They Might Be Gypsies

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing They Might Be Gypsies perform at the Bethel Town Hall. They Might Be Gypsies is a gypsy jazz band, the cornerstones being father and son Greg and Aidan Ryan.
The Ryans are each very accomplished guitarists, but Greg went out of his way to display the talent of his teenage son on several occasions throughout the evening as they performed. The band included a standup bass and drummer, and I’ve been told they will arrange themselves in various configurations, performing as a duo or up to a quintet, depending on the venue.
The concert, which was sponsored by the Bethel Historical Society, featured covers of songs by Django Reinhardt and others, as well as original tunes. I especially enjoyed the guitar work, which reminded me of Mexican Mariachi style music.
The band will be recording their second studio album later this year, and I’m looking forward to it’s release.

Park Here. No, There. No Wait, Here!

Several years ago (I forget how many, maybe five), I received a letter from Bethel’s Town Manager. It stated that people who parked overnight in the public parking lot (myself included) were to park their cars on one side of the lot on specified nights, and on the other side of the lot on other nights, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, Friday, the east side, other days the west side. This made perfect sense to me and, being a good law-abiding citizen, I did just that.
Two winters ago, I found a note on my windshield from the Town Manager, asking for my help. It requested that I always park my car on the west side of the parking lot during the winter to make snow removal easier. While this did not make sense to me, being a good law-abiding citizen, I did just that.
This week, the head of our town’s road crew requested, through a verbal conversation with a third party, that I move my car and not leave it in the same spot overnight after a snow storm. Being a good law-abiding citizen, I am confused.

Bethel Votes to Withdraw from Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union

Here’s a summary of the highlights of this week’s school budget meeting:

  1. The chair of the school board announced that the superintendent has been put on administrative leave.
  2. The school board asked if the taxpayers would borrow $480,000 to pay back, over a period of three years, the debt that has been accumulated.
  3. Townspeople attempted to get details on both of these points, which was like pulling teeth without Novocaine.
  4. The board informed the taxpayers that audits have not been complete for at least three years.
  5. Many people griped, loudly. Included in this crowd, I informed them that, while I realize they are volunteers, the board has a responsibility to look after these things.
  6. The two board members whose terms were up for renewal were unanimously re-elected.
  7. The taxpayers voted to withdraw from the Titanic known as Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union. Continue reading “Bethel Votes to Withdraw from Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union”

Fairpoint (FKA Verizon), You #$@#$^&* @#$(* !@#@#@ !!@(()*&!!!!

Ever get the feeling that maybe you spoke too soon?
Yeah, me too.
So remember the Fairpoint tech, who showed up unannounced, and told me our lines were crossed with someone else’s? He told me that they were getting our calls, and we were getting theirs. I gave him a list of other problems we were having.
Note that the problem of us getting their calls and them getting ours was not something that I had personally experienced…
Until he left.
After saying the problem had been fixed.
So, after everything was all set, every call placed to our business went to some family across town. Wonderful.
Now I know how my clients feel when I tell them they have had a RAID failure, and they are going to lose data, and they say “but we haven’t had any problems,” and then their server dies for real. *sigh*

Thank you, Fairpoint (FKA Verizon)

Today, unprompted by me, a technician from Fairpoint Communications (formerly known in these parts as Verizon) showed up, saying we had a “crossed pair” on our line.
I asked him if this could have anything to do with some issues we’ve been having on our line for quite some time, including

  • Incoming calls not being answered (because we never heard them ring)
  • Dropped calls
  • Outgoing calls hanging up after one ring
  • Noise on the line
  • Incoming calls not rolling over to our second line on busy/no answer

He looked, nodded sagely, and said that all of those things could be caused by the crossed pair, which did not surprise me.
I’m glad to know that this was a) not our fault, b) not a problem with my Asterisk box, and c) something that he was able to fix. As he was leaving, he commented that he hadn’t worked in Bethel in many years, and that everything is “all messed up.” Again, this did not surprise me.
Now, the only remaining question I have is what have the other parties who’ve been getting my calls been doing with them? Thank goodness it wasn’t a competitor. 🙂

ECFiber Finds Underwriter

It was announced this evening at the regular ECFiber governing board meeting that the group, representing 23 towns in east central Vermont with an aim to build a municipal fiber-to-the-home network, is in negotiations with Oppenheimer & Company, Inc. to underwrite an $80M investment to create the network. Sovereign Bank has been hired as a financial advisor on the deal, and Greenberg and Traurig, LLP has been chosen as financial counsel to ECFiber and its member towns.

Bethel Signs on to EC Fiber

From this week’s Select Board Meeting Minutes:

With respect to the Town joining with others through the ECFiber Interlocal Contract to develop and implement a communications system, Chairman Fox stated that the Town appears to be in receipt of sufficient legal advice to confirm that the draft Interlocal Contract for formation of ?ECFiber? should now be signed, it being anticipated that the initiative will move forward expeditiously, and that a final form of the contract will be available for consideration in the near future which, when executed, will perpetuate the association being formed at this time. He then made the motion to approve the subject contract, this motion being seconded by Joe De Freitas and unanimously carried. Justin McCoart asked if the Town had yet appointed an alternate representative to the ECFiber Board of Directors; Chairman Fox advised such has not yet been undertaken by the Board.