By the way for Jan. 30

Soon the spring will bring bare Middlebury sidewalks — all the better to view a poem that will be permanently etched into the sidewalk at the bottom of the front steps leading into the Ilsley Library. The poem, written by Ted Scheu, is the first winner of a “Word on the Street” contest spearheaded by the Middlebury UndergrounD group. David Hohenschau was key coordinator of a competition that led to the selection of Scheu’s poem, titled “My Place to Fly.” If your poem didn’t make the cut this first time, there will be more opportunities. Other poems will adorn Middlebury’s sidewalk-scape. Contest criteria can be found at Send your poem to  [email protected], and you’ll receive a reply with the new contest information. The Independent will have a more detailed update on “Word on the Street” in it’s Monday, Feb. 3, edition.
The first legislative breakfast of the season is slated for Monday, Feb. 3, at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church Parish Hall at 85 South Maple St. in Vergennes. The breakfasts begin at 7 a.m.; the program — which features area lawmakers providing updates on goings-on at the Vermont Statehouse — begins at 7:30 a.m. and goes until 8:45 a.m. There’s no fee to attend, but the Bridport Grange No. 303 is sponsoring the weekly events and would appreciate donations to help defray the costs.
If you represent a nonprofit organization serving Middlebury residents, Middlebury Rotary Club wants to hear from you.  The club, dedicated to service above self, donates approximately $50,000 annually to deserving causes. The group is accepting applications through Feb. 14 for donations to be made this year. Visit and click on “request help from Rotary.” There you’ll find a simple grant application and resources in case you need help.
Do you think you have some trash that might be treasure? The Ilsley Public Library has a free event  on Saturday, Feb. 8, that will help you answer that question. It’s called “Junk in the Trunk,” and will feature appraisers Brian Bittner, Lori Scotnicki and Greg Hamilton who will provide verbal estimates on the value of your items. Toys, furniture, art, glass, jewelry, china, books, military items, ephemera and more can be presented. There is a limit of four items per person. For more information, call Renee @ 388-4095. The Junk in the Trunk program will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the library’s Community Meeting Room.
The Green Mountain Club Bread Loaf Section’s 45th Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society. And the featured speaker will be noted author and environmentalist Bill McKibben of Ripton. His talk, to begin at 7:30 p.m., is titled “The Climate Fight, A Report from the Front.” McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and his most recent book is “Falter, Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”  His talk is free and open to the public. Voluntary donations will benefit Green Mountain Club.

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