Ballroom: Beginner Waltz and Foxtrot.

$7/class if registering for entire session.

Aspire Community Studio, 39 River Road, Essex Junction.

April 27, 6:55-7:55 p.m.

Through Essex Junction Recreation and Parks. Register in person at 75 Maple St. or online at

Woof! Dog Communication in the Human World.

Bayside Activity Center, Colchester,

April 30, 6-7 p.m. Cost: $15-$20. Contact Deb:

Gold Star Dog Training will be hosting a fun, informative multimedia presentation intended to demystify dog communication.



How to guarantee your garden starts off on the right foot

gardening WEB

As winter slowly winds down, many gardeners cannot wait to soak up the springtime sun and get their hands dirty in the garden. Such excitement is not just good for gardeners, but can benefit the garden in the months to come as well.

Late winter or early spring is a great time to get a head start on the gardening season. Even if gardening season is still around the corner, completing the following projects can ensure your garden gets off on the right foot.


Clear debris

One of the best things you can do for your garden as winter winds down is to clear it of debris. Winter can be especially harsh on a landscape, and gardens left to the elements are often filled with debris once spring arrives. Dead leaves, fallen branches, rocks that surfaced during the winter frost, and even garbage that might have blown about in winter winds can all pile up in a garden over a typical winter. Clearing such debris likely won’t take long, but it’s a great first step toward restoring the garden before the time comes to plant and grow the garden once again.

Examine the soil

Soil plays a significant role in whether a garden thrives or struggles. Examining the soil before the season starts can help gardeners address any issues before they plant. Ignoring the soil until a problem arises can turn the upcoming gardening season into a lost opportunity, so test the soil to determine if it has any nutrient or mineral deficiencies. This may require the help of a professional, but if a problem arises, you might be able to adjust the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and still enjoy a successful gardening season.

Another way to examine the soil is less complex but can shed light on when would be a good time to get back to work. Reach into the soil and dig out a handful. If the soil quickly crumbles, you can start preparing for gardening seasoning. But if the soil is still clumped together, it needs more time to dry out before you can begin your prep work.


Initiate edging

Edging is another task gardeners can begin as they get ready for the season. Edge plant and flower beds, but be sure to use a spade with a flat blade or an edger designed to edge flower beds. Such tools will cut deep enough so grass roots that may eventually grow into the flower bed are severed. Depending on how large a garden is, edging can be a time-consuming task, so getting a head start allows homeowners to spend more time planting and tending to their gardens once the season hits full swing.


Fight weeds

Though weeds likely have not survived the winter that does not mean they won’t return once the weather starts to heat up. But as inevitable as weeds may seem, homeowners can take steps to prevent them from turning beautiful gardens into battlegrounds where plants, flowers and vegetables are pitted against unsightly and potentially harmful weeds. Spring is a good time to apply a pre-emergent weed preventer, which can stop weeds before they grow. Though such solutions are not always foolproof, they can drastically reduce the likelihood of weed growth.

Though gardeners might not be able to start planting their gardens in late winter or early spring, they can still get outside and take steps to ensure their gardens thrive once planting season begins.

— Metro Creative


Think Spring! OR Is there a spring in your step?

Sean Fitzgerald

Human movement and function is predicated on the ability to harness ground reaction forces in a spiraling and un-spiraling manner. Think about it as a spring mechanism. When your foot hits the ground, the body coils around the hip which is loaded through the ground. At the same time, the torso uncoils in the opposite direction. This is the physics of gait.

Coiling and uncoiling allows for the transference of potential energy of the stance leg that is coiled into kinetic energy of the uncoiling torso which is our drive train. This spring mechanism travels up the entire body in alternating spirals which allows us to walk but maintain a vertical and centered spine with eyes forward. The diagram below shows proper coiling of the body in left stance. When the right foot hits the ground, all of the arrows should change direction allowing for a reciprocal gait pattern.

transitions PT spring 042315

When people become injured and are having pain, it is often related to the loss of the spring mechanism.

As stated in my prior columns, the ability to maintain symmetry and neutrality is critical to function. It is critical because it allows the coiling and uncoiling to occur about a vertical axis. When symmetry and neutrality are lost, adjacent segments start to move in the same direction. This disrupts the natural spring mechanism and creates strain on joints and muscles that now have to control this new compensatory pattern.

Visit to see if you can spring, or if you are sprung. If you identify with any of the loss of coiling pictures, you will benefit from a patho-mechanical PT specialist to restore the spring in your step.

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