• Talk of the Town
    May 02,2013

    One down …

    BARRE — The first installment of “Primo Maggio” — a very Barre May Day celebration — is in the books following Wednesday night’s literary fest and feast at the Old Labor Hall on Granite Street.

    However, we’re told organizers are still taking reservations for Saturday night’s traditional Italian Dinner at the Mutuo Soccorso Hall on Beckley Street.

    If you want to know what’s for supper you can check out the menu at info@oldlaborhall.com. If you like what you see just call 456-7456 to reserve a seat or two (or more). Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $25 apiece and proceeds from the meal will go toward the ongoing restoration of the Old Labor Hall.

    This year’s series of Primo Maggio events will conclude Sunday with a 4 p.m. showing of “Salt of the Earth” at the Old Labor Hall. The classic 1954 film is based on actual events and tells the story of a strike by Mexican-American zinc miners. Donations will be accepted.

    Senior artists’ reception today

    MONTPELIER — If you’re free later today, some “well seasoned” artists invite you to an opening reception kicking off their month-long exhibit at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. It’s the fourth annual exhibit by artists 70 and older that’s put on by the Central Vermont Council on Aging. The reception is at the library from 5 to 7 p.m. today, when you can get a look at the work of 26 area artists that will be on display throughout the month of May, and also have a chance to chat with some of them too. All are invited! For more information you can give Margaret Harmon a call at the council at 476-2681.

    ‘Cash for Trash’

    BERLIN — A local car dealership that has become the focal point for Berlin’s Green Up Day efforts plans to use this year’s statewide spring cleaning to assist a student-led effort to develop a state-of-the-art playground at Berlin Elementary School.

    The folks at Twin City Subaru say for every pound of Green Up Day trash that is collected and brought to their Berlin Mall Road dealership on Saturday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. they’ll be making a donation to the school playground project

    “We are always looking for ways to help our community,” says Twin City owner Dave Birmingham, who describes “Cash for Trash” as: “… a ‘win-win’ for the environment and for the kids who deserve the opportunity to be outside enjoying it.”

    Birmingham says he hopes Twin City’s pledge will encourage more Vermonters to pitch in and green up Vermont this year.

    As has been the case in past years Green Up bags, free food, T-shirts and work gloves will be available at the dealership, which is a Green Up Day sponsor and central Vermont’s dedicated bag pick-up and drop-off location.

    Pitch in

    BARRE — Seniors from Spaulding High School will spend several hours on Saturday collecting coins and cash donations from folks traveling by City Hall Park.

    The coin drop, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is a key fundraiser for Spaulding’s Project Graduation – a drug- and alcohol-free party that will be held for this year’s graduating class next month.

    The event, which includes spending some quality time at Pizza Putt followed by a late-night cruise on The Spirit of Ethan Allen III, is expected to cost roughly $20,000 when you factor in expenses for everything from magicians and hypnotists to caricature artists and a disc jockey. Saturday’s coin drop is the latest in a string of student-led fundraisers for the event and we’re told every little contribution helps.

    No reservations?

    BARRE — If you’re thinking about giving blood in Barre later this month organizers of the Granite City’s bi-monthly blood drive would sure love to hear from you in advance.

    Making appointments expedites the experience for donors, allowing them to avoid long waits.

    All you need to do if you plan to donate blood at the Barre Elks Lodge on Monday, May 13 is call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment.

    The sooner the better — particularly if your schedule isn’t very flexible that day.

    If time isn’t a problem, walk-ins are welcome as always and all donors will receive a coupon for a free quart of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt that can be redeemed at Hannaford’s Supermarket.

    Passing the torch

    BARRE — Francis “Rikk” Taft won’t be flying solo until July 1, but Elizabeth Somaini’s replacement started working with her in City Hall this week.

    Somaini, for those who haven’t heard, will be calling it a career 28 years and eight city managers after joining the staff at City Hall.

    Somaini’s position in the manager’s office has evolved over the years and her current title — administrative assistant/human resources administrator — reflects her skill as a multi-tasker.

    Taft, who emerged from a field of 50 applicants, has a human resources background, and worked for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for five years, will be learning from the master for the next two months before she retires and the transition is complete.

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