The news from Vinalhaven
In driving up the North Haven Road a few days ago, I noticed a few leaves starting to turn their autumn hues and am now noticing more patches of fall color wherever I go. The morning temperatures in the 40s are making the pumpkin vines die back and so fall announces itself both outside and inside on the calendar.
The town is continuing its work on the comprehensive plan with Andy Door at the helm of the project, and is now seeking community members to help review chapter inventories and recommend strategies to meet and implement policies here in town. Some folks have already signed up, and there’s still need for more, so if being part of the Comprehensive Plan Focus Groups sounds interesting, contact Andy at email@example.com.
Every fall the students and teachers of the Vinalhaven School go on Coastal Cleanup, fanning out across the island to tidy up beaches. Students tally the amounts of different types of trash so data can be compiled and analyzed, both locally as part of Maine’s Coastweek and internationally as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup efforts to decrease marine debris. With flyers up around town encouraging folks to volunteer, and notes sent home to encourage parents to join in, the cleanup is a community event that hopefully will make people more conscious about trash and keeping it away from our marine resources and scenic coastline.
Open House was held Sept. 20 at the school and many families took advantage of the invitation to tour classrooms, see children’s work, chat with teachers, and let their children show them around. For some it was a good opportunity to meet new faculty. Speaking of new faculty, Vinalhaven’s new Interim Superintendent is Bruce Mailloux, who recently retired as superintendent in Belfast and will be here a couple days a week.
Business around town
It’s the time of year to attempt to keep track of the changing hours of businesses. As the population decreases, so do open hours. Thankfully for those with caffeine needs, a few of the coffee places are still opening early in the morning. That said, things are quiet downtown, but it’s nice to recognize or know most of the folks you see coming and going. It’s a great time of year to look around stores you couldn’t fit into well during the summer months.
And with summer past, as the tourists have migrated, some of the birds are starting to as well, which means it’s time for the annual Hawk Watch with Kirk Gentalen. It will be held on Lane’s Island on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., though keep an eye out these upcoming weeks on any day and you should spot more of these large birds than usual. I recall going to hawk watch events in various states over the years, and am glad there’s one offered here.
What folks are talking about
Other than recent weddings, upcoming weddings, and babies on the way, folks are actually beginning to talk about Halloween plans! It seems a bit early for me, but children’s enthusiasm and lack of concept of time means that it’s never too early to get excited about costumes, pumpkins and candy. Even those who are children at heart, like some of those folks at Partners in Island Education, are planning ahead. PIE is looking for volunteers for a haunted house at the Poor Farm this year. It’s sure to be a spooky good time, so contact Sarah via vhpie.org if you want to get in on the fun.
Though its fall and the weather is chilly, it’s still nice to get out and enjoy the good weather. We’ve been on a few early morning walks lately checking out the wildlife. We’re still seeing lots of butterflies and have seen a monarch caterpillar start its chrysalis and other chrysalises already completed. Recently, my daughter Addy and I saw a large raccoon in the town parking lot checking some traps for any free food, and we saw plenty of bats taking advantage of the last traces of nighttime. So don’t think we’re too crazy if you drive by us at 5 a.m. out for a walk, we’re just having some quiet fun in the fall.
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