Thursday, September 27, 2012


News to Know September 27, 2012

Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at
Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
This issue is short and sweet.  Please take the time to ask some of  your friends and neighbors if they're receiving "News to Know", are connected to the Berlin, Vermont facebook page and if they realize a dedicated group has put together the funds to start up Front Porch Forum for the Berlin Community.  All great ways to keep in touch with your neighbors and the greater community.  I would love to see these ways to connect reach more folks!
Included below please find:
U-32 VARIETY SHOW SEPT 28 & 29 7PM - 9PM
U-32 VARIETY SHOW SEPT 28 & 29 7PM - 9PM
It's going to be awesome!  A true variety of acts.  This is a change to have the variety show in the fall.  Tickets are only adults $7 and students $5.  See you there!
Please go to and sign up to participate.  Folks are encouraged to share news and events with their neighbors here in Berlin.  See you on the Front Porch!
   Don't forget that this Saturday from 1–3pm at the Berlin Elementary School folks will gather rain or shine (playground if it's shining, gym if it's raining).   Bring a picnic lunch (no glass) and enjoy the music of "Lil and the Chill".  This is a FREE EVENT!  Children must be chaperoned by an adult.  A fun, relaxing gathering that celebrates the connection between the school and our greater community.  Be sure to bring a blanket or chair also.
   Families, friends, relatives, and anyone with a connection to the school or community are welcome to join in for this afternoon of amazing music and company.  Lil and the Chill is a local band featuring lead singer Lori Renaud, whose day job is Administrative Assistant at our school. Lori and her band will perform a family-friendly combination of new music and classic hits.
A group of parents would like to bring the Holiday Bazaar back for the students of Berlin Elementary School. This opportunity for students of Berlin will be Saturday December 8th, time TBD it will be held in the gym at school.  We are in need of donated items for the bazaar and volunteers. If you have items to donate or would like to volunteer you can contact Kim Boyd at 229-9517 or by email
"American Hallel"  Counterpoint directed by Robert De Cormier sings sacred and liturgical music of Michael Isaacson.  Thursday, October 11, 2012 at Bethany Church, Montpelier.  Pre-concert lecture by the composer at 6:45. Concert at 7:30  $20 adults / $15 seniors,  $5 students and financially challenged.  Tickets at the door.  Information at (802) 540-1784 and
We will be accepting gently used costumes, in good clean condition, for babies, children, and adults- as well as used skating, dance, performance costumes, masks, boas and other fancy scarves and accessories.  Drop off your costumes and accessories in the Children’s Library at the Kellogg Hubbard Library anytime on Friday, October 12.  Join us to “shop” for a new costume on Saturday, October 13th from 11-1 in the East Montpelier Room at the Kellogg Hubbard Library.
If you have a costume but are unable to drop it at the library on Friday email us and we'll make other arrangements. For more information email

Thursday, September 13, 2012


News to Know Sept. 14th, 2012


Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at

Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook

My FAVORITE day of the year is almost upon us... that's when I'll be picking potatoes at Chappelle's in Williamstown on September 23rd!

Included below please find:




A homeowner that I know here in Berlin on Paine Turnpike South wrote to me on September 11th and said "I thought I would let you  know that my house was broken into today, and if you'd like to post it in your  next news blast that would be a good idea, I would like to let folks know.  My laptop and a digital camera were stolen, nothing else."

Michelle Leslie, who is the mom of a Berlin 6th grader asked me to share the following:

At The Gray Building, Main Street, Northfield
Invites you to our OPEN HOUSE!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2012  6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Come check out our studio and register for your favorite dance classes!
We teach dancers 3 years and up. New and beginner dancers are always welcome!
Creative Movement (3-4 year olds); Ballet; Jazz; Hip Hop; Contemporary; Tap; Adult Latin Class
Can’t join us for Open House? Feel free to visit our website or call the Studio.
A Step Above for Dancers, MAILING ADDRESS: 57 Warren Ave, Northfield, VT 05663

The Central Vermont Swim Club (CVSC) offers competitive and non-competitive swim programs for youth ages 6-18 in the Central Vermont area. All participants must be able to swim at least one pool length (25 yards) without stopping. There are two locations to choose from: Norwich University and First in Fitness Berlin. The competitive program swims at Norwich only. Non-competitive can swim at either location.
We are excited about the upcoming season and are encouraging folks to consider the competitive program. The more swimmers there are, the more fun it is. Based upon the interest expressed thus far, we will likely have full programs. Please remember this is a parent/volunteer run organization. There is NO profit. The cost of the program pays for expenses. If you don't like something, we ask that you get involved to change it. There is no us and them. We are one entity!
if you have any questions feel free to contact us via email. We will return an answer as soon as possible (typically in a couple of days).
Led by certified swim coaches, these programs stress proper stroke mechanics, competitive swimming skills development, and endurance training for all participants through the use of individual and group instruction, timed drills and distance swimming. Competitive swimmers have the option of participating in club only meets, six New
England Swimming meets, and Regional Championship Meets during the season.
WHO: Swimmers interested in competitive swim training
WHEN: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
TIME: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
DATES: Monday, October 22, 2012Thursday, February 21, 2013
WHERE: Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont
FEE: Competitive - $480 (includes USA swimming fees)(additional meet fees apply)

Non-Competitive - $345


This program stresses the fundamentals of swimming and stroke development through the use of individual and group instruction, drills, laps and games. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in two fun swim meets held by the club to measure their progress.
WHO: Swimmers who are not currently interested in competing
WHEN: Monday & Wednesday
TIME: 6 - 7:15 p.m.
DATES: Monday, October 22, 2012Wednesday, February 20, 2013
WHERE: First in Fitness, Berlin, Vermont
FEE: $230.00
REGISTRATION:  For more information and registration forms, email:  Payment is due in full with submission of registration forms unless prior arrangements are made.  SPACE IS LIMITED. FILLED FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.

By David Delcore (pub Times Argus 8/26/12)

   Ellery Packard isn’t complaining … much.
   Sure, the matter-of-fact man with the crew cut that is starting to show the signs of his age — 46 — has a few choice words for the state and federal governments, but generally speaking Packard has weathered Vermont’s storm of this century better than even he might have predicted.
   Countless Vermonters lost their homes when Tropical Storm Irene blew through the
Green Mountain State a year ago. Many others lost businesses. Packard lost an entire rent-paying neighborhood in Berlin, and a good bit of his livelihood along with it.
   “It has been a busy year,” the proprietor of Weston’s
Mobile Home Park said recently, drawing a dust-covered forearm across his sweat-soaked brow even as a bulldozer beeped and creaked in the background.
   “It’s been busy, but we’re getting there,” he added.
   For Packard, who has taken to measuring progress one dirt-filled dump truck at a time, it has been an incredibly tough slog. Tough, but still manageable, he claimed.
   “It’s not something I would sign up to do again,” Packard said. “But, it happened so you’ve got to deal with it.”
   That focus-and-fix-it attitude has served Packard well as he has sought to clean up the mess created when Irene unleashed the
Dog River and it literally ran wild through his 83-lot mobile home park on Route 12 in Berlin. Before the storm was over, 70 mobile homes were completely destroyed, 13 others were without water and power, and Packard had his work cut out for him.
   He still does, as anyone who has driven by the steadily evolving construction zone that has been Weston’s for the last year can surely attest.
   Though the park is half-empty, Packard prefers to view it as half-full.
   “We’re getting close to 50 percent (occupancy),” he said, noting things are heading in the right direction.
   What had been a slow trickle of new tenants ticked up noticeably this month, according to Packard, who credits his decision to focus exclusively on upgrading one of the park’s three flooded streets for the mini-surge.
   “By this time next year we should be pretty close to full,” he predicted.
   That is saying something, given the post-Irene experience at several other flood-damaged mobile home parks in
   Some of those parks will never reopen. Others are still in the permitting phase, while Weston’s is, well, back in business.
   Partly because Packard “… liked construction equipment” as a kid and parlayed that interest into the excavating business — E.E. Packard Enterprises — he started in 1985.
   “I was 18,” he recalled, of his decision to buy a dump truck, a bucket loader and a couple of pickup trucks off an ailing customer of the gravel pit that he ran for his father in Middlesex at the time.
   Packard grew the fledgling business, which at its height boasted three dozen employees and 30 pieces of heavy machinery — some of which was used to upgrade Weston’s after he and his wife, Jennifer, bought the mobile home park as an investment in 1994.
   Packard said he installed new septic systems, upgraded water lines, and replaced electrical and telephone services over the years.
   “We definitely made it (Weston’s) a lot better place between 1994 and 2011,” he said. “Then it went down the river.”
   Now Packard is at it again, and he said his expertise and the equipment and resources of his “dirt business” put him in a unique position to swiftly deal with the potentially crippling problem that was created by Irene.
   “I can easily understand why the other parks in the state are where they’re at and not where we’re at,” said Packard, who owns the bulldozer that was beeping in the background, the hydraulic excavator he’d been deftly operating moments earlier and most of the equipment he has been using to take Weston’s apart and put the whole park back together again.
   “Thank God I had it (the excavating business), or we wouldn’t be where we are,” he said. “But, we have to start working for people that pay.”
   Owning an excavating business is a “double-edged sword,” according to Packard, who said while there was money to be made in the wake of Irene, he left plenty of it on the table because his equipment and manpower was tied up at Weston’s.
   “We had to turn a pile of it (business) down,” admitted Packard, who was working upstream from Weston’s trying to save the bridge on
Chase Brook Road in Berlin when he got the call the park was “under water.”
   What followed was a grueling grind of 16-hour days, seven days a week, in a mad dash to get as much cleaned up before winter hit as possible.
   “That was rough,” recalled Packard, who is no longer working nights and weekends and has settled into a routine that he expects will have the park “95 percent complete” before snow flies.
   “For the tenants who are living here, it would be very nice to get the construction slowed down so they’re not listening to construction equipment all day every day,” he said.
   According to Packard, none have complained about the noise.
   “I’m sure they don’t like it, but they can see progress every day,” he said. “That makes a big difference.”
   Packard said he is personally eager to finish the park reconstruction and never seriously considered walking away.
   “Failure and giving up is not in the nature of my family,” he said.
   If nothing else it has given Packard a talking point — railing against the “bureaucracy” and “red tape” that he said he has and continues to wade through in his effort to rebuild the park.
   “I would just like to help fix some of the problems that I see that we have,” he said, noting permitting was a challenge and funding — though he has obtained a low-interest loan through the Small Business Administration — still is.
   Packard points to the seemingly endless and senseless hurdles and the SBA’s inability to definitively answer the simplest questions have him proceeding with caution now that pre-approved funds have run out and his request for supplemental funding is being put through a thorough review process.
   “I’ve done a fair amount of banking in my life and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
   Though Packard didn’t lose so much as a piece of furniture or a photo album in last year’s flooding, he is well-acquainted with 70 families who lost virtually everything they owned. Some have returned to the park. A few never left. Many have moved on, but at least a few of them haven’t ruled out coming back when they get out from under the leases they signed to get housing in the immediate aftermath of Irene.
   “I could tell you 70 different stories,” Packard said. “Every person has their own story and they run the whole gamut.”
   Packard has a story, too, and asked to identify the proudest portion of it, he paused to reflect.
   “The fact that we’re here and we’re putting people in homes every day and we didn’t let Mother Nature or the government beat us,” mused the man who is in the middle of sifting a mountain of topsoil he created on the hillside that is part of the 64-acre park property.
   Roots and rocks will tossed and the freshly sifted dirt will be trucked back down where it came from so that lawns can be planted and grass can grow and be mowed again.
   “But, I don’t necessarily look at it as ‘being proud,’” he added before ending his break and strolling back to his idle excavator. “I think I just did my job … and, like I said, we’re getting there.”
   One dirt-filled dump truck at a time.


by Taylor Dobbs (pub 8/28/12 )
   There’s a fresh look to the Weston Trailer Park. The newly pressed gravel bases for the shiny new mobile homes – some of them still uninhabited – match the bright new wood of the porches. The porches don’t show the tell-tale signs of Vermont weather: the moss that gathers around the base of support posts, the faded gray tone that comes from intense summer sun, winter freezes, and heavy rains.
   A year ago, the Weston Trailer Park was home to many families. Trailers of varying vintages lined the short dirt road in Berlin, their porches well-worn. Perhaps some of the families living in the park had heard of Irene, a tropical storm brewing down south. Most of them didn’t expect their neighborhood, the 83-lot trailer park, would be virtually wiped off the map.
When Tropical Storm Irene scoured Vermont, Weston was among the worst hit trailer parks in the state. Seventeen mobile home villages were damaged by Irene, including parks in Bethel, Duxbury, Waterbury, Sharon and Brattleboro, according to state officials. In all, 235 mobile homes flooded and 124 were actually destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. Three parks have been closed indefinitely, including Tri Park in Brattleboro, Patterson’s in Duxbury and Whalley in Waterbury.
   Weston was also devastated. Many of the mobile homes were ruined, forcing their inhabitants to look elsewhere for housing in the chaotic weeks after the storm hit.
   But a year later, Weston is back, and in some ways better than it was before. The park looks as though it was recently carved out of the meadow on which it sits, not far from the Dog River that so ravaged it last year. Fresh concrete pads line both sides of the road, some of them underneath handsome new mobile homes, for sale signs standing squarely in front.
   The Weston makeover is the result of a concerted effort by the Shumlin administration and nonprofit groups to help residents rebuild. The Vermont Community Foundation, the Associated General Contractors, Chittenden County Office of Employment Opportunity and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott stepped in to raise thousands of dollars to help mobile home owners across the state dispose of the 68 trailers that were destroyed by Irene last year and to raise money to help residents rebuild. In addition, the FEMA gave eligible owners (whose properties were condemned) up to $30,200 from the federal government.
   On a recent afternoon, lawn crews are cutting grass around the park, though most of the lawns around the new homes haven’t been seeded yet. Most of the few residents are off at work, their freshly laid driveways empty. The occasional truck rumbles toward the end of the road, where a group is putting up a porch on one of the houses.
The contractors working on the porch aren’t toiling in the late summer heat to put food on the table, though. In fact, they paid their own way for the privilege of volunteering here.
   The group of nine is from Hazlet, a suburban town in central New Jersey, near the shore. They drove up to Vermont as part of the United Methodist Church’s Volunteers in Mission program, a national volunteer network that helps impoverished or disaster-struck communities with volunteer building and home maintenance.
   “We’re up here – as people move in, there’s different people coming in, different churches from around the country, but we’re up here this week working here in Weston and we’ve already put a deck on a trailer over in Montpelier,” said Bill Bechtoldt, one of the volunteers.
Some of the volunteers have a Vermont connection. Vic Rhodes, one of the older volunteers, was born in Pownal. Bechtoldt’s son owns the Stella Notte restaurant in Stowe. Others just came to help out.
   “It’s just amazing how much damage water can do,” said Melanie Jacob, one of the group members.
   They’re no stranger to water damage. After Hurricane Katrina devastated some southeastern communities, the church group went to Mississippi to volunteer. On this trip, the group is staying at the McKenzie house, an old church hall converted into a bunkhouse after Irene.
Dave Murphy and his wife Judy help coordinate the volunteer groups with local efforts. They started the central Vermont volunteer branch, or mission, in Feb. 2011 and initially had trouble finding volunteers from outside the state.
   “And then all of the sudden Irene happened and we were on the map,” Murphy said. Since the storm hit, the Murphys have had 10 groups, and two more are likely to come before the end of the year.
   “We’re with the United Methodist Church and we have a national network of groups called Volunteers in Mission,” Murphy said in an interview. The volunteer network was in place, and coordinating with community response groups across central Vermont, Murphy has connected groups with homeowners who need everything from hanging drywall and replacing windows to building wheelchair ramps.
   “We have some funds, but most of them have been funded either through state money and also some money that’s been raised in the individual communities,” he said.
With the supplies paid for and free labor, the mission has been able to fill many gaps, doing projects for families that might not otherwise have been able to afford them. He says there’s much more to be done.
   “We anticipate operating next year,” Murphy said. Some of this summer’s volunteers have already contacted him about making another trip next summer.
   A fresh start
   As the volunteers eat their lunch in the shade, a Vermont man stops by.
   “I’m moving into 18,” he says proudly.
   Twelve months after the storm, Clint Campbell is finally coming home. When Irene hit, he was living in his trailer at River Run in Barre. The trailer park had flooded in May 2011, and Campbell and his wife were hit again in August.
   “I’d been there 13 years,” he said. The trailer was destroyed in Irene, and deemed uninhabitable by the state. Since then, he’s been renting an apartment in Plainfield.
Campbell, a groundskeeper at Thunder Road in Barre, said he was paying for the mobile home – just under $50,000 – with money from FEMA and a grant from the Central Vermont Community Action Council.
   “It’s about time,” he said. “Rent was killing me.”
Campbell is one of the lucky ones. His last trailer was covered by flood insurance, and he and his wife made it through the storm unharmed.
   Greg Rouleau, the owner of Villiage Homes, was there to help Campbell move in. He said there’s been a lot of activity in the year since Irene, and most of his customers are having trouble getting the money together to pay for their homes.
   “Funding has been a struggle for everybody,” he said. “From what I understand is what FEMA gave in replacement cost and what it costs to rebuild and go in is a different number, so making up the difference is the challenge.”


Sept. 29th 8pm - 10pm at the Barre Opera House

   Forty years ago Dan and Willy Lindner and Al Davis, along with Peter Tourin, began playing bluegrass music in the unlikely setting of Vermont’s Green Mountains. Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys played their first paying gig at a small shopping center in Waitsfield, Vermont. It was September, 1972, and another relative unknown was walking around the grounds saying “Hi, I’m Tom Salmon and I’m running for governor.” Unbeknownst to anyone at that time, it was the beginning of an unbelievable run for a group of acoustic musicians playing a little-known style of music that originated in the southern Appalachians. Now celebrating their Fortieth Anniversary Tour, the Plowboys have not only established themselves as one of the top acoustic bands in the Northeast, but have attained almost legendary status among bluegrass fans in this part of the country.
   The longest-running bluegrass band in New England, the longest-running band of any kind in Vermont, Banjo Dan and the band have performed in every imaginable sort of venue, from coffeehouses to concert halls, opera houses, gazebos, campuses, fairs and festivals….you name it. They have toured England and Italy and participated in the ground-breaking cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union launched in the late 1980s by Project Harmony. Additional tours in Russia and Finland have ensued, along with festival and concert appearances in Canada. Between band efforts and “solo” projects by various members, the gang has released no less than seventeen full albums, every one stamped with the group’s emphasis on original compositions. This summer the Plowboys have once again been entertaining audiences from Pennsylvania up through Maine with dynamic, creative music, high energy, humor and good times.
   And now an era in Vermont music is coming to an end. On September 29 Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys will play their final concert. Appropriately, it will be held at the Barre Opera House, right here in central Vermont, the long-time home base for the band. The concert is scheduled for 8 PM and tickets are $20; $18 for seniors and students – reserved seating.
   Founding members “Banjo Dan,” mandolinist Will Lindner and guitarist Al Davis still form the core of the band. Jon Henry Drake, the Plowboys’ bass player and tenor singer for the past twenty years, will be there, along with 10-year veteran Phil Bloch, one of New England’s top fiddlers. Guest appearances by former band members are a distinct possibility, and the play list will feature some old Banjo Dan favorites along with the band’s highly distinctive current repertoire. Jack Donovan from media sponsor WDEV will emcee the show, and the audience may expect a few more surprises. The band will be donating its concert fee to the People’s Health and Wellness Clinic, a wonderful Barre-based organization providing primary health care and wellness education to uninsured and underinsured community members of central Vermont.
   “Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys” has been almost synonymous with “Vermont music” for four decades. According to Dan, “We feel like we’ve got the best-ever personnel and are at the top of our form. Nothing lasts forever, but we’re definitely going out on a high note.” The band is grateful for all the wonderful support they’ve enjoyed throughout the state and well beyond for four decades, and the Plowboys are looking forward to sharing one last rousing evening of Vermont-flavored bluegrass music with friends and fans. As their motto suggests, this if “the soul of bluegrass…from the heart of Vermont.”

by David Delcore, pub 9/13/12 Times Argus

   MONTPELIER — When it comes to legal action involving Berlin Pond, the scofflaws who eventually ended up with a unanimous Vermont Supreme Court on their side have decided that turnabout is fair play.
Barre Town residents Cedric and Leslie Sanborn have sued the city of Montpelier and one of its part-time police officers for first arresting them on charges of trespassing on the pond three years ago and later suing them after those charges were tossed out by the county prosecutor in 2009.
   Their nine-count, 13-page lawsuit represents the latest wrinkle in a long dispute over
Montpelier’s attempts to regulate recreational use of its public drinking water supply.
   The Sanborns insisted
Montpelier had no such authority when they were arrested by Officer William Jennings while kayaking Sept. 6, 2009. The couple were photographed, fingerprinted and released on citations for unlawful trespass charges that were dismissed before their scheduled arraignments.
   The Sanborns’ arrests — and an ensuing legal battle that finally ended in May when the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that they weren’t trespassing — are at the heart of the lawsuit recently filed on their behalf by Barre lawyer Oreste Valsangiacomo Jr.
   Montpelier City Manager William Fraser said he was served with the lawsuit Tuesday and briefly skimmed the document but had nothing of substance to say about it.
   “We’ve turned (the lawsuit) over to our attorneys and our insurer,” he said.
   The suit claims the Sanborns’ constitutional rights were violated when they were ordered off the pond and arrested on what Valsangiacomo has characterized as a trumped-up criminal charge designed to perpetuate the perception that
Montpelier had the right to restrict recreational use of the pond.
   The suit also contends the Sanborns were deprived of their physical liberty; subjected to emotional distress, public humiliation and embarrassment; and forced to incur legal fees to fight the lawsuit
Montpelier filed against them and Rick Barnett in March 2010. That case prompted the Vermont Supreme Court ruling that only the state has the authority to regulate Berlin Pond and other public bodies of water.
   Valsangiacomo has asked for a jury trial and indicated his clients would like unspecified compensatory damages, as well as attorney’s fees they amassed fighting
Montpelier’s lawsuit against them.
   Barnett was arrested first — on
July 30, 2009 — and, according to the latest lawsuit, the charge was dropped before his scheduled Aug. 20, 2009, arraignment.
   According to the lawsuit, prosecutors determined there was “no legal basis or probable cause for a finding of a criminal violation of the law.”
   The lawsuit alleges that
Montpelier was aware of that determination more than two weeks before the Sanborns were arrested on the same charge.
   The arresting officer,
Jennings, is accused in the lawsuit of false arrest, malicious prosecution and negligence in making an arrest that Valsangiacomo claims violated the Sanborns’ rights under the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
   The lawsuit makes similar constitutional claims against
Montpelier. It also alleges the city is liable for Jennings’ actions, negligent for failing to adequately train him, and overstepped when it sued the Sanborns and Barnett in 2010 after Barnett received permission from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to hold an ice fishing tournament on the pond.
   The lawsuit further accuses Montpelier of attempting “to establish a de facto ownership, control and jurisdiction over Berlin Pond and to intimidate and threaten any member of the public who dares to lawfully utilize Berlin Pond, with stiff fines of $10,000 per violation, plus costs, expenses and attorneys fees resulting from the civil lawsuit, all in an effort to illegally deter the public from utilizing a public water resource.”
   Late last month Valsangiacomo reached out to the city’s insurance carrier — the
Vermont League of Cities and Towns — with regard to the claims. In an Aug. 21 letter he indicated the Sanborns, who incurred more than $8,200 in legal fees fighting the initial lawsuit, would be willing to settle the case for $25,000 with one stipulation.
   “That sum is conditioned on
Montpelier’s selling or donating land that they own that borders Berlin Pond to the state so that the state can build an appropriate Fish and Wildlife access to Berlin Pond,” he wrote.
   Since the Supreme Court’s ruling,
Montpelier has posted city-owned land that — except for a tiny parcel owned by the town of Berlin — surrounds the two-mile-long pond and vowed to prosecute all trespassers.
   The court’s ruling involving the pond has stirred debate in
Berlin, where local officials have been lobbied by those who view the pond as an ecological jewel that should be protected and others who maintain it is a recreational resource that can be enjoyed without harming the habitat or tainting Montpelier’s drinking water.


   A group of Vermonters concerned about the future of Berlin Pond has created an organization to protect the pond.
   For roughly 100 years, Berlin Pond has remained in a natural, undisturbed condition.  It is the primary source of drinking water for the City of Montpelier, for Central Vermont Hospital, and for areas of Berlin.  However, a recent decision by the Vermont Supreme Court said the city lacked authority to regulate the use of the pond, and as a result, boating and fishing have begun there.
   The new group, "Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond," will work to maintain Berlin Pond in its historic, untrammeled condition.  Point of contact for the group is Maggie J. Kerrin of Waterbury.  She can be reached at (please put Berlin Pond in the subject line).  Members are residents of Montpelier, Berlin, Barre, Waterbury, and other towns in central Vermont.
   A statement announcing the formation of the group noted:
   -Berlin Pond is a unique resource in Vermont because it has historically existed as a place where natural processes have been allowed to predominate without human interference.
   -Major state-protected wetlands encircle the pond, making it a unique natural community.
   -Berlin Pond has been a refuge and sanctuary for wildlife for 100 years.  The Audubon Society has designated it an "Important Bird Area," and notes "the undisturbed nature of Berlin Pond makes it unique in the state."
   -The Berlin Conservation Commission has advised against increased access to the pond.
   -There are 34 lakes and ponds within a 20-mile radius of Berlin Pond.  All allow hunting, fishing, trapping, swimming, and boating.  More than 800 other lakes and ponds in the State of Vermont allow similar activities.
   -Invasive species such as milfoil and zebra mussels introduced by hunting and fishing can greatly increase the cost of providing safe water for Montpelier and Berlin.
   Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond welcomes support from all Vermonters who are committed to keeping Berlin Pond natural, protected and undeveloped.



   The Chappelle's say pick-your-own potatoes is planned for Sunday, Sept 23rd 9am-5pm.  Signs are always posted no matter which direction you're coming from. The fields are up on South Hill in Williamstown. Fantastic prices. Bring some buckets and burlap bags (or some kind of containers). Wear shoes or boots that can get dirty. Pick as few or as many as you want (you pay buy the pound) and whatever size you prefer. You can also buy bags of prepicked potatoes if you don't want to get your own. Questions? Just ask. We've been doing this for over 20 years. Pick for yourself, for friends and family, for an upcoming fundraiser dinner or breakfast, or maybe your kids want to resell them as a school trip fundraiser.  It's my favorite day of the year. See you there!    NOTE:  Although there is only one pick-your-own potatoes day, you can contact Barbara & Bob Chappelle 802-433-5930 as they sell 50lb bags of pre-picked potatoes on a seasonal basis from their warehouse there in Williamstown.  Cost varies depending on what class of potatoes you choose - the cheapest are the UNCLASSIFIEDS and they go up in price for UNCLASSIFIED CHEFS, #1s, CHEFS and finally, BAKERS.

   Children must be chaperoned by an adult. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, and picnic lunch (no glass, please).  Picnic on the Playground at Berlin Elementary School is intended to be a fun, relaxing gathering that celebrates the connection between the school and our greater community. We encourage families, friends, relatives, and anyone with a connection to the school or community to join us for an afternoon of amazing music and company. This event is COMPLETELY FREE!  Lil and the Chill is a local band featuring lead singer Lori Renaud, whose day job is Administrative Assistant at our school. Lori and her band will perform a family-friendly combination of new music and classic hits.

The Apple Orchard at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center is open for Pick Your Own Apples Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm; Monday & Friday 3pm - 5pm 728-1276
Liberty Orchards in Brookfield is also fun to go to for apple picking as they have low trees making picking great for the kids. Opening September 14th and probably picked out by Columbus Day weekend. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
10am - 5pm and Monday - Thursday 1pm-5pm 276-3161


Dairy Creme lower
State St is currently open  12pm - 8pm through October 31st. 
Did you know you can buy
CASH CARDS and get FREE CREEMEES, what a great gift! WOODEN NICKELS are great gifts too. Check out the details on their website.

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