Thursday, May 15, 2014

 

News to Know May 7, 2014

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW  May 7, 2014
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This  communication is put together and distributed on a volunteer basis by resident Corinne Stridsberg simply in an effort to share information and build community, it is not from the town of Berlin.
Please share this with your Berlin friends and neighbors.  If you're not already receiving this news directly by email, send an email to request this to corinnestridsberg@gmail.com.
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Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook to find bits of current news, some not included here:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Berlin-Vermont/205922199452224

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Below you will find:
CROSSTOWN ROAD UPDATE
BERLIN SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
FREE LUNCH CLARIFICATION
2014 WAY TO GO CHALLENGE, May 12-16
U-32 GREEN FEST MAY 15TH
COMMUNITY SUMMER SWIM LESSON SIGN-UP
BERLIN PTNA
SPRING CONCERTS
BERLIN'S BIG BANG
EMERGENCY DRILL A SUCCESS; PUZZLES MOTORIST
PETITION IN TOWN OFFICE FOR PAT MCDONALD TO RUN FOR VT STATE SENATE
SAVE THE DATE
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CROSSTOWN ROAD UPDATE
Crosstown Road is officially open.  Thank you for your patience during mud season.
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BERLIN SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
The next Berlin School Board meeting is Monday, May 12th at 6:15pm in the Learning Center (Library).  The agenda can be found on the school website. The public is welcome. 
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FREE LUNCH CLARIFICATION
Dear Berlin Families,
As you may know, the Times Argus published an article on May 2, 2014, titled “Area schools to see free lunches." I wanted to let you know that there was some misleading information provided in that article. It stated, “Every student in the schools with high enough qualifying percentages will now be able to eat at no cost." It later went on to say, “the other qualifying schools in Washington County are Berlin Elementary School…," noting Berlin would be one of the schools who would be eligible to eat at no cost.
Unfortunately, based on the April 1st food service verification provided to the Child Nutrition Program, Berlin Elementary School is below the qualifying percentage. We have contacted the Times Argus asking they submit an updated article, stating that Berlin Elementary School is not eligible for this benefit. We are sorry for the inconvenience and miscommunication.
Regards,
Chris Dodge, Principal
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2014 WAY TO GO CHALLENGE, May 12-16
Way To Go is an annual weeklong transportation challenge to try alternatives to driving alone to work, school, shopping, where ever. Sign up at 
http://waytogovt.org/. 
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Fire up your coworkers, friends and classmates with the promotional toolkit, win special prizes and help us reach our goal of saving 300,000 pounds of carbon pollution in
Vermont. Alternative transportation options in Central Vermont include:
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Taking the Bus – Try the GMTA (Green Mountain Transit Agency) busses for
FREE on Friday, May 16th! - includes Local Commuter and LINK Express routes. http://gmtaride.org/
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Carpool/Rideshare – Talk to colleagues and neighbors, or check out the Go Vermont carpool database and Park and Ride options. http://www.connectingcommuters.org/
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Bike – In addition to cycling along the roads you could also try out sections of the Central Vermont Regional Path in
Montpelier and Barre Town.http://centralvtplanning.org/programs/transportation/
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Walking – There are sidewalk networks in city and village centers that connect homes, schools, businesses and shops.
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Telecommute - Online services like Skype and GoToMeeting allow you to attend meetings from virtually anywhere. Telecommuting can also reduce stress and increase productivity.
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Sign up and information about the statewide challenge can be found at http://waytogovt.org/. Email gladczuk@cvregion.com, info@waytogovt.org or call 229-0389, 800-685-RIDE with questions.
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U-32 GREEN FEST MAY 15TH
Thursday, May 15th is the U-32 Green Fest from 9am to 3pm This is a day for participants to focus on what improvements can be made at the schools and in the towns of the U-32 district for the benefit of the environment. For more information call Michael at 229-0321 x1103.
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COMMUNITY SUMMER SWIM LESSON SIGN-UP
Sign-ups are Thursday, May 15th   6:30-7 pm
The Berlin Recreation Committee subsidizes this swim lesson program at First in Fitness on Granger Road in Berlin to keep the Berlin resident's cost at $25 per child, per two week session. 
The 2 week session available is:
June 30th – July 4th                                                                                              
11:00-11:45    Levels 1, 2 and 4
11:45-12:30   Levels 3 and 5/6
July 7th – July 11th
11:00-11:45    Levels 1, 2 and 4
11:45-12:30   Levels 3 and 5/6
Lessons are for children kindergarten through sixth grade (along with 7th & 8th graders in the upper levels).  Preschoolers who meet the height requirement and are comfortable in the water might be able to sign-up for lessons if there are any spots remain available after the initial sign-ups have taken place.
Please make every effort to come to sign-ups since the slots will be first-come, first serve.  If you have any questions please call Sonia Parton 272-9846 or email son_rx@hotmail.com.  If you would like to have your child take swim lessons but can not make signups please call after the signup date.  Forms have been sent home with students and there will be extras by the office.
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BERLIN PTNA
The Parent, Teacher, Neighbor Association or PTNA is next meeting at Berlin Elementary School on Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30pm.
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SPRING CONCERTS
U-32 Middle School & High School Spring Music Concerts are May 20th & 21st each are at 7pm The Berlin Elementary School Concert is on Thursday, May 29th at 6:30pm.  There is no admission charged at any of the concerts and the community is welcome.
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BERLIN'S BIG BANG
Wednesday, May 21st is “Berlin’s Big Bang”, the Annual Meeting of the Berlin Historical Society which includes a pot luck dinner at 6pm and the program at 7pm on the dynamite shack explosion on Benjamin Falls Road in 1932.  Call Cheryl for reservations 223-5306 for the dinner but no reservations are needed for the program.  Location is the Berlin Congregational Church Parish Hall.
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EMERGENCY DRILL A SUCCESS; PUZZLES MOTORIST
Pub. 5/6/14 Times Argus by David Delcore
   BERLIN — Traffic at the intersection of Route 62 and Paine Turnpike stood still for six minutes Monday morning as roughly 250 students and staff from Berlin Elementary School walked off their campus, crossed the limited access highway and assembled quietly in the parking lot of a nearby hotel.
   It was only a drill, but it probably didn’t look like one based on the sheer volume of emergency vehicles — all with lights flashing — that swarmed a busy intersection, which is located a few hundred yards from Interstate 89.
   It was the sort of spectacle that had some folks reaching for their cell phones and many motorists — particularly those with a clear view of the eerie procession of young children marching two-by-two away from their school — wondering what was up.
   Principal Chris Dodge explained the drill was designed to test a protocol developed by the school’s safety committee in the event of the rarest of emergencies. This might include a gas leak, a full-fledged fire, or possibly a bomb scare — the sorts of emergencies where locking down the school isn’t the appropriate response and simply evacuating the building might not be either.
   “The reality is there probably aren’t many emergencies where we couldn’t just hold the kids on the playground, but you never know,” said Dodge, who was pretty pleased with the execution of a drill that wasn’t a surprise to the people involved.
   The parents knew about it, students knew about it, as did the school staff, local and state police and the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department.
   “This was very, very highly planned and coordinated to ensure everybody’s safety,” Dodge said, noting it wasn’t an accident that several state police cruisers were in the area, volunteer firefighters were in the station, which is located near the entrance to the school, and Berlin police weren’t far away when the alarm sounded at 10:05 a.m.
   It took all of two minutes to evacuate the school and those who were clocking the exercise said only 19 minutes lapsed from the time the alarm sounded until every student — from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade — had been accounted for in the parking lot outside of the Comfort Inn. The intersection itself was blocked by emergency vehicles for roughly six minutes — backing up Barre-bound traffic toward Exit 7 and those destined for the interstate to the entrance of the Berlin Mall and beyond.
   According to Dodge, dealing with the intersection wasn’t the committee’s preference, but it settled on the Comfort Inn after ruling out other options, including the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust (VSBIT), the Berlin Mall and even
Central Vermont Medical Center. The VSBIT building, which would have required crossing Paine Turnpike, but not Route 62, was the committee’s preferred choice, but could not accommodate the entire student body.
   Dodge said crossing Route 62 isn’t optimal for a group that includes 4-year-olds, and he wouldn’t have attempted it without a heavy presence of emergency personnel to shut down the intersection. 
   Facilities Director Gary Delphia, who led the first students across the highway, echoed that assessment, but said things went surprisingly smoothly.
   “I never thought I’d take 250 kids across an intersection like that,” he said.
   Dodge, who is stepping down at the end of the year, said the committee will meet to debrief and the protocol will likely be tweaked based on Monday’s test. One suggestion he’ll make will be to have students cross Route 62 in groups of four instead of two-by-two as they did on Monday, in hopes of limiting the amount of time traffic needs to be stopped on the belt-line.
   The drill did not go off without a glitch, as students — many of whom were not dressed for the occasion — were left standing outside the Comfort Inn on a nippy day waiting for school buses to arrive to bring them back to campus. Had it been a real emergency, Dodge said, the students would have disrupted conventions that were taking place at the hotel on Monday.
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PETITION IN TOWN OFFICE FOR PAT MCDONALD TO RUN FOR VT STATE SENATE

The following petition is available to be signed in the Berlin Town Office:

"Petition for nomination for major party candidates in the Primary Election, August 26, 2014.  I join in a petition to place on the primary ballot of the Republican Party, the name of PAT MCDONALD, whose residence is in the city/town of Berlin in the county of Washington for the office of Vermont State Senate, in the district of Washington to be voted for on Tuesday, the 26th day of August, 2014; and I certify that I am at the present time a registered voter and am qualified to vote for a candidate for this office."
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SAVE THE DATE
July 19, 2014, 1 p.m. through 9 p.m
This summer National Life will be hosting a day long music festival, the Do Good Fest:http://dogoodfest.com  Tickets: $20 per car load
Eric Hutchinson, http://www.erichutchinson.com/main/, is the headliner and is scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m.
From the website: The DoGoodFest will be a daylong music festival to raise money for the Cancer Patient Fund at Central Vermont Medical Center. In addition to five different bands playing on the main stage, the festival will feature food vendors and activities for children and families. There will also be a “nonprofit village” under the tent with displays and interactive exhibits from other nonprofits from around the region.




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