The news from Vinalhaven
Sunflowers are out in abundance all over the island along with brown-eyed Susans and the ubiquitous roadside purple clover. Our carrots are now huge in the garden, and I’ve seen onions out to dry in the sunshine on more than a few porches this week. Though there are chilly spells, the mid-day temperatures have been nice and warm — perfect for kids’ after-school bike rides home. Everyone seemed to survive the warm stiff winds of Hurricane Isaac, which blew through pretty rapidly and left very little damage in its path.
School is in full swing now, so it’s a comfort to know that we have now passed the school budget. With 93 folks voting yes and 43 voting no, this is the first budget in recent memory that passed with a clear majority.
The first day of school has come and gone and kids and teachers are learning new routines and settling into their schedules. The pre-K students and new kindergarten students getting out at noon have looked happy and ready for naps. By the end of the day, there are surely kids in other grades and teachers who would love naps too. Things are going smoothly though, and even with no bus service yet, drop-off and pick-up has been orderly and it’s been nice having School Leader Robb Warren greeting folks at the door as they arrive. Speaking of being welcoming, the school will be holding its annual Open House on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. Also worth noting in school news, the varsity soccer schedules are out, and available at www.vinalhavenschool.org under the Activities and Athletics tab.
In new staff, the cafeteria welcomes Dawn Dyer to the ranks. With students in the school herself and lots of experience with school activities, Dawn will surely settle into her new position quickly. Also, Jenn Genrich is now a part-time ed. tech and Jessica Farrelly is now an ed. tech with the middle school and high school.
Business around town
For those of you who haven’t been up Armbrust Hill in a while, there’s a nice new plaque in the historic location of a World War II lookout tower. The lookout tower was manned by Vinalhaven civilian volunteers to keep a lookout for German ships, planes and U-boat submarines. As the plaque states, in this way Vinalhaven could help “protect American supply ship convoys bound for England.” Patrick Trainor was instrumental in installing this plaque on the hill, and plans to get five watch tower volunteers still living on Vinalhaven together this month. The Vinalhaven Historical Society recently acquired a 10-minute home movie showing the tower during those days, and I encourage you to stop by when they’re open and check it out.
What folks are talking about
The ferry and ferry terminal doings seem to consume many a conversation lately. The ferry schedule was changed lately on relatively short notice as the Prock Marine barge needed time to install the new bumpers on the slip. Boats were about an hour off schedule that day, and the next day there were record length standby lines for the early morning boats. On the bright side, lines in Rockland are much decreased, and it’s easier to get on the boat of your preference returning to the island, and getting easier to get the boat you want when you call in early for a line number to leave here. Before the strong fall winds set in bringing cancellations and roller coaster rides, now is a good time to enjoy the ferry’s gorgeous route and the decreasing number of passengers.
In other signs of fall’s imminent arrival, Hunter Safety Class is being held at the Grange Hall, pumpkins are already large and orange, corn stalks are high, and tomatoes are practically dripping off the plants in some of the gardens I’ve seen. I wonder if that’s because folks are getting tired of tomatoes, or if folks are still finding themselves so busy that there isn’t time to keep up with them all. How nice to live in a place with beautiful flowers, gorgeous weather, a welcoming school, a sense of history and bountiful produce.
If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 207-863-4134.