Grange Notes for October 18, 2015 by Tim Swartz
Scary thing #1: Halloween comes back to the CDU dance
Grange members and friends who are part of the contra dance community may remember 5th Saturday dances in October of the past, when the Hall is inhabited/haunted/decorated with strange-looking people in costumes. The dance calendar has not produced this date for a few years…but now it’s BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!
On Saturday the 31st, Luke Donforth will call, and Maivish will play, and Merry and I will undertake the difficult task of picking winners of prizes for the most interesting, or most elaborate, or most scary, or most original….or whatever seems appropriate. One year we gave a prize for best use of cardboard.
Come enjoy the fun, 8:00 to 11:00 as usual!
Scary thing #2: Advice for our Parking Lot Landscape Feature, A.K.A “the gully”
On Friday, Oct. 16th I met with a stormwater specialist from the VT Agency of Natural Resources, Ryan McCall, to get a free consultation on our newly enlarged hole. He was very positive, seeing ways that we can deal with the problem–but also made it clear that we will have to plan a comprehensive solution. Ryan pointed out how all the water running over the parking lot collects in one stream, since our parking lot is basically bowl-shaped. Because the edge of the parking lot drops off sharply on all sides, erosion of a gully like the one we have developed this summer is inevitable–there is no easy way to spread out the out-flow. He strongly recommends that we work with a contractor to design a permanent solution to the problem.
He believes that this will involve building a catch-basin to which the water will flow; that should lead to a culvert which will take the water down to the lower level of our property beyond the south side of the parking lot. There, it will need to go into a basin to dissipate the energy of the falling water–otherwise, we will just shift the erosion down there.
For the short-term solution, we’ll be looking at filling the gully with a mixture of large-to-small rocks, which will need to be done to resist immediate washing-out–but it will need to not make the permanent solution more difficult. We’ll need to do the filling before we get a snow-plow stuck in the hole this winter….We have an excavation/grading contractor to talk to, who re-graded our driveway and dug the holes for the sign foundation last fall, and did a good job.
Ideas and expertise welcome–contact me.
Contributions of money also welcome–contact the FCCGH via the “donate” link on most pages of our website: www.capitalcitygrange.org/
Grange kitchen gets TLC…and hoeing out!
The volunteer crew included stalwart volunteers who have been part of many photos I’ve taken of Grange work crews: Merry Shernock, who organized the project, Alison Forrest, Elizabeth Templeton, Marisa Keller, Patty Giavara, Jody Pettersen and me–and also our Master of the VT State Grange, Brenda Rousselle, who has been a friend of the CCG for a long time. Everyone worked hard!
The “get it out of here” pile will stay in place on one of the cafeteria tables until November 9th, when it will be taken to recycling or the trash. Take a look when you are at the Grange Hall, and take home a useful item–or a souvenir! We’d be happy for these items to get a new home. The table includes ceramic dishes with chips, hundreds of bingo cards, a variety of out-dated kitchen tools, and much more. Check it out!
The volunteers also did a lot of re-organization of the items in the various drawers and cupboards, and planned for even better labeling. The goal that kept being discussed is “how can someone who was never here before find….” and that led to items being moved to better places, with associated tools and supplies.
My contribution was implementing Merry’s idea to have a work-counter behind the peninsula sinks, where a pre-rinse plastic tub now has a place, and there is room for a “busing tray” to be set down–without walking into the busy work space in the center! Supplies for “set-up” for a meal are now centralized in that area too–table cloths, table covers, and more.
There is much more that could be done to improve the kitchen, its functionality, cleanability and comfort. It’s going to be a while before we can afford a real renovation–see the article above about the gully in the parking lot, for example! But even without a major project, more TLC will make it a nicer, better organized work-place. A couple of volunteers who could not make it to the Sunday work-day have signed up already to rebuild the bottom of one of the sink cabinets (John Mallery), and to paint the walls to harmonize the colors (Cynthia Haviland, continuing the excellent work she has started on the south end of the kitchen, plus the cafeteria wall). Merry has started a Kitchen Binder with suggestions and instructions on best ways to make a meal, or set up a dinner, and then clean up afterward, for which she is soliciting input. You can always contact her at her Grange Rental Agent email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. What else can you do to improve our Grange Community Hall?