Monthly Archives: September 2008

Skunk’s head stuck? Here’s what you do…

Posted on Monday, September 8, 2008 by 1 comment

I love the stories that people share with their neighbors on Front Porch Forum.  Here’s one just in from an FPF subscriber…

Today, Monday September 8th, 2008, I witnessed an amazing act of heroism. I live on Claire Pointe Road in the New North End of Burlington. This morning I received a signal from my husband who had been walking our dog, when he pointed with a hurried walk I saw a skunk with a yogurt container stuck on its head. So stuck that this skunk could not see where it was going, just walking and bumping into the cement of the walkways that just jammed the container onto its head even more. When I left the condo and drove out of our garage, this skunk had made its way down the driveway. Still bumping the side cement walls and jamming the container even tighter onto its head. I had to stop and turn my car off because the skunk was coming so close to the car. At this time a wonderfully brave woman, a neighbor who’s name I do not know walked down the driveway, we both discussed for a second what to do and in a terrific fearless act she went quietly to the skunk and with amazing heroism (and if she is reading this now she will know what i mean ) and a bit of scary comedy she freed the skunk from it’s smothering , blinding jail. She did not get sprayed and the two of us ran like the wind once it was over. This woman, my neighbor is a hero. What bravery, I have always lived in a city, we do not know from skunks except picture in animal magazines. Brava to this wonderful woman who will forever have the most wonderful and odd story to tell!!!!

Blast from the past… or, Google never forgets

Posted on Monday, September 8, 2008 by No comments yet

A friend just showed me Google’s newspaper and book archives online… wow.  He searched my name and found some oldies I had nearly forgotten from 15-20 years ago…

  • An opinion piece I co-wrote for the New York Times based on my policy research.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times about my engineering work… “Michael Lewis could do for recycling what Henry Ford did for the automobile industry.” [Disclaimer… didn’t quite work out that way.]
  • A book I co-authored published by the U.S. EPA about innovative small businesses.

Y’know… I recall physically clipping those articles and mailing them to people in an envelope with a stamp.

Find needle in haystack? No problem…

Posted on Sunday, September 7, 2008 by No comments yet

Sometimes it’s the little stories that catch my attention on Front Porch Forum.  Like Shelly’s posting on her FPF neighborhood fourm three days ago…

Hello, Neighbors! My preschooler got off the schoolbus today missing a blue CROC shoe. He was sitting in the front seat and the driver thinks he kicked it off and it fell out somewhere in Huntington.

We know all about missing footwear, mittens, etc. in our house.  It’s the proverbial needle in the haystack search, I figured.  Well, Shelly just posted again today…

Thank you Neighbors and Thank you Front Porch Forum!  My son’s croc shoe was found and returned!

Now that’s what I call “local search!”  Let’s see Google do that.  😉

Feel Good Post of the Day

Posted on Saturday, September 6, 2008 by No comments yet

From Sarah on the FPF ONE East Neighborhood Forum this evening…

To our wonderful neighbors: thank you so much for all of your help in finding our lost cat, Calvin.  It was one of you readers who eventually found him for us (only a block away from our house!), and I am so appreciative to have him back safe and sound after he spent 5 nights on his own.  We received several emails/phone calls from people who had thought they’d seen him, and I have been absolutely blown away by this kindness and thoughtfulness.  When I was trying to decide where to go to graduate school, I knew that Burlington would be a special place, but I had no idea how amazing the people would be.  Thank you, Front Porch Forum. Thank you, sweet neighbors.  All the very best, Sarah, Drew, and Calvin

Graffiti Arrest Made

Posted on Saturday, September 6, 2008 by 1 comment

Posted by Officer Mike Hemond of the Burlington Police Dept. on Front Porch Forum tonight (Sept. 6, 2008)…

Hello everybody – I just wanted to make sure people saw that an arrest was made in the graffiti case that started on the 15th on Hayward Street. Officer Belleville, Mr Derbes, and I worked together to generate some good information for the case, and with the help of Front Porch Forum, the cooperation of the media and the community at large, the suspect was identified, and an arrest was made.  With that being said, I do need people to let me know if they have a “VENSR” tag on their property that hasn’t been reported. All the ones on Hayward and Marble Ave have been taken care of, but if you’ve got other “VENSR”s out there, please let me know. The “PH” tag is part of this case as well, but I have all the ones of that that we need.

Without the help of the neighborhood awareness that we share, and the willingness of members of the community to take action addressing problems in their area, this case would not have been possible. Thanks again for all your help and support as we worked through this, and your patience for the 3 weeks it took to put this together.

See you on the sidewalks,

WCAX has photos and the Free Press provides a name.

Past posts about this issue… here, here and here.

Bridge Closure Hurting Businesses – Another Use for FPF

Posted on Saturday, September 6, 2008 by No comments yet

Oof dah… the Bridge Street bridge in Richmond, VT, was closed late Thursday… from an already tedious one lane down to zero.  The good people of Richmond (and surrounding towns, such as Huntington, should be grateful for Selectman Erik Filkorn.  He turned immediate to Front Porch Forum and got the news into hundreds of local households’ inboxes as people were preparing to commute home.  The local traditional media have now picked up on the story too.

From Erik’s most recent FPF posting…

Hi Everybody – I am amazed at what great feedback I’m getting from folks about communicating through the forum. Thank you Michael Wood-Lewis for creating this. Yesterday could have been much worse. I rode my bike to the village expecting to see a big line of cars, but most folks seem to have gotten the message.

I know this is a gigantic hassle for everyone and we are working with our contractors and the State to get this bridge opened as soon as possible. We are also trying to find the resources to do a little extra work on the roads which are taking the additional traffic. Fire, rescue, police, the highway department, everyone has really stepped up. We’re lucky to have such good people working for us.

While as commuters, we are being compelled to bypass Richmond until this is fixed, as residents, now more than ever, we must support the businesses downtown. Thomas Hark pointed out in one of the forums that business is way off. The bakery was down 75% for the day and the cafe was similarly hit. Unless we ALL make an extra effort to shop and dine in town this week, some of the businesses we rely on may not be here next week. It IS that serious.

One of the pleasant side-effects of the closure is that the village has never been more pedestrian-friendly. Many people parked at the Round Church for the Farmer’s Market yesterday, and the absence of cars (mostly) on Bridge Street makes it even nicer to walk around. For anyone who hasn’t been yet, VT Green Grocer has most everything you need to cook dinner on the South Side of the River and the Corner Market has just about everything you need on the North. Walking to the hardware store over the bridge when you’re just picking up a few things is good for you and you run into more friends that way. Take a walk to Film Buzz to make up for the fact that you’re going to end up on the couch.

Please, please, make an extra effort to support local business through this crisis. You may even find that you like shopping in Richmond better than spending $10 on gas to drive to Williston and the time you would have spent on the Interstate could be spent talking to friends in town.

So it goes,

Using online services to fight vs. commit crime

Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 by No comments yet

I like CraigsList and am in awe of its unfathomunable scale (estimated value: $9 billion).  And occasionally people will draw comparisons to our comparatively tiny start-up, Front Porch Forum.

So it was interesting today when someone pointed out that the local versions of both services are in the news this week here in Burlington… but with different spins…

CraigsList for being used to commit crimes (alleged prostitution) and…

Front Porch Forum for being used to fight crimes (vandalism, theft, speeding).

“Police Caution Front Porch Forum Crime Fighters” from Seven Days

Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 by 1 comment

Seven Days just published Mike Ives’ article about the ongoing vandalism in Burlington and the way residents are stepping up to address it through Front Porch Forum.  Snippets…

On August 24, Jeff Kaufman rolled out of bed and noticed the letters “PH” had been scrawled into one of his window air-conditioning units. After photographing six similarly damaged units in his Old North End neighborhood, he posted a comment to the online newsletter, “Front Porch Forum.”…

Ten thousand Chittenden County residents subscribe to about 130 neighborhood Front Porch Forums… Wood-Lewis said that the forum has always been effective as a “neighborhood watch” tool. At a basic level, it encourages residents to take a stand against speeders, burglars and other low-level offenders. As enrollment climbs, however, subscribers are becoming “more empowered and aggressive about being involved and finding out what’s going on,” he said.

More information here and here.

College Students Rush FPF

Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 by No comments yet

We tend to get high marks from local college students… a little surprising coming from the “Facebook Generation”… we love to hear it.  And the other day we had a rush of 200 UVM off-campus undergrads register in response to this note from their student government president…

Live off campus? Join Front Porch Forum

If you live off campus then you should definitely join the Front Porch Forum. Front Porch Forum is an online community or your neighbors. In my forum (the South Union Neighborhood Forum) I receive word about trends in vandalism, break-ins, road construction, yard-sales, help-wanted, help-offered, and all sorts of other things going on just a few doors down from mine. Living downtown means you have neighbors and you’re a resident of a community. Front Porch Forum offers you one easy connection to that community. Check it out!

What are people talking about on Front Porch Forum?

Posted on Monday, September 1, 2008 by 6 comments

New subscribers to Front Porch Forum often ask if a posting they have in mind to write will be “allowed.”  Of course (within reason!)… the whole point of this free service is to get neighbors talking… you pick your subjects.  Here are some of the message headlines from the past week, sampled from all 130 FPF neighborhood forums covering our pilot area of Chittenden County, VT.

•    Another Neighbor Joins Forum
•    Party Appreciation
•    Juno the Loomis Street Cat
•    YARD SALE Aug. 29
•    Babysitter Available
•    Found: Combination Bike Lock
•    New to ‘hood, ready to help better it!
•    Reminder to lock car doors at night
•    Project at Ethan Allen Park Pinnacle
•    Heating contractor, tank removal recommendations
•    New Fall Classes at Cool Moon Yoga
•    Invitation to meet Suzi Wizowaty Aug. 29
•    Suspicious character reported
•    UVM Theatre Costume Sale Aug. 30
•    Seeking veterinarian recommendations
•    Parallel Justice Question
•    Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    18-Hole Disk Golf Development in Leddy Park forest
•    Tagging Incident
•    Global Justice Ecology Project Anniversary Party Sept. 5
•    MOPC News
•    Free Rain Garden Workshop Aug. 27
•    Heating Contractor Recommended
•    Another attempted break-in
•    Become an Assistant Election Worker!
•    New Member joins today
•    party on, Eastwoods!
•    Looking for Saw Horses to Borrow
•    Leddy Beach, Itchy Dog
•    Media and Campaign Issues – Public Forum Sept. 3
•    Seeking Wallpaperer and Plumber Recommendations
•    Looking for post-surgery Cold Therapy unit
•    Still Seeking Housing…
•    Sherman Hollow Road Conservation Efforts
•    Audition for Lyric’s A Chorus Line Start Aug. 25
•    Seeking local B-and-B recommendation
•    New Vandalism in Old North End
•    Free Public Tour at Teal Farm Sept 13
•    Driveway maintenance suggestion
•    Found Black Cat
•    Laughter Yoga Training Aug. 31
•    Seeking Roofer Recommendations
•    Babysitter Needed – Ongoing
•    Heating contractor recommended
•    guitar for sale?
•    Vandalism at Monitor Barn – Update
•    Babysitter Available
•    Donovan for State Representative
•    Stolen Bike Report
•    Dance Classes
•    Piano and Voice lessons offered
•    Dance Classes
•    Running Route
•    Seeking Firewood recommendations
•    City Council Investigation
•    Concerns about City Hall
•    Beach Picnic Lost and Found
•    House rental available
•    AC Vandal Update
•    Apologies for negative comment
•    Seeking renovation help
•    howdy neighbors! have extra lamps or chairs?
•    Seeking Dog Sitter
•    seeking missing kitty
•    Power Tool Noise Suggestions
•    Valley Stage
•    Vet Recommended
•    Children’s Theatre Program seeks lumber donations
•    Update on Speeding Meeting?
•    Tagging and Graffiti Update
•    Seeking pit-bull-friendly housing
•    Driveway Need Attention?
•    Block Party Appreciation, Follow-up
•    childcare needed
•    found white panels – siding from vandalism?
•    Driving and Sidewalk Caution: School Starts Aug. 27
•    Neighborhood Garage Sale?
•    Garage Sale Aug. 30
•    Looking for Child Care
•    House Rental Clarification
•    City finances again
•    Heating Contractor Recommended
•    Free Bicycle Clinic Aug. 30
•    Found Cat – Yours?
•    Wedesday’s Wonders!
•    Milton Community Activities Fair Sept. 9
•    Growing Up Digital Conference Sept. 26
•    Itchy dog – poison ivy?
•    Nanny available part-time
•    labor day parade
•    car windows smashed…
•    games, kayak for sale
•    Free Cat Carrier
•    House for Rent – In Vergennes
•    seeking piano teacher
•    audio cassette tape duplication?
•    Compost Bins for Sale
•    PH Vandalism Investigation
•    Special Music Program Aug. 31
•    Kid Furniture for sale
•    Radar training, stop sign update
•    Rescue Heroes Aircraft Carrier – free!
•    Free Moving boxes
•    Food Shelf Update
•    Many thanks to our neighbors
•    Neighbor’s Concerts
•    Monitor Barn Vandalism
•    Farmers’ Market Thursday
•    Showing film ‘After the Fog’ Sept. 10
•    wood available
•    Thanks for gas heating recommendations
•    CVAA AmeriCorps Recruitment
•    Seeking pop-up camper
•    Short-term house-sit/rental needed this fall
•    Seeking used car
•    Childcare Available
•    Seeking Your Support – Keogh for State Rep.
•    Home Daycare Openings
•    Free Bike
•    Seeking house cleaner recommendations
•    small-frame bike needed
•    CVAA Americorps Recruitment – corrected posting
•    Car windows smashed
•    Project in Leddy Park
•    retreat Comment
•    Aikido in Richmond?
•    Seeking lawn care
•    The African Children’s Choir Performs Aug. 29
•    Neighborhood Garage Sale Aug. 29- Sept. 1
•    Seeking Art Supplies for Boys and Girls Club
•    Concert Tickets for Sale
•    seeking kid chairs
•    Labor Day Parade; CVAA Americorps Recruitment; Recent Vandalism
•    Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    Seeking Missing Kitty
•    Free Fair Ticket
•    Bike found – yours?
•    Vet Recommended
•    Emails, retreats, et al
•    Wanted: Life vests
•    Entertainment at Farmers Market Aug. 28
•    Seeking time-share of local utility trailer
•    Cub Scouts launch fall recruitment Sept. 5
•    Seeking toddler table
•    Party appreciation and recipe
•    Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    Busy Bee’s Daycare has openings!
•    Vet recommended
•    Parallel Justice Program
•    High School Work Crew available for Yard Work
•    Leddy Park Disc Golf Concerns
•    seeking driveway repair advice
•    Thieves! Ugh.
•    Shoes needed for refugee children
•    Laura’s March Sept. 6 – Walk to End Violence Against Women
•    Great Painter/Carpenter available
•    wasp nest relocation hopes
•    Creating Connections Mentoring Program
•    Meet Suzi Wizowaty Aug. 28th
•    seeking bed
•    Rice HS Fundraiser Aug. 29-30
•    GROWING UP DIGITAL Conference Sept. 26
•    seeking homeschoolers
•    Speeding and Radar Concerns
•    seeking Carpet Installer Recommendations
•    Seeking Childcare
•    Vet Recommended
•    Kid video collection available
•    Huge yard sale Aug. 30
•    Seeking temporary housing
•    Crime in Old North End
•    17th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk Sept. 21
•    Yoga at the Gorge!
•    Name of New Pizza Joint Offensive
•    Daniel Pearl World Music Days
•    City Update on Disc Golf Course Pending
•    City Retreat Comment
•    Bike Race in Huntington Aug. 30
•    Please Observe Crosswalks
•    Brownell Library Wins Love and Forgiveness Grant
•    Baby Girl Items needed
•    Retreat
•    design and illustration work
•    Picket Fence Blues
•    Parking on Rose Street?
•    Two beautiful instruments for sale
•    cat back home
•    Kitty Back Home
•    City organizational change
•    Buy local
•    House Cleaners Available
•    Vet Recommended
•    Flatbed Bike?
•    Disk Golf Course Concerns
•    Seeking Fall Sublet
•    More on Vandalism at Monitor Barn
•    Leddy Park Disc Golf Course Explained
•    Clothes rack needed
•    Williston Farmers’ Market – Buy local and Eat Fresh!!!
•    Bicycle Riders to/from ADL
•    Art Hop – Volunteers Needed
•    Free Deck/Patio Furniture
•    Seeking Winter Parking Space
•    Posting Tip
•    More on Barn Vandalism
•    Red Brick Meeting House Rummage Sale Aug. 30
•    packing materials available
•    Deborah Rawson Library News!
•    seeking dresser
•    Volunteers Needed for Spirits of the Tower Event Oct. 18
•    City Retreats
•    ONE Magnet Schools and Bond Initiative
•    seeking chimmney sweep, wood stove installer recommendations
•    City Finances
•    after school childcare available
•    Landscaping Rocks
•    Seeking Lawn Mowing Help
•    Lost Cat? – Yours?
•    strawberry plants available
•    Aikido: Intro Class, Art Hop Demos
•    Election Workers Needed in Ward 2
•    Public forum on Racial Profiling Sept. 11
•    Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    Group Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    House Party for Suzi Wizowaty Aug. 29
•    Creating Connections Mentoring Program
•    Disc Golf Comments
•    Neighbor in need of Double Stroller
•    old north end yoga classes
•    Group Study Exchange Scholarship
•    Free Window Shades
•    recycling question
•    Paddington Bears for Sale
•    Disc Golf Injunction Suggestion
•    Leddy Park Disc Golf Course
•    Lost Dog Looking for Owner
•    Pizza Place’s Name
•    Empty 2 liter bottles needed
•    City Hall Drama
•    Criticism of Pizza Place Name criticism
•    More on Pizza Place
•    vets recommended
•    More thoughts on pizza shop name
•    Golf for Good Sept. 12
•    Jersey calf available and rescued dog looking for home
•    Housing Needed
•    Bottle Drive for Eagle Scout Project
•    Help Needed for BBQ
•    Pizza Place Name
•    South End Art Hop needs Volunteers
•    South End Art Hop needs Volunteers
•    Disc Golf Public Meeting Sept. 3
•    Save Your Shoreline workshops
•    Looking for architect recommendations
•    Pizza Place Comment
•    Seeking Lost Keys…
•    Girls Bicycle Found – Yours?
•    Calculator For Sale
•    In Desperate Need of Jar Lifter/Tongs/Forceps for Canning
•    More on Disk Golf Course
•    Sept. 9 Bond Vote Postponed
•    Job Opening: Water-Wastewater Operator
•    Speeding and Radar
•    Concern – BFP Carrier
•    Radar Checks by citizens
•    Our Schools: Our Future
•    Seeking travel agent recommendations
•    More on Pizza Place
•    Spear Family Property – garage and creemee stand…
•    9/11 Candlelight vigil
•    election PRIMARY Sept. 9 for our area!
•    NPA Neighborhood Appreciation Night
•    More Neighbors Join Forum
•    More on Speed and Radar
•    Disc Golf Concerns
•    Yard Sale Aug. 30
•    need tailor recommendation
•    Seeking Driveway paving and pest control Recommendations
•    Dogs in quarry
•    More Thoughts on ‘Pizza Place’
•    Teen available for childcare and odd jobs
•    House Party with State Reps. Sept. 3
•    Last Night School Board Decision
•    Garden shed raising Aug. 30 – we need your help!
•    Update on ‘PH’ Vandal Case
•    Camera found – yours?
•    Info on Cancer Survivor program Sept. 20
•    Flynn Season Tickets Raffle
•    Support Vermont Green Grocer in Richmond
•    Agatha Christie at Burnham Library Sept. 7
•    Try VT 211 for Answers
•    Lawn Sale Aug. 30-31
•    stuff to give and get
•    Traffic and radar concerns
•    winter lake house rental
•    Pizza Place Name
•    Seeking Food for Burmese Family
•    Snowblower attachment available
•    Vote on Sept. 9 – support for Suzi Wizowaty
•    Seeking Tires; Free Furniture
•    School Proposal Feedback
•    pizza place name
•    School Bond Comment
•    NPA Questions
•    More on Pizza Name
•    Art Hop Volunteers Needed; Vandalism Update
•    Seeking lost stuffed elephant
•    School Decisions On Magnet Schools and Bond Initiative
•    Sustainably Green
•    Magnet Schools and Bond Request Information
•    Massive yard sale Aug. 31!
•    Pizza Place Name
•    Art Hop Volunteers Need; Vandalism Update
•    Disc Golf course in Leddy
•    Seeking companions for house-bound hubby
•    South End Art Hop Volunteers Needed
•    looking for used bike
•    Travel Agent Recommended
•    Missing BLACK cat FOUND
•    couch wanted
•    Stray Orange cat – yours?
•    Regarding Dogs in Quarry
•    School Proposal Feedback
•    Lakewood Estates Neighborhood Picnic Sept. 7
•    Bite Me
•    Thanks for response; now looking for lawn games
•    Bird Song
•    Rain Garden Installation Part 2 – Volunteers Needed!
•    Events at Your Library
•    Free Deck Furniture
•    Skids needed
•    kitty available to good home
•    SEEKING MISSING CAT – 1 yr old BLK Female Med Hair
•    Free Treadmill
•    School Commissioners need reality check!
•    clarification – seeking furniture to buy
•    deadly nighshade spotted in neighbohood
•    flatbed scanner – yours if you want it
•    Rabies baits?
•    Seeking Wood Chipper and Chainsaw Teacher
•    Condo for Sale
•    Neighborhood Time and Energy
•    Magazine Salespeople
•    Seeking housing
•    Magnet Schools Support
•    Free Press Delivery
•    Pizza Place Name
•    Need Perenials?
•    our deficit and City Charter Section 17-5.16
•    Free Press Delivery
•    Free Press Delivery
•    friday playgroup?
•    Boxes, anyone?
•    City Budget and Deficit
•    ‘bite Me’ on Tshirts from Maine with mosquitoes
•    Fresh Corn supports Kids Foundation
•    Garage Sale Aug. 31 and Sept. 1
•    FleaMarket Space available
•    Support of Schools
•    Reply to dogmandonkey
•    Jay Craven film ‘After the Fog’ Sept. 10
•    Drop-off location for Kid shoes?
•    now looking for lawn games
•    Art Hop Volunteers Need; Vandalism Update
•    Workers Labor Day Celebration Sept. 1
•    Treadmill For Sale
•    No Name Approval Required
•    Disk Golf Facts
•    Persian Cats looking for home
•    Citizens Rights and Police Entry
•    Seeking lawnmower to borrow
•    Free pet carrier
•    Seeking Local raw honey
•    Chance to Meet Suzi Wizowaty before Sept. 9 Primary
•    Looking for painting company recommendations
•    Huntington Memory Walk Team
•    Business Opportunity
•    Seeking wood floor finisher recommendations
•    Looking for car mechanic specializing in imports
•    School Board Meeting Televised
•    South End Art Hop Needs Volunteers
•    School Proposal Feedback
•    Pizza Place Name – Talk To Owner
•    For those who asked… NPA Explained
•    Looking for Children’s Bike Seat
•    In-Your-Own-Home Doggie Daycare available
•    Open House, Art Exhibit and Demo at Aikido School
•    Ransacked
•    Women in Leadership Event Sept. 7
•    Flight Cage for Sale – Corrected phone number
•    Car Break-ins
•    Aikido demo during Art Hop – for adults and kids
•    Car rifling in North Street area
•    Planet Huntington and Laptop Crash
•    Regarding sustainably green article
•    Aikido demonstration
•    Sad Day – Loss of Pet
•    found painting and dog reminder
•    Wanted: Cast Iron Baseboard Radiators
•    Would anyone like some primer?
•    Wandering Trash Can
•    Seeking house cleaner recommendations
•    Use of Acronyms on Forum
•    Police entry comment
•    Camera Returned!
•    More on Verizon
•    Dufresne Dr. – Lock Your Cars
•    Help find missing dog – Shelburne Pond neighbors
•    Aikido of Champlain Valley Art Hop Demonstrations
•    Stolen bicycle!
•    NPA Response
•    Explaining ‘Bite Me!’ to kids
•    Labrador and Labradoodle Puppies for Sale
•    child help needed
•    Bite Me menu online
•    portable basketball hoop for sale