Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Warning for the Annual Town Meeting - March 4th and March 7th, 2017

Town of Weathersfield, Vermont
Warning for the Annual Town Meeting
Saturday, March 4th and Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The legal voters of the Town of Weathersfield, Vermont, are hereby notified and warned to meet at the Weathersfield School, 135 Schoolhouse Road in Ascutney, in the Town of Weathersfield, Vermont, on Saturday, the 4th day of March, 2016, at 1:30 P.M., to act on the following articles:

Article 1: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield accept the reports of the Town’s officers for the period from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016?
Article 2: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to borrow money, if necessary, to pay current expenses in anticipation of taxes in accordance with the provisions of Title 24, Section 1786 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated?

Article 3: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to expend such grant monies, gifts, or bequests which may be received by the Town of Weathersfield, in accordance with the terms of said grants, gifts, or bequests?

Article 4: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield exempt from Town property taxation the land and building owned by the West Weathersfield Fire Department, Inc., located at Map No. 03, Block No. 02, Parcel No. 26.00, for a period of five years in accordance with the provisions of Title 32, Section 3840, of the Vermont Statutes Annotated?

Article 5: Resolved, the Town of Weathersfield, formally requests that TransCanada or subsequent owners of the Bellows Falls Dam and/or the Wilder Dam modify current dam operations and create a mitigation fund to reimburse towns and landowners for any and all damages, if it is shown that there is a causal relationship between the operation of those dams, resulting in the deterioration of the riverbank and attendant roads and farmland.

Article 6: To transact any other business deemed proper when met.

Voting by Australian ballot will be conducted in Martin Memorial Hall, at 5259 U.S. Route 5 in Ascutney, on Tuesday, the 7th day of March, 2017. [The polls will open at 10:00 A.M. and close at 7:00 P.M. on that date], to act on the following articles:
Article 7: To elect all Town officers as required by law.

Moderator - One Year
Select Person - Three Years
Select Person - Two Years
Select Person - Three Year (One Remaining)
Lister – Three Years
Trustee of Public Funds - Three Years
Town Agent - One Year
Town Grand Juror - One Year
Cemetery Commissioner - Five Years
Library Trustee - Three Years

Article 8: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $ 1,479,112 for the support and operation of the Town’s General Fund? $ 1,071,510 shall be raised by property taxation, allowing the Select Board to set the appropriate tax rate.

Article 9: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $ 1,060,460 for the support and operation of the Town’s Highway Fund? $ 857,813 shall be raised by property taxation, allowing the Select Board to set the appropriate tax rate.

Article 10: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $293,760 for the support and operation of the Town’s Solid Waste Management Facility? These monies shall be raised by non-tax revenues.

Article 11: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to borrow funds not to exceed $170,000 for a period not to exceed five years for the purpose of purchasing a truck/snowplow for the maintenance of Town highways? The new truck will replace a 1996 Mack truck/snowplow with 146,000 miles on it, as a frontline truck/snowplow. The 1996 Mack will be placed in reserve status. [Not in Budget]

Article 12: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $30,000, to be deposited into the Highway Equipment Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Article 13: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $7,000 to be deposited into the Police Cruiser Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Article 14: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $30,000, to be deposited into the Fire Equipment Motorized Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Article 15: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to borrow funds not to exceed $30,000, for a period not to exceed three years, to construct a handicapped accessible ramp at the 1879 Schoolhouse? [Not in Budget]

Article 16: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $500 to support a new Weathersfield Directory? [Not in Budget]

Article 17: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $250 to support the activities of the American Red Cross? [Not in Budget]

Article 18: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $320 to support the activities of Green Mountain RSVP? [Not in Budget]

Article 19: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $500 to support the activities of the HIV/HCV Resource Center? [Not in Budget]

Article 20: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $2250 to support the activities of The Current? [Not in Budget]

Article 21: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $300 to support the activities of the Vermont Adult Learning? [Not in Budget]

Article 22: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $750 to support the activities of the Vermont Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired? [Not in Budget]

Article 23: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $400 to support the activities of the WISE? [Not in Budget]

Article 24: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $185 to support the activities of the Vermont Center for Independent Living? [Not in Budget]

Article 25: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $120 to support the activities of the Vermont Green Up? [Not in Budget]

Article 26: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $600 to support the activities of the Windsor County Partners? [Not in Budget]

Article 27: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $400 to support the activities of the Vermont County Youth Services? [Not in Budget]

Dated at Weathersfield, Windsor County, Vermont this 30th day of January, 2017.
______________________________ _________________________________
Daniel Boyer, Chairperson Lynn Esty, Vice-Chairperson
______________________________ _________________________________
Kelly Murphy, Board Clerk C. Peter Cole, Select Board Member
Amy Beth Main, Select Board Member
Received at the Town of Weathersfield
this _____ day of January, 2017.
Flora Ann Dango, Town Clerk

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weathersfield Taxes Due - 3rd Installment - 2/8/2017

3rd Installment of Weathersfield Taxes due Wednesday, February 8th.

4th Installment of Weathersfield Taxes due Wednesday, May 10th.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department Breakfast for Dinner!

Saturday February 4th 2017 we will serve from 5-7 PM
We will have Scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes, sausage gravy & biscuits, bacon, fresh fruit d
salad and dessert.
Adults $10.00 - Children $5.00 (5-12) and under 5 are FREE
If anyone has questions my contact info can be listed
Thank you,

School District Warning for Annual Meeting, March 4

Downers Store Burglarized 1/25/2017

Weathersfield Police Department

On January 25, 2017 at approximately 0200 hours the Downers Store was burglarized. Two subjects entered the store after shattering the front doors glass. The two subjects were in the store less than four minutes and removed cigarettes. The vehicle was a dark colored GMC extended cab truck. Any person with information is asked to contact the Weathersfield Police Department. We will try to post photos soon of the subjects and vehicle


Clyde Barton, 86

Tylar C. Barton, 86
Perkinsville, VT

Tylar Clyde Barton, 86, died peacefully Sunday, Jan 22, 2017, at home, with family.

He was born October 15, 1930, in Springfield, son of Tylar and Irene Barton. He graduated from Springfield High School.

He was married to Judy Barton for more than 60 years, together they owned Vermont Soapstone Company.

Survivors include two daughters, Diane Sanford of Springfield and Maureen Shattuck of Perkinsville; one brother, Fred Barton; two granddaughters, Jessica Landon and Kristina Hughes; great-grandchildren Colby Darrell and Kendall Hughes; many nieces and nephews and step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He loved his family, friends, animals, hunting, woodworking and nature.

He was predeceased by his wife, parents, brother Robert and grandson, Chad Sanford.

To celebrate his life, all are welcome at his home on Saturday, January 28, any time between 11 am and 2 pm.

A graveside service will be held in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Road Suite 203, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Spay and Neuter?

Springfield Humane Society, VT's photo.

Don't forget to sign up for the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic (cats & rabbits only) on Feb. 7th, 2017!! Call (802)885-3997 or stop in during open hours (Wed-Sat 12-4:30) to prepay for your spot!! We have a limited amount of space for females, so don't delay, call today!!
Spay $50
Neuter $40
Rabbits $55
Rabies $5 (required without proof of up to date vaccine)
Distemper $5 (optional but HIGHLY recommended)
**Distemper vaccines will need a booster 2-4 weeks later (not included)

Weathersfield Residents - Receive up to $50 back when you spay/neuter your pet! Please stop by the Town Office on Rt 5 in Ascutney to pick up the paperwork!

National School Choice Week 2017

posted by
January 17, 2017

School Choice Week is a national movement with over 21,000 events across all 50 states. School Choice systems look very different from state to state, but Vermont's has existed for 150 years and is a proud tradition offering educational opportunities to many of Vermont's most rural and disadvantaged students.

We invite you to learn more about Vermont's school choice system and join us for the 2017 National School Choice week celebration January 25th at the State House in Montpelier.

Reconnecting middle class Vermonters with their government.

Driving Under the Influence

Weathersfield Police Department

Date: January 21, 2017
Offense: Driving under the influence
Subject: Alexander Gibb
On this date a motor vehicle stop was conducted on Vermont Rotue 131. The operator was subsequently charged with allegedly operating a motor vehicle on a roadway while under the influence of alcohol. The male was cited into court at a later date

Weatherize Ascutney (Weathersfield) - Vital Communities

Ascutney Team (Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor) STEP ONE Have you signed up yet? Let us keep you in the loop and help you through the process. STEP TWO Complete a Home Energy Profile for your home and send it to one or more of our partner contractors. STEP THREE FREE professional cons...

Trap Shoot on 2/12/17

Precision Valley Fish and Game Association's photo.

P.O. Box 143
Perkinsville, Vermont 05151

Information Line: (802) 886-9988

Why Is It Important To Wear a Seat Belt?

Weathersfield Police Department's photo.
Weathersfield Police Department

Why is it important to wear a seat belt?

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S. Most crash-related deaths in the United States occur to passenger vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers).

For adults and older children (who are big enough for seat belts to fit properly ), seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.2 Yet millions do not buckle up on every trip.

A total of 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014.

More than half (range: 53%-59%) of teens (13-19 years) and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes in 2014 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.1

More than 2.3 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014.

Young adult drivers and passengers (18-24) have the highest crash-related non-fatal injury rates of all adults.

Non-fatal crash injuries to drivers and passengers resulted in more than $45 billion in lifetime medical and work loss costs in 2013.

Winter Weather Advisory for Monday Night Through Tuesday Evening

US National Weather Service Burlington VT's photo.

Cloudy skies continue today with wintry mixed precipitation holding off til tonight. Mix of snow, sleet, and possibly freezing rain will lead to slippery roads and difficult Tuesday morning commute. 

Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the entire North Country this evening through Tuesday evening.

Retail Theft

Weathersfield Police Department

Date: January 19, 2017
Offense: Retail theft
Subject: Holly Rhodes
Responded to a report of a theft from a business. Victim advised that the offender allegedly took inventory from the store failing to pay for the inventory. The female was issued a citation to appear in court at a later date.

2-6 Inches of Snow/Sleet Monday 7pm to Tuesday 10 pm

WCAX-TV's photo.

18 hrs ·
A messy storm on the way. Full forecast: #VT

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What New Car Inspection Changes Will Cost Vermonters

Posted: Oct 14, 2016 5:08 PM EDT  
Updated: Oct 17, 2016 5:00 PM EDT  
By Cat Viglienzoni


Changes are coming to how your car gets inspected. There are new conveniences, but will it cost you more?

Starting next year, the carbon copy inspection forms at Kaigle's Citgo in Burlington will be gone. It's something Raymond Kaigle says, he'll miss.

"I like paper. I like a paper trail. And I liked the old way. It's what I grew up with," said Kaigle.

But he also knows if he wants to stay in business, he's going digital. Starting next March, every inspection station in Vermont will be using an automated vehicle inspection program. While the standards aren't changing, the method is.

What do the changes mean for you as a car owner?

There are benefits like being able to look up prior inspections for a car you're buying to see whether it has failed. And any recalls that might have been issued that you didn't know about will show up.

But it's still unclear if there will be any added cost. There is a new $2.21 fee for each car. Inspectors we spoke with say it's too early to tell whether they'll change their pricing.

And a big change is that if your car fails, the inspector will take a picture of the license plate and the repair that needs to be made.
"The changes will also make it harder for people to game the system. So if your car fails inspection at one station, and you take it to another station to get inspected, they won't be able to issue you a sticker until you get those repairs made, and you have a picture to prove it.

"We know now that there are different criteria used by different stations, and one of the things we are trying to do is to level that playing field so everybody is doing the same quality of inspection," said Robert Ide, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner.

Ide says this program has been a long time coming. He says Vermont is one of two states still using carbon paper. Maine is the other one.

"When you think about a system that's based on carbon paper, that's really in the stone ages," said Ide.

But inspection stations will have to shell out more than $1,600 for the system. Ide says he expects some of the smaller stations will throw in the towel.

"We have concerns about inspection stations that have very low volume and whether they'll want to make the upfront investment," said Ide.

Kaigle's inspects about 1,000 cars a year. While Raymond says he'd rather stick to paper and pen, he knows this is the future.

"I think in the long run, it's going to be a good thing," said Kaigle.

He and others will get the new equipment early next year.

What You'll Need To Know About The State's New Vehicle Inspection System

Jan 20, 2017  
Vermonters have been getting their cars inspected since 1935. Some believe the system we've been using dates about that far back. But that's about to change.

Beginning in mid-March, inspection stations will be checking the safety and emissions of your vehicle with new, ruggedized tablets that will feed information into a centralized database. It's called the Automated Vehicle Inspection Program.

A lot of questions have come up about the system and Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Robert Ide will provide answers.

Post your comments or questions about Vermont's new vehicle inspection system here or email them to

Broadcast on Monday, January 23, 2017 live at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library Meeting

I am finally planning our friend's meeting for Wednesday January 25th at 7pm.

The big thing that we need to do is rewrite our by-laws on how to stagger the elections of officers. We did speak about it a little last year but tabled it until now. Please think about it and bring some suggestions to the meeting; it is very important. Out of 5 officers, 4 were all elected in the same year.

Hope to see you at the meeting on Wednesday January 25th.

Barbara Putnam/President

Something to Write Home About (1/16/2017)

 Dick McCormack,, State Senator, Windsor DistricT

Weathersfield Front Porch Forum No. 221  January 16, 2017

(Legislative Report from Senator Dick McCormack)
802 793 6417
National Popular Vote 

I’ve received many communications from folks indignant that the presidential candidate who got the most votes was not elected President by the Electoral College. These folks recognize that a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College is unlikely, and so focus their concerns on defending Vermont’s existing National Popular Vote law. I’m not aware of any effort to repeal this law, but I’ll oppose any such effort should that develop.
Each state that adopts National Popular Vote commits itself legally to direct its presidential electors to vote according to the national popular vote, to vote for the candidate who wins the most votes nationally. The commitment goes into effect only if and when enough states pass National Popular Vote to make a majority in the Electoral College.
Opponents of this law see it as an end run around the Constitution. I disagree. The whole idea of the Electoral College is to empower the states. The states already have authority to determine how their electors are to be chosen and how they are to vote. Some states divide their electoral votes proportionally while most have a winner takes all policy. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the states from directing its electors to support the national popular vote. I think the question really is whether we choose to continue the intentionally undemocratic presidential election process originally developed by the Founders.
In fairness to the Founders, things were different in 1787. Although they wanted the benefits of "a more perfect union”, they were leery of the Union’s threat to state authority. Madison's country was Virginia, not the US. Adams' country was Massachusetts. They thought state governments were closer to home, more controllable, and so less of a threat to liberty. Small states feared that the larger populations of big states would dominate the national popular vote and so dominate the small states. Electors in the Electoral College are allocated to favor small states. (Not that that served small Vermont very well in 2016.)
In 1787 democracy itself was still a controversial idea. The Electoral College is one of several intentionally anti-democratic constitutional provisions intended to protect against mob rule and the ascendancy of a demagogue. BUT....
Two hundred thirty years later I think the Electoral College is an anachronism. We are less fearful of democracy. In fact, we are offended that the Electoral College thwarts and frustrates the will of the People. The states remain the basic polity, but since the Civil War we define ourselves as one nation indivisible. The President is the national leader. The presidential election is a national election.
Worse, the Electoral College is a failure. Rather than protect us from mob rule and the “danger of democracy”, it is the Electoral College itself that has given us a demagogue. We the American People as a whole voted more wisely than we the people counted state by state, and more wisely than the electors who were supposed to protect us from ourselves.
It's no betrayal of the Founders to change their work. They wrote the Constitution as amendable, understanding that things would change. As Jefferson said, "the world belongs to the living."
Dick McCormack

VT-AOE Seeking Comment on State Plan for Federal Law

Paid Posting,, Front Porch Forum
The Vermont Agency of Education is seeking public comment on the draft state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA is the major federal legislation providing funding to schools to support the education of Vermont’s historically marginalized students. Roughly $60 million comes to Vermont schools annually through ESSA. The proposed plan substantially reconsiders how schools in Vermont are assessed, bringing federal accountability determinations more in line with the existing state accountability philosophy.
Please visit our website to review the plan in part or in full and provide your feedback. The plan’s efficacy depends in large part on reflecting the voices of all Vermonters. The public comment window closes on February 11, 2017.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Patrick Halladay (; 802-479-1712) or Chris Case (; 802-479-1179).
Paid for by: Vermont Agency of Education

Free Radon Test Kits - Test, Fix & Breathe Easy!

Gillian Morgan,, Public Health Communication Officer, VT Dept. of Health, Vermont
January is National Radon Action Month, and the Vermont Department of Health is giving away FREE radon test kits! To get your free kit, send an email with your name, mailing address, physical address and phone number to or call 1-800-439-8550.
One out of every eight homes in Vermont has elevated levels of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps into homes from soil and bedrock. Over a lifetime, breathing in air with elevated radon levels can cause lung cancer. About 50 Vermonters die every year due to radon exposure. Homes of any age and in any location can have elevated radon levels.
Because radon levels can change daily, weekly and seasonally, a long-term test of 3 to 12 months is the best way to accurately test for the gas. Open the kit immediately and leave it in place throughout a heating season, and then mail it back to the Health Department to get your results.
Test, fix, and breathe easy.
For more information about radon, radon testing and mitigation, visit the Health Department website at
Thank you! 
The Vermont Department of Health

Friday, January 20, 2017

1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse Work Dates, Volunteer Update

Friends of the 1897 Schoolhouse,

Greetings and welcome to 2017!  First a few of the many noteworthy successes for 2016.  
  • Volunteers put in over 600 hours working on the Schoolhouse in 2016!  Many thanks to all of the volunteers who made such amazing progress this year.  
  • The Town applied for and was awarded a $9,650.00 matching grant to restore the Schoolhouse sash. 
  • The utilitarian functions of the ell are back in place with a new bathroom, utility room and entry space.
We are scheduling two midwinter work dates to continue trim and painting work for the ell interior. 
 The first will be the 21st of January, and the second the 18th of February.  No special skills needed, and if you can volunteer please call Matt Keniston at 802 263 5300.

For the 1879 Committee,

Matt Keniston

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kick-Off Event for Weatherization

Ascutney Area Sustainability Collaborative's photo.

Ascutney Area Sustainability Collaborative

Come to our free kick-off on Sat Jan 28!

Event: Jan 28, 2017, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor are teaming up with Vital Communities, Efficiency Vermont, and local home energy contractors to help homeowners save money and stay warm by weatherizing their homes.
KICK-OFF EVENT at The Weathersfield School (135 Schoolhouse Road, Ascutney) ON jANUARY 28TH.
Meet the volunteer team and our partner contractors, and learn about costs, benefits, incentives, and how to participate.
ABOUT WEATHERIZE: Weatherize is run by a team of volunteers from the Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor energy committees, with support from Vital Communities and Efficiency Vermont. Our three Weatherize partner contractors, Peachtree Builders, Van de Ven Construction, and Vermont Foam Insulation, are offering FREE professional consults, home visits, and energy improvement quotes for residents in our four towns. Anyone who signs a contract with one of our partner contractors by May 31 will be eligible to win up to $2,500 toward the cost of their home energy project, in addition to Efficiency Vermont rebates.
Learn more at

1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse Committe Agenda

Meeting Agenda
1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse Committee
6:00 PM, Tuesday, January 31, 2017
at 1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse 
Call meeting to order:
Approve minutes from 12/9/16 meeting:
Grant Update
Long Range Timeline
Open Floor
Set Next Meeting Date and Agenda:
Meeting Adjourned:

Violation of Conditions Arrest in Weathersfield

January 18, 2017

 VSP Press Release-Incident


TROOPER: Salvatore                               

DATE/TIME: January 18th, 2017 at 1930 hours
LOCATION:S. Town of Weathersfield
VIOLATION: Violation of Conditions of Release
On this date and time, Vermont State Police responded the Town of Weathersfield (Windsor County) Vermont, for a report of a family fight.

During the investigation, Vermont State Police discovered that 47 year old, Jennette Riendeau, was in violation of her pre-trial conditions of release which stated that she could not buy, have or drink any alcoholic beverages.  Riendeau registered a 0.117 % B.A.C. on scene and was subsequently arrested and transported back to the Westminster Barracks for processing.

Riendeau was later released on a criminal citation and is scheduled to appear in Vermont Superior Court, Windsor Criminal Division, on February 28th, 2017 at 0800 hours to answer for the above violation.   

*Please note:  court date and time are subject to change at the discretion of the court. Please call the criminal court clerk to confirm arraignment time.
Trooper Gary T. Salvatore
Westminster Barracks
1330 Westminster Heights Road
Putney, Vermont  05346
802-722-4691 (fax) 

Hildagarde G. Searle, 90

Hildagarde G. Searle, 90, passed away at her home at 123 Reservoir Road, Springfield, Vermont, on her 71st wedding anniversary on Dec. 31, 2016. She was born in Northfield, Vermont on Sept. 27, 1926, to C. Arthur and Charlotte (Brown) Goodrich. She graduated from Northfield High School and attended Westbrook Junior College.

She married Richard H. Searle on Dec. 31, 1945. Following his graduation from Stevens Institute of Technology, they moved to Springfield, Vermont in 1949. The family lived in Perkinsville and Springfield for the rest of her life. She was predeceased by Dick on Nov. 27, 1993.

Hildagarde worked for Stevens Institute, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Eagle Times, retiring in 1988. The family were lifetime skiers at Okemo, where she and her husband were members of the Okemo Ski Patrol for over 30 years. Hildagarde was a member of the Springfield Senior Center, and led the exercise group for 10 years. She was also an avid bicyclist, snowshoer, hiker, and she sailed on Lake Champlain and to the Bahamas.

She is survived by sons Andrew and Scott (wife Lai Kum) and daughter Nina (husband Tim Chan) and grandchildren Brian Searle, Eric Searle, Craig Searle, Stephanie Searle, Christopher Chan, Paula Chan, Jeremy Chan and Madeline Chan, as well as six great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and many good friends. She was predeceased by her parents, sister Lauraine Goodrich and brother Charlie Goodrich.

Hildagarde will be cremated and her ashes will join those of her husband and siblings in the Goodrich family plot in Northfield, Vermont. There will be a celebration of life for her many friends and family members in June 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Springfield Humane Society or to VNA Hospice of the Upper Valley.

Eleanor J. Houghton, 93

Eleanor J. Houghton, 93, a longtime resident of Springfield, passed away Tuesday morning, Jan. 10, 2017, at the Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center in Springfield.

She was born May 13, 1923, in West Windsor, the daughter of Louis and Myrtle (Clay) Merrill. She received her schooling in West Windsor and Windsor, graduating from Windsor High School in 1942. She married Frank H. Houghton on May 9, 1952 in North Springfield. She and her husband operated the family farm in West Windsor for many years. Mrs. Houghton was an active member of the 4-H Club, winning many awards over the years. She was also a member of the Happy Homemakers Club in Ascutney, the 251 Club and had attended the North Springfield Baptist Church for several years.

Eleanor enjoyed crafts, crocheting and sewing. She was fond of animals, especially her cats, and greatly enjoyed spending time with her family. Her husband passed away in 2009. She was also predeceased one son, David Houghton in December of 2016.

Survivors include one daughter, Judy Spaulding and her husband, Carl, of North Springfield; one daughter-in-law, Nancy Houghton of South Charlestown; six grandchildren, Tracy Benedict, Kevin Spaulding, Todd Houghton, Toby Houghton, Tanya Frady and Lori Altfather; several great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Knight Funeral Home in Windsor. A prayer service will begin at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. George Keeler, Pastor of the North Springfield Baptist Church, officiating. Committal services will be held in the spring at the Brownsville Cemetery in West Windsor.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield Humane Society, 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156. Condolences may be expressed to her family in an online guestbook at

Friday, January 13, 2017

Last Working Dairy Farm in Weathersfield to Sell Off Cows

Weathersfield, VT
by Taylor Young
January 9, 2017

Vermont is known for its picturesque pastures, red barns and grazing cows. But that scenery is getting harder to find.  A state that once had thousands of dairy farms now has just over 800 and another one is about to close. This weekend a farm in Weathersfield is saying goodbye to its cows forever.

David Fuller has owned a dairy farm in Weathersfield since 1977.

"Since I was a kid I've had cows and I just like them," said Fuller.

And over the past 40 years, he's sold over 50 million pounds of milk.

But even for this small, family-owned farm, the amount of work put in isn't worth the decreasing amount of money coming out.

"We could never afford, ever, to just simply farm," said Fuller.

What Fuller saw as a promising career in the 1970s is now an industry many like him are leaving due to a 40 percent drop in milk prices.

"There comes a time when to stop and that's here," said Fuller.

So, he's hanging up his farmer hat and saying goodbye to his cows.

"That's Susie and we have Susie's daughter which I can't remember her name right now," said Fuller.
During our interview, he couldn't seem to take his eyes off his grazing herd of Holsteins.

"They do get in you and it makes it a lot tougher," said Fuller.

The selling of this farm not only marks the end of an era for the Fuller family but also the town. In 1980, Weathersfield had more than 10 farms. After this one is sold, there will be none.

"It seems like this is the way it is," said Peggy Ainsworth.

Ainsworth is the co-owner of Westlands Farm in South Royalton and serves as a delegate on the Windsor County State Farm Bureau.

She says the drop in milk prices are affecting dairy farms across the state including her own.

"We do somewhere around 1 million pounds a year. So, for every dollar decrease that's about a $10,000 less cash flow than we have," said Ainsworth.

Since Wednesday, milk prices have dropped $8 since 2015, so for the Westlands Farm that means $80,000 less a year. Ainsworth says that lack of money affects the ability to repair equipment and pay for extra labor.

"If you don't have the labor and you're doing it all yourself, you can only go for so long. Me and my husband are both in our 60s and who knows how much longer we have left to do it," said Ainsworth.
As for Fuller and his farm, his next step is to make sure his cow families are auctioned together to a new home.

Springfield board takes action on rooming houses

Happenings in and around Springfield VT's post.

SPRINGFIELD — Nola Watkins Chase made a personal plea Thursday to the Springfield Select Board for the town take action to regulate rooming houses, or so-called sober houses.

Watkins Chase said her 31-year-old son has been living in one of the rooming houses owned and operated by William Hunter of Weathersfield, became exposed to people dealing heroin and was now addicted to it.

Chase said Hunter thought he was doing addicts and those suffering from substance abuse a kindness by offering them low-cost housing. But in the case of her son, she said, his actions enabled him and his worsening addiction, and prevented him from going into rehab.

By living in the rooming house, she said, he was getting worse.

After the meeting — and a successful vote by the board — Watkins Chase said Hunter had not charged her son any rent in the rooming house for close to a year, further enabling him.

Also, she said, the house where he lives “has black mold all over the place,” and “water running through the roof,” and she questioned whether the town or state was inspecting the rooming houses.

The topic of whether and how the town should regulate the town’s proliferating rooming homes under zoning rules has been under debate for months.

With the 5-0 vote Thursday night, the new zoning ordinance takes effect in 21 days. Existing rooming houses have two years to apply for a town zoning permit, according to Town Attorney Stephen Ankuda.

Selectman Peter MacGillivray said he viewed two of Hunter’s rooming houses in North Springfield, and saw “trash all over the place.”

“It’s a scab in an otherwise nice neighborhood,” MacGillivray said, noting Hunter had promised at other meetings to be a “good neighbor.”

Under the zoning change, rooming houses are classified conditional use in many zoning districts, including high-density and medium-density areas, as well as general business zoning districts. They will also be subject to site plan review.

Selectman George McNaughton had drafted a series of findings of fact, and fellow board members concluded that “this type of housing has issues with present special health and safety concerns” and warrant regulation.

Also, the findings found unregulated rooming houses presented “the potential for spreading blight and changing the character of neighborhoods” by overcrowding people into buildings.

Lori Claffee, president of the Park Union Neighborhood Association, also urged the board to act, and not to further weaken the proposed ordinance.

Claffee noted the issue had already been the subject of six public hearings.

The move by the Select Board comes despite continuing concerns raised by Vermont Legal Aid and by Hunter himself. Town Zoning Administrator Bill Kearns asked Legal Aid to detail its objections to the zoning change.

Jacob Speidel, staff attorney with the Legal Aid office in Springfield, said the original ordinance discriminated against people with mental health handicaps, although he said the changes the Select Board had already agreed to were a step in the right direction. Speidel said that the federal Fair Housing Act was designed to protect people with mental health issues. He said the town should go after the problems at existing rooming houses, such as the mounting complaints about garbage and debris around the buildings and on porches, through the nuisance ordinance.

Rutland Herald

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Breakfast for Dinner to Benefit Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department

Sat , February 4, at 5 PM ·
Martin Memorial Hall Ascutney VT
Route 5, Ascutney, Vermont

Dinner will be scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage gravy on biscuits, bacon, home fries, fresh fruit salad and dessert hope to see lots of you there!!!

Weatherize Kick-Off!

Saturday, January 28 at 10 AM - 11:30 AM
 Held at: Weathersfield School, 135 Schoolhouse Rd, Ascutney, VT
 Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor are teaming up with Vital Communities, Efficiency Vermont, and local home energy contractors to help homeowners save money and stay warm by weatherizing their homes.

Meet the volunteer team and our partner contractors, and learn about costs, benefits, incentives, and how to participate. 

Refreshments Provided

Weathersfield Food Shelf Open Thursdays, 2-3 pm

Things are really coming together for us at the Weathersfield Food Shelf! It has been a long, hard climb, but thanks to our supporters and volunteers, it is finally paying off!

Stop by and see our new facility at the Perkinsville 1879 Schoolhouse any Thursday 2-3 pm.

Warm Hearted Help Needed

NORTH SPRINGFIELD — Calling all night owls with a social conscience: the North Springfield Warming Shelter needs some volunteers.

Patty Miller, volunteer coordinator for the warming shelter, said Thursday the overnight 12:30-6:30 a.m. shift is in crucial need of volunteers. The first shift runs from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

She said the warming shelter, in the basement of the North Springfield Baptist Church, has about 30 active volunteers.

“In all reality, we should have at least 70,” to cover all the shifts, she said.

Miller said that for both shifts each night, two people are on duty at all times. She said there has been some “shift-splitting,” with people working from 6:30-9:30 p.m., then going home.

Miller said men and women, even if they are married, are separated and sleep in separate rooms in the church. She said if there are families with children, the shelter contacts The Haven, a larger shelter in White River Junction.

There are warming shelters for the homeless in Barre, Bellows Falls, Brattleboro and North Springfield, as well as a couple in nearby Claremont, N.H., she said.

“We don’t take anyone under the age of 18,” she said.

The North Springfield shelter has had seven guests a night, filling almost all of the eight beds, she said.

Training is provided to the volunteers about shelter protocol and rules, according to Miller.
She said some volunteers who work the overnight shift take short naps, which is allowed, but many people sleep before coming to the shelter to work.

Other warming shelters are having the same problem with volunteers, said Louise Luring of Saxtons River, president of the board of the Greater Falls Warming Shelter.

“We are starting to meet our 10-per-night capacity. So far, we have hosted 13 different people for 228 bednights,” Luring said.

Shortage of volunteers is “always a problem, especially the 1-7 a.m. shift. We have a core group who do that, but we lost several of our former core group members this year due to illness,” she said.

The North Walpole shelter serves Bellows Falls and is within walking distance of downtown.
Rutland Herald

>> The Springfield Warming Shelter located at the North Springfield Baptist Church, 69 Main Street, North Springfield <<

Mayor Weinberger Appoints Mary Danko as New Director to Fletcher Free Library

Mayor Weinberger Appoints Mary Danko as New Director to Continue the Reinvigoration of Fletcher Free Library

January 12, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane

Mayor Weinberger Appoints Mary Danko as New Director to Continue the Reinvigoration of Fletcher Free Library

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the appointment of Mary Danko as the new director of the Fletcher Free Library in the City of Burlington. Mary brings over 14 years of library experience, including three years as director of the Weathersfield Proctor Library and four years as director of the Hartland Public Library in Vermont. Mary currently runs the Abbott Library in Sunapee, New Hampshire, where she has served as Library Director for over four years. The Abbott Library was named Library of the Year by the New Hampshire Library Trustee Association in the fall of 2015.  Mayor Weinberger has asked the City Council to confirm the appointment at its January 23, 2017 meeting.

“The Fletcher Free Library is experiencing an exciting period of capital investment, programmatic expansion, and growing public use and enjoyment,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.  “Mary Danko is the right person to continue the reinvigoration and strategic reinvention of our beloved library.”
Mary grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, the granddaughter of immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Ireland. Her parents never attained a college degree, but they fostered in Mary a love of reading and a lifelong intellectual curiosity, as well as introduced her to regular visits to the local library.
Throughout her career, Mary has demonstrated passion, creativity, and a collaborative management style. She has a long history of prioritizing community engagement, and has strived to develop library programming that adds value to the lives of community members, as well as programming that is dynamic and responsive to current events.  She has also proven herself to be a skilled administrator of budgets, personnel, and major projects.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Burlington in such vital role,” said Mary. “I’ve always loved the City of Burlington and have been impressed by its commitment to innovation and forward thinking approaches to serving the community. I’m excited to continue that same commitment at the Fletcher Free Library. The Fletcher Free Library has a history of being an institution of community engagement and life-long learning. I’m enthusiastic to be a part the team that provides vital and meaningful services and support to the people of Burlington.”

"The Fletcher Free Library has been on an exciting path in recent years to redefine its role in the community, while continuing to deliver the core library services that Burlington relies on,” said East District Councilor Selene Colburne, who served on the eight-person search committee for a new Library Director. “Mary Danko has demonstrated her creativity, passion, and collaborative approaches in libraries throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, and her leadership will be a huge asset as the Fletcher Free develops new partnerships and programs that reflect the needs of twenty-first century library users."

Recent Library progress and accomplishment
The Fletcher Free Library is an extraordinarily active library, well-used by the public. The Library had 244,673 visits (approximately 700 visits a day), circulated 331,820 materials (over 900 checkouts a day), averaged 12,737 active patrons a month, and registered 2,590 new patrons during Fiscal Year 2016.
  • Patrons of the Fletcher Free Library are enjoying significant capital improvements made to the library in Fiscal Year 2014 through 2016, approximately $600,000 of capital investment over the past several years. Improvements include HVAC and lighting upgrades, urgent repairs to skylights and the glass wall in the Main Reading Room, repairs to the roof, and the installation of new laptop tables for public use and new carpeting in the Main Reading Room. Patrons and staff also benefited in 2016 from the addition of a security guard at the library.
  • Youth and teen programming continued to increase in 2016, with the hiring of the Library’s first-ever Teen Services Librarian in January of 2016, and the expansion of two part-time positions in the Children’s Library to full time in FY16. Over 2016, the Teen Librarian piloted core and passive teen programming, including Teen Write, Teen Make, and Teen Challenge, and the Library also created a new, 13-member Teen Advisory Committee to advise, plan, and implement future teen programs.
  • For the first time, the Fletcher Free Library will be hosting a major new Smithsonian exhibit, having been selected through a nationwide competitive process as one of 19 U.S. public libraries to host this traveling exhibition. The Smithsonian “Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?” marks a new type of opportunity for our community, and signals Fletcher Free’s reinvigoration as a cultural hub in Burlington. The exhibition seeks to shed light on what we know about human origins and how we know it. It will be hosted at the Library from February 18, 2017 – March 17, 2017.
  • Programs in 2016 included two long-distance music events held with the help of partners Burlington Telecom and Big Heavy World using LOLA (“low latency”) technology to allow musicians in Burlington and Chattanooga, Tennessee to play a concert together.
  • Finally, the Fletcher Free staff completed its new Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. Under the guidance of a national library consultant, the Library convened nine community forums, held focus groups and workshops, and administered a survey. Results of this community engagement process were foundational to the development of the strategic plan.
Record of collaboration, innovation, and strong results
Mary is well-prepared to assume the leadership of this vital institution. Her management style has fostered strong teamwork within her library staff, supporting new ideas and initiatives to grow and adapt the library to a changing world in the communities where she has worked. She has fostered new partnerships with schools and other outside groups, finding opportunities for collaboration that increase the library’s positive impact for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. For example, the Abbott Library has partnered with the local schools to put on technology programs, superintendent forums, student art exhibits and meet the teacher nights. Over the summer, the library began a new initiative to act as a testing center for students’ summer reading books. Under her leadership, the Abbott Library has also offered various other programs, such as a community forum on substance abuse and a series on meditation and mindfulness.

Mary has also shown a consistent commitment to fiscal responsibility, managing Budget and Strategic planning in cooperation with the Library Board of Trustees, overseeing the library’s finances and operating budget, and writing grant proposals. She has also shown leadership around successful fundraising efforts. While at the Abbott Library, she collaborated with the Abbott Library Foundation to complete the new Abbott Library Project Fundraising campaign for $1.3 million to build the new, eponymous library in Sunapee, NH.

Since 2015, Mary has acted as Vice President and now President of the New England Library Association, where she has been leading an effort to help make the Association’s leadership more diverse. She is in the planning stages for a Diversity Summit in the summer of 2017 that will bring librarians and change leaders together for a day of engagement. In 2016, as Vice President, she served as conference chair for the conference “Imagining Tomorrow,” where librarians from the six New England states attended programs over three days. Prior to her service on the New England Library Association, she served as Green Mountain Library Consortium Board Member & President from 2010-2012. The Green Mountain Library Consortium was the first organization in Vermont to offer a platform and content to public libraries for downloadable audio books and eBooks while also starting and expanding an Open Source ILS (Integrated Library System) project, and VOKAL (Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries).

Mary has an academic grounding in the profession, having secured a Master of Science in Library & Information Science at Syracuse University.

Search process and next steps
The national search for the new Fletcher Free Director was lead by an eight-person committee that reviewed over 40 applications and recommended finalists to the Mayor. If confirmed by the Council on January 23, Mary will begin her appointment on February 6, 2017.