Friday, September 23, 2011

Cavendish Update 9/23/11 Guard/News/SB/Events

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page

The 9/23/11 Cavendish Update Contains
1. Air Guard Member Dies Working in Cavendish
2. Select Board Meeting 9/20/11
3. Cavendish Related News
4. 250th Anniversary Planning Continues
5. Meet the Authors of “The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs”
6. Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Floods of 1936 and 1938
7. Blessing of the Animals
8. Classifieds

1. Air Guard Member Dies Working in Cavendish
While there are a number of articles about “a 46-year-old Vermont Air Guard member on state active duty assisting with cleanup in Cavendish who died unexpectedly Wednesday morning,” many of us who worked in the shelter knew Master Sgt. Shawn Stocker. Since the Air Guard arrived a few days after the Army Guard, were fewer in number and worked a different shift, we saw more of them.

We quickly learned that Stocker had been in Norway before coming here, his wife and kids were in West Rutland, but he had relatives in Cavendish and grew up not far from here. In fact, he related how his father had purchased plots for the family in the Cavendish Cemetery. We told him that alone made him one of us.

Stocker was passionate about what he did. Standing in the familiar A frame military pose, with arms crossed, in the middle of a very crowded dinning area, he spoke of why he did this type of work. “It’s just part of who you are. You can’t teach people this,” he said. “I’ve always known this is what I was meant to do.” Looking very fit and trim, he was a man living his beliefs, and we felt pretty lucky to have him as part of the “Cavendish Canyon” crew.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Stocker’s family, friends, and those he served with. Thank you for sharing him with us. May the grief of his passing be eased by knowing the positive difference he made in our town.

FMI: Burlington Free Press WCAX

2. Select Board Meeting 9/20/11
The primary purpose of Tuesday’s Select Board meeting was to approve contracts for road construction. Many residents, who live on the back roads, were in attendance, expressing concern about the stopping of local workers. However, Rich Svec, town manager and Rolf Van Schiak, hired to deal with contractors, spoke about the importance of having a bid process.

FEMA will pay 75% of the cost of road repairs, and the state will split the remaining 25% of costs with the town. This not only requires documentation, but also a bid process. To that end, work was halted so the bid process, albeit a short one, could take place. Notices were posted in The Rutland Herald and Eagle Times, on Thursday Sept. 15, with bids due by Sept. 20.

Svec noted that without this process, the town would have to pick up the total cost, which is what happened after the 1973 flood, where the town had to float a 30-year bond to pay off expenses. Svec asked people to submit photos of damaged roads before repairs to the Town Office by one of the following means: e-mail, drop off CDs, thumb drives and photographs, or snail mail them to PO Box 126, Cavendish, VT 05142

While certain sections of the road projects did have proposed contractors for the Select Board to vote approval on, other areas only had one bid, no bid or was work that could be done by the Cavendish Highway Department, using local contractors on an hourly basis and under the supervision of the Cavendish Highway Dept. Projects that were bid out were as follows:

Jarvis and Sons (Mt. Ascutney): Old Country/Parker Rd Area $114, 485
Jarvis and Sons (Mt. Ascutney): East Rd, Brook Rd Area $31,150
Charlestown Cornerstone (Charlestown, NH) Felchville Gulf, Tarbell Rd area $88,780
J & S Diversified (Cavendish –Turcos): Whitesville/Densmore Rd area $31,500

Areas where bids have yet to be assigned include:
• Twenty Mile Stream/Chapman/Newton Rd;
• Davis Road: Looking for a temporary bridge. Requires three bids, which could be hard to find.
• Town Farm Rd area, including Atkinson and Prior Roads
• Norrie Davis Rd
• Knapp Pond Rd
• Winery Bridge (Alternative ways to access businesses and home(s) were discussed)

Non-residential areas, such as Bailey Rd, are not priority for repair by the time “snow flies.”

Svec noted that every effort will be made to have roads put back to the way they were prior to the flood by the time winter sets in. However, guardrails are another matter. It is anticipated that stopgap measures will be used, but it will be spring before they can be addressed.

The National Guard will be stopping work on Sept. 27 at the “Cavendish Canyon” on route 131. The state has a replacement for the Guard and the road, plus the town’s infrastructure for water and sewage, damaged when the area was carved out, will be back in place for the winter season.

3. Cavendish Related News
Cavendish Recovery Process: While roads and bridges are reopening slowly, Route 131 in Cavendish has a long way to go. It will take a month and a half before traffic can resume, according to Susan Clark, Vermont Department of Transportation District No. 2 information officer. According to Richard Svec, town manager, the chasm is 70 feet deep and several hundred feet wide and the damage was so massive it wiped out critical town services. Rutland Herald, 9/17/11 Note: That the boil water notice, mentioned in the article, is no longer in effect.

Price Tag to Rebuild Route 12 A Strip in W. Lebanon Nears $8 Million: The estimated price tag to repair damage to stores on the Route 12A commercial strip (Kohl’s, Sears, CVS) is approaching $8 million. Valley News

VT 2012 Hospital Budges Show Dramatic Drop in Costs: Budgets totaling $2.059 billion for Vermont’s 14 hospitals were approved by Steve Kimbell, commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA). That figure amounted to a 4.6 percent increase over the 2011 budgets, but the increase dropped to 3.8 percent if you didn’t count the roughly $16 million in provider taxes assessed against the hospitals. Press Release

FEMA Disaster Assistance is Available for Renters: Renters who were displaced from their homes by the storm may be eligible for a FEMA grant to help them pay rent for temporary housing. These rental grants are for a limited period until renters’ previous homes are again habitable or they find another home. FEMA also provides grants to renters for a variety of serious disaster-related losses. FMI: 800-621-3362 Press Release

Congress Still Hasn’t Approved Disaster Relief Funds: Vermont is banking on help from the federal government -- to help bounce back from Irene. But Congress still has not approved funding national disaster relief -- which right now is slated to run out of money at the end of the month. WCAX

Flooded Families Disappointed in FEMA Aid: While the maximum grant FEMA can give out is $30,200, the average grant hovers closer to $6,000. In all, 5,271 people have applied for assistance in Vermont. The highest number of applications came from Windsor County with 1,444, then Windham with 1,116, followed by Washington at 930 and then Rutland with 824. WCAX

State Roadway Progress: State officials now estimate the damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in Vermont will exceed $1 billion. Much of that damage is in towns where 1,950 roads, 200 bridges and 900 culverts need repairs. The state is rushing emergency funds to towns to pay for the work, while they await federal disaster aid. Meanwhile, transportation officials report more progress on repairing state infrastructure. There were 180 separate closures of state roads and bridges following Irene, today that is down to 13. But there still is a long way to go to get the system fully repaired. WCAX

4. 250th Anniversary Planning Continues
Events are continuing to be planned to mark the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of Cavendish. The actual charter signing date, by King George III, was Oct. 12, 1761. A group of people have been working on a series of events for Columbus weekend. Given recent events, we’ve had to scale things back, but we still want to celebrate our “birthday,” and acknowledge that we are quite a town. If you can help in any way, please note the contact person next to each event and get in touch. We can use all the help we can get.

Sept. 25 (Sunday): Settler’s Tour. Meet at 2 pm at the Cavendish Historical Society Museum. Tour will include the homes and final resting places of Coffeen, Proctor and Dutton. Please wear comfortable shoes and be advised that the path to the Proctor Cemetery is steep. Contact or 226-7807

Oct. 7 (Friday): Community Dance at the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) featuring the music of Yankee Chank starting at 7 am. Contact or 226-7807

Oct. 8 (Saturday): Parade starting in Cavendish and proceeding to Proctorsville 10 am. Floats and participants will gather at the Mack Molding Parking Lot starting at 9:30. Contact: Leon (Woodie) Woods 226-7476 (floats and participants are needed for this event).

Reception will follow the parade at the Proctorsville Green weather permitting. Contact Sharon Huntley

Oct. 9 (Sunday): From Noon to 2pm open house and light refreshments at the area churches. Contact: Lucien (Lu) Choiniere or 226-8199

Meet the authors of “The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs,” and learn about this book’s connection to Cavendish (see article 4 below). 2pm. We hope to be able to hold this event at Crows Corner Bakery & Cafe, in celebration of their return to business after the flood. The school’s art room will be the backup if the bakery is not available that day. Contact or 226-7807

Oct. 10 (Monday): Pot Luck Dinner, 5 pm at the Cavendish Town Elementary School, which will be followed by a discussion about the history of the various town churches. Contact: Lucien (Lu) Choiniere or 226-8199

5. Meet the Authors of “The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs”
Suzanne Gay Beyer, granddaughter to Leon S. Gay and Una Hadley Gay, will help Cavendish celebrate its 250th anniversary on Sunday, October 9th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Cavendish Elementary School.

As a young child, Suzanne saw her Vermont Senator grandfather, as bigger than life. “My grandfather owned Cavendish,” she always thought.

That, of course, is not exactly true, but Leon S. Gay served as Vice President, then as Treasurer of Cavendish’s Gay Brothers Woolen mill from 1922 to 1952, along with his brother, Olin D. Gay who was President of the family’s mill…a well liked and respected duo! Leon and Una Gay lived in the sparkling granite mansion, “Glimmerstone,” from 1918 to 1953.

Join Suzanne as she strides down memory lane reminiscing about her grandparents,
“Glimmerstone”, and the handprint the Gays left on their beloved Cavendish.

Suzanne’s grandmother, Una Hadley Gay, was the sister of Art Hadley, the inventor in 1913 of the expansion bracelet. Yes, the well-known and popular wristwatch expansion bracelet has a Cavendish connection.

John S. Pfarr, Connecticut and Rhode Island estate planning attorney, will be here to make that connection. He represented nine of Una’s grandchildren in a 6-year Rhode Island lawsuit to recover a substantial portion of the fortune left by Art Hadley. This is the iconic American story of the underdog coming from behind to prevail. Even John, at the outset, thought he did not have a snowball’s chance in hell of prevailing. Hear what happened to change that assessment.

John’s presentation style includes involving his audience in this case, debating among themselves and voting on the issues. Surprising and shocking details evolve during his presentation that make the case a memorable rollercoaster ride.

Both Suzanne and John co-authored the book, “The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs,” the legacy of the expansion bracelet. They’ll be happy to sign copies and answer questions following the presentation. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Cavendish Historical Society.

Tune in! On November 2nd, Investigation Discovery T.V. “The Will” will feature the Art Hadley inheritance story, inspired by Suzanne and John’s book, “The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs.”

6. Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Floods of 1936 and 1938
These posts are made possible by the Cavendish Historical Society and are archived at the CHS Blog.

While the Flood of 1927 has been considered the standard by which all other floods are judged in Cavendish, few realize the damages done in 1936 and again in 1938.

In March, 1936, there was an unusual amount of snow on the ground in early March when rain and warm weather (40’s and 50’s) came March 11-12. More heavy rain came March 16-22. Cavendish received a total of 7.89 inches of rain, not counting the enormous quantity of water from the snow melt. Schools were closed, mail and milk deliveries were not possible trains stopped running, bridges were out and the roads were covered with ice and water. Local fire men and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) were responsible for saving both lives and property. Isabelle Briggs recalled looking out of her childhood home and seeing a “lake” covering the road and the lower part of Whitesville where Twenty Mile Stream flows into the Black River.

The New England Hurricane of 1938 stuck on September 21. Strong winds blew down thousands of trees while heavy rain caused flooding again in the river valleys. In some areas, the flooding was as bad as in the Floods of 1927 and 1936. It was second to the Flood of 1927 in its total devastating impact throughout the state. For Cavendish, the wind damage caused the most destruction. Fallen trees blocked nearly every road the next day.

The disasters of the Flood of 1936 and the Hurricane of 38 at least gave work for road crews and Works Progress Administration (WPA) men in clean-up and road repair. The federal and state governments paid for most of this rather than the town. Logging the trees felled by the hurricane provided jobs as well. From “Chubb Hill Farm and Cavendish Vermont,” By Barbara B. Kingsbury.

7. Blessing of the Animals: In honor of St Francis of Assisi, St James Methodist Church and Gethsemane Episcopal Church will offer the blessing of animals on the Proctorsville Green at 2pm on Saturday Oct. 1. All are invited.

8. Classifieds
For Free: Gas Dryer and Pine Hutch. Contact: Terry Ranney

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