• Talk of the Town
    April 18,2013

    March in May?

    BARRE — Members of Spaulding High School’s JROTC Drill Team have enjoyed an unusually good season, snaring two dozen trophies in competitions throughout New England and landing an invitation to participate in the National High School Drill Team Championships that will be held next month in Daytona Beach, Fla.

    That’s a pretty big deal, and not just because this year’s drill team from Spaulding is the first to ever represent the Green Mountain State in the elite competition.

    The numbers speak for themselves.

    There are more than 3,200 JROTC programs throughout the United States and Spaulding’s “Granite Battalion” is one of only 35 teams that will be competing in the “open level color guard” during a three-day competition that starts May 4.

    Shaelyn Edwards says she and other members of the team have been practicing since December and are pretty pumped about the prospect of strutting their stuff in the Sunshine State.

    “To be able to go down there and say: ‘Yes we are from Barre, Vermont, we are Spaulding High School, we are the Granite Battalion.’” Edwards says. “This is what we do. This is what we work for.”

    Talent show?

    BARRE –—The jury remains out on whether the Granite City has talent, at least when it comes to its microphone-wielding mayor.

    Seems Mayor Thomas Lauzon stumbled into the karaoke night at the American Legion while attending a fundraiser there for an AAU basketball team coached by Duffy Ballard.

    Ballard passed the hat to get Lauzon to sing, and raised $1,000 (a good bit of it Lauzon’s). Later the mayor says he did his very best impersonation of Frank Sinatra.

    “Somewhere out there there’s a YouTube video of me singing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way,’” Lauzon said this week.

    If only we could find it, we could determine how good (or bad) it actually was.

    May day!

    BARRE — City and school officials have scrapped plans for a May 1 budget information session in order to avoid a cultural conflict that is, oh, so very Barre!

    May 1 may be just another Wednesday in most communities this year, but in Barre it is “Primo Maggio” — a day once celebrated by Italian immigrants in the early 20th century as part of a tradition that was revived nearly a decade ago by the Barre Historical Society.

    The historical society will be hosting its annual “Primo Maggio” dinner at the Old Labor Hall on Granite Street starting at 5 p.m. on May 1 and has events, including a reservation-only meal at the Mutuo Soccorso Hall on May 4, planned straight through “Cinco de Mayo.”

    Not to worry. Folks with questions, concerns or observations about recently defeated and newly revised budgets for the city and its pre-K-8 school district are encouraged to attend the forum that has been re-scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 6 at the Barre Opera House.

    Pedal power

    MONTPELIER — It’s not that members of the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition can’t wait until Earth Day to hold their traditional Earth Day ride with legislators. It’s just that Earth Day is Monday and the Legislature won’t be in session, which could make rounding up lawmakers for an early morning ride a bit tricky.

    The solution?

    Do it Friday.

    Friday isn’t Earth Day, but it’s pretty close, the Legislature will be in session, and that’s when the coalition plans to hold its annual Earth Day ride.

    If you’re up for a 12-mile ride from the steps of the Statehouse down Route 2 to the Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex and back again, you’re invited. Just show up ready to ride at 7 a.m. and join the pre-Earth Day crowd.

    If geography, previous commitments, or both prevent you from joining the ride, don’t sweat it. The coalition simply asks that you try to carve out a little time in the next few days for a walk or a bike ride to commemorate Earth Day, which, as we’ve previously noted, is Monday.

    Cyclists are reminded to ride with caution because the road shoulders are still full of a winter’s worth of sand and debris (Green Up Day is coming), and motorists are just getting used to seeing cyclists back on the road.

    Also, the coalition is recruiting volunteers willing to lead easy bike rides in communities all over Vermont in conjunction with its May 15 “Ride of Silence.” If you’re available and interested in participating in an event designed to focus attention on the need for safer roads and to remember cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding, just call Nancy Schulz, the coalition’s executive director, at 225-8904.

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