• Talk of the Town
    February 28,2013

    Generation gap?

    ROXBURY — Voters at town meeting in Roxbury next week could be confused about one of the officers they are asked to elect.

    According to Town Clerk Tammy Legacy, Select Board candidate Tim Martin said he shouldn’t be listed as “Jr.” on the ballot, although his father is Tim Martin Sr.

    Legacy said there had been some rumblings around town that voters may think they are voting for Martin’s father, but residents should be assured the Martin on the ballot is the son.

    He is challenging Chairman Shawn Neun for his seat. Martin (the younger) didn’t respond to a call for comment before the newspaper’s deadline Wednesday evening.

    No ‘bones’ about it

    BARRE — City Manager Steve Mackenzie busted out his thesaurus to come up with more creative ways to describe the $10.5 million budget he’s hoping voters will approve Tuesday.

    “Bare bones” was so last week, according to Mackenzie, who vowed not to repeat the phrase in his latest budget presentation.

    Mission accomplished.

    Mackenzie used “spartan,” “unadorned” and “tight” to describe a budget request that he said is “as fiscally responsible as you can get without being suicidal.”

    Mackenzie got generally high marks for his flowery descriptions, though Councilor Michael Boutin said he wouldn’t have minded hearing “lean” and “frugal” during the presentation of the proposed budget, which includes funding for two new police officers.

    Mayor Thomas Lauzon had a suggestion of his own.

    “Personally I would have preferred ‘pork-challenged,’” he said, quickly conceding that probably wouldn’t be politically correct.

    Hair ball?

    BARRE — A 16-year-old Vergennes girl left all of her below-shoulder-length hair on the floor of the Barre Elks Lodge over the weekend, and an 18-year-old Barre man matched her by shaving half his head — beard included.

    Jade Houston and Terrick Johnson managed to raise $500 for the co-beneficiaries of this year’s Freezing Fun for Families winter softball tournament by surrendering their hair at the banquet and auction.

    We know all this because Houston’s grandmother is Berlin Town Clerk Rosemary Morse.

    Seems Morse was pretty proud of her granddaughter’s decision to shave her head and thought we should let you all know about it.

    Although Houston had originally hoped to donate her hair to an organization that makes wigs for women and children with cancer, she had to settle for passing the hat instead because her hair has been dyed.

    Morse said Johnson, who will be playing in the weekendlong tournament that gets under way Friday at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, got in on the act by agreeing to the half-hairless look he’ll be sporting until the tournament is over.

    “He looks cute,” Morse said of Johnson.

    As for Houston, “She doesn’t look half bad,” her grandmother said.

    Play ball!

    BARRE TOWN — Now that all the pre-tournament fundraisers are out of the way, it’s time to play some winter coed softball.

    The latest edition of the three-day winter tournament that set a world record in 2009 will start Friday at the recreation fields behind Barre Town Middle and Elementary School. There will be a fireworks display at 9 p.m. to celebrate the start of a tournament, which has been a fixture in central Vermont since 1999.

    More than 60 teams have signed up and will play night and day through the weekend until a champion is crowned Sunday afternoon.

    The six-inning games will be played by a now-familiar set of rules. It’s one pitch per batter, no stealing, and wooden bats only for teams that must be a mix of men and women who are willing to play in virtually any weather.

    It’s good fun for a good cause, and Freezing Fun for Families is hoping this year’s tournament will raise $30,000 to help the families of 16-year-old Ashley Church, of Colchester, and 14-year-old Jasmine Paye, of East Ryegate.

    Ashley, who loves to hunt, fish and play rugby and is looking forward to her junior prom, was diagnosed with leukemia the day before Thanksgiving.

    Jasmine was diagnosed with cancerous tumors on her spine in July. After surgery, she was no longer able to walk, and extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments have been unsuccessful at preventing more tumors.

    Both were at last weekend’s dinner dance and auction at the Barre Elks Lodge, and both are expected to be on hand when this year’s winner is crowned Sunday.

    Amnesty week

    MONTPELIER — Library users have through Saturday to return overdue items without penalties during Amnesty Week at Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

    “We will accept all types of materials from the adult’s and children’s sections — including books, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines — no questions asked,” according to the library’s website.

    The library is even going as far as to erase your fines and reactive your account. It only asks that the items be returned usable.

    That’s almost as good a bargain as free book borrowing. This place must know books.

    Sorry, the amnesty does not apply to interlibrary loan items.

    Read all about it

    BARRE — The Children’s Literacy Foundation will be kicking off a new yearlong literacy program at Highgate Apartments on Saturday.

    It’s called The Year of the Book and is scheduled to get off to a rather fast start thanks to Thunder Road racer Troy Kingsbury.

    Kingsbury, who runs his own literacy program called Race to Read, will drive to Highgate in his stock car Saturday to offer kids there the opportunity to sign its hood.

    Of course they’ll have to earn it by signing contracts committing to reading a fixed number of books and then actually reading them before Kingsbury makes a return visit over the summer.

    Actually, Kingsbury will be at Highgate a few times during The Year of the Book, and the Children’s Literacy Foundation is hoping his appearances, coupled with their free book giveaways, will encourage kids to read.

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