Monday, November 19, 2012


News to Know November 19, 2012


Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at

If you're not already receiving this news by email, send an email to request this to

Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
While you're baking for Thanksgiving, please consider making something extra to support the Ladies Auxiliary of the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department - see details below.
SEVENTY people have died on Vermont roads this year, of those FORTY were not buckled. Police say the biggest excuse they hear is that the seat belt is uncomfortable.  Please buckle up.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia
Included below please find:


The Berlin Volunteer Fire Dept's Ladies Auxiliary is doing a food booth at the Greater Barre Craft Show on November 24th and 25th at the Barre Auditorium. We are looking for baked goods to sell. Please contact either Carole Lacasse at 229-9504 or Jennie Thompson at 522-1036, to let them know if you are willing to bake something. Your help is appreciated.

The Greater Barre Craft Guild presents this 32nd annual event of over 120 crafters and specialty foods on Saturday November 24th 9am - 5pm and Sunday, November 25th 10am - 4pm at the Barre Auditorium.  Free parking, free admission, handicap accessible.   Door prizes.  Photos with Santa on Sunday.  Live remotes with Frogrry 100.9 and Frank 107.1

Pub 11/17/12  Times Argus By David Delcore
   BERLIN — Plans to create a single, self-governing public safety authority that would provide a full range of emergency services to four core central Vermont communities could be on the ballot in Barre, Barre Town, Montpelier and Berlin as early as next October.
   It is an aggressive timeline, but one that members of an intermunicipal citizens’ committee told officials from all four communities this week is achievable given recent progress on a project that they’ve been working on for the past three years.
   Though many questions have yet to be answered, committee members have settled on a basic framework for running and funding the independent authority that they believe can provide participating communities with “an affordable, integrated, efficient system of public safety services that protects the public welfare and provides rapid responses with highly qualified personnel when emergency situations arise.”
   At least that’s the committee’s vision for the authority that, in its most robust form, would be responsible for providing round-the-clock police, fire, ambulance, and emergency dispatch services to all four communities at once.
   The theory is that by joining forces on the public safety front the four communities will be able to pool their collective resources, eliminate some redundancies, and curb operational expenses, while delivering a superior service. It might not cost a whole lot less to operate at the outset than the combined cost running the fragmented patchwork of stand-alone departments that exist in each community, but the committee believes it would feature a measure of operational flexibility that doesn’t currently exist and an economy of scale that none of the towns currently enjoy.
   It sounds good, it works elsewhere and it may well work in central
Vermont if the committee and, by extension, the city councils and select boards that created it can navigate the political mine field that often accompanies surrendering some level of local control.
   That is what would have to happen for the committee’s vision to be realized and while some of the more sensitive subjects, like how to handle existing labor contracts and how to deal with capital assets, are being treated as down-the-road decisions, the committee has settled on a governance structure and identified a path to creating what members believe is a workable cost-sharing formula.
   During an overview that lasted less than 20 minutes committee members recapped three years worth of work on a project that received public votes of support earlier this year.
   Local officials, from Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon and Montpelier Mayor John Hollar to Jeff Blow, chairman of the Barre Town Select Board, and Brad Towne, Blow’s counterpart in Berlin, were on hand for a presentation that was followed by a brief back-and-forth but surprisingly little feedback.
   Local officials were told that the independent authority would be governed by a seven-member board that would be composed of one member appointed by each of the four communities and three others who would be elected “at-large” in something akin to mini county-wide elections.
   They were also told not to expect a detectable reduction in current staffing levels, though the authority would enhance the fire service in
Barre Town and the fire and ambulance services in Berlin.
Barre Town has a volunteer fire department, as does Berlin, which currently contracts with Barre Town Emergency Medical Services for its ambulance service.
   The estimated cost of the combined operation would be in excess of $13 million, according to the committee’s estimates. That figure would be partially offset by more than $4 million in revenue — primarily generated by ambulance services in Barre,
Barre Town and Montpelier, leaving a net cost of about $8.7 million.
   The committee has struggled mightily with how to equitably share the cost — evaluating alternatives based on everything from population and Grand List to call volumes — before tentatively settling on a two-pronged formula. That formula involves a per capita “readiness” fee that would be assessed each participating community and a “service fee” based on police and fire call volumes.
   Though there is still work to do, the committee believes that formula, which would be gradually phased in after the third year of operations, is workable.
   According to the committee’s work the division of costs would be fixed for the first three years. Barre would be billed for 36.2 percent of the operation, followed by
Montpelier at 34.4 percent, Barre Town at 20 percent and Berlin at 9.4 percent. Those percentages are based on a three-year average of each community’s share of the combined costs of emergency services.
   The premise is that Berlin’s and, to a lesser extent, Barre Town’s, costs would begin to climb starting in the fourth year of operation in order to reflect enhanced service, while Barre’s and Montpelier’s costs would drop slightly.
   Though Hollar said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the committee’s progress, Blow said nothing, Towne didn’t say much more and Lauzon questioned the wisdom of an “all-in” approach and the commitment of all four towns.
   “My biggest concern is going forward are we going to make a commitment to this thing?” Lauzon said, posing a question that was never answered.
   According to Lauzon, it should be and sooner rather than later. He said all four legislative bodies should carefully review the committee’s latest report and send a clear signal about where they stand on the issue in the next two weeks.
   Committee member Tom Golonka, who serves on the Montpelier City Council, said that would be appreciated.
   “If you don’t want to go forward tell us,” Golonka said. “We’ll understand … If the boards currently feel this isn’t in the realm of possibility then don’t waste our time.”
   No one went that far Thursday night, though Lauzon downplayed the significance of a Town Meeting Day vote that saw Barre voters express support — both financially and conceptually — for the committee’s work.
   Lauzon also wondered aloud whether a “phased approach” to consolidating emergency services might make more sense. He said creating a single emergency dispatch service could be a likely first step for the proposed public safety authority, if only because every community uses that service in the same way and consolidating dispatch centers in Barre and
Montpelier would be reasonably easy to achieve.
   However, George Malek, executive vice president of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, said the disadvantage of the approach suggested by Lauzon was that it could conceivably reduce the pressure for some communities to participate in a more comprehensive service by resolving the problem that brought them to the table in the first place.
   “When all of the pieces are on the table together everybody’s got an interest,” he said, crediting Lauzon for first suggesting the idea of consolidating the full range of emergency services in all four communities.
   Committee members agreed feedback from the boards would be appreciated and full participation from all four communities — Barre and
Berlin are currently underrepresented — is crucial.
   Committee member Alan Weiss, who, like Golonka, serves on the Montpelier City Council, said it would be a huge help if each of the four boards included regular updates from their respective representatives on their meeting agendas.
   “We need the intercommunication,” he said.
   Meanwhile, Malek urged the boards to resist the temptation to “kick the committee to the curb” and take over a process that he believes has produced a workable solution to an issue that has been discussed for decades.
   “We’re two-thirds down the road, I think they (committee members) can get the rest of the way down the road,” he said.

Public Safety Authority Committee Reports can be found on-line:
Committee Report #1 presented March 18, 2010 at
Committee Report #2 presented November 3, 2011
Committee Report #3 presented November 15, 2012


Pub 11/18/12 FOX44 ABC22 By David Hodges
(sign with article shows handicap symbol "Handicapped Access - Press Button, we bring a portable ramp)

   BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Church Street Marketplace is one of the premiere attractions of Burlington but many of the old buildings weren't friendly to physically handicapped people when they were built.
   The buildings on Church Street, like Ken's Pizza and Pub, were built before the American Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 meaning that many weren't in compliance with rules designed to give access to people with a handicap.
   "An architect came in and analyzed the building and came up with suggestions to make it handicap accessible," Ken's co-owner Debra Miller said
   In coordination with US Attorney's office the restaurant has made adjustments to make their establishment more handicap friendly. By renovating to the restroom buying a portable ramp and new chairs and tables to make the restaurant easier to navigate, Ken's has nearly met all the requirements to comply with the ADA.
   "We kind of met in the middle as best we could realizing how old the building is," Miller said.
   But it's not just Ken's that is working to comply. Restaurants up and down Church Street are trying to meet ADA guidelines.
   "They came in 2010 with tape measurers and said this door isn't wide enough. This door needs to open automatically," Leunig's Bistro owner Bob Conlon said.
   But Conlon was quick to point out the renovations were pretty costly.
   "You know it cost us about $13,000 to do the renovations but we are now in compliance," Conlon said.
   Conlon and Miller hoped the government would help to pay for the changes. Miller says it's possible they will receive tax credits for the work which took close to two years for both restaurants.
   "It did cost us a lot of money we did feel like it was something we really wanted to have the accessibility also," Miller said.
   Church Street Tavern Three Tomatoes Tratorria and Scuffer Ale and Steak House have also taken measures to comply with the American Disabilities Act.

   The American Red Cross is collecting cards to send to service men and women.  The cards they've had available for people to use when they've been set up at malls were blank on the back and had a simple message on the cover, “Warm Wishes” for one and “Happy Holidays” for the other. People were encouraged to use the cards to tell a joke, write a poem or offer a simple thanks. Some people also drew a picture.  American Red Cross is encouraging people to write "Vermont" on the card, saying that it would have special meeting if it made its way to a soldier overseas who happened to come from Vermont.  The cards are expected to go to Washington, D.C., and then some will be returned to Vermont to be distributed.  Volunteers with the Red Cross will deliver them to places like the National Guard armories, the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington and the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lee said.
   The Red Cross is still accepting cards. Only signed cards, not letters, will be accepted, and inserts, like photographs, will not be accepted. Cards should not be addressed to a specific person and should not have glitter, which can come loose and aggravate the health issues of some soldiers and veterans.  If you would like to contribute cards, they must be received by Dec. 7, and should be sent to “Holiday Mail for Heroes” at
PO Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
   Information about the Holiday Mail for Heroes program is available on the Internet at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


News to Know November 13, 2012

Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at
If you're not already receiving this news by email, send an email to request this to
Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
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Let's figure out how we can do a little more to support our local small businesses and self-employed people. Please share info on what you have to offer, both items and services. Purchasing gifts from these businesses / people (or maybe even gift certificates) would go a long way to help your friends and neighbors. Fresh vegetables, jams & preserves, baked goods, meats, handcrafted items, firewood, wood working, snow removal, photography, used books, ... I'm sure the list is endless. would be a great place to share this information but I'm glad to post it here also.
Front Porch Forum (FPF) recently became available to Berlin residents thanks to some businesses and individuals who provided the financial support necessary for Berlin to join on. You can sign up at no additional cost - over 170 people in our community are now members and it's growing! How often FPF emails are sent out depends on the number of postings that are submitted. It's important to submit event information several days in advance so it will get out prior to the date of the event.
November 14th at 7pm is the next meeting of the Berlin Historical Society at the Berlin Town Office. I noted in the agenda there will be an update on participation in the 250th anniversary of Berlin's Wentworth Charter on June 6, 2013.
The complete agenda and minutes from the last meeting on the history of Berlin Pond is posted on the town website under "Berlin Historical Society" on the left sidebar. Note there will be no December meeting. The first meeting in 2013 will be on January 16th.
Did you know membership to the Berlin Historical Society is only $10 and a brief application form can be found on their webpage. They would love to see more folks get involved.
Check out the Recreation page on the Berlin town website (see "Recreation" on the left sidebar). I'm including here the information regarding the ice skating rink, but you'll have to visit the page to see what else is included!
"The Town of Berlin's ice skating rinkis adjacent to the Berlin Town Office at 8 Shed Road. There is a warm-up hut, port-o-let and lights for night skating. The switch to turn the lights on is located on the light pole located at the "elbow" of the "L" shaped rink. Part of the rink is utilized for hockey and part is reserved for recreational skating."
PTNA Parents are bringing back the Holiday Bazaar for Berlin Elementary students this year offering it on a Saturday morning, December 8th from 9-11 AM.
Instead of pricing items, there will be a box in the front lobby for parents to make donations if they're able to.
Half of the gym will be for shopping and wrapping while the other half will be available for kids who are done shopping and waiting for their siblings. Kevin Croteau will be there with those kids so they can play some basketball.
The plan is to have the front lobby as the area for the parents to socialize and enjoy coffee, donuts and muffins so their kids can shop without them. Vera Frazier is looking into donations for muffins or donuts and coffee.
Kim Boyd is looking for people to do the following:
Donations can be brought to the school or contact Kim . The annual Holiday Bazaar has a long history at Berlin Elementary School with many adults having fond memories of purchasing gift items such as ornaments, socks, tools, mugs, books, puzzles, hand crafted items, etc. for their parents and siblings
It's almost time to visit Laughing Moon Chocolates in Stowe and be part of their awesome candy cane making. Candy Cane Making Demonstrations begin promptly at 11am each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between November 21st and December 23rd. Plus, Laughing Moon has added a 2pm demonstration on Saturdays.
Here is how it works: Space at Laughing Moon is limited so if you want to attend a demonstration and make your own candy cane it is best to call ahead and make reservations. They will reserve space for about 15 people at each demonstration.
Admission is free to watch and $6.00 per person to make your own Candy Cane. You can register for a demonstration by calling (802)253-9591. The folks at Laughing Moon do their best to accommodate everyone but be prepared, it does get crowded. Laughing Moon Chocolates is open daily from 9-6 on South Main Streetin Stowe Village, next to Mac's Supermarket.
Pub 11/11/12 MONTPELIER, Vt.
The centerpiece of Vermont's newly designed mental health system is up for a public hearing this coming week.
Closure of the old Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene forced the state to come with a new plan to care for the mentally ill.
It's been developing a system that would include small psychiatric units in several different parts of the state, plus a 25-bed facility in Berlin.
The Berlin facility now is working on getting a permit called a certificate of need from the state Department of Financial Regulation.
DFR (Dept of Financial Regulation) will conduct a hearing on the application Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor conference room of 89 Main Street in Montpelier.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott would like to put the word out to Vermont college students about a paid internship opportunity in the Lt. Governor’s office during the upcoming legislative session, from January-April. (And we hope you can help us spread that message!)
If you know any college students who have an interest in policy and want a great vantage point to observe state government at work, please encourage them to visit the link below and contact us before November 30:
I know many of you have enjoyed going to Silver Lake in Barnard as we have over the years. Whether you're there for the day or to camp for a few days it's likely you've gone into the Barnard General Store while you're down there. The townspeople in Barnard are trying to save their Barnard General Store which is the heart of their community. To keep this short, the bottom line is that they need to raise $500,000 by December 31, 2012, so far they've raised at least $351,000. They've made a fabulous little film about Barnard General Store "Restore the Store" .. with lots of great photos old and new ... ENJOY I so wish Berlin had this type of store... it's important to help Barnard save theirs.
Pub 11/8/12 Times Argus
The 20 students in George Cook’s “Inc.”class at U-32 High School are taking part in a project-based learning opportunity that Principal Keith Gerritt says “is something they can use to be economically viable citizens of not only this country, but the world.”
Cook, 40, started teaching at U-32 two years ago in the business education department. “One of my favorite things about U-32 is how robust and dynamic the programming is. There’s a lot of opportunity for these kids,” he says.
Last year, he saw a chance to further that opportunity by incorporating into the curriculum a class based on experiential learning; that is, the students learn not by lecture, but by experience.
“Inc.,” short for “incorporated,” is a course in entrepreneurship. The goal: to answer the question “how hard is it to start a business?” The students are expected to start a business from scratch and bring it into full operation by the end of the semester.
Though there have been some sleepless nights for Cook, the pilot class is shaping up to be the first in an established line of courses.
The “Inc.” class falls into the 21st century learning — or 21st century skills — approach to education, a growing movement that focuses on what some would say is a more holistic approach to teaching and learning. At the core of this movement is the drive to ensure that students learn three skill sets: life and career skills, learning and innovation skills, and information media and technology skills.
Financial literacy is one of those skills that students (and perhaps a lot of adults) need in order to be successful today. It can be defined as the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively. In 2003, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission was created to promote a better understanding of finance within the
United States.
U-32 has committed to improving students’ financial literacy and has been rewarded for its efforts. The school was recently awarded two grants — one for $15,000 from Discover and the other valued at $26,500 from the Center for Financial Literacy at
Champlain College.
Student William Odell-Monley says about the class, “I think it’s pretty cool. I think it’s interesting and certainly different than anything else I’ve ever done before. It seems to be going really well so far. I think it’ll be fun to start selling.”
The doing-by-learning concept in business education is not new by any means. For example,
Babson College and Northeastern University’s business school have offered courses much like “Inc.” for years. But implementing the idea in a Vermont high school classroom is considered an advance in education.
In 2008, a survey by Jump$tart — a nonprofit coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of U.S. youth — found that 48.3 percent of U.S. high school students could be considered financially literate. “Inc.” is part of the push to increase that number.
The students in this semester, mostly seniors, have chosen to make and sell a product as their business. (The alternative would be to provide a service.) Their goal is to have a full line of T-shirts to sell by semester’s end — long sleeves, short sleeves, cotton and tech T’s, all with U-32 graphics. So far they’ve drawn up a mission statement, designed and printed their own “Inc.” T-shirts they wear to class, and have started working on market research within the school to determine how many designs they will be printing.
“Sometimes I feel I have to rein them in,” says Cook. “They’re very, very excited. And that’s common when a student is really into something that they’re learning.”
But the students have a lot of work ahead of them as they go from concept to raising capital, designing, marketing, advertising, promoting, accounting, selling and distributing the final product. Last week they learned they would be hearing a sales pitch from a local screen-printing business. “You guys should be excited, you’re in demand,” Cook told his students.
The students sit in teams around large oval tables in their newly renovated classroom, working on marketing, advertising, sales, and finance and accounting tasks. Thanks to the Discover grant, the school was able to upgrade the room, install high-speed wireless Internet and outfit the “company” with a top-of-the-line projector and laser jet printer, as well as new laptops.
The classroom is more like an office with the tables in place of desks, and the focus is on collaborative effort among the teams, with their respective responsibilities, to get the job done.
“The cool thing about project-based learning is my role in this,” says Cook. “I need to let them learn. I can’t jump in there and save them every time I know that they might be headed in the wrong direction. I think that it would be wrong if I gave it to them, because one of the missions of the class is: This is how you learn. Sometimes a lot of work needs to be redone.”
The other benefit to experiential learning is that it effectively teaches students who have diverse learning styles. As Gerritt says, “The beauty of the program is that it services the needs of all students. Kids are savvy. They know they’re not just competing with graduates from
Montpelier, or even Vermont, or even the U.S. — they’re competing with kids from all over the globe. They look at something like ‘Inc.’ and see that it is exactly what they need to be prepared to go out and get a job or be successful in college.”
Kathryn Eddy is a writer and researcher living in
These results can also be found on the town website. Please note, any changes from the unofficial results I sent out the night of 11/6/12 I have put the corrected number.
For President and Vice-President of the United States
Vote for no more than ONE
Ross "Rocky" C. Anderson and Luis J. Rodriguez - 7
Gary Johnson and James P. Gray - 18
Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio- 4
Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr - 792 correction: 795
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan - 425 correction: 426

For US Senator
Vote for not more than ONE
Pete Diamondstone - 10
Cris Ericson - 16
Laurel Laframboise - 2
John MacGovern - 334
Peter Moss - 8
Bernie Sanders - 868 correction: 872

For Representative to Congress
Vote for not more than ONE
James "Sam" Desrochers - 21
Mark Donka - 299
Andre Laframboise - 4
Jane Newton - 17
Peter Welch - 886 correction: 889

For Governor
Vote for not more than ONE
Randy Brock - 517 correction: 520
Dave Eagle - 10
Cris Ericson - 16
Emily Peyton - 20
Peter Shumlin - 674 correction: 675

For Lieutenant Governor
Vote for not more than ONE
Cassandra "Cass" Gekas - 216 correction: 218
Ben Mitchell - 15
Phil Scott - 1010 correction: 1012

For State Treasurer
Vote for not more than ONE
Jessica "Jessy" Diamondstone - 20 correction: 21
Beth Pearce - 636 correction: 637
Don Schramm - 33
Wendy Wilton - 511 correction: 513

For Secretary of State
Vote for not more than ONE
James C. Condos - 985 correction: 989
Mary Alice "Mal" Herbert 122

For Auditor of Accounts
Vote for not more than ONE
Doug Hoffer - 520 correction: 522
Vincent Illuzzi - 613 correction: 615
Jerry Levy - 32

For Attorney General
Vote for not more than ONE
Rosemarie Jackowski - 21 correction: 22
Jack McMullen - 410 correction: 412
William H. Sorrell - 644
Ed Stanak - 131 correction: 132

Fore State Senator
Vote for not more than THREE
Bernard "Buddy" Barnett - 416 correction: 417
Ann Cummings - 650 correction: 653
William "Bill" Doyle - 738 correction: 742
Jeremy Hansen - 234 correction: 235
Dexter Lefavour - 301
Anthony Pollina - 527 correction: 528

For State Representative
Vote for not more than TWO
Colin T. Bright - 461 correction: 463
Anne B. Donahue - 640 correction: 643
Patti J. Lewis - 811 correction: 813

For High Baliff
Vote for not more than ONE
Marc Poulin - 1011 correction: 1015

Article 1
Should the Town of Berlin allow public access to the Town owned land along Berlin Pond for recreational uses?
Yes 790 correction: 793
No 440 correction: 441
For Justice of the Peace
Vote for not more than TEN (10)
Wanda Baril, Republican
Elizabeth Fitzhugh, Republican
John Fitzhugh, Republican
Cathy Lamberton, Republican
Matthew Levin, Democrat
Kyle Faye Mooney, Democrat
Muriel Morse, Democrat
Charles Pelletier, Democrat
Kathy Pelletier, Democrat
Sue Rich, Republican

Friday, November 09, 2012


News to Know Nov 9 Breakfast this weekend & more

Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at
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Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
Yes, it's true... our potato bin is feeling a bit light as we donated 50 lbs of Chappelle potatoes to the breakfast this weekend. Hope you can get there to enjoy them!
Included below please find:
This weekend (Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11) you and your friends and neighbors can gather for breakfast down at the Riverton Fire Station from 4am-10am each morning.
It's the Annual Hunters Breakfast but you don't have to be a hunter to attend! $8 for all you can eat and I'm thinking there is a family price for those bringing kids also.
The menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, home fries, sausage, bacon and English muffins. I know there was a lot of bread talked about so I'm thinking French toast also (... well at least toast!). There will be coffee and juice to drink.
This is a great community event and supports the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department.
I can't speak to how local all the ingredients are but I can tell you the potatoes are from Chappelle potatoes in Williamstown and also that real Vermont Maple Syrup will be there for those pancakes they'll have waiting for you!
The 10th Annual Berlin Fall Scholastic Open Chess Tournament is on Saturday, November 10th at Berlin Elementary School. This is an unrated touranment from grades K-12. Students can register between 8:30am & 9:30am with the first game at 10am. Details at . Note that the school will also have their Scholastic Book Fair open on Saturday. Lunch can be purchased in the gym/cafeteria. Please note this tournament is a fairly small tournament and a great one to start out at!! In the spring we organize the State Scholastic Tournament which is a large one.
The PTNA is hosting a school spirit clothing fundraiser. Stylish Berlin Elementary School (B.E.S.) clothing, with and without our school logo, is available at The online ordering deadline is Sunday, December 2nd. Profits support the B.E.S. Parent-Teacher-Neighbor Association.
Winter is a difficult time of year for many families who may want to purchase a shirt for their children but cannot afford to do so. If any family would like to purchase an extra shirt to be added to a collection to be given to other children, please feel free to do so. Please make child's name “office” and we will distribute them according to need.
Check out the website, I think you'll be surprised at the fantastic selection!!
BERLIN LOCALVORE LISTINGS: (please share your information!!)
DOG RIVER FARM802-223-1559 Find us on facebook
Washington Senate (3 seats)
Rep. William 'Bill' Doyle WINS12,436 votes 26.2%
Dem. Ann Cummings WINS11,051 votes 23.3%
Prog. Anthony Pollina WINS9,508 votes 20.0%
Rep. Bernard 'Buddy' Barnett 7,116 votes 15%
Rep. Dexter Lefavour 4,554 votes 9.6%
Ind. Jeremy Hansen 2,685 votes 5.7%
Washington 1 (2 seats)
Berlin and Northfield
Rep. Anne B. Donahue WINS 2,129 votes 40.3%
Rep. Patti J. Lewis WINS 1,713 votes 32.4%
Dem. Colin T. Bright 1,433 votes 27%
Should the Town of Berlin allow public access to the Town-owned land along Berlin Pond for recreational use?
Yes RESOLUTION PASSES790 votes 64.2%
No 440 votes 35.8%
Pub 11/7/12 Times Argus by David Delcore
BERLIN — The race for president and just about every other public office — from governor to justice of the peace — finished a distant second here to the battle over Berlin Pond on Tuesday.
In a nonbinding referendum, voters overwhelmingly urged their Select Board to essentially strip the “No trespassing” signs from a tiny parcel of town-owned land that features 85 feet of shoreline on the pond.
In what is being hailed as a victory by outdoor enthusiasts, voters approved the measure 790-440.
Select Board Chairman Brad Towne said the five-member board will decide how to respond to the lopsided vote in coming weeks, though he conceded it was pretty clear how voters came down on a controversial issue that was credited for a surge in early voting this year.
“There were some people who voted absentee that I have never seen vote in a presidential election before,” said Town Clerk Rosemary Morse, suggesting the heightened interest could be traced to the months-long debate over recreational use of the pond, which serves as the drinking water supply for Montpelier and a portion of Berlin.
According to Morse, roughly 375 residents voted absentee — up roughly 175 from the 2008 election. While lines were manageable Tuesday, the parking lot outside the municipal office building was packed in the early going as a steady stream of voters turned out. By noon 336 absentee ballots had been returned and an additional 400 of the town’s 1,988 registered voters had showed up to vote in person.
The eventual outcome was reflected in interviews conducted with more than two dozen voters Tuesday. Those interviews revealed pond politics aren’t partisan and that folks have strong opinions on both sides of the issue, though a solid majority advocated reasonable access to the pond they view as a recreational resource.
Elaine Lussier was one of them.
An enthusiastic Obama voter, Lussier said she believed the pond should be readily accessible to residents from Berlin and beyond.
“It’s part of the community, and it shouldn’t be restricted just because a few people feel that it should be their private viewing,” said the Vine Street woman, who can’t see the pond from her home.
Marty Lagerstedt can, though he said it isn’t the view that he’s worried about.
Lagerstedt, who voted for Mitt Romney in the presidential race, cited a spike in traffic, a noticeable uptick in break-ins, and littering since the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in May that Montpelier does not have the authority to prohibit boating, fishing and swimming on the pond.
“I’m an outdoorsman as much as anyone, but human nature just kind of says (the pond) is not going to be taken care of as well as it (has been),” Lagerstedt said, admitting he initially welcomed the court’s ruling.
“I was one of the first people out there (on the pond),” he said, noting he has since experienced a change of heart.
However, Lagerstedt predicted he would likely be in the minority when all the votes were counted.
Ellen Ryan said she hoped so.
Ryan, an Obama voter who skewed Republican in most of the down-ticket races, said she believed the Supreme Court correctly settled the issue with its ruling in May.
“Berlin Pond does not belong to Montpelier,”she said. “It belongs to the people, and for Montpelier to try and deny us access is maddening.”
Bill Cooney agreed. Cooney said he doesn’t fish, canoe or kayak but believes others should have a right to and that the town should rethink its decision to post the land that features 85 feet of pond shoreline.
“(Access to the water) shouldn’t be controlled,” said Cooney, who walks around the pond for exercise after the golf course closes for the season.
“I don’t see a problem,” he said.
Joey Conner and Ron Chadwick both do, and the two men said they voted against the initiative based on concerns about how recreational use of the pond would affect the quality of the drinking water supply.
“I don’t want anything in (the water),” Conner said.
In a separate interview, Chadwick sounded the same theme.
“I put ‘no’ down because I like drinking the water, but it ain’t that great of a water,” he said.
Amy Butler said the drinking water concerns were a red herring and that low-impact recreational use, like kayaking, canoeing and fishing, did not pose a credible threat to water quality.
John Mattson said he arrived at the same conclusion — casting his vote in favor of opening access to the town land that neutralized the one his wife mailed in.
“My wife was against it,” he said, suggesting she was concerned that people might urinate in the pond.
“I figure the animals already do,” he said.
Sam and Barbara Geyselaers were among the other couples that canceled each other out.
“She voted ‘no’ and I voted ‘yes,’”Sam Geyselaers said, explaining he voted the way he did because his daughter enjoys kayaking.
Barbara Geyselaers said she was less concerned about her daughter’s recreational hobbies.
“I just want (the pond) left the way it is,” she said.
Crosstown Road residents William and Connie Warren were both on the same page when it comes to the pond. Both outdoor enthusiasts said they supported creating a reasonable access to the pond across the town-owned parcel on Paine Turnpike South. However, while the couple like the idea of kayaking on the pond, they aren’t interested in seeing ice fishing shanties on it.
Although the vote isn’t binding, the results will send a signal to a Select Board that has been lobbied heavily by both sides.
Some have urged the board to do whatever it can to limit or restrict access to the pond, which was considered off-limits for more than a century before the Supreme Court’s ruling. The pond, they were told, was a rare wildlife habitat that deserved special protection.
Others have argued that, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, there is no justifiable reason for the town to restrict access to public property. They have urged the board to consider the state Department of Fish & Wildlife’s offer to develop a modest access area at that location — a solution they say would alleviate concerns about the de-facto access area that has developed near the culvert on Mirror Lake Road.
Towne said Tuesday’s vote will inform the board’s decision-making, though he stopped well short of making any commitments on what has been an unusually sensitive subject.
Pub Times Argus 11/8/12
BERLIN — Northfield Democrat Colin Bright was the odd man out in a three-way race to represent the new legislative district that this year paired his hometown with neighboring Berlin.
Bright, who serves on the Northfield village board of trustees, came up short in his bid to unseat either of the two Republican incumbents who were competing against each other — and him — for the first time this year.
Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, and Rep. Patti Lewis, R-Berlin, rode decisive first-place finishes in their respective hometowns to victory.
Donahue, whose former legislative district included
Northfield, Moretown and Roxbury, finished the race with 2,129 votes, while Lewis, whose old district included all of Berlin
and a sliver of Barre, grabbed the second slot with 1,713 votes. Bright finished with 1,433 votes.
Donahue, who earned her sixth consecutive two-year term Tuesday, carried
Northfield by a wide margin, and Lewis, in her first re-election bid, was able to do the same in Berlin
In Northfield Donahue paced the field with 1,468 votes. While Bright finished second with 970 votes, Lewis kept it close enough, receiving 900 votes in a town where she’d never run before.
Lewis made up that 70-vote differential and then some, cruising to victory in
Berlin, where she has served as town treasurer for many years. Lewis received 813 votes in her hometown, followed by Donahue and Bright with 643 and 463, respectively.

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