Consistently the earliest forsythia to bloom in town, on Billy Guptil’s lawn, is now a gorgeous yellow. The hyacinths are out, daffodils are in bloom on Round the Island Road, and tulips are blooming behind the Row Houses on Main Street. It is good to see things progressing even as the daytime temperatures are below where many of us want them.

School events

Five different Building Trades Classes (held in the Shop at the Vinalhaven School) have had the fortune to work with Mark Jackson this year on creating a new garage for the Ivan Calderwood Homestead Eldercare facility. Though they started work on the building back in October, “weather has been a constant challenge,” said Mark. Students are working this spring to get the building completed in the next six weeks, after which time the overhead automatic door will be all that is left to install. The garage is 24-feet long by 14-feet wide and is 12-feet high at its highest. It will house Eldercare’s handicap accessible van.

According to Jackson, “this project has presented some interesting challenges, forcing the students to figure a few things out before starting. For instance, building onto an existing building has limitations that must be considered and the low roof profile gave us the opportunity to study truss design. We ended up designing and building the trusses used in the garage.” The students who have been involved in the building are Kaleb Dyer, Ben Beckman, Frank Morton, Austin Christensen, Byron Thomas, Ryann Warren, Matt Young, Hunter Smith, Francis Warren, Scott James, Hayden Jones, Josey Doughty, Justin Newton, Shane Carlsen, Virginia Wadleigh, and Dymond Malmstrom. The project is proceeding as expected, and the students are learning valuable skills while greatly helping out one of our cherished community organizations.

Business around town

This week downtown traffic has picked up a bit, more out of state plates have been sighted, and the Gawker is open for the season. With some seasonal businesses still closed, and a handful of empty storefronts though, it may be a while before things get bustling. The Old Fire House continues to be a busy spot with the metal roofing now almost complete. In taking a look inside this week I could see that the interior has been vastly improved. The renovation crew agreed that things were coming along, but would move faster if the weather would improve. The almost constant winds and chilly days do not seem to keep them off the project though. The plans are to have it painted by the end of May and ready to house the antique firefighting equipment, according to Phil Crossman.

The Vinalhaven Engine House Restoration Committee has amazingly been able to reduce the original budget of $250,000 to $175,000 and may even finish under that. They will still gladly take any donations as they have $44,000 left to raise. If you would like to help, tax deductible donations may be sent earmarked for Engine House Restoration, Historic Downstreet, Inc. P.O. Box 209, Vinalhaven, ME 04863.

What folks are talking about

The stenciling on the window next to Go Fish has gotten folks’ attention this week as the newly named shop, Phineas Fogg, gets set up for the season. The owners of the building, who sold beautiful fabrics and clothes last summer will be operating again and diversifying their offerings. The “eclectic treasures” to borrow a friend’s phrase, seem to be changing by the day, including a VW bus tent — definitely an item that will get folks talking.

Our small town newspaper, the Wind, is filling up with seasonal rental advertisements these days. Lawn mowers have been heard around town, and some people have planted their peas already. It seems the weather and the calendar are not quite in sink though, and it is hard to believe that next week we will be into May already. So happy May Day, and may May bring us the warm temperatures and beautiful days we have all been waiting for.

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