The news from Vinalhaven
Around the island this week much activity has been devoted to getting ready for winter. Sure, it’s still a while off, but fall to-do lists can take a lot of man hours. Chimneys are getting cleaned, houses are being scraped and painted, and wood is getting stacked. Gardens are getting cut back now that chilly weather is approaching. There is something satisfying about setting things in order this time of year.
The town is working on setting things in order according to their reminder about 911 addressing and the rules about displaying numbers on your residence. The request to post your house number and street information near your phone inside your house was, I thought, a particularly good one. For many people it seems obvious that we’d have all our 911 ducks in a row, but it was only eight years ago here that the addressing ordinance was adopted and folks starting putting up numbers and many roads got their first road signs. Do help out emergency services and yourselves by posting your house number.
Wednesday this week was International Walk to School Day. Two groups of students, parents and teachers walked to school from the Flea Market Field, and numerous kids biked into school or were dropped off a bit farther from school than on a normal day. Started in 1997 in the U.S. Walk to School day became international in 2002. This event “galvanizes visibility for walking and bicycling to school” and brings awareness to the need for “year-round safe routes to school” according to Walkbiketoschool.org. Thousands of U.S. schools take part and more than 40 other countries now participate every October. Varsity soccer is winding down, and I’d like to thank Sheri-Romer Day for her action photo published last week in this column.
What folks are talking about
Those connected with the school, and some who aren’t, are talking about the school bus which has been sitting in the school lot unused on many a day as no bus driver had been found. Thanks to our new bus driver Leighann Chilles, starting next week, students will now have the option of riding the bus three afternoons a week. Though this is definitely a help to many families, and a step in the right direction, I have heard folks wishing for bus availability five days a week morning and afternoon. Some worry about that many extra vehicles rushing around once winter weather hits, but that’s a ways off, and maybe more bus support will exist by then. No matter what the situation, I’m sure folks will find some facet of it to talk about.
A new granite installation by Wes Reed on the edge of the Flea Market Field near the Union Church parking lot is bound to get folks talking. It’s a gorgeous gate, which made me reminisce about a long ago trip to Stonehenge the moment I saw it. This addition to the growing collection of granite works at the edge of the field may become a village icon and is sure to be photographed repeatedly.
Business around town
As for fall preparations, if you’ve gotten your own place caught up, you can always help others. Farmers around the island are offering opportunities to help them put their garden beds to bed, learn about planting now for next year, and enjoy the camaraderie of outdoor work with local farmers. Folks on the island can check the Wind Community Calendar to find more about times and locations. It’s also a nice time of year to get out to a different part of the island than you might normally be in.
Today I found that out first-hand as I drove the North Haven Road and enjoyed the beautiful foliage. It was quite relaxing to drive along admiring the multi-colored maple leaves with flaming red sumac below, sweeps of ferns in gold and brown and patches of deep purple asters. It was funny that an ad on the radio broke the spell by advertising a ski slope. Fall preparedness is one thing, but talk of skiing and snowpack is going a bit too far in my opinion. Speaking of which, if you have any news, or opinions, you’d like shared through this column, it would be fun to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-4134.