52 picked up?

BARRE — Truth be told it isn’t clear whether the City Council was collectively able to satisfy former mayor Lucas Herring’s great Green Up Day challenge of 2022, but color us skeptical.

Filling 52 bags with roadside litter (one for each year Green Up Day has been a thing in Vermont) seemed like a heavy lift even for a seven-member council, and it didn’t help that two tested positive for COVID-19 heading into last Saturday’s event.

We don’t know about Councilor Michael Deering, but Mayor Jake Hemmerick said he dished the bags he’d hoped to fill to other “Green-Uppers” who presumably took care of his share.

While Herring’s successor had a solid excuse, his predecessor — former-mayor-now-Councilor Thomas Lauzon — had a swell story.

Lauzon lamented that, try as he might, he was only able to fill six of the eight bags he’d taken by the time Green Up Day ended Saturday.

With an unlikely assist Lauzon told city councilors Tuesday night he was able to fill the remaining two bags earlier in the day.

“I want to thank the fox that left the turkey carcass on my lawn this morning,” he said.

A two-bag turkey?

“It was a big turkey,” Lauzon said, when we followed up on Wednesday.

Lauzon said he was able to stuff the turkey carcass and one of the wings in one of his remaining bags and a second wing in the other.

Chicken and egg

WILLIAMSTOWN — When it comes to the age-old question of “what came first” the answer has long been “the egg” in Williamstown where members of the volunteer fire department typically host an annual egg hunt the day before Easter and a chicken barbecue the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend.

Not this year.

This year’s egg hunt went off without a hitch last month, but because of a scheduling glitch (more on that in a moment) hosting the chicken barbecue May 21 would be, well, problematic.

Seems Fire Chief William Graham and his wife will be on a pre-planned vacation out of state and several of the department’s firefighters will be tied up with training.

Chicken doesn’t serve itself and while mutual aid will bring help in a hurry for structure fires, it isn’t intended to bail out a barbecue.

Skipping the barbecue seemed like the best solution this year.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be chicken, it just means the fire department won’t be serving it.

The Pub will be, though it will be part of a broader menu that includes chicken, ribs, hot dogs, Italian sausages and other “fair food” they’ll serve inside and outside their Main Street establishment.

A fenced-off outdoor dining area will be open about 90 minutes before Williamstown’s pre-Memorial Day parade steps off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, until after this year’s fireworks display.

If you want to enter the parade, swing by the town offices and make arrangements with Town Manager Jackie Higgins. Same goes for folks who want a table or two (there’s space) for this year’s craft fair on Seaver Field.

Slideshow time!

MONTPELIER — Just when it looked like the trusty projector that is jointly owned by Montpelier Alive and the city’s Public Art Commission would get a well-deserved rest they’ve fired it up again.

Folks who frequent downtown Montpelier will tell you the projector got an April-long workout — projecting as part of the Capital City’s annual PoemCity celebration. It spent last month projecting poems paired with original photography by Ruby Singer in a seemingly endless eye-catching loop that made people pause outside the vacant Main Street storefront that last housed Studio Zenith.

That “slideshow” ended along with PoemCity and National Poetry Month on April 30, but on Monday, the projector was back at it — this time loaded with more than 200 pieces of art produced by Montpelier students of all ages.

The latest slideshow, which showcases student art projected on a screen, is again giving folks cause to pause in front of the vacant storefront at 50 Main St. and will for the rest of the month.

The school year-ending exhibition is the latest installment in “The Community Projection Project,” presented by Montpelier Alive and the Public Art Commission.

The art was supplied by students at Union Elementary School, Main Street Middle School and Montpelier High School and can be viewed daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Art teacher Kristina Kane and her apprentice, Amani Ansari, got the most out of their students at Union, while Jess Dewes did the same with her students at Main Street and Colleen Flanagan handled things at the high school. Montpelier Property Management graciously provided the space (again) and the projector and screen were purchased awhile back with the support of local donors, including Gabe Lajeunese, Didi Brush and Don Marsh.

Speaking of art

EAST MONTPELIER — None of her students took top honors in this year’s Congressional Art Competition, but Amy Koenigbauer, who teaches art at U-32 Middle and High School, had a couple of talented seniors in the mix.

One of them — Monarch Clairemont — finished third in a statewide competition that featured more than 130 entries this year.

The other — Agnes Polk — earned one of three “Judge’s Choice” awards.

Koenigbauer was the only Vermont teacher with two students at the top of a competition that included winners from every county.

We won’t name them all, but two of them attend classes in Barre — one at Spaulding High School and the other at the Spaulding-based Central Vermont Career Center.

Spaulding senior Noah Rubel was the winner from Washington County, and the Orange County winner, Jarrid Dodge, is a digital media arts student at the career center.

Power outage?

BARRE — The Barre Energy Committee was already carrying a vacancy before its only three members resigned for very different (and equally good) reasons Tuesday night.

They had nothing to do with the good work of a committee that was formed in 2013 and is suddenly in need of new energy.

Elaine Wang, who co-founded the committee and has served as its chair since its inception, was just hired as Winooski’s new city manager and her new professional obligations will prevent her from serving on a committee she feels strongly about.

Before Wang landed the Winooski job, Phil Cecchini the committee’s other co-founder (and at one point, its co-chair) had decided he’d be was planning to step down when his term expires in June and Vice Chair Conor Teal had already purchased a house in Randolph, relocated his tiny home in Barre Town to that property and was readying to tender his resignation.

The three resignations were all accepted with regret by city councilors, who welcomed Teal’s and Ceccini’s offer to help on-boarding new members to a committee that will have none when Cecchini’s term expires next month.

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