Around Town

Photo of the Week

Supermoon rising over Charlotte. By Lee Krohn.

Congratulations to Jim Hyde who was nominated as one of ten finalists for “Mentor of the Year” through the Comcast/Mobius student mentoring program. Jim mentors two students through  Connecting Youth (CY) at CCS and CVU. Wendy Bratt, CY mentoring coordinator at Charlotte Central, nominated him for the award. She says “he is a mentor who any coordinator would love to have” and that he “goes the extra mile in all that he does.” Jim began four years ago in CY and moved with his first mentee up to CVU High School while taking on a second at CCS.

Coordinators of the programs nominated all Mentor-of-the-Year candidates. Wendy noticed his interest and desire to remain in education, which led her to Jim’s nomination. The award is part of Mobius’ celebration of January as Annual Mentoring Month.

Speaking as a person who has been involved in education much of his working life – Jim taught medical students and retired from Tufts Medical School faculty before moving to Charlotte five years ago – he saw the mentoring program as an opportunity to continue working with students in an interesting and different way than he had previously. He also did not want to retire completely. Fortunately, the CCS program was looking for a community person to contribute several hours a week.

Jim grew to enjoy the nature of the program. Although it still focuses on learning, much of it occurs outside a classroom setting: hands-on, material building that uses atypical items from which to learn. For him this requires developing ways to teach and learn that do not fall into the standard school setting.

Congratulations to Whit Smith, attorney with Mickenberg, Dunn, Lachs and Smith, who  was awarded the “Help is Here Award” for 2017 by the Howard Center. The annual award recognizes individuals “whose contributions personify Howard Center’s mission.” Whit received the honor for his significant legal support of organizations that serve people with disabilities and their families – particularly those with limited resources. Howard Center CEO Bob Bick said that not only has Whit provided legal guidance, but he has also served as “a moral compass of honor and compassion.” Smith received the award last November during the Howard Center’s annual meeting in the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at the Shelburne Museum.

Congratulations to Kathleen McKinley Harris, a Charlotte poet who has published through Finishing Line Press a book of her works titled Earth Striders. Most of the poems are set in Vermont and center on horses. Their pastoral settings are reminiscent of Robert Frost and come from Kathleen’s youth, so much of the vernacular arises from yesterday’s farm life. Kathleen is a Middlebury College graduate with a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. Her poem “Bear Fear” won the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. Literary Award in 1999, and her children’s book The Wonderful Hay Tumble came out in 1988. Many of her pieces are set in Lamoille County, in or near Hyde Park and Stowe. Her interest in nature may have a genetic basis with her father being a hiker and skier, her mother, a birder, and her grandfather, an orchardist.

Congratulations to Charlotte artist Elizabeth Bunsen whose work was featured in the December 20 issue of Seven Days in an article titled “Thinking Pink.” She makes books that are less texts than they are pieces of art. Elizabeth makes her small tomes from textiles, and they are collages of various artistic mediums. She is quoted as saying that her pink exhibit originated from memories going as far back as when she was eight years old. “Pink,” she says, “is all about compassion and self-love and tenderness.” She says it is a complicated color.

Congratulations to Andrew Gay and Daphne Plante, Champlain College students from Charlotte who earned placement on the college’s Dean’s List for the fall 2017 semester. In order to earn the honor, they had to achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester.

Congratulations to the following Rice Memorial High School students from Charlotte who earned placement on the First Quarter Honor Roll:

First Honors: Alexa Pughe, Cooper Harvey, Hadley Murphy, Moira Brown.
Second Honors: Andrew Slauterbeck, Elizabeth Breen, Grace Slauterbeck, Hana Couture, Mahntra Hennessey, Santiago Vazquez, Walter Biggs.
Honorable Mention: John Merrill

Congratulations to our former down-the-street neighbor Greg Pierce, now a New York-based playwright who has a new play opening January 30 at the Tony Kiser Second Stage Theater in the city. It is titled Cardinal and stars Anna Chlumsky, Adam Pally, Becky Ann Baker and Stephen Park. It is about a woman who returns to her rust-belt hometown with plans for urban renewal and restorations. 

Congratulations to another theater troop, this one the Vermont Stage Company and its production of Bolton playwright Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. The play ran to critical acclaim in New York, winning the Tony Award for the Best Musical, and the cast included 11-year-old Charlotte actor Oscar Williams who played one of the author’s younger brothers in this autobiographical play. Oscar eventually outgrew the part, but in the Vermont Stage production his brother Rowan has stepped in. The Burlington Free Press selected Fun Home as one of the top art events of 2017 in its December 28 issue.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of  Dick Weed of Charlotte who passed away December 17 at the age of 80. Originally from Connecticut, Dick and his wife, Joan, moved to Charlotte in 1996. He was active in the Congregational Church, first in Middlebury and later in Charlotte, and also in the Charlotte Senior Center. Dick was always a lover of music, and in respect of that love the combined choirs of the Charlotte and Middlebury congregations sang at his funeral service here. The family asks that those wishing to make donations in his memory consider giving to COTS, 94 North Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401 or to the Music Fund of the Charlotte Congregational Church, 403 Church Hill Road, Charlotte 05445.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of C. Edward Porter of Burlington who passed away December 10 at the age of 89. The Porter family lived in Charlotte for a number of years as Howard’s father operated Porter Fuels out of their home on Route 7. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be considered for the Faith United Methodist Church, 899 Dorset Street. South Burlington, VT 05403.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Donald T. Haman of Burlington who passed away December 23 at the age of 90. His surviving family includes his daughter Eileen Curtis and Eileen’s husband, Ray, of Charlotte. The family asks that those wishing to make memorial donations consider doing so to the Converse Home Staff Education Fund or to the Alzheimer’s Association. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Charlotte on January 13.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Anne (Drye) Hurlburt of Shelburne who passed away December 16 at the age of 86. Her family summered for many years on Thompson’s Point in Charlotte. Anne developed a love for tennis and competed at a high level, ranking fifth nationally and winning the Vermont State Championship in 1951 and 1952. She and her family moved to Charlotte in 1982. Her first husband, Ted Paul, died in 1984, and she went into business with Dick Hurlburt, whom she married, and they continued to live in Charlotte. The family asks that those wishing to recognize her life through donations to a charity consider giving to a Humane Society of their choice.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Jason Wark, DDS, a longtime resident of Charlotte, who passed away December 17 in Florida. An orthodontist, Dr. Wark was recognized particularly for his innovative treatment of children with orthodontic issues. He was an active member and a past president of the Charlotte/Shelburne Rotary. His wife Donna remains living in Charlotte.  In recognition of Jason’s passion for literature, the family asks that those wishing to donate do so to the Charlotte Library, P.O. Box 120, Charlotte 05445.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Huntington (Skip) Sheldon, M.D. of Shelburne who passed away December 29 at the age of 86. A pathologist, he was a pioneer in the study of electron microscopy in Sweden. He returned to his alma mater, McGill University and stayed there as professor and researcher for 25 years. An avid skier, he helped coach the Canadian Olympic teams in the 1976 and 1980 games. He moved to Shelburne in 1985 and shortly thereafter helped form the Charlotte Land Trust. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Land Trust in Charlotte.