Friday, December 30, 2016



December 19, 2016
7 p.m.
Mount Holly Town Office


MEMBERS PRESENT:       Peter Berger, Jennifer Jones (Clerk), Bill McGrath, James Seward
MEMBERS ABSENT:         Clinton Woolley, Mike Valente
VISITORS:                            Ed McEneaney (LPCtv), Don Richardson

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by Bill McGrath.
The Energy section of the Town Plan was added to the Town Plan discussion, and Education was moved to the next meeting for discussion.
Jim Seward made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 21, 2016 meeting as written. Peter Berger seconded the motion.
Building Construction Registration Forms
James McGough submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Planning Commission for construction of a 10’x16’ replacement shed at 1668 Hortonville Road. Bill McGrath signed the form.
Larry and Julie Pitts submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Planning Commission for construction of a 20’x24’ camp at 2083 Hortonville Road. Bill McGrath signed the form.
Annette Lynch
Annette Lynch submitted a letter to the Planning Commission requesting more detailed minutes.

Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder replied that he was waiting for approval from the state on his septic design before he submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Town of Mount Holly. He states he will submit the form at the appropriate time.
Department of Environmental Conservation – State of VT
Timothy Snyder applied for a Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply permit for the construction of two new homes on Loop Road.
John Wasilewski submitted an application to the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division for the construction a new home on Maple Road.
Mount Holly Town Highway Access Permit Form
Silivo and Kathleen Valente submitted a Town Highway Access Permit Form for access from Old Turnpike Road to an existing landing at 3400 Old Turnpike Road.
Town Plan
The Energy section of the Town Plan was discussed. Bill McGrath read notes from the Public Hearing sessions on this topic.
Peter Berger recently attended a seminar on this subject held by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. There was discussion about due consideration versus substantial deference and the overall effect each would have on the Town of Mount Holly with the Public Service Board.
Don Richardson also attended the seminar and tried to join the discussion, however his input was not related to an item developed by the RRPC and Bill McGrath did not allow him to speak on this matter.
The “Goal” statement of the Town Plan was amended to include the discouragement of any large-scale commercial development in the town. All instances of “shall” were changed to “should.” Language regarding clustering of buildings was removed; language encouraging the Select Board to facilitate various energy efficient processes was added.
The Education section of the Town Plan will be discussed at the next meeting.
Jim Seward made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Peter Berger. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Jones
Clerk of the Planning Commission

The LPCtv recording of this meeting is hereby made a part of the permanent minute record of this meeting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ianuary activities at the FML

Weekly Toddler and Pre-School Story Time
Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am
Each week features a theme, music, and a craft or activity

Read with Oreo
Wednesday January 18, 2017
School age children are invited to the library to read a story with Oreo the Reading Dog.  

Monday Night Movie
Monday January 30, 2017
Fundamental Films © presents “Nine Lives” (PG)
Snacks Provided

Crafty Tuesdays
3:00-4:00pm Grades K-6
January 3rd- Spoon Puppets- Design your own puppets using plastic spoons and create a very petite sized puppet show!
10th- Newspaper Animal Collages- Today we’ll use stencils, newspaper and other materials to make a variety of creative works of art.
17th- No crafts this week
24th- Chinese New Year- We’ll ring in the year of the Rooster with a special craft.
31st- Snowy Owls- Snowy Owls use their white feathers to blend into the snow covered landscape. Crafters will use white paper bags to make some new owl friends.                               
STEM Night
Monday January 23, 2017
Snowflake Science
How do snowflakes form? Who first photographed snowflakes? We’ll learn all this and more during this fun evening of exploration and hands on activities. 

Crazy 8’s Club- Grades 3-5
Thursdays January 5th- February 16th
Join Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8s, a totally new kind of math club where you’ll build stuff, toss beach balls, make amazing mazes and more! You’ll have a blast with mischief-making activities like Beach Ball Party, Funny Money and Glow-in-the-Dark City.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dear Select Board Members,

December 6, 2016

Dear Select Board Members, 

In April 1994, when I was a senior in high school, my cousin, Josh Cole, died in a 4-wheeler accident on Tiffany Road. He was 15, a sophomore at Black River. Despite his death & the impacts it has had on my family, I am not against ATV use. However, as their warning labels read, ATVs are not meant for travel on public roads. If you open the unpaved roads in Mt. Holly to ATV use, you will be responsible for significantly increasing the risk of accidents, severe injuries, and fatalities that occur in our town.

Please consider carefully the information presented in the articles listed below as you decide whether or not Mt. Holly's unpaved roads should be opened to ATV use. The authors of the various articles range from experts in the fields of vehicle & highway safety to doctors of emergency medicine to statisticians and policy analysts. After looking at nationwide data, all of the authors conclude that ATV use on public roads (both paved & unpaved) is significantly more dangerous than riding off-road. Furthermore, the "data reinforce the importance of laws restricting ATV road use and the need for effective enforcement, as well as the need to increase user education about ATV road-use laws and the dangers of riding on the roads" (from article 1 below).

Most of Mt. Holly's unpaved roads are connected via paved roads and though riding on paved roads will remain illegal, the numbers of ATVs on those paved connecting roads will predictably increase--especially since we have minimal ability to enforce either this proposed ordinance or the existing traffic regulations. This is troubling, especially in light of research that shows, since 1998, ATV-related deaths have increased at twice the rate on paved versus unpaved roads . However, even if my prediction is incorrect and ATV use on paved roads does not increase, 42% (nationwide average) of all on-road ATV deaths occur on unpaved roads (see article 2 below). 

Thank you very much for your time and for your dedication to the Mount Holly community.

Amanda Frank
Belmont, VT

2. On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.



The proposal to open Mount Holly’s Class 4 roads to ATVs, including uncountable and uncontrollable out-of-towners, amounts to an unfair and unjustified tax on property owners who have homes on those roads. The Town does not maintain those roads, we do. We have to pay for grading and any new road material. We have to pay to replace culverts that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. ATVs wreck dirt roads, digging ruts, causing major holes and erosion from water runoff. Taxpayers on Class 4 roads will face double taxation from this proposal – more property tax money to fix Class 3 roads and more personal money to fix the Class 4 roads. That’s just not right. If the Select Board cares at all about Townspeople, this bad proposal will be stopped and stopped now.

Alison and Rick Weintraub

Sunday, December 4, 2016

ATV information

Dear Mount Holly Community Members, 

I've compiled a handful of recent scientific articles that discuss ATV safety on roadways (published between 2013 - 2016). While it may seem like I searched only for articles pertaining to ATV fatalities, that was not the case. Using Google Scholar, my search terms were, "ATV unpaved paved roads traffic safety." 

As with most scientific papers, the full text costs money, but, the links below will take you to a free summary of each article.

Amanda Frank

On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.
All-terrain vehicles dangerous on both paved and unpaved roads: restricting public roadway use. American Academy of Pediatrics: National Conference & Exhibition
ATVs on roadways: a safety crisis. Consumer Federation of America. (2014).  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance

Hi Randy,

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance, for the reasons that were outlined in your e-mail link, and also for fear of this enticing illegal activities and burglaries in our small, remote town.  On our road alone there are quite a few seasonal homes.  It's pretty obvious which ones are occupied or not.  With the drug issues going on around us, with the desperation of those that are addicted lacking the ability to refrain from stealing and hurting folks to support their habit, to break into homes to support what they are doing, seems to me to be facilitated if ATV use is available.  There is no way our constable can keep up with something like this.  And there is no way I would support any of our tax dollars for having to be responsible for additional road maintenance and police calls for accidents or break ins.  I don't see any positives that outweigh any negatives to this proposal.  I will make every effort to be at this meeting to make a plea that this ordinance not be passed, and it bothers me that so much of our towns' efforts have had to be wasted on this issue.  There are so many wonderful outdoor activities in this small neck of the woods.  ATV use should not be one of them.

Thank you for your e-mail today,
Sheila Wickham

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM at the regular Selectmen’s meeting there will be discussion in advance of the possible signing of a new town-wide ordinance for use of ATV’s on Town roads by the Selectmen. In a previous survey, town residents responded against an ATV ordinance allowing ATV use of Town roads. So this is, at a minimum, a contentious issue that should be voted and not forced upon (requiring petition to change) the resident citizens of Mt Holly

  First off, we happen to enjoy ATV’s ourselves for off road use but we happen to live on a road with a history of ATV abuse. Currently the ATV’s are not technically allowed yet the enforcement (other than citizen enforcement) is almost impossible because the constable has to catch them in the act. We have to gate all private roads from our property to keep ATV’s from entering because signs don’t work or people can’t read. We have had ATV’s by our house at all hours of the day and night including doing donuts in front of our house. Other places on our road have been rutted to the point of being dangerous by constant high speed turn-arounds by ATV users. There are 2 blind hills on our road and ATV drivers are not as elevated or visible as regular road vehicles and can’t hear an oncoming car over their own noise. The problem is really with plenty of non resident users unfamiliar with town regulations.

 Our town gravel roads have minimal shoulders, blind hills, challenging enforcement and as rural as we are, plenty of population density compared to other towns with ATV ordinances. No ordinance like this should be enacted without consideration for proper posting, enforcement and liability, all at a potential cost to the town taxpayers for what good reason? Even with all ATV’s traveling at “appropriate reduced speed” it really is not smart to mix additional forms of traffic with vastly different speeds on the same travelled surface, particularly operators that can’t hear other closing vehicles. Most of all though, without strict enforcement, one can only anticipate the real nuisance factor of uncaring or ignorant expanded ATV use of our roads.

 We he have no issue with agricultural use or exemptions knowing that it would be a stretch to think of Mt Holly as an agricultural community, at this point. Therefore, the impact of agricultural use would be minimal and likely is already accepted without an ordinance.

 If you have had similar experiences or have similar concerns, please make it a point of attending the Dec 13th meeting to voice your concerns before this is enacted without your input. Help get the word out too.

Brett Wright & Sandra Predom

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Town Of Mount Holly Ordinance All-Terrain Vehicle Regulations PROPOSED

Town Of Mount Holly Ordinance All-Terrain Vehicle Regulations
PROPOSED Authority Under the authority granted in Vermont Title 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, 24 V.S.A Section 2291 (4) and Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31, Section 3510, the Select Board of the Town of Mount Holly hereby adopts the following civil ordinance regulating the time, manner and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles within the town. This ordinance and accompanying regulations are adopted as a supplement to and not a substitute for any Vermont statutes and regulations pertaining to all-terrain vehicles. Purpose The purpose of this ordinance is to allow Mount Holly residents, landowners, and their guests, who have the appropriate permission to travel on private land, limited approval for their all-terrain vehicles to travel on identified and approved town highways (or sections of highways), to connect to other private property, while protecting the health and safety of all vehicle operators, residents, animals, property and the environment. Definitions This ordinance will adopt the definitions of “All-Terrain Vehicle” or “ATV” and “Operate” as defined in Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31 section 3501. “Active Farming” is to be defined as anyone engaging in the cultivation and harvesting of crops, hay, vegetables or trees bearing edible fruit; the raising of livestock, poultry, fish, bees or Equines; the harvesting of maple sap and the production of maple syrup; and the management and harvesting off forest lands enrolled in the Use Value Appraisal Program (UVA) also known as Current use. “Gravel Road” is to be defined as any Town Highway or portion thereof, which Is not paved, and is maintained as a traveled road. Operation Requirements The requirements below must be strictly adhered to when operating an all-terrain vehicle on town highways. Any violations will revoke the permission from the Town of Mount Holly to operate an allterrain vehicle on the town highways and the applicable State laws will apply. 1) All-terrain vehicles must be registered and operated in accordance to the requirements of Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31. 2) All-terrain vehicles may only be operated on sections of Town highways that have been designated and approved by the Select Board. 3) All traffic control devices apply to the operation of all-terrain vehicles. ATVs shall obey all traffic regulations that apply to other motor vehicles permitted on Town highways. ATV Ordinance Dec 2016 Page 2 of 3 4) All-terrain vehicles on the Town highway will travel to the far right side, single file, not be operated at a speed greater than is reasonable, safe and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards there existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid collision with any person, vehicle, snowmobile, ATV, or other object on or adjacent to the highway. 5) The operator of an ATV shall drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when travelling on any narrow portions of the highway and when a special hazard exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic by reason of weather or road conditions. 6) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle being operated on a Town highway will yield right of way to all other vehicle and pedestrian traffic including but not limited to bicyclist and horses. 7) ATVs used in active farming must display a slow moving vehicle sign on the rear of the machine. Highway Approval Process 1) All-terrain vehicles will only be allowed to travel on Town highways (or sections of highways} approved by the Select Board. 2) The Select Board reserves the right to allow or deny permission to operate an all-terrain vehicle on any Town highway (or section of highway). The Select Board reserves the right to rescind any or all permissions to operate an all-terrain vehicle on Town highways at any time. 3) The Select Board reserves the right to add or remove any and all roads from the “Allowed Highways” section of this ordinance at any time. Allowed Highways 1) All Class 4 roads within the Town of Mount Holly. 2) All gravel roads within the Town of Mount Holly 3) Any road, with the exception of State highways, when the ATV is being used solely for the purpose of active farming. Enforcement This is a civil ordinance and shall be enforced by a constable/sheriff/police officer or any person(s) duly appointed by the Select Board as an issuing Municipal Officer through the Judicial Bureau in accordance with the provisions of 24 VSA Chapter 59. Severability If any section of this ordinance is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding shall not invalidate any other part of this ordinance. ATV Ordinance Dec 2016 Page 3 of 3 Effective Date This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after its adoption by the Mount Holly Select Board. If a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A Section 1973, that statute shall govern the taking effect of this ordinance. Signatures _____________________________________ Edward (Ted) Crawford _____________________________________ Raymond Tarbell _____________________________________ Tim Martin Adoption History 1) Agenda item at regular meeting held on _________________ 2) Read and approved at regular Select Board meeting on ______________ and entered in the minutes of that meeting which were approved on __________________. 3) Posted in public places on _____________. 4) Notice of adoption published in _______________ newspaper on _____________ with a notice of the right to petition. 5) Other actions (petitions, etc.).

Friday, November 11, 2016

Joseph McDonald

Below is the 100-day plan Trump's campaign released in October, called "Donald Trump's Contract With The American Voter."

What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington
Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:
* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure
Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back
* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
  1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
  2. End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
  3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
  4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
  5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
  6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
  7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
  8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
  9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
  10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by, and for the people.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seven Problems with Act 46

From: Vermont Schools Rock!
Subject: Seven Problems with Act 46
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Dear Vermonters for Schools and Community,

From one end of Vermont to the other, communities are voicing deep concerns about Act 46.

Seven Problems with Act 46 is a new V4SC paper that describes specific problems with the 2015 school consolidation law, and recommends solutions for each. At a minimum, we are asking the legislature to hit the pause button on Act 46 to give communities more time to consider what will be an irrevocable decision if they choose to abolish their school districts.

Concerns about Act 46 are mounting. Earlier this month, key legislators put the Agency of Education and State Board on notice that they’re unhappy with the implementation of the law (see coverage here). And as Election Day gets closer, Vermonters have taken strong stands against the Act 46 "preferred" model and in favor of retaining community voice, such as in this candidate commentary and this school board member commentary.

Vermonters for Schools and Community is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that believes schools are at the heart of Vermont communities. You—our members and supporters—include school board members, teachers, parents, students, and concerned citizens who are seeing first-hand the problems being created by Act 46.

We hope you’ll take a look at the Seven Problems document. If you agree, please take action:
• Contact your legislators and candidates for statewide and local office, and share your concerns. Ask them to support changes to Act 46. Feel free to forward them the Seven Problems with Act 46.
• Spread the word to neighbors, friends and family about the Seven Problems with Act 46. And send folks to to sign up for our free email list. (Don’t worry, we do not share names, so they won’t receive spam.)
• Visit for news updates, tip sheets, other helpful resources.

You are not alone in your concerns about the effects of education consolidation in Vermont. Let’s work together to keep our schools and communities strong.

Vermonters for Schools and Community Steering Committee
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Mount Holly Town Library to pick up a new book

Stop in at the Mount Holly Town Library to pick up a new book. I just added 20 new books to the collection including many best sellers. Here are a few of our new books for adults this week:
Archer Mayer, Presumption of Guilt
Danielle Steele, Rushing Waters
Ruth Ware, The Woman in Cabin 10
J.D. Robb, Apprentice in Death
Clive Cussler, Pirate
Craig Johnson, An Obvious Fact
Alan Bradley, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
Claire-Louise Bennet, Pond
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow
Ian McEwan, Nutshell
I hope to see you very soon at the library!

Amanda S. Merk, MSLIS
Library Director
Mount Holly Town Library
26 Maple Hill Road
Belmont, VT 05730

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Halloween from Weston

Greetings, Mount Holly!
This Saturday all children and the young at heart are invited to join us in Weston for Halloween craft-making.
Details below.
Amanda Merk
Library Director for Mount Holly & Weston

You're Invited to Make Glow in the Dark Decorations at the Library!

Make your own glow in the dark Halloween decorations for your home, party or costume
With Weston artist and children's illustrator, Christine Mix
Free and open to all. All materials are included. Bring your creativity and get ready to have fun!

Homemade snacks and fresh Vermont apple cider will be provided


Wilder Memorial Library, 24 Lawrence Hill Road, Weston, VT


 Saturday, October 15 10:30 am - 12 noon


More Fun and Interesting Library Programs Coming Soon ...

"Ukulele: History, Presentation & Workshop" with Jake Geppert of The Bondville Boys Saturday, October 22 at 7pm

"Tips on How to Sell in a Tough Real Estate Market" with Claudia Harris of Mary Mitchell Miller Real Estate Wednesday, November 2 at 11:00 am

"Healthcare Issues and How to be Your Own Best Advocate"with Dr. Peter Areson Saturday, November 12 at 11:00 am

Wilder Memorial Library
24 Lawrence Hill Road

This message was sent to from:
Amanda Merk | | Wilder Memorial Library | 24 Lawrence Hill RoadPO Box 38 | Weston, Vermont 0516

Friday, September 30, 2016

Science at the Hatchery: lessons in conservation and learning

Science at the Hatchery: lessons in conservation and learning
By Julia Purdy
CHITTENDEN—Tuesday, Sept. 20, was Conservation Field Day at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Fish Hatchery in Chittenden for over 100 fifth- and sixth-graders from Chittenden, Leicester, Proctor, Rutland Town, Shrewsbury and Mount Holly. School buses delivered the groups and their parent-chaperones at 9 a.m. and the children spent the day in structured activities, learning about forest and stream ecology; tree identification; fish species, culture and wild habitat; soils and wetlands; and the behavior of wild streams.
Colorful sleeve patches and beige shirts were a common sight as the students also learned by example about careers in natural science and biology from uniformed personnel from both the state and U.S. fish and wildlife services and the U.S. Forest Service.
The day began with small-group tours of the Atlantic salmon rearing program at the hatchery, led by hatchery manager Henry Bouchard and William Olmstead of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. During lunch, students camped on the lawn and gathered to feed the landlocked salmon swarming in the open-air pool.
After lunch, the student groups finished rotating through field stations spread out along Furnace Brook, which also provides the water for the Atlantic salmon rearing units.
At the “Fish and Streams” stations, Shawn Good of the Vt. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife described his profession and how he became a fish biologist. He netted some small trout for students to get a good look at and quizzed them about fish species in Vermont and their habitats. Chris Alexopoulos, a fisheries and wildlife technician with the U.S. Forest Service, demonstrated “fish shocking,” showing how electroshocking is used to temporarily and harmlessly stun fish in the water, enabling them to be identified, measured and weighed. A brown trout was captured, along with bottom-feeding sculpins and insects that fish feed on.
At the “Forests” station, Lars Lund, Vt. Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation, taught the group how to identify tree species, using leaves and a plant identification key that he had developed. At “Soils,” Angie Quintana of the U.S. Forest Service encouraged students to think differently about dirt, examining handfuls for iron deposits and learning how bacteria in soils have contributed to medicines. The flume table, which reproduces the behavior of streams by flowing water through a bed of plastic beads, was staffed by Shannon Pytlik, a river scientist with the ANR River Management Program. Students placed tiny houses and miniature “trees” along the “stream,” observing how fast-moving water undercut the banks and pushed the plastic beads downstream.
The group leaders were friendly, accessible and informative while reinforcing listening, respect for the subject matter, and good manners. When it was time to leave, there were choruses of “Thank-you” to the instructors.
Nanci McGuire, district manager of the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District (RNRCD), conducted the pre-departure debriefing by asking for raised hands to answer two questions: “what you learned” and “what you liked.” The best-liked were the flume table (“you shouldn’t build houses on a stream”), fish shocking (noting the “special boots and clothes”), and forestry. Feeding, identifying and handling fish was also memorable.
What did students remember? Fish live under fallen trees, different fish require different water temperatures, large culverts are needed to handle floods, fish need streamside trees. All too soon, the schoolbuses arrived and the students quickly lined up to board.
“That age group is a great group to reach out to,” said Ethan Swift, watershed coordinator with the ANR, “to get kids away from electronic distractions and out into nature at their time in life to understand and enjoy natural resources.”
Science at the Hatchery has been held twice a year since 1998. The event was cosponsored by the RNRCD, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), with the participation of the U.S. Forest Service and assistance from  second-year students from Stafford Technical Center’s forestry and natural resources program, with their advisor Dan Lovell.
The hatchery in Chittenden was established by the state of Vermont in 1906 and was known as the Pittsford Hatchery until 2009, when it was renamed for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had visited it. From 1995 to 2004 it raised trout for New England and lake sturgeon for the Finger Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. It now raises brook and lake trout and both landlocked and sea-run Atlantic salmon, and participates in the landlocked salmon restoration program in Lake Champlain.
The hatchery is open to the public 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 365 days a year. It is located at 4 Holden Road, No. Chittenden.
Photo by Julia Purdy

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Black River Folk and Blues Fest News Release

Attachments11:00 AM (25 minutes ago)

Contact:  Bruce Farr
(802) 228-2190
(Photo Attached)

Local Businesses and Individuals Offer Music Students Free Tickets to Folk & Blues Fest, Oct. 8

September 29, 2016 (LUDLOW, VT) – Thanks to the generosity of several local businesses and individuals, dozens of music students from Ludlow’s Black River High School will be enjoying a complimentary ticket to the upcoming 3rd Annual Black River Folk & Blues Fest. 

The October 8th event will bring a variety of folk-and-blues-based musical acts and talented musicians to the stage at the Ludlow Town Hall auditorium. At last count, more than 20 students of Black River High School music teacher and band director Katie Herrle will be attending the show free of charge.

The event is hosted by the local, non-profit community group “FOLA” (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium). Bruce Farr, FOLA’s Program Director, said that he is excited at the prospect of hosting so many young, musically inclined students at the show. “I couldn’t be happier about it,” Farr said. “It’s the reason we founded this music fest to begin with—to try and expose local Vermonters and others to some really great American roots, jazz and blues-based musical performances.”

Farr said that when he and other FOLA members approached a handful of local individuals and businesses about the event, many of them purchased extra tickets and offered them to local young people.

Katie Herrle, Black River High’s band director, echoed Farr’s enthusiasm for the ticket giveaway. “My students and I are grateful and thrilled to have this opportunity,” she noted. “I’ve been playing my music students some selections from the groups they’ll be seeing and hearing live on October 8th, and they’re getting very excited about it.”

This year’s music fest has lined up three top-notch, New England-based musical groups for its third annual event. They include American roots folk singers and songwriters, “The Meadows Brothers”; the western Massachusetts-based alt-country trio, “The Lonesome Brothers”; and the “Becca Byram Band,” featuring legendary guitarist Michael Oakland and drummer Tim Griffin, accompanying consummate jazz and pop artist Becca Byram on keyboard.

Tickets for the event are available at a $5 discount in advance at Ludlow’s People’s Bank, the Wine & Cheese Depot and the Book Nook bookstore. They’re also available online at the FOLA website, They’re also available at the door the evening of the show.

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