Friday, January 17, 2014

Cavendish Update: 1/17/14 SB/News/Internet/Events

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

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page.

 The 1/17/14 Cavendish Update Contains the Following:
1. Select Board Meeting 1/13/14
2. Cavendish Related News
3. Is Your Cavendish Address Covered by High Speed Internet?
4. Ignat Solzhenitsyn Lecture
5. Be More Tech Savvy: Parent Night
6. Events

Select board (SB) meetings are recorded by LPC-TV and are available at their website and on Comcast Television.  

As the SB is preparing the budget for the coming year, they are meeting several times a week during January. Monday night’s monthly meeting included budget items as well as monthly business.

 A. Town Projects
• Davis Road Bridge: Destroyed during Irene, the original estimates were to replace the 25 foot bridge with a 36 foot one and funding of $527,000 has been secured from FEMA. Recent reports from the various engineers call for a 40 foot span. Consequently, the bridge will be 40 feet but there are no additional funds to reflect the increase in length. If the project goes over the $527,000, the town will have to pay those costs. Rich Svec, town manager, stated that using galvanized trusts-similar to the Howard Hill Bridge-should bring the project in on budget.

• Carlton Rd: Owners of the Atherton Mill property, who experienced flood damage during Irene, are the reason for the Weston & Sampson report on the drainage and hydraulics study of Carlton Rd. Another $2,000 is needed to complete the study, which is showing that no structure will prevent damages from 60 year floods. The SB approved the additional expenditure. Svec will see if funding is available through flood hazard mitigation. Phase II will be completed in the spring.

B. Town Meeting/Budget Items
• Cavendish Library: The board approved level funding for the library, which includes a 2% cost of living increase for the librarian. Several projects are being planned by the library-replacement of carpeting in high traffic areas with flooring and a new air conditioner-which will not be part of the town’s budget.

• Cemetery Commission: The SB approved a budget, which reflects increases in labor and fuel costs as well as funds to help determine where ledge might be. The latter is needed since ledge can be a major problem when trying to dig graves. A line item on repayment of debt was eliminated as the town has already paid this and the board thought it prudent to allow the Commission to start the year with a “clean slate.”

• Warning: The Cemetery Commission requested a warning for town meeting whose purpose is to see if the voters would approve $10,000 for the expansion of the Twenty Mile Stream Cemetery. A landowner has offered to give the town 2/10 of an acre, which abuts the existing cemetery. In exchange, he is requesting a lot for his family that would contain four burial plots. The $10,000 is needed to clear the land and make it usable for internment purposes. The SB approved the warning.

• Zero Sort/Transfer Station: While the new recycling program is not even two months old, the transfer station is on their 3rd container. It would be ideal to have more information about what actual costs and savings might be, still the board voted on a budget that was a “best guest estimate,” recognizing that it may need to be modified as actual costs become available in the coming months.

• Printing of Town Report: RC Brayshaw & Co, who printed the town report last year, was again the low bidder and was given the contract for the 2013 Town Report.

• Town Manager’s Report: SB members were asked for topics to be included in the Town Manager’s Report. This report will include such items as Zero Sort, Davis Rd Bridge, Chubb Hill Road and Paving Program.

C. Ice Jams/Weather: The recent rain and warm weather created a number of ice jams on the Black River, which in turn caused flooding for some of the homes in Proctorsville that are close to the river. About three homes needed to have their cellars pumped out. Svec noted that the town can not interfere with ice jams for two reasons-the Agency of Natural Resources, which oversees rivers and streams, would not allow it and the safety dangers the ice dams present. However, once the water is flowing normal, this is the time to study whether there is something in the river that is causing the ice dams to form in the first place.

While sand and salt are being used faster than normal, the sand is from last year’s budget.

D. Board of Abatement Meeting: The board agreed to hold the Board of Abatement meeting at 5:30 on Wed. January 15, just prior to the SB’s budget meeting.

Flu is Being Reported in Cavendish: The flu is now in town and wide spread in VT and surrounding states. Flu shots are available and state health officials are urging people to get them as the flu could be around for several more weeks or months. Learn more ways to prevent flu-Don’t have time for the flu. Take Time to Prevent it. 

BRAT Makes the Top Ten: Last September, many people in Cavendish participated in River Sweep to help clean up the Black River. Kelly Stettner , the head and heart of the Black River Action Team (BRAT) was taking photographs and submitted one of them to the American Rivers competition. They’ve made the top 10. Congratulations! You can support BRAT’s chances of winning by going to the American Rivers’ website and casting your vote.

License to Scan: VT Police Stored Millions of Plate Readings Last Year: Vermont law enforcement agencies recorded almost 8 million license plate readings through the use of Automated License Plate Recognition Systems (ALPRs) between July 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013, according to a state police report to lawmakers. VPR 

When Gov. Shumlin was elected, he promised that all of Vermont would have high speed internet connections by the end of 2013. On November 20, 2013 Shumlin announced that the state was 99% there.

Recent postings to the Cavendish VT Facebook page indicate that at least one area of Cavendish, Tarbell Hill, is not covered by high speed. Are there other areas of Cavendish that are not covered?

According to the Broadband VT website, the message for Tarbell Hill lists a number of mobile providers for the area and the message, “Great news-faster internet is coming to your area. The Broadband provider(s) will be Vtel.”

VTel has received $116 million in federal stimulus money to provide coverage for the under served areas of the state. The bulk of that money is going toward a fiber-to-the-home network that will serve roughly 16,500 homes and businesses in the Springfield area. The rest is being spent on a wireless broadband project that will cover much of the rest of the state and reach into remote areas that have never before had anything faster than dial-up. So far, more than 3,000 customers are connected to VTel’s fiber network and VTel is rolling out the wireless service around the state. Much of the wireless, however, is still in the testing phase, including in the communities near Mount Ascutney. Valley News 

On February 5 (Wednesday), Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor, pianist and Cavendish resident will be the lecturer for the Vermont Humanities Council’s 1st Wednesdays program. He will be talking about his father’s writing The Red Wheel and his family’s life in Cavendish during the 1980’s. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union after The Gulag Archipelago was published in 1974 in France. Of the 20 years he was exiled, he lived almost 18 of them in Cavendish.

The lecture will take place at 7 pm at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. Members of the Cavendish Historical Society will be attending this lecture. If you are interested in attending, and wish to carpool from Cavendish, please call 802-226-7807 or e-mail

Black River School is hosting a Parent Night on the evening of Monday, January 27th.  There will be sessions on teenage trends in social media, tech tips for parents, Internet addiction, and use of technology in the classroom.  This is similar to the program that was made available to parents in the fall with some new and current additions. 

Thanks to the Okemo Mountain Challenge Grant, we will be able to offer free dinner at 5:15 p.m. in the Community Center. DJ's Restaurant will be preparing stuffed shells, sausages, marinara sauce, salad, and dessert for our enjoyment. Childcare will be provided and all attendees will have a chance to win a gas card.

It is so important it is to keep up with you teenager's life online.  It is also important to know that you can monitor and control the amount of time your child spends using electronic devices. With students using devices in the classroom, it is an advantage for parents to know what to look for in their child’s device use and how to encourage your child to use it effectively for school. Let Black River show you how!

Again, dinner is from 5:15 to 5:45 in the community center.  Sessions will start at 6:00 and the program will end at 8:00 p.m.

This week, the following activities will be taking place in Cavendish:

• Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 20): No School, Federal Holiday, Town office and banks closed.

• In-service Day-No School (Tuesday, January 21)

To learn more about upcoming events in Cavendish and surrounding towns go to:
• Events listed by month 
• Events listed by day 

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