Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Mount Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad has reached the age of 40!!!


Good News!!! The Mount Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad has reached the ripe old age of 40!!!

Yes 40 years ago a man with wonderful community spirit, amazing foresight, and good old Vermont determination organized a group of his neighbors for the sole purpose of helping each other in a time of need.

In 2014, some 40 years later, we as members of that same community, continue to reap the benefits of his willingness to reach out to help those neighbors.

That man was Miles Richards. Miles continued throughout his life to be a strong supporter of The Mount Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad right up to his passing in 2004. A lifelong member of the Mount Holly community, he personified the Rescue Squad motto of “ PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE “.

Well today at the age of 40 it is The Mount Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad that needs help from the community that it still continues to try to serve.

For many good reasons membership has declined. ( Some of us just got old. ) Those who remain, and a few new members who have joined, continue to try to serve the community in the same fashion that Miles would have wished for. However, more support is needed. Not financial support but human support!

As I have said to the membership many times, “When you do your job well, you become invisible “

Recent tragedies in our community required middle of the night responses from both Fire and Rescue. They were there, doing what they are trained to do, saving lives when they can!

Starting in August, as part of an ongoing 40th Birthday celebration and commemoration of what Miles Richards started, a series of Community CPR / First Aid clinics will get underway. The times and locations of these classes are being arranged and will be announced before the end of July.

Please consider attending one or more of these sessions. There is no cost and no obligation! However, remember “ANYONE CAN SAVE A LIFE-PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE“ and that person may not be a stranger. What better way to serve our community!!! Thanks Miles for getting us headed in the right direction!!! You may contact Don Richardson at 802 259-3662 or802 228-7086 at any time but do it today and let’s get started helping our neighbors, Mount Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad and Mount Holly Volunteer Fire Department. And Thanks!!!

P.S. Our first clinic entitled “What is First Aid?” will be held on Monday, August 11, 2014 at the Village Baptist Church from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  
Please call Don to register.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mount Holly Hazard Mitigation Committee

From: Paul Faenza

The  Mount Holly Hazard Mitigation Committee will be meeting with Laura Keir, CFM Planner with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. This is a follow-up meeting to review the updated hazard mitigation plan. All are invited to attend.
Committee Members: Paul Faenza, Jeff Teter, Jim Seward, Francis Devine and Don Richardson.

Mount Holly Hazard Mitigation Committee
Special Meeting
July 31, 2014 at 6:00pm
Mount Holly Town Office
Call to Order
Approval of Agenda
Items for Discussion
1.      Review updated draft plan
2.      Identify town’s mitigation goals
3.      Determine town’s mitigation actions/projects
a.       Status of projects from last plan
b.      New projects for town
4.      Next steps

Francis Devine

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Committee Meeting
Minutes July 24, 2014
Day / Date: Thursday, July 24,2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Town Office
 Attendees:   Committee Members – Don Patch, Bruce Turco, Tim Martin, and Francis DeVine. David Burnor
 Other Attendees: Don Richardson, Ron Unterman, Rhonda Rivers, Paul Warren, and Rick Weintraub
Tim Martin called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.
The committee reviewed and approved the minutes from the June 26, meeting (attached).
 Don Patch led off the discussion by describing his efforts to obtain statistics on ATV accidents in Mount Holly.  He had followed up an earlier request to Mt. Holly Rescue Squad for statistics, but was told that they had not had the opportunity to look yet.  The constable advised that he only receives 2 - 3 complaints a year and has not issued any tickets. He also contacted the Agency of Transportation (AOT) who sent a listing of accidents for the region.  Don pointed out that there were duplicate entries of incidents and overall there were only limited numbers of accidents, even though ATVs currently ride on the roads albeit illegally. 
 Don Richardson requested that those wanting to speak should raise there hand and be recognized by the chair before speaking.
 Bruce Turco talked about the illegal use of the roads by ATVs right now and the lack of complaints being filed.  It was generally agreed that most people don’t realize they should be filing complaints, if not for any other reason than to have a record of the number of illegal incidents.  Turco also stated that it has been going on for years.
 Rick Weintraub expressed concern as a taxpayer that the town could be opening itself up to costly litigation that could fall back on all property owners.  Don Patch had asked the Vermont League of City and Towns (VLCT) what experience other towns may have had.  He had not received a reply.
 It was suggested that we should ask the town attorney or some other specialists for an opinion.  This led to a back and forth discussion on the likelihood that the town carries any liability if they approve the opening of roads under the act. Ron Unterman pointed out that people always have the right to sue and by checking with our lawyers we may be able to create a firewall for the town against this type of action.  Turco reiterated the belief that the governing ordinance lifts the liability from the town.   Then a number of scenarios were sited and discussed without reaching a firm conclusion. Don Richardson suggested that a motion be made to end the liability discussion.  Patch made the motion seconded by Martin and passed unanimously.
 Don Burnor described his experience riding ATVs in Stockbridge and how well that worked.  According to him there have been no complaints and ATVs play an active role in Green Up Day.
 Turco explained how he had tried to compile a list of towns that allow ATVs on the roads.  The information he had, had outdated names and was not very useful. He also had a list of the towns and their town office phone numbers on it. This would be the starting point for tracking down an ATV contact.  The committee decided there would be little benefit in trying to contact these towns now.  No further action was taken (attached).
 Don Richardson, as a point of information, informed the committee that neither Ludlow nor Shrewsbury allows ATVs on their roads.
 Rhonda Rivers brought up the recent accident in Springfield involving two 14 Year olds riding ATVs side by side on a road.  A car coming from the opposite direction did not see them until the last moment, swerved to avoid them, but still hit one of the ATVs. The victim had to be helicoptered to Dartmouth Hitchcock.  Rhonda expressed concern about unsupervised youth being on the road and the impact an accident like this has on the driver of the vehicle.
 Turco explained that if the roads were opened to ATVs, they and the general public would have to be educated as to the rules governing road use and how to file complaints.  He also stated that other users of the road face risks.  He mentioned a bicyclist, who was killed on the road recently.
 Don Patch then presented a new draft of the proposed ordinance and discussed changes he had made to it.
 The major change was to remove the proposed committee structure and replace it with a single ATV Liaison.  A primary reason for doing this was to avoid the cumbersome nature of the committee, especially with the recent changes to the States Open Meeting Law.  In its place would be a Liaison responsible for receiving and processing road opening applications, presenting them to the Select Board for consideration and approval, and to be another point to hear complaints.
DeVine expressed concern with this type of structure instead of a committee.  He suggested that a four-person committee with two ATV users and two non-ATV users on it was a better way to do this.  His reasoning was that non-ATV users in town would feel that their concerns would be fairly heard and represented with this type of structure.  Weintraub suggested having two liaisons, one AVT user and the other a non-ATV user, so that different groups in town would feel better represented.
 Patch also added a Severability clause to the ordinance and added some administrative language covering the adoption history. 
 Weintraub questioned the actual approval process for opening roads. Then expressed strong concern for road maintenance.  Many Class 4 roads in town are privately maintained and he wanted to know if the town would provide maintenance if the road was opened to ATVs.  This led to a discussion concerning whether or not ATVs require permission to ride on Class 4 roads at all. The discussion was left unresolved.
 Untermann asked if ATVs would be allowed on paved roads.  The ordinance, as currently structured, does not prohibit the use of paved roads.  DeVine expressed strong concern and noted that many people responding to the survey might be willing to allow limited use of unpaved roads, but were opposed to opening paved roads.
Patch suggested that we were not going to resolve the various issues and that the Select Board had requested the committee draft an ordinance.  He proposed, that recognizing where the committee was in their work, submit what was currently in hand (see attached).
 DeVine expressed concern that the liaison structure was not satisfactory, that paved roads should be excluded, and that further work on enforcement of the ordinance was needed.
 The committee proceeded to a motion by Patch to present the ordinance as is to the board, but with three recommendations. 1) open a couple of roads, 2) for a 1 year trial, 3) no paved roads.
 Patch made the motion, seconded by Turco.  Voting for: Turco, Martin, Burnor and Patch.  Against: DeVine.  Motion passed.
 A motion to adjourn was made and the meeting ended at 8:57PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Francis DeVine Jr.

Mount Holly Game Warden to report on local bear activity Aug. 6 at library

From: mauri small

Tim Carey, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Game Warden for our area, will report on this summer's increase in bear sightings (including bear break-ins), Wednesday Aug. 6 at the Mount Holly Town Library.  Tim will speak and answer questions at 8:30 p.m., following a workshop on invasive plants, which starts at 7:30 p.m. (see attached flier)

Tim just this summer became Game Warden for Mount Holly, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Wallingford, Clarendon and Ludlow. He's looking forward to meeting some of his new "constituents" and giving an update on the bear situation. We hope you'll join us beforehand for the invasive plants program and stay to meet Tim.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thriller "Jaws" Comes to Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium August 2

Thriller "Jaws" Comes to Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium August 2
FOLA's next movie will be "Jaws", the record-breaking film by Steven Spielberg, at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, August 2 at 7 pm.

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a watershed moment in motion picture history. In the story, a giant man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers on Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, prompting the local police chief to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. The film stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen. The screenplay is credited to both Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.

It's a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn't sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen. Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy's mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they're going to need a bigger boat.

Generally well received by critics, Jaws became the highest-grossing film in history at the time, and it was the most successful motion picture of all time until Star Wars. It won several awards for its soundtrack and editing, and is often cited as one of the greatest films of all time. Along with Star Wars, Jaws was pivotal in establishing the modern Hollywood business model, which revolves around blockbuster action and adventure pictures with simple "high-concept" premises that are released during the summer in thousands of theaters and supported by heavy advertising. It was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley, and many imitative thrillers. In 2001, Jaws was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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, and802-228-7239.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Notice of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Committee Meeting

Public Notice of Meeting

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Committee Meeting

Day / Date:
Thursday, July 24, 2014
7:00 PM
Town Offices
 Background and Purpose: 
At the April 8, 2014 Selectboard meeting a request was made to the board to allow limited access by All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) on graveled roads within the town of Mount Holly.  The board tabled this request and formed a committee to study the implication of this request and to develop a formal proposal.  The committee members are Don Patch, Bruce Turco, Tim Martin, David Burnor and Francis DeVine. 
The committee is holding it’s forth meeting to review input received to date from interested parties, and continue work on a draft ordinance.
Anyone wanting to have input can contact any member of the committee, or send an email to, or attend the meeting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Black Bear Complaints on the Rise

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has received a large number of calls recently from members of the public complaining about bears.

“Our phones have been ringing constantly the last couple of weeks with calls from people asking what to do about a bear that has been visiting their yard,” said Col. David LeCours, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s director of law enforcement.  “The first thing we tell them is to identify and remove whatever is attracting the bears.”

People often inadvertently encourage bears to come out of the forest by providing food without realizing it.  Some of the most common sources of food that attract bears are pet food, bird feeders, barbecue grills, household trash containers or dumpsters, and campsites with accessible food or food waste.

Bears that have found food near someone’s house nearly always return to find more, developing habits that can lead to the bear’s ultimate demise.  Relocating a nuisance bear is very difficult – they frequently have to be put down.

“People often assume that we can just capture and move a bear to a more remote area once it becomes a problem,” said Forrest Hammond, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s bear project leader.  “Bears can easily move dozens or even hundreds of miles in search of food, so there’s really nowhere in Vermont we can put a bear that it won’t find people’s houses if it’s determined. Prevention is really the key. The only way to deal with a problem bear is to remove whatever is attracting it in the first place.”

Feeding a bear is not just bad for the bear, it’s also illegal. A law was passed in 2013 making it against the law to feed a bear and wardens have begun issuing tickets to violators.
Vermont law also states that residents must take reasonable measures to protect their property from bears before lethal force can be taken. Some of these measures include:

Keep chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure.
Never feed bears, deliberately or accidentally.
Feed your pets indoors.
Do not feed birds April 1 through November 30.  Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because of seed that is spilled on the ground.
Store trash in a secure place.  Trash cans alone are not enough.

“We’re in a period of transition with this new law,” said Hammond.  “People are really starting to get the message and have been taking steps to scare bears away or remove attractants as the law dictates, rather than just shooting the bear.”

“Our wardens have been a tremendous help in our efforts to habituate bears to stay away from people when there is a problem,” said Hammond.  “They’ve been working overtime trying to help landowners while also striving to save the lives of these bears.”

For more information about living with Vermont’s black bears, see the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website (  Fish & Wildlife also asks that you use a form on their website to report any incidents you may have with Vermont bears

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dog Ordinance

At the July 08 meeting, the Select Board adopted a new Dog Ordinance.
Attached is the Notice of Adoption which will be published in the Rutland Herald on July 16th.
Also attached is a copy of the Ordinance, which will be posted at five places around town either today or tomorrow (some not open today):  inside and outside the Town Office, Mount Holly Post Office, Belmont Post Office, the Library and the Transfer Station.

Mount Holly Select Board Meeting Minutes

Select Board Meeting Minutes

Attached are the meeting minutes for the July 08 meeting.
The physical record at the Town Office has the Dog Ordinance attached.  That will be sent in a separate email, along with a copy of the Notice of Adoption which will be published in the Rutland Herald on July 16.