The news from Vinalhaven

By Susan Raven | Nov 01, 2012
Photo by: Susan Raven Community members enjoy a free local dinner at Vinalhaven Food Day.

The foliage is past peak, we’ve had temperatures in the low 30s some mornings, and the smell of wood smoke is in the air. Kids waiting for the bus have had on hats and gloves and though many of us are holding off on wearing a heavy jacket, it’s time to accept that October is done and the November chill is here to stay. Most of the flowers are done for the season, but it is fun to watch their aftermath, with the blowing silks from the milkweed pods being my favorite.

Municipal news

I’ve begun noticing trees around town that have been banded to try to slow down the winter moth population and doing so in the fall is one way to try to save our trees from this invasive insect. If you want to see a display about banding and instructions on how to do so, stop by the town office meeting room.

School events

The events of Food Week have been going well, and I enjoyed seeing 10 other parents eating with their children in the school cafeteria for Take Your Parent to Lunch Day. That day the school lunch was chowder prepared by sixth-graders using local island and Maine ingredients. The Food Day Community meal, organized by the middle school students with help from Emily Cohn, Amy Palmer and the ARCafe, was a great success with more than 120 people in attendance. The fare was fantastic locally-sourced entrees, desserts, salads, soups and beautiful breads. After the dinner, around 80 people enjoyed the screening of "Betting the Farm" and the question and answer session with co-director Jason Mann. If you don’t know about the MOO milk story portrayed in this film, do look it up online as it’s a captivating Maine story.

Speaking of stories, I hope to have more information to pass along next week on the new special education director hired this week at the school to replace Lew Collins, the previous special education director.

Business around town

Even though there are less folks around this time of year, and some businesses are closing down for the season, there are others that are just revving up. Ebb Tide Massage and Bodywork is now in operation, and it appears that Zumba fitness is coming in November to the island. To help support the economic vitality of the island, the chamber of commerce plans to create a kiosk at the ferry terminal thanks to a grant awarded by the Maine Community Foundation.

What folks are talking about

As I write this, folks are talking about Halloween. People are discussing the Poor Farm Haunted House (with transportation from downtown), and the annual Halloween Ghosts & Ghoulies Parade, sponsored by the Gawker, complete with refreshments after the parade. People are also predicting who will be wearing the funniest/scariest/craziest/cutest/best costume out trick-or-treating and discussing the Main Street businesses that will be open during the witching hours. That said, I’ll have updates on how that all worked out in next week’s column as the turnaround time of writing, printing and delivering papers does involve a little time. Though it’s November as you read this, it’s only barely so.

With November rolling around, there is a lot of information cropping up now about shopping opportunities and how to help others during the upcoming holiday season. If you’d like a simple way to make an impact, come out to the Fuel Fund spaghetti dinner at the Union Church on Monday, Nov. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.. From the Jingle Bells Fund to Operation Christmas Child, there are many ways to contribute to the happiness of others. So enjoy your preparations for the festivities of November and December, and check back here over the upcoming weeks to find out more how the community is celebrating and working together for the common good.

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.

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