By INGE SCHAEFER

Here’s a question for you: What’s the fastest growing sport in America? You’d be right if you guessed “pickleball.” And yes, the next question usually is, “what’s pickleball?” You’d know if you read a recent article in the Sun, which highlighted its popularity here and throughout Chittenden County.

Colchester Chronicler Inge Schaefer is pictured with a pickleball group, an active and motivated “think-tank” aiming to increase pickleball’s popularity in town. (courtesy Colchester Recreation)

 

Colchester can proudly claim to be among the first communities, certainly in Chittenden County, if not in the whole state, to line out all of its town tennis courts to accommodate those wishing to play pickleball. The town has also offered pickleball lessons through its recreation programs and recently held its first Round Robin Pickleball Tournament at Bayside Park on May 19.

While there are now hundreds of locals playing the sport, this first town-organized tournament only attracted about 14-15 players. The first-place winners were Bill Sorrell, Vermont’s former attorney general, and his partner Martha Holbrook. In second place – and one reason why you are reading this – was Wayne Davis and me. Third place was Colchesterites Marie and Roy Chicoine. Supporting the tournament was Michael LaPan, Colchester Parks and Recreation programs coordinator, and gift certificates for the first place winners were from local eateries. For information about lessons, play times, etc., call the recreation office at 264-5640.

It won’t be long before the Colchester Conservation Commission will again be planting flowers around town. While flowers are generally donated by Claussen’s and Sam Mazza’s, there is a need to maintain the flowers (watering, weeding, triming, etc.) throughout the summer. For this, the commission accepts donations. If you enjoy seeing the flowers located all around town, don’t hestitate to send a check (in any amount) made out to the Town of Colchester. Please note Conservation Reserve Fund in the memo line and mail to Colchester Blooms, c/o Liz Hamlin-Volz, 123 Holy Cross Rd., Colchester, VT 05446. If you want to help plant the flowers, contact Pamela Loranger, commission chair, at zatarahinvt@yahoo.com.

With so many of our town administrators jumping ship recently, I asked town clerk Karen Richard how the search for her position was going. Apparently, May 30 is the deadline for applications – check the website for more information. As a result of the March election, this position is now appointed and no longer elected. Were I a betting woman, my money would be on Julie Graeter, the town’s longtime assistant clerk/treasurer and an extremely competent gal.

A new police chief is expected to be announced shortly, and my prediction here is Lt. Doug Allen, a more than 30-year veteran of the department. Well known and respected in the community, Allen would offer a smooth transition for the department and the town. Based on a recent Sun article, Chief Jennifer Morrison is leaving so the seasoned veterans of the department can advance. Given her many attributes, it would not surprise me if she is offered a high-ranking position on either the state or federal level. Wherever she serves, we will all be the better for it.

Enjoy this magnificent weather – and God bless!