The news from Vinalhaven

By Susan Raven | Jan 10, 2013
Photo by: Susan Raven It's finally looking like a Maine winter on Vinalhaven.


Everyone seems to have survived the big winter storms that hit us over the holiday break, and the whine of snowmobiles and roar of four wheelers has been the new soundtrack of our days in this neighborhood. Though we’ve seen some shoveling, sledding and folks out walking, temperatures in the teens and single digits are definitely keeping folks indoors. If you want to see a group of people who don’t care about the temperature the same way adults do, watch the kids at recess climbing their snow mountains and tumbling down the other side, grinning ear to ear despite the chill.

School events

The school is pleased to welcome a new staff member to the ranks in the theater, as Lisa Morelos who taught earlier this year resigned. Partners in Island Education financially supports the position, which entails working part-time as PIE’s programs coordinator and part-time as the Drama director for the school. Hillary Martin will be working hard to fill those positions. She hails from Addison, up in Washington County, which, though not an island, is small, coastal, remote and has many fishermen and others whose livelihood is tied to natural resources. In talking with Ms. Martin, she sounds excited to work with our students, meet the community, and put our beautiful facility to good use. She brings to Vinalhaven a wealth of drama experience, including lighting, directing, managing, acting and even writing. Do try to say hello and introduce yourself if you see her around town or at a production at the school.

Business around town

Things are quiet downtown in the aftermath of holiday shopping. There aren’t many new flyers up about events, and it’s too soon to talk about fundraisers again at least for a couple weeks. Our local paper, the Wind, hasn’t been published, or hasn’t “blown” as folks like to say, for two weeks now and all the stores are down to their minimum amount of open hours for winter with a few closed up all together. Some places stay open year round though, and thank goodness for that as it keeps people coming into town and interacting more than just a post office would do. It makes you think of how different it must feel on some of the year-round islands and small Maine towns that don’t have a main street with open businesses in the winter.

Municipal news

Our house in the village is positioned such that a popular paved road runs in front and an old-style dirt road runs around behind, giving us perspective on how the town crew’s job is cut out for them come winter. In driving the North Haven Road this week I really appreciated the town crew’s good work in plowing and sanding and I’m sure many others appreciate their work during these past couple storms. The surroundings now look like the Maine winters of my youth and though I’m no fan of the cold or the extra layers of clothing, it sure is pretty, especially in the early morning hours and around dusk.

What folks are talking about

Speaking of picturesque moments, if you were an observer at this year’s 3rd Annual Penobscot Bay Polar Dip at State Beach to benefit the Vinalhaven Public Library, I’m sure it was a moment worth remembering. I wish I’d been there, but I’ve been told that the seven brave dippers had smiles on their faces, and that 75 onlookers came to support the event. It was held on New Year’s Day at high tide in the early afternoon. It’s no small feat that so many people turned out in 28 degrees in a stiff wind, and that anyone was willing to go for a dip. To make things more fun, two dippers even donned pizza costumes (because everyone loves the Pizza Pit)! Started three years ago by Anna Lazaro, Vinalhaven’s Polar Dip is a fun way to raise money for the library each year, with more than $500 raised this time. So if you haven’t completed that New Year’s resolution list, you could add next year’s polar dip to your list, have some fun, and help out the library.

So in closing, good luck on those resolutions, or on the resolution not to have resolutions, and I hope 2013 is off to a good start. 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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