• Talk of the Town
    March 21,2013
     

    Mmm, mmm good!

    BARRE — The Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen plans to crown a chili champion during a cancer benefit this weekend, but we’re told the restaurant earned bragging rights of its own at the annual “Taste of Vermont” legislative reception on Tuesday.

    Those who braved the wintry weather to attend the event sponsored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce were given a chance to sample foods and vote for their favorites.

    We’ll give you three guesses who won this year’s “People’s Choice Award” and the first two don’t count.

    The best taste of 2013 — “BBQ Braised Pork Shank with Smoked Bacon Jalapeno Mac & Cheese, and Collard Greens” — was prepared by (drum roll please...) the crew from the Cornerstone.

    As regular readers may recall the Cornerstone is hosting its own taste test — a classic chili challenge — on Sunday. When last we checked they were still looking for a few folks to prepare a batch of chili (it’s $25 to enter and you can register at the restaurant) and were getting ready for Sunday’s 1 to 4 p.m. event that will feature live entertainment by Dave Keller.

    The price of admission for folks who aren’t cooking is $10. There will be plenty of chili, live music, and raffles. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network.



    Glass what?

    BARRE — Word that a new “tobacco and glass shop” is planning to open above Planet Rock in the space formerly occupied by Rock City Tattoo seemed to befuddle at least one member of the City Council this week.

    “‘Glass shop?’” Councilor Michael Boutin asked. “So they’re going to be selling glasses?”

    Boutin’s question was greeted with a chorus of “pipes” and “tobacco pipes” before Mayor Thomas Lauzon weighed in.

    “Let’s just leave it at ‘pipes,’” Lauzon said.

    And the council did.



    Jack the ripper?

    BARRE TOWN — It’s not like he hacked and slashed or anything, but Jack Mitchell did turn a few heads Tuesday night when he offered up a surgical cut to one of several town budgets that are still a work in progress.

    It was nothing really — a scant savings of $675 — but the rest of the members of the town’s budget committee sure made it sound like Mitchell never met a line item he didn’t like.

    Technically Mitchell didn’t cut anything. He was simply persuaded by Selctman Doug Newton’s observation that a 22-ton floor jack would be an economical alternative to the 25-ton version Town Manager Carl Rogers requested.

    The idea of Mitchell cutting anything had Select Board Chairman Jeff Blow marking his calendar, and the fact that Mitchell (a ‘Jack’ himself) cut a jack earned him some friendly ribbing from other members of the committee.



    Something borrowed

    WILLIAMSTOWN — It’s not like members of the Williamstown Historical Society came up with the idea of sponsoring an “ice out” as a local fund-raiser, but their annual guessing game (modeled after the one on Joe’s Pond) turns 10 this year.

    It’s all over but the ticket sales according to Becky Watson, who tells us the familiar block and flag have been placed out on Lotus Lake and tickets are selling for $1 apiece. You can pick them up at the town offices, the Ainsworth Public Library, Behind the Scenes Café, and from members of the historical society. Just call 433-5565 if you have any questions.

    The ice in Williamstown doesn’t last as long as the ice in West Danville and last year the ice out ended earlier than ever before — on March 23 at 4:04 p.m. However, if you’re looking for trends you won’t find one because in 2011 the contest lasted longer than ever before, finally ending on April 25 at 7:26 p.m.

    Some time in April is a pretty safe bet. April 3, 9, 13, 14, 15, 19 and 22 have been the other lucky days in the contest started by Adam Boyce. All you have to do is pick a date and time (a.m. or p.m.), pay $1 by April 1, and cross your fingers.

    Whoever comes closest to guessing when the ice goes out wins 50 percent of the proceeds from the ticket sales. The rest, as they say, goes to the historical society.



    They’re baaack!

    BARRE — Back in the day when the Asian Gourmet was the Country House (that’s pre-Lucia’s and Sean & Nora’s for folks keeping score), Barre Rotarians held their weekly meetings in downtown Barre.

    After many years of Wednesday meetings at the Hilltop Restaurant in neighboring Barre Town, the club has decided to shake things up again.

    They aren’t meeting at the Country House (or the Asian Gourmet for that matter), but they have brought things back downtown and will be meeting at the Quarry Grill and Tavern at the corner of North Main Street and Depot Square until further notice.



    Organ donors?

    WILLIAMSTOWN — Thanks to the generous donations of folks who live in and around Williamstown, members of the Williamstown Congregational Church were able to raise the $81,000 it took to restore an 1878 Nutting Organ that will get yet another workout this weekend.

    The organ, which was restored three years ago, will be the center of attention Sunday when the church hosts its fourth annual “Area Organists Concert.”

    Montpelier’s Stephen Morse, William Spear of Northfield, and Moretown’s Isaac James will all be in Williamstown for the 3 p.m. concert that is open to all. Donations will be accepted but aren’t required, and refreshments will be served after all three organists have taken their turns on the old pipe organ.



    History maker?

    BERLIN — We’re pretty sure Jeremy Hansen made history in a town that will turn 250 on June 8 (more on that as the date approaches) and he did it at his very first Select Board meeting.

    It was nothing really.

    Hansen, who ran unopposed for the seat previously held by Craig Frazier, arrived at the meeting with his laptop, marking the first time that a sitting member of Berlin’s Select Board enlisted computer assistance during one of their Monday night meetings.

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