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.