Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Saturday, a recycling celebration

This Saturday sees Ripton celebrate 20 years of recycling. 20 years!

A nice time to be had, for those bringing their goods Saturday morning:
Come between 9 and noon and enjoy hot drinks, cookies and even burgers -
thanks to Marty and Carol Kulczyk and their grill.

So, what better way
to enjoy the New Year than to hang out in a snowstorm at the Town Shed, greet
your neighbors, have some treats and recycle all at the same time.
That's from Warren and Barry King, to whom we owe so much for keeping this alive.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Eve singing

Do you want to sing on Christmas Eve at the Ripton Church? Nola Kevra will be having a singing practice at her house on Wednesday December 24th at 1:00. Cookies provided! Call Nola if you would like to come, or for more information, 388-6107.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ripton survives the storm

We survived this week's storm. Lots of hard work by CVPS, tree services, and our own selves carries us through the winds and fallen trees.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Windstorm sweeps Ripton

Ripton has been hammered by a tremendous windstorm. Power is out across our town. Trees have been toppled, some across power lines, others into yards or across roads.

Here's the latest from CVPS: 298 people (households?) are out, as of 4:25 pm today.

If you have images or video to share, please do! Comment here, or send email to bryan dot alexander at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Presentation Night & Band at Ripton Elementary

The Ripton community is cordially invited to Presentation Night & Band at Ripton Elementary School, Wednesday December 2 at 6:30pm. Come and see what the children have been learning about music and Vermont History this fall.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Ripton traffic stop leads to Homeland Security

...a car pulled up with a lone male at the wheel. He was not giving his
name and it became apparent that the license plate was fake. The driver was
briefly taken into custody. The U.S. Forest Service brought in a search dog
trained to sniff out illegal drugs. When the dog got to the trunk, it let his
partner know that he had found something.

Finally, the man handed over a passport that police say checked out
valid. But it also brought a warning over the police radio to be careful around
him. Senior Game Warden Dale Whitlock explained, "When I ran it through
dispatch, it came back with multiple convictions of driver's license suspended.
And a caution. Sometimes dispatchers will issue a caution to us to use

the car was suspicious enough, as well as its driver, to warrant further
attention. The feds were expected to run the man's name through Homeland

Even the law enforcement people here called this a very unusual day,
and we're not talking fish and wildlife violations.

WCAX did some digging:
Our check of the Internet shows the man belongs to a group called the
Embassy of Heaven,
an elusive church group based in Oregon that
renounces government, issues its own license plates, has been raided for
non-payment of taxes and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, has ties to
anti-government militias.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Notes from the November flood mitigation meeting, part 2

Notes from last night's town flood mitigation meeting:
*These notes are rough. We welcome amendments and corrections!
The first part of these notes can be found in this blog post.

Part III: the plan
Roy Schiff then described the proposals for mitigation flood damage.
  1. Shoring up riverbanks, or "armoring" them, with stones. These stones, called riprap, should have a mean diameter of three feet, will be obtained from rocks already on site, as far as possible.
  2. Emplacing a "grade control structure" to further stabilize banks. This will be a large rock structure, situated on the riverbed.
  3. Excavating a flood chute across the stretch of land enclosed by the river's bend. This chute can carry extra water straight across that land, drawing it away from the road. The chute already exists, as we can tell from sand repeatedly appearing after rains and high water on the western edge of the land; this excavation will deepen the chute, letting it pull more water from the river. Digging won't stretch the whole length of the chute, but will focus on the first third, east/above the village, since the middle third of the land is already low enough to serve.

Part IV: discussion and questions from the community

Amy and Roy fielded questions and comments throughout the meeting. I didn't catch 'em all in these notes, so please don't hesitate to add yours in comments!

Question: what's the timeline?
Answer: over winter, the plan is put out for bidding. Permitting should happen in early 2010 (with the Army Corps of Engineers, among others). Work should start - roughly - in July. Timing depends on a lot of factors, of course (including V-Trans schedules).

Question: who pays for this, and how much will it cost?
Answer: FEMA and the state of Vermont have agreed to support this, which should cover much of the cost. The town might have to pay some. Some affected landowners may also be approached to contribute. It's very hard to cost the project out at this stage, given complexity and fluid (sorry) circumstances.

Question: what will cover the flood chute?
Answer: it apparently won't look that different, a mix of rocks and foliage. More of the former will be exposed through digging, while more of the latter will be planted for cover.

For more information, please contact Amy Sheldon. We'll also blog this story as it unfolds in the coming months.

Notes from the November flood mitigation meeting, part 1

Notes from last night's town flood mitigation meeting:
*These notes are rough. We welcome amendments and corrections!

I. Introduction
Warren King introduced the session by describing the planning process and background. After the disasterous 2008 floods, Ripton sought to reduce damage from future events. The emerging plan runs counter to current wisdom about river management, but is best suited to Ripton's conditions.

Timeline for the project: In March 2009 the subject came up at town meeting. Community involvement grew, grown by a May publish meeting to mull options. Contacts with Vermont river professionals led to the development of a plan, and winning funding from FEMA and the state of Vermont.

The purpose of this meeting (November 17) is to share developments with the town, while eliciting community responses and reflections.

II. Managing an unruly river
Next, Amy Sheldon explained the content of river management. When the 2008 floods struck, she and others were already working to improve the Middlebury river corridor's sustainability.

The current state of the art in river management holds that the best way to reduce flood damage is to let waters find their own equilibrium, shifting human construction and habitation accordingly. The state of Vermont is transitioning to this view, but the Ripton case is exceptional, due to local conditions (the closeness of village to water, plus costs).

Some work has already been done for the whole Middlebury River. For example, an East Middlebury bridge now has a properly sized span. A group has also purchased land on the south side of the river there, in order to led futures floods have room to carry water and silt. Upslope, this group is also working with landowners on the middle branch of the river.

In Ripton, the group is now working with landowners east/above the town to acquire land in order to allow future floods to run off there.

(The meeting continued with another presenter; see next post.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Riptonites hit by Champlain Bridge closing

Ripton folks are impacted by the Lake Champlain bridge closing, according to WCAX.
[Theresa Jackson] lives in Ripton but works in Ticonderoga. She worries
her commute will get even longer if the ferry shuts down as planned this

"If they shut down on Sunday, I have two hours to get here and two
hours back home," she said.

"That's four hours, so I'm lucky if I see my kids once a week. And then
Christmas, gas -- are you kidding me? That's expensive."

Monday, November 16, 2009

More information on the Ripton flood mitigation project

More information on the Ripton flood mitigation project: first, the title is
Ripton Village Flood & Erosion Protection Project

Second, some history:
In August of 2008, the Middlebury River jumped its bank and flooded Ripton
Village. Areas along the right (north) bank of the channel were severely
eroded during this storm event and portions of Vermont Route 125 upstream and
downstream of Ripton Village were washed out. Addison County
received an emergency declaration after this event and Federal money was made
available to Ripton to stabilize the stream bank and reduce future erosion and
flood hazards.

Third, about the present, and the near future:
The Town of Ripton has received funding from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) through the Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) Hazard Mitigation Program to hard armor (rip-rap) approximately 710’ of the right bank of the Middlebury River, to construct a channel grade-control weir, and to re-connect an historic flood chute on the left bank.

(thanks to Amy Sheldon for emailing)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Agenda for Tuesday night's flood mitigation meeting

Here's the agenda for Tuesday night's flood mitigation project meeting:

  1. Introduction – Laurie Cox and Warren King, Town of Ripton
  2. Project Overview – Amy Sheldon, Project Manager
  3. Construction Details – Roy Schiff, Engineer
  4. Discussion and Questions

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Community Thanksgiving Tuesday November 24

Friends of Ripton School (FORS) invites Ripton community members to come together for a Community Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday November 24 at 12:00. To contribute a food item or help in any way, or if you know of a community member who might need to have a meal delivered, please contact Lisa Durante 388-1062 or Connie Trudeau 388-0860.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Community meeting Tueday night: Middlebury River in town stabilization

We have a community information meeting Tuesday night, concerning a proposal to help stabilize the Middlebury River as it passes through town.

From email:

The Selectboard of the Town of Ripton has scheduled an informational
meeting for November 17th 2009 at 7:00 P.M. in the Ripton Community House to
inform residents of the town about the project to stabilize the Middlebury River where it passes through the center of town.
The design of the project will be explained and comments from the residents will
be accepted and evaluated. The funding of the project will also be discussed
including the Grant that has been approved.

Any questions can be directed to the Clerk to the Selectboard (802) 388-3465.

Thank you,

The Selectboard of the Town of Ripton

Laureen Cox

Ronald Wimett

Richard Collitt

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ripton health care meeting in the news

Our recent community meeting on health care reform was written up by the Rutland Herald.
The Friends of the Ripton Church are highlights, as are Ripton locals Jeff and Carrie Wulfman.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Author Ashley Wolff at Ripton School

Vermont author Ashley Wolff will be doing a presentation at Ripton Elementary School on Tuesday, October 20th, at 2:00. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Events at Ripton School 9/9 and 9/10

Wednesday September 9th at 6:30 pm at Ripton Elementary there is an informational meeting for 5th and 6th graders and their parents who might be interested in taking musical instrument lessons at school.

Thursday September 10th at 7 pm is the first FORS meeting of the year. FORS (Friends of Ripton School) is a group of parent and community volunteers who support the school. All are welcome.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ripton School year begins!

We started the Ripton School year this week, with our annual picnic. Kids, parents, staff all gathered to eat, greet, meet, and chat. Then our new principal led her first parents and staff meeting.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Community picnic at the firehouse

The sun appeared for a fine picnic at our community firehouse:

Hot enough for folks to seek shade:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ripton Selectboard to have a vacancy

Our town's Selectboard will have a vacancy, as of September 1st. Bill Ford is stepping down. According to the Addison Independent,
Ford explained that he had come to a point where he had to take stock in the many activities he has absorbed during the years. One of those activities has been as facilities manager and commission member of the Middlebury’s Memorial Sports Center.

With more than 23 years as a selectman and a busy winter looming at the sports center, Ford decided it was the right moment to leave the selectboard.

“I thought it was time to step down and allow someone else the opportunity to apply their efforts on behalf of the town,” Ford said.
What's next?
Selectmen hope to appoint Ford’s interim successor on Aug. 24. The new member will serve until Town Meeting Day next March, when Ford’s current term was scheduled to expire. That person will then be able to run, along with any other eligible Ripton citizen, for a new three-year term.

If you're interested, there should still be a notice on the General Store's bulletin board. Also,
Ripton Town Clerk Sally Hoyler said on Thursday she had received three letters of interest thus far for the interim selectboard position. Those interested can send their letters to the town of Ripton, c/o Deb Karpek, P.O. Box 10, Ripton, VT 05766.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday night: community hearing on a proposed Fluvial Erosion Hazard Overlay Zone Bylaw

A community opportunity, both for information and strategy:
This Tuesday, July 7th, at 7:30 at the Ripton Community House, the Ripton
Planning Commission will hold a hearing on a proposed Fluvial Erosion
Hazard Overlay Zone Bylaw (FEH.) The FEH has to be heard by the Planning
Commission (and approved by the Selectboard after its own hearing later on)
in order for Ripton to receive a FEMA grant to help protect Ripton village
from the river.

If you have questions or concerns about this proposed bylaw, why it is
being proposed, how Ripton will benefit from it, and how it might affect you
personally, please attend Tuesday evening's hearing.

(thanks to Warren King)

Friday, July 3, 2009

U.S. Forest Service money coming to Ripton

More than $2 million of US Forest Service money is coming to some Vermont towns, including Ripton, according to the Rutland Herald. Ripton and six other towns are the sites for Forest Service work, which may include gravel replacement, culvert repair, and ditching.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Looking for information about the Lincoln Road fire

Police are looking for information about that Lincoln Road garage fire.
Police said Monday the cause of the fire that destroyed the unattached garage Friday night was undetermined...
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 1-800-32-ARSON or the Vermont State Police at 388-4919.
We blogged about the fire last month, when the story first broke.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ripton's energy program gets good press

Ripton's energy work is in the news:
Almost 500 homeowners in Vermont received energy-saving tips and devices with a personal touch through Efficiency Vermont's Community Energy Mobilization Project pilot program, according to organizer Paul Markowitz.

There were nine groups across the state that took part in the pilot program, Markowitz said, and many like Manchester, included more than one community. The largest group was in Brattleboro, while the smallest was in Ripton.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ripton Farmers' Market relaunches!

The Ripton Farmers' Market is relaunching!

The first session is next Saturday, June 6th, at the Ripton church. A special feature of this one is a flea market emphasis, so we're looking for vendors and customers alike.

For more information, call Bonnie DeGray (388 1008) or Justine Billings (388-2640).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AUH2O in concert!

A Ripton band is about to unleash three performances on the world. AUH2O is Jennifer and Jessica Cyr, Sully Swearingen, Rowan Warren, Sebastian Durante and Alec Jones.

Three shows are coming up:
  • Cornwall school 5/26
  • Ripton Coffee House 6/6
  • Ripton school 6/10.
For information, contact manager Joe Durante at jdurante at

Monday, May 18, 2009

School car wash coming up!

A fundraiser for the Ripton School is happening on May 30th. It's a car wash, taking place down in Middlebury, at the Short Stop Mobile there. 10:00am - 2:00pm .

This fundraiser helps provide the fun and exciting events, activities, and artisans during the school year, as well as the 5/6 class trips.

This is a school wide fundraiser. K-2 must be accompanied by an adult. Hopefully everyone will be able to participate at some level or for some length of time - adults too! = )

Please help out!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Agenda for river problems meeting

Here's the latest agenda for this week's town river problems meeting:

Ripton’s River Problems

An Informational Meeting
Ripton Community House

Wednesday, May 20th, 7:30PM


1. Introduction. Warren King, RiptonPlanning Commission (5 minutes)

2. River Dynamics and Management. Shannon Pytlik, Vermont River Management Program (10 minutes)

3. Middlebury River Corridor Plan. Amy Sheldon, geomorphologist, Compiler, Middlebury River Corridor Plan (10 minutes)

4. Proposal to FEMA and VT River Management Program. Amy Sheldon (10 minutes)

5. Erosion Hazard Overlay Zone Bylaw. Warren King (5 minutes)

6. Long term adequacy of proposed measures. Shannon, Amy (10 minutes)

7. Discussion of concerns. Townspeople 20 minutes

Ripton river problems: meeting this Wednesday

How can we reduce flood damage to our town?

That's the subject of a meeting this Wednesday, May 20th, at 7:30 pm, in the community house. Riptonites will be there, along with some Vermont River Management Program staff and a locally-based river geomorphologist.

The goal: to look at Ripton’s flood history and consider strategies for dealing with future floods. We suffered last year from an unusual flood (see these posts for more stories and background).

Warren King notes:
“With the increase in the intensity of storms we are now experiencing, Ripton faces the threat of additional flooding, especially in the area of Ripton village in the Ripton Hollow area along Route 125, where an additional foot or two of flood water last summer would have been devastating.”
For details contact Warren King, 802 388-4082, or

Friday, May 15, 2009

Upcoming Events at Ripton School

Wed. May 20 7-8pm FORS meeting
Mon. May 26 3-3:30 Cystic Fibrosis Mini-March
Thurs. May 28 Spring Into the Arts at Middlebury College
Fri. May 29 1-2:30 Bike for Books
Sat. May 30 10-2 Car Wash fundraiser at Mobil Station in Middlebury
Sat. June 6 Ripton Rhapsody performs at Ripton Coffeehouse
Wed. June 10 12:00 Grandfriends Lunch
Thurs. June 11 6:00 6th grade Graduation
Mon. June 15 last day of school

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gardening and Bike Tune Up at Ripton School

Monday May 18th from 3:30-5:00 at Ripton Elementary School, come and plant seeds, work in the garden, and get your bike tuned up! Pete from the Alpine Shop will be here once again to help us get our bikes ready for the riding season. Pete donates his time and the service is free. Thanks, Pete!

Ripton Summer Camp Seeks Lifeguard

The Ripton Summer Camp, held at Ripton Elementary School, is in search of a certified lifeguard to accompany kids and adults on field trips that involve swimming in or playing near water. Please contact Lisa Whitman for more information, 388-0147 or

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fire on the Lincoln Road

A fire broke out in town, on the Lincoln Road. Our folks put it out:
A resident in the area reported the fire at about 10 p.m., police said, and the Ripton Fire Department arrived to find the building almost completely consumed. The Middlebury Fire Department also responded, and firefighters kept the flames from spreading to the main residence.
But information is needed:

Police said Monday the cause of the fire that destroyed the unattached garage Friday night was undetermined...

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 1-800-32-ARSON or the Vermont State Police at 388-4919.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Toddler Spring Fling

Families with young children are invited to visit Ripton Elementary School on Thursday, May 14th from 9-10:30 for our Toddler Spring Fling. This is a chance for Ripton pre-school age children and their parents to meet and visit, play in the Kindergarten classroom, meet the new PreK and K teacher, and socialize with one another. RSVP to Wendy Leeds at the Ripton Elementary School at 388-2208 or Parents can register their children for the 2009-2010 school year at any time. Children must be 5 years old by September 1st for Kindergarten enrollment (4 years old for the PreK).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

After School Gardening Program

Joanna Colwell and Nola Kevra are running an after school Ripton Community Garden program beginning Monday, May 4. They will meet after school May 4, May 11,  May 18, and June 1, from 3:30 to 5 pm. The hour and a half long program will include a snack, garden and nature activities, some yoga or movement, art and singing. Open to all ages. Thanks to Friends of Ripton School (FORS) for sponsoring this event. Questions? Contact Joanna at 388-1961 or Nola at 388-6107.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fire danger level is high!

From Ripton's fire department:
April 11, '09
Fire danger level is HIGH due to overall dryness and gusty, windy conditions in most of RIpton. Few if any fire permits will be issued until we get some precipitation.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Take advantage of free home energy improvements!

There are still openings in the REAP program. That means two of your fellow Riptonites can stop by your house, and give you free advice and stuff to improve your home's energy efficiency.

Warren King writes:
The last day of the REAP program to install energy saving equipment in Ripton homes will be 15 April. If you haven't had a visit from a REAP volunteer, there are still several days left to take advantage of one of the best opportunities of the year to save on your fuel bills. Call Warren King at 388-4082 to schedule a visit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Music Program at Ripton Elementary

Wednesday, April 8th at 6:30pm there will be a Gr.K-6 Music Program at Ripton Elementary School.
Students will demonstrate the folk dances they have been learning, and there will be an opportunity for adults to join in and learn a dance as well. Ripton's own band, AuH20, will be performing as well. The public is warmly invited to attend. Bring a neighbor, bring a friend, bring your dancing shoes!

Ripton Community Garden meeting

Garden News from Joanna Colwell and Nola Kevra

April 9 at 5:45 pm in the school library (right before yoga), there will be a meeting to make plans for the school garden this Spring... Anyone who wants to help with garden planning is most heartily invited to join in that discussion. Tea and cookies will be served!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

African Drum & Dance at Ripton Elementary

Ripton Elementary presents the culminating event of our week-long artist in residence with Shidaa African Culture Troupe. Shidaa has been with us March 23-27 teaching us about West African culture as part of our thematic study of Africa. Students and teachers have been learning about drumming, dancing, fabric painting, and drum-making. We will have a drumming and dancing performance Friday March 27 at 6:30 at Ripton Elementary School. All are welcome. Free! The residency was made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, Neat Repeats, ACEEF, Friends of Ripton School, and private donations.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FORS meeting tonight

Tonight the Friends of Ripton School (FORS) are meeting.
On the agenda: Square One Art , Kids Night, Ripton Summer Day Camp, the budget, FORS requests, and more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Town Meeting Video Now Online


Complete video coverage of Town Meeting 2009, including the School Meeting, is available online through our friends at MCTV. For those of you who couldn't be there, or would like to hear it again, this is a great resource.

Jean Cherouny did the taping, and facilitated the production of it on the station. Thanks, Jean!

Jean reminds us that streaming video requires a broadband connection. The site allows either streaming or downloading of the video.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Town Meeting 2009

Town Meeting this year went smoothly, with all articles passing. The record budget, inflated to cover the costs of both floods, passed with not a nay. The article which will increase the Town Clerks term to 3 years also passed, and this new policy will begin with next year's election.

In Tuesday's vote, the town was approved in its request to borrow up to $400,000 to cover additional costs related to the floods. The actual amount is still undetermined.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Press reflects on Ripton flood and post office

"Last year was a tough one for Ripton," begins a Burlington Free Press article. The story summarizes developments with FEMA aid for our town after the 2008 floods.

Note, too, this quick summary of last year's postal service crisis:
Then because of an administrative error, the town's post office was closed, which meant that folks in Ripton had to drive to East Middlebury to collect their mail.

Not long after the town's residents raised a fuss about the post office closing and brought the service back online...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ripton School Board News

On Monday, February 23, the Ripton School Board voted to present an amendment for Town Meeting on March 2 which would reduce the warned budget by $20,000.  This would bring our budget from $827,279 (which represented a 1.79% increase over last year's budget) down to $807,279 (which represents a .67% reduction from last year).  We took this action because our principal search, though not complete, has yielded 3 candidates all of whom are willing to accept a 60% position.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ripton Snowjourn in the news

Snowjourn, and the Ripton teen who organized it, are reported on by the Burlington Free Press.
“I’ve always been a skier, so that’s something I could do,” [Sophie] McKibben said. She has no personal ties to the military, but was simply moved to act by reading stories about military families not feeling supported by their communities.

“These people give so much and get so little in return,” McKibben said.

Anne Gorrigan, the Vermont National Guard child and youth program coordinator, helped put McKibben in touch with families by posting an advertisement for the weekend in a newsletter and sending it to families online. Gorrigan said she’s blown away by McKibben’s effort.
From the Snowjourn site:
Snowjourn's mission is to bring Vermont military families to Ripton, Vermont for a FREE weekend of winter fun, including downhill and cross-country skiing, and ice skating. You'll meet fantastic people, learn to ski (or become a better skier) and most importantly, have a great time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ride the Bus!

Dear Fellow Riptonites,

ACTR has sent out postcards recently that will be accepted on the Ripton bus for a free round-trip to Middlebury.

Let's leave our cars at home as much as we can, and ride the bus to the valley.

Use that postcard!

Jerry Shedd

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ripton home energy initiative starting up

A community-driven energy improvement program is starting up in town:
Volunteers will fan out through Ripton in the weeks ahead, carrying low-energy lightbulbs, insulating wraps for hot water heaters, hot water pipe insulation, low-flow shower heads, and even programmable thermostats, all to be installed at no cost to residents.

The Vermont Community Energy Mobilization Project picked Ripton as one of ten towns in the state where the program will be tested. "It's actually quite amazing," said Warren King, on the steering committee of the town's energy assistance project. "The value of these products is quite high, and the savings to homeowners will be enormous, this winter and for many winters to come."

Local volunteers will be trained on Saturday, February 14 from 9-12 at the Ripton School, and each one will commit to visiting at least two houses in the town-King says the group as a whole has pledged to retrofit 25 houses in town by April 15, and that volunteers will visit homes in pairs.

"We'll also spread the word to everyone about ACTR bus service to Ripton," said Jerry Shedd, another member of the organizing group. "People know the bus is running, but they're not all certain about the schedule."

The Ripton Energy Assistance Project formed in the fall, and collected donations in an effort to make sure that no-one in town would run short of heating oil or propane this winter. They've also cut and stacked five cords of wood, ready for distribution to townspeople with wood stoves who run out of fuel by the end of winter.

"Right from the beginning, though, we wanted to make sure that we were also helping people make their homes more energy efficient," said King. "Our goal is to make sure that no-one has to worry about their heating bills in years to come, because their houses will be tight and efficient."

(text from Bill McKibben; thanks to Warren King)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bill McKibben in Brattleboro: now is the time to act about climate change

Riptonite Bill McKibben exhorted a Brattleboro crowd to seize the environmental moment, especially in this time of economic crisis:
there remains a very narrow window for a gradual transformation to a new global economy. "This is the future we can have," said McKibben. "Now's the moment, and we are the people who will either do it or not do it."...

While the banking industry has weakened the American consumer, McKibben said the energy corporations are the ongoing failures that are the largest risk to the planet.

Bill shared the stage with Senator Sanders, pictured below, who spoke on related themes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Willem Jewett on the Douglas education plan

Ripton's state representative responds to governor Douglas' education plans:
Willem Jewett did the math on Gov. Jim Douglas’ proposal Thursday.

Level-funding the Ripton school budget would mean cutting $20,000 out of next year’s just-formulated budget, said Jewett, a Ripton School Board member and a Democratic state representative. Beyond the question of what would have to be cut, he took exception to the notion that the state would tell local residents how much they could spend...

Jewett suggested schools are different from other governmental entities. The courts are planning to close for five days in the next six months to make up their share of the budget cuts, he noted.

“What are going to do — tell the kids you’re not going to school?”

(Burlington Free Press)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Maiden Vermont Free Concert at Ripton Elementary

Maiden Vermont will be performing at Ripton Elementary School on Thursday January 15th at 6:30pm.
Free and open to the public.
All are invited!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ripton school delayed this morning

The Ripton Elementary School has a two-hour delay this morning, due to ice.

Welcome back to school, kids, when you get there!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Snowjourn 2009, volunteers needed

Hello Riptonites!

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Sophie McKibben, I am a sophomore at Middlebury Union High School, went to North Branch for three years, and have lived on Wagon Wheel road for the past seven years.

This fall, I started an organization to bring Vermont military families up to our wonderful town for a free ski vacation. I did this because Vermont has heavily felt the tolls of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars--and regardless of our personal views on the wars, our soldiers and their families deserve to be honored and well cared for.

Ripton is a wonderful town, and we are all so lucky to be part of such a wonderful community. I think that that families coming this year (February 6th, 7th, 8th) are going to really benefit from being in such a great place. I have been hard at work on planning this whole thing, but there is no way that it is going to be pulled off without you.

Six families (21 people) are signed up so far, and 4 families are on the waiting list. Check out the website for the schedule, or email or call me (info at bottom).

Here is what you can do to help:

1. Friday night, (Feb. 6th) there is going to be a potluck dinner (at the elementary school), to which you are all invited (if you bring a dish to share). This is the top community priority--there will probably be live music, and it will be a terrific way to welcome the families. ALL of Ripton invited!

2. Saturday and Sunday, I need some people to make a hot lunch (chili?) for the families and ski instructors. (Food for about 30-35 people)

3. Daycare:
Free daycare is offered to ALL families, and the ages of the children are quite varied (youngest is 4). I need three people EACH day (Saturday and Sunday)--and at all times one adult.

Check out the website (there is a volunteers page) for more information, or call me 388-3673, or respond to this email.

Thank you so, so much. I am really excited to hear from you!
Happy New Year!

Sophie McKibben

Director, Snowjourn 09
(802) 388-3673