Believe it or not, in some spots of open ground with southern exposure I have seen crocus buds that are green and waiting. The sun has much more strength now, and as we’re out walking we’ve seen more rivulets of melt water, and have heard more splashing as trucks drive by. We’ve also enjoyed seeing long-tailed ducks out on the water, and bald eagles flying over a couple times this week.

School events

As for news indoors, school was busy Friday morning for the Elementary School Assembly. How good it was to see the parking lot almost as full for an elementary assembly as for basketball games. The assemblies are put on by the K-5 students and their teachers every other month and include recitations of poems and songs, plays, short i-movies, the awarding of the estimation trophy, recognition of monthly birthdays and such. These sweet programs might bring back memories of days of your youth, make you smirk at the things kids say, or leave you amazed at how confident even second-graders can be onstage with a microphone in front of an audience of 100-plus people.

Business around town

This week’s nonprofit forum held at the Gathering Place was attended by 15 community members representing some of the 15-plus nonprofit organizations here in town. Everyone agreed that there are an amazing amount of organizations doing great things in town. At the meeting folks discussed fundraising challenges, ways to coordinate calendars, how to support each other’s endeavors, how to increase involvement, and how to better inform both year-round and summer folks about what the organizations do and how important their work is to the vitality of our town. Betsy Hopkins, director of Pie, and Chad King, board member of Vinalhaven Eldercare Services hosted the meeting providing not only great food and drinks, but an evening of thoughtful and respectful conversation.

What folks are talking about

It seems most conversations lately come around to folks having colds, who is home sick, who has pneumonia, and how no one wants to be sick for March break. On a positive note though, folks are also talking about PIE’s offerings for March break with the help of Hillary Martin. Around the state many places have programs during February and March school breaks, and Vinalhaven’s giving vacation programming a try by inviting students grades K-8 to various experiences sponsored by Partners in Island Education, the ARC Community Learning Center, and the Vinalhaven Land Trust. Students K-2 and 3-5 can sign up to make, bake and eat pizza at the ARC, grade 3-5 kids can learn needle felting by making felted chickens with Angie Olson at Island Home, grade 3-5 kids can make a wool Easter egg with Angie at Island Home, and kids in grades 3-8 can be part of a singing group under the direction of Charlie Brown. For more information or to register, contact or call 863-4808.

The offerings are based on survey results from the student body to better understand what ages of students were interested in programming and what kinds of programs they would attend. If you have ideas for future programming whether you are able to participate in these March programs or not, feel free to contact PIE with suggestions.


The Vinalhaven Land Trust announced its Walks and Talks series of spring and summer offerings this week which is seen by many as a sign of spring. The list is long and varied including bird walks, an energy tour, farm visits, and a trip to Burnt Island late in the summer. If this year is like others, Jim Boone, Walks and Talks organizer, is sure to increase the list as the season gets closer; see the VLT website for updates. Information is out about Fox Island Concerts, Arts Night, and concerts too. It’s wonderful to see a community calendar that listed no events back in January turn into a two-column list now in late February. What a difference a month makes. With that in mind, enjoy the down season and the quiet of the island as the busy season and all its events will be upon us more quickly than we think.

If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please drop me a line at or leave a message at 863-4134.