Friday, January 06, 2012


News to Know January 6

Check the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook

TOWN SKATING RINK IS NOW OPEN! The rink is located at the Berlin Town Office on Shed Road . There are lights for night skating and the switch is located on the light post at the inside right angle of the "L" shaped rink. There is a port-o-let and a heated hut but no public phone.
TOWN BUDGET DISCUSSIONS: Next Select Board meetings is January 9th at 6pm at the town office.
BERLIN SELECT BOARD SEATS: There will be FOUR seats on the ballot come March. Two 1 yr term seats currently filled by Roberta Haskins and Jonathan Goddard; one 3 year term (Nancy Driscoll resigned and currently Ture Nelson is in that seat) and Susan Gretkowski just announced that she will be resigning from her 3 year term of which two years is left. Now is the time to get a petition from the town office to have your name on the ballot for any of these positions. The petition will need to be signed by 20+ registered voters and submitted to the town by 5pm on January 30th.

TOWN REPORT – January 13th deadline to submit items to be included for the report to Jeff Schulz (from those on town committees and part of organizations). Look for town reports to be back from the printers the third week of February. The reports are sent home with the oldest student of each family at Berlin Elementary School and can also be found at the town office.
Forum on “DOG RIVER DYNAMICS” – Thurs, January 26th (save the date - time to be announced). I’m sure many of you along Route 12 will be interesting in this meeting sponsored by Northfield and Berlin Conservation Commissions and Friends of the Winooski will be held at Norwich University. Gretchen Alexander is a river scientist with the state and will explain river dynamics. The draft agenda is as follows:
Welcome – Justin (5 min)
River Dynamics – Gretchen (20-30 min)
Geology – Rick Dunn (15 min)
Impacts of Irene in the Dog River (20 min)
Human – Steve Fitzhugh or Michele Braun
Environmental – Ann Smith
Biological – Rich Kirn
Moving Forward – Karen Bates (10 min)
Open Discussion – Justin (20 min)
BROOKFIELD ICE HARVEST, January 28th 10am (last Saturday of Jan.) at Sunset Lake in Brookfield by the Floating Bridge. The whole family can see how ice was harvest on Sunset Lake at the turn-of-the-century. Demonstration of ice cutting and the ice boom used to move blocks of ice to wagons. Food, fun and an ice hauling contest. There is no admission fee. For info call 276-3959 Check out the 2011 event at:
ICE ON FIRE / CENTRAL VERMONT WINTER FESTIVAL Sunday, January 29th 2pm – 5pm North Branch Nature Center, Elm Street, Montpelier. Bundle up and head out for this snow celebration of community. Children’s activities, winter games, theater, song and storytelling. Opening parade at 2pm, closing bonfire at 5pm. Food, hot cider, hot chocolate. Snowshoes provided, bring x-country skis and sleds. Suggested donation $1 - $5 or bring baked goods in lieu of cash donation. Find on facebook or call 223-0577 for info or to volunteer
U-32 SCHOOL BOARD BERLIN POSITION OPENING - Mark Berry asked me to share that he is ending his time as a member of U-32 Board of Directors. If you're interested in serving, now is the time to get a petition from the town office for this 3 year term, which will need to be signed by 20+ registered voters and submitted to the town by 5pm on January 30th. The second Berlin seat will also be on the ballot as Jonathan Goddard was appointed to the position and now it will be up for election.
BERLIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BOARD has two seats that will be on the ballot - a 3 year term (currently Amy Brewer) and a 2 year term (currently Jonathan Boyd). Registered voters interested in running for board positions should see our town clerk, Rosemary Morse, for a petition.
BERLIN CHECKLIST TO VOTE: To be added to the Berlin Checklist to be able to vote on Tuesday, March 6th, you must go into the town office by Wednesday, February 29th and fill out a form. Call Rosemary at 229-9298 with questions.
TOWN MEETING DAY - if you would be willing to help out at Town Meeting over at the elementary school for part or all of the day (10am - 7pm) please contact our town clerk, Rosemary Morse 229-9298.
CENTRAL VERMONT SPORTS – Local sports - check out the highlights on line or order a DVD of an entire game.
LIBRARY - Our community library is the Kellogg-Hubbard Library at 135 Main Street in Montpelier. Yearly the library asks for financial support from our town on the ballot at Town Meeting. If the voters continue to support this request, all Berlin residents are entitled to a library card and to make use of all their services. Visit the library website at:, check out their blog, or their facebook page or call them at 223-3338.
-- This year the library is requesting $12,808 from Berlin, a 2% increase from the $12,557 approved last year. To have this item on the town ballot, first their petition needs signatures of registered Berlin voters – please stop in at the library, our town office, the elementary school bulletin board in lobby, or see me (Corinne) to add your signature of support.
-- In part from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library End of Year Report - “Come enjoy the collection of books, movies, CDs, audio books, magazines & newspapers, use the new and improved public internet stations, attend a great program, use databases and audio-downloads from the web site, or borrow one of the library passes and discover great Vermont museums, parks, and historical sites. (These include the ECHO Aquarium ($2 admission), Shelburne Farms, Vermont History Museum, Vermont State Parks, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, Billings Farm Museum and Vermont Historic Sites.)” (more details from this report in the next email I send out!)
FLOOD RECOVERY – Local recovery from the flooding of 2011 continues. Those with losses are still in need of assistance. Many folks who lost so much are still in need of financial assistance and replacing household goods, some have major home repairs and others are still in temporary housing. In the spring, we’re hoping an additional effort can be made to continue the clean-up of debris the flooding caused with a larger Green Up Day effort in early May.
C.E.R.T - Learn how to help your community during times of emergency! C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) #5 Basic Training Course in Barre on Saturday, 1/21/12; Registration opens 7:30am; Class 8am – 4pm. Location: Barre Auditorium Classrooms - just to the right of the auditorium-there will be signs!
Please R.S.V.P. to Julie Benedict at or at 802-431-5701.
This training is designed to cover disaster preparedness, fire safety, directing traffic, disaster medical operations, triage and treating life threatening injuries. Pizza Lunch will be provided (let Julie know of any special dietary needs)

MENTORING: The Berlin School is establishing a mentoring program and is seeking adult mentors. Training is included and the commitment is roughly one hour per week during school hours. Community members should not underestimate the potential difference they can make in the life of a BES student. Background check required. Any adults interested in being a mentor may contact Jessica Heinz, School Counselor, at 223-2796 x118.
SKI EQUIPMENT: The Berlin School is working to establish a collection of skis, boots, poles and associated equipment for use by students and staff. If anyone has gently used ski equipment that they would like to donate to the school, they may contact Jessica Heinz, School Counselor, at 22302796 x118.
BUDGET UPDATE: The School Board reviewed draft five if the proposed FY2013 budget on January 5th. The good news is, under all scenarios, taxes are slated to DECREASE! The Board is expected to approve a final budget at their meeting on January 9th, at 6:15 p.m., at the school. As always, community participation is encouraged. Anyone wanting to learn more about the budget process or current draft may contact Chris Dodge, Principal, at 223-2796 x120.
SCHOOL NEWSLETTER: As always, the school newsletter is available on the school website ( each week. This is a great way for families with and without students to keep up to date on school events.
VOLUNTEERS: The Berlin School offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Come share your talents with our community's children. Contact Chris Dodge, Principal, at 223-2796 x120.
VEHICLES: The Government recently released a new calculator that allows user to compare emissions and lifetime operating cost on vehicles.

-- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
-- Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
-- Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
-- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes.
-- When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
-- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
-- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
-- Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
-- Dispose of wood ashes in a metal container that can be tightly closed, douse with water, place the closed container outside your home away from combustible materials and leave in the container for several days before disposing of them.
-- Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
-- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
-- If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call for help.
SNOWSHOE TRAIL AT U-32 - Community Connections Community Prevention Update from Bill Merrylees. As part of our work to create an environment with healthy physical activity options, the VT Youth Conservation corps class at the high school used the concept of a permanent snowshoe trail on the U-32 campus. The instructors built a curricular unit around it, and the students built a trail! These are the kind of winning scenarios we always strive for, where students make change happen a drive projects that are aligned with our community-wide goals. See link: Come enjoy the trail in february - there's GOT to be snow by then...

Saturday, February 11 - Cross Vermont Trail Association Snowshoe Rally at U32, 11:00 am - 2:00pm. Free event for all abilities includes snowshoe lessons, fun snowshoe relays, exploring the U-32 woods on a self-guided trail, plus guided naturalist outings. Warming space, snacks & warm beverages will be served. Free snowshoe use provided. Sponsored by the Cross Vermont Trail Association, Community Connections and U-32 athletics. For more information, call Community Connections at 223-3456.

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