Around Town – May 16, 2019

The Town of Charlotte, VT

Congratulations to Alice Outwater (daughter of Alice senior, the late Charlotte News columnist) whose book Wild at Heart: America’s Turbulent Relationship With Nature, From Exploitation to Redemption (published by St. Martin’s Press) received strong reviews as a “beautifully written and ultimately hopeful history of our relationship with nature and the wilderness.” In it she describes clearly how far we as a people have come in protecting the environment and what we could lose if we fail to continue our progress. Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown, says that Outwater’s book, in addition to “being infectiously readable,” also “captures the essence of ecology.” Alice grew up in Charlotte and studied engineering at UVM, with graduate work at MIT. She consults on water quality and has lived on farms in Vermont, Hawaii and now Colorado.

James Murray

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of James Murray who died April 21 at the age of 63. Scots by birth, he, his wife, Kathy, and son Andrew moved to Charlotte from their previous home in Toronto in 1991. More recently Jim moved into the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester. He worked for AON Insurance Managers in Burlington for 27 years before retiring in 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Jim’s memory be made to the Vermont Food Bank or the UVM Cancer Center/Radiation Oncology.

Regional Bites
Charlotte brothers sell company to employees.
Brothers Jason and Shaun Patnaude, who grew up in Charlotte, have sold their mechanical and building automation contracting company to its employees, who are located in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. The company is now part of the Alliance Group of employee-owned companies, whose president is the older brother, Jason. Alliance is one of a number of companies that makes Vermont one of the most employee-owned-corporation states in the country. Pizzagalli Construction Company, another business with roots in this end of Chittenden County, was a leader in becoming employee owned.

Former CVU Principal handles a highly diverse student population
Seven Days of May 1–8 ran a lead article on former CVU principal Sean McMannon, who left Redhawk Nation six years ago to become superintendent of schools in Winooski and who has led the state’s most diverse district in a fashion that acknowledges that diversity and works with it rather than against it. Over half of Winooski’s 884 students are black, Asian, Hispanic or multiracial, and 40 percent began their lives speaking a language other than English. Small-town Winooski is the only district in an otherwise white-dominated Vermont that has a majority of minority students. For Sean, this is not unusual. He was a Peace Corps teacher in Botswana following college graduation, and after graduate school and a stint skiing the western slopes of this country, Sean and his wife headed to Alaska where he taught math, Spanish and special education to a student population that was 85 percent indigenous peoples. Sean began at CVU as a teacher and moved to principal in 2005, a position he held for eight years. He said that he “loved CVU, and it’s a great school,” but the opportunity in Winooski was not one he could turn down. In recognition of the population diversity he has “newcomer” classrooms for recent immigrants, and he has doubled the number of home-school liaisons who work with immigrant families in their native languages.

Dan Kiley exhibition opened in Middlebury
May 14 marked the opening of an exhibition of works by world-renowned and Charlotte-based landscape architect, Dan Kiley, as a traveling exhibition of photographs showing his designs worldwide opened at Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum two days ago. Kiley’s employee and later on his partner, Peter Kerr Walker, still resides in Charlotte. By the time Kiley closed his East Farm office here, where he had lived and worked for 50 years, he had generated 1,300 projects, most built but a few left in design phase only. He could well be considered the “premiere landscape architect” of all time. A description of the touring exhibition appears in the May 1 Seven Days.