Wednesday, September 25, 2013


News to Know September 24, 2013

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW September 24, 2013
Sent by Corinne Stridsberg and also posted at: 
(if you're new to the send list, this is where to find previous postings)
Please share this with you Berlin friends and neighbors.  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 to find bits of current news:

Sorry about the confusion with the last News to Know on September 15th - if you didn't receive it in your email I hope you found the time to look for it on line (

Included below please find:


U-32 High School is hosting a Blood Drive on September 25 from 8am- 1pm. Walk in for an appointment, or visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Location: 930 Gallison Hill, Montpelier, VT. The Blood Drive will take place in the gymnasium.
Sponsored by: Student Council
All presenting blood donors will receive a coupon for a FREE round of golf in October!
Please spread the word; tell your friends and family! People are ALWAYS in need of blood. Make a difference and give blood at U-32 on September 25! See you there!


Berlin Historical Society Program Announcement September 25th, 2013 7 PM at the Berlin Town Hall, The Tragic Death of Mary Jane Neill On August 1932 the dynamite shack located on the Benjamin Falls farm exploded and created a huge crater. This was just downhill from the present Central Vermont Medical Center and towards the Barre - Montpelier Road, Maudean Neill of the Berlin Historical Society will tell us a lot more of the details of this accidental incident and its consequences. We think you will enjoy finding out more about this big bang in Berlin.

Please join us on September 25 to find out more about this tragic event that took place in Berlin

Chappelle's pick-your-own potatoes had too much rain in their field last weekend and so the event is next Sunday, September 29th 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. Last year I think it was 35 or 40 center per pound. 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 by the pound) and whatever size you prefer. You can also buy bags of prepicked potatoes if you don't want to get your own.  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.  They will have some large bags there at the field for you but be sure to bring containers to pick into .  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.
Did you see the Chappelle pick-your-own story on WCAX that was broadcast on Sunday and Monday?  Our daughter, Lora, and grandson, William were part of the story.
Saturday, September 28th
12:00 Noon
State House Front Lawn, Montpelier
   If you live in a floodway and currently have flood insurance, huge premium increases may be coming your way.  Implementation of new flood maps combined with higher flood insurance rates starting October 1 will have an effect on your property values and have the potential to create mortgage defaults and financial hardship for anyone who currently carries flood insurance or who was drawn into the flood zones in FEMA’s new maps.
   Please join us on Saturday to learn how this might affect you and how you can help make a difference.  This rally is a part of nationwide gatherings in at least nine other states to oppose a well-intentioned but poorly implemented law called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
   Congress authorized FEMA to balance its budget by charging the “actual risk” of properties in the high risk flood zones as determined by FEMA. The aim was to make the program self-sustaining by raising insurance premiums over time.
   The new rates are shocking.  Homeowners in other states, and now in Vermont, are seeing rates of several thousand dollars per year.  New rates begin October 1 for some properties.  Others policy increases are phased in over time at 25% per year until they reach “actual risk” rates.  The new high rates are also triggered upon sale of a home, a lapse in a policy, new construction, or a new flood map.
   This will have a tremendous impact on property values and local economies by impeding property transfers and introducing uncertainty into the market.  If the increases are allowed to stand, they may lead to mortgage defaults and financial hardship for hundreds of families in central Vermont alone.
   Because of the phasing in of grandfathered properties and policies, the full effects of Biggert-Waters are not known and many Vermonters are not even aware this is looming on the horizon.
   Please attend our rally on September 28th at noon to gather information for yourself and to help your fellow Vermonters delay implementation of Biggert-Waters until the economic impact can be studied and fully understood.
   Please feel free to contact me, Chris Winters, for more information or visit my Facebook page “Vermont Flood Insurance Forum”


Pub 9/22/13 Times Argus by David Delcore, Staff Writer
   BERLIN — When Chris Winters and his wife, Sarah, went house hunting in central Vermont in 2010 they knew just what they could and couldn’t afford. It’s why, he said Saturday, they settled on the converted grist mill that has stood a stone’s throw from the Dog River
since 1848 only after confirming they didn’t need to incur the added expense of flood insurance.
   They do now.
   Thanks to what he described as “a perfect storm” of events, Winters and his wife learned back in June they would be required to obtain flood insurance — a development they shrugged off at the time as the price of living next to a river. It wasn’t until several weeks later when they received a jaw-dropping $8,000-a-year estimate that they started to ask questions.
   Winters said he has been asking them ever since and, frustrated by the answers, has decided to add a Vermont voice to a growing national chorus calling for a delay in the implementation of what he and others view as an ill-conceived plan to restore solvency to the National Flood Insurance Program.
   It’s called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and it has started to make headlines from New York and New Jersey to Florida and Louisiana as affected residents, like Winters, learn just how much it is going to cost them when the law goes into effect next month.
   With four children who range in age from 3 to 15, student loans that haven’t yet been paid off, and a mortgage they thought very carefully about before buying their Brown’s Mill Road home, Winters said there just isn’t enough play in his household budget to absorb an added monthly expense of $666.
   “At an extra $8,000 a year we are very soon going to be underwater on our mortgage,” he said, suggesting his family, which is better off than many, isn’t alone.
   Not in Berlin, not in Vermont, and not nationally, because when Biggert-Waters passed without discussion or debate last year, Winters said no one thought through what it might mean for homeowners and their property values in a still-fragile economy.
   The law did call for an affordability study that was due earlier this year, but hasn’t been completed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
   Winters, whose day job is running the office of professional regulation for Secretary of State James Condos, said getting the federal flood insurance program back in the black is a laudable goal. However, he said, the shift to risk-based rates and the phasing out of federal subsidies that have made flood insurance affordable for decades deserved additional analysis.
   “These rates are crazy,’ he said. “Unfortunately, it’s literally going to take an act of Congress to stop them.”
   Toward that end Winters has reached out to all three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation, is planning a rally at noon
next Saturday on the Statehouse steps, and persuaded members of the Berlin Select Board to hold a community forum on the issue Oct. 7.
   “This has to be fought politically at the federal level,” he said, suggesting those affected by the new law received little to no notice and he is still trying to get to the bottom of why he is confronting such an expensive flood insurance bill.
   “We’re trying to figure it out, but it is a maze of (flood) maps and forms and regulations,” he said.
   Ironically, when Tropical Storm Irene unleashed the Dog River
two years ago, floodwaters flowed across Winters property — depositing several recreational vehicles from a business on nearby Route 12 — but left his three-story house high and dry.
   Though many homes and businesses along the Route 12 corridor received federal assistance in the aftermath of the storm, the only public help Winters requested was the right to use the town’s stump dump to dispose of trees that were knocked over by the floating RVs.
   “We didn’t even file a claim with FEMA,” he said. “We didn’t need to.”
   According to Winters, he didn’t learn that his home was in the “high-risk” floodway until getting a notice from his lender in June. At the time, he assumed the change in status was tied to new federal flood insurance maps for Washington County
that finally went into effect earlier this year.
   However, it appears a portion of the property might have been included in the earlier maps, raising questions about how the family was able to obtain a federally-backed mortgage without obtaining flood insurance at the time.
   “Every time we think we have an answer there are more questions,” said Winters, who has been hit with higher rates that he believes have devalued his property, leaving his family in a no-win situation.
   “Like most people our home is the only asset we have,” he said. “Under these conditions we can’t afford to stay (here) and we probably can’t sell it for more than we owe on our mortgage.”
   Paying off the 27 years remaining on the mortgage isn’t a realistic option, though it would negate the need to buy flood insurance, according to Winters, who said abandoning the home’s lowest level would bring down the annual premium, but eliminate needed living space.
   "I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but we have to figure something out soon,” he said.

Paul Gillies was recently on VPR talking about his new book: "Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History."  You can listen to the broadcast at:

"Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world"
Lots of fascinating topics, here's one I watched recently and thought I would share:
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are


Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference Oct 18 & 19 - free to attend, pre register BEFORE Oct 3rd at
First look at the details of what's included at:

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (DEMHS) and Division of Fire Safety.  It will be held at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.  In addition to free registration and attendance,  morning refreshments, lunch, and snacks are provided each day of the conference.  Overnight accommodations are NOT included, they are however offering a discounted rate.

This annual free day long conference (even includes lunch) is held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center on Saturday, October 19th.  Preregister by October 10th.
Every year this free conference draws hundreds of women from around the state who want to hone their business skills, polish their résumés or explore new career possibilities. It is a day to establish new professional connections and refresh old ones. This year’s conference will feature nearly 30 morning and afternoon workshops, including a range of offerings designed to help you make better use of social media. 

More info:

Workshop Schedule:

Below is a recent posting... there have been many more about a variety of topics, looking for services, garage sales, meeting announcement, events, etc.
Membership is free - to join go to visit

Chicken Pie Supper Oct. 12
CHERYL POOR – Richardson Road
Event starts October 12 at 5:00 PM
The First Congregational Church of Berlin
1808 Scott Hill Road

Annual Chicken Pie Supper
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Two seatings: 5:00pm and 6:30pm
Adults $10.00 Children (6-12 yrs) $5.00 Under 6yrs Free
Reservations only - call 223-5748
Menu: Chicken & Biscuit, mashed potato, winter squash, peas, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, apple, pumpkin or chocolate pie plus beverages
May also reserve take-out

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?