Hot pets

MONTPELIER — A seasonal warning about the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot vehicles went viral after a recent social media posting on the internet by Montpelier Police Department.

Seems police were summoned by a resident concerned about three animals left in a vehicle in a private parking lot off Barre Street.

When police arrived, they found the vehicle and the animals — a baby cow, an adult dog and an adult rabbit. They animals were all in good condition and not in any distress, police said. (The incident was listed in our weekly police log, but only limited information was provided at the time.)

Police said the temperature reached 70 degrees on the day of the incident, April 19, but advised that even on temperate days, temperatures inside closed vehicles can soar well above 100 degrees, exposing trapped occupants to the effects of extreme heat. Also, it can result in criminal charges and fines, police added.

Better safe than sorry, the police added, asking that people call them if they see children or pets in closed vehicles in hot days.

“Don’t put your cow in the car,” said Sgt. Eric Nordenson. “I think the message is we need to be mindful of animals, as the temperatures warm up, to not leave pets in the car. “Luckily, the car was not hot and the animals were OK, but as the temperatures, come June or July, get warmer, it can be an issue and we want to make sure that people don’t do that,” he added.

The online posting received more than 157,000 hits, 1,500 shares and hundreds of comments.

‘Tree time’

BARRE — For the second straight year Granite City residents with room to plant them can sign up for up to two free trees under an energy-saving program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Vermont’s Urban & Community Forestry and Climate & Health programs will be distributing the trees to folks who reserve them in advance and are able to pick them up at the BOR ice arena between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. June 1.

That’s still almost a month away, but we’re told there’s been a run on trees since the website where on line orders can be placed went live Monday.

Through Wednesday, 41 Barre residents had reserved at least one free tree and 75 were still available.

The red maple are all gone and there are fewer than 10 shadblow serviceberry trees left. Other trees available include the eastern red cedar, northern red oak and river birch. In order to check your eligibility and place your online order, Barre residents are encouraged to visit

Advance orders are required and residents will be able to choose from a list of available tree species and learn how to plant them to receive the greatest energy benefit for their homes. That’s the point of Energy-Saving Trees — an Arbor Day Foundation program.

Arbor Day is Friday and the program is also being offered to residents in Rutland and St. Albans this year.

March in May?

MONTPELIER — The 92nd annual Vermont All State Music Festival will kick off next Wednesday when more than 1,000 students from 20 school bands representing all regions of the state march their way through the streets of downtown Montpelier.

The parade is set for 6 p.m. (weather permitting) and will start at Main Street Middle School, head down Main Street before the state’s best student musicians hang a right on State Street and march past the State House on their way to Montpelier High School.

Montpelier High School will co-host this year’s four-day festival with U-32 Middle and High School, though once the parade is done all the practicing and performing will occur at U-32.

Festival concerts include the All State Scholarship Concert at 8 p.m. next Thursday (May 9), and the All State Jazz Ensemble Concert at 7:30 p.m. next Friday (May 10). Both will be in the U-32 Auditorium.

The All State Chorus performs at 2 p.m. a week from Saturday (May 11) in the U-32 gymnasium, and the All State Band and Orchestra will follow with their performances starting at 4 p.m.

Advance tickets for the jazz, chorus, and band/orchestra performances can be purchased online until next Tuesday. Tickets will also be sold at the events. No ticket is required for the scholarship concert. U-32 has never hosted the festival before, and the parade is returning to Montpelier for the first time since 1987.

Though there will be more than 1,000 parade participants, only 400 of the state’s finest student musicians were selected to to participate in the festival, which is sponsored by the Vermont Music Educators Association.

Green Up Day

MONTPELIER — Montpelier Alive will do its to help Capital City residents pitch in on Green Up Day on Saturday.

The downtown organization will have a table at the Farmers’ Market on State Street and will provide people with Green Up Day bags and gloves and track the areas they’re targeted for clean up.

Also, they will provide coupons that Green Up volunteers can redeem for goodies at local businesses. To view an online mapping tool to see where Green Up Day activities are taking place in Montpelier, visit, or for clean-up in other towns, visit

Ready to roll?

BERLIN — Sure, it’s just days away, but it isn’t too late to sign up for the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic’s 13th annual Bowl-A-Thon.

In fact, if you don’t have other plans for Saturday afternoon and can quickly pull together a team you might consider reserving a lane and raising some fast cash for a clinic that has been serving uninsured and under-insured central Vermonters since 1994.

This year’s bowl-a-thon is set from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Twin City Family Fun Center on the Barre-Montpelier Road.

Ideally, teams consist of five bowlers, each of whom is asked to raise at least $50 for a minimum team total of $250. However, those rules aren’t hard and fast. The per-team target is $250, but if you can do it with fewer bowlers — and some can — you’re welcome to join the free clinic’s largest fundraiser. (Editor Steven Pappas is even taking part in the cause.)

Individuals, who raise more than $200 will be entered into a raffle for special prizes.

If that sounds like a lot, you haven’t met the Feel Better Bowlers. The team, led by Brian Prendergast is in the fundraising lead with more than $1,250. Prendergast is responsible for $645 of that, while Paul Markowitz ($230) and Paul Zabriskie ($200) have already qualified for the raffle and teammate, Ryan LaCroix ($178.75) is closing in. The team’s fifth member is Soren Pfeiffer.

The second-place team (at least for the moment) has raised $1,078 and “The Pill Bugs” only have two members. Jolie Jonte has raised nearly $578 and Jodi Vilardi has raised more than $500.

If you’d like to get in on the action (or just contribute to the cause) all you have to do is call the clinic at 479-1229, or register online at

Senior moment

BARRE — Getting older isn’t always a laugh-out-loud experience, but it can have its humorous moments — a fact the folks at the Central Vermont Council on Aging have turned into an annual fund-raiser.

It’s called “Age Out Loud” and is billed as “an evening of comedic storytelling” about aging and families.

Now in its third year, “Age Out Loud” features a familiar format the council on aging is hoping will bring people to the Barre Opera House on Saturday night.

Set for 7:30 p.m. the show will again feature NPR award-winning comedic storytellers and The Moth Slam producers, Susanne Schmidt and Kevin Gallagher. Schmidt will pull double duty because her band, The Brevity Thing, will perform and someone has to pay the drums.

Wait, there’s more.

Award-winning children’s author and former Barre resident Katherine Paterson will be this year’s guest storyteller (it was Willem Lange last year), and “Age Out Loud” will again feature a silent auction and the opening of an art exhibit — “Art of Creative Aging” in the opera house lobby. The exhibit features the work of older central Vermont artists. The exhibit will remain on display through the end of May, which is recognized nationally as “Older Americans Month.”

Though the show starts at 7:30 p.m. the doors will open at 6 p.m. for the silent auction. Admission is $25 and proceeds benefit the Central Vermont Council on Aging and its mission of supporting aging with dignity and choice.

All are welcome.

Not taking the fall

MONTPELIER — Speaking of Older Americans Month, there will be an event at the State House today to advise older folks how to avoid the danger of falls that can cause injury.

Healthy Aging and Falls Prevention Day will be held on the State House Lawn from noon to 1:30 p.m. when seniors can see Tai Chi demos to help build balance and resilience, get a Stay Steady Assessment from trained physical therapists and talk one-on-one with experts about making their homes fall-proof and how to stay healthy and active.

May flowers

PLAINFIELD — There’s more than one way to “green up,” and the Twin Valley Senior Center will prove that Saturday when it will host its 11th annual Perennial Plant Sale and Flea Market on Green Up Day.

The sale, which is set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will offer perennials, vegetables and house plants. Burgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chips and cookies will be available for purchase onsite.

Those interested in renting a 6-foot table for the flea market (the cost is $25) must reserve them by Friday. Those who do will receive a free TVSC Cookbook provided for each table rented.

To make reservations, just call 223-3322 or email

Seeing stars and stripes

BARRE — Since we put out the call on their behalf in mid-March, the Barre Area Veterans Council surpassed its goal of securing funding to buy 100 new American flags to decorate downtown Barre in the run-up to Memorial Day.

The count stood at 105 Tuesday night, but before Chuck Barney finished briefing city councilors on the fundraiser one of them who hadn’t yet contributed broke out his checkbook and and made a $25 donation.

Councilor John LePage wrote the check that will further pad the fundraising total and allow new flags to be purchased and some damaged poles to be replaced.

Barney said the new flags (and poles where needed) will be purchased locally, “made in America” and installed May 18. Those who contributed to the cause — many in memory of family members and friends who served in the armed forces — will be acknowledged during this year’s Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall Park.

That ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. May 30 (that’s a Thursday if you don’t have a calendar handy) immediately after the parade that will step off from the Barre Municipal Auditorium at 10:30 a.m.

Don’t look for the parade Monday, May 27 (that’s the federal holiday), because veterans in tradition-rich Barre aren’t as interested in three-day weekends as they are in observing what began as “Decoration Day” on May 30, 1868.

All Species Day

MONTPELIER — All things bright and beautiful, wild and wonderful, will be on display at the annual All Species Day in the Capital City on Sunday.

Scheduled from noon to 3:30 p.m. and participants will dress up as their favorite species and parade from Hubbard Park to the State House lawn for a Birth of Spring Pageant with large-scale puppetry, maypole dancing and warm-weather revelry.

Walk for the animals?

MONTPELIER — The folks at the Central Vermont Humane Society urging people to sign up as sponsored walkers in their annual Walk for Animals.

This year’s walk is set for Saturday, May 11, and will start at Montpelier High School at 9 a.m.

What’s it entail?

A leisurely two-mile stroll through the Capital City (pets are welcome, but not required to participate).

The walk will be preceded by a dog costume contest and followed by a disc dogs’ demo, contests for the “best trick” and “best kisser,” an alumni parade and an awards presentation.

The fundraising goal this year is $80,000 to help care for more than 1,000 animals that pass through the animal shelter each year.

For more information, call Linea 476-3811, ext.110 or email or visit

Lady sings the blues

MONTPELIER — There will be a double-header in the Capital City on Sunday to celebrate legendary blues singer Koko Taylor.

First up is a documentary film screening, “Queen of the Blues: A Portrait of Koko Taylor,” at the Savoy Theater on Main Street at 3:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session with director Sherry Rhynard, who also produced the film in association with WTTW, the PBS affiliate in Chicago.

Later on, there will be a women blues singers jam, featuring Dave Keller and friends belting out the blues in honor of Koko Taylor, at Sweet Melissa’s on Langdon Street, from 5 to 8 p.m.

There is a suggested donation of $10 per event to benefit Circle VT which works to create safer communities and end violence against women.

For more info or to sign up to be a part of the blues jam, call filmmaker Sherry Rhynard at 272-2736 or email

Food for thought

MONTPELIER — A leading expert on biodiversity, climate change and the dangers of pesticides in farming will visit Vermont this month.

Vandana Shiva is India’s most prominent environmental advocate whose Northeast North Journey will bring her to Sterling College on Saturday to deliver the commencement address and a workshop at the college on Sunday, “Strategies for Social and Environmental Justice.”

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, she will present a pledge for “Poison-Free Food & Farming by 2030” at the State House and will meet with lawmakers and representatives of supporting agricultural organizations.

To learn more about the tour, call Philip Ackerman-Leist at Sterling College or email


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