Monthly Archives: April 2009
Thanks to an early but undated photograph discovered by Kathy Doyle of Ludlow, the original design of the United Church of Ludlow reveals the two side entrances to the building that have since been replaced. The side entrance towards the front of the building was the direct entrance into the first public free-circulating library in Ludlow. The entrance towards the rear was the main entryway into the downstairs community room. Both entrances were removed in subsequent years as Fletcher Memorial Library superseded the church's library and the downstairs entrance was moved to the rear of the building. Just barely visible on the right-hand side of the building are the columns supporting the carriage entrance to the church; this was replaced with the church's office in latter years. The 1891 structure was originally known as the Ludlow Congregational Church; it became the United Church of Ludlow in 1930 when it merged with the Ludlow Methodist Church. In January 2004, the church was named to the National Register of Historic Sites.
Submitted by Okemo Mtn Resort
The National Ski Areas Association named Okemo Mountain Resort the winner of the Best Helmet Safety Program in its annual Heads Up National Ski Area Safety Awards.
Nine resorts were recognized in different safety program categories and Okemo was the only New England resort to receive honors. Each season, the awards recognize those resorts that have done an outstanding job of educating employees and guests about skiing and snowboarding responsibly.
“We are continually impressed with the innovative efforts our member ski areas make all season long in educating their guests about skiing and riding safety,” said NSAA Director of Education and Risk Dave Byrd. The winning programs will be officially recognized during NSAA’s National Convention and Tradeshow to be held at Marco Island Resort, Fla., May 13-16. Each of the winning programs will also be highlighted in the August issue of the NSAA Journal.
“One of our main goals here at Okemo is ensuring safe and responsible skiing and riding,” says Okemo Ski Patrol Director Jim Livingston. “The Okemo Ski Patrol has always placed a major emphasis on safety and we are constantly striving to do better. Next winter, we will continue our safety program on the mountain by stopping many skiers and riders to promote respect of others. We will continue to maintain a presence of patrollers and other staff on the trails, making sure everyone is practicing safe skiing and riding.”
“Safety First” is a mantra for Okemo staff members throughout the winter season, but it is during the annual NSAA Safety Awareness Week, in January, that Okemo turns its commitment to safety into a full-blown event. In addition to organizing discounts on helmets purchased at Okemo’s Snowsports Shops during Safety Week, Okemo Events Coordinator Jeff Alexander plans a host of fun events and activities to help educate skiers and riders of all ages and promote on-mountain safety.
Activities include a Skier Responsibility Code Safety Scavenger Hunt and a Helmet Head contest that celebrates that cool, disheveled look of matted hair that happens when a skier or snowboarder removes his helmet after a great day on the slopes. Photos of contestants are posted on the resort’s website and winners are determined by popular vote.
Vermont’s own PHAT team (Protect Your Head at All Times/Protect Your Head on All Terrain) makes several personal appearances at Okemo throughout the season. The Vermont Snow Sports Research Team, a partnership of Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine help educate skiers and riders about helmet use. Over the past five years, this team has been focused on developing a program to prevent serious head injuries by increasing voluntary ski helmet use among children and adults. The team of physicians and health care providers is headed by Robert Williams, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist and critical care specialist at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen. In addition to education, the team’s project includes observations of skiers and riders to determine baseline data about helmet use. Their work has been presented at medical conferences, accepted for publication in medical journals and has been extensively covered by news media nationwide. The program’s presence at a resort includes posters, distribution of brochures, an exhibit, stickers and prizes. The program is non-coercive and is designed to promote both helmet use and skiing and snowboarding as a healthy lifestyle. Visit www.skihelmetsafety.orgfor more information.
Nancy Boone, of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (DHP) will be at the Black River Academy Museum (BRAM) Friday, May 8 at 1 pm. She will address the topic of Vermont Barns and the barn census being conducted by DHP. Boone oversees the DHP grant program dealing with Vermont's historic agricultural buildings (barns, corn cribs, silos, grist mills, etc.). The Census is a project of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program, Historic Windsor's Preservation Education Institute, Save Vermont Barns, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and Preservation Trust of Vermont. Mrs. Heidi Beitz 6th grade class from Ludlow Elementary School will be attending the presentation since the census program encourages the participation of elementary and high school students. The meeting is open to the public.
TW3 (That Was The Week That Was) will feature a discussion on the status of area and national real estate in its weekly broadcast this week. The program, broadcast live at 3 pm on Thursday LPC-TV, Channel 8, will feature Suzanne Garvey of Vermont Properties.
Viewers will have the opportunity to call in questions during the live broadcast at 228-8807 or emailing questions or comments before the Thursday broadcast to email@example.com.
Following the live broadcast, a taped version of the TW3 program is aired throughout the week by LPC. Scheduled rebroadcasts are included in LPC's schedule located on its web site, www.lpctv.org.
By Senator Alice Nitka, Windsor County, April 24, 2009
The Transportation Bill, H-438 was presented on the floor of the Senate this week and passed the Senate twice before being sent back to the House of Representatives where it originated and previously passed. There are differences in the versions that will need to be negotiated in a Conference Committee. A Conference Committee is composed of three assigned members from each body who will represent the positions taken by their chamber and yet hopefully reach a compromise. Both chambers then need to vote on the compromise.
The total spending for all programs in the bill for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1st is $522,327,281 of which $66,369,500 is money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AARA) better known as the stimulus package. Some of the spending follows; towns will receive $ 41.5 million for roads, structures, enhancements and other uses. $291,750,000 will go to statewide highway infrastructure such as maintenance, 67 million; paving 68 million; state bridges $23.7 million; town bridges $20.6 million and other. Money totaling $70.5 million will spent on aviation, public transit, park and rides, rail infrastructure and Amtrak. Rest areas will receive $2.9 million and as I’ve previously written many will remain closed as there is not enough money to keep all open. The Dept of Motor Vehicles will receive $25.1 million.
This comprehensive bill in addition to addressing paving projects which one would expect also goes from license plates to non liability for landowners who have sidewalks on their property provided they don’t charge for the use of their property. Fines, fees, snowmobiles and ATVs as well as trucks of varying lengths are in the bill. It’s one thing to talk about truck lengths and how they are measured but “axle talk” is another story. For instance, one section of the bill states, “If there is a trailer or semitrailer the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle group shall not exceed 41 feet”. (It used to be 43 feet). A definition that goes along with this is, “An axle group is defined as two or more axles where the centers of all the axles are spaced at an equal distance apart”. I know truckers understand all of this as it relates to permits but I don’t think the general public knows much about so called “pole dinkeys” also mentioned in the bill. Senator Jane Kitchel of Danville in Caledonia County presented much of this bill and handled nicely a barrage of questions.
Bills are moving very quickly these days and rules are being suspended regularly so it is more difficult to follow bills on the web site but still try it at www.leg.state.vt.us. Feel free to contact me at home, 228-8432, or at the State House, 1-800-322-5616, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailing addresses are The Senate Chamber, 05633-5201 or PO Box 136, Ludlow, VT 05149.
Submitted by Christine Fuller
Black River Good Neighbor Services is holding a huge Rummage Sale at Fletcher Farm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 15, 16 & 17 from 10am until 4pm.
All proceeds from this sale go to benefit the needy in the area. “The current economic crisis has created a greater demand then ever. A lot of our neighbors are going to need help this summer, so we are asking for everyone in the area who can help to please do so” said Jim Fuller President of BRGNS. All monies raised will help cover utilities/fuel cost, food and rent assistance for those who qualify and live in Ludlow, Mt. Holly, Proctorsville, Cavendish and Plymouth.
This is a community effort; here is what you can do to help:
1) If you have anything to donate please bring it to Fletcher Farm’s Barn located at 611 Route 103 S, between Tuesday May 12th and Thursday May 14th between the hours of 11am to 3pm. Summer clothing will be especially welcome. Furniture will be accepted (nothing broken or torn please). If you need to drop items at another time please call the number below to make arrangements. Please do not donate any items that are stained, ripped or broken. Furniture donations can be picked up by our volunteers if arrangements are made in advance.
2) If you have a vehicle and some time Black River Good Neighbor Services could use your help to move items from the Thrift Shop on Main Street to Fletcher Farm.
3) Volunteers are needed to help work the sale as well as setup, so please come and help.
4) There will be a table selling baked goods. So, if you can bake an item to donate for selling please do so. This proved to be a very popular addition last fall.
5) Please come and buy some of the great bargains.
Contact Audrey Bridge at the Black River Good Neighbor Services Thrift Shop at 105 Main Street or call her at 802-228-3663 or email her at BRGNS@tds.netfor further details.
Submitted by Pam Cruickshank
To kick-off Vermont Green Up Day on May 2, 2009, the Ludlow Transfer Station will offer a special Half-Price Disposal Day from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Ludlow homeowners or renters with a valid 2009 Transfer Station permit will be able to dispose of their garbage and unwanted items and receive ½ off the regular disposal fee.
This offer is only valid for residential permit-holders. Businesses will be charged the regular disposal rates.
Residents who are using a non-permit bearing truck to dispose of their trash must accompany the truck in their own vehicle that has a valid 2009 Transfer Station Permit.
For more information, please call the Ludlow Transfer Station at 802-228-2846.
Submitted by Pam Cruickshank
The Ludlow Parks & Recreation Department will be holding its softball organizational meeting for the co-ed softball and men’s softball leagues on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm in the Ludlow Town Hall.
Anyone wishing to put a softball team together for the league should plan to attend the April 26th meeting.
If you have questions about the softball leagues, please contact Howard Paul in the Ludlow Parks & Recreation Department at 228-2655.
By Senator Alice Nitka, Windsor County, April 17, 2009
This week saw a lot of evening and night work at the State House. The Senate convened at 5:30 one evening to take up the bills on the calendar for the day after committees had met all day on their own work. The House of Representatives had started their work earlier in the day and were still going at 8:00pm which by then the members were getting worried about food as there had been no dinner break. There also have been more people using computers on the so called “night shift” in the work room for legislators and I noticed ten members working there one night at 11 pm. The work room is officially called the Legislative Lounge but through the years has become a much needed workspace. From 1886 to 1920 the same room served as the Supreme Court chamber. There are twelve computers in the room now for 180 members thus one needs to work when one is available. There are four additional ones near the Senate Chamber and committee room computers are available to legislators when staff are not present. Many members do have their own laptops now that the State House is wireless and House members are allowed to use them when the House is in session. They are not allowed on the Senate floor nor is it set up to accommodate them due to its historic properties.
On the education front, S-136, a bill relating to reducing the drop out rate in secondary schools passed the Senate and is now in the House. There are approximately 1000 students who leave school each year without graduating and this bill will create some other paths to completion for these students. This is high number to lose given that we have about 100,000 children in school in the state and in 4 years it is predicted we will have only 92,000. Because the state has had a moratorium on school construction aid, schools have been waiting for this money that is owed to them to be paid. In many cases they have already completed the projects and the students are in the schools. This year, there is money in the Capital Bill to resume paying some of this debt. The bill has passed the House but still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the Governor. The following are some amounts to be paid to local schools if all goes well: Elm Hill School and Union Elementary in Springfield for additions and renovations will receive 1/3 of balance owed, $1,299,079 and $1,240,117 respectively. Weathersfield Elementary and Middle School for consolidation will receive 1/3rd owed at $1,428,186 and for its biomass heating system, $565,000 which is 20% of balance. The Marion Cross School in Norwich for their solar hot water system will receive $1,846 for 20% of balance. For emergency situations described as unanticipated, imminent threats, $300,000 will be set aside for schools.
After these and other school projects are paid from this years allocation 28 million will still be owed without adding any new school construction to the list.
View bills and committee schedules at www.leg.state.vt.us. Feel free to contact me at home, 228-8432, or at the State House, 1-800-322-5616, or at email@example.com. Mailing addresses are The Senate Chamber, 05633-5201 or PO Box 136, Ludlow, VT 05149.
Submitted by Pam Cruickshank
The Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District will hold free household hazardous waste collections on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at the Springfield Transfer Station/Recycling Center from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and at the Rockingham Transfer Station from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Springfield Transfer Station – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rockingham Transfer Station – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Pre-registration is not required for District residents (Ludlow residents included). If you are a Conditionally Exempt Generator of HazWaste (less than 220 lbs./mo.), you may participate but you must pre-register and pay for your disposal costs.
For more information on the FREE Hazardous Waste Collection Day, please contact the Vermont Solid Waste District at (802)674-9235 or visit the website at www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org.
(Please Note: There will not be a FREE Hazardous Waste Collection Day at the Ludlow Transfer Station on May 9th. Ludlow residents may use the Rockingham or Springfield stations).