Wednesday, June 27, 2012


News to Know June 27

Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at
Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
Included below please find:
"DILEMMA IN VERMONT" 1953 cartoon re Berlin Pond
BERLIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING TONIGHT, June 27th 7pm at the Berlin Town Office.  Agenda: Review of our May potluck dinner presentation and ideas for next year's program; Review of our display at the VT History Expo in Tunbridge and things we learned there; We have been invited to put on the same display in Worcester on July 4th - do we want to do this?; Ideas for interesting presentations at future monthly meetings; Review of progress on our cemetery project; Donahue's Ice Cream - where on the Barre-Montpelier Road was it located?
Berlin Historical Society page:
Have you checked out the "Dilemma in Vermont" cartoon regarding Berlin Pond posted on the town website?  This was first in the Boston Herald on November 5, 1953.  Thanks Berlin Historical Society for digging this out.
Town of Berlin is in need of Cemetery committee members.  Greg DuBois moved out of town and there was already an opening. Two members are needed to help with the old cemeteries to oversee maintenance and upkeep by private contractors etc.   More information on Berlin's cemeteries can be found at:
Suspect ID'd in home break-ins (pub 6/21/12)
   BERLIN — With the help of authorities in two other states and a surveillance video from a victim’s home, police say they’ve solved a recent rash of home burglaries. The Massachusetts man they believe to be responsible is in custody.
   Berlin police say they suspect Richard Morrell, of Newburyport, Mass., in a series of home burglaries reported this month. Jewelry, cash and other household items were reported stolen.
   According to police, they identified Morrell, who is in custody in Massachusetts, from an image captured by a home surveillance camera. Police in Massachusetts and New Hampshire participated in the investigation, they said.
   Police said some of the stolen property has been returned to its owners after searches of homes and businesses in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
BERLIN POND PERSPECTIVES in the Montpelier Bridge June 21-27
Two articles regarding Berlin Pond
Dark Knight Rises... fundraiser for Kellogg-Hubbard Library
REGIONAL WEBSITE OFFERS EVENT PROMOTION, CHANCE TO WIN FIREWORKS (pub 6/25/12) has provided free advertising for community events for more than a decade, and this week it added a chance to win $100 in gift cards for holiday fireworks.
   As many as 1,000 visitors to the website click on the “Community Events” in any given month, and the next few months are traditionally those with the highest traffic. Viewing the event listings are local residents, visitors, and potential visitors.
   The more numerous the listings, the greater the appeal to the potential visitor. The more listings, the greater the exposure of local events.
   While many organizations like Studio Place Arts, Lost Nation Theater, and the Aldrich and Kellogg-Hubbard libraries regularly post their upcoming events, too many event organizers miss the opportunity for free promotion the listings provide.
   Several area towns will celebrate Independence Day festivities, but only Waterbury’s “Not Quite Independence Day celebration” and Warren’s traditional July 4 celebration are online with a link to more information in the calendar.
   Listings are free and can be entered through any browser.
   The regional website not only saves visitors the work of searching several town sites — if the visitor knows area towns — but it also makes each listing more appealing if there are several others that could be tapped within a stretch of a few days.
   This week only, visitors to the home page can register to win gift cards to Northstar Fireworks, the East Montpelier supplier of professional and retail aerial displays.
   Registering online requires only a name and email address. One name will be selected at random Friday morning, June 29, to receive the gift cards. The winner will be notified by email to pick up the cards at the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce office in Berlin.
   The regional website is managed by the Chamber to provide information on Central Vermont. It offers historical perspectives and community data as well as visitor, relocating and business information.
   Visit the home page and enter for a chance to win $100 patriotic giveaway.
   Upcoming events are just one more click.
   (pub 6/22/12)
BARRE — Collin Bigras made it look easy.
   And that’s saying something. Imagine standing 16 yards behind a wooden box with a shotgun in your hand. Everyone is watching you as you yell “Pull,” and a 4-inch red clay disk, or pigeon, flies across the field in front of you at 40 mph. You have no idea which direction it will be heading, but you have to shoot it before it hits the ground.
   Bigras did it 200 times in a row.
   That’s how the 20-year-old East Montpelier man won the singles event at the 104th Vermont State Championship Trapshoot hosted by the Montpelier Gun Club in Berlin. His perfect score of 200 out of 200 was a feat that has never been accomplished since the club started keeping records in 1914.
   “My adrenaline was rushing the whole time,” Bigras said of competing in the state championship Saturday.
   “It was an out-of-body experience almost. My heart was about to burst out of my chest.”
   Bigras won the same event last year with a score of 198, but he said getting a perfect score had been his goal for the past few years.
   He was confident that this year he could do it.
   “After I shot my first 100 (clay pigeons), I was right on. Right then, I was pretty sure I was going to do it,” he said.
   This is not the first time that Bigras has shot a perfect 200; he said he has achieved the same thing at other shooting ranges and meets. But this one was special to him because it was at his home club and it had never been done there.
   Bigras has been a natural to the sport of trapshooting ever since he started seriously competing in 2006 at age 14. He was an All-American Sub-Junior First Team member (under 15 years old) in 2007 and 2008 and an All-American Junior First Team member (under 18 years old) from 2009 until 2011. The shooters earn this distinction for the year after they compete.
   Dennis DeVaux, a member of the Montpelier Gun Club and winner of the same event as Bigras four times in the past, shot next to Bigras when he was going for the perfect score. DeVaux said it was only a matter of time before someone would score a perfect 200 and he was very happy that Bigras was the one to do it. DeVaux last won in 1989 with a score of 196.
   “We need more people like him,” DeVaux said. “That’s the goal is to get the youth involved.”
   The Montpelier Gun Club’s president, Milan Lawson, winner of the singles event in 1981 with a score of 196, agrees that there are not many young people in the sport of trapshooting.
   “Young people may not have the time,” he said. “They have other interests today.”
   The biggest factor may be the cost — not accuracy.
   Bigras said that when he was competing regularly, his family was spending $25,000 a year. He also said the gun he uses is worth $18,000. Then there is the cost of ammunition, which is about $1 per box of 25 shotgun shells.
   Bigras acknowledges most of his friends cannot afford to spend that kind of money on a hobby. In fact, Bigras said he has had to buy his own equipment and pay for his entry into competitions since he turned 18, and says he has cut back on how much he competes. Now he goes to only a couple of competitions a year, whereas a few years ago he was traveling all over the country competing, he said.
   But to Bigras trapshooting is much more than a hobby.
   He works at the family business, B & B Monumental Engravers in Barre, with his father, Steve, to keep doing what he loves.
   Now Bigras’ goal is to shoot a perfect 100 from the handicap, which can be as far back as 27 yards — another feat that has never been accomplished at the Montpelier Gun Club. He says he will keep shooting for as long as he can.
   “I don’t know if I’ll be as successful, but I’m still going to do it,” Bigras said. “It’s something I love doing more than anything else.”
EATERY MAY BE ON THE MENU FOR BERLIN PLAZA (pub 6/22/12)  By David Delcore
   BERLIN — You can add a mystery restaurant to the growing mix of establishments that could be coming soon to the Barre-Montpelier Road.
   Town Administrator Jeff Schulz confirmed this week that owners of the shopping center anchored by Big Lots intend to apply for a permit to build a freestanding restaurant next to Pizza Hut. The chain restaurant, which Schulz said he wasn’t at liberty to name, would be the newest addition to the Central Vermont Shopping Center and further fuel the recent revival of a retail strip once dubbed Berlin’s “million-dollar mile.”
   The project recently cleared a key hurdle thanks to a 13-year-old permit the shopping center’s owner obtained for a bank that was never built. That permit, Schulz concluded, is still valid, and site and utility improvements were made at the time — effectively preserving owner Pomerleau Real Estate’s right to pursue a revised version of the project that wouldn’t be allowed under current flood plain regulations.
   The deciding factor, according to Schulz, was that the bank was part of a broader project that included interior renovations to the L-shaped plaza that were completed as proposed.
   Although Schulz has determined the bank permit is still valid, he has concluded the proposed restaurant will require a trip to the town’s development review board. Based on changes to the project, which received its permit in 1999, the board must review and approve an amended site plan before construction can commence.
   Schulz recently shared that opinion with the engineer working on the project and said he expects a formal application will be submitted next week. Assuming that happens, he said the project will be on the agenda for the review board’s July 17 meeting.
   It will likely have company, according to Schulz, who said representatives of CVS have indicated they plan to apply before next week’s deadline to build a freestanding pharmacy just up the Barre-Montpelier Road from the proposed restaurant.
   If approved, the pharmacy would require the demolition of the vacant restaurant that last housed Friendly’s, as well as the neighboring Vermonter Motel. Once cleared, the lots across from the base of the Berlin State Highway would be combined and redeveloped.
   Those two projects join three others that are in the works and one that was recently finished.
   Verizon recently opened a cellular phone sales and service center in a newly renovated 4,085-square-foot building where Midas once replaced mufflers.
   Just across the road, construction of a 7,300-square-foot Auto Zone auto parts store is under way, and two new tenants should be coming soon to the nearby Price Chopper plaza.
   Work is nearly complete on one of two remaining vacancies in the strip mall that houses Price Chopper, T.J. Maxx and The Dollar Tree. Petco has leased the 13,500-square-foot space and is said to be aiming for an Aug. 1 opening.
   Contractors are waiting for the go-ahead to begin work on 18,763 square feet of remaining retail space that is expected to be the new home for Staples. Officials at Staples’ headquarters have previously confirmed plans to move the store, which is now off Paine Turnpike in Berlin, down to the Barre-Montpelier Road plaza.
   Renovations needed to accommodate that move are expected to take 10 weeks and will start as soon as plans are final and a lease is signed.

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