Around town

Kendall Frost and Brendan Keenan

Congratulations to Whitney and Eric Finley of Charlotte, owners of the Old Brick Store. Whitney gave birth to twins, Piper Elliot and Luella Rue, on February 22. Linda and Bruce Williamson of Charlotte are one set of proud grandparents.

Congratulations to Kendall Frost and Brendan Keenan on their recent engagement. Kendall is the daughter of Karen and Mike Frost of Charlotte; Brendan, the son of Lisa Keenan of Shelburne. Kendall works for the Intervale Food Hub in Burlington. Brendan is employed by Vermont Eco Floors in Charlotte. They plan to wed next summer.

Congratulations to Charlotte Central School 4th grader Deirdre Higgins who won the schoolwide Scripps Spelling Bee over 17 other students at CCS. The spellers ranged from grades 3 through 8. She will go on to compete in a regional spelling bee at St. Michael’s College on March 14.

Congratulations to former Charlotte News Assistant Editor, Geeda Searfoorce, who continued her sketch-comedy work with her group, Stealing from Work, in its new show, The Unbearable Whiteness of Being, that ran March 1 through 4 at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts in Burlington. The Burlington Free Press says it is a “topical foray into humor” that “takes on trends of the moment and bends and twists them into pretty much any comic form imaginable.” For those who missed it, the group will also perform March 30 at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of William (Bid) Spear, Jr.,  who passed away February 19 at the age of 87. Born on his family’s farm in Charlotte, he married another Charlotter, Helena Mack. The two raised their four children in their home at the base of Mount Philo. As a town resident, Bid served as chief of the Volunteer Fire Department and was Charlotte Fire Warden. He was also a member of the town’s Police Department and the Masonic Lodge, in addition to coaching Little League baseball. He and Helena owned and operated Uncle Sam’s Creemee Stand off Route 7 as well as Spear’s Garage next door, where he worked as a mechanic before taking it over from his father. His neighboring family includes his son William of Charlotte; son Jon and Jon’s wife, Karen, of Panton; daughter, Kimberley, and her husband, Gary Farnsworth; and son, Darcy, and Darcy’s wife, Terry, both families living in Bristol. Those wishing to make donations in Bid’s memory are encouraged to give to the Vermont Nurses Association, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446 or to the Addison County Humane Society, 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of  Caroline Wheelock Smith of Panton and Kennebunk, Maine, who passed away February 6, a month short of her 95th birthday.

When her husband, Bob, a physician, retired, they wintered in Florida and spent summers in Charlotte, eventually moving to Panton. The family asks those who wish to make donations in her memory consider doing so to the Good Neighbors Park in Cushing, Maine (c/o Cushing Town Hall, 39 Cross Road, Cushing, ME 04563) or to Lund, P.O. Box 4009, Burlington, VT 05406.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Richard O. Raymond of Monkton who passed away February 19 at the age of 86. As a young man, Dick worked with Lyman Wood in Charlotte as a caretaker and a designer of the first Garden Way cart that he and Lyman built in Sky Thurber’s barn, thus establishing Garden Way Co. He and Sky also started up the Garden Way Living Center in South Burlington, and he later worked for Country Home Products, designing the DR Trimmer. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont or to Project Independence Elderly Services, Inc., 112 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Allan G. Brown of Charlotte who passed away February 26 at the age of 83. He lived here with his late wife, Edna, and worked as an artist, carpenter and glazer. His surviving family includes his son Leland Brown of Charlotte.

Regional Bites

Wind and energy guru Blittersdorf will spread the focus of his energies
Seven Days on February 28 reported that the owner of AllEarth Renewables, Charlotter David Blittersdorf, will abandon the Kidder Hill wind turbine project in the Northeast Kingdom as well as discontinue more wind and solar projects in Vermont. Blittersdorf was one of the early renewable energy experts in the state, building NRG, Inc. into a major business. He now says that the price has gotten out of control, as both the cost of permitting and the length of the process have tripled. He agrees that while Vermont used to be a leader in renewable energy it is now falling behind. The article says he will not quit entirely but will “focus his energies elsewhere.”

V. J. Comai is greeted by Burlington Development Review Board
The recently appointed arborist for the City of Burlington, Charlotte’s V.J. Comai, has found himself in a debate over what should be done about tree diseases in City Hall Park, as reported in the February 26 Burlington Free Press. V.J. feels that too many trees in too little space has led to an “unhealthy sylvan habitat” and has “contributed to storm-water erosion.” The report says that a “two-and-a-half-hour Development Review Board meeting marked his first day at work.” After conducting a survey of the park’s trees, V.J. said he was “disheartened that so many of these trees are in serious decline.”