Tuesday, July 08, 2008


July additions & CC info

Be sure to continue scrolling down to read previous posts that are still very current with information:

There will NOT be daily afterschool Community Connections activities at Berlin Elem. this fall. Students will still have the option of participating in vacation and inservice programs that Community Connections holds. For more information on these programs see http://www.communityconnections.us or call 223-3456
Note: Homework Club, as far as I know, will continue to take place up to four days per week.
July 12th & 13th - Tax Free Vermont Days http://www.taxfreevt.com/ All non-business purchases up to $2,000 will be exempt from state sales tax EXCEPT automobiles and vehicles. Note there is an extended time of July 14th - 18th for Energy Star-rated appliances costing $2,000 or less. Check out Efficiency Vermont for some tips: http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/pages/Residential/
Note: I hear many businesses in Montpelier are staying open until at least 7pm on Saturday and until 4pm on Sunday to celebrate the Tax Free VT Days this weekend.... you may want to call and check the hours.
BEAR POND BOOKS - Check out the new and improved website for Montpelier's Bear Pond Books http://www.BearPondBooks.com which makes this store open to you 24 hours a day. They offer "Direct to Home" shipping which is free on purchases over $15. If you still like browsing in person, note that they're on summer hours which includes 9am-9pm Thursday - Saturday, 10-5 on Sunday and 9am-6pm Monday - Wednesday.
Saturday, July 12th from 8am - 4pm I hear there will be 6 lawn sales on Crosstown Road :)
July 19th Bean Hole Beans at Morse Farm - they say the pot will be unearthed in time for dinner to start about 5:30pm. Just 2.7 miles out of Montpelier. Summer hours are 8am-8pm. Check out the Woodshed Theater where you can watch the free video on the making of maple syrup and inside there is some free tasting of various grades of maple syrup. You might want to purchase a maple cremee before leaving. The Morse Farm is where you can also see the State House Replica which was in the Montpelier Fourth of July parade. I hear they have some coupons in the Times Argus, World and Bridge for 10% off maple syrup.
Free bowling for kids at Twin City Lanes http://www.central-vt.com/web/twincitylanes/ 476-6181 This is a program we've participated in and they've kicked it up a notch this year. A parent needs to go in to fill out the paperwork and your child(ren) get a card which entitles them to one free game of bowling per day shoes included . If they bowl any additional games then the charge is $3.25 for each additional game before 5pm and after 5pm and on weekends it's $3.75. Give a call to double check the hours they're open - in the summer they don't open until 4 on Monday, and Tuesday - Sunday I believe they open at noon. Kim is the one to process the paperwork so if you go in when she's there, she may be able to process it while you wait.
Barre Homecoming July 24-27 http://www.barrecity.org with a parade on Saturday, July 26th at 4pm and Native Tongue playing there on the green at 7pm
Students entering 7th grade - remember there will be a Meet Your TA night on Tuesday, August 26th at U-32.
Students entering 7th & 8th grade - note there is a Fall Middle School Parent-Athlete-Coach Meeting for all middle school parents and players on Monday, August 25th 7pm at U-32. MS Football practice starts 8/12 for other MS sports practices start 8/28. Don't forget you need a current athletic participation form filled out to participate http://www.u32.org/v2files/PDF/athletics/partform.pdf
(students entering high school have their Parent-Athlete-Coach Meeting Monday, August 11th 6:30pm at U-32. Football practice begins 8/11 at 4pm while other HS practices begin 8/12)
Tips to improve your gas mileage http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/drive.shtml

Energy Savers - Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home

For those interested, below you'll find another article regarding the upcoming winter fuel.....

Corinne Stridsbergcheck out: http://socialenergy.blogspot.com to find out what's happening in Berlin and beyond

Below are a couple of articles from Sunday's Times Argus. Anything you see in BOLD, was bolded by me :)
In addition to the links given, I found info on "Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to be informative (sidebar link from http://www.helpforvt.org under Heating Assistance) along with the link for Central Vermont Community Action Council http://www.cvcac.org/ and another link, http://www.dcf.state.vt.us/esd/fuel_assistance to be very helpful in understanding what is currently available. The link for Efficiency Vermont is http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/pages/
It's not too soon to prepare for coming winter fuel bills
July 6, 2008
July seems like an unusual month to start thinking about winter. We are busy enjoying the rites of summer – BBQs, fishing, mowing the lawn – and want to chase away the thoughts of snow and cold.But this summer is unusual in many ways: Gasoline is over $4 per gallon, diesel is topping $5 per gallon, and the cost of food is inching up daily. At every turn, we are confronting the pervasive effects of rising energy prices. These prices are not a blip or a passing bubble; most experts agree that the reality of high fuel costs is something we'll need to deal with into the future.This brings us to the winter ahead. Since most Vermonters heat their homes with oil, the cost of fuel will be a real shock to the family checkbook. While there is little we can do as a state to influence the price of oil on the international markets, there are tangible and practical steps we can take – right here at home – to prepare for the coming challenges.Gov. James Douglas recently challenged his administration and the state's network of service providers to work together to harness all available resources and ideas to fight back against rising fuel costs. The governor asked us to co-chair a cabinet-level task force designed to bring outside partners together and coordinate the initiatives for maximum effect.The focus of our efforts is twofold. First, we aim to help Vermonters take proactive steps to reduce their heating bills through weatherization and efficiency. By encouraging Vermonters to invest in projects to button up their homes, we can kickstart fuel savings right away. Second, we are working to provide more resources for individuals and families who may need assistance in the coming months. As the governor has made clear, we want to ensure that no Vermont family is cold in their home this winter.Between state, federal, nonprofit and private assistance programs, Vermont has an extensive menu of weatherization and efficiency options to fit all income levels. Weatherization upgrades run the gamut, from low-cost, do-it-yourself fixes that could save 15 percent to more comprehensive improvements that can save many times more in heating bills. Every home is unique and every family situation is unique, so the key is to match Vermonters with right improvement for their home and budget.To facilitate this step, we partnered with Vermont's 2-1-1 service to create a "one-stop shop" for folks to determine their best choices. 2-1-1 is a local call that connects Vermonters to the vast network of state resources. It is more than just a referral service, but rather an all-around helpline that will provide answers and advice based on individual needs. The 2-1-1 service has a companion Web site – www.HelpForVt.org – that offers information and links for weatherization and heating assistance.Another important partner in this effort is Efficiency Vermont. Through Efficiency Vermont, we are making it easier for homeowners to take a strategic approach to lowering energy bills. Their energy auditing teams focus on the complete energy picture: from how to bring down electric bills through smart electricity choices (compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc) to practical thermal efficiencies (insulation in attic, cleaning your oil burner, diversifying your energy sources). This kind of full-circle thinking can lead to a very quick return on investment and substantially lower energy costs in the years ahead.Education is also a crucial component of our efforts. Partnering with the Central Vermont Community Action Council and town energy committees, we are hosting 100 workshops around the state starting later this summer. These two-hour workshops will be focused on practical knowledge Vermonters can use to save 10 percent to 20 percent on heating bills. Energy specialists and certified contractors will demonstrate tricks of the trade – no-cost changes to low-cost improvements – that can really make a difference.While thinking ahead for this winter is crucial, we understand the need to explore all contingencies and look for additional resources to support Vermonters who are struggling to make ends meet. We are working closely with the Legislature to assist our congressional delegation in pursuit of additional federal money for the low-income heating program known as LIHEAP. We also recognize that the cost of fuel is affecting many other programs across the state – like Meals on Wheels – and are exploring creative approaches to ensure that essential services are not interrupted.By working together, planning ahead and taking some common sense steps during the summer months, we'll be best prepared when the snow flies again. For more information about any of these programs, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.HelpForVt.org.Brian Dubie is Vermont's lieutenant governor. Neale F. Lunderville is the Secretary of Transportation. Both co-chair the Governor's Fuel & Food Partnership.
Update on food and fuel emergency preparationsJuly 6, 2008
Oil prices continue to rise, and the administration, Legislature, and nonprofit agencies continue their work to prepare Vermont for what everyone seems to be describing as the approaching fuel emergency this winter. "In addition, the state has drawn together information about assistance, weatherization, and related programs at a Web site launched Thursday afternoon: www.helpforvt.org."The relatively new telephone referral service that you can access by calling 211 is already being used for referrals. MaryEllen Mendl, program director for Vermont 2-1-1, advised they have seen a dramatic increase in calls for service.Home performance audits and more thermal insulation in homes are for many people the most cost-effective way to lower fuel bills.Eric Rutz, customer service manager with Efficiency Vermont, explains, "The homes in our state are among the oldest in the nation, which means there is tremendous opportunity to enhance the efficiency of the structures. A home performance audit will help property owners better understand where they can obtain the most value for their money — insulation and compact florescent light bulbs are an affordable way to start saving immediately. The best single thing people can do to protect against future energy price increases is to lower their overall energy usage any way they can."A group representing nonprofits and local governments met recently at the Central Vermont Community Action Council, and one of the more urgent messages was that the window for planting a garden with an extra row of food for the food bank or yourself is still open but closing.Beans, peas, and potatoes can still be planted and yield harvests, as well as many transplants. And if you grow zucchini, this is the year to stop lurking in parking lots, looking for unlocked cars to fill with your extra production. Don't be shy about taking them to the food bank or local food shelf!

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