The Village Board of Trustees has a vacancy and is inviting candidates to apply for an interim appointment. The appointment will be made in time for the board meeting Aug. 13; the person selected will serve until village elections next March. The board meets on the second Monday of every month and holds occasional special meetings.

To apply, send a one-page letter of interest to village manager Meredith Birkett, outlining your interest and experience and why you feel you’d be a good trustee. Email it to vojmanager@townofjohnson.com or mail to P.O. Box 603, Johnson, VT 05656 by the end of the day on Monday, July 2. At the trustees meeting July 9, candidates can speak for up to five minutes about their interest, starting at 6:30. 

Many village residents agree with Jon Gregg’s Front Porch Forum post, noting that in the most recent village election, the two losing candidates received nearly as many votes as the winning candidates. “As this indicates that many village voters wanted either of these two candidates as a trustee ... it is to be hoped that the current trustees will accede to the demonstrated wishes of the village voters who already favor these candidates and choose one of them, rather than a different candidate chosen without the input of the voters.”

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Recently, there has been a lot of talk about economic development and branding. There may be no better branding tool than a sense of place. “Place” identifies the special cultural, historic and environmental things about a location that give it identity and, in turn, create a sense of belonging and uniqueness.

So when you discover that the Johnson Historical Society is considering having a newsletter, your heart may just go pitter-pat if place is a theory that interests you. Under discussion are “what is it” pictures for folks to identify and news as to what the Historical Society has going on that volunteers may help with.

Similarly, the village trustees are talking about a quarterly newsletter about village goings-on that will keep people informed. There’s nothing like a tightly knit community to help establish a sense of place, wouldn’t you say?

The Historical Society’s next program, “Remember When,” will feature speakers Laura Lew (Jones) Towns, Janet (Dubray) Sheltra and Amy (Despault) Thompson, who will tell tales of Johnson’s past. It’s on June 24th at 2 p.m. at the Holcomb House. The museum will be open for its regular hours from 1 to 4 p.m., so arrive early for a fascinating look around one of Johnson’s best claims to “place.”

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Discussion is underway at the town library about renovating the youth services room. Bids may be sought on flooring, painting and carpentry work. One decision has already been made: A new desk is needed to better accommodate the librarians.

The library’s new kids coordinator, Kristen McDowell, has hit the ground running with a great idea: a new Teen Board. The summer reading program will take place as usual.

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Many thanks go to Selectman Nat Kinney for his weekly updates on Front Porch Forum regarding the Route 100C bridge project. It’s a great help to have a sense of the light at the end of the tunnel by knowing that bridge-building is moving along.

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Fish and Wildlife reminds us that grassland birds such as bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks, both in decline because of habitat loss, are at risk due to early mowing of fields.

Along with other grassland birds, turkey chicks, fawns and other species, they nest in the grass and chicks are killed when the fields are mowed. Landowners are asked to cut fields after Aug. 1 to give birds a chance to fledge and maintain the land simultaneously.

Farmers who cut hayfields can join the Bobolink Project, which uses donated money to pay farmers to modify their mowing schedules to accommodate birds. (Is that a win-win or what?) The project partners with UVM, Massachusetts Audubon and others, and protected 961 acres of grassland habitat last year.

Want to learn more about ways to save one of the cutest birds going? Go to bobolinkproject.com or for landowner management assistance, check out vtfishandwildlife.com.

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Remember: Tuesday Night Live starts on July 11! There’s pie in our futures!

— Sue Lovering, 635-8315

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