• Talk of the Town
    January 24,2013

    Got seeds?

    BARRE — Saturday is International Seed Swap Day, and we’ll give you three guesses what they’ll be holding at the Old Labor Hall on Granite Street to mark the event — though we suspect you’ll need only one.

    That’s right, a good old-fashioned seed swap.

    Subzero temperatures notwithstanding, spring is on the way and it’s not too early for gardeners with all shades of green thumbs to stock up on seeds and share some they are willing to part with.

    How does it work? Seasoned seed swappers will tell you it’s a bring-what-you-have, take-what-you-need event.

    If you’ve got them, bring your saved non-GMO seeds (in labeled packages, variety and year), drop them on the table, and go looking for ones that you prefer.

    If you’re seedless, you can still go looking for flower and vegetable seeds (we’re told there will be plenty to go around) at the Labor Hall between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.

    It’s a kid-friendly event that will feature a potluck soup lunch (bring your own bowls and spoons), a veggie craft table for the young ones, and a mini farmers market.

    If you’d like to help set up, clean up or organize the seeds, contact Emily Kaminsky at granitecitycoopvt@gmail.com or call 279-7518.

    ‘Cold cash’

    BARRE — Hoping to provide heating assistance to Barre residents who are struggling to make ends meet, city councilors agreed this week to throw a $5,000 lifeline to the Central Vermont Community Action Council.

    With an ominous (and so far right on the money) forecast calling for a string of days featuring subzero temperatures, CVCAC’s fuel assistance funds have taken a hit even as some folks have been turned away because they don’t quite meet eligibility guidelines.

    “There’s quite a need,” Mayor Thomas Lauzon said hours after discussing the issue with CVCAC Executive Director Hal Cohen.

    Lauzon’s solution, which was belatedly included as an action item on Tuesday’s agenda, was to tap the Keith Fund to make a one-string-attached contribution that could be used at CVCAC’s discretion.

    The lone hitch?

    The money must be made available to Barre residents, which is precisely what Ellen Keith had in mind when she decided to leave her Patterson Street home to the city nearly 70 years ago.

    We’re told Keith wanted proceeds from the sale of her home to be used for the benefit “of the Poor People of the City of Barre.”

    And, as is the case with the latest disbursement from the fund that bears her name, there was only one caveat.

    According to Keith’s will, her cousin, Mabel Winch, should be allowed to live in the house until she died. That happened in the mid-1960s, the house was sold for roughly $17,000 and the fund, which swelled to more than $40,000, now stands at $24,367.36 after the council’s appropriation.

    Starting their engines

    BARRE TOWN — Wilkins Harley-Davidson on South Barre Road will be celebrating its new showroom at a ribbon cutting Saturday.

    The dealership will have drinks, donuts and bagels starting at 10:30 a.m.

    The renovations include new offices, energy-efficient lighting, new display windows and a new paint job.

    Sounds sweet

    BARRE — Don’t quite know what to say to that special someone? Then let the Barre-Tones sing it for you.

    Orders are being accepted until noon Feb. 11 for personal delivery of singing Valentines on Wednesday, Feb. 13, and all day Thursday, Feb. 14, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The delivery area includes southern Chittenden County, Waterbury, the Mad River Valley and the Barre-Montpelier areas. Other delivery areas may be available upon request.

    Singing Valentines cost $35 and include a scroll with your message, a rose or chocolate, and special song. A second song will be sung by request. Deliveries will be made by quartets and small groups from the Barre-Tones women’s a cappella chorus.

    Contact Judy Morgan at 223-2039 to place an order.

    One for the money?

    MONTPELIER — A statewide poster contest that will challenge Vermont students to illustrate ways to save and invest their money will be more than worth the price of admission (there is none) for three talented young entrants.

    Winners in three divisions (one for third- through fifth-graders, one for sixth- through ninth-graders, and one for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors) will each receive a $100 cash prize.

    The “Be Money Wi$e Financial Literacy Poster Competition” has been sponsored for the past six years by the state treasurer’s office and the Vermont Bankers Association.

    This year’s theme is “I can grow my money by …”

    Parents and teachers are encouraged to tell students how they can save money through an interest-bearing account in a financial institution, explain the ins and outs of stocks and bonds, and the concept of buying something that grows in value and can eventually be sold at a profit.

    That’s the purpose of the annual contest: to give adults a tool to engage young people in a thoughtful discussion of money management and let their imaginations take it from there.

    Top-placing students and their teachers will be recognized at a Statehouse ceremony April 11. In addition to cash prizes for the division winners, the students’ schools will receive a $100 cash award in recognition of their support of financial literacy.

    You have the theme, now here are the rules:

    Posters must be on white paper stock (either 8˝-by-11 or 11-by-17). The deadline for submissions is March 12, and entries may be sent to the Vermont Treasurer’s Office, Attention Poster Competition, 109 State St., Montpelier, VT 05609. Complete contest details are available at www.MoneyEd.Vermont.gov.

    If you have questions about the competition, call the treasurer’s office at 800-642-3191 or send an email to treasurers.office@state.vt.us.

    Help wanted

    BARRE — The end of July might seem pretty far off here in the middle of January, but if you’re organizing a citywide celebration it sure can sneak up on you.

    That’s why organizers of the Barre Heritage Festival and Homecoming Days have already started planning the five-day celebration of community, culture, history and the arts that will kick off July 24 and wrap up July 28.

    Want to help?

    Mollie Brault-Binaghi will tell you that volunteers are the backbone of the annual Heritage Festival, and locking them in early makes life easier than waiting for summer to finally roll around.

    There is plenty of advance work to do — from planning the event and fundraising to recruiting volunteers for a number of duties while the festival is under way.

    If you’d like to learn how you might help this year, you could check out www.barreheritagefestival.org. The possibilities range from traffic control and coordinating the parade to organizing vendors and cleaning up.

    If you just want to help where help is needed you can always call Brault-Binaghi at 839-5451 or email her at mollie@barreheritagefestival.org.

    Beat goes on

    BURLINGTON — Take my heart, please.

    The Vermont Organ Donor Registry has announced an almost 700 percent increase in registered donors since the start of 2012.

    The registry and its social initiative Donate Life Vermont started that year with 2,896 registered organ and tissue donors in Vermont, and by Jan. 1 of this year the registry had grown to over 23,000.

    The registry, which started in 2010, credits multiple factors for the growth, such as Facebook’s announcement of a partnership with Donate Life America to spread the word about organ donation.

    The registry also partnered with the DMV to register when getting an enhanced driver’s license.

    The registry says more than 116,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and this list includes more than 100 Vermonters.

    Donate Life Vermont is looking for new stories to share with the rest of Vermont. If you or a loved one has been touched by organ donation, email your story to DonateLifeVT@gmail.com.

    To learn more about the Vermont organ and tissue donor registry, or to register as a donor, you can visit www.DonateLifeVT.org or talk to the Donate Life Vermont team on Facebook and Twitter (@DonateLifeVT).

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