Newport could support hotel, report says

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copyright the Chronicle November 22, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Newport can support a 30- to 50-bed hotel, but only during the summer months. A year-round hostelry would have to be considerably smaller.

Those were the main conclusions of a report submitted to the city by the Pinnacle Advisory Group, a company with offices in Maryland and Florida.

The study was conducted at the suggestion of David White of White and Burke, a firm hired by the city to help form redevelopment plans in the wake of the Jay Peak EB-5 debacle.

One of the ideas proposed by Mr. White was construction of a hotel on the site of the former Spates Block on Main Street, or even the conversion of the Emory Hebard State Office Building, to take advantage of its lakeside site.

Mr. White said a study was needed before any planning could continue. The Newport City Renaissance Corporation commissioned Pinnacle to conduct a study to see whether the city could support a hotel, and if so, what type of hotel could succeed in Newport.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont and Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) stepped up to pay for the study.

A link to the document appeared recently on the city’s Facebook page, but no mention appeared on the Newport City website. It has not been mentioned by the city council.

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Holocaust stories told, plans for memorial discussed

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copyright the Chronicle November 22, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

HARDWICK — Three Vermont daughters of holocaust survivors explained their plans here last week for creating a permanent traveling memorial to the victims of Nazi atrocities.

They also shared family stories and discussed plans for the memorial with a small group that met at the Jeudevine Memorial Library Tuesday evening, November 14.

Miriam Rosenbloom, a Hyde Park resident, opened the meeting and shared the credo of the group she formed with Debora Steinerman and K. Heidi Fishman.

“We believe in humankind,” she said. “We are all the same.”

Ms. Rosenbloom provided a quick overview of the events that, from 1933 to 1945, resulted in the deliberate murder of 11 million civilians. She was careful to note that, in addition to the six million Jews killed by the Nazis, five million other people were caught up in the holocaust.

All, she said, were members of groups the Nazis, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, did not think deserving of life. They included people with both mental and physical disabilities, the Romani people, political opponents, gay and lesbian people, freemasons, Slavs, Poles, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Before World War II the Jewish population of Europe numbered around nine million. At its end only three million survived. Only one out of three survived, Ms. Rosenbloom noted.

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Life is short, eat more pie

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copyright the Chronicle November 22, 2017

 

by Elizabeth Trail

 

WEST GLOVER — Peter Gould is a small man with crinkly eyes and a quiet smile that lit up the shadowy nighttime interior of the West Glover Community Church Friday night.

He was there to read from his new book, Horse-drawn Yoghurt, a memoir of his life on a communal farm near Brattleboro.

He’s honed the stories for years, carried them in his head and told them over and over before finally setting them down on paper.

They’re meant to be read aloud, he said. Their rhythms, their cadences, roll off the tongue even better than they read on the page. And like any good writing, they also have a philosophical takeaway that lasts.

Mr. Gould has spent most of his life in the southeast corner of the state, but he’s no stranger to the Northeast Kingdom. His summer theater program for teens, Get Thee to the Funnery, has been a staple of summers in Craftsbury for two decades.

He gets an appreciative audience in this corner of the Northeast Kingdom, which has its own history with the back-to-the-land movement.

In fact, many of West Glover’s most solid citizens once lived on one or another of the communes in the area. So, after sharing a community potluck to get in the mood, the audience was laughing or groaning even before Mr. Gould got to his punch lines.

People here know his stories. They’ve lived them.

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Community visit comes to Newport December 13

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copyright the Chronicle November 22, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Jenna Koloski was scurrying around Newport Tuesday taping television interviews, meeting people, handing out fliers, and putting up postera, all in hopes of gathering a large crowd for the Council on Rural Development’s first forum on Wednesday, December 13.

Ms. Koloski is community and policy manager for the council, which is conducting what it calls a community visit. That is a process intended to bring citizens of a municipality together to determine what issues most concern them and find ways to address a few of them.

So far the council has held more than 50 such meetings in towns around the state. Ms. Koloski, who has been with the council for three years, said she has spent much of that time working in Northeast Kingdom towns, including Brighton, Craftsbury, Hardwick, St. Johnsbury, and Lyndonville.

Ms. Koloski said the council goes to towns only if invited and takes no position on what is best for a community. That’s a matter for the town’s residents to determine.

The council is focused on helping to start a civil conversation and bringing people with expertise to the table to offer suggestions and aid once a community decides the direction it wishes to take.

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Obituaries November 22, 2017

George Henry Kern

The Reverend George Henry Kern, 95, of Pennsville, New Jersey, died peacefully on November 9, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving family.

The Reverend Kern was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, on February 24, 1922.

He is survived by his devoted children: William of Gibbstown, New Jersey, Robert and his wife, Cynthia, of Delaware, and Robin, and his wife, Carmen, of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was a loving grandfather to Allyson, Donovan, Sawyer, Renee, and Sean; and an adoring great-grandfather to five.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 67 years, Dorothy Hunt Kern, in 2014. His grandson Michael also predeceased him in 2007.

The Reverend Kern served the Plymouth Congregational Church in East Charleston, from 1986 to 1993. He and Mrs. Kern lived in Morgan, on beautiful Lake Seymour, from 1978 to 1996, where they enjoyed many years of snowmobiling, boating, square dancing, and numerous church activities. From 1996 to 2006, they split their time between Woodbury, and Ocala, Florida. The Reverend and Mrs. Kern cherished their many lifelong friends they made along the way.

Prior to moving to Vermont full time, they resided in Gibbstown and Pennsville, New Jersey. He worked for the DuPont Company at the Deepwater Plant AZO Area for 34 years. He served as a volunteer fireman for the Gibbstown Fire Department and served 15 years on the Gibbstown Board of Education. The Reverend Kern also served as an associate pastor and on the board for Clonmell Methodist Church and on the Gibbstown Library Board.

A graveside service will be held for both the Reverend and Mrs. Kern at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Clonmell Methodist Church or Arc of Gloucester County. Memories and condolences can be shared at www.smithfhmantua.com.

 

Leo E. Menard

Leo E. Menard, 82, of Middlefield, Connecticut, beloved husband of Sharlene P. (Hartford) Menard, died peacefully on October 26, 2017, at Hartford Hospital.

He was born in Craftsbury, a son of the late George and Diana (Boulais) Menard. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving with the U.S. Army. He retired after many years from Frenchie’s Auto Body.

He is survived by his wife, Sharlene; children: Anne Olszewski and her husband, Patrick, of Middlefield, Patricia Angello and her husband, Gary, of Middlefield, Timothy Menard of Oregon, Phillip Menard of California, Maureen Byron and her husband, Bruce, of Kentucky, and Thomas Menard of Middletown; by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; by five brothers and six sisters; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by a brother.

Mr. Menard was very involved in his church. He was a Eucharistic minister and for many years brought communion and comfort to St. Colman parishioners. He loved his flowers and woodworking. His favorite pastimes were his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held on October 30 in Connecticut. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Middlefield Fire Department, care of Middlesex County Community Foundation, 211 South Main Street, Middletown, Connecticut 06457.

To share memories or express condolences online, please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com.

 

Dale S. Woods Sr.

Dale S. Woods Sr., 87, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Mr. Woods was a U.S Navy veteran. He was born, raised, and died a native Vermonter. He was retired from the state of Vermont.

He loved to hunt, fish, and play golf. He coached Little League baseball for many years; many kids remembered him for that. He was president of the coin club for many years as well as on the board of directors at the Newport Country Club. He was an avid collector of historical and antique postcards of Newport and the Northeast Kingdom.

He was predeceased by his mother, Addie, in 2008.

He leaves three sons: Dale Jr. and Judy Woods of Bristol, Jon and Jennifer Woods of Essex, and Peter Woods of Newport. He also leaves three grandchildren: Seneca Woods of San Diego, California, Lance and Nicky Woods of St. Johnsbury, and Daniel Woods of South Burlington. He had one adorable great-granddaughter, Lucy Woods, of St. Johnsbury.

Try to remember Mr. Woods for who he was before Alzheimer’s disease stole all his memories. He loved giving back to the community he spent his entire life in. He will be missed by many.

Rest in peace, Dad, wish his boys: Dale Jr., Jon, and Peter.

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CLiF accepting applications for literacy grants

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) invites eligible elementary schools in Vermont to apply for its “Year of the Book” grant, which provides $25,000 in literacy programming throughout the school year. Programming includes author and illustrator visits, workshops with CLiF’s 60-plus professional presenters, family literacy celebrations and seminars, and exciting new literacy initiatives. The grant also provides high-quality new books for classrooms and both the school and local public library (selected by the teachers and librarians), and ten new books for each child to choose and keep.

The grant is designed to promote a culture of literacy within a community and to give children the resources and inspiration to enjoy a lifelong love of reading and writing. Schools with at least 25 percent of students scoring below proficient on reading and writing assessments and with at least 30 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch are encouraged to apply today for the grant.

“Being a recipient of the … grant has opened many doors to literacy for our children,” said Susan Greenlaw, reading specialist at 2017 grant recipient Bethlehem Elementary School in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. “Author and illustrator visits helped our children to realize the accessibility of words and the power that they possess. Receiving ten brand-new books has put books into the homes of children who previously didn’t have books. The parent seminar demonstrated for parents the educational power they have as an adult in the lives of their children. Money for books allowed us to purchase books for our students to enjoy. As a culminating activity, CLiF grant money allowed us to hire a hot air balloon which was a once in a lifetime experience for many of our children.”

In addition to the initial year of literacy programming, the CLiF Year of the Book grant also provides $1,000 in literacy funding for the year after the school’s grant to keep up momentum with reading and writing. School representatives are thereafter invited to CLiF’s annual literacy conference in perpetuity to connect with past, incoming, and current grant schools, share their ideas and success stories, and network with their colleagues about creative ways to encourage literacy in their schools and communities.

The deadline to apply for the 2018-2019 school year is January 31, 2018. The Year of the Book application, as well as more details on the grant and eligibility requirements, can be found at www.clifonline.org/year-of-the-book. Contact Meredith Scott at (802) 244-0944 or [email protected] with any questions. — from CLiF.

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Moonlight Madness craft fair returns on December 2

It’s that magical time again. Time for the nineteenth running of the Moonlight Madness craft fair. It will start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., on Saturday, December 2, at the Barton Academy and Graded School. Only items handmade or baked by the vendor will be sold. No “white elephant” items or imported items are permitted.

The craft fair will feature 46, eight-by-eight foot spaces. Soup and sandwiches will be sold by one of the local schools. Each vendor is donating an item to the raffle table. This year, one lucky vendor and one lucky customer will receive a $100 cash prize. No purchase is required.

Santa will visit from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be a children’s craft area and henna artist.

Additional information is available online at moonlightmadness.info, or by calling 525-0084. — from the Barton Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Snowmobile safety course offered at North Country Hospital

A snowmobile safety course will be offered on Saturday, December 9, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the conference room at North Country Hospital in Newport.

For anyone born after July 1, 1983, this course is required to ride on VAST trails. Vermont State Police certified instructor Roger Gosselin will lead the course. The cost is two food items to be donated to the local food shelf. Lunch will be provided.

Anyone interested should register by December 4. To register, call (802) 274-4502, or e-mail [email protected], or [email protected] — from the Orleans County Snowmobilers Association.

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Girl Scouts donate over 50 items to food shelf

Orleans/Barton Girls Scout Troop #51286 recently contributed over 50 items to the Orleans food shelf and learned how the program works. Brownies, pictured in the top row, from left to right, are: Madison Tinker, Bella Lamonda, Natalie Lawson, McKenna Rowell, and Brooke Wells. Daisies, in the bottom row, from left to right, are: Alaina Graves, Melanie Wells, Leah Wells, Ruth Lawson, Mia Tinker, Ava Roberts, Sienna Shatney, Lydia Atwood, and Amelia Drown.

Orleans/Barton Girl Scout Troop donates over 50 Items to Orleans food shelf program

On November 15, 14 local girls and their families came together to donate over 50 canned goods and non-perishable items to the Orleans Foodbank. The Orleans/Barton Girl Scout Troop #51286 was enthusiastic to learn about the food shelf program, how it works, and exactly how their food donations would be distributed locally. This project was a lesson designed to teach the young girls the value of sharing, caring, and the importance of helping their community.

Eleanor Willis, the Orleans volunteer foodbank coordinator, came to the troop’s bi-weekly meeting on Wednesday night to talk to the girls about the Orleans Foodbank and how it helps the community. She educated the girls about how the food is shelved, distributed, and used by local families.

Ms. Willis explained to the troop how 25 to 30 families access the food shelf on a bi-weekly basis, and how some of the families have several children, pets, and a significant need for food to feed their families. She shared how Orleans is one of the only local food banks that allows families to choose and shop for their own items, instead of bagging packages of donated items to give to the families. She talked about how this way, families would choose items that they actually will put to good use, and creates less food waste overall. The girls learned that not only food items can be donated, but also much-needed things like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, toiletry items, and pet food.

The Orleans food bank is a resource that doesn’t discriminate — any community member or family who finds themselves in need can access this resource. To find out more information about the Orleans food bank, call the Orleans Federated Church at 754-6486.

Anyone can donate to the food shelf, as well. Food is particularly needed this time of year, because of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Canned goods, non-perishable items, and general household items can be dropped off at the Orleans Federated Church in Orleans at any time.

The Orleans/Barton Girl Scout Troop #51286 was established in September of 2017. The group consists of girls from Orleans, Barton, Derby and surrounding areas, and serves girls ages five to nine years old. Currently, the troop consists of five Brownie members (grades two and three), and nine Daisy members (grades kindergarten and one).

Troop leaders and mothers Laura Lamonda, Laura Lawson, and Linsay McCargar volunteer their joint efforts to teach the girls about being strong members of their community, while living by the Girl Scout Law.

The troop has many future plans, including participating in the annual Turkey Trot fund-raiser on Thanksgiving day in support of cystic fibrosis research. The troop has also joined with The Friends of the Jones Memorial Library and the Orleans Recreation Committee to support the first annual Orleans Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the green in front of Ethan Allen Manufacturing on Main Street in Orleans on Sunday, November 26, at 5 p.m. All families are welcome to enjoy the tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas caroling, and delicious cookies baked by the Girl Scouts and fellow community members at the Orleans Fire Station following the event. — submitted by Alice Pitman Drown

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Help with lead testing at schools

The Vermont Department of Health, in partnership with the agencies of education and natural resources, is launching a pilot project designed to encourage schools to test drinking water for lead at each tap used for drinking or cooking, and take actions to lower lead levels.

Sixteen schools that get their drinking water from municipal water systems were invited to take part in this voluntary effort, and all agreed to participate. Over the next few months, Health Department and Department of Environmental Conservation staff will visit each school and work with its facility team to inventory and test taps used for drinking and cooking. Water samples will be sent to the Health Department Laboratory for testing, at no cost to the school.

“Water is a critical resource,” said Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. “We are committed to making sure all Vermonters have access to clean and safe drinking water.” Ms. Moore explained that any tap that tests over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level for lead in public drinking water systems will be taken out of use, and state agencies will work with each school to identify fixes and re-test to make sure lead levels have been reduced. In addition, schools will be provided with a toolkit of resources, including information for parents and families.

Schools that have their own drinking water source, such as a well, already test their water for lead in accordance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approximately 150 schools in the state routinely test a portion of their taps as required by the Lead and Copper Rule.

“Lead poisoning is a serious but preventable health problem, with children and pregnant women at greatest risk,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan. “This is an opportunity to help schools test their water, identify problems, and take often easy and low cost steps to reduce lead exposure.”

EPA set the action level for lead in public drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 1 ppb as the exposure limit. Because there is no safe level of lead, the Health Department encourages schools to reduce lead levels in drinking water as much as possible. Around the country, recent tests have found many schools have at least one tap with elevated lead levels.

Exposure to lead can damage the brain, kidneys and nervous system, slow down growth and development, make it hard to learn, and impair a child’s hearing and speech. In 2016, more than 600 Vermont children under the age of six were found to have lead poisoning.

“Children’s bodies absorb lead more easily than adults,” said Ms. Dolan. “The major exposure risk is dust from deteriorated lead-based paint at home, but other sources, like certain toys, jewelry, antiques, salvaged goods, and drinking water can add to a person’s overall exposure to lead.”

The Health Department encourages all homeowners served by public or private water to test their drinking water for lead every five years. The Health Department Laboratory offers the test for $12. Visit healthvermont.gov/lab/drinking-water.

Education officials agree that providing schools with the opportunity to get one-on-one assistance will be a valuable service, complementing initiatives already in place to test for lead in drinking water at childcare facilities and homes.

“By taking these rigorous steps to make sure lead levels are as low as possible in their buildings, schools can support public health objectives and continue to provide a safe and healthy environment where every student can grow and thrive,” said Agency of Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe.

Data gathered through this pilot project will help inform decisions about whether to implement comprehensive statewide testing in the future.

Learn more about lead in school drinking water at healthvermont.gov/environment/school/lead-school-drinking-water.

Find out more about lead poisoning at healthvermont.gov/environment/home/lead.

Explore childhood lead poisoning data at healthvermont.gov/tracking/childhood-lead-poisoning. — from the Vermont Health Department.

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