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ts fair to say that Frank Bryans long-
time study and contemplation of town
meeting makes him a town meeting
expert. His scholarly fascination with the
town meeting idea, what he now calls his
lifes work, began in 1969 with the help
of college students at St. Michaels Col-
lege. When he moved over to UVM, town
meeting research continued with the help
of UVM students.
And in 2004, 35
years after he first
began, he pub-
lished a book en-
titled Real De-
mocracy: The New
England Town
Meeting and How It
Works. Bryans Real
Democracy is a mul-
tilayered discussion
of town meeting:
town meeting as a
political idea; town
meeting in prac-
tice; town meeting
as one way out of
the woods when our national and state gov-
ernments and elections and campaigns seem
so hopelessly mired in dysfunction.
One part of Bryans book is a report on
town meeting using statistical findings that
tell us something about the vigor or want
of it at various town meetings. How many
registered voters are there in the town? How
many of those voters are in attendance at
town meeting? What are the attendance
numbers in the morning? How many men?
How many women? How many voters are
in attendance after lunch? Bryans examina-
tion of town meeting tells us what happens
when there is a discussion with a vote fol-
lowing immediately versus a discussion with
the vote postponed
to a later time. Or
what happens when
the discussion has
become largely dec-
orative, and the of-
ficers and items are
decided by ballot.
Reporting on at-
tendance numbers
and the like is just
one part of Bryans
book. He also in-
vites us to read the
wide-ranging, often
c o nt r a d i c t o r y,
sometimes specious
or partly specious
accounts of town meeting from various ob-
servers, such as news writers, broadcasters
and town meeting participantsand also
from town meeting skeptics and naysay-
ers. As Bryan writes in the preface to his
book, Later, as a college student, I noticed
something. Nearly everyone who said or
wrote anything about small-town life or
town meeting got it wrong. They inflated
the hell out of either the positives or the
But in his very next remark Bryan tells us
where he stands in appraising the worth of
the town meeting idea: Up front, Id bet-
ter tell you this: Im a passionate believer in
real democracywhere the people make
decisions that matter, on the spot, in face-
to-face assemblies that have the force of
A few days ago, Frank Bryan talked via
phone with Nat Frothingham and Jerry
Carter of The Bridge on the subject of town
meeting. The following are excerpts from
the question-and-answer exchange.
The Bridge: What are the variations in
Vermont town meeting?
Frank Bryan: The basic thing to remember
is that there are three kinds of town meet-
ing. There are fewer and fewer [traditional]
town meetings, mostly in smaller towns,
where they decide everything from the floor
and the vote is taken during the meeting it-
self. Then there are mixed town meetings
and that is most of themwhich have town
officers who are elected by Australian ballot
[a secret paper ballot] or ballot as the meet-
ing proceeds that day. But other matters are
decided at the meeting. In the bigger town,
the budget and town officers are by ballot.
[These informational town] meetings are
fundamentally for information only. There
is discussion. But most of the significant
matters are decided by ballot.
The Bridge: Are Vermont town meetings
moving away from the traditional town
meeting of face-to-face discussion followed
by a vote taken from the floor?
Bryan: There has been a measurable, sys-
tematic decline in the traditional town
There is clear
evidence that
town meeting
attendance goes
down as voting by
ballott goes up.
-Frank Bryan
Connecting Montpelier and nearby communities since 1993 FEBRUARY 20MARCH 6, 2014

issue 2014
Town Meeting
Continued on page 13
The State of Town Meeting by Nat Frothingham
page 2 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
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THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 3
Subscribe to The Bridge!
for a one-year subscription, send this form and a check to The Bridge, p.O. box
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copyright 2014 by The montpelier bridge
arch already, just ahead. Looking at the snow, I would never know it. Its not the
relatively hard, freeze-thaw snowpack of late winter, with its big separate diamond-
like crystals, but the relatively low-moisture, fluffy stuff of earlier winter storms. Its hard
to imagine it now, but one or two sunny, warm days, and there will be bare patches
everywhere. In fact, weve seen a couple of flocks of robins, desperate for exactly that.
And we could have red-winged blackbirds any day now, assuming they made it through
the deep snows and cold south of us. So get ready. Its that time of year. One day winter,
the nextspring!?
Nona Estrin
Nature Watch
Become a Tree Steward
he Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program is offering a course to prepare
interested Vermonters on how to identify and care for trees. The course runs from March
19 through April 26 and will be held at the UVM extension classroom in Berlin. To register
and for more information, please contact soul.treesteward@uvm.edu or call 223-2389, ext.
Town Braintap
oin fellow central Vermonters for a series of talks and classes being held this spring at
Twinfield Union School. Topics range from the importance of color, to an in-depth look at
song lyrics, to how to operate household power tools. The talks will be given by local experts
excited to share their knowledge with the community. Town Braintap, a local, community-
focused and nonprofit learning exchange, is organizing the talks. For more information,
please visit townbraintap.net.
U.S. Military Academy Appointment
he Vermonts Congressional Delegation nominated John Basa, a local Montpelier resi-
dent and student at Montpelier High School, to the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air
Force Academy, U.S Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Naval Academy. Senators Bernie
Sanders (I-VT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) congratu-
lated Basa and 27 other Vermonters earlier this month at a ceremony at the State House.
Help Protect Riparian Zones
he Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (WNRCD) has received funding
this year to enhance riparian buffer zones on private properties throughout Chittenden
and Washington counties and the towns of Orange, Washington and Williamstown. A ripar-
ian zone is the area of land right along a river. In a press release, WNRCD said, Riparian
buffers are an important component of riverine ecosystems and serve many functions, from
pollutant mitigation to stream bank stabilization, which is why they are emphasized in the
watershed plans developed by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation as
priority projects to improve water quality. Those interested in working on this issue can call
WNRCD at 288-8155, ext. 104, or e-mail Meghan@winooskinrcd.org.
Vermont Is Number One in Solar Jobs Per Capita
he Solar Foundation released a report, National Solar Jobs Census 2013, which stated
that Vermont leads the nation in per capita jobs in the field of solar energy. Renewable
Energy Vermont released this statement, Todays number one ranking in solar jobs per capita
is a huge achievement for Vermont. It demonstrates the strength, vitality and importance of
this growing sector of Vermonts economy.
Have You Checked Your Pets Teeth?
recent press release from M. Kathleen Shaw, doctor of veterinary medicine at DVM of
the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, states that 85% of dogs and cats have
dental disease by age three. The sharp decay in pets teeth is due to a lack of brushing. To
make sure that your pet does not suffer from painful tooth decay, contact your local vet for
a checkup and cleaning.
in our

NeXT issue which comes out
ThurSDay, march 6
Special Deals for Summer camps
and Tax professionals available.
aLL aD maTerIaLS Due friday feb 28
advertising: for information about advertising deadlines, rates, ad for the
design of your ad call:
223-5112, ext. 11, or email our ad sales representatives at:
A Fundraising Campaign to Beneft The Bridge
Over the past several years, the timely and generous support
of our readers and friends has enabled The Bridge to keep
This financial support has been crucial in bridging the gap
between our income and our expenses. Our revenues from
advertising sales and subscriptions are not enough to pay
editors, writers, the graphic designer, the bookkeeper, the
people who distribute the paper and other staff, as well as
covering printing and mailing costs, insurance, taxes and
equipmentand the list goes on. Help us close the gap. I
cant tell you how much your continued support of The Bridge
means to us at the paper. Without your help, The Bridge could
not continue.
If you are able to help us financially, please send a check payable
to The Bridge to: The Bridge, P.O. Box 1143, Montpelier, VT
05601. Or visit our offce. We are located on the lower level
of Schulmaier Hall on the campus of the Vermont College
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fnd us, please phone us at 223-5112. Your help is critical and
indispensableand deeply appreciated.
In the article, Mayor and Challenger Face Off, some of the con-
tent was cut off during the design process. For a complete ver-
sion of the text please visit our website, montpelierbridge.com
page 4 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
he trends arent good, said
Lowell VanDerlip, of the Mont-
pelier school board, after hear-
ing remarks from panelists at a February 11
meeting. The meeting, hosted by Vibrant
and Affordable Montpelier (VAM), focused
on state education financing.
During an hour-and-a-half discussion, the
panelists explained to the audience the
implications of state education financing
for taxpayers in Montpelier. The panel
consisted of Brian Ricca, superintendent
of Montpelier Schools; Mark Perrault, an
education finance fiscal analyst in the legis-
latures Joint Fiscal Office and a Montpelier
resident; and Phil Dodd, editor of the Ver-
mont Property Owners Report newsletter
and a Montpelier resident.
VAM organized the discussion in response
to recent outrage from community members
over the proposed 13 percent increase in
the Montpelier school budget for FY2015.
If this years budget is passed, Montpelier
residents will have voted to increase school
spending by 24.23 percent in the last two
Ricca opened the panel discussion remark-
ing, Our total [school] budget change
from last year is 2.3 percent. We added ap-
proximately $389,000 total difference from
our expenditures last year to our expendi-
tures this year.
Out of the 13.1 percent hike in taxes this
year, roughly 10.8 percent of it comes
through state-mandated adjustments.
These mandates are driven largely by Act
68, which passed the state legislature in
2003. Act 68 aims to make education more
equitable throughout the state by spread-
ing out the cost of education evenly among
school districts. This is accomplished by
establishing a statewide education base tax
rate. The Vermont Agency of Education de-
termines the rate by estimating how much
school spending is going to grow in the ag-
gregate statewide in all of the schools collec-
tively in the upcoming year. This year, the
agency estimated that school spending will
go up by about 3 percent, which translates
to about a $44-million increase in school
spending statewide.
To cover this growth and to meet preexist-
ing costs, the state sets a base rate of per
pupil spending. Mark Perrault said, This
year the [base] amount is set at $9,382. For
FY2015, Montpelier is proposing a $14,700
per pupil rate, or about 1.5 times the state
set base rate, which means that Montpelier
property owners will have to pay 1.5 times
the base tax rate, said Perrault.
In addition to this base tax rate, Perrault
informed the audience that there are four
other variables that contribute to establish-
ing the final property tax rate for a district.
The one that voters have the most control
over is the school district budget, which
is determined by local school boards and
voted on by citizens at town meeting.
The second variable that Perrault mentioned
was the shift in local revenues. Changes in
the amount of property taxes, state and fed-
eral aid, grants and local fees coming into a
school district alter the additional amount
of money that is needed to cover spending.
If your revenues, which offset the budget,
go down, your education spending is going
to go up. That is then going to drive your
tax rate higher, said Perrault. One such
reduction in revenue has been the loss of
$1,450,557 in one-time grant money that
was awarded to Montpelier Public Schools
as part of the American Recovery and Re-
investment Act (ARRA).
Pupil count is the third variable affecting
the property tax rate. Lower numbers of
students mean that per pupil spending will
The Bottom Line on
School Spending by Jerry carter









Education Portion of
Homestead Property Tax Rate
Municipal Portion of
Property Tax Rate
Washington County Property Taxes
Below The Bridge has compiled the
property tax rate for each town in
Washington County over the last three
years. We have broken down the prop-
erty tax for each year by school and
municipal spending, the two factors
that make up your property tax.
Ian Maas (802) 454-1856
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THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 5
go up, which again raises the tax rate. The
fourth and final factor affecting the amount
a school district pays is based on property
values in relation to the grand list. The
grand list, according to vttransparency.org,
is prepared by the Vermont Tax Depart-
ments Property Valuation and Review Di-
vision, which adjusts local property values
reported by town and city listers to reflect
current fair market value.
According to Perrault, Statewide, the grand
list is coming down in value, but Montpe-
lier actually went up this year by about 1.5
percent. When you have a growing grand
list, and everyone elses grand list is com-
ing down, or flat, you are going to have to
pick up a greater portion of the total cost
that we [department of taxes] identify that
the property tax has to pick up statewide.
These factors have combined to create the
13 percent increase in the school portion of
Montpeliers property tax this year.
The particulars affecting the formation
of the state per pupil rate were ambiguous
throughout the discussion, and no one pres-
ent could articulate them. What was clear
was that a large portion of the school part
of the property tax rate is determined at the
state level.
After digesting this news, an onslaught of
questions erupted from the audience. One
audience member got to the heart of the
issue, What would have happened if we
had level-funded this year? Would this not
have limited the growth in the citys tax
If we level-funded this years budget, there
would [still] be an 11 percent tax increase,
responded Ricca.
What would we have to do to have had no
increase in the tax rate? asked someone in
the audience.
Ricca responded that we would have to re-
duce the school budget by $1.4 million. He
went on to explain that this would require
a reduction of 23 teachers or about 10 per-
cent of the budget.
When asked if it was fair to use teachers as
the variable to be cut, Perrault responded,
Teachers salaries and benefits are almost
the whole game. It is over 80 percent of your
budget, so if you are talking about cutting
your budget significantly, you are talking
about losing teachers.
Ricca added, If you want a chunk of this
budget reduced, you are talking about a
reduction in human beings. We can level-
fund supplies, we can cut supplies, we can
pull a rabbit out of the hat with the remain-
ing 20 percent, but 80 percent is salary and
benefits. Its real human beings.
Phil Dodd stated that it was time that we
explored such cuts and seriously considered
school consolidation. We spend about 25
percent more per pupil than New Hamp-
shire, but we get about the same results
on our National Assessment of Educational
Progress tests, he said. Dodd went on to say
that this gross difference in cost is because
Vermont has more school districts and a
lot fewer students per district than New
Dodd and others present expressed con-
cern that many Vermonters lacked the po-
litical will to consolidate. While they ac-
knowledged that many of the small schools
throughout the state are the linchpins of the
communities that they support, they argued
that to ensure that these towns are afford-
able for Vermonters, some type of compro-
mise would have to be struck.
These are changes that the towns [in Ver-
mont] arent going to make on their own,
said Dodd. [T]he legislature is going to
have to mandate some of these changes.
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page 6 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
The Goal of the
Agency of Education
Our goal at the agency is to improve the
learning of every student, and we say stu-
dent because some of our students are adult
learners and some of our students are in
nontraditional classrooms. But we are com-
mitted to ensuring that every child and
every adult that works with us is getting
better, learning more so they can meet the
challenges of the workforce . . . and the
challenges of engaging in meaningful ways
in their communities.
What We Can Learn
Every culture has a different set of solu-
tions to common shared problems, and I
think it helps us understand ourselvesto
understand how people live in other parts
of the world. And I think as the world
is becoming increasingly globalized, thats
I can sit down next to someone in the
Singapore Ministry of Education and learn
how theyre grappling with issues of teacher
quality and benefit from that insight as I
think about that same challenge in Vermont.
Its interesting when you look at the Ministry
of Singapore website right now; what theyre
focusing on is the 21st-century skills, the
transferrable skills. And we think of them as
sort of a test tiger because theyve had a rigor-
ous, test-focused education. Whats interest-
ing is what they see as the next stepthe
critical skill set for learning.
I think what historically Americans have
focused on, or at least talked about as a
goal, is not so much what we know
which we can figure out on a phone like
yours [an iPhone] in about 10 seconds. Its
the cognitive skills to know how to use what
you know in a constructive and appropriate
Everything that can be computerized is in
the process of being computerized. Where
we can help our students is in developing
the human skills that cant be shifted to
computers . . . such as non-routine problem
solving, reasoning from evidence, making
human judgments.
Children Who Learn
in Different Ways
The challenge for us is having the same
high goals for all students and having a
delivery system that really supports them to
reach those high goals. The example I like
to give is when I was teaching in a middle
school [one of the students] wasnt doing
particularly well by traditional measures.
. . but I found out in the context of a field
trip when we went camping overnight, and
he was sitting around the fire and talk-
ing about a remote-control device he built
and designed. And I realized that he really
was quite capable and knew a tremendous
amount about motors and engines and me-
chanics. And he had been writing and cor-
responding. So he could do so much that
we cared about. But we hadnt asked him in
the right way. Some kids may [demonstrate
their proficiency] in traditional academic
ways. And some kids are just as capable,
but they may show it in a different format.
Affording Education
Affordability is key. And what were see-
ing in our country is this widening gap
between the people who have the resources
to meet that transition and those who dont.
Im here today because someone gave my
mother a full scholarship to college, and we
need to make sure that other kids have that
. . . One of the concrete steps were taking
[on the affordability issue] involves Act 77
with the dual enrollment in the early col-
lege access options, so students enrolled in
high school can take courses at college level
and get academic credit for those.
High Turnover Rates
for School Principals
One of the challenges is certainly in some
cases geographic isolation . . . We have
problems in the state with turnover in some
positions. We have 30 percent turnover a
year in principals. Thats a challenge. It
makes it difficult for schools to sustain and
really push the envelope on the kinds of
programming and opportunities were of-
fering to children . . .
[Serving as a school principal] is an incred-
ibly challenging job . . . and I think that the
nature of mandates is that they fall dispro-
portionately hard on states with many units
The example I often give is that, as the
principal once in a small school, when your
toilet overflows and floods the snowsuits, as
Rebecca Holcombe
Secretary of the Vermont
Agency of Education
Speaks Out
by Joyce Kahn with Nat Frothingham
What I can tell
you is that the
economic literature
suggests that 60
percent of the jobs
that our children will
have havent even
been invented yet.
n recent days, writer Joyce Kahn talked at length with Rebecca
Holcombe, Vermonts new secretary of education. Holcombe,
who has degrees from Brown University and Harvard, was ap-
pointed by Governor Shumlin to become Vermonts secretary of
education. Before her appointment, Holcombe was head of the
teacher training program at Dartmouth College. At an earlier
moment in her educational career, Holcombe played a key role
in the formation of the new Rivendell Interstate School District,
which brought together towns on both sides of the Connecticut
River into a single district. As part of her career in education,
Holcombe has been a classroom teacher, a school principal and a
college lecturer and administrator. She is currently completing a
doctorate degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 7
a principal, I take them to the Laundromat
because Im the person who can leave my
desk and do that. When youre in a small
school, you are it.
The Role of Arts in our Schools
When we judge schools currently, we tend
to focus on language arts, math and sci-
ence. Thats certainly how our current fed-
eral accountability model works. But what
the [Vermont State Board of Education] is
saying is that we care about those three sub-
jects. But we also care about a broader range
of outcomes, including the arts, including
wellness, including civic engagement and
your understanding of how to participate in
civil society. And this includes transferrable
skillsreally 21st-century skillscommu-
nication, persuasion, critical thinking.
Having worked in a variety of communi-
ties, I think people want music. I know that
when we put music into some of the schools
in the Rivendell District that hadnt had it,
everyone was happy. It wasnt a class-based
thing. I think everyone realized the power.
Just to be able to have a holiday or spring
concert where you can bring together your
communitypeople can sing songs, you
can bring food It just builds a strong
center for the town, and I think people un-
derstand that the arts plays a role in that.
As Enrollments Decline,
Spending Increases
I think that currently just to take the issue
of declining enrollment and decreases in
staff, if you look at where the increases are
occurring, they tend to be in special educa-
When youre looking at regular education
teacher staffing, the problem with school
declining enrollment is that kids dont dis-
appear in cohorts of 20 . . . they disappear
in dribbles over time.
I do think it is very challenging for people to
let go of what theyve always done. I would
love to have an island in Hawaii. But I cant
afford it . . . But I think its hard when
youre accustomed to something and when
your teachers are long and loved members
of your community. Its really hard to say
we need to turn our kindergarten, with five
children, and our first grade, with seven
children, into a multiage grade one.
Youth Drug Abuse
I have to be transparent. I moved here for the
schools. We moved here and lived here. And
we spent years trying to figure out how to
put our kids back into Vermont schools. That
said, I think were not immune from some of
the ills that plague other states . . .
I would not argue that were [the schools] are
producing the drug abuse. I think thats a little
unfair. I would say that its a critical challenge
. . . and one of the ways we can respond as
schools to try to prevent [drug abuse] is by
finding ways that students are engaged. And
certainly this is where the new personalized
learning plans were working on developing
come in. One of the things I love about the
new personalized learning plans is they chal-
lenge every school to sit down and speak with
the parents and speak with the child, commu-
nicate with them and involve them in setting
goals for the student and think about the best
way to support the schools in working toward
the goals that they agree on together.
Another piece of the work is to support the
Early Learning Initiative. We pick up kids in
preschool. But we also know that school be-
gins with kids in utero, and they need access
to prenatal care of high quality and working
with parents to help them understand how to
talk to their children in ways that develop the
kinds of social skills that develop the basic
foundational literacy.
And math skills that are so critical to success
in schools . . . I think we know that children
who develop the social and emotional capaci-
ties early on have a better time regulating their
behavior and exercising judgment later on.
Another piece of it is we need to help young
people feel that theres hope, that theres op-
portunity, and one of the reasons young peo-
ple dont move here is that they dont feel there
are jobs. When we think about our children
leaving our system, were again focused on
postsecondary [school] outcomes, how we
canthrough dual enrollmentgive them a
head start on college so that they can begin
to move towards a trade that will give them a
payable, decent wage or put them through
a four-year program so theyll be able to go
out and create opportunities for themselves or
engage in viable work.
The Struggle to Keep
or Close Small Schools
I think the approach we try to focus on at
the Agency of Education is to constantly
keep coming back to whats best for the
kids . . . We have narrowed the variability in
how much we spend per pupil and we dont
have the broad discrepancies in how much
individual [school] districts are spending .
. . What we havent really grappled with is
the variability in opportunities to learn that
we provide.
The Achievement Gap
Between Students
Theres an interesting study from Johns
Hopkins University, I believe, that said that
about two-thirds of what we see as the
achievement gap can be explained in part
by access to out-of-school learning. When
you look at what happens in the summer, its
that high-income kids tend to continue to
learn and low-income kids [stay where they
are] or decline. As you continue to accumu-
late those summers in terms of a 12-year
education, theres a substantial difference.
And we all know it.
For Students Now in School:
What Will the World Look Like?
What I can tell you is that the economic
literature suggests that 60 percent of the
jobs that our children will have havent even
been invented yet . . . And the industries
that are declining are some of what we
think of as our traditional blue-collar jobs.
Whats increasing are the knowledge jobs
that require analytical thinking, problem
solving and the ability to use technology.
We the undersigned residents, taxpayers
and business owners in Montpelier express
our strong support for
John Hollars re-election as
Mayor of Montpelier.
Adri Luhr
Alex Aldrich
Alex Bravakis
Alex Geller
Andrew Boner
Andrew Brewer
Andy Boutin
Andy Hooper
Barbara Blythe
Bea Grause
Becky Bowen
Ben Huffman
Beth Bingham
Beth Schwarz
Betsy Anderson
Bill Cody
Bill Perreault
Bob Cody
Bob Gross
Bonnie Giuliani
Bonnie Mohlman
Bonnie Myer
Brad Watson
Brett Leeper
Brian Murphy
Burt Marsh
Cameron OConnor
Candy Diamond
Candy Moot
Carol Doerein
Carol Wiley
Carole Naquin
Caroline Murphy
Carolyn Herz
Carrie Baker Stahler
Charlie Wiley
Cheryl King Fischer
Chris Ebersole
Chris Pierce
Chris Rohan
Chrissy Rohan
Christy Krussman
Christy Mihaly
Chrystal Crane
Chuck Nichols
Cindy Golonka
Claire Benedict
Claude Stone
Cory Gustafson
Craig Jarvis
Dan Boomhower
Dan Richardson
Danny Coane
David Blythe
David Dobbs
David Guyette
David Kidney
David Putter
Deb Markowitz
Dena Cody
Denise Ricker
Didi Brush
Dodge Bingham
Don Marsh
Donna Curtin
Duane Wells
Elise Annes
Eliza Dodd Leeper
Eric Bigglestone
Erik Schwarz
Ethan Atkin
Evan Hollar
Eve Jacobs-Carnahan
Fran Dodd
Fred Bashara
Fred Cleveland
Fred Mecke
Gary Rose
George Olson
Greg Gerdel
Greg Guyette
Heidi Tringe
Ilene Siegel
Jack Campbell
Jack Lindley
Jane Kast
Jane Sakovitz Dale
Janel Johnson
Janice Guyette
Jason Gingold
Jean Olson
Jean Stetter
Jeanne Kinzel
Jeff Francis
Jeff Stetter
Jen Breer Galfetti
Jenna Bravakis
Jennifer Hollar
Jennifer Mathews
Jennifer Roberts
Jerry Diamond
Jessica Edgerly Walsh
Jim Abrams
Jim Tringe
Johannes Otter
John Rahill
Jon Anderson
Josh Fitzhugh
Judy McKinley
Julie Hendrickson
Justin Turcotte
Kate Gustafson
Kate Vanden Bergh
Kate Whelley McCabe
Katherine Fanelli
Katherine Williams
Kathi Coane
Kathy Perreault
Katie Fahnestock
Kelly McCracken
Ken Jones
Ken Valentine
Kevin Ellis
Kim Cheney
Kim Kidney
Kip Penniman
Kip Roberts
Kirsten Dunn
Larry Myer
Laura Bashara
Lee Doyle
Lennette Boner
Lindel James
Lindsay Kurrle
Linn Syz
Lloyd Richards
Lori Rose
Lyn Munno
Lynn Lindley
Marc Mihaly
Mark Crane
Mark Sciarrotta
Martha Winthrop
Mary Admasian
Matt Calhoun
Matt Spence
Matthew Hollar
Melissa Pierce
Melissa Story
Mike Dellipriscoli
Molly Paulger
Nancy Cleveland
Nancy Schulz
Nat Winthrop
Nielsen Family
Norm James
Otto Kinzel
Pat Jones
Patty Valentine
Paul Carnahan
Paul Giuliani
Paul Markowitz
Paula Cody
Peter Burmeister
Peter Lind
Peter Ricker
Peter Watt
Phil Dodd
Pinky Clark
Ramsey Luhr
Rebecca McCarty
Renee Affolter
Rick Vanden Bergh
Rob Hitzig
Rob Kasow
Robert Pace
Rodger Krussman
Sandy Bigglestone
Sandy Mohlman
Sarah Guyette
Sigrid Olson
Stephan Syz
Stephen Walke
Steve Cook
Steve Sease
Sue Abrams
Sue Aldrich
Sue Dellipriscoli
Susan Koch
Susan Reid
Susan Ritz
Susan Spaulding
Susan Zeller
Terrence Youk
Thierry Guerlain
Tim Flynn
Tim Shea
Tod Olson
Tom Bachman
Tom Dunn
Tom Golonka
Toni Hartrich
Tony Williams
Valerie Lewis
Warren Kitzmiller
Wendy Fuller
Wendy Watson
Yvonne Babb
We support Johns vision for a prosperous and
welcoming Montpelier, and we recognize that his
fnancial stewardship and cooperative leadership
have delivered two years of progress while holding
property tax increases below the rate of infation.
Please join us in voting for Mayor Hollar
on (or before) March 4th
Paid for by Hollar for Mayor Campaign, 14 McKinley St., Montpelier VT

page 8 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE

Tell them you saw it in The Bridge!
Net Zero Montpelier,
Repair of Cummings
Street Bridge
by Nat Frothingham
City Council Report
he councils first major agenda item
was an update of the activities, ac-
complishments and future plans of
the Montpelier Energy Advisory Commit-
tee. Advisory committee chair Dan Jones
explained that the Energy Advisory Com-
mittee is responsible for advising the council
on energy matters, priorities and opportuni-
ties and creates and nurtures Montpelier
infrastructure projects consistent with City
Council priorities. The committee also car-
ries out public education campaigns, such
as a recent Montpelier home weatheriza-
tion campaign, and works in partnership
with like-minded organizations, such as the
citizens environmental group, the Vermont
Natural Resources Council and the state-
wide Energy Action Network. Jones men-
tioned a number of goals pursued by the
advisory committee, such as weatherizing
1,000 homes in Montpelier by 2015, walk
and bike projects, the Carr lot transit center
and various neighborhood energy outreach
Next, Jones opened a discussion of Net
Zero Montpeliera proposed new, mul-
tiyear energy project for the future. As he
explained it, Net Zero Montpelier envis-
ages a community that consumes all of its
energy from renewable sources, but those
renewable sources may be located outside
the citys boundaries. This is the goal, he
said. How can we get there? Jones said
the net zero project is a collaborative un-
dertaking between the city and businesses
and nonprofit organizations. He said that
Montpelier has gained a great deal of cred-
ibility with the U.S. Department of Energy
because of its success in developing and
constructing the district heat plant and that
Montpelier could become the first sustain-
able state capital in the nation. Jones then
asked Andrea Colnes, who is executive di-
rector of the statewide Energy Action Net-
work, to speak to the City Council.
Colnes identified a broad range of statewide
nonprofits, such as the Vermont Natural
Resources Council; government units, such
as the city of Montpelier; the business sec-
tor with help from corporations, such as
IBM and National Life; and utilities, such
as Green Mountain Power and Washington
Electric Coop. Using the Energy Action
Network, these organizations are helping
the state move toward its goal of 90 percent
of energy from renewables by 2050.
Johanna Miller suggested that in thinking
about net zero, we think about an um-
brellaan admittedly huge and complex
project with the net zero aimbut involv-
ing a spirited public education effort around
such intertwined issues as transportation,
land use, energy generation, energy con-
servation and energy efficiency, as well as
such infrastructure projects as Montpeliers
long-planned transit center and its soon-to-
be-completed district energy plant.
As the presentation ended, Alan Weiss sug-
gested that, because the issues raised by the
Energy Advisory Committee were continu-
ing, the council vote to receive the com-
mittees report. Councilor Jessica Edgerly
Walsh suggested a resolution to achieve the
advisory committees net zero goal as soon
as 2030. Councilor Anne Watson seconded
that motion. The council voted unani-
mously to support the net zero energy goal.
In other words, the council would go on
record in support of the city consuming all
of its energy from renewablesinside or
outside the cityby 2030.
Mayor John Hollar offered his full support
for the net zero goal. He welcomed the
offer of Green Mountain Power to provide
financial help in jump-starting a number of
tangible projects in Montpelier. He believes
there is strong public support in Montpelier
for the net zero idea and for dealing with
climate change imperatives, and he feels
that Montpelier is poised to take the lead.
In other council business, Councilor Thi-
erry Guerlain moved that the council re-
appoint Roy Schiff to a three-year seat on
the Montpelier Conservation Commission;
appoint Montpelier resident and environ-
mental attorney Jim Murphy to a three-year
seat on the commission; and also appoint
Montpelier resident Ben Eastman as an al-
ternate on the commission. This motion
carried unanimously. The council also ap-
pointed Andrew Stein to the Montpelier
Energy Committee.
Next, the council heard from Tom McArdle
of the citys Public Works Department and
Chris Williams, chief of the construction
section of the Vermont Agency of Transpor-
tation. Both men discussed an assessment
of the condition of the Cummings Street
Bridge and possible alternatives. The bridge
is in disrepair, and the alternatives are to
rehabilitate the existing bridge, replace it
with a completely new bridge or abandon
the bridge in favor of an access road to
connect Cummings Street to North Street.
Councilor Guerlain made a motion to ac-
cept the recommendation of the VTrans
Scoping Report for a complete replacement
bridge at Cummings Street. Alan Weiss sec-
onded that motion, which was passed by the
council unanimously.
At about 8:15 p.m., the council voted to go
into executive session to discuss the pending
Sanborn and Walker Motors lawsuits, the
police and public works union negotiations,
and the city managers annual review.
February 12, 2014
Barre Prepares to Vote
by Michelle A. L. Singer
opefully, its a straightforward
and simple ballot this year,
said Barre city manager Stephen
Mackenzie. On March 4, Barre City residents
will vote by Australian ballot on a general
fund budget of $11,187,972; voter assistance
requests, like Project Independence and
Green Mountain Transit; and a special ballot
item for the cost of continuing the street re-
construction program and capital equipment
purchases to replace outdated equipment.
Mackenzie notes that they have a 3.51 percent
increase in their municipal tax rate, inclusive
of voter-approved special funding requests,
and that they were hoping for less, but that
its a very lean budget, and he hopes voters
are receptive to it. The combined municipal
and education tax rate increase for the city is
projected to be 3.24 percent.
The special streets/capital equipment bal-
lot item continues the managers initiative
to move from reactive spending on capital
equipment purchases to proactive budgeting
for the future. After the focus on street re-
construction and repairs of the last few years,
this ballot item would allocate $419,500 of
the $835, 500 street reconstruction, sidewalk
repair and capital fund budget to address the
critical financial needs of new equipment ex-
pected, according to Mackenzie. Even with
the $419,5000 capital equipment allocation,
he said, the original 10-year street recon-
struction program will be completed in eight
yearstwo years ahead of the original 10-
year plan.
This budget allocation would continue to
share a minimum of $400,000 of funding
annually with sidewalk and street repair for
12 years and total $6.3 million. It would
be the first time the city has set aside funds
for planned replacement spending for much-
needed municipal equipment like sidewalk
plows and bucket loaders and offers an alter-
native to crisis spending, said Mackenzie.
The money, however, would not be used to
replace the fire departments tower truck, a
$1.5- million need they do expect to have to
meet in the near future. Due to the magni-
tude of this investment, said Mackenzie, we
will need to assess methods and opportunities
for replacing this extraordinary piece of fire
apparatus. The regional EMS initiative being
considered by voters in both Barre and Mont-
pelier at this years Town Meeting may impact
if and how we proceed with the replacement
of the tower truck.
Mackenzie is referring to the one nonfund-
ing ballot itemthe adoption of a charter
to combine emergency services for the area.
Central Vermont Public Safety Authority, if
the charter is approved, would provide re-
gionalization of police, dispatch, fire and am-
bulance services for Barre City, Barre Town,
Montpelier and Berlin. Based on the net cost
history of each municipality, the first three
years would have Barre paying 53.7 percent of
the annual budget and Montpelier 46.3 per-
cent. The purpose of the authority, according
to the charter, is to provide the member towns
with an affordable, integrated and efficient
system of public safety services.
Barre Citys ballot also includes elections for
city offices and an unopposed run by Thom
Lauzon for what will be his fifth term as
mayor. Lauzon explained that he thinks that
having a few terms under his belt is an asset
but also quips, Ive considered the fact that
no one else wants the job! Since becoming
mayor, he has never had a candidate oppose
him. He claims that his energy and enthusi-
asm remains strong, and there is still a lot of
work to be done. He also expressed his plea-
sure in working with Montpelier mayor John
Hollar and gave his endorsement for Hollars
Barre Town will also go to the polls on March
4 and, according to Barre Town manager
Carl Rogers, will vote on school budgets and
elect school board members. They will have
municipal elections in May. Two selectboard
members and the school board director are
running unopposed, and budgets for the el-
ementary and middle and high schools are
being offered with around 3 percent increases.
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 9
Contemporary Dance & Fitness Studio our 40th year!
Hip-Hop Immersion with Justin, Amia, Rose: Explore: old-school popping, locking, waving
and breaking; current choreography trends; development of personal style through circles & battles; and
discussions of hip hop culture & history, enhanced by videos of the trend-setters. Leave stronger, learn lots of
new moves, and most of all, have tons of fun! June 23-27 9am-2pm ages 8-14 $240.00
Making Dances with Modern and Ballet. With Kiera & Assistant: Develop technique, explore
improvisation, create choreography. Be inspired and guided to make your own dances! July 7-11 ages 8-11
9am-12noon $140.00
Fairytales And Wonderland Characters, Stories, Costumes, Dance!
With Amia & assistant: Using characters, costumes and stories, campers explore creative movement and
ballet, developing new skills for the young dancer. July 14-18 ages 6-8 10am-12noon $105.00
Tap And Jazz! with Amia: Grab your top hat and tap your toes! A great combination of these two
showdance styles. Have lots of fun and learn basic technique. Perfect for beginning and advanced beginning
dancers. July 14-18 ages 8-10 1-3pm $105.00
Hip Hop And Ninja Dance with Luke and Nathan and assistants:
Learn fundamental hip hop moves and combinations, explore creative movement through games, then learn
and earn your B-Boy/B-Girl Ninja mask from two of our Teen Jazz Ninja
B-Boys! July 21-25 ages 6-8 9-11am OR 1-3pm $105.00
Capoeira For Kids with Fua: Discover this exciting interactive non-contact Brazilian dance/fight.
Powerful, energetic, and fun movement, taught in the cultural
context of music, drumming and singing. July 21-25 ages 8-13 9-10:30 $95.00
Contemporary Dance & Fitness Studio
18 Langdon Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 229-4676 www.cdandfs.com
654 Granger Rd Berlin, Barre, VT 05641
( 223-0517 SunriseGym.com
Winter Camp
Spring Camp
Summer Camps
Feb 24 - Mar 4
April 21 - 25
Jun 23 - Aug 22
Half Day &
Full Day
Gymnastics, Foam pit, In-Ground Trampoline, Rock Climbing wall
& Swimming every afternoon!
S U MME R C A MP S 2 0 1 4
JULY 21 - 25 & JULY 28 - AUG 1 CIRCUS
AGES 6-12 TIME 9-3 pm, after-care avai lable unti l 5 pm
A L L T OGE T HE R NOWV T . OR G A T N@V T L I NK . NE T 8 0 2 2 2 3 1 2 4 2

The Montpelier swim team welcomes youth who
would like to learn more about competitive swimming
to participate. We swim from Late June to early August
at the Montpelier outdoor pool 4 mornings a week.
(802) 446-6100
page 10 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
The Montpelier School Page
ontpelier High Schools new
Learning Expectations (LEs) are
the transferrable skills all stu-
dents will develop across disciplines and
over the course of their high school career
in the coming years. MHS senior Julian
Kelly has collaborated with school lead-
ers to design a classroom for teachers and
students that makes Learning Expectations
part of their daily conversations. Julian will
be attending the Rhode Island School of
Design in the fall. To see assessment rubrics
for the MHS Learning Expectations, check
the drop-down menu under Academics
on the MHS webpage.
MHS hosted visiting educators from the
Partnership for Change and the Rowland
Foundation last week. The delegation ob-
served online tools for formative assessment
in Whitney Machniks Algebra I class and
discussed student-designed learning with
students from the Soar program. Superin-
tendent Brian Ricca spoke with the group
about the importance of technology for
21st-century educational leaders, and Prin-
cipal Adam Bunting answered questions
relating to distributive leadership in school
change efforts. Tom Sabo gave the group an
overview of sustainability curriculum and
provided a tour of the MHS greenhouses,
which included picking and tasting some
winter carrots!
hen it comes to sustainability,
Main Street Middle Schools
Green Team has been practic-
ing what they preach in recent years, from
expanding recycling and composting to re-
ducing paper use through Google docs.
Each of the groups nine committees focuses
on specific initiatives with support from the
Champlain Valley Solid Waste Manage-
ment District. For example, the Second
Time Around committee is currently re-
ducing waste by refurbishing binders and
notebooks for students, thereby meeting the
reuse goal of their mantra: reduce, reuse, re-
cycle. You can check out the Green Teams
on Team Summits YouTube channel: goo.
In conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr.
Day, and a unit around heroes, heroic quali-
ties and human rights, MSMS sixth graders
held their 15th Annual Local Heroes and
Heroines Panel. This event recognizes local
community members who are serving the
world through their work, passion and vol-
unteerism, including veterans, musicians,
environmentalists, social workers and Peace
Corps and Humane Society volunteers.
ou may know about snowboarding,
skiing and figure skating, but do you
know about skeleton, luge and curl-
ing? Union Elementary students from Mor-
gan Lloyds fourth-grade class have been
learning by doing in their study of Sochis
Winter Olympic Games. Students tried out
lesser-known Olympic sports, wore flags
from the countries they chose to represent
and paid compliments to their peers during
the friendly competition. You can see the
students in action in this slideshow: goo.gl/
UES principal Chris Hennessey wanted to
know what students, teachers and staff love
about their school, so he picked up his iPad
and asked them! The results are a testa-
ment to the Montpelier communitys posi-
tive school spirit. You can see what they had
to say in the YouTube video Our School:
This page was paid for by the Montpelier Public Schools.
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 11
A Progressive Vision
for Montpelier
by Gwendolyn Hallsmith
Whats your vision for Montpelier? I see a
city that still feels like a small town, where
people have good work theyve created from
the lifelong education opportunities here.
We have a vibrant, historic downtown,
healthy ecosystems, safe neighborhoods and
affordable housing; we run on renewable
energy. Were a model for cities everywhere
who are trying to be responsible global
We can lower property taxes and utility bills
by changing the citys development policy.
We can make Montpelier more pedestrian
friendly. We can vote to support a state
bank, which would save taxpayers money.
We dont need the winter parking ban.
But do we really want, as Mr. Hollar has
suggested, lower income taxpayers to put
more skin in the game and pay higher
taxes than they do now? I dont think so.
We pride ourselves on our good schools and
on our civic compassion.
Public debate on all these issues is very im-
portant. I would not try to change the city
charter to set higher dog license fees than
state law allows and give the city new pow-
ers to eliminate downtown parking spaces,
without any public input, as this council
has done.
Now The Bridge has asked all of the can-
didates for council to offer their opinion
on how my termination from the city was
handled, making it a campaign issue, so
Im compelled to tell my side of the story
to set the record straight. One example of
what I was up against with the city can
be seen in an e-mail message from 2012
about an affordable housing ordinance the
master plan recommended. Planning Com-
missioner Goldman wrote to City Coun-
cil opposing my affordable housing draft,
provoking Councilor Hooper (running for
reelection in District 1) to write to Coun-
cilor Golonka, saying: F*ck me. How do
we get rid of this woman? Apparently the
only thing worse than a know-nothing/
do-nothing Planning Director is a know-
everything/do-everything Planning Direc-
tor. F*ck.
Golonka replied: I thought that was your
#1 goal for this year . . . Well have to craft
the verbage [sic] a little more diplomatically
for the press release.
For another example, in March 2013, the
chair of the Planning Commission, Kim
Cheney, worked with Commissioner Simp-
son to try and remove a large property his
home abuts from the growth center to block
affordable housing on that propertyan
undisclosed conflict of interest.
These e-mails help explain the two years of
inaction on the zoning ordinance. Our cur-
rent city officials were actively undermin-
ing what people said they wantaffordable
housing, environmental protection, historic
preservation, energy efficiency. Progress on
zoning was impossible with such fundamen-
tal disagreement. I repeatedly asked the city
manager and the council to resolve it, but I
was ignored.
The story of how the mayor tried to stop
my advocacy for a public bank in Vermont
made headline news last fall. Mr. Hollar,
who works as a lobbyist for big banks, told
reporters I fabricated the claim that he
used his influence to encourage the city
manager to fire me. Yet, on March 19, 2013,
he forwarded a report from a fellow lob-
byist to the city manager about testimony
a colleague of mine made to the Vermont
Senate about public banks. In his e-mail,
Hollar wrote: [T]his is the issue that Gwen
is closely affiliated with and [t]o repeat
myself ad nauseam, I still dont see how our
citys chief economic development officer
can hold and promote views that are funda-
mentally anti-capitalist in nature.
If anticapitalist means a banking system
that serves our common good, then my
work is consistent with the common ben-
efits clause of the Vermont Constitution;
the mayors lobbying against it for private
banks is not.
These memos were not in the news. The
city kept its elected leadership and its citi-
zens from hearing my side of the story by
keeping my hearing out of the public eye.
First, the city asked me to skip it, telling
me to go straight to court instead. Next,
the city refused my request to be heard by
the council, which state law required. The
city repeatedly refused to open the hearing
to the public, even after I waived confiden-
tiality. In addition, the final decision was
based on unreliable evidencehearsay and
testimony that could not be tested by cross-
Even with this flawed process, the mayors
campaign sound bite that I pursued outside
interests on city time was dropped for in-
sufficient evidence. I pursued my interests
on my own time and made clear disclaimers
when I spoke as a private citizen, not as a
city representative.
City officials who undermine law and pol-
icy dont deserve to represent the people of
this city. Im running for mayor to realize
the peoples vision for a creative and sustain-
able community and to bring more trans-
parency, accountability and ethical behavior
to City Hall.
Moving Forward
Through Vision and
by John Hollar
When I ran for mayor two years ago, I
promised to focus on three areas: (1) major
city projects that had stalled, in some cases
for more than a decade; (2) a high municipal
tax rate; and (3) streets and sidewalks that
were in desperate need of repair.
Our city has made remarkable progress in
two short years on all of these initiatives.
Great things are happening here, and they
are the result of community input and vi-
sion and collaboration between our citys
leaders, staff and volunteers to make that
vision a reality.
One of the first challenges I faced as mayor
was the district heat initiative, which had a
projected revenue shortfall of $1 million. A
majority of City Council opposed the proj-
ect, but we had a binding contract with the
state to build the distribution system.
With the councils support, the city began
recruiting private customers to increase our
revenues. We scaled back the project and
renegotiated our agreement with the state.
With the project on sound financial footing,
the council gave its endorsement. Through
the oversight of City Manager Bill Fraser,
the project was constructed on budget and
largely on time. We are now on track to
heat our downtown with renewable energy
beginning next fall.
Our long-awaited bike path extension from
Granite Street to the civic center was also
at risk of failure when I took office, in this
case due to the citys inability to obtain the
necessary rights-of-way and state approvals. I
reached out to the Vermont Railway and state
transportation officials to explain the impor-
tance of the project to the city and to under-
stand their concerns. We soon reached an
agreement on a route that works for all parties.
Finally, the citys goal to acquire and rede-
velop the Carr lot was jeopardized by the im-
minent loss of federal funding due to inaction
on the project. Our attempts to negotiate with
the property owner were unsuccessful, so the
council unanimously supported acquisition by
eminent domain. The owner returned to the
bargaining table, we reached an agreement,
and the project is now moving quickly ahead,
with design plans scheduled to be presented to
the public next month.
Weve made significant progress on many
other issues through a combination of leader-
ship and collaboration. For two years in a row,
the council has unanimously endorsed mu-
nicipal budgets that include tax rate increases
of less than 2 percent. At the same time, at
the initiative of Councilor Thierry Guerlain,
we unanimously approved a capital improve-
ment plan that will increase our infrastructure
spending by $800,000 per year.
These are the most important successes of the
last two years, but weve had many others, all
of which resulted from a highly functional
City Council working in a deliberative and
thoughtful way. And despite the wide range
of political views that are represented on the
council, most of these initiatives were adopted
The council has directed that 5 percent
of parking revenuesabout $45,000 annu-
allybe used for alternative transportation.
Councilor Jessica Edgerly Walshs initiative,
these funds will be used initially to make
Montpelier more bike friendly.
Working closely with Montpelier Alive,
we created a Downtown Improvement Dis-
trict, which will raise $75,000 each year
from downtown property owners for down-
town marketing, festivals and streetscape
At the recommendation of the Montpelier
Energy Advisory Committee, the council
recently endorsed the goal of making Mont-
pelier entirely reliant on renewable energy
by 2030.
Following years of work by Councilors
Tom Golonka and Alan Weiss, the coun-
cil unanimously endorsed the creation of a
Central Vermont Public Safety Authority
with the city of Barre. This authority has
the potential to improve the efficiency of
our police, fire and ambulance services.
We created the Montpelier Community
Fund Board to allocate more than $100,000
each year to artists and nonprofit organiza-
Through the work of Councilor Anne
Watson and others, the city will soon con-
tract for the construction of solar installa-
tions to power city government with renew-
ably generated electricity.
Weve appointed many new committees
that are doing important work for the city,
including a bicycle advisory committee, a
pedestrian committee, a Carr lot design
review committee and a budget advisory
Successful leadership requires vision and
collaboration. Our city is moving forward
in remarkable ways due to the councils
shared visionwhich reflects the input and
values of our citizensand a commitment
to working together respectfully.
Montpelier voters face important choices
in this election. Our citys leadership team
has produced amazing results by listening
to citizen input and taking tangible steps
to make our city an even better place to
live and work. I ask Montpelier voters to
support my reelection, the reelections of in-
cumbent councilors Thierry Guerlain and
Andy Hooper and the candidacy of Justin
Turcotte, whom I believe would best sup-
port the councils forward-looking and col-
laborative work.
Tell them you
saw it in
The Bridge!
John Hollar. Photo by Julia Barstow.
Gwen Hallsmith. Photo by Julia Barstow.
Opinion: The Race Continues
Hallsmith & Hollar vie for control of the nations smallest capital
page 12 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Annual City Election
A Message from City Hall
This page was paid for by the City of Montpelier.
by William Fraser, city manager
he annual city election is coming up quickly. The
actual election day is Tuesday, March 4, with polls
open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early ballots are already
available. This years election includes the mayors seat, three
City Council seats, two school board seats, one cemetery
commissioner and one parks commissioner. City and school
budgets, library funding, a property tax exemption, a down-
town assessment district, proposed city charter change, a re-
gional public safety authority charter and an advisory article
are all on the ballot.
FY15 City Budget
Much of the detail of the city budget is included in the
annual report, which is available online, by delivery to all
homes in Montpelier and at City Hall. Information about
the school budget can also be found in the annual report but
will not be addressed here.
Property Tax Impact
The net result of revenues and expenses is that $7,406,787
in property tax revenues are required for the citys portion
(nonschool, nonrec, nonlibrary) of the budget. This is an
increase of $166,300 or 2.3 percent over FY14. All of this
increase is for the capital plan.
Requires a 2.0 cent increase in the property tax rate. The
capital/equipment plan is increased by two cents while
the remainder of the budget requires no tax increase. A
two-cent increase represents a 2 percent property tax rate
increase after a 0.5 cent (0.25 percent) increase in FY14. For
the average residential property valued at $223,000, two
cents on the tax rate represents $44.60 on the tax bill. The
two-year combined increase of 2.25 percent compares to a
two-year combined inflation rate of 3.2 percent (1.7 percent
and 1.5 percent respectively).
The Capital Projects, Equipment and Debt Service Pro-
gram is funded at $1,905,004. Of this, $677,570 is in
annual funding, $712,434 is in existing debt service and
$515,000 is for equipment. This matches the long-term
funding plan and represents an overall increase for these
combined items of $166,300. This results in an additional
$118,596 (21.2 percent) in annual funding for FY15 infra-
structure improvements.
The capital/equipment plan anticipates additional in-
creases of $166,300 in each of the next three budget
yearsFY16 through FY18in order to bring funding
levels to the targeted level of maintenance and improve-
Total number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE) is
108.26, which, as noted above, is 1.10 more than the 107.16
in FY14. Changes include reallocating 1.3 FTEs from DPW
general fund to sewer/stormwater and district heat funds;
adding the new DPW employee in water/sewer/stormwater
funds; reducing the tax collector from 0.6 FTE to 0.5 FTE;
increasing the senior center director from 0.8 to 0.9 FTE,
reducing the senior center assistant from 0.8 to 0.7 FTE;
and increasing two part-time senior center positions from
0.4 to 0.5. All other staffing remains at FY14 levels.
Cost of living allowances and step increases are built
into all employee wage and salary accounts consistent with
collective bargaining agreements and personnel policies.
For this budget, that represents a 2.25 percent contracted
adjustment for fire union employees. A 1.5 percent adjust-
ment for all other employees is budgeted. Neither DPW
nor police union contracts are in place for FY15 yet.
No major changes or reductions of operating costs are pro-
posed. As with prior years, many lines have been trimmed to
stay within fiscal guidelines.
Other Funds
The water and wastewater budgets have both been bal-
anced. The wastewater fund is now in a small surplus posi-
tion, and the water fund is steadily reducing its deficit. The
budget assumes no water rate change, a 5 percent sewer rate
increase and no sewer or CSO benefit charge changes. The
rate structure for these funds is under review now. Funding
from the CSO benefit charge is being used to address new
stormwater requirements.
The district heat fund budget is included representing the
first full year of complete operation. The general fund is re-
alizing approximately $55,000 in benefit from district heat,
$20,000 to pay the 2009 bond and $35,000 for DPW costs
to maintain and operate the system.
Community Services
The housing trust fund is funded at $41,000, the same as
The Montpelier community and arts fund is funded at
$118,175, which is the same amount of funding as FY14.
Community enhancements including Montpelier Alive and
various festivals, lighting and events are funded at $31,000,
up from $29,500 in FY14.
The budget includes $40,000 funding for the GMTA cir-
culator bus route.
Service Impacts
This budget proposal addresses council goals by keeping the
tax rate and spending in check, while investing more funds
in infrastructure. It directs resources to major priorities, in-
cluding bike paths, economic/business/housing development
and performance management. It also maintains funding for
the general community atmosphere.
Overall services should remain the same as presently being
delivered. We expect some efficiency improvements through
various internal changes as well as departments adjusting to
reduced staff loads from last years budget.
Proposed Charter Ballot
Article 9
Article 9 is for comprehensive amendments to the citys
charter. The complete changes are available online, and a full
summary of changes is included in the annual report. Most
of the changes are intended to update the charter, eliminate
conflicts, clarify confusion and the like and were drafted by
a citizens committee. Two substantive changes were added
by City Council in public sessions on December 11 and
January 23.
Key items in the proposed charter changes include:
Firmly establishes the three voting districts for the city
that are currently in place.
Permits conversion of parking spaces to non-highway
use, such as parkletsadded by the council on January
Permits the council to establish fees and benefit charges,
for example, fees for dog licensesadded by the council
on December 11.
Clarifies how to handle council vacancies and allows for
replacement of members when absent four or more con-
secutive meetings.
Updates list of council appointments.
Clearly gives the council the powers of the board of water
and sewer commissioners, local board of health and the
local board of liquor control, powers that the council has
exercised for many years.
Adds new language about prohibitions and conflicts of
Clearly separates the board of civil authority and board
of abatement of taxes.
Corrects the name of the Development Review Board
and eliminates references to obsolete board of adjustment.
Clarifies and updates section on recreation governance,
deletes option to create bureau or commission of recre-
ation, preserving the four remaining options for gover-
nance: a municipal department, an appointed recreation
board, the school board, or another existing city board or
Adds new section to establish council authority to create,
eliminate or consolidate boards and commissions. Also,
with a two-thirds vote, the council could remove a board
Gives the council authority to appoint nonvoting youth
members to boards and commissions, consistent with cur-
rent practice.
Text reorganized to make separate sections for the clerk
and the treasurer.
Gives the council the authority to determine residency
requirement for a city manager, allowing this decision to
be made when the council prepares an employment con-
tract with a new city manager.
Includes revisions and references to general law and the
city managers employment contract that address process
for dismissal rather than defining a complex process in
the charter.
Text revised to indicate that during planned absences,
city manager designates an acting manager to perform the
duties of the office. The council would appoint an acting
city manager in the event that the city manager is inca-
pable of performing the job, is medically unable or fails to
make the appointment.
Clarifies that the city manager has authority for both
appointments and removals; updates list of currently ap-
pointed positions; recommends adding that appointments
serve indefinitely or as defined by contract, unless removed
by the city manager.
Confirms that the council has available to it all of the
alternatives under the general statute regarding budget
surpluses and deficits.
New language offers opportunity to change the way the
fiscal budget is approved, if at some time in the future
the council or voters want to change from voting on bud-
geted tax appropriation amount and vote on total budget
Replaces all old, inadequate language in these two sec-
tions with new text that incorporates the citys current
procedure for taking property for public purposes.
New language is a legal formality that allows closure and
termination of Fire District No. 1 (located in the Towne
Hill area), created to access U.S. Department. of Agricul-
ture loans for construction of a water system that would
be integrated into the city system. This water system been
consolidated into the city water system, and with legisla-
tive approval, it can go out of business and merge with
the city.
Article 13
Article 13 is for adoption of a charter to create a Central Ver-
mont Public Safety Authority. If formed, this entity would
develop plans and proposals for regional delivery of services
such as police, fire, EMS, emergency management and dis-
patch. The city of Barre is also voting on this charter in
March. It has been developed to include the towns of Barre
and Berlin as well, should they choose to join.
Thank you for your interest in Montpelier city government.
Please vote on March 4. Feel free to contact me at wfraser@
montpelier-vt.org or 223-9502 with questions or concerns.
Remember, Montpelier is on Facebook (city of Montpelier,
Vermont) and Twitter (@vtmontpelier). All the above refer-
enced documents including the budget, the annual report,
the ballot and the proposed charter items are available in
their entirety at montpelier-vt.org.


THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 13
She knows whats going on
because she reads
The Bridge
State of Town Meeting Contd...
meetings and an increase in town meetings
that put more and more decisions on the
actual ballot. A lot of that happened some
time ago . . . The historical trend is against
decisions made from the floor . . . toward
decisions being made in the privacy of a
polling booth.
The Bridge: Whats your personal view of
moving away from traditional town meeting
in favor of ballot voting?
Bryan: My own personal view is that it is
much better to have voting following dis-
cussion. There is clear evidence that town
meeting attendance goes down as voting by
ballot goes up.
The Bridge: Why has town meeting atten-
dance gone down?
Bryan: You have to be honest about it and
say that town meeting is in decline. Atten-
dance has been going down steadily. Some
of the causes and variables are that we have
more and more town meetings at night. But
night meetings dont improve attendance at
all. You might think that [they would] be-
cause you dont have to take a day off from
work, but they dont. Night [meetings] also
hurt womens attendance.
The Bridge: Has there been a move to de-
clare Town Meeting Day a day off?
Frank Bryan: Yes, theres been a historical
move [to do that] for decades. The legisla-
ture just wont do it. I advocated for a state
holiday in my book. We called it Democ-
racy Day. I made a suggestion that we do it
on Martin Luther King Day, which would
be a hell of a testament to him.
The chief causal element in the decline of
town meeting is the removal of significant
issues that the townspeople can decide lo-
cally. That is the dirty little secret that no
one wants to admit to. The legislature has
taken the most difficult one of all, which is
Even the education establishment in the
1950s and 1960s especially wanted to get
the school budget out of the traditional
town meeting format because it was more
vulnerable in that situation, and it still is.
But the town doesnt make decisions on
education. Theres some budgetary matters,
but it is very, very weak. The legislature is
guilty in the aggregate.
Democracy is like sex. Its like the sex act,
but if there isnt completion pretty soon,
you get bored with it and go home. In other
words, what the legislature is allowing us is
a kind of foreplay in public. But then you
have to vote in private. Worse than that,
they say, Now that weve discussed all this,
go home. But dont forget to come back and
vote. So then, why would you go to town
meeting? Also the vote is separated in time
and place from the debate.
elow we have excerpted two com-
mentaries from Frank M. Bryans
book, Real Democracy: The New
England Town Meeting and How It Works,
on the Strafford, Vermont, town meet-
ing. The two commentators, Charles
Kuralt and Marnie Owen, walk away
with very different interpretations of the
meeting. Some of these differences are
indicative of the change in time between
the two accounts: Kuralts commentary
was published in 1985 and Owen at-
tended the 2000 Strafford town meeting.
Charles Kuralts
Town Meeting Day in
Strafford, Vermont
This one day in Vermont, the town car-
penter lays aside his tools, the town doctor
sees no patients, the shopkeeper closes his
shop, mothers tell their children theyll
have to warm up their own dinner. This
one day, people in Vermont look not to
their own welfare but to that of their
town. It doesnt matter that its been
snowing since four oclock this morning.
Theyll be in the meetinghouse. This is
town meeting day.
Every March for 175 years, the men
and women of Strafford, Vermont, have
trudged up this hill on the one day which
is their holiday for democracy. They
walk past a sign that says:
rui oii wuiri xiirixc uousinuiir
ix 1;,, axi coxsiciarii as a iiaci
oi iuniic woisuii ioi aii iixoxixa-
rioxs wiru xo iiiiiiixci ioi oxi
anovi axoruii. Sixci 18o1, ir uas
aiso niix ix coxrixuous usi as a
rowx uaii.
Here, every citizen may have his say on
every question. One question is: Will the
town stop paying for outside health ser-
vices? . . .
They talked about that for a half an hour,
asking themselves if this money would be
well or poorly spent.
This is not representative democracy.
This is pure democracy, in which every
citizen is heard.
Marnie Owen,
attendant and resident of the 2000
Strafford, Vermont, town meeting
responds to Kuralts account
My observation of town meeting day
this past March are much less roman-
tic than Kuralts. Strafford doesnt have
a town carpenter; it has several, most of
whom likely went to work on town meet-
ing day. I didnt see many of them at
the Town House. There is no town doc-
tor either. Most Strafford residents go to
Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon, New
Hampshire, when they need medical at-
tention. As for snow, by March 7, 2000,
most of Straffords snow had melted. Tem-
peratures climbed to at least fifty degrees
that day.
The media often portrays Vermont as a
pure, primitive, simple place that mod-
ern technology has not yet pervaded and
where (as Jefferson said) live the chosen
people of God. Accounts like Kuralts
reinforce these broad stereotypes. . . . This
is precisely the sort of thinking that leads
the many citizens in places like Straf-
ford to participate in town government.
Straffords high turnout at town meet-
ing likely stems in part from the miscon-
ception of the inherent virtue of rural
people and newcomers desire to make
themselves part of something they see as
highly moral.
Dear Reader,
In March, Montpeliers District 1 voters will have an
opportunity to cast a vote for Dona Bate to represent
them on the City Council.
I hope voters will recognize Donas potential to bring a
high level of positive, respectful, inclusive dialogue to
the City Council.
Shell bring many years of experience as a successful
business woman and a deeply involved public servant.
By founding dbate speaking, Dona has literally made
clear and eective communication her business.
Dona has served as a two term President of the Central
Vermont Chamber of Commerce. She has worked on the
Regional Public Safety Committee since its inception.
Dona is an active member of the Montpelier Rotary and
an award-winning star of Toastmasters International. As
Director of Wheels for 18 years, Dona virtually built up
from scratch the regional public transportation system
now known as GMTA.
Dona Bate will make an extraordinarily good City
Council member, and I feel lucky as a District 1 resident
to get to say that with my vote.
Kim Bent, Lost Nation Theater Founding Artistic Director
*paid for by DONA Bate District 1 committee*
recycle this paper
New CoNstruCtioN
geNeral CoNtraCtiNg
Services available in
our Berlin clinic:
Family medicine
Internal medicine
Gifford Health Center at Berlin
Accepting new patients! 229-2325
Keeping you and your family healthy throughout life,
Charles Kuralt vs. Marnie Owen
Opposing Views of Town Meeting
page 14 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Parks Commissioner Race
Bill Johnson
Montpelier has a number of wonderful assets, and one of the greatest is our park system. To
maintain and strengthen our park system, I believe we need to keep the following objectives
in mind:
The park system must serve a diversity of uses.
We must respect and preserve the parks natural environment.
We must restructure how we pay for our park system and develop new funding resources.
Why do we need to reevaluate the current finance system? The park system now relies on
an ad hoc approach for payment of maintenance and enhancements. But this approach will
become increasingly tenuous as the number of people using the parks continues to increase,
and the size of the park system expands, with the potential addition of a riverside park as
part of the Carr lot development. For many years I have served the state in a variety of fis-
cal capacities, and I would bring this expertise to the commission to help make a good park
system even better.
For the past 15 years, Ive had the pleasure of living next to the parkjust off Hubbard
Park Drive. Keeping Hubbard Park and the entire park system strong into the future is the
reason I decided to run for a seat on the commission. I hope you consider supporting me in
the upcoming election.
Bryan Pfeiffer
No great city is complete without parks. In parks, we find recreation, wildlife, solitude and
community. Our parks help make Montpelier great. But they can be greater still.
As a scientist, nature guide and writer, I work and play among people and parks. As a faculty
member at the University of Vermont, I help students solve problems and create opportuni-
ties on public lands. Im also proud to have won endorsements in the race from a diversity of
city residents, business leaders and elected officials.
My priorities include:
Expanding recreation in our parks by recruiting volunteers to offer nature walks and other
adventures for children and adults. Ill guide a family bird walk in May.
Integrating parks and the downtown business district with events to benefit the entire city.
Growing our parks while recognizing that property taxes in Montpelier are already high
Gathering expertise from UVM to improve parks and opportunities at the Carr lot.
During 30 years living or working on and off in Montpelier, I helped draft a plan to protect
the citys water supply at Berlin Pond and served on the board of North Branch Nature Cen-
ter. And, yeah, Im The Bird Guy. Learn more at bryanpfeiffer.com/parks.
Photo courtedy of Bill Johnson
Photo courtesy of Bryan Pfeiffer
Residents of Montpelier District 1,
Vote on March 4th to Re-Elect
Andy Hooper
Montpelier City Council
Protectng the residents of Montpelier on
alternate Wednesday Evenings,
and working for you to:
build a budget to maintain our roads and other critcal infrastructure
advance major projects like the transit center and bike path
take citzen concerns to city staf for appropriate atenton
maintain the excellent city services our community enjoys
adopt policies to ensure local taxes dont subsidize non-residents
narrow budget increases, within the local infaton rate
Paid for by Andy Hooper
8 Winter Street

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THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 15
magine what life would be like without
safe drinking water or wastewater con-
trol. We would be living in a place laden
with pollution and water-borne diseases.
This is the case in parts of the world.
Pacem Schools Science of Food and Water
Class recently toured the Drinking Water
Facility (DWF) and Wastewater Treatment
Plant (WTP) of central Vermont. During
those few hours, our eyes, ears and espe-
cially noses were opened to an amazing
world of big machines, chemicals, microor-
ganisms and hardworking people aiming to
keep central Vermonts water systems clean.
We also learned how our community ben-
efits from the unsung heroes of public water
treatment systems. The two chief operators
are Geoff Wilson of the DWF and Bob
Fischer of the WTP.
Drinking Water
A supply of clean water, constantly avail-
able, is something that we usually take for
What we forget is the fascinating process
that it goes through and that it wasnt al-
ways this way. Montpeliers drinking water
facility, just off Paine Turnpike North, is
often overlooked. The building sits there,
hardly ever in the average citizens mind.
The process to clean Montpeliers water is
very complex. The water comes from Berlin
Pond, going through long pipes until it
arrives on the facilitys grounds. The first
chemical injected, potassium permanga-
nate, combines oxygen with or oxidizes the
organic material coming in from the pond.
The next substance inserted is powder-acti-
vated carbon, which dissolves the oxidized
matter. Then pH balancers are used to keep
the acidity of the water at the ideal level for
public consumption, which is between 7.7
and 8.0. Surprisingly, only one disinfectant,
sodium hypochlorite, is used in Montpe-
liers water.
Once the chemicals are added, the water
moves on to four clarifiers. These act like
strainers, trapping particles such as leaves,
sticks and dead insects. Afterward, the
water arrives at five pumps, which send
water off to homes and other buildings in
central Vermont. There are three pumps for
Montpelier and two for Central Vermont
Medical Center. Usually one pump is run-
ning for each location, while the others act
as backups.
The next time you take a shower, remember
the drinking water facility and the people
who work there. Clean water is a limited re-
source that shouldnt be taken for granted.
Have you ever wondered where all the
wastewater from your house goes? The
treatment of wastewater is needed for ev-
eryday life; however, 50 years ago we did
not have an understanding of the process
required to clarify water. At that time, all
of our waste went into the Winooski River.
The WTP was built in 1964. The system
removed 50 percent of the amount of bac-
teria and phosphorus, that it removes today.
Upgrades were added, which now remove
about 90 percent:
Phosphorus removal: Phosphorus is
one of the nutrients in soil; however, it
can cause problems for aquatic life.
Ultraviolet disinfection: UV rays
sterilize bacteria by cutting through
DNA and preventing reproduction.
Turning wastewater to clean water is an in-
tricate process. First, the water goes through
anaerobic tanks, which are free of oxygen,
where anything less dense floats to the top.
Then the water enters aerobic tanks, highly
oxygenated, where anything dense sinks to
the bottom. Then microbes eat away any
leftover waste. Finally, the water is tested
for E. coli before it flows into the Winooski
Did you know:
Only 1 percent of the waste that
comes into the plant is in solid form.
Cake is a term used for dead anaero-
bic bacteria, which can enrich soil.
Anything that flows into grates on
roadsides ends up in the Winooski
River without being processed.
The average daily flow of wastewater
in and clean water out is 3.79 MGD
(millions of gallons a day).
The WTP workers help us in many ways.
I dont want to imagine what central Ver-
mont would look like without them. There
is a very big difference of what comes in
and what goes out! Its a good thing that
Montpeliers local government has invested
time and money into our health, because
otherwise we would be living in a very
unsafe environment. Granted, there is still
more work to do in this area.
Both the drinking water and wastewater
facilities deserve credit for all the amazing
work they do every day. We thank them
and appreciate all that they do. So, next
time you pour yourself a big, cold glass of
refreshing water, think about how much ef-
fort went into those few fluid ounces.
The class has a new perspective on these
issues after watching a documentary about
problems with phosphorus in Lake Cham-
plain. To learn more, please consider watch-
ing Bloom, a four-part documentary series
on algae growth in Lake Champlain..
The HO Highway in Central Vermont
Editors note: Keira Cheroff-Wilson, Nicholas Colwell, Abigail Necrason, Micah Wagner
and Anders Shenholm, guided by teacher Jessica Rubin, all contributed to this article.
Photo by Abby Necrason.
page 16 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
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We are looking for someone
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This is an ideal part-time posi-
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Interested? e-mail Nat froth-
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at nat@montpelierbridge.com.
Tell them you saw
it in The Bridge!
Goddard College
Chicha Libre
Latin surf pop - dance oor!
Haybarn Theatre
Featuring Anas Mitchell
Sunday, March 16
Unitarian Church of Montpelier
Mendelssohn Octet
Debussy Quartet
Bartk String Quartet#3
Tickets: $10-$25 at the door (while they last),
in advance at Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, and online at:
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Peoples Health
& Wellness Clinic
553 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all Americans are now
required to have health insurance. One in six Vermonters will
need to get it through the new health insurance exchange
Vermont Health Connect.
To ensure coverage on April 1,
when the open enrollment period ends,
you must apply for and choose a plan by March 15.
Our certifed Navigators can provide you with
free face-to-face assistance.
Let us help you fnd the plan thats right for you!
Call 802-479-1229 for an appointment today!
Peoples Health & Wellness Clinic
Peoples Health
& Wellness Clinic
553 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all Americans are now
required to have health insurance. One in six Vermonters will
need to get it through the new health insurance exchange
Vermont Health Connect.
To ensure coverage on April 1,
when the open enrollment period ends,
you must apply for and choose a plan by March 15.
Our certifed Navigators can provide you with
free face-to-face assistance.
Let us help you fnd the plan thats right for you!
Call 802-479-1229 for an appointment today!
Peoples Health & Wellness Clinic
Peoples Health
& Wellness Clinic
553 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all Americans are now
required to have health insurance. One in six Vermonters will
need to get it through the new health insurance exchange
Vermont Health Connect.
To ensure coverage on April 1,
when the open enrollment period ends,
you must apply for and choose a plan by March 15.
Our certifed Navigators can provide you with
free face-to-face assistance.
Let us help you fnd the plan thats right for you!
Call 802-479-1229 for an appointment today!
Peoples Health & Wellness Clinic
Peoples Health
& Wellness Clinic
553 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all Americans are now
required to have health insurance. One in six Vermonters will
need to get it through the new health insurance exchange
Vermont Health Connect.
To ensure coverage on April 1,
when the open enrollment period ends,
you must apply for and choose a plan by March 15.
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free face-to-face assistance.
Let us help you fnd the plan thats right for you!
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Peoples Health & Wellness Clinic
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 17
Dona Bate
council candidate, District 1
1 Commenting on the
proposed school budget
is not appropriate for a council can-
didate and certainly not a way to build
a good working relationship with the
school board.
2 As a council member, I will be
working with whomever is elected
mayor. Hopefully, all elected officials
will work together to serve the inter-
ests of our residents and to strengthen
the sustainability of our unique com-
3 I do not think that this is an ap-
propriate question for any council
candidate. This election is about the
future, and whoever is elected should
be moving forward to improve pro-
cesses, communications and working
relationships across the city.
4 Montpelier needs new housing and
creative renovation of its older houses
and buildings to meet the needs of
young adults, families and seniors.
Partnering with public and private
housing entities would maximize in-
vestment dollars. Income sensitivity is
important to keep Montpeliers prop-
erty tax affordable to people with lower
incomes and to foster a more diverse
population. Well-planned housing
would add revenue, charm and stu-
dents to our community.
Thierry Guerlain
council candidate, District 2
1 I support excellent schools
but cant support a 13 percent
school tax rate increase this year, on top of
last years 9.4 percent increase, with next
years increase projected to be as large as this
year. Thats a 40 percent increase in just three
years! Montpelier incomes have not gone up
40 percent. How can taxpayers pay for this?.
2 I unequivocally support John Hollar.
Johns done an excellent job leading Mont-
pelier through tricky negotiations, especially
in regards to district heat, which would have
been a hugely expensive train wreck without
his leadership. Johns also realized significant
progress on many lingering projects, with the
Carr lot and bike path as two examples.
3 Hallsmiths dismissal was handled fairly
and professionally at all levels. Public percep-
tion may be inaccurate as Hallsmith con-
tinually distorted the reality of the situation,
which stretches back many years, through se-
lective out-of-context release of information.
Folks should read the full text of Bill Frasers
letters to fully understand her dismissal.
4 No one issue trumps all others but stand-
outs include viable housing opportunities for
empty nesters, economic development across
the entire city, more downtown housing and
parking, energy conservation, better traffic
flow through downtown, reducing the cost of
living in Montpelier. Well never run out of
issues, will we?
Andy Hooper
council candidate, District 1
1 I trust the school board and
Brian Ricca have done everything
that they can to control costs, just as City
Council does on the municipal side. That
said, if budgets are going up 10-plus percent
all over the state, our existing system is clearly
unsustainable and needs to be redesigned at
the statewide level.
2 I support John Hollar in his reelection
campaign; he has been very effective during
the past two years. Gwen has applicable work
experience, but I am not convinced she could
work effectively with City Council and city
staff that she feels have wronged her. The
Montpelier City Council has been a very con-
genial board, where disagreements only last
until the vote, and I would hate to see that
3 As the city manager is responsible for all
personnel matters, all I know is the press re-
ports and what Bill Fraser has told the coun-
cil. The council was well informed of the
process, and I do not think it was unfair. All
senior city staff has at will employment,
and their employment is solely at the discre-
tion of the city manager.
4 I think the biggest sleeper issue is austerity
at the federal and state levels pushing more
and more costs down to the local municipal-
ity. I think that and big projects in the fu-
ture will require bigger and bigger bonding
because there will be less and less matching
money available from the higher levels of gov-
Dan Jones
council candidate, District 3
1 City Council must accept
school budgets as presented. We
need to protect those with income sensitivity
like young families and our seniors on fixed
incomes from paying an unfair percentage of
their income to taxes. We should address is-
sues like a larger supervisory union or dupli-
cation of programs.
2 Im sad that this question reflects the par-
tisan rhetoric emerging in this election. Our
nonpartisan system allows all elected officials
to work together. Making support for either
candidate an election issue could poison the
well of such harmony. If elected, I will main-
tain good relations with whomever is mayor.
3 This is another divisive question. I wasnt
at the table when this was decided, and it isnt
in my interest to visit it now. Whats impor-
tant is finding ways for the council to work
on pressing common concerns, like afford-
able housing, new energy and transportation
services and securing our future.
4 Montpelier is becoming a gated retire-
ment community, closing out young working
families. We need to proactively and aggres-
sively create a large-scale environmentally
sound workforce and senior housing. This
will broaden the tax base, efficiently use our
excess water and sewer capacity, reduce com-
muter traffic and support local business.
City of Montpelier
Voting Districts
Washington County, Vermont
January 2013
Ivan Shadis
council candidate, District 2
1 The Montpelier School Board
is granted space for its budget on
the ballot outside of any decision made by
City Council. I propose structuring city/
school solidarity on the pupil level by creating
civic internships and supporting programs
like Community Connectionsthereby em-
boldening partnership between youth and the
city moving forward.
2 Both. I appreciate their participation. I
hope to believe that the retention and engage-
ment of our people as they pass into adult-
hood will remain a salient and provocative
issue under any mayor.
3 I feel that she handled it gracefully in
choosing to offer the conflict she believed to
be at the heart of itHollars beliefs versus
hersa proper political dimension in her
candidacy, an invitation to democracy.
4 Popular disenfranchisement and pursu-
ant gentrification (or was it the other way
around?) eroding community ties necessary
to a healthy, engaged and locally conscious
Justin Turcotte
council candidate, District 3
1 Public education is a right for
all Americans, and we owe it to our
children to give them the best educa-
tion we can. The school budget was
developed by the school board work-
ing with educators, administrators and
the community. Dr. Brian Ricca has
always been very open with me in dis-
cussing his rationale for his decisions
implementing school board directives.
If the school board has fully engaged
all of the stakeholders and decided that
this is a reasonable level of funding,
then I support their decision.
2 I support our current mayor, John
Hollar. It has been my pleasure to work
with him on several occasions. I have
found him to be calm, rational, fair
and friendly. He opened his office to
meet with me when I was appointed
to the citizens Budget Review Com-
mittee in 2012. John has a solid and
consistent history of service to the city
of Montpelier and a track record of co-
operation and positive outcomes.
3 I only know what I have read in the
newspapers about this issue. I would
encourage folks who are interested to
research and read up on both sides
of this controversy to form their own
opinions. Gwen has taken the matter
to court by suing the city of Montpe-
lier, and the dispute will ultimately be
decided there.
4 Montpelier is a wonderful place to
live and raise a family. This didnt hap-
pen by accident. So many of our resi-
dents have helped to make Montpelier
the great place it is. With the help of
our citizens, I will work to complete
unfinished projects such as the district
heat system and the Carr lot project, as
well as continued repairs to our roads
and sidewalks. The biggest issue fac-
ing Montpelier is to complete these
projects in a way that keeps our taxes
balanced. If we want to share Mont-
pelier with young people who want to
move to Montpelier to work or start a
family and allow people to stay in their
homes on a fixed income in retirement,
we need to spend responsibly and sus-
tainably. For more on the issues I see as
important to Montpelier, go to turcot-
Page Guertin
council candidate, District 2
1 As a member of City Coun-
cil, I would encourage the school
board, the school superintendent and council
members to pressure the legislature to resolve
the funding issues which the state has caused.
Meanwhile, for the sake of our students, this
budget should pass.
2 I am running as an individual city council
candidate in District 2, not in affiliation with
any mayoral candidate as the VAM has insin-
uated. I will work with whomever is elected
3 Speculation on this matter doesnt benefit
the community.
4 We have a declining population support-
ing increasing infrastructure maintenance
and constant demand for services from the
city. We need new housing to reverse the
population trend and creative new ways to fi-
nance downtown growth in order to maintain
the investment we have all made, through our
taxes, in the city.
District 1
District 2
District 3
We Asked the City
Council Candidates:
1 Do you support the current
spending request for FY2015 Mont-
pelier school budget
2 Which candidate do you sup-
port for mayor and why?
3 How do you feel the dismissal
and termination of mayoral candi-
date Gwen Hallsmith was handled?
4 What is the biggest issue facing
page 18 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
here is a new face at the Peoples
Health and Wellness Center
(PHWC). Emily Hazelton joined
the team of dedicated doctors, nurses and
care workers at PHWC recently and brings
with her a wealth of experience and a dedi-
cation to helping people in need.
Emily Hazelton, always pushing herself to
the edges of her own comfort zone, attended
Bard College at Simons Rock, a college de-
signed specifically for 10th- and 11th-grade
high school students who feel they are ready
for college.
That same energy and desire has guided
Emily Hazelton through much of her ca-
reer. After graduating from Simons Rock,
Hazelton enlisted in the Peace Corps. She
served two years in Morocco teaching Eng-
lish and working at the local community
center. During this period, she worked with
local girls and their parents to extend ser-
vices offered at the community center to
girls and women. A native of New Hamp-
shire and lover of sports and the outdoors,
Hazelton used sports to assist her in her
push for gender equality at the community
When she returned to the United States,
Hazelton took on several different jobs,
ranging from an outdoor educator to a so-
cial worker working with children with au-
tism. Throughout all of these pursuits, she
felt drawn to helping others. Her love of
working with others eventually drew her
to UMass Amherst, where she earned her
bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
While at UMass Amherst, Hazelton con-
tinued to help others, choosing to do some
of her training in Haiti, one of the Western
Hemispheres poorest nations. When asked
why she chose to go into nursing, Hazelton
said, I saw nursing as a way to pursue
my interests and to continue to work with
Her hard work and commitment to the
people she has served has paid off, earning
her the current job of nurse case manager at
PHWC. Her new boss, Executive Director
Peter Youngbaer, said, This is the key clini-
cal staff position here. I call the nurse case
manager our air traffic controller, and we
couldnt be more pleased to have Hazelton
join our staff.
A recent press release from PHWC reported
that Hazelton has the daunting task of
coordinating all patient care at the Clinic,
and interfacing with the corps of over sev-
enty volunteer doctors, nurses, and other
health practitioners who serve the clinic and
its patients.
Youngbaer believes that Hazelton is more
than equipped for the job and is delighted
to have her aboard. Hazelton is excited to
join the local community and hopes to help
provide people with the health services they
need and that she believes are a human
The mission of the Peoples Health & Well-
ness Clinic is to provide primary health care
and wellness education to the uninsured and
underinsured community members of central
Vermont who cannot otherwise afford these
services. This year, 2014, marks the clinics
20th anniversary of serving the community.
The clinic is open week days Monday through
Thursday, 9 a.m.5 p.m., and Monday and
Thursday evenings, 5:308:30 p.m. All visits
are by appointment only. Call 479-1229 or
visit the clinics website at phwcvt.org.
Emily Hazelton: Nurse Case
Manager at Peoples Health &
Wellness Clinic
by Jerry Carter with reporting by Julia Barstow
Emily Hazelton
Give us a call at: 224.1360
T&T Truck for Hire
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 19
Dan Jones
City Council
District #3
Develop affordable workforce
and senior housing.
Support regional approaches
to public safety and education
Promote economic develop-
ment for local businesses
Dan has the knowledge of energy
and municipal systems Montpe-
lier needs to forge a sustainable
Former City Councilor:
Harold Garabedian
Vermont Computing offers your busy business remote
IT maintenance and support when its convenient for
you-even if that means after business hours.
Call: 223-6445 or visit vermontcomputing.com
See how we can provide
nighttime peace of mind.
Call in the night riders...
eve reached a point in the tech
world where hardwarethe
physical pieces we touch and hold
and pressworks pretty well. Theres always
room for improvement, but technology has
managed to fit the entire power of a desktop
computer into something we can place in our
pocket. And that amazing little phone oper-
ates without overheating or any other number
of maladies that one might think could befall
a computer built at such a reduced scale.
Software, on the other hand, is often la-
mented as the weak point in our technological
lifestyle. Whether its an operating system on
a computer or the programs that run within
those operating systems, software could defi-
nitely work better. Im often asked why soft-
ware has seemingly failed to keep pace with
the improvements of hardware, so I thought
Id spend some time explaining just that.
Unfortunately, its quite economical to build
bad software. Consider your car for a moment.
It works pretty well; in fact, most of us only
replace our vehicles when they fail to operate
properly. We almost never need additional
horsepower or extra storage space. Thus, once
weve purchased a vehicle, we keep it until it
no longer meets our needs or wants. Software
is quite different. Since software doesnt suffer
the same deterioration that a car does, a per-
fect piece of software wouldnt be a good busi-
ness model. Companies need steady revenue,
and having you buy an upgrade to a piece of
software is a great way to accomplish that.
This means companies will produce software
that is good enough, continually making it
better, but never perfect. This way, customers
will continue to purchase the new versions,
and the companies will make more money.
Most general purpose software works pretty
well. Software designed for a small group of
people, what I like to call niche software, is
a very different story. Most niche software is
actually pretty bad. The smaller the customer
base, the worse the software is, as a general
rule. Ive had a lot of experience with niche
software, and Ive found the more specific it
is, the more expensive it is, the more poorly it
operates, and, in a cruel correlation, the worse
the technical support from the company. If
you work in an industry where you have to
use some manner of niche software, you have
my condolences.
This is not to say its easy to build software
even bad software. I have a lot of experience
writing computer code, and its a very chal-
lenging endeavor. If youve never written soft-
ware, and Im guessing most of you havent,
consider all the things a computer program
needs to handle. A program needs to antici-
pate all of the input it will receive from the
user, handle its own internal needs, and deter-
mine how it will interact with the operating
systemall while not messing up any other
programs that might be running. Its a lot to
consider, and in all honesty, the fact that most
software works at all is very impressive. It
takes a great degree of skill to write software.
Lastly, writing software is all about giving the
users of that software what they want. Yet,
people are different and want different things.
Many software design decisions are made in
an effort to please as many people as possible.
Sometimes those decisions arent the right
ones, but as users, we dont get the ability
to make the decisions ourselves. Sometimes
the software companies will take suggestions,
and Id encourage you to make your sugges-
tions heard if you have them. Each company
handles these suggestions differently, so youll
have to contact the company to know how
they want to hear from you.
Software has enabled us to do so much. It is
software that allows us to make use of the
gadgets and devices that pervade our lives. It
is software that makes our lives easier and, at
times, incredibly frustrating. A good portion
of my background was in software, and I
decided that I had no desire to spend the rest
of my life writing code, as I preferred dealing
with people more than I liked writing lines
of code. Its helpful to have the background
though, as I can better understand why the
darned thing just wont work.
Next time you sit down with a device, be it a
phone or tablet or what-not, consider all the
effort that went into making the software that
makes that device useful.
Jeremy Lesniak founded Vermont Computing
(vermontcomputing.com) in 2001, after gradu-
ating from Clark University, and opened a store
at 23 Merchants Row, Randolph, in May 2003.
He also serves as managing editor for anewdo-
main.net. He resides in Moretown.
Why Most Computer
Software Is Terrible
by Jeremy Lesniak
Tech Check
page 20 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Tell them you saw it in The Bridge!
Cover Up
by Miriam Hansen
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
for Mayor
Resilience and Prosperity:
The Peoples Choice
Working with the citizens, we get things done
$8M District Energy grant
Capital Area Neighborhoods
Renovated Senior Center
Streamlined Permit Process
Sustainable Master Plan
Bring the voices of our residents
back to city government.
Transparency, Accountability, and Ethical
Standards for elected and appointed ofcials.
Vote for change on
March 4th!
Hands-On Gardener
o you wonder why your neighbors
garden is covered in white billowing
material? Have you been wondering
what that stuff is, and why more and more
people are using it?
The stuff is variously called row cover,
floating row cover, frost barrier, garden or
frost blanket, or Reemay. The latter is a
complete misnomer. Reemay is not the stuff
itself. It is a brand and perhaps not the best
brand available anymore.
Lets just call it row cover. Made from spun-
bonded polyester or spun-bonded polypro-
pylene, row covers are so lightweight they
can be loosely laid over a bed without fear
of crushing seedlings. The cover has to be
loose so the plants have room to grow, push-
ing up against the cover as they do so.
Because row covers are so lightweight, they
have to be firmly anchored top, bottom and
sides to prevent the cover from blowing off
and insects from getting inside. We use
large rocks as anchors. We have rocks in
abundance. You can also pile soil along the
sides, bags of sand or soil or even sticks.
The beauty of row covers is that they allow
moisture, sun and air to penetrate while
offering protection from low temperatures,
insects and wind. We use them to protect
early brassicas from flea beetles and squash
from cucumber and other beetles. In addi-
tion to pest protection, row covers raise day
and night temperatures enough to signifi-
cantly improve growth and yield. Ive seen
this time and time again where Ive had
only enough row cover to partially cover
a bed. The plants under cover outperform
the plants that did not have that additional
Where we use row covers all season, over
beds of basil and peppers for instance, we
stretch the material over plastic hoops an-
chored on short pieces of rebar to make a
kind of low hoop house. I prefer this system
to laying the cover loosely right on top
of the plants, particularly when growing
points are going to project right up against
the material. I find the optimum width for
my garden beds, particularly where I use
hoops, is a six foot width.
We spray with a full spectrum insecticide
like pyrethrin right before we cover the
bed. This ensures that whatever has already
found the seedlingsand lets face it, the
flea beetles and cucumber beetles are not
politely waiting to the side while we ar-
range the cover over the bedwill be dead,
and weve pretty much ensured that no new
pests can get in. This makes securing the
sides particularly important. Dont stint on
rocks or whatever youre using to hold the
material in place.
Also, be aware that this stuff is incredibly
easy to tear. Take care not to catch it on
wire or twigs or anything that will shorten
its life. Treat it gently, and it will more
than earn its way. Even after a piece is torn,
you can shorten it, clothes-pin it together,
even sew it back together, though Ive never
tried this myself. We use the same pieces
year after year until they have pretty much
You can leave row cover on a crop for the
entire season, and in the case of a heat-
loving plant like basil, that is a good idea.
But, if you are using row cover over fruiting
plants like peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and
squashin short, anything that flowers
you have to take the row cover off from time
to time to allow the pollinating insects to
get access to the flowers.
Row covers come in different thicknesses.
Some offer no frost protection at all but the
benefit of pest protection and around 90
percent of sunlight. The thickest can reduce
sunlight to 50 percent but give enormous
frost protectionup to 8 degrees!
In general, I look for the median weights.
It gives me the best of both pest control
and increased temperatures and allows more
than enough light in. If I need additional
protection for a hard frost in the fall, we put
an extra layer on. We take the second layer
off when temperatures rise above freezing
and put it back on if necessary at night.
We also use row cover in our one-ply plastic
greenhouses. When the temperature in the
greenhouse is around 25 degrees, I know the
seedlings under the row cover are still above
freezing. That is one place a heavier blanket
like Dewitt Supreme (Guys Farm & Yard)
is a good investment. It takes you down to
50 percent light, but greens are not fussy
about light in the winter. With 8 degrees
protection, the increased temperature com-
pensates for lower sunlight. One gardener
who uses this weight on her sweet potatoes
says, These heat-loving plants really thrive
under this frost blanket. The reduced light
doesnt make a bit of difference.
I hope this has not utterly confused you. In
general, I look for median weights (some-
thing like Agribon 19), wide enough so my
plants can grow to four feet or so (six or so
feet wide). I weight the material securely
on all sides to prevent pests and wind from
either sneaking in or ripping the covers off:
use hoops if you want to keep the row cover
on when plants are going to press up against
it, and remember to remove the cover pe-
riodically to allow pollinating insects to
have access to the flowering plants. You can
find these materials at most local gardening
centers and online from most seed supply
houses like Fedco, Veseys and Johnnys.
Thats pretty much it.
Now cover up! And happy gardening!
Miriam and her husband, David, live in East
Montpelier, where they grow most of their own
vegetables, berries and meat on less than one-
quarter of an acre. Your questions and com-
ments are welcome. You can reach Miriam at
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 21
Parks Commissioner
Expand recreation, including guided
nature walks and family events.
Integrate parks and downtown business
district with activities to benefit both.
Enhance green-space during
development of the Carr Lot.
Grow our parks while recognizing that
property taxes are already high enough.
For 30 years Bryan has been a scientist,
nature guide and writer working or living in
or around Montpelier. As an educator at the
University of Vermont, he teaches students
to solve problems and create opportunity in
parks and other public lands. And, yeah,
hes The Bird Guy.
Tell them you saw it in The Bridge!
Norwich University Researches
Transcendental Meditation
by C.B. Hall
Spelling Bee Champ Robbie Harold
by Nat Frothingham
orwich University continues to conduct research projects
that may lead to substantial changes in how the U.S.
military does business. A study of transcendental medita-
tion (TM) will determine if it can reduce stress among soldiers in
harms way, while university researchers are also helping Wall Street
cope with the threat of cyber-terrorist attacks that could upend the
nations financial sector.
As warfare moves beyond the old model of guns and bullets, the
military looks everywhere for its tools: it spent $20 million in the
1980s and 90s to determine that clairvoyance was of no use in
intelligence gathering. By comparison, the TM experiment seems
ho-humand probably more useful. It carries with it the hope of
reining in factors leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The project utilizes platoons of about 30 rooks (first-year cadets)
who meditate and similarly sized control groups of nonmeditating
rooks. The effort will follow both groups as they progress in their
military careers.
The decreased stress levels noted thus far among the experimental
rooks come as no surprise, but whats the relevance to the military
mission? The first thing we saw is a significant increase in resil-
ience, says Dr. Carole Bandy, one of the faculty members leading
the study. She defines resilience as the ability to recover from
negative experiences and connects it to success among army special
forces, with their greater exposure to traumatic stress.
The cyber-terrorism project, spearheaded by the Norwich Univer-
sity Applied Research Institutes (NUARI), has created simulator
software with which Wall Street firms having been testing their
response to cyber-attacks. Senator Patrick Leahy obtained a fresh
$9.9 million grant for the project last August, describing NUARI
as a global leader in developing cyber-war gaming.
Attacks are inevitable, NUARI president Phil Susman commented
in a university press release. Building resiliency within critical in-
frastructures is paramount, not optional.
ow do you spell the word Chlamydia? Just ask Montpelier
writer Robbie Harold, who spelled C-H-L-A-M-Y-D-I-A
to become the winner of the Second Annual Cabin Fever
Spelling Bee at Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Saturday evening,
February 15.
Now, what, pray tell, is Chlamydia? As defined by the Websters
online dictionary, Chlamydia is any of a genus Chlamydia of
spherical gram-negative intracellular bacteria . . .lets jump out
of this canoe right now.
This years Kellogg-Hubbard spelling bee was divided into two
teams: local published writers (18 of them) and readers chosen by
lot. According to Harold, the readers turned in a great performance,
and reader Emily Tredeau was a tough competitor.
About her writing career, Harold said, I write novels, short fic-
tion, poetry and a variety of nonfiction. My first novel, a historical
mystery named Heron Island, set in Vermont and New York City
in 1903, came out in 2010. Its sequel, Murdered Sleep, set in Wash-
ington, D.C., in 1906, will be out in late spring or early summer
of this year. Both feature private security agent Dade Wyatt, a
Shakespearean actor and former Rough Rider. Next project is up
in the air at present but will likely be historical literary fiction. My
poem Later Sargent placed first in the 1999 Bread Loaf School of
English poetry contest, judged by Pulitzer Prizewinner and New
Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon.
Dr. Steven Sobel, DC
Chiropractic Physician
Holistic Chiropractic care for all ages
Functional Neurology
Safe and effective treatment of back,
neck and extremity conditions without
the use of drugs or surgery
Sports, work and auto injuries
Most insurance accepted
1 Blanchard Court, Montpelier
(located above First in Fitness)
Dr. Steven Sobel, DC
Chiropractic Physician
Holistic Chiropractic care for all ages
Functional Neurology
Safe and effective treatment of back,
neck and extremity conditions without
the use of drugs or surgery
Sports, work and auto injuries
Most insurance accepted
1 Blanchard Court, Montpelier
(located above First in Fitness)
3 Reasons to
Montpelier Senior
Activity Center
1. Membership OPEN TO ALL
aged 50+ (28% outside
2. 50 weekly activities and
classes at affordable rates!
3. Free events, clinics, services
and lectures!

Berlin, Calais, E. Montpelier, Middlesex,
Plainfield, and Worcester Voters:

Thank you for supporting
page 22 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Submit Your Event! Send listings to calendar@montpelierbridge.com.
Conscientious contracting
Int./ext. makeovers & paint
Healthy whole-home solutions
Deep energy retrofits
Kitchens, baths, additions
Doors, windows, roofs
David Diamantis
ph: 229-8646 fax: 454-8646
Certified Green Professional
EMP/RRP EcoStar Roof Applicator
Design & Build
Custom Energy-Ecient Homes
Additions Timber Frames
Weatherization Remodeling
Kitchens Bathrooms Flooring
Tiling Cabinetry Fine Woodwork
171 Westview Meadows Road
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223-1068 www.westviewmeadows.com
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info@vtherbcenter.org | 802 - 224 - 7100 | www.vtherbcenter.org
Heart-Spirit Medicine
for Turbulent Times
Herbal Allies & Timeless Wisdom
with Chris Marano, RH(AHG)
A look through the lenses of Chinese, Indian, Native
American and Western healing traditions to better
understand how the body-mind-heart-spirit
continuum functions, especially under stressful circumstances.
Learn how to utilize your own human technology awareness,
breath, body as well as nutrition and herbal allies to best
navigate these challenging and exciting times.
March 22
10 am-4 pm

$75/$65 for members

For details visit
The Center for Leadership Skills
Lindel James coaching & consulting
Taking You from Frustration to Enthusiasm
802 778 0626
Residential Care for Men &Women
Come Join Us Every Thursday
10AM - 11AM for Coffee & Scones!
Transportation available Ask for Joan
Located in the heart of Montpelier.
Within walking distance to the library,
post ofce, banks, churches and shops.
Come see available suites
and all we have to offer.
149 Main Street, Montpelier 802.223.3881
Residential Care for Men &Women
Come Join Us Every Thursday
10AM - 11AM for Coffee & Scones!
Transportation available Ask for Joan
Located in the heart of Montpelier.
Within walking distance to the library,
post ofce, banks, churches and shops.
Come see available suites
and all we have to offer.
149 Main Street, Montpelier 802.223.3881
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 23
FEB. 20
The Whisperer in Darkness by H. P.
Lovecraft. F. Brett Cox of Norwich University
talks about this horror story. Bring a bag lunch.
Noon1 p.m. Vermont History Museum, 109
State St., Montpelier. 828-2180. amanda.gus-
tin@state.vt.us. vermonthistory.org/calendar.
Brain Injury Support Group. Open to all
survivors, caregivers and adult family mem-
bers. First and third Turs., 1:302:30 p.m.
Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier.
Diabetes Discussion Group. Focus on self-
management. Open to anyone with diabetes
and their families. Tird Turs., 1:30 p.m. Te
Health Center, Plaineld. Free. Don 322-6600
or dgrabowski@the-health-center.org.
2014 VT Business Speakers Series: Elmore
Mountain Bread. Blair Marvin and Andrew
Heyn share talk about their bakery. Bread
samples. 3 p.m. Johnson State College, Bentley
Hall, rm 207, Johnson. 635-1439. Ellen.Hill@
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support. Monthly
group for people aected by a suicide death.
Tird Turs., 67:30 p.m. Central Vermont
Medical Center, conference rm. 1, Fisher Rd.,
Berlin. 223-0924. calakel@comcast.com.afsp.
Grandparents Raising Their Childrens
Children. Tird Turs., 68 p.m. Child care
provided. Trinity United Methodist Church,
137 Main St., Montpelier. 476-1480.
Song Circle: Community Sing-a-Long.
With Rich and Laura Atkinson. Song books
provided. Tird Turs., 6:45 p.m. Jaquith
Public Library, Old Schoolhouse Common, 122
School St., Marsheld. 426-3581. jaquith
publibrary@gmail.com. marsheld.lib.vt.us.
Songwriters Meeting. Meeting of the North-
ern VT/NH chapter of the Nashville Songwrit-
ers Association International. Bring copies of
your work. Tird Turs., 6:45 p.m. Catamount
Arts, St. Johnsbury. John, 633-2204.
Library Film Series. Tird Turs., 7 p.m.
Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marsh-
eld. For lm schedule: 426-3581 or jaquith-
publiclibrary@gmail.com. marsheld.lib.vt.us.
Grazing and Agroforestry: Important Tools
for Transition in Central Vermont. With
Graham Unangst-Rufenacht. Transition Town
Montpelier. 6-7:45 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
FEB. 21
Cross-Country Ski, Stowe Mountain Resort.
With the Green Mountain Club Montpelier. All
abilities. Various distances. Trail fee. Contact
leaders George Longenecker and Cynthia Mar-
tin, 229-9787 or marlong@myfairpoint.net, for
meeting time and place.
Questions About Health Insurance or Other
Senior Services? Sarah Willhoit, Information
and assistance specialist with Central Vermont
Council on Aging, answers questions. By
appointment only. 9 a.m.noon. Montpelier
Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St. Call for
appointment: 479-4400.
Yoga Story Time. Chrissy LeFavour from Stu-
dio Zenith leads mini yogis and their grown-
ups in playful poses inspired by story and song.
10:30 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library,
135 Main St., Montpelier.
Navigating the New Vermont Health Care
Exchange. Meet with Peter Sterling, executive
director of the Vermont Campaign for Health
Care Security, for help nding a plan.
11 a.m.2:30 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library,
135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
Summers Glory in Alaska. John Snell and Rob
Spring share their experiences and photographs
from their summer 2012 trip. North Branch
Lecture Series. 7 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130
Main St., Montpelier. 229-6206.
Tulsi Tales: Storytelling Event. Hosted by
astrologer MaryAnna Abuzahra. Bring a story
to tell. Sign up upon arrival. 7 p.m.Tulsi Tea
Room, 34 Elm St., Montpelier. Free. 498-8534.
FEB. 22
Capital City Farmers Market. Tirty-ve
farmers, food producers and craftspeople, plus
new products and vendors. Music by Turning
Stile. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Vermont College of Fine
Arts gym, College St., Montpelier. 223-2958.
Central Vermont Humane Society Adoption
Center Birthday Party. Bring a present and
join adoptable animals for a family-friendly
fourth birthday party at the East Montpelier
Adoption Center. Kick-o event to celebrate
CVHSs 50th anniversary. Raes, birthday
cupcakes, face painting and more. 10 a.m.2
p.m. CVHS, 1589 Rte. 14S, E. Montpelier.
Kitchen Medicine Workshop. Community
herbalist Emily Wheeler discusses the chemistry
and healing properties of common herbs and
spices. Open to all ages; no experience neces-
sary. 23:30 p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, 151
High St. (Rte. 2), Plaineld. $2$5 suggested
donation; no one turned away. 454-8504.
info@cutlerlibrary.org. cutlerlibrary.org.
Northfield Street Community Garden Meet-
ing. 10 a.m. Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, Main St., Montpelier. danielpatrickcos-
Ladies Only Garage Party. Hosted by Wilkins
Harley-Davidson. Introducing women to mo-
torcycles. 46 p.m. 663 South Barre Rd., Barre.
RSVP: jenna@wilkinsharley.com or wilkinshar-
FEB. 23
Snowshoe, Duxbury. With Green Mountain
Club Montpelier. Moderate. Five miles round-
trip. Snowshoe to Montclair Glen Lodge from
Couching Lion parking lot. Meet at Montpelier
High School. Contact leader Michael Chernick
at 249-0520 or chernick5@comcast.net for
meeting time.
2014 Camels Hump Challenge. Backcountry
skiing event. CHC raises funds and awareness
to support the Alzheimers Association, Ver-
mont Chapter. All day. Meet at base of Camels
Hump Nordic Ski Area, Handy Rd., Hunting-
ton. Free. Registration required: 802-316-3839
or Joany.Simonds@alz.org. Camelshumpchal-
Animal Dance Performances and Film Proj-
ect Screenings. Directed by Hanna Satterlee,
with input from dancers and artistic consul-
tants Kellie Lynch, Clare Byrne and Polly
Motley; performed by Maura Gahan, Marly
Spieser-Schneider, Avi Waring, Sharyl Green
and Hanna Satterlee. Contemporary Dance
& Fitness Studio, 18 Langdon St. Montpelier.
$10$20. 229-4676.
Feb. 28: Dance performance, 7 p.m.
Mar. 1: Dance performance, 2 p.m.;
lm screenings, 7 p.m.
Mar. 2: Film screenings, 2 p.m.; dance
performance, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28: Spring 2014 Edition of the Total
This and That Circus. Bread & Puppet Te-
ater. 8 p.m. Te Plaineld Community Center.
Suggested donation $10; no one turned away.
525-1271. breadapuppetlinda@gmail.com
Mar. 1: Extempo. Tell a 5- to 7.5-minute, rst-
person, true story from your own life. Sign up
in advance and come prepared without notes.
No theme. 8 p.m. Espresso Bueno, 248 N.
Main St., Barre. $5. 479-0896. storytelling@
extempoVT.com. extempovt.com.
Mar. 6: Expos of the NSA. Eric R. Hill (writer
and producer) and Elizabeth Tompson (direc-
tor) present a one-act play based on current
events and conjecture about the closed-door
dealings operating under the seal of the Na-
tional Security Agency 7 p.m. Dibden Center
for the Arts, Johnson State College. Free.
635-1408. emily.neilsen@jsc.edu.
Mar. 8: 8th Annual Kaleidoscope of Talent
Show. Benet for Green Mountain United Way.
Featuring local talent in voice, instrumental,
comedy and dance each in four age categories.
Cash prizes for the winners. 7 p.m. Spaulding
High School Auditorium, Barre. Tickets at the
door or call 229-9532.
Mar. 8: VATTA Statewide Auditions and In-
terviews. Vermont Association of Teatre and
Teatre Artists (VATTA) holds its 27th annual
statewide auditions for theater and lm/video
actors and interviews for tech, design, manage-
ment, directing, producing and choreographic
personnel. 9:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. Chandler Music
Hall, 71-73 Main St., Randolph. $10. Register
by March 1: 234-0292, weeb@writingraw.com
or visit VATTA audition section of Chandler
website at chandler-arts.org.
Twiddle is a Vermont-based quartet with a multigenre approach.
Gaining nationwide attention, the band has been featured at
popular live music draws, such as Camp Bisco, Disc Jam, The
Great North Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes and City
Bisco. They perform at Positive Pie, Montpelier, on February 21.
page 24 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Documentary: Inequality for All. Screening of
award-winning lm by Robert Reich, about our
nations shrinking middle class. Panel discus-
sion with audience participation follows. Light
refreshments. 2 p.m. Old Barre Labor Hall, 46
Granite St., Barre. Free, donations welcome.
RSVP: bgrateful@charter.net..
FEB. 24
Monthly Book Group for Adults. New mem-
bers always welcome. Februarys book is
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. For book copies,
please stop by the library. Fourth Mon., 7 p.m.
Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St., Marsh-
eld. 426-3581. jaquithpubliclibrary@gmail.
com. marsheld.lib.vt.us.
NAMI Vermont Family Support Group. Sup-
port group for families and friends of individu-
als living with mental illness. Fourth Mon., 7
p.m. Central Vermont Medical Center, rm. 3,
Berlin. 800-639-6480 or namivt.org..
FEB. 25
Cross-Country Ski, Hardwick. With Green
Mountain Club Montpelier. Moderate. Various
distances. Afternoon ski on the Hardwick trails
at Hazen Union High School. Contact leader
Steve Lightholder at 479-2304 for meeting time
and place.
Story Time with Leda Schubert. Award-
winning childrens book author Leda Schubert
reads from her books. All ages. 2:30 p.m. Cutler
Memorial Library, 151 High St. (Rte. 2), Plain-
eld. 454-8504. Loona.Brogan@cutlerlibrary.
org. cutlerlibrary.org.
Medicare and You Workshop. New to Medi-
care? Have questions? We have answers. Second
and fourth Tues., 34:30 p.m. 59 N. Main St.,
Ste. 200, Barre. Free, donations gratefully ac-
cepted. 479-0531. cvcoa@cvcoa.org. cvcoa.org.
Business Wisdom Circle. Monthly network-
ing and mentoring opportunity for women in
business or aspiring to be in business. Nominal
fee includes light refreshments. Last Tues.,
4:306:30 p.m. CVCAC Campus, 20 Gable
Pl., Barre. Information and registration: 479-
9813, info@vwbc.org or vwbc.org.
Vermont State Bank Initiative Informa-
tion Session. With Gwen Hallsmith. 7 p.m.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Mont-
pelier. 223-3338.
FEB. 26
Marketing Workshop for Small Business.
9 a.m.noon. Central Vermont Chamber of
Commerce, 33 Stewart Rd., Berlin. $49. Sign
up: 728-9101 or vtsbdc.org.
Toy Hacking. Take apart toys and learn how
they work. Library provides toys and tools.
Grade 46. Limited space; register in advance.
10:3011:30 a.m. Waterbury Public Library.
Registration: 244-7036.
Character and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Agnieszka Perlinska and Chip Chapados discuss
Te Conversationhow character impacts
meaning, happiness and well-being. 6:30 p.m.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Mont-
pelier. 223-3338.
FEB. 27
Bagitos. 28 Main St., Montpelier. Free. 229-
9212. bagitos.com.
Feb. 21: Mark Daly, Leon Wells, Michael
Friedman and Jason Pugliese (blues/rock/
reggae) 68 p.m.
Feb. 22: Irish session with Sarah Blair, Hi-
lari Farrington Koehler, Benedict Koehler,
Katrina VanTyne and others, 25 p.m.; Art
Herttua and Stephen Morabito Jazz Duo,
68 p.m.
Feb. 23: Sunday brunch with TBA.
Feb. 25: Te Peoples Caf: Occupy Central
Vermont group sponsors an evening of mu-
sic, comedy, poetry and education, 68 p.m.
Feb. 27: Timothy Fitzgerald (blues/folk/
country) 68 p.m.
Feb. 28: Je Lathrop (indie folk/rock) 68
Mar. 1: Irish session with Sarah Blair, Hi-
lari Farrington Koehler, Benedict Koehler,
Katrina VanTyne and others, 25 p.m.
Mar. 2: Clare Byrne (folk) 11 a.m.1 p.m.
Charlie-Os. 70 Main St., Montpelier. Free.
Feb. 21: Lake Superior, Televibes, Sun Lions
(indie rock).
Feb. 22: Dance Party Trap Night.
Feb. 27: WhiteGold (art/music).
Feb. 29: Gorcrow, BBiggPig, Fat Attitude
(metal hardcore).
North Branch Caf. 41 State St., Montpelier.
79 p.m. Free. 552-8105.
Feb. 20: Dave Loughran (classic soft rock
Feb. 21: Ron Merkin, piano (jazz, Broadway
Positive Pie. 22 State St., Montpelier. 10 p.m.
229-0453. positivepie.com.
Feb. 21: Twiddle (reggae/funk) 21+ $5.
Feb. 28: Electric Sorcery (progressive/rock)
21+ $5.
Mar. 8: Quiet Lion (folk trio) 21+ $5.
Mar. 14: Anque, 10-piece band (salsa)
21+ $8.
Mar. 22: Hot Neon Magic (80s covers)
21+ $5.
Sweet Melissas. 4 Langdon St., Montpelier.
Free unless otherwise noted. 225-6012. face-
Feb. 20: Dance party, 8 p.m.
Feb. 21: Honky Tonk Happy Hour with
Mark LeGrand, 5 p.m.; Summit School
Benet, 9 p.m.
Feb. 22: Blue Fox, 5 p.m.; Vincent Flats Blues
Band, 9 p.m.
Feb. 25: Michael T. Jermyn, 5 p.m.; open
mic, 7 p.m.
Feb. 26: Wine Down with D. Davis, 5 p.m.;
Carrie Cook, Peter Lind and D. Davis, 7 p.m.
Feb. 27: Bramblewood (bluegrass/folk trio)
7 p.m.
Feb. 28: Honky Tonk Happy Hour with
Mark LeGrand, 5 p.m.; Granite Junction,
9 p.m.
Whammy Bar. Maple Corner Store, 31 W.
County Rd., Calais. Wed.Sat., 7:30 p.m. Free.
229-4329. whammybar1.com.
Feb. 20: Jeanne n Jim.
Feb. 21: Al n Pete (Celtic guitar/ddle).
Feb. 22: Kava Express with Chris Stellar
Feb. 22: Turning Stile. With Aaron Marcus
and Joanne Garton, playing tunes and steps
from Scotland, England, Ireland and Appa-
lachia. 10 a.m.2 p.m. Capital City Farmers
Market, Vermont College of Fine Arts gym,
College Street, Montpelier. 223-2958. man-
Feb. 22: A Night of Folk and Electronic Music.
With Lituya Bay, Subversive Intentions and
Delicator. 5 p.m. Sovversiva, 89 Barre St.,
Montpelier. Suggested donation $5; no one
turned away. 207-449-7991. bomsheltervt.
Feb. 22: Eco-Music Big Band. Te Red, Black
& Green Revolutionary Eco-Music Tour per-
forms the music of two of the most inuential
revolutionary big band jazz composers: Cal
Massey and Fred Ho. 8 p.m. Haybarn Teatre,
Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Rd., Plaineld.
$12 advance; $15 door. 322-1685. goddard.
Feb. 23: Root & Branches: Celebrating the
Work of Alan Lomax. Award-winning banjo
innovator Jayme Stone, ddler Bruce Mol-
sky and singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy.
7:30 p.m. Chandler Music Hall, 71-73 Main
St., Randoplph. $25 advance; $30 door; $15
students.Tickets and reservations: 728-6464 or
Feb. 26: Farmers Night: Music of World War
I. Te Bethany Baritones and the Vermont
Philharmonic Chorus perform Oh You
Twenty-Sixth Division, an homage to the
26th Infantry Division, plus eight other songs
and several readings. Presented by the Vermont
Historical Society. 7:30 p.m. Vermont State
House. Free. 828-2180. vermonthistory.org/
Mar. 12: Vermont Virtuosi: Winter Spirits.
Laurel Ann Maurer, ute, Karen Luttik, clari-
net, and Claire Black, piano, perform works
by Aaron Copland, Vermont composer David
Gunn and others, featuring world premiere
of If Winter Comes by Vermont composer
Tomas Read. Free. Suggested donation: $10
adults; $5 students and seniors. 881-9153. Lam-
aurer@sisna.com. laurelannmaurer.com.
Mar. 1: Bethany Church, 115 Main St.,
Montpelier. 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 2: First Baptist Church, 81 Saint Paul
St., Burlington. 3 p.m.
Mar. 3: Chicha Libre. Playing a mix of Latin
rhythms, surf and psychedelic pop inspired by
Peruvian music from Lima and the Amazon. 8
p.m. Haybarn Teatre at Goddard College, 123
Pitkin Rd., Plaineld. $15 door; $12 advance.
322-1685. goddard.edu/chicha.
Mar. 8: Rusty Romance. 7 p.m. Optional
potluck at 5:30 p.m. Adamant Community
Club, 1161 Martin Rd., Adamant. $10 advance
at Adamant Co-op; $15 door.
Dancers perform Hanna Satterlees piece Animal. Photo by Joseph Shelley.
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 25
Introduction to Amateur Radio. With li-
censed shortwave radio operator David Ferland,
for adults and independent-aged youth. 35
p.m. Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High St.
(Rte. 2), Plaineld. 454-8504. info@cutler
library.org. cutlerlibrary.org.
Montpelier Ukelele Group Concert. Come
sing-a-long as the Uke Group plays their songs.
6:30 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main
St., Montpelier. 223-3338.
Ecumenical Group. Songs of praise, Bible
teaching, fellowship. Second and fourth Turs.,
79 p.m. Jabbok Center for Christian Living, 8
Daniel Dr., Barre. Free. 479-0302.
Green Mountain Dog Club Monthly Meeting.
Learn about the club and events. All dog
lovers welcome. Fourth Turs., 7:30 p.m.
Commodores Inn, Stowe. 479-9843
or greenmountaindogclub.org.
FEB. 28
Friday Night Group. For youth age 1322
who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
queer or questioning. Pizza, soft drinks and
conversation. Cofacilitated by two trained,
adult volunteers from Outright VT. Second and
fourth Fri., 6:308 p.m. Unitarian Church, 130
Main St., Montpelier. Free. 223-7035. Micah@
Recipe Swap. Bring your unique vegan or
gluten-free recipes for swapping and sampling.
Top recipe gets a prize! 7 p.m. Tulsi Tea Room,
34 Elm St., Montpelier. Free. 498-8534.
MAR. 1
National Federation of the Blind, Montpelier
Chapter. First Sat. Lane Shops community
room, 1 Mechanic St., Montpelier. 229-0093.
Read a Book to Anook. Marsheld resident
Joan Marie Misek and her therapy-trained dog
Anook will visit the library. Bring your kid to
read a book to Anook. 11 a.m.noon. Cutler
Memorial Library, 151 High St. (Rte. 2), Plain-
eld. 454-8504. Loona.Brogan@cutlerlibrary.
org. cutlerlibrary.org.
Local Healers Program Open House. Learn
more about the nine-month, folk, herbal-train-
ing program oered by Mandala Botanicals in
Orange, Vermont. 13 p.m. Free. Call for direc-
tions: 479-1925. MandalaBotanicalsVT.com.
MAR. 2
Poetry Reading: E. F. Schraeder. Plaineld
poet E. F. Schraeder reads new works, includ-
ing her recently published Te Hunger Tree.
Participants welcome to bring poetry to share.
Light refreshments served. 2 p.m. Cutler Me-
morial Library, 151 High St. (Rte. 2), Plaineld.
454-8504. Loona.Brogan@cutlerlibrary.org.
MAR. 3
Parent Meet-Up. Come meet other parents,
share information and chat over light snacks,
coee and tea. First Mon., 1011:30 a.m. Hayes
Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St.,
Montpelier. Free. mamasayszine@gmail.com.
Brain Injury Support Group. Open to all
survivors, caregivers and adult family members.
First Mon., 5:307:30 p.m. DisAbility Rights
of Vermont, 141 Main St., Suite 7, Montpelier,
800-834-7890, x106.
Classic Book Club. First Mon., 68 p.m. Cutler
Memorial Library, 151 High St. (Rte. 2), Plain-
eld. Free. 454-8504.
MAR. 4
Home Share Now Information. Joel Rhodes,
program and outreach assistant with Home
Share Now and VHCB AmeriCorps member,
discusses the home share program. 10:30noon.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.
Library Book Delivery Service. First and third
Tues., 1 p.m. See sign-up sheet near oce for
more info. Montpelier Senior Activity Center,
58 Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518.
Film: Miss Representation. Written and
directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the lm
exposes how mainstream media contribute to
the underrepresentation of women in positions
of power and inuence in America. 5:30 p.m.
Johnson State College, Bentley Hall, rm. 207.
Womens Circle. Women and mothers discuss
motherhood, family life and womens health.
Hosted by midwives Chelsea Hastings and
Hannah Allen. First Tues., 68 p.m. Emerge
Midwifery and Family Health, 174 River St.,
ADA Advisory Committee Meeting. First Tues.
City managers conference room, City Hall, 39
Main St., Montpelier. 223-9502..
MAR. 5
Grandparents Raising Their Childrens
Children. First Wed., 10 a.m.noon. Barre
Presbyterian Church, Summer St. 476-1480.
Lunch N Learn. Steven Sodergren, Ph.D.,
Norwich University history professor, presents
Te Horrors I Have Witnessed: Union Soldiers
Respond to the Battleelds of 1864. Light lunch
provided. Noon1 p.m. Sullivan Museum &
History Center, Norwich University, University,
158 Harmon Dr., Northeld. Free. 485-2183.
SMHC@norwich.edu. norwich.edu/museum.
Organizing to Cool the Planet. Maeve
McBride of 350Vermont presents her personal
story of activism, the current state of the climate
crisis and 350Vermonts organizing model to
build a climate justice movement in Vermont.
34:30 p.m. Community Center Media Room,
Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Rd., Plaineld.
Free. catherine.lowther@goddard.edu.
Cancer Support Group. First Wed., 6 p.m.
Potluck. For location, call Carole Mac-Intyre
Gothic Magnificence. Dartmouth professor
Cecilia Gaposchkin will discuss the power
of Gothic architecture in 13th-century Paris.
Presented by the Vermont Humanities Council.
7 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Main St.,
Montpelier. Free. 223-3338. 262-2626. info@
vermonthumanities.org. vermonthumanities.
MAR. 6
MBAC Meeting. Meeting of the Montpelier
Bicycle Advisory Committee. First Turs., 8
a.m. Police Station Community Room, 534
Washington St., Montpelier. 262-6273.
Beginning the Farm. UVM Extensions Jessie
Schmidt presents an intro to the resources and
services available to beginning farmers and
shares tips for developing business plans and
farm enterprises. 10:30 a.m.noon. Community
Center Media Room, Goddard College, 123
Pitkin Rd., Plaineld. Free. catherine.lowther@
Brain Injury Support Group. Open to all
survivors, caregivers and adult family members.
Evening group facilitated by Marsha Bancroft;
day group facilitated by Kathy Grange and Jane
Hulstrunk. First and third Turs., 1:302:30
p.m. Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpe-
lier. 244-6850.
Diabetes Support Group. First Turs., 78
p.m. Conference room 3, Central Vermont
Medical Center. 371-4152..
MAR. 7
Reiki Clinic. With Lynne Ihlstrom, reiki
master. Typical sessions one-half hour; hour ses-
sions available. By appointment. Noon4 p.m.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.
$15. Call for appointment: 522-0045.
Pork Roast Take-Out Dinner. Pork loin,
mashed potato, gravy, salad, corn, applesauce,
roll and dessert. Pick up your dinner 46 p.m.
Waterbury Center Community Church, 3583
Waterbury-Stowe Rd./Rte. 100, Waterbury. $9.
Reservation needed: 244-8089.
Coffeehouse. Enjoy live music and share your
own. Fellowship, potluck snacks and beverages.
First Fri., 79 p.m. Trinity United Methodist
Church, 137 Main St., Montpelier. Free. 244-
5191, 472-8297 or rawilburjr@comcast.net.
Timber Rattlesnakes of the Appalachian
Highlands: Icons for Conservation. Chris-
topher Jenkins, founder and director of the
Orianne Society, discusses timber rattlesnakes,
their biology and status in New England. Pre-
sented by North Branch Nature Center. 7 p.m.
Unitarian Church, Main St., Montpelier.
MAR. 8
Montpelier Memory Caf. Vermont poet Geof
Hewitt leads several poetry activities. Bring a
poem you have written, or by a favorite poet.
Guest speaker Jessie Cornell, the Alzheimers
Association Vermont Chapter outreach coor-
dinator. A care provider must accompany each
participant. Refreshments provided. 10 a.m.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.
Free. 229-9630.
Movies for Everyone Series. Films that are
fun for all ages. Second Sat., 11 a.m. Jaquith
Public Library, Old Schoolhouse Common, 122
School St., Marsheld. 426 -3581. jaquithpubli-
brary@gmail.com. marsheld.lib.vt.us.
Writing Workshop. With childrens books
authors Kate Messner and Jo Knowles. A
workshop for educators and parents. 11 a.m.
Childrens Room, Bear Pond Books, 77 Main
St., Montpelier. Free. Registration required:
229-0774, jane@bearpondbooks.com or bear-
continued from page 25
Through Feb. 22: Chaos. Pandemonium, disor-
der and turbulence in art. Main Gallery, Studio
Place Arts, 201 N. Main St., Barre. 479-7069.
Through Feb. 22: Leah Sophrin, Spring
Loaded, and Katy Sudol, Color of Expression.
Second Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, 201 N.
Main St., Barre. 479-7069. studioplacearts.com.
Through Feb. 22: Robert W. Brunelle Jr.,
Walking Home. Tird Floor Gallery, Studio
Place Arts, 201 N. Main St., Barre. 479-7069.
Through Feb. 28: Ray Brown, Retrospective:
From Nature. Paintings. Green Bean Visual Art
Gallery, Capitol Grounds, Montpelier. curator@
Through Feb.: Nancy Gadue. Window paint-
ings. Te Cheshire Cat, 28 Elm Street, Montpe-
lier. 223-1981. cheshirecatclothing.com.
Through Mar. 3: Joseph Shelley, Animal.
Photographs of Hanna Satterlees newest dance
work Animal. Contemporary Dance & Fitness
Studio, 18 Langdon St., Montpelier. Hours:
Mon.Fri., 48 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.1 p.m.
Through Mar. 8: First Annual Group Art
Show. Work displayed of 10 local artists who
have had one-person shows at Jaquith Library.
Jaquith Public Library, Old Schoolhouse Com-
mon, 122 School St., Marsheld. 426 -3581.
jaquithpublibrary@gmail.com. marsheld.lib.
Through Mar. 9: Kelly Holt, Where. Mixed-
media paintings. Common Space Gallery, River
Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-
1261. riverartsvt.org. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10
a.m.2 p.m.
Through Mar. 9: Evie Lovett and Greg Shar-
row, Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co:
The Drag Queens of Dummerston, Vermont.
Photographs by Lovett and audio interviews by
Sharrow. Two-year project documenting the
Rainbow Cattle Co., a gay bar in Dummerston.
Gallery at River Arts, 2F, River Arts Center, 74
Pleasant St., Morrisville. 888-1261. riverartsvt.
org. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.2 p.m.
Through Mar. 9: Making an Impression. Te
work of 18 Vermont printmakers. Chandler
Gallery, 7173 Main St., Randolph. outreach@
Through Mar. 15: Victoria Zolnoski and
Mark OMaley, Threshold. Black-and-white,
chromoskedasic, digital photographic imagery
and video installation. Julian Scott Memorial
Gallery, Johnson State College. 635-1469. Leila.
Bandar@jsc.edu. Hours: Mon.Fri., 10 a.m.6
p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.4 p.m.
Through Mar. 28: Regis Cummings, Faces &
Places on a Journey. A photo ID is required for
admission. Te Governors Gallery, 109 State
St., 5F, Montpelier. 828-0749. Hours: Mon.
Fri., 8 a.m.4:30 p.m.
Through Mar. 28: Ellen Eby, Chasing the
Blues. Central Vermont Medical Center lobby
Through Mar. 28: Ken Leslie, Golden Dome
Cycle and Other Works: Arctic and Vermont.
Diverse media and surfaces. Vermont Supreme
Court, 111 State St., Montpelier. kenleslie.net.
Hours: Mon.Fri., 8 a.m.4:30 p.m.
Through Mar. 31: Lorraine Manley, Luminous
Vermont. Landscape paintings. Reception
Mar. 9, 35 p.m. Festival Gallery, #2 Village
Square, Waitseld. 496-6682. vermontartfest.
Through Apr. 4: Cindy Griffith, From Ver-
mont to Alaska. Large-scale and intimate
paintings in pastel, oil and acrylic. Copley Gal-
lery, Copley Hospital, Morrisville. 229-4326.
cindy.grith.vt@gmail.com. hungermountain-
arts.com. Hours: daily, 8 a.m.5 p.m.
Through May: Round. An exhibition of objects
of circular shape, from the Sullivan Museum
collection. Sullivan Museum and History
Center, Norwich University, 158 Harmon Dr.,
Northeld. 485-2183. Norwich.edu/museum.
Through Dec. 19: 1864: Some Suffer So Much.
Stories of Norwich alumni who served as mili-
tary surgeons during the Civil War and traces
the history of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Sullivan Museum and History Center, Norwich
University, 158 Harmon Dr., Northeld. 485-
2183. Norwich.edu/museum.
Mar. 2: Printmaking Workshop. Artist and
teacher Janet Cathey will oer a workshop for
adults using relief printmaking to make cards.
Suitable for all levels. Chandler Gallery, 71-73
Main St., Randolph. $15. Registration: 730-
Mar. 11: Teen Art Studio. With Illustrator Evan
Chismark. 6:30 8:30 p.m. Age 1118. Helen
Day Art Center, 90 Pond St., Stowe. Free. 253-
8358. education@helenday.com. helenday.com.
Photo courtesy of M.P. Hogan Photography
Bryce Dance Company Presents:
To You, Around You, About You
March 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Spotlight Theater
50 San Remo Drive - Burlington, VT
page 26 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
Beaders Group. All levels of beading
experience welcome. Free instruction available.
Come with a project for creativity and
community. Sat., 11 a.m.2 p.m. Te Bead
Hive, Plaineld. 454-1615.
Noontime Knitters. All abilities welcome.
Basics taught. Crocheting, needlepoint and
tatting also welcome. Tues., noon1 p.m.
Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St.,
Waterbury. 244-7036..
Open Shop Nights. Volunteer-run community
bike shop: bike donations and repairs. Tues.,
68 p.m.; other nights. Freeride Montpelier, 89
Barre St., Montpelier. By donation. 552-3521.
Lunch in a Foreign Language. Bring lunch and
practice your language skills with neighbors.
Noon1 p.m. Mon. Hebrew, Tues. Italian,
Wed. Spanish, Turs. French. Kellogg-
Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier.
Conversations with the Word Weaver. Exam-
ine the roots and denitions of words we use in
daily conversation. Tues., 1:30 p.m. Kellogg-
Hubbard Library, 135 Main St. 223-3338.
English Conversation Practice Group. For
students learning English for the rst time.
Tues., 45 p.m. Central Vermont Adult Basic
Education, Montpelier Learning Center, 100
State St. 223-3403.
Ongoing Reading Group. Improve your read-
ing and share some good books. Books chosen
by group. Turs., 910 a.m. Central Vermont
Adult Basic Education, Montpelier Learning
Center, 100 State St. 223-3403.
Personal Financial Management Workshops.
Learn about credit/debit cards, credit build-
ing and repair, budgeting and identity theft,
insurance, investing, retirement. Tues., 68 p.m.
Central Vermont Medical Center, Conference
Room 3. Registration: 371-4191.
Computer and Online Help. One-on-one
computer help. Tues. and Fri., 10 a.m.1 p.m.
Waterbury Public Library, 28 N. Main St., Wa-
terbury. Free. Registration required: 244-7036.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Lectures,
discussions and lms on a variety of topics. Wed.,
1:30 p.m. Trough May 7. (No program on Mar.
26.) Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre
St., Montpelier, or Aldrich Public Library, Barre.
Call for topic, location and fee: 454-1234 or
Community Meals in Montpelier. All wel-
come. Free.
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., 11
a.m.1 p.m.
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 11:30
a.m.1 p.m.
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., 11
a.m.12:30 p.m.
Turs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., 11:30
a.m.1 p.m.
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., 11
a.m.12:30 p.m.
Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115
Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue),
4:305:30 p.m.
Social Anxiety Support Group. Meet other
people with similar experiences and learn
techniques to reduce anxiety. Supportive and
condential. New group to meet weekly; time
and place to be determined. Contact Danielle
at freefromsa@yahoo.com for more informa-
Turning Point Center. Safe, supportive place
for individuals and their families in or seeking
recovery. Open daily, 10 a.m.5 p.m. 489
North Main St., Barre. 479-7373.
Sun.: Alchoholics Anonymous. 8:30 a.m.
Tues.: Making Recovery Easier workshops.
67:30 p.m.
Wed.: Wits End Parent Support Group. 6
Turs.: Narcotics Anonymous. 6:30 p.m.
Sex Addicts Anonymous. Mon., 6:30 p.m.
Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier.
Call 552-3483 for more information or to leave
a condential message.
Diabetes Prevention Series. Reduce your
risk for type 2 diabetes and gain tools for
healthy living. Learn how the YMCAs Dia-
betes Prevention Program can help you reach
healthy living goals. Tues., beginning Jan. 21.
Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St.
225-5680. Lisa.willette@cvmc.org.
Overeaters Anonymous. Tues., 5:306:30
p.m. Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre.
HIV Testing. Vermont CARES oers fast oral
testing. Turs., 25 p.m. 58 East State St., ste.
3 (entrance at back), Montpelier. Free. 371-
6222. vtcares.org.
Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve-step program
for physically, emotionally and spiritually over-
coming overeating. Fri., noon1 p.m. Bethany
Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. 223-3079.
Mad River Valley Youth Group. Sun., 79 p.m.
Meets at various area churches. Call 497-4516
for location and information.
Sit N Knit. For rst-timers or superstar knitters
alike. Bring a project you are working on or
start one with Joan Kahn. Age 6 and up; under
9 accompanied by adult. Mon., 3:304 p.m.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Mont-
pelier. 223-4665. kellogghubbard.org.
The Basement Teen Center. Cable TV, Play-
Station 3, pool table, free eats and fun events
for teenagers. Mon.Turs., 36 p.m.; Fri.,
311 p.m. Basement Teen Center, 39 Main St.,
Montpelier. 229-9151.
Story Time at the Waterbury Public Library.
Baby/toddler story time: Mon., 10 a.m.
Preschool story time: Fri., 10 a.m. Waterbury
Public Library, 28 N. Main St., Waterbury.
244-7036. waterburypubliclibrary.com.
Story Time at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
Stories, songs and special guests. Birth to age
5. Tues. and Fri., 10:30 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665.
FiddleFest Storytime with Katie Trautz. En-
joy Katies magical melodies woven into your
favorite books. Tues., 10:30 a.m. Starting Jan.
21. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St.,
Montpelier. Childrens department: 223-4665.
Story Time at the Jaquith Public Library.
With Sylvia Smith, followed by play group with
Melissa Seifert. Birth to age 6. Wed. 1011:30
a.m. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St.,
Marsheld. 426-3581.
Story Maps. Chart the wilds of your imagina-
tion. Age 36. Wed., 11 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. Preregistra-
tion required: 223-4665. kellogghubbard.org.
Games Unplugged. Learn a new board game
from game master Ben T. Matchstick. Featured
games include Ticket to Ride, Settlers of
Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, No Tanks,
For Sale, Snake Oil, Smallworld. Bring your
favorite game or select one from the collec-
tion. Age 818. Wed., 35 p.m., to March 5.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Mont-
pelier. 223-4665. kellogghubbard.org.
Read to Coco. Share a story with Coco, the
resident licensed reading therapy dog, who
loves to hear kids practice reading aloud. Wed.,
3:304:30 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135
Main St., Montpelier. Sign up ahead: 223-
4665 or at the childrens desk. kellogghubbard.
Read with Arlo. Meet reading therapy dog Arlo
and his owner Brenda. Sign up for a 20-min-
ute block. Turs., 34 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665.
Origami Club. Learn to make magical paper
creations come alive with Kim Smith. Turs.,
34 p.m. Trough May. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665.
Special Story Time. Story times with varied
themes. Fri., 10:30 a.m. Kellogg-Hubbard
Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665.
Drop-in Kinder Arts Program. Innovative
exploratory arts program with artist/instructor
Kelly Holt. Age 35. Fri., 10:30 a.m.noon.
River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant St., Morrisville.
888-1261. RiverArtsVT.org.
Teen Fridays. Find out about the latest teen
books, use the gym, make art, play games and
if you need to, do your homework. Fri., 35
p.m. Jaquith Public Library, 122 School St.,
Marsheld. 426-3581.
Write On! Are you full of ideas? Looking to
spin a story? Willing to play with words? Drop
in once or join us for the series. Age 610. Fri.,
3:304 p.m. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135
Main St., Montpelier. 223-4665. kellogghub-
Barre-Tones Womens Chorus. Open re-
hearsal. Find your voice with 50 other women.
Mon., 7 p.m. Alumni Hall, Barre. 223-2039.
Dance or Play with the Swinging over 60
Band. Danceable tunes from the 1930s to the
1960s. Recruiting musicians. Tues., 5:307:30
p.m., Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58
Barre St., Montpelier. 223-2518.
Monteverdi Young Singers Chorus Rehearsal.
New chorus members welcome. Wed., 45
p.m. Montpelier. Call 229-9000 for location
and more information.
Gamelan Rehearsals. Sun., 79 p.m. Pratt
Center, Goddard College. Free. 426-3498.
steven.light@jsc.edu. light.kathy@gmail.com.
Ukelele Group. All levels welcome. Turs., 68
p.m. Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58
Barre St. 223-2518.
Additional Recycling. Te Additional Re-
cyclables Collection Center accepts scores of
hard-to-recycle items. Tues. and Turs., 12:30
p.m.5:30 p.m. ARCC, 540 North Main St.,
Barre. $1 per carload. 229-9383 x106. For list
of accepted items, go to cvswmd.org/arcc-addi-
Womens Group. Women age 40 and older
explore important issues and challenges in their
lives in a warm and supportive environment.
Facilitated by Amy Emler-Shaer and Julia W.
Gresser. Wed. evenings. 41 Elm St., Montpe-
lier. Call Julia, 262-6110, for more
Christian Science. Gods love meeting human
needs. Reading room: Tues.Sat., 11 a.m.1
p.m.; Tues., 58 p.m.; Wed., 57:15 p.m. Testi-
mony meeting: Wed., 7:308:30 p.m., nursery
available. Worship service: Sun., 10:3011:30
a.m., Sunday school and nursery available. 145
State St., Montpelier. 223-2477.
Shambhala Buddhist Meditation. Group
meditation practice. Sun., 10 a.m.noon; Tues.,
78 p.m.; Wed., 67 p.m. Shambhala Medita-
tion Center, 64 Main St., 3F, Montpelier. Free.
223-5137. montpeliershambala.org.
Deepening Our Jewish Roots. Fun, engaging
text study and discussion on Jewish spirituality.
Sun., 4:456:15 p.m. Yearning for Learning
Center, Montpelier. 223-0583. info@yearning-
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For
those interested in learning about the Catholic
faith, or current Catholics who want to learn
more. Wed., 7 p.m. St. Monica Church, 79
Summer St., Barre. Register: 479-3253.
Apollo Duplicate Bridge Club. All welcome.
Partners sometimes available. Fri., 6:45 p.m.
Bethany Church, 115 Main St., Montpelier. $3.
485-8990 or 223-3922.
Roller Derby Open Recruitment and Recre-
ational Practice. Central Vermonts Wrecking
Doll Society invites quad skaters age 18 and up.
No experience necessary. Equipment provided:
rst come, rst served. Sat., 56:30 p.m.
Montpelier Recreation Center, Barre St. First
skate free. centralvermontrollerderby.com.
Coed Adult Floor Hockey League. Join women
and men in a oor hockey game. Equipment
provided. 1:15-4:15 p.m. rst Sunday of the
month. 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. otherwise. Montpelier
Recreation Center, 55 Barre St. Montpelier.
bmoorhockey@gmail.com or
Christian Meditation Group. People of all
faiths welcome. Mon., noon1 p.m. Christ
Church, Montpelier. 223-6043.
Zen Meditation. With Zen Aliate of
Vermont. Mon., 6:307:30 p.m. 174 River
St., Montpelier. Free. Call for orientation:
Yoga and Meditation. With Katy Leadbetter.
Meditation: Mon., 1 p.m. (unlimited). Intro to
Yoga: Tues., 4 p.m. (four-class limit). Consul-
tation: Fri., 11 a.m. (one per person). 56 East
State St., Montpelier. Free. 272-8923.
Photo courtesy of M.P. Hogan Photography
Bryce Dance Company
To You, Around You,
About You
March 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Spotlight Theater
50 San Remo Drive
Burlington, VT
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 27
Class listings and classifieds are 50 words for $25; discounts available. To place an ad, call Carolyn, 223-5112, ext. 11.
The Bridge is seeking a well-organized,
friendly and energetic person to be-
come a member of our advertising
sales team.
We are looking for someone who
knows and likes The Bridge and who
wants to help us reach out to and
work with our ad clients in the cen-
tral Vermont business community.
you will work with other members of
our solid ad sales team.
This is an ideal part-time position for
someone who wants to add to their
income or for someone who wants
to break into the workforce and get
to know people in montpelier and
nearby communities.
Interested? e-mail Nat frothing-
ham, editor and publisher, at nat@
The Bridge is looking for an editor to take
over production editing. Duties include ed-
iting articles, letters and editorials for clar-
ity and syntax and according to the news-
papers style, fact checking and, as needed,
rewriting leads and writing headlines and
occasional fill-in pieces. This position re-
quires someone able to work efficiently,
keep to deadlines and coordinate with the
managing editor, the graphic designer and
the advertising staff. candidate needs to
be familiar with both ap and chicago style
manuals, have good writing skills and pos-
sess a sharp eye for detail. In addition, the
production editor is expected to proofread
the formatted pages on the final production
day. Interested? e-mail nat@montpelier-
starting at $150 monthly. Larger spaces of various
sizes available full-time or time-shared. Join us as
we transform a historic convent and school at 46
Barre Street, Montpelier, into a unique center for
the arts, music and learning. Call Paul for a tour
at 802-223-2120 or 802-461-6222.
town Montpelier. $93.75 per month. Free Wi-Fi.
Call 272-1195 or 339-223-7611.
in North Central Vermont; PRIVACY; elds and
woodlands for hiking and skiing outside, wood
stove for elegant simplicity within; booking now
for summertime too; basic supplies provided;
reasonable rates. claudia@vtlink.net
curved glass. $200. Call 223-4865.
AND SIDING is now oering snow shoveling,
roof raking, and roof repair. Fully insured. 802-
Eleven-week French classes at our Colchester and
Montpelier locations. Starting March 10. Classes
serve the entire range of students from true begin-
ners to those already comfortable conversing in
French. $245 per course or $220.50 for AFLCR
members. Descriptions and signup at acr.org.
Placement or other questions? Contact AFLCR
French Language Center Director, Micheline
Tremblay. 802-881-8826. Treasurer Janice Dawley
WRITING COACH. Struggling with beginning,
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Tell them you saw it in The Bridge!
Metal Roof Painting
Interior & Exterior
802- 479- 2733
Rocque Long
30+ years professional
local references.
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Crane work Decorative concrete
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expert annual pruning maintenance performed now
or should open your trees for initial late-winter pruning soon
call Padma 456.7474 ~ earthwiseharmonies.com
Les Church Chris Lackey
New Construction
Kitchens and Bathrooms,
Doors and Windows,
Ceramic tile,
Hardwood and Laminate Floors,
Stairways and Railings,
page 28 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
for CITY COUNCIL, District 2
VOTE Tuesday, March 4
I will work hard to:
- Maintain value for our tax dollars
- Improve communication and openness at City Hall
- Find additional sources of City revenue
- Promote smart, affordable new housing
- Support efforts to keep our downtown vital, accessible and fun
I am
- An analytical problem-solver by profession
- A xed-income senior citizen
- An active, involved grandparent
- Fascinated by the complex aspects of managing this remarkable City
I believe
We can, with creative and
thoughtful analysis, nd
ways to keep city services
and our community or-
ganizations funded without
breaking the bank. We
need to consider the social
and environmental impacts
of our decisions along with
the economic factors.
Contact me at:
for city council, District 2
For more than twenty years Thierry Guerlain has lived and worked
in Montpelier. He has worked for three Montpelier businesses
and successfully operated two of his own. He and his wife Julie
have raised four wonderful children, all of whom have own the
coop. Thierry is an avid admirer of Jane Austen and a bicycling
enthusiast. With the nest now empty, Thierry has welcomed the
opportunity to serve his community. He is a member of the City
Council; he volunteer-teaches an iPhone course at the Montpelier
Senior Activity Center; and he is the president of Kellogg-Hubbard
Library Board of Trustees. Thierry describes himself as being
socially liberal but scally prudent. While striving to keep the tax
rate in check, Thierry wants to ensure that Montpelier remains not
only a wonderful and aordable place to live for all, but becomes
even better. To that end, he wants to focus on increased housing
opportunities in downtown Montpelier, increased parking
downtown, economic development across the entire city and
increased eciencies across all city departments.
vote for thierry guerlain,
city council, district 2
on election day
**Paid for by friends & supporters of Thierry Guerlain**
, too, grimace at the 49 cents it now costs to mail a letter,
but theres more to the story than pennies. Forty years ago,
when I lived in an intentional community in the Northeast
Kingdom, a letter cost eight cents. Mail was abundant, and
the walk to the post office furnished each weekday mornings
highlight. Our errand runner would return with a pile of mail
for the 16 of us, and in among the bills and junk mail, sundry
delights awaitedorders for a crafts business that sustained
us, letters from afar, postcards from traveling friends. The
mail was a Christmas stocking, certain to contain goodies.
That was the Watergate era, and many believed that prying
government hands were opening mail here and there, fulfill-
ing the mandate of a president bent on destroying enemies.
But the fears anyone might have felt about such shenanigans
pale before the disquiet we rightly feel today whenever we
pick up the phone or hit the send button: Whos listening?
Whos reading this? The opposing principles in the current
debate over cyber-snoopingPresident Obama and Edward
Snowdenare telling us the same thing: For better or worse,
privacy is dying. Get used to it.
True enough, if you use electronic mediavulnerable as they
are to high-tech snooping. But a recent Moscow News story
html) informs us that Russias equivalent of our secret service
has ordered 20 typewriters and 600 ink cartridges because,
an unnamed official puts it, the use of paper documents
needed to be expanded to protect secrecy in high places.
Why send an electronic message ripe for interception when
there are paper, couriers and the mail?
The privacy of paper documents inspires confidence, and
thats part of the beauty of post offices. Cyberrobots can cull
key markers from data streams at a mind-boggling pace
200 million text messages in a day, to cite a recent NSA
revelations. But try opening 200 million envelopes in a day.
I assume the U.S. Department of Defense and other folks
who need to communicate important things secretly have
figured this out and are copying the Russians exampleor
perhaps the Russians have in fact copied usbut we petty
mortals seem too addicted to electronic communication to
heed the lesson.
The far higher assurance of privacy constitutes only one facet
of the post offices value. When I lived on the West Coast, we
almost lost Santa Clauss contribution to our sons Christmas
because the reindeer worked for the United Parcel Service
(UPS), and it snowed on December 16. The snow stayed on
the ground right up to the holiday. Snow being unusual in
our region, UPSs workers refused to make deliveries, finding
the risk of driving on any snow intolerable. After considerable
effort, I located the parcel at a depot all of six miles from our
house. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), meanwhile, hadnt
missed a beat. Since then, it has gotten all my parcel business.
We should also note the social benefits: the banter with a post-
mistress, the accessibility of a local post office, the focus that
it gives a communityhowever this cold-steel world might
sneer at such sentimentality. In rural communities particu-
larly, the social value of post offices approaches that of local
schools, churches and general stores. Regrettably, the decline
in communication by mail means that many of those rural
post offices are facing likely closure. Theres more than one
community that will go with them.
Indeed, in 2011, the USPS proposed closing 3,700 post of-
fices, 14 of them in Vermont, according to what the USPS,
with masterful euphemism, termed its expanded access study
list. Public outcry forced the agency to back off: They found
out people werent exactly happy with that, spokeswoman
Melissa Lohnes phrases it. The agency decided, instead, to
slash service hours at 13,000 post offices. This solution looks
like a Band-Aid, however: the cancerthe rush to all things
electroniccontinues its steady course.
Any true solution to the decline in the postal institution must
start with policy decisions that take a broad view. In contrast
to some European countries, Internet and e-mail services in
the United States developed under private enterprises, rather
than a national, public telecommunications companythe
postal servicethat might have profited by offering such
Thats all history, but current developments in Washington are
hardly remedying the situation. A 2006 law forced the USPS
to fund a reserve for retirees health benefits 75 years into the
future. Since then, the cost of a postage stamp has risen 26
percent faster than the general inflation rateno surprise.
Communication continues to migrate to those spy-infested
waves that swaddle our planet, and economies of scale dimin-
ish. If naught else, those 49 cents demonstrate our societys
penchant for embracing technological progress without a
whimper of thought as to its social implications.
We wont know what weve got until its gone.
Opinion: The Post Office
Expiring Haven of Community and Privacy by C.B. Hall
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 29
he Vermont Association of Realtors
is putting the spotlight on a study
it funded of Vermonts education-
financing system that concludes there are
significant problems with the way Vermont
pays for its schools. The association is also
calling for changes this year to the states
income-sensitivity program.
The 1,700-member association, also known
as Vermont Realtors, commissioned North-
ern Economic Consulting to conduct the
study, which argues that Vermonts system
for educating its children lacks sufficient
cost controls. According to the report, total
education spending and per pupil spending
has risen sharply during the past 15 years
in Vermont, while student enrollment has
The consulting group, in a State House
news conference Tuesday morning, called
on law makers and the Shumlin adminis-
tration to begin discussions during this leg-
islative session about how to address those
The impetus behind this study was the
fact that the educational funding appara-
tus in the state of Vermont has reached a
point where I think everybody would agree
that its unsustainable, to a certain degree,
CEO Isaac Chavez said. Even with local
school boards having level-funded budgets
and zero increases, youre still seeing 3 to
4 percent, 5 percent, 6 percent increases in
the local property tax rates.
Economist Art Wolfe of Northern Eco-
nomic Consulting said the firm looked at
education spending trends across the coun-
try and found Vermont to be an outlier.
Vermont spends about 70 percent more
than the average in the United States, so
there is a huge gap, he said.
But while the state has experienced among
the highest rates of growth in total edu-
cation spending, enrollment has dropped.
Weve lost more students than just about
any other state in the nation, Wolfe said.
Richard Heaps, also an economist with
Northern Economic Consulting, said the
study shows a need for leadership to begin
to change the course of whats going on
with our education spending. Heaps said
the rising spending trend has occurred dur-
ing the past 15 years, which included boom
times and recessions. A housing boom
helped increase the tax base for school dis-
tricts for much of that period, he said:
Weve had a whole mix of economic times,
and what has happened during that time
is that our spending has marched ahead.
As a result, we find ourselves in a position
where our spending is very high, and its no
surprise that our taxes are going to have to
be very high in order to pay for that.
The report authored by the two economists
includes several long-term policy ideas that
lawmakers and the Shumlin administration
could embrace in an effort to rein in spend-
ing. He said the report does not endorse
any specific idea, however. Among the ideas
are to have state government cap spending
at a certain level for individual school dis-
tricts and to consider changes to the states
income-sensitivity provisions for financing
Vermonts public school system.
Rising property taxes notwithstanding, vot-
ers continue to pass local school budgets in
nearly all Vermont communities, even some
budgets that include significant spending
increases. And Heaps argued that income
sensitivity, which provides property-tax re-
lief based on income, is the reason.
For two-thirds of Vermonters, you know
what youre going to be paying is based on
your incomeyoure income sensitized,
he said. Most of our voters are protected
from the full impact of the increase in the
budget, so they vote to increase the budget.
Vermont Realtors Association on
Education Financing:
School Costs Are Too High by Neal P. Goswami
After six years of service on the Montpelier
City Council, Alan Weiss, District 3 city
councilor, has decided not to seek reelection
and the last council meeting before his term
expires will be Wednesday evening, Febru-
ary 26.
I was first introduced to Alan Weiss some-
time in the 1970s by my friend and for-
mer Orange County state senator Robert
OBrien. In the intervening years, when
Alan was serving as deputy commissioner of
Education and afterward, we would bump
into each other in Montpelier or at the State
House. I liked and still do like Alans intel-
ligent, direct and transparently candid man-
ner, and over time we became friends. A
handful of times when I found myself trying
to sort out a difficult professional problem, I
have phoned Alan and asked for his advice.
I was always confident in talking with Alan
that the advice he gave methough not al-
ways the advice I wanted to hearwas often
the advice I needed to hear.
In advance of February 26, it is timely to re-
call Alans record of public service as a school
principal, a superintendent, a deputy com-
missioner of education, a Northfield village
trustee and a state legislator and as someone
who worked directly with our children and
youth on issues of substance abuse and ad-
dictionand now, of course, as a valued
city councilor.
Here is what I have observed of Alans record
of public service: I see a man with very high
personal and public standards who has con-
sistently demanded high performance from
our schools and units of government.
Mayor John Hollar commented on Alans
service to the Montpelier City Council in
these words:
Alan has offered a unique perspective in
his service on the City Councilone that
I believe all of us have come to appreciate.
He has an unwavering respect for order and
procedure, which has helped ensure that we
always adhere to the rules, whether those are
embodied in council procedures, the city
charter, ordinances or state statutes. We will
greatly miss his principled service on the
or some Montpelier opponents of the
school budget, having no skin in the
game appears to be the great divide
when citizens vote on the budget on Town
Meeting Day, March 4. In their thinking,
a vote for the school budget has less legiti-
macy if the voter, as most of us do, has an
income-sensitized school tax. They refer to
these voters as having no skin in the game.
Are some citizens of modest means able to
vote for the school budget only because they
are shielded from the full cost of that vote
by income sensitivity provided by the prop-
erty tax adjustment claim? Probably so. But
heres another skin-in-the-game question
that I never hear discussed. Are there some
citizens voting against the school budget
because they dont have kids in our public
schools? Undoubtedly. Well call these folks
voters with no kin in the game.
Which voterthe one who supports the
school budget, irrespective of skin in the
game, or the voter who votes against the
budget because he or she has no kin in the
gamemakes the greater contribution to
this city? Is a no-skin-in-the game vote any
less legitimate than a no-kin-in-the game
vote? Think hard about the answers to these
questions because the answers will define
Of course, this isnt a game. Most families
with kids take their childrens education
very seriously, understanding that good
public schools offer invaluable preparation
for future success. Many other voters, those
without children in our schools, understand
this as well. Together, they have given us a
caring and generous community that is sup-
portive of our most important infrastruc-
turethe schools that serve our children.
I am proud of our citys reputation for good
schools. I am also proud of our state for
using income tax revenues in supporting
school budgets via the property tax adjust-
ment claim. Public schools are too impor-
tant to the nations future to be wholly
dependent upon a regressive real estate tax
that for many bears scant relationship to an
ability to pay.
Every year on Town Meeting Day roughly
two-thirds of Montpelier voters support the
school budget . Lets dig a little deeper in
supporting our kids this year.
The Montpelier School Budget
No Skin or No Kin in the Game by David Abbott
School Budget Shows Goodwill, but Not
Good Sense by Carol Doerflein
A Personal Thanks to Alan Weiss
by Nat Frothingham
ts time to do the sensible thing and
return Montpeliers nearly $17.4 million
school budget to the school board for an
R&R: review and reduction. The budget
was the product of goodwill but not good
We are a city of 8,000 people with a stu-
dent population of 934, which translates into
an estimated $14,748 per pupil (Montpe-
lier Public Schools projections for FY15). It
would be comforting to think that this puts
us in the middle of the pack, but lets keep
in mind that our city is small enough not
to need the big-scale transportation systems
that burden more geographically dispersed
school districts. Factoring in this disparity
would appear to skew our costs upward rela-
tive to other schools.
Such high spending will cause hardship to
many taxpayers. We cant afford it now, and
budgets on this order are not sustainable in
the future, so long as the economy remains
weak and both federal and state funding for
education is in shortfall.
We need to go back to the drawing board to
improve both the process and the outcome
of the FY15 school budget. This means a no
vote on the budget, but it does not mean a
no vote on high-quality education in Mont-
Although we like to think otherwise, unre-
strained spending increases do not necessar-
ily produce better education for our children.
To the contrary, when budgets that exceed
reasonable cost-of-living increases become
the norm, they can diminish educational
quality by choking off needed reforms and
creative innovations.
One school board member suggested as
much during a public meeting on Janu-
ary 15, when proposing a further effort to
identify $200,000 in cuts that, he observed,
could carry potential benefits. Regrettably,
that initiative foundered on January 22,
when the board not only failed to cut one
cent from the budget, but voted to increase
it by $3,500.
There is a moral hazard here. If every school
budget, no matter how burdensome to tax-
payers, invariably passes, there is no incentive
to improve either the process or the outcome.
If we dont always sufficiently evaluate or pri-
oritize, we may make decisions based more
on emotion than on reason, and sometimes
we can lose sight of the essential purpose of
our schools: to provide instructional learning
that will give our children the substantive
knowledge, intellectual skills and critical at-
titudes they need to succeed.
It is time to ask some hard questions. Here
are a few:
Are we spending too much money
outside the classroom? The proposed school
budget includes $6,890 for ultimate Frisbee.
As SNLs Seth Meyers might say: Really?
Does it make sense to double the
Community Connections program, now
that federal funding has ended, because par-
ents lack low- or no-cost child-care options?
However desirable, is that really a school
Are we duplicating programs al-
ready offered by the Recreation Department,
with its own budget of $575,230? Can we
tap new sources such as grants, local fund-
raising or volunteerism to support useful but
educationally nonessential programs?

Are we making choices that pro-
mote increases in nonteaching positions at
the expense of classroom learning? Do we
really need three separate schools with re-
dundant services and positions plus a costly
administrative superstructure to keep them
functioning smoothly? Can we collaborate
and consolidate to improve performance and
reduce expenditures?
To get answers to these and many other
legitimate questions will require a no vote
on March 4. That is the only way to reopen
discussions aimed at encouraging a sounder,
more rational, more effective and more sus-
tainable approach to educational funding for
In Montpelier, we have plenty of goodwill
where our schools are concerned. What we
need now is more good sense. Its up to you.
Please vote no on March 4 and send the
school budget back for review and reduction.
page 30 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
More Transparency Needed on
City Charter Revisions
To the Editor:
On March 4, Montpelier residents will vote
on whether to adopt comprehensive changes
to the Montpelier city charter, as approved
by City Council on January 23, 2014. Most
of the proposed charter revisions, recom-
mended by the Charter Revision Commit-
tee, are clarifying edits, additions, deletions
and reorganization of text that do not make
any substantive changes in the document
that defines the operation of city govern-
But the changes to the city charter include
two new powers that the council will be able
to exercise if voters approve Article 9 on the
ballot. At the final public hearing, January
23, the council approved additions to Sec-
tion 301: Powers and duties of city council.
Subsection 301(g) authorizes the council to
permit non-highway use, occupancy, or res-
ervation of portions of public streets and
thoroughfares. If approved as part of the
vote to accept comprehensive changes to the
city charter, section 301(g) will allow City
Council, on its own authority, to convert
parking spaces on State and Main streets to
nonhighway use, for example restaurant seat-
ing or parklets. Subsection 301(h) authorizes
the council to establish fees and benefit
charges, for example a dog license fee with
a benefit charge for maintenance of the dog
The council proposed these substantive
changes to the charter at the last possible
momentthe second reading of the city
meeting warningallowing little opportu-
nity for public information or input. The
city charter is an important document, and
the public should understand what they are
asked to vote on. In the interest of transpar-
ency and full disclosure, the council has a
responsibility to inform the public, before
the vote on Article 9, about these two new
areas of authority they are giving themselves.
Nancy Sherman, chair, Montpelier Char-
ter Revision Committee

Vote No on School Budget
To the Editor:
The community of Montpelier, always sup-
portive of education, has voted yes on the
school budget for years. It is time to re-
consider. We have given the school board
no incentive to think differently and con-
servatively about the budget. The Vermont
Agency of Education website states that there
are 97 fewer students in the Montpelier High
School than there were 10 years ago. There
are 77 fewer students in the middle school.
Has the school budget decreased proportion-
ally in response to that?
The mayor of Montpelier, John Hollar, has
asked the city departments to level-fund their
budgets for the last two years and to use any
increase to repair the roads. I wonder why
the Montpelier School Board cannot take a
similar look at school funding. Schools have
always received some of their funding from
federal and state sources. That money has al-
ways been affected by student population as
well as other factors. The Montpelier School
Board has always had to take into account
these changes in funding as it developed
the budget. This year the Montpelier school
board is proposing a budget that will raise
taxes by over 13 percent.
A vote of no on the school budget is not a
vote against the schools. I want Montpelier
to have excellent schools. A no vote is asking
the school board to go back to its budgeting
process to see where it can cut costs. Some
very small classes at the high school are no
longer economically acceptable. Montpelier
is facing the same challenges that many Ver-
mont schools face when the student popula-
tion has decreased. Other school districts
made tough choices. I wish the Montpelier
school board had spent more time consider-
ing less expensive alternatives to educate the
student population than it has.
Because I want Montpelier taxes to be af-
fordable, I will vote no on the school budget.
I want the Montpelier school board to re-
consider the budget. I hope other Montpelier
residents agree and will consider also voting
Tina Muncy, Montpelier
MHS Debate and Forensic
Teams Are Not Frivolous
To the Editor:
For the past 10 years, Marijke Russo and I
have been coaching the MHS debate and
forensics (public speaking) teams, respec-
tively. These teams have been a part of the
extracurricular fabric of MHS for decades.
Due to a decline in the number of students
participating several years ago, the school
board decided to save some money (less
than $5,000) by discontinuing these teams
this year. But last year, the numbers started
bouncing back. Despite not having a budget,
Marijke and I have coached our respective
teams and taken them to eight or nine Satur-
day tournaments each all over the state. On
February 8, the forensics team competed at
the State Forensics Tournament; two mem-
bers were named state finalists and one was
state runner-up in his event. Our debaters
will compete at the state debate tournament
in March.
So, the request made of the school board by
two debate and forensics seniors was not for
the formation of new teams, but rather for
the reinstatement of teams on which they
had participated. They asked for $3,500 to
support 21 or more upcoming students in
gaining confidence and skill in public speak-
ing. Few, if any, MHS athletic teams or
extracurricular activities have a per student
cost as low as $167.
Duncan Robbs uninformed and unfortu-
nate insinuation that the members of these
teams simply want to be given everything
and are unwilling to raise some money is
wrong (School Board Cant Distinguish
Needs from Wants letter, Feb. 620 Bridge
issue). Last year, one of our debate teams
qualified for the National Forensic League
national championship in Birmingham, Ala-
bama. With no money budgeted for it, what
did the students do? Exactly what Robb says
they should have done: they raised enough
money to go and compete on the national
Does Montpelier need a high school de-
bate or forensics teamor this or that course
or athletic team? I dont know. But I know
one thing that it does need: informed citi-
zens who are willing to consider the facts. It
also needs citizens who give the same respect
to school board members and school admin-
istrators and the same focus on educational
excellence that taxpayers of years ago dem-
onstrated when Robbs and my children were
students. Generosity, trust and hope for our
childrens future. Please support the school
budget on March 4.
Brooke Pearson, Montpelier
Reelect John Hollar as Mayor
To the Editor:
We are writing to express our support for
John Hollar for mayor of Montpelier. We are
fortunate to have someone with Johns educa-
tion, work experience, community focus and
willingness to serve as the mayor. I had the
pleasure of working with John when I was on
the Recreation Department Advisory Board
and the Vermont Mountaineers Board. In
every situation, John was wise, focused, open
minded and balanced in his approaches to
our issues before him. For those reasons, we
support Johns reelection bid.
Brian an Caroline Murphy, Montpelier
Vote for Hollar, Hooper
and Guerlain
To the Editor:
As a fairly well-known son of Montpelier,
having grown up here from the late 1940s
to mid-1960s, and then returning to live
in my native home in the late 1990s, I have
witnessed the objectives and actions of a
number of different mayors and city coun-
cilors over the years. I strongly urge the
voters in Montpelier to support our current
mayor, John Hollar, as well as councilors
Andy Hooper (District 1) and Thierry Guer-
lain (District 2) for reelection this coming
March 4. Further, I urge election of Justin
Turcotte to replace retiring councilor Alan
Weiss (whose beliefs and voice will be sorely
missed) for District 3. Hollar, Hooper and
Guerlain have worked hard for this city.
While I have not agreed with their positions
on every issue, they, along with Turcotte, are
the best vote for this next term. Any vote
for their opponents would not be good for
Danny Coane, Montpelier
Mayor Hollar Is Forward
Thinking and Listens
To the Editor:
Montpelier has become a dynamic little city,
due in part to the leadership of Mayor John
Hollar. He has worked in an open and posi-
tive way with other members of City Council
and the public to create a new energy and
feeling of great possibilities for the future.
I have found him to be receptive to ideas,
new approaches and new partnerships, all
of which have enhanced public involvement.
Major projects have been completed, includ-
ing the district heat and the purchase of
the Carr lot, which, when redeveloped, will
transform a large parcel abutting the Win-
ooski River from an eyesore to a transit cen-
ter and focal point for the community. Up-
grades to roads, bridges, sidewalks and the
bike path have been completedall during
difficult financial times. And he is taking
an active role in discussions with the school
board and the state legislature to address
the very complex statewide issue of school
I am looking forward to two more years of
his leadership. He will listen, he will be open
to new solutions to stubborn problems, he
will be forward thinking and he will always
work on the behalf of Montpeliers future.
He gets my vote on March 4, and I hope
yours as well.
Didi Brush, Montpelier
Vote John Hollar for Mayor
To the Editor:
As a longtime business/property owner and
resident of Montpelier, Im all for reelecting
John Hollar for mayor. I also fully sup-
port the reelection of Thierry Guerlain for
District 3, City Council. I appreciate how
approachable they both are on the concerns
I may have. Theyve done a good job serving
our city for the past two years. Lets give
them a chance to do good things for two
Eric Bigglestone, Montpelier
Supporting Guerlain and Hollar
To the Editor:
I encourage voters in district 2 to support
Thierry Guerlain for city councilor and John
Hollar for mayor. From finding new park-
ing spaces on East State Street to handing
out Capital Cash to stimulate the local econ-
omy, both men have been very supportive of
our downtown. In addition, both have been
working well with other council members
and City Manager Bill Fraser to write and
manage a sensible city budget. I think this
team deserves another two years of Wednes-
day nights together at city hall.
Paul Carnahan, Montpelier
Supporting Hollar and Guerlain
To the editor:
On March 4, Montpelier voters will make
important decisions about the direction of
our city. For my part, I want leadership that
responds to citizen concerns with concrete
solutions and exercises responsible steward-
ship of city funds. Thats why Im voting
for Council Member Thierry Guerlain and
Mayor John Hollar. When each took office
two years ago, the city was beset by unad-
dressed infrastructure issues and unsustain-
able annual property tax increases. Both
John and Thierry have effectively engaged
the talents and experience of community
members, the city administration, and fellow
elected officials to chart a new sustainable
course for city government and to nurture
our lively community life.
Katie Fahnestock, Montpelier
To the Editor:
I am an urban refugee. My family and I
moved to Montpelier close to 20 years ago,
because Montpelier was the small place we
wanted to live in. Like all residents, I soon
began hearing the lament that is part and
parcel to the character of Montpelier, high
I found out a few years after arriving what
was behind the moan. The school taxes had
little to do with it. The school tax rate
was around the 50th percentile for the state.
What generated the complaint was that the
municipal taxes were among the highest in
the state, ranking in the top 5%. In addi-
tion, we apparently had and still have little
commercial real estate tax revenue to offset
its cost. Many pointed to the State, which
receives fire, road and police service, and said
it wasnt paying enough.
But over the two decades, PILOT (the States
program to reimburse towns and cities for
services) has increased, apparently reaching
today what some feel is a their fare share.
On the other hand, new business revenue in
Montpelier had increased very little despite
the fact that there has been, for most or all
of that time, a city employee with the title of
Community Development. I kept thinking,
apparently incorrectly, that we might sprout
a light industrial park like little Waitsfield.
Over the years, our tax rate has continued to
climb year after year, consistently exceeding
the inflation rate. In that time I have not
heard that we have lost our dubious ranking
in the top 5%.
For the first time since I arrived in Mont-
pelier, in the last two years, something very
different has been taking place. Through
the efforts of our Mayor and City Council,
the budget has averaged below the infla-
tion rate for two years. Mayor John Hollar,
Councilor Thierry Guerlain and Councilor
Andy Hooper, all whom are running for re-
election in March, are dedicated to continu-
ing this trend. I truly dont believe our city
services will suffer if we fall from the highest
realms of taxation and spending to, say, the
15th percentile.
Thats truly progress on something that
hasnt moved in the right direction more
than 20 years.
Jim Abrams, Montpelier
THE BRI DGE february 20 march 6, 2014 page 31
Vote for John Hollar
To the Editor:
For the past two years, Montpeliers resi-
dents, businesses and taxpayers have ben-
efitted from the thoughtful, engaging and
forward-thinking leadership of Mayor John
Hollar. John worked constructively with
the Council and City Hall to reduce growth
in our municipal budget, with tax increases
below the rate of inflation, while allocating
increased funds to rehabilitate our neglected
roads and sidewalks. John provided critical
guidance to Montpelier Alive through the
design and implementation of the Down-
town Improvement District and he led the
City through the successful completion of
landmark projects including the implemen-
tation of the biomass heating system, and the
acquisition of the Carr Lot for downtown re-
development. John is an intent listener, and
engaged community builder and a measured
and respected voice for issues impacting
quality of life and the health and vibrancy
of Montpelier. Please join me in voting for
John Hollar on March 4th.
Greg Guyette, Montpelier
Sustainable City Government
To the Editor:
On the 4th of March, Montpelier
voters will decide whether to approve spend-
ing that would increase their property taxes
at a rate approximately six times the rate of
When thinking about this, we
must remember that our property taxes pay
for spending proposed by two entirely sepa-
rate groups of city officials. One group is the
School Board, concerning education. The
other group is the Mayor and City Council,
concerning the rest of city government.
In an otherwise dark situation for
voters this year, the one bright spot is due
to Mayor John Hollars leadership of the
City Council. During his two years in of-
fice, Mayor Hollar and current City Council
members have:
1. Held increases in property taxes
needed for city government (excluding edu-
cation) to a rate approximately equal to the
rate of inflation.
2. While also making improve-
ments in the citys long-neglected physical
I believe it is essential that vot-
ers reelect Mayor Hollar, plus the slate of
current City Council members running for
reelection, if we are to have any hope of
achieving an overall level of city spending
that tax payers can sustain.
Ben Huffman, Montpelier

Support Hollar
To the Editor:
I intend to vote for John Hollar for Mayor,
and I urge others to vote for him as well.
John has a solid record of forward think-
ing leadership from his tenure as Montpelier
School Board chair, as well as his term as
Mayor. John is committed to a bright future
for Montpelier,demonstrated in part by his
leadership in increasing funding to repair
Montpeliers aging infrastructure, his sup-
port for downtown, and helping negotiate
favorable terms with the state concerning the
heating district proposal in order to make
that project a success for the city.
With Johns leadership the City is using its
tax dollars strategically to address quality of
life, vibrancy, and functionality.
Lets reelect John as Mayor of Montpelier!
Steve Sease, Motpelier
Vote for Hollar
To the Editor:
We are writing in support of John Hollars
reelection as Mayor of Montpelier. John and
his wife, Jennifer, moved to Montpelier for
many of the same reasons we settled in this
vibrant small town. We all wanted to raise of
our kids in a community that cares for them,
keeps them safe, and provides them with
opportunities for a better future. Through
his public service, John has consistently dem-
onstrated care and compassion, a commit-
ment to our towns needs and values, and a
dedication to ensuring a bright future for all
Montpelier residents.
Through his many years on the School
Board and as evidenced in his first term
as Mayor, John knows how to balance the
exciting goals of our community with our
residents ability to pay the bills. Property
taxes continue to rise at a concerning rate,
and we feel Johns quiet, steady leadership is
needed to ensure that we tackle this growing
challenge and put Montpelier on a path to
John works incredibly well with city govern-
ment personnel and with members of the
City Council. This ability to collaborate
with others and lead effectively is a quality
that is much needed in this age of hyper-
partisanship and government stalemate.
We wholeheartedly support John Hollar for
Mayor and we will be voting for him on
Town Meeting Day!
Jim and Heidi Tringe, Montpelie
Join Me in Voting for John Hollar
To the Editor:
My list of the top eight reasons for
supporting John Hollar for Mayor of Mont-
pelier is as follows:
1. The City Council is functioning well
under his leadership.
2. The Planning Commission is no longer
3. John Hollar is implementing the Carr Lot
4. John Hollar values everybodys opinions
and does not charge people who disagree
with him with being unethical or dishonest.
5. John Hollar is honest and sincere.
6. Sidewalks are being rebuilt and streets are
being repaved.
7. The City budget is in control.
8. John Hollar supports a strong downtown.
Please join me in voting for John on Town
Meeting Day.
Jon Anderson
Support the Montpelier
Food Shelf
To the Editor::
My name is Theresa Murray-Clasen. I am
the Executive Director of Just Basics Inc.
JBI is a non-profit here in Montpelier that
administers the Montpelier Food Shelf
(MFS) and also partners with the City of
Montpelier and the Montpelier Senior Ac-
tivity Center (MSAC) offering meals to se-
niors and adults with disabilities through the
FEAST program (7 day/wk home delivered
meals, Tues/Fri congregate meals at MSAC
and the Thursdaycommunity fundraiser To
Go meal open to the public via MSAC).
I am also an avid reader of your Bridge col-
umn Hands-On Gardner. The 1/23/14
- 2/5/14 column made me realize how you
can help our elder and economically disad-
vantaged community members enjoy fresh
local produce.
Instead of throwing away those extra rad-
ishes or brussel sprouts, we at JBI will gladly
take them! Our FEAST chef, Justin Tur-
cotte, operates out of the MSAC and is al-
ways looking for fresh produce any time of
the year.
The Montpelier Food Shelf, which has re-
frigeration capacity, happily welcomes any
and all fresh local produce. The MFP serves
over 5,000 Vermonters a year by providing
over 70,000 meals. Sadly, only a fraction of
those meals contain fresh produce.
Donations for the MFS or FEAST may be
dropped off at either the MFS (located at
the rear entrance of the Trinity Methodist
Church at 137 Main St) Tues - Fri. from
10 am to 4pm and Weds evening 5-6pm
or at the MSAC (located at 58 Barre St)
Mon- Fri.
from 7 am - 2 pm.
Thank you so much. Looking forward to
Theresa Murray-Clasen
Justin Turcotte for Montpelier
City Council
To the Editor:
I recommend voting for Justin Turcotte as
Montpelier District 3 Council member in
the upcoming election on March 4. He
lives and works in Montpelier and he and
his wife are raising their young kids here,
so hes naturally going to be invested in and
care about our community. I participated
with Justin on the citizen budget study for
the City in 2012 and saw his energy and
excitement about Montpelier. He also has
business sense and is familiar with Mont-
peliers governmental structure, operation
and finances. Any of you frequenting the
Montpelier Senior Center know Justin as the
cook and how hes a significant contributor
to the success of that program. As a smart,
energetic, friendly, and caring young man,
I think that he has the personality and the
background to be a great representative for
District 3. Please vote for Justin.
David Beatty, Montpelier
Vote for Dan Jones
To the Editor:
Dan Jones is a man of action. When we
needed help on the Transition Town Mont-
pelier Steering Committee, Dan Jones joined
the team. When the Montpelier Energy
Advisory Committee needed a leader, Dan
Jones volunteered. When our Northfield
Street Community Garden needed raspberry
plants, Dan Jones was first to grab a shovel
and share his plants. Why does he work so
hard? He loves Montpelier and the people
who live here. He wants to keep it a great
place to live and work. His vision for Mont-
pelier is smart, inclusive, and fun. There
will be challenges as we try to evolve in our
changing world, but Dan Jones has proven to
me that he has the vision and spirit to move
us forward.
Dan Costin, Montpelier
A Letter in Favor of Ivan Shadis
for Public Office
To the Editor:
Ivan Shadis is right - young people are not
excited to live in Montpelier. Many who
were here, left; and many who come here,
leave. A considerable portion of the 20 or 30
somethings who live here willingly, includ-
ing myself, do so only with difficulty. When
compared with the entry-level job market,
rent is disproportionately high. This means
there are a number of young Vermonters who
might bolster our community, but have no
choice but to direct that energy elsewhere.
These are voices that could be part of a mar-
ket of ideas that, with enough input, would
keep Montpelier growing. Cities need this
- they need to transform and move in order
to stay healthy. As it is, spaces where younger
residents might meet and engage with their
peers are limited almost entirely to bars. I
think bars are great. I love the music scene in
Montpelier. Restaurants and bars, however,
are not sufficient for community engage-
ment. I think there needs to be something
else - an exploration of the possibility, at least
- and I think this sentiment is widespread
among the citys entire population.
I met Ivan a year or two ago, later than I wish
I had. Since then, our conversations come to
mind when I wonder whether I should stay
or go. They maintain my desire to remain in
Vermont and have inspired me to work to-
wards transforming my surroundings. With
his enthusiasm for pushing boundaries and a
capacity for public service, I think he offers
us an exciting chance to reinvigorate what
might be an even more interesting place.
Thomas Frohlich, Montpelier
A Letter Supporting
Justin Turcotte
To the Editor:
During the summer of 2012, I had the honor
of participating with 17 other Montpelier
citizens on the Citizens Budget Study Com-
mittee (CBSC), one of whom was Justin
Turcotte. Justin Turcotte was a tireless and
collaborative member of the CBSC.
Justin is now running for the Montpelier
City Council, District 3 seat, being vacated
by our long serving Councilor, Allan Weiss.
I believe that Justin will bring the same dedi-
cation of duty and collaborative approach to
serving on our City Council as he did on
the CBSC. Justin is a community spirited
neighbor, family man, and business owner.
Justin will be a great addition to the Council.
As a resident of District 3, I urge my Dis-
trict 3 neighbors and friends to vote for
Justin Turcotte. Lets bring a fresh face to the
Montpelier City Council!
Susan Zeller, Montpelier
Thanks to Parks Commission
and Waste Committee
To the Editor:
Today I received my Montpelier dog license
renewal along with the letter from the Hub-
bard Park Dog Waste Committee of the
Montpelier Parks Commission. I would like
to thank this committee and the parks com-
mission for all the work they have done
in the past year on the dog issue. I have
been remiss not to express my support and
gratitude during the process. The new dog
waste stations are attractive, convenient and
effective. The pet waste ordinance and the
dog owners code of conduct are reasonable
and appropriate. They serve as a foundation
to help us make sure that Montpelier is safe
and friendly for all its two- and four-legged
The letter that accompanies the license
renewal asks for financial support for the
maintenance of the waste stations. I would
like to encourage my fellow dog lovers and
dog walkers to join me in supporting these
effortsboth financially and by our actions.
Thank you!
Kelly McCracken, Montpelier
What Do You Think?
Read something that you
would like to respond
to? We welcome your
letters and opinion
pieces. Letters must be
fewer than 300. Opinion
pieces should not exceed
600 words. The Bridge
reserves the right to
edit and cut pieces. Send
your piece to editorial@
page 32 february 20 march 6, 2014 THE BRI DGE
may include:
Abundant new seasonal
New downtown signage program
Artistic banners on light posts
Additional planters and plantings
Metal waste and recycling
Enhanced downtown waste
New outdoor seating areas
Te creation of additional public
parking spaces
a vital destination for:
Te arts
A dynamic setting
for new businesses
to locate
Te Downtown Improvement District (DID)
generates $75,000 per year. Te DID investment
fund is used to enhance the vibrancy of our downtown
in two key areas:
Article 11
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Greg Guyette, Board Member,
at gguyette@montpelieralive.org, or the Montpelier Alive ofce at
(802) 223-9604 or director@montpelieralive.org
The Downtown Improvement
District is Economic Development!
The idea is to strengthen Montpelier
as a regional destination, and to do
this, we must invest in branding,
advertising and promotion. The DID is
an equitable way of sharing the cost
of economic development amongst all
stakeholders for reinvestment in our
downtown. As a downtown property
owner and business owner, I am fully
supportive of the DID.
Andrew Brewer, Onion River Sports
Andrew owns three downtown business-
es and downtown commercial property