Don’t let your investments take a ‘vacation’

It’s summer again. Time for many of us to take a break and possibly hit the open road. But even if you go on vacation, you won’t want your investments to do the same — in summertime or any other season. How can you help make sure your portfolio continues to work hard for you all year long? Here are a few suggestions:
— Avoid owning too many “low growth” investments.

Courtesy photo
Officials at the Montshire Museum are looking at ways to use its 100-acre over the coming decades.

Museum looks to a future spent outdoors

NORWICH — The Montshire Museum of Science is developing a master plan to expand the museum’s outdoor experience for a 100-acre landscape that focuses on discovery. Plans began in 2016, with completion envisioned for 2020. “The master plan has been implemented to unify the vision of the outdoors — to maximize the opportunity of our shoulder seasons. For us, “discovery” pertains to learning science through an interactive process. When you come to visit us we make science accessible by helping people make connections to the world around us and how the world around us works,” said Marcos Stafne, executive director at the Montshire.


Think you’re enjoying your weekends? Guess again

“The Weekend Effect” by Katrina Onstad, 2017, HarperOne, $25.99, 304 pages
Zzzzzzzzzip. That was the sound of your last weekend as it passed by. But it probably doesn’t matter, anyhow: It was packed with work, to-do’s, obligations, kids sports and more work. Sometimes, you wonder why you even bother. You might as well just go to the office.

Medical video recording provision creates tricky dispute

Among Vermont workers’ compensation lawyers, one of the most hotly debated issues of the past year has involved the clash between an employer’s right to neuropsychological testing and the injured worker’s right to video record all employer examinations. Neuropsychological testing is an assessment of how someone’s brain is functioning, which includes an interview and the administration of a battery of tasks or questions by a neuropsychologist. One of the requirements of valid neuropsychological testing is that it cannot be conducted with the presence of a third-party observer. Doing so is considered not only allowing an unknown variable that can affect testing, but a violation of the neuropsychologist’s professional ethics. Even a video or audio recording of the actual testing compromises the test, they say.

Stefan Hard / Staff Photos
Butterfly Bakery owner and developer Claire Georges poses with some of her most popular products recently at Butterfly Bakery's new location at 46 Gallison Hill Road in Montpelier. The growing bakery recently moved from Hardwick.

Butterfly owner found a hot market in chili sauces

MONTPELIER — The 2017 pepper harvest can’t come soon enough for a growing Montpelier business. The new home of the Butterfly Bakery, a commercial bakery and hot sauce manufacturing facility, is quietly coming together on Gallison Hill Road after being located in Hardwick. The exhaust hood was installed on the roof on Thursday, the final equipment will be in position by the beginning of next week, and the first batch of hot sauce should be sending steam up from the kettles in short order. The bright, airy 3,000-square-foot space promises much-needed elbow room for the business that has grown exponentially since it was born in Claire Georges’ kitchen. Georges, 36, of Montpelier, wanted a way to combine her love of baking with filling a need she saw for all-natural vegan baked goods made with whole grains and free of refined sugar.

Sandwich generation: Preserving your future — and theirs

Life is complicated these days. And if you’re part of the sandwich generation, with a parent 65 or older and either raising a child under 18 or supporting an adult child, then calling life complicated may feel like a ridiculous understatement. But while being squeezed in the middle will never be easy, there are a few steps you can take to manage your financial and emotional risks. Your challenge
One or more of your parents may need financial and emotional support. One or more of your children may need financial and emotional support.

Betsy Franzoni

Betsy Franzoni opens real estate agency in Rutland

RUTLAND — Betsy Franzoni has recently opened the new Franzoni Real Estate Company, located at 9 Center St., in downtown Rutland. Franzoni has been a real estate professional in central Vermont for many years, and has successfully brought a realistic, caring and honest approach to her real estate clients over her career. Franzoni takes great pleasure in bringing buyers and sellers together to accomplish their goals in a friendly, professional manner. Please stop in and see her, call her at 802-345-2896 or find her at  




‘Broke’ author on quest to destroy financial illiteracy

“Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry, 2017, Tarcher Perigee, $15, 276 pages. You are so busted. And that’s never a good thing in relationships, recreation or in finances. Especially in finances. When your wallet is empty, so are both calendar and stomach, but what can you do when even the word “money” scares you?

Group hopes reports spur women to leadership roles

At the Vermont State House on April 4, in conjunction with Equal Pay Day, a group called Change The Story Vermont released its fourth and final status report, “Vermont Women in Leadership.”
The four reports — “Women, Work and Wages in Vermont,” “Where Vermont Women Work … and Why it Matters,” “Women’s Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy” (all from 2016), and this year’s report — are multifaceted tools in recognizing women’s economic status. Of the four, “Vermont Women in Leadership” is the most important, according to Tiffany Bluemle, director at Change the Story. The report provides an aspirational feature to young girls and women that sheds light on the socioeconomic index or gender parity in leadership positions within the state. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Cary Brown, executive director at Vermont Commission on Women. “Girls and women are less likely to think leadership positions are available to them without hands-on experience.

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Hayden Durkee, owner of Downtown T's, stands in his new shop Wednesday which is opening on Main Street in Montpelier in the former Splash Naturals location.

Montpelier entrepreneur turns attention to T-shirts

MONTPELIER — A young entrepreneur had done it again, launching a new business in the Capital City after being inspired by custom T-shirt work for the Grateful Dead. Hayden Durkee, 25, launched Downtown T’s, a custom T-shirt and apparel store on Main Street on Friday. Durkee says he got the idea for the business while working for Gary McMillan of Montpelier-based Cosmic Cotton, a tie-dye T-shirt contractor for the legendary California band for many years. “I’ve been working with Gary at Cosmic Cotton for a while and we would do work for the Grateful Dead, and I helped him design a shirt that featured a hand with a missing finger,” said Durkee, referring to the missing finger of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Gerry Garcia. “I think Gary is amazing and I’ve always wanted to open a T-shirt shop of my own for years.”
Durkee’s launch coincided with Friday’s Montpelier Art Walk, and this weekend’s Montpelier Mayfest celebrations.