Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help) March 29, 2023
Grange meeting: 4:30 to 5:00
As usual in odd-numbered months, we’ll have a brief Grange meeting before the Community Program. We’ll be looking at our financial situation as winter winds down, with a better idea of our heating fuel costs with our pellet furnace, and the actual costs for snowplowing mostly in hand.
At our last meeting, we voted to proceed with professional scraping and painting of the Grange Hall’s exterior this year, IF the grant application which Patty Giavara has submitted through the VT Preservation Trust is successful. We won’t hear about that decision until early May, but hope that the outside of our Hall will be much closer to the interior. We’ve made so many upgrades inside!
Also in the news–the October “State Session” of the VT State Grange will be taking place in Middlebury, the first time in my 25 year involvement in the Grange that it has moved from the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. Come to the meeting to hear more!
The Zoom link for this meeting is posted on the Grange website Calendar: http://capitalcitygrange.org/
Affordable Heat bill? What’s that about? Find out Saturday!
5:00 to 6:00 PM
Many of you probably have heard of S.5, the “Affordable Heat Act” bill, which was passed by the VT State Senate, and is now in the VT House Energy and Environment Committee. This proposed bill is a major attempt to change the market for heating fuels for Vermont buildings. Fossil fuels provide about three quarters of the energy to heat Vermont buildings, and they are costly; their prices are volatile; and they are polluting. The Affordable Heat Act is designed to harness the power of the market and the ingenuity of Vermonters at fuel providers to reduce dependency on these fossil fuels. On Saturday afternoon, starting at 5:00, we’ll hear from different sides of the debate over this bill: Washington District State senator Anne Watson is a sponsor of the bill, and John Brabant, from Vermonters for a Clean Environment will support an opposing view. It should be an interesting discussion! The bill has received quite a bit of publicity as a major piece of legislation that will affect Vermont homeowners, businesses, the Vermont economy and the environment.
At 6:00, the discussion can continue over a tasty potluck dinner–see below for details.
I don’t have room to summarize all that is contained in this bill, which was largely re-written during the committee and full-chamber debates in the Senate. In the end, it was passed out of that body with a strong majority. You can read the text and see the legislative history on the Bill Status page on Vermont.gov, and can easily find strong opinions both pro and con by searching “Affordable Heat Act”.
Join us on Saturday to learn more about this major piece of legislation, and hear various views–and to ask questions of the speakers, as usual. You can come in person, or join us via Zoom. The Zoom link is posted on the Grange Calendar listing for the program. As usual, it will be separate from the Zoom link for the Grange meeting itself.
After the Program, it’s Potluck Time!
From 6:00 to about 7:30, join us in the Lower Level for a social dinner. The Lower Level is now accessible for everyone, thanks to completion of the lift, which allows anyone who has difficulty with stairs to get a ride down and up. This goes for anyone using a wheelchair, a walker or just having problems with stairs.
As usual, we expect a great spread of interesting dishes! We welcome everyone who comes–bring something special you cooked up that you like to share, or something tasty you picked up on the way to the Grange Hall! Dishes can be heated up in the Grange kitchen on our two gas ranges, or kept cold in the refrigerator until dinner time.
Below is a picture from a previous Grange Potluck happening downstairs; you can see a diversity of dishes and a happy crowd of eaters!
Closing in On Completing Our Big Project
Since my last report, about the Lift Celebration, work has continued–and there’s still more to do. I’ve been helping Stan on the table-storage closet, and have finally (as of Tuesday 3/29–see photos below) completed that. Stan is working on the extensions of the railings on the original entrance porch, which the Fire Marshall requires to be 42″ high; we will be using metal pipe railings for that. He will also be installing a pair of doors for the new closet on the stage for the Church of Christ’s paraphernalia–this replaces the closet that had to be removed for the lift construction.
With the table closet done, I will be installing the rest of the panic-bar hardware, and the door closers for the new fire-doors, plus helping with other details.
We still have a good bit of painting/finishing left to do–see the article titled “HELP” below for more info–because we really do need some volunteers to help us complete the cosmetic improvements that will really make our Grange Hall’s new surfaces look good.
Charles Martin–feeling better, and appreciating the cards!
Charles is not expecting to make it to the Grange Meeting/program/potluck on Saturday–but will in the future. And he especially asked me to pass on his thanks for the “get-well” cards he received from several people. Please keep in touch with him–he’d love to get more. Send them to:
639 Minister Brook Rd.
Worcester, VT 05682
As described above, we have a good bit of painting to be done still, to make sure that the construction project results in fully-finished surfaces that really make the interior of our Grange Hall look better.
Thus far, the painter for this entire project has been…me. I did get several hours of help from Jeremy Coppock, doing some priming on sheetrock and the closet interior. The rest has all been my own volunteer time. Combined with helping out on construction work, hardware, etc. means that I have put in several hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week on the project over the past six weeks. This has kept me from doing a lot of other things in my life. I’m going to play the “Age Card” by pointing out that I am 72 years old, something not everyone realizes looking at me. I can vouch for the fact that I don’t have the same energy level and stamina I used to have. I’ve missed a lot of outdoor recreation in the winter–and I want to be able to get outside in the spring weather that is (gradually) moving in. There’s also more Grange work I’d like to do, including improving publicity for Grange events, working on improving our Hall for the long term, and making it easier to care for and manage. We need to do some planning for our future. I’d really like to work with others on all these projects–but I can’t if I’m going to be the only one painting the foyers, the door trim, the new foyer wall, etc.
I am happy to set up people for painting–we provide brushes, rollers, paint-brush spinner for cleaning them, drop cloths and paint. If you have some experience painting and some old clothes to paint in, contact me, Tim at: 802-225-8921, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and set up a time.
For the longer term, I want to point out that I got elected to be President of this Grange in 2006, so by the next Grange Officers’ Election in September 2024, I’ll have been filling this office for 18 years. I think it’s time for some new blood, though I still want to be involved at some level. I know you are a Grange Notes subscriber, and you’ve read this far, so I think you’re interested in our Grange and our Hall, and its future. I’d love to work with you on what that future looks like, and how you can be an active part of it. Get in touch!
Door prizes? Or…prize doors!
If these doors look familiar, there’s a good reason. These are the original double-doors we’ve recently replaced. Made from plywood panels with applied wooden frames. We also have the original jambs and door closers, ready to use. The doors are big–36″ wide by about 82″ tall.
Available for a donation to the Grange! We’d hate to throw these out, and would love to have them go to a home connected to the Grange.
But wait, there’s more! See the picture below for the former door and jamb which used to be the entry to the ADA bathroom, which we also had to replace with a fire-rated door and jamb. Complete with hinges, with a privacy doorknob and latch, this is a solid-core door, good for acoustic privacy. Also available for a donation!
Interested in either of these great deals? Contact the usual Tim at email@example.com or 802-225-8921. We’ll help you load them onto your roof-rack or truck.