Monday, August 18, 2014

Storytelling workshop in September

Interested in stories and storytelling?  Next month Ilsley library will host a storytelling workshop.
Full disclosure: your humble blogger is one of the organizers.

From the press release:
Ilsley Public Library and STORYMATTERS, a community storytelling group, today announced a free, interactive workshop to be held Sept. 13, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 12:15 PM in the Community Meeting Room of the Ilsley Public Library.  This workshop is aimed at both those interested in storytelling and those interested in positive social change in our community.  The half-day session will include showing a mix of video clips filmed by and about members of our community, discussing how stories work within a community, and brainstorming projects of story-gathering and sharing, all with the goal of promoting positive change within Middlebury and Addison County.  This workshop is free and open to the public, but may prove of special interest to staff and volunteers of area non-profits. 
On the workshop presenter:
This workshop will be facilitated by Alisa Del Tufo, storyteller, oral historian and founder of the Threshold Collaborative. The Threshold Collaborative uses stories to illuminate and share the  experience, insight, knowledge and hopes of people striving for justice  and peace. This work creates opportunities for people to participate in community focused, relationship rich, creative initiatives that transform the ways we think of each other and ways we envision change. For more information about the Threshold Collaborative, visit:

Contact information:
For more information, please contact: Len Rowell of STORYMATTERS at or Kurt Broderson of Ilsley/MCTV: 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Middlebury College agreement signed

The town of Ripton and Middlebury College signed off on a new agreement in lieu of taxes.
the institution will make annual cash payments to the community and deliver free ski lessons to local school children in recognition of its non-taxable property.
More details:
After months of what both parties described as amicable talks, the town and college finalized a new agreement — covering the tax years beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and ending June 30, 2024 — that calls for:
•An annual payment of $157,000 that will be “adjusted each year by taking the previous year’s payment and multiplying it by the municipal tax rate for the then-current year, divided by the municipal tax rate of the immediately prior year — except in the case of a town-wide reappraisal, in which case the payment will be adjusted by the percentage change in the municipal taxes to be collected,” according to the specific language of the agreement.
The payment will be due at the same time the college pays its regular property tax bill.
Since Ripton is now transitioning its budget cycle from a calendar year to a fiscal year, the first annual payment under the new pact will cover an 18-month period (Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015) that will reflect one and a half (1.5) times the $157,000 payment, for a total of $235,500.
•The college to continue providing free ski lessons at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center to students enrolled at Ripton Elementary School.
•The college to work with Ripton to mitigate the impacts of any future development projects.
The agreement will not apply to any property or structures the college might acquire during the 10-year period. At the same time, the $157,000 base payment to Ripton will not be affected in the event the college sells or leases any of its property during the 10-year period.
Either party has the ability to terminate the agreement under certain defined circumstances — such as if there are changes in state/federal laws affecting the taxability of nonprofits.
Congratulations to the Ripton selectboard!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Theatrical performance coming up at the Ripton Community Church


August 4, 2014

For Immediate Release:

Coming up in two weeks at our community church:

Mark Twain’s “Diaries of Adam and Eve” will be performed by Diana Bigelow and Jim Stapleton at the Ripton Community Church on Sunday, August 17, at 7:30 pm.
Bigelow and Stapleton are well known in the Bristol-Middlebury area and have performed at the Town Hall Theater.  The forty-five minute performance will be from Diana Bigelow’s own adaptation of Twain’s famous piece.   
Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.  Donations to the restoration and preservation of the Ripton Community Church will be appreciated.  The church is located on route 125 in the village center.   Call 388-1062 for further information.
Norm Tjossem
On behalf of Friends of Ripton Community Church

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sand Hill bridge construction is done

The Sand Hill bridge reconstruction project is complete, says WCAX.

Wednesday night community members celebrated the completed project. 
"It's just great when a community works so well together and collaborates with the state. I feel so pleased with the project when it's done that they come out in a rainstorm. It's key to our economic growth," said Sue Minter, VTrans Deputy Secretary. 
"We've been here for about 10 years now and ever since then we've always heard discussions about the new bridge and now it's finally come to fruition, and we're really excited about it," said Elias Erwin, East Middlebury resident. 
The bridge had been closed for 45 days. It's one of six bridges VTrans will renovate in Rochester and Middlebury.d

Friday, July 18, 2014

“Writing Jesus” presentation at the Ripton Community Church

The last Sunday of this month will see a fine presentation at our town's church:

 Renowned Vermont professor and author, Jay Parini, will share his journey of researching and writing a biography of Jesus of Nazareth in a talk entitled “Writing Jesus” at the Ripton Community Church on Sunday, July 27, at 7:00 p.m. 
Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing.  There is no charge for his presentation, but contributions will be welcome to support the restoration and preservation of the historic Ripton Community Church.   
Jay Parini is Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College, and has enjoyed a distinguished career inspiring his students and writers everywhere. 
Contact Norm Tjossem (802 388-0338) for more information.

(thanks to Norman Tjossem)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sand Hill Bridge completion ceremony coming up

VTrans is hosting a ceremony in honor of the new Sand Hill bridge:

Please Join Us As We Celebrate

The Completion of the Sand Hill Bridge

Wednesday, July 23rd, 6:30 PM

Ceremonies at the Bridge on Rt. 125
East Middlebury

Reception following at the Waybury Inn

The invitation also includes this nice photo:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Updates on road construction

Here's the latest from VTrans:

North Branch Road
  • Traffic on North Branch Road will remain open for one lane of traffic for the duration of the project. Unlimited access will be provided to Emergency Services as needed.
Middlebury River
  • Please be advised that VTrans is warning all recreational users of the Middlebury River to avoid the immediate vicinity of the bridge until further notice.

Monday (6/30): Site clean-up will continue for the week.
Thursday (7/3): All construction activity will stop at noon for the Fourth of July holiday.
(thanks to Sally Hoyler!)