Blog :: 2012

The Winter Solstice Is Upon Us

Winter SolsticeThe Winter Solstice is upon us. This is the time of year that is represented by the shortest day (and the longest night) of the year when the sun is at its lowest point in the southern sky. It also represents the first day of winter. Many cultures dating back thousands of years have celebrated the winter solstice as having a spiritual significance.

For many in the northern latitudes it is a time that because of the short days/long nights and cold weather, people are drawn inward and life in general slows down. We here in northern Vermont celebrate by taking advantage of the winter weather by playing in the ice and snow while skiing, skating, snowshoeing, etc.

Even though many people look at this point in the year as a time when the hours of darkness are at their greatest, some choose to look at it as the time when the days beginning to grow longer marking the steady march toward springtime. But this is no time to rush winter, we have only just begun to enjoy it.

So, embrace winter and "Happy Winter Solstice"!


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Vermont Is The Healthiest State In the US Once Again!

For the sixth straight year Vermont has been rated the healthiest state in the US by the United Health Foundation. Among the reasons given for ranking Vermont #1 are its high rate of high school graduation, low rate of violent crime, low incidence of infectious disease, a low rate of uninsured population and ready availability of primary care physicians. Vermont also ranks higher in clean air and water.

It has also been noted that as Vermont implements the first Single-Payer healthcare system in the nation, its health ranking could rise even higher over the next decade.

What may be less measurable but must certainly play into Vermont's "healthy state" (no pun intended) is the increasing number of health/active/outdoor minded people that are choosing to move to Vermont every year for the healthy lifestyle it has to offer.

The opportunities for outdoor activities here alone are endless such as golfing, nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, skating, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, kayaking, canoeing or swimming just to name a few!

The environment here is also healthier and cleaner we have excellent schools and best of all it is a great, safe place to raise a family!

Plenty of Holiday Activities This Weekend

Plenty of Holiday Activities This WeekendThere are plenty of holiday activities this weekend in the Stowe area. A great way to start the weekend would be to attend the Tree Lighting in Hyde Park Village which begins at 7:00 pm.

"A Traditional Christmas In Stowe" begins Friday evening with the Children's Lantern Parade, caroling and tree lighting ceremony starting at 4:30 pm at the Stowe Elementary School. There will also be a Festival of Trees and Light, the Giving Tree and Member Show Friday evening at the Helen Day Art Center beginning at 5:00 pm which includes the opportunity for members of the community to donate outerwear, food and toys for our neighbors in need.  The celebration continues in Stowe on Saturday with the Alpine Christmas Market, a Christmas Cookie Making Contest, Candy Cane Making demonstrations, Christmas caroling and of course, a visit from Santa!

Also in Hyde Park Village Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the Lamoille County Players' production of  "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the historic Hyde Park Opera House on Main Street. The Lost Nation Theater's production of David Budbill's "Two For Christmas" will be playing Friday and Saturday at Hazen Union High School in Hardwick.

So, go to a play, take in a tree lighting or stay home and light your own tree (or do it all!) and get into the spirit. Happy Holidays!Plenty of Holiday Activities This Weekend

Thanksgiving In Vermont

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in Vermont. There is always lots to do and plenty to look forward to. Of course there will be the traditional thanksgiving dinner with lots of food, drink, football, friends and family. As well, there are also many things that are more typical to this part of the country and some that you can only do here in Vermont. For some it's a Thanksgiving day of skiing on Mt. Mansfield, for others it's an opportunity to go hunting in the woods. If the weather is nice, as it will be here in Vermont, it's an opportunity to split and stack firewood or go for a hike.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Thanksgiving, please remember to count your blessings and try to think of something that you can do for someone who is less fortunate in your community.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Morrisville Rotary Winter Coat Drive

The Morrisville Rotary winter coat drive is coming up. This is a great way to help families in need in who might not otherwise be able to afford proper winter outerwear for our cold climate. It is also a good opportunity to clean out your closet and not add to the local landfill needlessly.

Coats should be in relatively good condition and can be dropped off from November 24th to December 1st at Denoia's Dry Cleaners on Portland Street in Morrisville who will clean the coats free of charge.

The free coats can be picked up at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Brooklyn Street in Morrisville on 12/1 and 12/8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and on 12/2 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Thank you to Morrisville Rotary, Denoia's Dry Cleaners and Holy Cross for organizing and hosting this important annual event.


Lamoille County Is A Hotbed For Youth Soccer

Budding Lamoille County Youth Soccer Player. Jeff Beattie photo.

Lamoille County is a hotbed for youth soccer and here is the evidence. Since the turn of the century there has only been one year (2001) where there was not at least one Lamoille County high school soccer team in the state finals. And in all those remaining years, only one year when at least one Lamoille team did not win the state championship (in 2005 the P.A. girls lost 2-1 to Northfield).




  • This year the Stowe boys and P.A. (People's Academy in Morrisville) girls won the state championships
  • In 2011 the P.A. boys and girls won the states
  • In 2010 it was the Stowe girls
  • In 2009 the Stowe boys and P.A. girls both brought the trophy home
  • In 2008 the Stowe boys beat the P.A. boys for the title and the P.A. girls won as well
  • In 2007 it was Stowe over the P.A. boys
  • In 2006 the P.A. girls won it all
  • In 2004 and 2003 the Lamoille girls won the state championships
  • In 2002 the P.A. boy beat Stowe as well as winning it all in 2000

That adds up to 15 state championships out of 19 appearances for the three Lamoille County high schools and an "all Lamoille County" championship game in three  of the seasons all since 2000.

Why?  The answer is simple, Lamoille County's youth soccer programs are fantastic. These programs are well conceived and well run. They were founded by people that not only understand soccer, but also understand the importance of how to properly foster and develop soccer skills, good sportsmanship and a life long love of the game in young people.

Congratulations to this year's high school soccer state champions the Stowe boys and the People's Academy girls.



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      Halloween In Hyde Park

      Taken at the old Benson farm, Hyde Park, Vermont. Jeff Beattie photo taken 10/28/12

      It's Halloween in Hyde Park.  In Vermont, as with most rural areas, all the Trick or Treaters come down from the hills and do their Trick or Treating in the villages and Hyde Park is no exception.  My kids grew up running door to door in the village with their cousins and friends with parents following along. It is in every sense of the term a "Rockwellian" scene. Kids running about with shear excitement, the air is cold and the last vestiges of autumn leaves blowing in the  late October wind. Being a typical small town most adults know each other and it is a wonderful opportunity to socialize while strolling down village streets. We could never resist the temptation to take the kids on a quite through the village cemetery at the end of Main Street hiding behind the huge Maple trees.

      Now that my kids are grown I still look forward to Halloween in the village. We will go to my father's in the village and admire all the costumes while we hand out candy and wave from the door and shout a greeting to the "younger parents" out on the sidewalk.

      Tonight will be the perfect Halloween night here in Hyde Park. There's going to be a  full moon ducking in and out of the clouds and lots of happy Trick or Treaters.  Here's hoping that everyone has a safe and memorable Halloween!

      Baseball Season Is Over

      San Francisco Giants win the 2012 World SeriesWell it has happened again, baseball season is over. Congratulations to the San Fransisco Giants for sweeping the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series. I thought I would be rooting for the Tigers with the best pitcher in baseball (Justin Verlander) and the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years (Miguel Cabrera). But as I followed the Giants through the playoffs having to come back from down 0-2 games in the NLDS and back from down 1-3 games in the NLCS I really started to admire their grit. The Giants were full of "come back kids" from Former Cy Young winner Barry Zito who was left off their 2010 World Series roster to Pablo Sandoval a.k.a. "the Panda" (World Series MVP) who was benched during the 2010 World Series to Tim Lincecum their former two time Cy Young winner willing to come in from the bull pen. This team was full of characters and never say die competitors.

      I am a huge football fan, but there is nothing like the game of baseball, at any level. With all the intricacies, nuances and all the games inside the game, baseball is supremely entertaining. I grew up listening to the great Vin Scully calling Dodger games on the radio "back in the day" and learned so much from his rich descriptions of the games and the players. After moving to Vermont I began listening to Joe Castiglione calling red Sox games and have continued to enjoy all that the game has to offer.

      They say that NFL football is by far and away the most popular sport in America today especially among young males. Maybe because it appears to be more fast paced as compared to baseball in this instant gratification sound byte world we live in. Maybe because one has to be a little more of a student of the game to truly appreciate it. I don't know, what I do know is I can't wait for the inevitable news as winter melts away and the renewal of spring arrives that the pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training camp again and all will be right with the world once again.

      Waiting for Sandy

      Here in Vermont we are also waiting for Sandy. At the time of this post the winds have started to pick up with dust and leaves blowing down Main Street here in Stowe.

      We have been told to expect 40-50 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph and widespread power outages by tonight. Everyone is stocking up on fresh water and batteries and gassing up their generators (if they have them). Barely a year after Irene devastated Vermont, no one here is taking Sandy for granted. Everything that is not bolted down is being stored away and people near rivers and streams will have to remain vigilant.

      While there is something exciting about being able to witness the power of Mother Nature first hand we have to hope and pray for the safety of all.

      Lamoille County Land Sales Are Up

      Lamoille County land sales are up by more than double for the first nine months of 2012 as compared to the same period for 2011. The down side to the land market  is the over burdened inventory which at the current rate of sale would take close to six years to sell. With the majority of land sales occurring under $100,000 and the average list price of $130,000 it would appear that the general land market is over priced. As the unit sales activity increases sellers should have a better sense of value and the prices should start to come more in line with the market.




      The residential unit sales for the first nine months of this year remains level as compared to the same period over the last three years which is where it has been since the market hit bottom. Over half of the unit sales have been in the under $200,000 category with close to 905 occurring under $300,000.

      As always, proper pricing in a market like this is key and presents an opportunity for sellers who want to stand out when compared to their competition.

      If you would like more detailed market information please contact me at , call me at 802-371-7491 or visit my website at .


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