Monday, June 23, 2014


News to Know June 20, 2014

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW  June 20, 2014
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
Check out the "Berlin, Vermont" Community News page on facebook to find bits of current news, some not included here:

NOTE: Why get connected with the "Berlin, Vermont" facebook page?  There are often some great photos shared!  Those who are connected are apt to see/hear about the news first.  Sometimes it's news that never makes it here in "News to Know" as it's old by the time I'm ready to send out my next issue... or it's something that I just choose not to include.

Looking for some summer fun?  Go to

Below there is news regarding a reduction in nurse coverage at Berlin Elementary in the fall.  I thought some folks might appreciate a few more details. 
The Berlin Elementary School budget which was passed on Town Meeting Day 2014 for the upcoming school year included several cuts.  The art teacher was cut back an additional day from .8 to .6, the physical education teacher was cut from 1.0  to .8), and the preschool program had cuts which mean they're not able to have 3 year olds attend this coming fall.  The nurse went from a full time position to a .8 position.  Since Town Meeting, a paraeducator position has also been eliminated.  Meanwhile, a halftime Special Educator position has been added to be filled, as well as a fulltime behavioral specialist (although the person filling the position will only be at the school four days per week).
Of note, out of about 1,800 registered voters, only 423 voted on Town Meeting Day. 
The Berlin Elementary School Board meets the second Monday of every month at 6:15pm in the Learning Center of the school.  The meetings are open to all.  Over the summer the schedule may vary.  Agendas are posted on the school website.  Approved minutes are also posted, draft minutes must be requested.

Below you will find:
DANCING GIVES NEW LIFE TO GRANGE HALL (a little south of Montpelier, in Berlin!)

This year’s Poetry Award at Berlin Elementary was presented to Savannah Anthony


By Savannah Anthony

When the leaves turn
brown and die,
we ask, can we go

take a stroll back to July,
when our grass
was living,

or to June when the
water was warm to
go take a dip in old
shallow creek,

listening to chirping
birds sing their song,
and now we sit and
watch them….gone

running around
the weeping
willow, laughing,
telling secrets,

when I go to bed I
pray that summer
will come back,

before the crunch
of fall leaves, but
right now all I
have is memories
Dog River Farm on Route 12 "We will start PYO strawberries on sat 6/21 Hours are 9-1 
Please follow parking signs into field."
Garage / Estate sale at 168 Vine Street, Berlin (off Barre-Montpelier Road, by what was Legare's Market).  8am - 5pm Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, June 20,21,22. 
Saturday June 21st one day only 8am - 3pm at 56 Browns Mill Road, Berlin off Route 12
"Let us take you back to the days of small Vermont hill farms, rural country stores, horses and buggies, homespun clothes and hearthside stories.  Nearly 150 history and heritage organizations offer fascinating exhibits sharing community history from all over the state.  Artists, artisan, musicians, authors, crafters, and genealogists complete this history-filled heritage extravaganza! 10am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday the 21st and 22nd of June at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. 
Berlin's presentation was put together by Maudean and Lewis Neill entitled "A Monument for Little Margaret".  This is the story of a monument that was crafted in the Bertoli Granite Shed that used to be on River Street in the portion of Berlin that was annexed by Montpelier in 1899.  Little Margaret, the monument, resides in the northeast corner of the Green Mountain Cemetery in Montpelier.
On Saturday, June 21st from 11am - 10pm the 1-54 block of State Street will be transformed into a vibrant, urban, green space.  The parking spots will be transformed into mini parks hosted by local businesses and organizations.  Artists, greenery and seating will line the middle of the street and there will be live music & entertainment all day.  This FREE event is a must-see for locals and visitors of all ages, and will redefine what it means to "Park in the Street." Schedule of events and more information at:
Check out the facebook page for: ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise
They are celebrating on Saturday - the fun starts at 4pm, don't miss out!
"Tentatively we are starting the closure on July 8th now. We are also going to work 24 hours a day to get the repair completed in 15 days, to lessen the impact on the public." This is the access road down from the Central Vermont Medical Center to the Barre-Montpelier Road.  The official detour will put motorists onto the beltline down into Barre.  Motorists will still be able to go up "Hospital Hill".
DANCING GIVES NEW LIFE TO GRANGE HALL (a little south of Montpelier, in Berlin!)
Story in about the grange hall... and dancing.  Several photos also.
Find the Grange Hall calendar:
Find the Montpelier Contra Dance facebook page:
"Tom from T&T Repeats - Truck for hire. I have a 2012 Chev Pickup with a 8ft box and I would like to help with some of you moving help. You have old junk that needs to go or some furniture that you want to give to the restore or family member, or just need a helping hand. Did you have a yard sale and have leftovers? Well give me a call to clean it out. If things are still good I will bring them to the restore. But if things are just not any good I will take to the transfer station for you. Thank you the work is needed. Tom 224-1360"
The Onion River Exchange is a time bank that exchanges skills, talents, and services using time instead of money.  Members post offers and requests and log time earned using an online system to be used for future exchanges with any member.  Every hour is equal.  There are over 500 members with 28 participating towns in Central Vermont.  For more information, check out their website:
Recently, there was a wonderful letter to the editor that I thought did a great job explaining how it works:
Recently Retired, What to do?  I Joined the Onion River Exchange Time Bank!
My name is Gail and I joined Onion River Exchange time bank in December of 2012. 
I joined the time bank because I had recently retired and as the saying goes, "twice as much time, and half as much money." I loved the concept of exchanging time instead of dollars.  When I first joined, I had to decide what it was that I was going to offer.  So, I decided to offer cookie baking, organizing consultations, and decorating consultations.  I did many cookie baking exchanges and a couple of organizing exchanges.  However, once I got involved, my offerings turned into caring for needs as members would post requests.  So I have ended up doing laundry, marketing, typing, rides to the airport, eBay tutoring, volunteering help to the time bank through group projects (i.e. - our yard sale fundraiser) orientation coaching, committee work, sewing & alterations, companionship, help with household chores, tabling for ORE, I was on an ORE Presentation Panel, helped deciphering a credit union problem, and last but not least a member of the Board of Directors (currently as Secretary).
What it boils down to is once you see what needs doing, you realize that you have a lot of skills to offer!  As much fun as all those offers were to do, the best part is having ORE hours to SPEND on things I need or want!  Some folks say that there is nothing out there that they want or need.  Well, think again.  I peruse the OFFERs on the Onion River Exchange website (members post requests and offers) on a regular basis and listen to what I have taken advantage of over the past 15 months: I've had my car detailed, gotten a ride, had entertainment in the form of a folk singer who came to a party that I threw, attended an eight-hour retreat on mindfulness, had filing done, bicycle repair, make-up application lesson, life-coaching session, an herbal consultation, had a lemon pie made as well as donuts, upholstery cleaning, massages, Windows PC repair, house cleaning, help organizing, handyman work repairing a broken lamp, genealogical research and document retrieval, brow shaping, raking, spring gardening, weeding, safety check and tune up of two bikes, software trouble-shooting with a fix, and have had wonderful sourdough bread made for me.
I am looking forward to a couple of future exchanges where I am having a bedroom wallpapered and painted and a bureau refinished.  I may also be attending a six-week course on healthy eating and detox.  All of the above, I received with my time bank hours!  Needless to say, I have had a wonderful time as an ORE member over these past 15 months and truly believ3e that you get out of it whatever you put into it.  I highly recommend becoming a member of the Onion River Exchange Time bank.  It is a supportive, caring community of people who are ready and willing to lend a hand whenever needed.  The sky is the limit and I am planning to reach for the stars!
Ben & Jerry's Outdoor Summer Movie Festival in Waterbury
Shows begin at dusk outside the scoop shop.  Movie is projected on to a wall
Bring your own blankets/chairs.  Free ice cream samples
6/28/14 Monsters University
7/5/14 Frozen
7/12/14 The Lego Movie
7/19/14 Iron Man 3
7/26/14 the Hobbit 2
8/2/14 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
8/9/14 Despicable Me 2
8/16/14 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS (from the Berlin Elementary School newsletter)
Lynne Jakubauskas, RN
This summer, over 20 sites in Washington County will offer FREE meals for children ages
18 and under. The programs are open to the general public. Your child can participate, and there is no cost to you.  Meals will be served at Berlin Elementary School, Monday through Friday, June 30th to August 15th  (no meals on July 4th).
Breakfast will be available 9:00 – 9:30 and Lunch 12:00 – 12:30. Meals are available on a walk-in basis, but calling ahead is even better so Deeann Fassett can be sure to have enough meals for everyone. She can be reached at (802) 461-5668.
Other WSCU sites for breakfast and lunch are U-32 and Doty School. U-32 will offer meals July 7th  – August 15th  and the contact person is Virginia Burley (802) 223-3456. Doty School will offer meals June 23rd through August 3rd and the contact person is Kimberly Bolduc (802) 223-3456.
In Barre, lunch and snacks will be offered at the Aldrich Library, the Barre Pool, and
several other sites. For more information, contact Hunger Free Vermont at 802-865-0255 or
Summer can be a difficult time for some children. Not eating nutritionally balanced meals can lead to weight gain and to falling behind academically during the summer months. Please help your children to take advantage of the free meal and snack programs in the area this summer.
Healthy children are better learners! I hope you all have a happy, safe, and healthy summer!
Note: if you live closer to Northfield, check out this link for details on meals and snacks for kids )
The Central Vermont Community is fortunate to have a variety of welcoming places for all ages to enjoy a meal with others throughout the week:
Community Meals in Montpelier. All welcome. Free.
Mon.: Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Tues.: Bethany Church, 115 Main St., 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Wed.: Christ Church, 64 State St., 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Thurs.: Trinity Church, 137 Main St., 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Fri.: St. Augustine Church, 18 Barre St., 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Sun.: Last Sunday only, Bethany Church, 115 Main St. (hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue), 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Community Meal Site Brochure:
Community Senior Meal Sites in Washington and Orange Counties:
2014-2015 SCHOOL NURSE COVERAGE (from the Berlin Elementary School newsletter)
Lynne Jakubauskas, RN, MSN, NCSN
Summer hasn’t started yet, but we’re already in full swing with planning for next year.
One of the many changes in store is a reduction in school nurse hours in four of the five WCSU elementary schools. At Berlin, there will be no school nurse on Thursdays next year.
What does this mean for you and your child? Several staff members will be taking First
Aid and CPR courses over the summer to prepare for illnesses and injuries that occur when there is no nurse in the building. Routine scheduled care, such as daily medications and treatments, will be delegated by the nurse to specific adults in the
school. The school nurses, along with WCSU’s Director of Special Services, have been working to create systems and resources to ensure the continued safety of all students. Please contact Lynne Jakubauskas if you have any questions or concerns.
As is the tradition for the town of Waterbury, they will celebrate Independence Day the Saturday before the 4th of July. This year the event is being held at the Farrs Field.
Saturday, June 28th 11 a.m. parade in village
The parade route runs North on Main St, starting at Demerit Place (Subway, and Waterbury Pharmacy) and finishes at Dac Row Field (Railway trestle bridge).
As the parade ends you may turn left into Dac Row and park or turn right onto Union St to work your way back to the starting point parallel to Main St
Giant field sale, individuals and nonprofits; space reservations: Mary Beth, 244-8327
1:30 p.m. Pie baking contest. Denise, 223-6775
1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Photo booth
2 p.m. Entry deadline for Kids Craft Contest (vegetable art, cow creation, cupcake decoration), age 5 to 12. 3 p.m. prizes
2 p.m. Rick Aldrich, free pitching clinic
2:30 p.m. Lawn Tractor Jousting. $50 entry
3:30 p.m. Lessons from Step n’ Time Line Dancing group.
5:30 p.m. Belt sanding race.
Fireworks at dusk. Farr's Field, Route 2 West. $5, $20 family, under 10 free. Free parking.
MONTPELIER — Montpelier Alive says it’s giving folks what they want in this year’s Independence Day celebration: better fireworks and the parade route in front of the State House.
The group says those requests, which it consistently hears via public feedback, are being fulfilled July 3. 
This year, vendors will only be on the side of
State Street next to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the group says in a news release, and the vendor area will be extended down toward Bailey Avenue so there is plenty of room for the parade. “There will be plenty of activities, including the popular dunking booth at the west end of State Street to bring more people to the vendors located there,” the group says.
The annual fireworks show will also return to its original location on the parking platform at National Life Group, allowing for improved visibility all around town, says Montpelier Alive. 
The location for the platform is 500 feet higher and will allow Montpelier Alive to increase the fireworks event by 600 shots — with the help of Northstar Fireworks — making it the biggest show in a decade.
The July 3 celebration starts at
3 p.m. with activities on the State House lawn, including a Kid-Zone, pop-up science activities with the Montshire Museum, Laughing Yoga, the Capital City Band, many vendors and the Democracy Tent. 
The Montpelier Mile will take off at
6 p.m. at the roundabout on Main Street and proceed down State Street past the State House. 
7:30 p.m. Lowell Thompson and Crown Pilot will perform on the main stage of the State House lawn. Fireworks will shoot off at 9:30 p.m.
In the event of rain that day, all events will move to July 6.
For details on Montpelier's Celebration on July 3rd:
Below are some recent posts .... there have been many more about a variety of topics, looking for services, garage sales, meeting announcements, events, etc.  Membership is free - to join go to:

Man and a Tractor for Hire FPF #371 - June 18

William Snyder • Applewood Drive 
Tractor services for hire. No job too small. Stump removal, grading, etc. Call Bill 229-2304.

Babysitting Available FPF #371 - June 18

Beverly Rock • Penny Lane 
My 17 year old daughter is available days to babysit in Central Vermont area. She is excellent with children. References available.

Summer Math Tutor Available FPF #371 - June 18

Jonathan Goddard • Hill St. Ext 
My name is Max Goddard. I'm a junior at
New York University, and I'm home in Berlin for the summer. I'm available to help tutor high school and college students in the following math subjects:
Geometry, Algebra I and II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, II, and III, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and Analysis.
I'm pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Economics, and will be tutoring in the NYU Math department this coming fall semester.
I offer reasonable rates, am available nights and weekends, and my schedule is very flexible! You can reach me via email at, or at home at (802)-223-7876.
Please contact me if you are interested!

Montpelier Park in the Street - Event June 21 FPF #366 June 11

Aria Mcdonald • prospect st 
Event: Jun 21, 2014
The Montpelier Park in the Street is still looking for a couple more businesses and organizations to host parking spaces on June 21! There is NO COST! You can think of these spaces almost as stationary parade floats. We will be closing State Street and turning it into a park for a day - take advantage of this creative way to connect with the community and get your business or organization a little exposure!
Contact me today or download the application here:
And be sure to come down on June 21 to see
State street like you've never seen it before!


Notes from Selectboard Meeting June 2 - FPF #369 June 15th

Jeremy Hansen • Selectboard Member, Berlin 
Our June 2nd meeting was fairly uneventful and short. Here are the highlights:
1) Purchasing Policy
In the past, we've discussed changing the process for purchasing equipment and supplies to include the use of purchase orders (POs), to ensure a clearer approval process and improve accountability for purchases. We expect to amend the Town's Purchasing Policy to include PO language soon, so that we can start using POs as early as July 1st. If you're interested in seeing the policy language, let me know and I'll forward it along.
2) Road Paving Projects
We discussed how the Town might spend our paving budget this year, which depends in part on whether or not we receive a paving grant from the State. (We received one last year, and towns usually only receive one every other year) Four candidate roads for repaving in the upcoming year (and their quoted costs) are the following:
a) Granger Road (from Airport Road to the end of the current pavement) - $207,000
b) Paine Turnpike N (from near the Water Treatment Plant north to the
Montpelier City line) - $300,000
c) Hersey Road (from the
Barre-Montpelier Road to the entrance of the Church of Latter-Day Saints) - $60,000
d) Crosstown Road (from Paine Turnpike N to
Hill Street) - $28,000
Of these roads, Hersey Road is easily the road most in need of repaving, in my opinion.
We have $140,000 in the budget for paving and such for the upcoming year, but I'd like to see us putting some of our annual funds away so that the repaving costs year after year aren't so shocking to the budget (and our property taxes). If you have thoughts about what ought to be paved and what we ought to wait on, let me know.
3) Highway Truck "cut through"
A resident that lives near the Town Offices asked about the feasibility of getting Highway Department trucks to exit directly onto Paine Turnpike North, rather than going on Shed Road and Crosstown Road before finally getting on Paine Tpk N. The appeal of this option is the traffic can be particularly heavy in the fall, and there are a number of children who live along that stretch. This was apparently an option when some construction at Maplewoods was going on a few years back. Given that there's some more development in the pipeline for that area, it may be possible again. One drawback to this is that it could provide easier access to steal from the Town garage and get right back on I-89. I'd appreciate any thoughts or feedback on this.
4) Future Agenda items
A few items that I asked to be included on future agendas: Local Option Tax and beginning the Town Charter change process. I've mentioned the Local Option here and at Town Meeting, and have been thinking that the Town could get to a 5-10% *decrease* in property taxes, with the additional revenues from the Local Option going into a reserve account for road paving and maintenance, as I mentioned in #2 above. (With current sales in Berlin, we should expect about 15% of our budget to be covered by revenues from the Local Option.)
The Town Charter needs a few administrative updates, and beyond those fairly basic changes, I have some language that I'd like to add. After an email conversation with Carl Parton and a few in-person chats with other residents, I think there's a decent compromise between folks who prefer the traditional Town Meeting (with floor votes on and modifications of the budget) and folks who prefer the simpler (but lower time commitment) of Australian ballot.
While this is not fully fleshed-out, here is the basic sequence:
1) The Selectboard finishes its budget (the "Selectboard Budget")
2) A Citizens' Budget Meeting open to all Berlin residents, is held on a Saturday afternoon, where the Selectboard Budget, presented by the Selectboard, is open for modification as it would be in a "traditional" Town Meeting. At the end of this meeting, the "Revised Budget" is complete, and may be lower or higher than the Selectboard Budget.
3) The total amounts and details of both budgets are on the warning for Town Meeting
4) Rather than a yes/no ballot, you could indicate your approval for any of the following options (see this link for what this might look like on a real ballot:
a) A budget figure higher than both the Selectboard Budget and the Revised Budget
b) The Selectboard Budget
c) The Revised Budget
d) A budget figure lower than both the Selectboard Budget and the Revised Budget
With this type of ballot, you could much more easily communicate what you think of the proposed budgets. Folks that want to get into the weeds of the budget would still have a public meeting to do so, and those who want to cast a simple ballot can still do so, too!
Whatever you think of this proposal, we will be putting together a Charter Change Committee, so if you're interested in serving on the committee, and helping to craft the rules by which the Town operates, please let me or any other Selectboard member know.

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