Friday, September 25, 2009

Cavendish Update 9/25/09 Water/Energy Awareness Month

This issue of the Cavendish Update is made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), 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. FMI: PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142 or 802-226-7736

The 9/25/09 Cavendish Update Contains
1. Manganese in Water, Not Just a Town Issue
2. Water Board Meeting
3. October Energy Awareness Month in Cavendish
4. Weekly Green from Sustainable Cavendish
5. News from Cavendish Historical Society/Cemetery Tour/Events
6. Classifieds

1. Manganese in Water, Not Just a Town Issue
For years now, people have been aware of the problems with Cavendish town water. However, the geology that has played a big part in the iron and manganese (Mn) levels in the town water is just as much an issue for well users. While people don’t like staining in their clothes or toilets, the more important concern pertains to health and what the impact might be.

In 2005, Eisner and Spangler reported in the medical literature that it was theoretically possible that 10 minute showers a day for 10 years, with water that had high levels of Mn, could lead to neurotoxicity. Since then more studies have appeared, with stronger links between levels of Mn in drinking water exceeding 0.05 mg/L, and health problems. Some of the studies are being done in third world countries, such as Bangladesh, while others are taking place in the United States and Canada. At least one study has reported higher incidences of cancer , particularly colon and lung cancer, among well users with high levels of Mn and several studies have reported higher infant mortality from such drinking water. Several studies have described learning disabilities in children. Nearly all of the studies published are looking at health issues in well users.

In Cavendish, town water users have been informed that the Vermont Health Department has issued a health advisory on their water as a result of the high iron and Mn. Even though the iron levels are no longer an issue, due to the new filtration system, the Mn is still high and the health advisory is still in place.

What about those homes with wells? Are they being testing for Mn? According to the Vermont Department of Health, total coliform bacterial test should be done every year. Inorganic chemical testing, which includes arsenic, chloride, copper, hardness, iron, lead, manganese, nitrate, sodium and uranium should be done every five years; and gross alpha radiation screening every five years. If young children or infants use the water, fluoride testing should be done yearly. For more information about testing your well water, call 1-800-660-9997.

2. Water Board Meeting
The Water Board will be meeting on Monday, September 28 at 5 pm at the Cavendish Town Office. The agenda will include an update on the water filtration system.

3. October Energy Awareness Month in Cavendish
This October, Sustainable Cavendish, a committee of the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), is sponsoring Cavendish Energy Awareness Month. The Redfield Proctor Room, at the Cavendish Library, will have displays on ways you can save energy. You will also be able to sign up for the Watt’s Up Meter, which can help you learn the energy use of the various appliances in your home. This is a free program from Efficiency Vermont. There are a number of handouts, including ways to recycle in Cavendish.

On Tuesday Oct. 13, the Button Up Vermont program will take place at the Cavendish Town Elementary School starting at 6:30 pm. This free workshop provides information and instruction about how to weather proof your home so you are comfortable and save energy costs in the process. Door prizes will be given to the first 30 people who attend and refreshments will also be provided. Area vendors working in weatherization and energy will also be on hand to answer questions. Note that the video “Button Up Vermont” is available for loan from the Cavendish Library.

4. Weekly Green from Sustainable Cavendish
10 iPhone Apps that can save you money, time and energy

Check out Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic safety database. Includes the 2009 Sunscreen Guide.

5. News from the Cavendish Historical Society/Cemetery Tour/Programs
The Young Historians program is now underway at the Cavendish Elementary School. Seventeen students, in grades 3-6, are learning about Cavendish in the 1930’s. This program will run throughout the school year, meeting during recess on Wednesdays.

Having just interviewed residents of the Gill Home earlier in the week, volunteers from the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) were able to discuss with the students how many families survived the depression years by growing their own food, hunting and fishing. Interestingly, girls as well as boys, had rubber band guns, which they made from clothespins. In fact, the only toys that seemed to be “girls only” were baby dolls.

The 1930’s was the “golden age” of radio and paper dolls. The Cavendish students had a chance to see a radio from 1936 and listened to “The Shadow,” which was a favorite program for many of the Gill Home residents when they were young. Paper dolls, including soldiers and circus animals, were a major form of entertainment. These came free in magazines and newspapers and were often part of advertisement for a particular product. Offering a free or low cost form of entertainment, children of the 1930’s spent hours cutting them out. The students were given sample dolls and circus animals to take home.

At the beginning of October, CHS will be conducting a tour for the sixth grade class of Cavendish Elementary School of the Fitton Mill site and Mack Molding. This will be part of CHS program about the role of the Black River in the town’s history.

The annual cemetery tour will take place on Oct. 11 (Sunday). This year’s cemetery will be the Proctor Cemetery in Proctorsville. Featuring graves that date back to the Revolutionary period, this cemetery also includes the Proctor family, who produced several prominent members of Vermont, including two governors. The tour will be lead by Carmine Guica, historian and genealogist. This cemetery does require a hike up a hill, and does not have handicap access. For those interested in touring the cemetery, meet at the Cavendish Historical Society Museum at 2 pm.

The CHS annual meeting and potluck dinner takes place on Oct. 18, 5 pm at the Cavendish Inn on Main Street in Cavendish. Prior to the meeting, there will be a presentation on the History of the Spiritualist Church in Vermont at 3pm at the Cavendish Inn,. Dan Churchill, a descendant of one of the founders of the Church will be speaking and doing readings. Persons interested in readings should call ahead for a reservation. Donations are requested for readings.

For more information call 802-226-7807 or e-mail

6. Classifieds
• Free: 8 x 10 aluminum greenhouse frame. 226-7331
• In Search Of: Flute for beginning flute player, borrow or purchase 226-7791

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