‘Change’ of pace?

BARRE — In keeping with a time-honored holiday tradition, folks can temporarily stop paying for the privilege of parking in downtown Barre this time next week. However, those interested in participating in what could be a new tradition are welcome to keep feeding the meters as part of a community fundraising campaign that is being test-driven this year.

The idea, hatched by Sue Higby and embraced by her City Council colleagues, is simple and takes advantage of the fact meters are great for collecting coins whether its for parking or recreation programs for children.

Rather than bag the meters from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the council has agreed to allow 300 of them – the ones with the stickers printed courtesy of Larry Brown (look for the yellow and black heads) to be used to collect donations for new recreation programs, scholarships and equipment.

It’s an option, not an ultimatum, it’s available to motorists and pedestrians alike and it has absolutely nothing to do with parking so the typical rules for meter feeding don’t apply.

Don’t take our word for it. Just ask the councilor who came up with the idea.

“Whether it’s during the daytime or evening, or if you are walking through Barre or parking your car, go ahead and drop some change into a parking meter for our kids,” says Higby, who is already looking forward to leading by example.

“I’m planning to get a roll of quarters and deploy them into a row of parking meters,” she says.

Higby is hoping those who frequent downtown Barre this holiday season embrace the change, by donating some for a good cause.

Running on empty?

BARRE TOWN — The 16th annual “Gobble, Wobble Turkey Trot” will be over hours before dinner is served next Thursday, which means participants in the 5-K race that has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition will be running on empty.

Well, maybe not “empty,” but way closer to it than if the race, which begins at the Barre Town Municipal Office Building, started at say 6:30 p.m. instead of 9:30 a.m.

We’re told 95 runners (and walkers) have already registered for the morning race, which is organized by the Barre Congregational Church and supports local outreach and missions, like “Laundry Love, Thanksgiving boxes and the community breakfasts.

It’s too late to order a commemorative T-shirt, but it isn’t too late to register if getting a little exercise before settling down to your family feast sounds appealing. You can register online at www.barrecongregational.org, or call the church office at 476-3065 for more information.

Folks whose holiday plans are still evolving are welcome to show up a little early next Thursday and register before the 5-K starts.

Weather will dictate the course, but either way the race will start on Bolster Road next to the municipal office building at 9:30 a.m.

Brunch money

BARRE — We won’t retell the story of the Barre boy, who decided to host a charity brunch to raise money for the Imagination Station, because he was troubled by a social media post that made light of autism.

However, we will report that proceeds from the mid-morning meal seventh-grader Jack Touchette organized at Barre City Elementary and Middle School far surpassed his $700 goal.

With out of state donations still trickling in, Touchette has already brought in $1,405, though he’ll be the first to tell you he didn’t do it alone.

Touchette had help from eighth-grader Alyssa West, student assistance counselor Dawn Poitras and a cooperative and creative cafeteria crew.

Then there were the folks who made it a point to attend the Nov. 3 brunch that exceeded expectations and will soon result in a donation to the Imagination Station.

Walk, run, fun(ds)

BARRE — Speaking of successful fundraisers at Barre City Elementary and Middle School this year’s Walk, Run, Fun event surpassed the $30,000-mark last month.

We don’t have an exact accounting, but that’s not bad for a fundraiser that lasted less than two weeks, sold nothing and ended with a fun-filled day for students on Oct. 12.

Saying goodbye

BARRE TOWN — A funeral service for Barre businessman Michael Stone will be held at Websterville Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by burial at Wilson Cemetery.

Calling hours for friends and family will be 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hooker & Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St. in Barre.

Stone was the well-known owner of Stone’s Service Station on Washington Street in Barre for the past 33 years.

Police said Stone, 61, of Orange, died in a two-vehicle accident on Route 302 on Friday afternoon when a trailer carrying a farm tractor being towed by an F-350 driven by Jonathan Townsend, 43, of Worcester, detached and stuck head-on the Chevrolet Suburban driven by Stone.

Stone was pronounced dead at the scene. Townsend was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

Insider job

MONTPELIER — What’s in a name?

A $100 gift certificate to Onion River Outdoors!

That was the prize for the winning entry in a contest to name the shared-use recreation path between Junction Road and Taylor Street in the Capital City. Extension of the path from Granite Street to Gallison Hill Road will be completed next year.

And the winner was … City Manager Bill Fraser’s executive assistant, Jamie Granfield.

Granfield offered the name “Sibobi Path” and the city committee tasked with handling the contest settled on “Siboinebi (see-bo-WEE-neh-bee) Path” after consulting with the Abenaki Tribal Council. Siboinebi means “river water.”

Granfield said she was walking along the path and decided the name should reflect the indigenous people that originally named the Winooski River for the wild onions growing on its banks.

“The land we walk, run and bike on along the Winooski River is a part of N’dakinna, the Abenaki homeland, and it is fitting that Montpelier recognizes it as such, celebrating the Abenaki as the original stewards of that land,” Granfield said.

Granfield’s winning entry was selected from among 170 contestants.

And, yes, we checked: There was nothing in the rules that prevented city employees or their relatives entering the contest.

Spuds galore

BARRE TOWN — Hats off to hard-working volunteers who gleaned 2,222 pounds of potatoes from under the snow and frozen topsoil at Bear Roots Farm in South Barre on Sunday.

Community Harvest of Central Vermont said the bumper crop will be added to 41,000 pounds already donated this year, helping to reach 50,000 pounds gathered in 2018.

The surplus spuds were gathered after harvest and are used to feed people with limited access to healthy, fresh local food and help the community gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the local food system, healthy eating and waste reduction.

Gleaning will continue to capture other crops like beets and carrots, and volunteers are encouraged to sign up.

For more info, call Allison Levin at 229-4281 or visit www.CommunityHarvestVT.org.

Dinner is served!

PLAINFIELD — Monthly community suppers are back on the menu in Plainfield.

The first supper of the season will take place Nov. 27 at Grace United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. Donations will be requested and dessert potluck contributions are encouraged, but the suppers as usual are free of charge.

The fourth Tuesday supper series is hosted by different groups each month. This month’s supper is hosted by the Plainfield Friends, a chapter of the Religious Society of Friends who meet Sundays at 10:30 a.m. for “waiting worship.”

Those attending wait in silent expectation of the presence of spirit, and those so moved may stand or sing or speak. There are no paid clergy, no planned program and no creed except the idea that “there is that of God in every person.” All are welcome to join the meetings at 203 Martin Meadow Road in Plainfield.

The community suppers are supported and produced with volunteers of the Plainfield’s Community Supper Support Group, which welcomes help from all interested persons to make this series possible as well as local hosts and donors. This month’s turkey supper includes turkeys contributed by Misty Knoll Farm.

For further information and to volunteer, contact Michael Billingsley at michaelbiix@gmail.com.

‘What’s in a Film Score?’

MONTPELIER — Learning the secrets of what it takes to write a great musical soundtrack for film is the subject of Erik Neilsen’s “What’s in a Film Score” at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center.

Two dates for the presentation are Saturday and Jan. 12, both from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants will learn how a film score is created and witness the creation of a film score live.

There is a $20 charge for members on both dates, and a $35 charge for the general public.

Pre-registration is required at the MSAC office by calling 223-2518 or online at www.montpelier-vt.org/297/Montpelier-Senior-Activity-Center.

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