Around Town – May 14, 2020

By Chris Falk

Distinctive Landscaping won two awards in the Landscape Industry Awards Program. Miles Weston and Brian Pellerin won an Honor Award for their backyard design that they titled “Family Matters.” It is an open-air flag stone patio that looks over a backyard and family garden.

Charlie Proutt and Christian D’Andrea, also from Distinctive Landscaping, received a Merit Award for a house design they call “A New Approach.” It features an open upper deck that overlooks the surrounding natural habitat.

Church Hill Landscapes, Inc. received an Excellence Award for its “Fanny Allen Learning Garden,” designed by the company’s Graham MacHarg. It features an enclosed yet open-air garden with a patio, table and chairs looking on to it.

The following Charlotte students’ poems appeared in two editions of the Burlington Free Press in the “Young Writers” section: Lila Taylor’s poem titled “I miss the mundane” appeared on May 1. In it Lila talks about missing the things she used to take for granted, and there are many of them: from the sound of her alarm at 6:30 a.m. to feeling tired after a long day. She misses feeling at ease. But, ultimately, she misses feeling normal.

Annika Gruber and Ava Rohrbaugh had their poems appear on May 8. Annika talks about “Concrete Flowers,” flowers of the cityscape. They are rare in the city, she says. Yet, there are those that come from the urban nature—through cracks in the sidewalks, those that “dance in the breeze, just waiting to be noticed.” Ava asks readers to “Call me by my name.” In her poem she says there are many things people can call her—fast, keen, wise, sweet, brave, a friend. And yet, as she and others “journey down the trails no others would dare, please call me Ava.”

Ellen and Ryan McGinnis, of the University of Vermont, have developed PanicMechanic, a smartphone app that allows the user to measure the body’s physiological response to a panic attack. Ellen, an assistant professor at UVM’s Center for Children, Youth and Families, first learned about biofeedback while a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. She worked with Ryan, an associate professor of electrical and biomechanical engineering, to develop the app. With a finger positioned over the camera on a smartphone, a viewer can see blood flowing through the capillaries. A full story of the app appears in the May 6 Seven Days.

Ryan grew up in Charlotte, and he and Ellen are graduates of Champlain Valley Union High School. They currently live in Shelburne. While PanicMechanic costs $19.99 at Apple’s AppStore, beginning on May 6, the app will be free to all frontline workers. Another former Charlotter, James Hudziak, who is UVM’s director for children, youth and families, says he is “hopeful that advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and biomechanical engineering can help provide valuable clinical data and possibly aid in mental health treatment.”

Jay and Marcia Vogler’s Pizza on Earth was a featured eatery in the May 11 issue of the Burlington Free Press. It was the first in a series the paper will do on take-out restaurants that serve during the pandemic. Reviewer Brent Hallenbeck praised the pepperoni and caper pizza he ordered, saying it was a “satisfying but not over-filling meal.”