Thursday, March 21, 2013


News to Know March 21

Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at
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Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook
Don't assume your Berlin friends, neighbor, relatives and coworkers receive this News to Know, or are aware of the Berlin, Vermont facebook page or the Front Porch Forum... please be sure to mention them as ways to find out what is happening in our community.

Decided to include a few items that have been on Front Porch Forum - you can sign up for free at and see all the posts!

Don't forget - all you can eat pie fundraiser at Rumney School this Saturday 9am - 11am or when the pie runs out.  $6 or bring your own plate, cup and utensils and save $1.

Included below please find:


   There is an empty seat on the Berlin Board of Directors, which must be filled as soon as possible. The commitment involves one regular meeting per month in the evening, and possible committee assignment(s) in addition. The term lasts until Town Meeting day 2014.
   Please consider becoming part of a dynamic decision-making team that directly impacts the educational experience of our prekindergarten to grade 6 aged children. Anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity. Please submit a letter of interest to Bill Kimball, Superintendent by Friday, March 22nd via email or at WCSU, 1130 Gallison Hill Rd, Montpelier, VT 05602.

Posted on Front Porch Forum by Signe Goddard – Hill Street Ext.
U32 Seniors are Offering a Day of Volunteer Service!
Do you need help planting your garden? Painting your house? Moving firewood? Taking down storm windows? Detailing a car?
U-32 High School Student Council is planning a Senior Community Outreach Day: a chance for seniors at U-32 to give back to the community that has helped support them so much for the past 18 years.
Senior Community Outreach Day (SCOP) will take place on June 12th between 10:00AM and2:00PM. We are seeking projects for small or large crews in the Middlesex, Worcester, East Montpelier, Berlin, and Calais communities. Let us know if you are in need of assistance! No job is too big or too small!
For more information or to suggest a project, please contact our Student Council Advisor, Paula Emery, at 229-0321 ext. 5135 or


Posted on Front Porch Forum by Anne Donahue – State Representative, Washington-1
The legislature has started back in after town meeting break, and we will be facing a series of money issues in the next several weeks. I’ve already begun to hear from constituents worried about some of the proposed new taxes. For my full legislative update for this week, check my blog at You can receive the update automatically biweekly via an email request.


Posted on Front Porch Forum by Ginger Anderson – Chase Rd
This is a great program from UVM Extension & VT State Parks.

Becoming an Outdoor Family 2013
Join us May 31–June 2 for our 16th year offering outdoor educational experiences for the whole family. This program is a joint effort by the University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Forests, Parks & Recreation to promote, address, and instill in the general public a basic understanding of environmental conservation, safety and fun in the out-of-doors.

Expert instructors begin each class with the basics, providing hands-on experience and encouraging participants to ask questions. The variety of classes includes wildlife, forestry, orienteering skills, hiking, wildlife photography, fitness, camping, kayaking, canoeing, firearm safety, fishing, and much, much more.

When& Where? May 31–June 2, 2013 Stillwater State Park, Groton State Forest, Groton, VT

Stillwater State Park is located on Groton Lake in 28,000-acre Groton State Forest. It has 17 lean-to sites, and 62 tent/trailer sites. There are some excellent sites and lean-tos on the shores of the lake where you can boat right up to your campsite. Stillwater also has a boat launch and a beach, and just down the road is the Forest Nature Center. Close to the campground is the beginning of many of the 22 miles of hiking trails that meander through Groton State Forest.

New this year is the "Refer-A-Family" Prize Drawing. Past attendees can refer a new family to this year's Becoming an Outdoor Family Weekend and be entered in a drawing for a free weekend stay for a family at any Vermont State Park, courtesy of Vermont Forests, Parks & Recreation.

Here's how to enter: Find families that have never been to Becoming an Outdoor Family and encourage them to register. Tell the new family that when they register for 2013 Becoming an Outdoor Family to enter your name in the "referred by" field on their registration page. They must enter your name in their registration for you to be eligible for the drawing for a free weekend at any Vermont State Park.

The drawing for the free weekend pass will take place at Becoming an Outdoor Family's Friday evening "Meet & Greet" welcome event.

Registration Information - Registration opens on March 15, 2013 at: Registration Deadline is May 17, 2013. For a paper/mail-in registration form, please contact us at (802) 257-7967 or 1-800-278-5480 (toll-free in VT).

Cost is $175.00 per family (up to 8 people). Campsites and classes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each class has a limited number of spaces.

All of the event details, schedule, class descriptions and registration information are in the Program Book

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Gail Makuch at 802-257-7967 x 301 or 1-800-278-5480 (toll-free in VT) or e-mail at gail.makuch@uvm.eduby April 29, 2013 so we may assist you.


by David Delcore, pub 3/20/13 Times Argus
   BERLIN — The high-stakes battle for Berlin’s ambulance business remains unresolved after the Select Board refused to declare a winner this week and took the matter under advisement for the second time in less than a month.
   After listening to brief presentations from two of the bidders and quizzing the third at length, board members agreed they weren’t ready to decide between essentially maintaining business as usual and fueling the birth of a new ambulance service.
   “I’d certainly like to digest the information for a while,” Selectman Pete Kelley said after listening to presentations from the town’s current ambulance provider as well as the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department and the man behind an intriguing no-cost offer that dominated discussion Monday night.
   Board members unanimously tabled action on the matter until their April 1 meeting. A decision is expected at that time.
   Though the board was presented with three detailed ambulance proposals last month, one is arguably on life support after voters recently rejected the Fire Department’s request for $180,000 in supplemental funding to cover the cost of continuously staffing its
Four Corners station. Without that extra money, department officials told the board, the per-capita price of starting a local ambulance service would more than triple — from the $28 they had hoped to the $89 they had feared.
   In a town with roughly 2,800 residents, that would turn what would have been a manageable first-year investment of $80,000 into a $250,000 start-up expense.
   Deputy Fire Chief Scott Bagg acknowledged “Plan B” wasn’t as financially palatable as he and others had hoped, though he defended the idea of creating a dual fire and ambulance department that could provide round-the-clock coverage to the community.
   In something of a surprise, Bagg offered the department’s qualified endorsement of one of the other two bidders, Barre Town Emergency Medical Services.
   “If we aren’t selected we strongly support
Barre Town,” Bagg said of the standalone ambulance service that has served Berlin without interruption since 1996.
   Bagg stressed the Fire Department’s renewed interest in breaking into the ambulance business was not a reflection of the quality of the paramedic-level service that
Barre Town has provided over the years.
   BTEMS Director Dave Jennings told board members that his service is interested in keeping
Berlin as a customer after its current contract expires June 30.
Jennings said the service, which is run by Barre Town, has a proven track record in Barre Town, Berlin and beyond.
   According to the three-year contract proposed by BTEMS, the annual per-capita fee would start at $26 and increase 5 percent a year over the life of the agreement.
   The proposed contract includes an option for two additional years with annual increases of 3 percent. If
Berlin were to exercise that option, the annual per-capita fee would be $30.41 starting July 1, 2017.
   The board spent little time discussing the ambulance service that is a known commodity in the community and most of its time questioning the man who has offered to provide ambulance service to
Berlin free of charge, while cutting the town in on 5 percent of the profit.
   Matt George has pitched Central Vermont Emergency Medical Services as a public-private partnership that would allow
Berlin to cash in on the fact that it is home to a regional hospital and two major nursing homes.
Berlin is in a tremendously unique position where you guys have the highest concentration of health care facilities in the state,” said George, who is the clinical services coordinator for White River Valley Ambulance.
   According to him, the combination of a comparatively low number of 911 emergency calls from residents and the unusually high volume of inter-facility transfers made
Berlin an attractive target for a private ambulance service.
   George’s observation was supported by Charlie Maymon, an executive for a privately owned Scandinavian-based company that is the largest provider of emergency medical services in the world.
   Maymon said George recently approached Falck Ambulance, which does business in 37 countries on five continents, about the possibility of investing in CVEMS.
   Though Maymon said Falck hasn’t made any commitments, he said the type of service George had described was doable in
   “Where you sit geographically is a great location for an ambulance service that is willing to reach outside of the town of
Berlin and do other inter-facility work,” he said, suggesting the service could turn a profit without charging the town.
   Although George said his preference would be to work with Falck due to that company’s depth of resources, he said he has lined up bank financing to buy two ambulances and establish an ambulance service by July 1.
   However, George acknowledged those plans are in a holding pattern pending the town’s decision. The board questioned him about plans to equip, staff and license the ambulance service he has proposed.
   George said all could be accomplished within an ever-shrinking window and, while he has made progress on some fronts, he needs a definitive answer from the board before locking anything down.

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