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Heard on the Street: 6.4.15

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Council Appoints Olson to Replace Guerlain 

MONTPELIER — City councilors appointed Jean Olson, a District 2 resident, to replace outgoing council member Thierry Guerlain at an executive session during their meeting May 27. Guerlain’s resignation became effective at the end of the meeting.

Guerlain announced his resignation at the end of April because he is moving to Florida.

Two candidates sought the opening: Olson and Ethan Parke. Each spoke to the council before the final decision was announced. Both have lived in Montpelier for many years. Those present at the meeting said they were excellent candidates, but that Jean’s experience better fitted the position. Olson has done many things, including coordinating the state E911 System, sitting on the board of trustees of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library as it underwent expansion, teaching and fundraising.

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Olson said she is interested in housing and economic development. “This is an exciting time for Montpelier. We have the momentum of a great deal of positive energy in town.”

Parke said he has a background working in advocating for affordable housing and conservation. “One of the things we have to get serious about is affordable housing. We have to think about where the people who work in the restaurants, or clean the state offices in the hotels or work at Shaw’s or the co-op. Where do those people live?” Parke said. He also said open spaces and parks are as important as housing.

Parke has worked as director of conservation assessment and analysis for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, as the director of the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program, as a land acquisition specialist, dairy farmer, and newspaper and radio reporter. He has also held municipal posts in Montpelier and in Irasburg as well as having sat on several boards.

Town Manager Bill Fraser said Olson will be sworn in at the next meeting and will be called on in the event of an emergency before the next meeting rather than Guerlain.

 

Quirky Pet Wins Award 

MONTPELIER — The Quirky Pet, a pet supply store on State Street, has been named Retailer of the Year by the magazine Pet Product International in its June 2015 issue. In an article about the store, Lizett Bond writes, “the community (of Montpelier) prides itself on its individualism. So it’s no wonder that The Quirky Pet, also known as the Emporium of Way Cool Pet Stuff, is Pet Product News International’s Retailer of the Year 2014-15.” Cindra Conison opened the store in 2011. “I am dog central,” Conison told Bond. “I have regulars who come in here all the time just to talk.

 

New Establishment to Replace The Black Door 

MONTPELIER — The Positive Pie company has applied for a liquor license for a new establishment that would be located at 44 Main St., formerly the Black Door. City Clerk John Odum announced the application during the City Council meeting May 13. According to an anonymous source, the plan is that it will house a “Latin fusion” restaurant.

 

New Wellness Center Open on State Street 

MONTPELIER — Wendy Halley recently opened a new business on State Street called Lucid Path Wellness. Last year, Halley purchased a cutting edge relaxation/energy medicine technology called the Life Vessel. She is happy that Montpelier is now home to the only Life Vessel center on the east coast. There are about 10 centers out west. For more information, go to www.lucidpathwellness.com.

 

One More Time Going Out of Business 

MONTPELIER — Consignment store owner Leslie Rabins plans on selling out her inventory and moving to San Francisco over the next few months.

“We are having a going out-of-business sale starting Monday (June 1) of up to 75 percent off. Some things are 75 off, but not everything,” Rabins told The Bridge by phone June 3. Rabins said one key reason for leaving, quite simply, is Vermont’s weather. “I am just tired of the winter. I want to move someplace warm,” Rabins said.

The business started out on Langdon Street in 1992, and she has been at her current location at 62 Main St. since 2008. Rabins said she likes selling used items because it is an act of reusing and recycling, which is good for the environment. Once she gets to California she plans on continuing to sell vintage stuff online. She will also pick up the paint brushes again, having studied art at Goddard in 1986 back when the band Phish also attended.

Meanwhile, Rabins does not have firm plans as to when she is closing, saying she will close “when everything is gone,” which she thinks will be before the end of summer.