Monday, December 1, 2008

CCCA Newsletter Fall 2008

Our Vision: CCCA is committed to a vibrant Cavendish/Proctorsville community that supports its human and natural resources, building a legacy of health, integrity and vitality for future generations.

Fall 2008 Newsletter

Volume No. 5, Issue No. 4

A Message from Robin

Winter is almost here again and we hope that everyone is adjusting to the fast-coming cold. This is a time of accelerated change, and while it may be a time of hardship it is also a time of opportunity. This Newsletter covers many of the ventures to which we have given our energies during the year 2008. It was a year of deepening commitment to many of the projects that we started in 2007 – Historic Barns Preservation and the Cavendish Community Fund, as well as new projects such as the Community Garden.

My favorite project has always been the Community Calendar. From the beginning I felt that the calendar supported a growing awareness of our environment, which is the very foundation of conservation. The act of taking photographs of our historic and natural environment engenders appreciation. If we delight in the view of an open field and look out across the same field at dawn to see deer grazing in the rising mist – if we hunt and see the young buck in the woods that our father, and perhaps our grandfather once walked in – if we love the changing leaves and the starry sky, unpolluted by external lighting – if we can still look out over a field of native corn or squash, or see the harvesting of a forest for its trees – if we marvel at the old stone walls; all these things and more are part of the foundations of conservation. We value our environment. This does not mean that we are against development; it means that we are in favor of wise development. There are many new, exciting “green” models for development that are springing up all over the country. Many models are for building in such a way that safeguards our heritage and quality of life, keeping historic sites, woodland and agricultural or wildlife habitat intact.

This year was the first year of the Cavendish Community Calendar Contest! And it was a great success with over 25 entries. The judge’s choice photos are currently hanging on display in the Cavendish Town Offices. The photos in the calendar were selected by community vote. Twenty Mile Stream Road in summer, Knapp Pond, a quarry wall, a sunflower or snow on an old apple tree, community members took out their cameras and captured what they loved and chose to share with us all. If you have not already seen the 2009 calendar, check it out! It is for sale at the Town Offices and at Crow’s Bakery. And if you have a camera, please take pictures for next year’s contest. Remember, the best quality photos give the best result. All photos must be in horizontal outlay. Digital photos should be copied to their own disc or keep a copy of your negative. And don’t hesitate to call or see me with your questions.
Robin Timko, Chair

How Our Garden Grows
A Future CCCA Garden

The first season of the Cavendish Town Community Garden has been deemed a success. The garden had approximately six full time volunteers that helped plant, weed and gather produce, including potatoes, beans, tomatoes, broccoli, squash and basil. Beneficiaries of the bountiful produce included members of the Gethsemane Episcopal Church and the Cavendish Town Elementary School lunch program, which received over one hundred fresh tomatoes. At the end of the season the gardeners gathered for a Harvest Pot Luck Picnic by the garden, which turned out to be a fitting culmination of the all the hard work contributed to the cause.

Next year the organizers would like to attract more volunteers. They plan to provide seeds and space and advice for "Grow a Row", which will benefit CTES. Also, they plan to dedicate a portion of the garden as a pumpkin patch for local children to help plant and harvest.

The organizers particularly want to thank the Gethsemane Episcopal Church for the use of their land and their support for this community project.

The Event of the Summer!

The Playbill

The 2008 Cavendish Community Theater season was an abbreviated two night affair; but what a fabulous two nights it was! The Cavendish Inn barn was packed – SRO – and people were turned away on both nights. The truly original play, based wholly on the history of Cavendish, was acted by a company of local residents who made up for their lack of experience with a barn full of enthusiasm. And the audience appreciated their efforts lustily.

Tim and Peter Jefferson, ever the elegant hosts, provided a light dinner for those wanting a dinner theater experience, and presented their old barn in its best light. The Cavendish Community Fund, now in its second year of funding local events, proudly provided the necessary financing for the play.

Entitled “The Cavendish Chronicles of Town and the River”, the play was written by the cast, guided by Director Lauryn Axelrod, Director of Education and Resident Dramaturgist at the Weston Playhouse in Weston. It was produced by Bridget Leicester and the musical score was composed and directed by Diane McNamara.

Narrated by Lu Choiniere, Act I told of the early settlers, legends of the valley, and the first towns of Duttonsville and Proctorsville. The local mills took center stage since they formed such a huge part of Cavendish history, and the 1927 flood loomed large as a pivotal point in so many lives. Act II took us through the depression, the war, and the end of the mills as an economic base. With a nod to famous resident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the play took us to the present.

Since this was the second summer session for Community Theater in Cavendish, there is every hope that we will see a third event in the future.

Button-Up Vermont Holds Energy Saving Workshop

On October 6th, Cavendish citizens were treated to one of the first workshops in a series of over a hundred planned for Vermont. “Button-Up Vermont” was produced by Central Vermont Community Action Council with funding from the Vermont Agency of Human Services in partnership with Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network. The session was really an information-filled presentation on conserving energy through better weatherization and improving home efficiency. The workshop goal was to convey information on how a home losses heat; on some of the more cost-effective solutions for saving energy; on energy saving do-it-yourself projects; on health and safety issues with improving efficiency; and on available technical and financial resources.

The discussion focused on debunking four myths and providing facts and solutions to related problems. First was the myth that you should not turn down the thermostat because it takes more energy to bring it up. This is a false conclusion since heat loss increases with temperature difference and bringing the home back to temperature takes less energy that maintaining a higher temperature.

The second myth was that the “off” button turns products “off”. Modern appliances and products consume energy even after being turned off. If it has a transformer it uses energy all the time. Unplug it to turn it off.

Another myth debunked was that adding attic insulation is the most cost effective method to stop heat loss. The problem is that loose or fiberglass insulation doesn’t stop air flow either through or around it. The most cost effective way to stop heat loss is to seal the house – stop the air flow.

Finally, it is also a myth that replacing windows is a good investment for saving energy. Most windows can be effectively sealed for much less cost than buying new. Added energy savings from improved glass is much less than most people assume.

For more information on energy savings and related matters, and for a list of workshops that you can attend, go to and click on “Button-Up Vermont”.

CCCA Holds Legislative Candidates Night

Continuing a tradition begun in 2006, the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association held a Candidates’ Night at the Cavendish Town Elementary School on October 28. Both candidates for State Representative from Cavendish and Weathersfield (incumbent Democrat Ernie Shand and Republican challenger Ed Williams) attended, as did three of the seven candidates for State Senate from Windsor County (incumbent Democrats Alice Nitka and Dick McCormack and Independent challenger Mark Blanchard). Former Sen. Will Hunter served as moderator.

Topics of discussion included criminal justice, particularly the legislative changes proposed in the aftermath of the sexual assault and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Randolph this summer. While some candidates said they were in favor of a law imposing a mandatory minimum sentence, all spoke of the need to legislate carefully in this area. Sen. Nitka, who as a member of the Judiciary Committee participated in hearings around the state this summer on the topic, spoke of the difficulty that many child witnesses have in describing what may have been done to them. Long mandatory sentences will result in more cases going to trial, rather than being resolved by plea agreement. If children are not able to testify effectively, the result may be more acquittals, she pointed out.

The Entergy nuclear power plant in Vermont and Vermont's energy future was also discussed at length. Challenger Williams favored relicensing the plant, but perhaps for a period of less than the 20 years that has been proposed. Rep. Shand said he was awaiting the report of a special committee established by the Legislature, and would not favor continuing the plant in operation after the current license expires in 2012 if the plant cannot be shown to be reliable. He also noted that Entergy has not put aside sufficient money to pay for the decommissioning of the plant. All speakers favored having the State do more to harness the power of the sun and wind in meeting future energy needs.

The discussion was filmed by LPCTV and shown several times before the election. CCCA plans to sponsor future discussions of current political issues, and will hold a review of budgets and candidates prior to the March 2009 Town Meeting.

Cavendish Community Fund News
The Cavendish Community Fund is off to a running start in this, its second year. Applications for fall 2008 grants were received by the Fund before the November 1st deadline and were under consideration by the selection board as of the time this Newsletter was being written and compiled. The selection board consists of three prestigious local residents, Dr. Eugene Bont, Gloria Leven, and Rolf van Schaik. The CCF is sponsored by and is operated as a committee of the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association. It is chaired by Barbara Dickey.
For more information about CCF please call Peter J. LaBelle at 226-7250, or Barbara Dickey at 226-7187.

Cavendish Community and Conservation Association Board of Directors
Robin Timko
Deborah Harrison O’Brien
Will Hunter
Tim Jefferson
Barbara Dickey
Peter LaBelle
Jennifer Stowell
Sandra Russo

CCCA Historic Barn Preservation Committee Joins with Vermont Dept. of Historic Preservation

Regier Barn on Quarry Road

The State of Vermont has asked all towns to conduct a survey of their agricultural barns. To encourage volunteers to help, the state has held several workshops about the history and architectural features of our barns. Peter LaBelle attended one in Tunbridge this summer and Barbara Dickey attended one in Cornwall early this fall. Both Peter and Barbara have been active the past year photographing and documenting all the barns in Cavendish so we knew that most of our survey work was already done. The State asked for more information about the condition and history of the barns than we had, so we are now revisiting each barn to collect more information. If anyone would like to help us, we welcome volunteers. The work is not difficult and participation brings its own rewards: better understanding of the history of Cavendish, and expert knowledge of the back highways and byways of our town.

In addition to expanding our census information for our own use and for the State, we have also worked with historic barn owners, Alan and Wendy Regier, who submitted a proposal to the Vermont Department of Historic Preservation for funds to aid in the restoration of their 200 year old English three-bay barn. Please call 226-7187 for more information or to volunteer!

The CCCA Mission Statement

The CCCA is a non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the conservation of land and natural resources and to the preservation of historic sites within the context of sustainable economic growth. Its commitment is to promote understanding and learning that engages and benefits all members of the Cavendish/ Proctorsville community, now and in the future.

Follow-up on Our Internet Survey: Are You Still Stuck With Dial-Up Technology?
We have been talking with TDS and Comcast about the potential for expanding internet access in the less served areas of Cavendish. TDS has told us that they expect to provide DSL to all of Cavendish within the next two years. (Please note that they told us this last spring.) Comcast is currently analyzing the town to determine where they might expand cable service, which would, of course carry high speed internet service as well.

So far we have gathered the names and addresses of approximately 35 people who would like to have DSL or cable internet service, but who are still stuck with dial up technology. If you are one of those unfortunate few, and you have not yet responded, please e-mail Sandra Russo ( with your name and Vermont house address. Comcast is using the list of names we provide them to determine their next move, so it is important that we have an accurate list.

The 2009 Cavendish Community Calendar is for Sale
CCCA has the new 2009 Cavendish Community Calendars for sale. These are the pictures taken by your friends and neighbors and include the community’s selection of the best photos submitted to the first Annual Calendar Photo Contest. The scenes are a wonderful collection of Cavendish views and the calendars will make great gifts for family and friends, near and far. Give everyone a reminder this holiday season of what they are missing by not living in Cavendish. Or remind them of why they enjoy living here if they do! Calendars are for sale at the Cavendish Town Offices on High Street in Cavendish, or at Crow’s Bakery and Opera House CafĂ© on Depot Street in Proctorsville. For further information on the calendars, or on next year’s calendar photo contest call Robin Timko at 802-226-7736.

CCCA Membership Report and Joining CCCA

By Deb O’Brien, Membership Chair
Over the last couple of months, the CCCA Membership committee has been putting much energy into increasing our members’ involvement in our activities and events. From fundraisers to educational forums, members are becoming more active and more involved in the meat and potatoes of our work. It is always a great experience for us to meet members who were previously only a name on our rolls, and we appreciate any and all help that people can give. If you are a member, or even if you are not, and you have an hour, a day or a weekend to help out, contact any member of the Board, or contact me at, and we will find a task for you!

The Cavendish Community and Conservation Association is a membership organization open to all individuals who are concerned with the welfare of the Cavendish community. Dues are a nominal $35 per year for full membership.

In order to join CCCA, please fill out the information below and send with a check payable to Cavendish Community and Conservation Association to:

Deborah Harrison O’Brien
c/o: P.O. Box 605
Cavendish, VT 05142


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