The news from Vinalhaven
Tis the season for fall harvests of pumpkins and gourds, decorations of corn stalks and scarecrows. The Halloween decorations are out in abundance as well as lawn signs for political candidates. Nature is holding its own in the decorations category and people are debating about how this year’s foliage compares with years past.
The community survey report has been printed and is ready for folks to enjoy and discuss. The survey was conducted to help inform the creation of the comprehensive pPlan. At a town office program on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., an overview of the results will be presented. Copies of the report are now available at the town office, public library and school library or on the Vinalhaven town website townofvinalhaven.org.
Bus service has increased since I last wrote, and children can catch a ride both mornings and afternoons three days a week, with families still providing transportation on Mondays and Fridays. The bus did get some additional action this week transporting the kindergarten, first- and second-graders to the Perry’s Creek Trail where they were met by instructors from Tanglewood. Through circle games, five senses lessons, and various hands-on activities, students had fun learning in the outdoor classroom of Vinalhaven’s trails. The Tanglewood folks enjoyed getting out to the island from their base in Lincolnville and will guide these same students in a spring hike on another trail. Thanks go out to the teachers for organizing the experience and to the various parent volunteers that came to assist with the field trip.
Business around town
The Candidates’ Forum was held Oct. 10 at the Vinalhaven School. This tradition is organized by Karol Kucinski and is always informative and well-attended. This year about 40 people came to enjoy the ample potluck offerings, entertainment by our beloved island men's a cappella group Phil ‘n the Blanks, and of course political discussions. For the Maine Senate District 22, Chris Rector, the Republican incumbent, and Ed Mazurek, Democrat were in attendance. For Maine House District 36, Walter Kumiega, the Democratic incumbent, and Kim Strauss, Republican, were there to speak and answer questions as well.
What folks are talking about
Folks are talking about traditional fall things on Vinalhaven, hunting season, busy schedules, and the Windfall Festival. As for hunting season, do get out and enjoy the woods, just do it with lots of orange. I’ve heard more than a few folks this week lament about the craziness of their schedules, all the programming being offered, sports games, meetings, etc. and how folks are looking forward to November and things hopefully getting a little calmer. I’m certainly of that sentiment as well, but I am looking forward to Food Week here on Vinalhaven and all the great things being done to raise awareness of "real food," locally-sourced foods, local farmers, healthy eating, and farm-to-school programs. Even the book clubs here on the island are getting in on the fun by reading food-related books. The libraries and bookstore will be showcasing books along this theme so you too could do some reading to inform your experience of watching "Betting the Farm" and the "Economics of Happiness" that will be shown that week. It might make the discussions that follow more meaningful and lively as well.
As for the return of the Windfall Festival that had been annual but has not occurred since 2007 if memory serves, some of the much-loved activities of the past will return. Ladies should be practicing now for the Women’s Arm Wrestling Competition and anyone can enter the Pie Eating Competition and become a champion. There will be entertainment, kids activities and a baking contest among other highlights on Sunday, Oct. 28 from noon to dusk. The Vinalhaven Middle School students are helping to plan the festival with help from the ARC, Amy Palmer and Alison Thibault, so do let them know if you’d like to help.
Soon it will be time for haunted houses and the traditional Halloween parade, and maybe some calmness in November. Until then, try to get out and enjoy the foliage, the brisk breezes (which are more enjoyable without freezing rain), and the activities the Vinalhaven community organizations are offering. And as always, do feel free to drop me a line if you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 863-4134.