By Lani Duke
Castleton students get out the community spirit
CASTLETON—Students in the nursing program are collecting clothing to help children stay warm by gathering used coats, scarves, boots, gloves, hats, and snow pants to give to Fair Haven Concerned. We’re anticipating a colder than normal winter if we rely on either the media weather forecasters or the 2015 Farmers’ Almanac. Nursing student Gabriel Briggs first proposed the idea two years ago. Now it reaches beyond the nursing department, with collection boxes dotted across the campus.
First Year Seminar students taking Prof. Schemm’s art class have joined the Little Library project, painting the freestanding book displays constructed by residents of FortySeven Main Street, a community for men with mental illness. FortySeven Main Street men build the wooden structures, and Schemm’s students paint them as part of the course’s color unit. The Friends of the Library stock the shelves. All three entities experience a sense of community.
After 20 years, no Solarfest
TINMOUTH—There are no plans in the works for a SolarFest in 2015. Attendance has been falling at SolarFest for the past six years, tumbling from nearly 8,000 in 2008 to 3,500 for the 2014 event. Meanwhile, debt has been growing: the event is now $20,000 in debt. SolarFest director Patty Kenyon stepped down from her paid position but continues to donate her time as volunteer bookkeeper. As if that weren’t enough, Forget-Me-Not Farm owner Meadow Squire has decided not to renew the site’s lease contract with the event. Squire doesn’t want to interrupt the equine therapy program, which uses retired race horses to aid soldiers’ recovery from war’s psychological traumas.
High school faculty and staff vie for Biggest Loser
FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven Union High’s Deb Hanson is coordinating a Biggest Loser contest for faculty and staff, to begin Oct. 24 and run through Feb. 13, just before spring vacation. Best of luck to all participants.
Municipal planning maneuvers
FAIR HAVEN—The town of Fair Haven is applying for a $20,000 municipal planning grant, with a total project cost of $26,000. The town would pick up the matching funds of $6,000. Also in progress is an update to the water/wastewater facilities maintenance technician job description. Town manager Herb Durfee anticipates hiring a new staff person to fill the position by the first of the year.
News from Main Street
CASTLETON—Discussions continue on the potential auction sale of 556 Main Street, the former town office building. The contract with the auctioneer includes a $50,000 minimum bid.
Weekend noise and littering by college students continue to plague Castleton village residents. The select board is looking at enforcing an open container provision and also a redefinition of “single family home.”
GOLM to include Lakes Region
As the Gift of Life Marathon changes shape and duration, stretching over 12 days in December 2014, it spends two days in the Lakes Region. In fact, its first day of blood drawing, December 2, is at Castleton College.
Castleton president Dave Wolk brought Castleton to a sponsorship role in the annual blood drive last year, alongside Green Mountain Power and radio station WJJR. When Castleton signed onto the marathon campaign, it was with the goal of promoting and facilitating participation in the GOLM to the college community and western Rutland County, utilizing social media on behalf of GOLM, and providing for Red Cross staffers who came to Vermont from other states. The school’s addition to the blood gathering effort undoubtedly helped the drive explode past all expectations, adding 2,350 pints of the precious liquid to life-saving efforts. The next-to-last day of this year’s drive is also in western Rutland County, at Fair Haven Union High School.
Lani’s weekly picks
Friday, Oct. 24—John Gillette and Sarah Mittlefehldt deliver the final concert in the season’s Tinmouth Old Firehouse series. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 25-26—Mettawee Community School in West Pawlet hosts the semi-annual Share the Warmth clothing drive. Clothing from babies through adult, outerwear, footwear, blankets, and more—clean and stain-free. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. Brooke Burnham, 645-0968.
Sunday, Oct. 26—Castleton College Pavilion hosts Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Rutland County. Registration at 11 a.m. Survivor ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Four-mile non-competitive scenic walk at 1 p.m.