Thursday, June 26, 2014

After 90 Years, Ludlow Auditorium Installs All New Seating

After 90 Years, Ludlow Auditorium Installs All New Seating
"The old giveth way to the new".  At least that's what happened to the seating in the Ludlow Town Hall this past week.  The antique wooden chairs that have served the citizens and visitors in Ludlow since 1923 were replaced by new, well-padded seats.  Under the auspices of FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium), the new seating was purchased and installed.  Pictured above are, left to right, Frank Heald, Ludlow Town Manager, and Ulla Cook, Ludlow Town Clerk, as they inspect the newly-installed seating.  The funding for the new seating was paid for by FOLA.  The removed wooden chairs will be on display in the auditorium; the 2 seaters are priced at $75 and the 4 seaters at $135; the wooden chairs may be viewed in the auditorium.  According the FOLA Chair, Ralph Pace, much of the credit for the installation goes to help received from Mountainside staff and residents who assisted in the assembly of the new chairs, removal of the wooden chairs, and the installation of the new seating.  He also thanked members of FOLA and Don Richardson and Susan and Bill Kneebone for their help in this project.  The new chairs are considerably wider than the previous chairs and have, per Pace, "a much greater tolerance for contact weight comfort".  Initially, FOLA believed the new seating would result in a loss of two seats from that of the wooden seating.  However, with some creative changes, the auditorium actually will gain three additional seats.  The first planned use of the new seating is onJuly 12 at 7 pm when FOLA will present the movie, "Yankee Doodle Dandy", with James Cagney. 

2 Attachments

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quest for Worlds and Life Beyond our Solar System

                      Mount Holly Town Library

Sunday, June 29th at 4 pm

Extra-Solar Planets
The Quest for Worlds and Life Beyond our Solar own System

Mount Holly Resident, Philippe Crane will give a talk on the findings and
current research surrounding the fascinating discovery of Extra-Solar Planets!

Best state in America: Vermont

The small chart at the bottom did not cut and paste correctly so have included the link for anyone that wants to see that better.
Washington Post article-

Best state in America: Vermont, for its healthy kids

By Reid Wilson June 20 

A lifetime of good health starts in childhood. Health insurance, access to health care and regular exercise make for fit kids with long life expectancies. And nowhere in America are kids healthier than in Vermont.

Across a range of metrics, the Green Mountain State excels, according to the latest data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fewer than one in four Vermont children are overweight or obese. More than 81 percent have access to medical and dental care . Nearly 99 percent have health insurance. And one-third of all Vermont children report exercising at least 20 minutes a day. 

Vermont’s relatively small and prosperous population makes it easier than in some other states for officials to reach out to potentially vulnerable children, said Cathy Hess, managing director for coverage and access at the National Academy for State Health Policy. What’s more, Vermont has been a pioneer in children’s health reform.
The state’s Dr. Dynasaur program, created in 1989, covered tens of thousands of low-income children long before the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program came into being. Congressional authors modeled the federal program in part on Vermont’s plan. 

Vermont policymakers have also worked for years to build partnerships between public and private institutions to promote children’s health. There’s the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program , run through the University of Vermont; Children’s Integrated Services , run through the state Department for Children and Families, which works to connect low-income families with young children to social services; and the Blueprint for Health , established in 2006 to improve health-care services and control costs.

“They’re focusing on the child and the family, and not so much trying to fit the child in different bureaucratic holes,” Hess said.

Other states can brag about their successes: Children in West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma report getting more exercise than their compatriots in Vermont. Kids in Utah and Colorado are less likely to be obese or overweight. And Hawaii and Massachusetts insure a greater proportion of their children.

States with higher percentages of low-income families tend to fall at the less healthy end of the spectrum, especially if those families are minorities with less access to health care. Nearly 40 percent of children in Louisiana and Mississippi are obese or overweight. Only 56 percent of children in Nevada and 59 percent in Idaho have access to medical and dental care. Just 18 percent of Utah children say they get 20 minutes of daily exercise .

Perhaps those states should study Vermont’s model. The Green Mountain State is a lap ahead of the rest of the field.
Percentage of children who are overweight or obese Percentage of children who exercise or play a sport at least 20 minutes every day Percentage of children
with access to medical and dental care
 Percentage of children with health insurance 
1. Utah 22.1% 1. Oklahoma 34.9% 1. Vermont 81.4% 1. Mass. 99% 
2. Colorado 23.1 2. Tennessee 34.5 2. Connecticut 79.5 2. Hawaii 98.8 
3. Vermont 24.5 3. West Virginia 34.1 3. N. Hampshire 79.3 3. Vermont 98.7 
4. New Jersey 24.7 4. Missouri 33.7 4. Mass. 78.6 4. D.C. 98.7 
5. N. Hampshire 26 5. Vermont 33.3 5. D.C. 76.8 5. Wisconsin 98.4 

SOURCE: 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shumlin tours new $9M slaughterhouse, processing facility

Meat and greet: Shumlin tours new $9M slaughterhouse, processing facility
By Susan SmallheerStaff Writer | April 08,2014
Arion Thiboumery, managing partner of Vermont Packinghouse,
(second from left), hands Gov. Peter Shumlin a pig’s head for a picture
with part of the packing crew at the Black River Meats packing plant in North Springfield.
NORTH SPRINGFIELD — The sprawling white factory on Fairbanks Road has produced everything from machinery that made plastic bags to Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops.

But in its new life, the former Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. building will be converted to a state-of-the-art slaughterhouse and meat processor, as well as handler of top-end seafood and lobsters.

On Monday, Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin donned a hairnet and white butcher’s coat and went into the chilly cryovac room at Black River Meats. He asked Mark Curran and Steve Birge, the owners of Black River Produce and Black River Meats, questions during his tour of the building, which is still under renovation. The new $9 million facility will start full operation in June.

Shumlin viewed the beginning foundations of the new holding pens for the slaughterhouse, designed by noted animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, Curran said.

From there, the governor was led through a series of rooms with high ceilings, white walls and red floors.

The project is a joint venture of Black River Meats and Vermont Packinghouse. Black River Meats is itself an offshoot of Black River Produce, which has its headquarters about a mile away on Route 106.

Arion Thiboumery, managing partner of Vermont Packinghouse, couldn’t resist a photo-op, and handed the governor a pig’s head, complete with ear and snout.

Shumlin, like any good politician, smiled and posed for the cameras.

Thiboumery, who has a doctorate in sustainable agriculture and meat science, will be renting space in the new slaughterhouse and processing facility. He came to the North Springfield facility from Minnesota. Black River will market the meat as well as work with area meat producers to produce more animals.

Shumlin later said when he first became governor, Vermont farmers faced an enormous shortage of meat-processing capacity. That problem has been solved, he said.

Thiboumery said the meat facility would add 60 new jobs to the local economy within the first five years of operation. He said the facility was still looking to hire meat cutters or those who had some training in that field.

Shumlin later touted the renovation at Black River Meats at a joint luncheon meeting of the Springfield Rotary Club and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Black River Produce rang up $64 million in sales last year, Shumlin said, and $22 million of that was “born and raised here in Vermont.”

Shumlin said the Black River company had renovated a dilapidated building: The building’s roof had caved in and had been heavily vandalized. The town, which had acquired the building in a tax sale, sold it to Black River Produce.

The governor called the Black River Meats facility “unprecedented” and said Black River was going after large supermarket accounts for the meat coming out of North Springfield.

“Locally grown meat is not just for hippies any more,” he said.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Hunter Lea Gallery and Frame Shop will be closing its doors.

From: Amber and Will Nye

On Sunday June 22, Hunter Lea Gallery and Frame Shop at 119 Main St in Ludlow will be closing its doors.

Thanks for a great 13 years!

We will be open every day 10-5 and Sun 10-4.

Come on in and help us clear out the inventory.  We look forward to seeing you.

Amber and Will Nye

Select Board meeting minutes

Attached are the draft minutes for the June 10 regular meeting, and also the special meeting of May 27 (for the bond placement)

Note that the copies of the documents signed at the special meeting (totaling 22 pages) are not included here.  They are attached to the minutes on file at the town office.  If anyone needs a copy, please either visit or contact the town office during normal business hours.

Mt. Holly Chit Chat Deadline

Hi Folks,
     We are approaching July and it is time for that July Chit Chat's deadline coming up on Sunday June 22 by 6 pm.  Please have all articles, advertisements, announcements (graduation, birth, anniversary, all special occasions), photo's (color please) to me by that time.  Please have everything in color as it looks wonderful on the Town web site at
     I hope you all have a great summer as it is coming really fast.
Diana Garrow, Editor

Flock of H.E.A.T. Squad signs and the blue flamingo in town

Have you wondered about the flock of H.E.A.T. Squad signs and the blue flamingo in town?
The NeighborWorks HEAT Squad is taking flight with a five-week contest that will reward the lucky winner with  $1,000 towards home energy efficiency improvement. The campaign hatched at the Rutland Farmers Market on Saturday, June 14th.
 In ten towns, “flocks” of H.E.A.T. Squad signs and a blue flamingo will appear in a high-traffic area and be left to roost for one week.
Those with eagle eyes keen enough to find the nesting ground of the flock and smart enough to call the HEAT Squad will be entered to win $1,000 towards home energy improvements.

The public is encouraged to keep their binoculars on hand and to call or email Lori at the H.E.A.T. Squad when they spot the flock: 802-438-2303 or The contest will end July 18. Call for contest details or visit

Over 800 Rutland County residents have already participated in the HEAT Squad program saving an average $1,000 a year or $800,000 every year in Rutland County.  Join the Flock of Happy HEAT Squad customers.  The H.E.A.T. Squad is a program of  NeighborWorks of Western Vermont and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, your one-stop-shop for home energy efficiency.   We  support home energy efficiency with scheduling, expert advice, and simple affordable financing in Addison, Bennington, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties. 


About NeighborWorks® of Western Vermont
NeighborWorks® of Western Vermont (NWWVT) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 30 years of experience supporting all aspects of homeownership for people of any income level in Addison, Bennington and Rutland counties. Our mission is to strengthen a regional economy by promoting safe, efficient and affordable housing through education, technical assistance and financial services. We also collaborate with communities, organizations and agencies to support community development and neighborhood revitalization. Our HomeOwnership Center provides homebuyer education, budget and credit coaching, foreclosure counseling and intervention, and reverse mortgage counseling. Our lending services include loans to address health and safety upgrades and down payment and closing cost assistance for home purchase (some products are income and credit restricted). Our construction specialists and energy advisors can offer project management, expertise and guidance to our home rehabilitation and energy efficiency loan customers. The NeighborWorks® H.E.A.T. Squad, a partnership between NWWVT and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, supports home energy efficiency with scheduling, expert advice, affordable financing and energy advising in Addison, Bennington, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scott Stearns [The Book Nook]

Support the Mt Holly Library by Buying Books at The Book Nook

LUDLOW, VERMONT - The Book Nook will be hosting its third annual summer reading BOOK fair June 13 through June 22 at its store on Main Street in Ludlow.  Last year the local indie bookstore provided nearly a $1000  to support the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library, Ludlow's Fletcher Memorial Library and the Mount Holly Town Library.  We encourage everybody who appreciates these communal public spaces and the services provide by our local libraries to stop by The Book Nook June 13 through June 22 and buy books to help support our great local libraries.  Scott Stearns, bookseller at The Book Nook, said "I can't imagine where I would be today without the access to libraries I had when I was growing up as a kid, so I want to make sure we do what we can to keep our local libraries vibrant."

Our community libraries obviously provide as big a selection of books as they can, but they also make computers available for writing up a resume or playing games, Internet access for your laptop, newspapers and magazines, movies, audiobooks, ebooks, summer reading programs, and a whole host of events. These services offer useful information, increase our understanding of the world, and sometimes are just plain fun. The Book Nook wants to make sure that our local librarians can provide as many services as possible by giving them a little bit of extra support.  

The traditional "book fair" normally takes place in a school library and are sponsored by publishers to offer a variety of books to help raise money for the library and encourage literacy by reaching out to young readers. The book fair that will take place in The Book Nook store will offer the widest variety of books for people to buy in support of one of our local libraries. For every book a customer purchases during the time period, The Book Nook will donate 20% of the purchase price to library of their choice. We also provide an opportunity for individuals to buy from us a book (or books) appearing on the Libraries Wish List which is then donated to the library. For every book purchased off the library Wish Lists, The Book Nook will deliver the book to the library as well as donate 20% of purchase price. Wish List books for each library and other information will be available in the store, on The Book Nook website - or folks can contact the store by phone - 228-3238.

Our store hours during the summer reading BOOK fair are 10am - 6pm Monday through Saturday and 10am - 3pm on Sunday.  The Book Nook looks forward to seeing fans and supporters of the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library, Ludlow's Fletcher Memorial Library and the Mount Holly Town Library in the store June 13 through June 22.

The Book Nook
An independent bookstore in Ludlow, Vermont

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MT Holly Fourth Of July Parade

Join the celebration! Enter your organization, business or family float in the parade. Decorate a bike, ATV, riding mower, a pet... or simply dress up and march. Classic cars welcome. Let’s make this one of Vermont’s best 4th of July 
celebrations ever. More details to come.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Joseph McDonald

7:36 PM (23 minutes ago)
Subject: Dress Code Cons and Pros 6-2014
Two letters to the editor of the Russian Herald. 
You decide...

Monday, June 2, 2014


FOLA will present the film, "Quartet", in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, June 7 at 7 PM.

Quartet is a 2012 British comedy-drama film based on the play of the same title by Ronald Harwood, which ran in London's West End from September 1999 until January 2000.[2] It was filmed late in 2011 at Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire. The film is actor Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut.

The plot takes place in Beecham House, a retirement home for former professional musicians, patterned after the real-life Casa di Riposo per Musicisti founded by Giuseppe Verdi.

Reg, Wilf and Cissy are retired former opera singers who often worked together in the past; among other residents are Cedric Livingstone, a former director, and Diva Anne Langley. All the guests in the retirement home continue to be engaged in their former professions in one way or the other, which gives place to lots of amusing times in the home, but also some rivalries amongst the musicians.

Beecham House is abuzz. The rumor circling the halls is that the home for retired musicians is soon to play host to a new resident. Word is, it's a star. For Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay), Wilfred Bond (Billy Connolly) and Cecily Robson (Pauline Collins) this sort of talk is par for the course at the gossipy home. But they're in for a special shock when the new arrival turns out to be none other than their former singing partner, Jean Horton (Maggie Smith). Her subsequent career as a star soloist, and the ego that accompanied it, split up their long friendship and ended her marriage to Reggie, who takes the news of her arrival particularly hard. Can the passage of time heal old wounds? And will the famous quartet be able to patch up their differences in time for Beecham House's gala concert?

The movie is open to everyone and is free; donations are appreciated. Popcorn will be provided courtesy of Berkshire Bank and water courtesy of FOLA. For more information, and 802-228-7239