heart Singers.

1–2 pm. Twin Valley Senior Center, Rt. 2, East Montpelier.

Nov. 16: Friday Night Fires with Cooie's Jazz

Trio. Free music event at your local winery. Food sales at 6 pm; music at 7 pm. Fresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & Winery, 4373 Rt. 12, Berlin. freshtracksfarm.com

Nov. 16: Songs & Tales. A concert and fundraiser for the Center for Arts and Learning. Featuring musical performances and storytelling by Patti Casey and Pete Sutherland. 7 pm. Center for Arts and Learning, 46 Barre St., Montpelier. $25; seniors and students $15; free for kids 5 and under. Tickets: cal-vt.org, at Bagito’s, and at Bear Pond Books with cash or check only.

595-5252.

Nov. 17–18: Jane Boxall and Montpelier

Chamber. Boxall will perform the Concerto para Marimba y Orchestra No. 1, Op. 20 (1957) by Guatemalan composer Jorge Sarmientos. Nov. 17 at 7 pm, Nov. 18 at 4 pm. Vermont College of Fine Arts, Chapel, 36 College St., Montpelier. Free. mcovt.org

To see a listing of Weekly Events, visit montpelierbridge.com

Send your event listing to calendar@ montpelierbridge.com. Deadline for print in the next issue is November 9.

Rocque Long Painting

• Insured • 30+ years professional experience • local references.

802-223-0389

Since 1972 Repairs • New floors and walls Crane work • Decorative concrete Consulting • ICF
Since 1972
Since 1972

Repairs • New floors and walls Crane work • Decorative concrete Consulting • ICF foundations

114 Three Mile Bridge Rd., Middlesex, VT • (802) 229-0480 gendronbuilding@aol.com • gendronconcrete.com

PAGE 30 • NOVEMBER

1

NOVEMBER 14, 2018

THE BRIDGE

Letters

Yay for Scooters

Editor,

I’d like to take a moment to thank Conor Casey and everyone else involved in bringing Bird scooters to Montpelier. These kinds of low-impact experiments with the city’s transportation options are exactly what we need at a time of transformational change. Most important, Birds help us as a community to think differently about what is possible, about ways social technology can transform our community for the better in the years ahead.

Bird scooters have their flaws to be sure, chief among them their lack of power to govern users’ adherence to safety guidelines. Parents and adults will unlock them for minors; uncertain users will ride them on the sidewalks; unprepared riders will operate them without helmets.

I chalk these shortcomings up to a combination of the novelty and irresistible nature of the product. Social adoption is a tricky thing; call it the 100th monkey effect. I think it’ll take Montpelier time to get the variables right. Here’s what I think the most urgent issues are, and why it’s worth the investment:

Travel lanes: While Bird encourages travel on roadways, to make that a fair proposition Montpelier must invest in bike lanes and bicycle-friendly routes throughout the city.

Signals: If Birds are to be used on the road, they should have bright flashers built on to the handlebars. Riders should not be expected to use hand signals because the scooters are unsafe when operated single-handedly.

Reduce hoarding: One of the ways Bird is accessible and affordable is that it rewards riders who charge the scooters overnight. This responsibility is best shared among as many riders as possible; those who take too many scooters damage the reward system for others.

Uphill limitations: Be upfront about the limitations of the technology as a complete commuter solution. Birds will not perform well on most hill climbs and this can result in dangerous and upsetting scenarios.

Permit younger: Young people are a killer use case, especially those who commute to school. Open the Bird pool to all young people 15 and older who have a learner’s permit or are fully permitted.

Here are ways I think we can benefit from innovations like Bird scooters if they are expanded and made permanent in a city the scale of Montpelier:

1. Bird scooters can tie in well to emerging public infrastructure such as pocket parks. It doesn’t take a lot of room to store a few scooters, and pocket parks and parklets provide the perfect, tested platform for storage.

2. The city can develop a Bird credit system for residents to encourage a stronger bike-walk culture throughout

Montpelier. Likewise, destinations such as the Hunger Mountain Co-op can become partners in this effort by incentivizing Bird ridership.

3.

Fine-tuned Bird data can be gathered and used to express,

quite precisely, one dimension of the city’s progress toward expanding bike-walk culture in Montpelier. These data can be used for marketing as well as concentrating city services on well- and under-served areas.

4.

Bird scooters will have a mitigating effect on automobile

traffic, which too often moves with excessive speed through downtown while failing to observe common courtesies such a yielding to pedestrians. Bird riders play an important part in helping drivers remain alert and more attuned to the world around them.

5.

Sharing

is

good;

Bird

leverages the concept of a

shared public infrastructure that, at the same time, feels personalized. The city should study the way apps, cloud services, and location-aware devices can propagate even greater use of “smart” infrastructure solutions.

H.G. Wells famously said, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” When I see a Bird rider flow along traffic in Montpelier, I too feel a twinge of that heady optimism. It’s the right direction for our little slice of humanity in Central Vermont.

Lars Hasselblad Torres, Montpelier

 
 

Please Vote “NO” on the Proposed New Parking Garage

Editor,

 

I am writing this letter to urge Montpelier voters to pay very careful attention to a current proposal that would, if approved, flash a green light to construct a new (348-space) parking garage at a cost of $10 million on land donated by the Capitol Plaza Hotel behind Christ Church in downtown Montpelier.

Please note the following.

 

According to the City of Montpelier, the proposed new parking garage would be entirely paid for by TIF (Tax Increment Financing) and by parking garage fees. Please also note the cost of the new garage would not be paid for by increased local property taxes.

Finally, please note that Montpelier voters will be asked to

vote “Yes” or “No” on the proposed new parking garage as part of the upcoming general election on Tuesday, November

6.

Speaking for myself, here is why I oppose the proposed parking garage proposal:

First, I oppose the new parking garage because it continues to commit us to our near-total dependence on the private motorcar at a time when we should be developing transportation alternatives that will lighten our use of fossil fuels and our damaging carbon footprint.

Let’s not construct a garage that reinforces our continued dependence on the private motorcar.

Instead, let’s take a careful look at the recent (award-winning) proposal from Team Bridges as part of the recent Sustainable Montpelier Contest.

That proposal takes us from near-total dependence on private cars to a mix of transportation alternatives, including satellite parking areas to a number of points outside the city’s downtown core. Those satellite parking areas would connect us by rail with downtown Montpelier. And these rail connections would link us from Waterbury through Middlesex to Montpelier all the way to Barre.

The Team Bridges’ proposal would preserve productive rural open space and concentrate housing and commercial development within our towns and cities. The net effect of adopting the Team Bridges’ proposals would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and would give us a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change—as in warmer oceans, rising sea levels, and damage to our critical life- supporting ecosystems.

With all the new building and development projects either taking place in downtown right now or soon to take place, the new parking garage will have the following impacts: it will compromise Montpelier’s Farmers’ Market, add traffic and congestion to downtown Montpelier, and commit us to cars instead of developing mass transit.

Please take note of the Team Bridges’ proposals by searching for Team Bridges on the Sustainable Montpelier website:

netzerovt.org

It’s a good thing that we are currently either constructing or will soon construct a number of housing and transportation projects in downtown Montpelier—as in the new transit center at One Taylor Street with 36 new apartments, and the French Block rehabilitation project on Main Street above Aubuchon Hardware with 18 new apartment units, and the improved bike path through Montpelier with an eventual link to Barre.

These are good projects that will add housing and activity to Montpelier. But constructing a (348-space) parking garage will only clog up the center of Montpelier, which is why the Team Bridges’ proposal for reactivated rail, public parks, new housing and commerce, and satellite parking areas makes such good sense.

Nat Frothingham, Montpelier

Letters to the paper are not fact-checked and do not necessarily represent the views of The Bridge.

We welcome your letters and opinion pieces. Letters must be fewer than 300 words. Opinion pieces should not exceed 600 words. The Bridge reserves the right to edit and cut pieces. Send your piece to: editorial@montpelierbridge.com.

Deadline for the next issue is November 9

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