Thursday, August 28, 2008

Home weatherization how-to meeting tonight

A Middlebury meeting tonight could be useful for all of us, as we prepare for winter:

The Addison County Regional Planning Commission Energy Committee will present a program on Weatherization for Residential Buildings on Thursday, August 28 from 7:00-9:00 pm at their offices at 14 Seminary Street in Middlebury. The program will be presented by Mr. Fred Lugano, a retired expert on indoor air quality, energy conservation, and building durability. Fred has many years of experience in building renovations, as Owner of Lake Construction in Charlotte. He has written several key articles on fixing damp, moldy houses and cold, drafty houses, cellulose sealing, and practical climate control. He is particularly skilled at solving difficult building problems that involve preservation of the structure, providing comfort, and assuring indoor environmental health.

Mr. Lugano’s presentation will include an overview of the principles of thermal and moisture protection, passive weatherization methods applicable to old buildings, and special considerations for mobile homes. He will show you how to detect problems yourself and the most cost-effective ways to solve them. You will gain valuable insight from this industry expert. The Committee will also provide information on financing weatherization modifications and local weatherization funds available to low-income households.

This free public program is one in a series of monthly programs on energy conservation and sustainable energy options offered by the ACRPC Energy Committee. For more information on the Committee’s activities and future programs, contact Elizabeth Golden at 388-3141 or

(thanks to Warren King)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Progress on 125

Route 125 is now open for two-way traffic, according to the Rutland Herald. But East Middlebury's Lower Plains Road Bridge will take longer to repair.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

State makes some water testing kits available for free

If you're concerned about water quality after the floods, some free water testing kits are available from the state health department. According to the Rutland Herald,
Residents should contact their local office of the Vermont Department of Health <> for test kits and disinfection instructions. Water samples must be submitted to the Health Department laboratory according to instructions in the kit, and must be clearly marked “contaminated by flooding.”
Order a test kit for a fee by calling the Public Health Laboratory at 1-800-660-9997. A water test kit order form is also available on the Health Department website at:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ripton Community Questionnaire on the Future of the Ripton UM Church

Here's a survey about an important Ripton building. Please, members of the community, fill it out and reply:

Ripton Community Questionnaire on the Future of the Ripton UM Church

Friends of Ripton United Methodist Church (FRUMC) have obtained an architectural analysis and reports from 7 contractors which describe the structural problems of our 144-year-old village church. The questionnaire below seeks to understand the community’s preferences for preserving the building, and how it sees the future of this institution for life events. The questionnaire contains 16 questions asking for a yes or no answer, and each asks you to rate how strongly you feel about it. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and return it to one of the following:
1. By mail to Church Questionnaire, P.O. Box 119, Ripton, VT 05766;
2. Drop off in the box in the entry of the Town Hall;
3. In person to Charles Billings, Kathy Sullivan, Bonnie DeGray, Bill McKibben, Carrie Wulfman, Roger Barkin or Jean Cherouny.

How Strongly Do You Support? 10 = most strongly

1. Would you like to see the Ripton United Methodist Church continue in its current role as a place where Ripton families celebrate life events? (Yes/No) (1 - 10)

2. Would you like to see the Ripton United Methodist Church continue, but do more to include the community and other faiths?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

3. Would you like to see the Ripton United Methodist Church change its name to The Ripton Community Church?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

4. Do you agree that the church is one of the defining historic buildings in Ripton village, and that it is important to preserve this landmark?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

5. The church building was dedicated March 24, 1864. Should an application be submitted to be listed in the National Historic Register?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

6. Do you agree that it is important for Ripton to have a spiritual center where all families can celebrate their life events?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

7. The church has very good accoustics. Would you attend concerts at the church?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

8. Would you attend lectures at the church by residents, Middlebury College faculty and other special guests?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

9. Would you be more likely to support the church if it were a community organization, not affiliated with any one religious group?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

10. Would you like the church to share space with the Historical Society to preserve & exhibit Ripton artifacts, pictures, histories & genealogies?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

11. Would you like to see the church become a space that is also shared with a Ripton Library?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

12. Would you support the sale of the church for use as a residence or business?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

13. If the building remains a church would you be willing to make a donation for its restoration?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

14. Would you be willing to make an additional donation to help accommodate the Ripton Historical Society and Library within the church?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

15. Would you support the addition of a fire exit, handicap access and bathroom at the rear of the church?(Yes/No) (1 - 10)

16. Would you be willing to attend a meeting at the church to hear about plans for its restoration and the results of this survey? (Yes/No) (1 - 10)

Your Name:

Mailing Address:


Your Comments and Questions:


What other religious traditions and/or community events would you like to see take place at the church?


Friday, August 15, 2008

More photos: Vermont Emergency Management

This set of photos of August water damage from Vermont's Emergency Management site is very powerful. Good shots of rain damage.

(thanks to Joanna Shipley!)

Looking back to early August

This WCAX article from August 6th offers a fine glimpse into that day's flooding.

(thanks to Caroline Damon!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lindi Bortney's visual record of the rains

Fine photos of damage to 125 from Lindi Bortney.
First, from Ripton town:

Second, from 125, down the mountain a ways, the water versus the road:

The rains and the repairs

Another look at damages and repairs to 125, between Ripton and East Middlebury:

(photo by Tom Deppman)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Route 125 versus the river: video

Richard Ruane forwards this chilling video of Route 125 under surging water.

Riptonites in next week's opera

Several Riptonites will perform in an opera next week. Alex Carver, Lindi Bortney, and Jerry Shedd appear in La Boheme, on stage in Middlebury August 18-24.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ripton in the New York Times

The Ripton floods made the New York Times.

125 in rain and repairs

Repair work on route 125 continues.

Here's a snapshot from Friday night, driving up the road

(photo taken by Ceredwyn; paw in frame is Bryan's)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rain last night

Rain kept pounding Ripton yesterday. Bridges were threatened, or overrun by water.

Looking down 125 from in front of the General Store:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jean Chourney profiled in Addison Indepedent

The Addison Independent has a nice article on Jean Cherouney's art.

Ripton hit hard by rain, again

Our town has been pounded by heavy rains, once again. Some roads are out, including parts of 127 and 7:
Hours after the flood waters receded, Route 125 east of Route 7 was still closed. The raging waters of the Middlebury River tore out major sections of roadway, sending guard rails tumbling into the water.
Parts of East Middlebury were evacuated. Silver Towers was evacuated. A shelter's been set up in Middlebury. The governor is visiting the county.

The Boston Globe has one article. Here's a map from VTrans:

(thanks to Ceredwyn for the URL)