Second forum on race identifies solutions

The second community meeting on race went quite well last Wednesday. Most of the original participants were there. MIDI, the first and most active group to form after the racial events of the summer, was there. We began by splitting up into two groups. These groups discussed the topics identified in the last meeting. This list should be published by several groups soon.

The small groups came up with more concrete suggestions. One group discussed hiring a full-time person of color to be accountable for race relations in the schools. Both groups discussed choosing more diversity in all curriculum. This would provide teachers discuss issues more frequently in a more normal, confrontational way.

The final group discussion quickly concentrated on communication groups doing the work. The focus was on why so few showed up. We looked at how the meeting was advertised. We talked about how to make this a community wide movement. We identified two groups, MIDI and the School District Equity Committee, that have already been formed to specifically face this issue. The participation of the town manager and the interim police chief indicated that we can expect their support. All these groups will have to work together to get people to the meetings.

Finally, and most importantly, we need to enlist groups, both inside and outside the schools. Students can design logos and posters and publish them with support of businesses. Businesses can help students learn about advertising. Churches and faith groups can speak to their people about this and how it affects the community that they serve. When the next forum is announced in January, I hope that we can see people from all these groups in the room. Even better, I hope we need more rooms.

Greg Burbo

Milton could use a pool

I am interested in knowing how many other citizens of Milton would like to see a municipal pool here in Milton. With the recent news of the town improvement plans, I am curious as to why there has not been any further discussion about a community pool.

The main concern is of course always to not raise property taxes, and there are many grants that could help with both the installation of the pool as well as its maintenance. I strongly believe that a place for our youth to go during the summer for swim lessons, recreation, in conjunction with recreation camps through the rec department, would benefit Milton in so many ways. It would create summer jobs whereby our youth work toward becoming lifeguards, assistant camp counselors, forming swim teams and so on.

The town purchased the Bombardier farm, and the corner lot of this property would be an excellent location for a pool. Milton has worked hard to make many improvements to Bombardier Park over the years as outlined accordingly in the “20-Year Master Recreation Plan: 2007-2027” for Milton. In this report from back in 2006, it appears that citizens were stating a need for a teen center, more youth-focused programs in the summer, a municipal pool, as well as an indoor sports facility. Perhaps another community survey would be beneficial?

I personally worked for the State of Vermont for 10 years and am very familiar with grant writing and would be more than willing to volunteer my time to help with this process. Much grant money goes unclaimed each year. Not only this, but if we were to work as a community to do this, really think of the overall benefits. We are challenged with significant behavioral issues in our public school systems. Although a pool and summer recreation/camps won’t solve all of our issues, our children need somewhere to go and something to do in the summer! Our youth of today really are our future leaders of tomorrow.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing other people’s opinions.

Sheila Beaulieu

Thanks to local support for Christmas Bazaar Success

The Ladies of St. Ann once again extend their appreciation for the generous contributions of both local businesses and parishioners who donate items, talent and time, without which we wouldn’t have the success we do. Please help us in showing our appreciation by patronizing the following local businesses:

Dwight’s Auto Repair & Service, Cyr Lumber, Kenneth R Adams Inc., Minor Funeral & Cremation Center, Barsalow Insurance Agency, Rene’s Beverage & Deli, Milton Auto Sales & Service, Milton Beverage, Milton Ace Hardware, Don Turner Jr., Mansfield Heliflight, Frey Family Deli & Convenience, Erica’s American Diner, Rowley Fuels, Subway, Kinney Drugs, Advance Auto Parts, Madeleine’s Bakery, Revelations Hair Salon, Milton Diner, Rick’s Grill, Avalon Pools & Spas, L.D. Oliver Seed Company, Hannaford, SNAP Fitness, Milton Veterinary Hospital, Zachary’s Pizza-Milton, Sampler House B & B, Glass By Dee, Domino’s, TD Bank, People’s United Bank, Pillow Talk with Gloria Jean, Beaudoin’s Farmstand, VT Pillowscapes, Laura B’s, Crowning Touch, Shueh Ling’s Kitchen, Impre’s Nails & Spa, Harvesting Frog Gardens, Middle Road Market, Aubuchon Hardware, Essex Cinema, Phoenix Books, Local artist or woodcrafters: Elizabeth Couture, Cory Valyou, John Gifford, Lucille Barrette, Mary Ann Duffy Godin; parishioners and countless anonymous contributors for donations which greatly enhanced our raffles and various tables.

Thanks too, to all the Ladies (and gentlemen) of St. Ann who contributed to this year’s bazaar with endless hours of crafting, planning, wreath decorating, providing homemade bake goods and a variety of soups for our luncheon. Without your many talents we would not be able to offer the selections that we do every year. Special recognition to the St. Ann Confirmation Class who graciously served the luncheon. Extra thanks to those who helped afterward; it’s not over until it’s packed away for another year.

Of course a sincere thanks to all those that attend and support the bazaar. We’ll be watching for the wreaths all over town!

May the blessings of Christmas be upon you.

St. Ann Christmas Bazaar Committee