By Lani Duke
That time of year
Public school starts, for the most part, Wednesday, Aug. 27. Be alert for children on their way to and from school.
Tinmouth Elementary is expanding its preschool options to include a day-long program for 4-year-olds plus services for resident 3-year-olds. The 3-year-old program is two days a week, Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday, either half day or full day. Half day programming is from 8 to 11:30 a.m.; full day is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The 4-year-old program is five days a week; families can choose as many days as they wish for their child to attend, either half days or full days. Preschoolers do not ride the bus, partly because they are so physically small, and partly because bus rides are so long. Pre-school teachers are Lisa Edge and Lana Deppert, with principal Daryl Houk and special educator Kristine KeFevre working with students Monday through Thursday mornings–they are both Early Childhood Special Educators.
Leaving the forum
The town of Castleton has decided to abandon its involvement with Front Porch Forum. Although neighbors may continue to use the electronic platform for their interpersonal discussions, the select board and town manager have decided to withdraw from that particular communications channel.
Participation in the online bulletin board began with what proved to be poor timing, just as Town Meeting Day was approaching and the community was all a-boil over whether to refurbish the historic town offices or permanently move administrative functions to other quarters.
Interested parties started posting their concerns in the new, instantaneous electronic forum, and feelings ran high. Vitriol previously confined to face-to-face sessions with and among the select board seemed to both be fueled by and to spill over into the online environment.
Multiplying dissension runs counter to all that FPF was designed to do. The program, first coming to light in Chittenden County in 2006, was a collaboration between the for-profit company and the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, an effort to bring rural towns onto the Internet. Castleton was one of 24 towns to test the expanded communications network in 2010. The community hoped to improve communication between the college and the town, the old village and outlying unincorporated areas.
Town manager Charles Jacien believes that a more central message and common policy, issued through the town’s website, is needed. From now on, any communications from Castleton officials will receive central vetting and be posted on that website, another part of the e-Vermont package.
The Castleton women’s lacrosse team was recently named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Academic Honor Squad, one of 125 schools receiving that recognition for the 2014 season. To reach that distinction, the team was required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The only school from the North Atlantic Conference to be named to the team, Castleton’s Spartans also captured their third consecutive NAC Championship with a 10-9 victory over Thomas. Advancing to the NCAA Tournament, the Castleton team was beaten by eventual national runner-up Trinity in the tournament’s opening round.
Oliver Schemm, head of Castleton’s art department, recently saw his interactive sculpture “The Fishwheel” set up in Rutland’s Main Street Park.
Castleton State College residence halls open for new students on Thursday, Aug. 21, with new student orientation beginning on Friday. Residence halls open for returning students on Sunday, Aug. 24, with classes beginning the following day at 8 a.m. Spartan Marching Band had already begun to practice the week before.
Community service opportunity
Middletown Springs would like to fill a vacant spot on its school board. Call school board members Chris Smid (235-1115), Clarence Haynes (235-2505), Meredith Morgan (235-2059), or Sarah Haley (235-1100) to throw your hat in the ring.
to Martha Leb Molnar, on the publishing of her book “Taproot: Coming Home to Prairie Hill.” It tells her story of finding a rural home to make her and her husband Ted’s dreams come true, buying 40 acres in Castleton and turning a cabin into a livable home.
Lani’s weekly picks
Thursday, Aug. 21–West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department holds an auction with proceeds to support the department’s general operating costs, equipment, and training programs. Food offerings include grilled burgers, hot dogs and French fries. Dave Hosley, 645-0158; Tom Collard, 645-0839. 6 p.m. West Pawlet Fire House.
Sunday, Aug. 24–Jim Rowe, president of the Crown Point Road association, leads the group’s third annual driving tour. This tour explores the Hydeville branch of the 1776 Mount Independence-Hubbardton Military Road, going from East Road in Benson to West Castleton before finishing at the outlet of Lake Bomoseen. 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 273-2282.
Sunday, Aug. 24–Hubbardton Battlefield site interpreter Carl Fuller portrays a 1777 Hubbardton resident, telling stories of families in the path of the Revolutionary War and the only Revolutionary battle fought on Vermont soil. 1 p.m. Hubbardton Battlefield, 5696 Monument Hill Rd. 273-2282.
Tuesday, Aug. 26–Fair Haven town manager Herb Durfee invites townsfolk to a “cracker-barrel” discussion from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m in the town park gazebo. Participants are encouraged to bring their concerns, beliefs, and issues to an open, informal meeting.
Wednesday, Aug. 27–Castleton Community Center celebrates birthdays for the month of Aug.. East Creek catering caters the special meal, complete with birthday cake. Make reservation by 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, by calling 468-3093.