Wednesday, December 23, 2015

When Riptonites work the late shift

Seven Days profiles a Riptonite in an article about what it's like to work the late shift.
Bryan Smith's 12-hour shift starts at 5 p.m. The Otter Creek "cellar dweller," whom his friends call Bear, is responsible for tending brews from the moment they start fermenting until they're ready to be bottled. It's not an easy job. "There's a lot of work that goes into it, from the time it's brewed to the time it's sealed up in a case box and out the door to the distributor," said 38-year-old Smith, who's been with the company since 2012.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

State Board of Education approves ACSU reorganization proposal

The Vermont State Board of Education approved the ACSU's proposal for consolidating seven school boards, including Ripton's, into one.
Unification plans put forward by the Rutland South Supervisory Union, the Addison Central Supervisory Union and the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union were approved by the state board. The mergers will now move into the community engagement phase of the unification process. After that there will be an up or down vote by the affected communities. 
A note on that process:
The SBE approved an accelerated merger plan under Act 46 put forward by the towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge. The communities will be asked to vote on the preferred model that creates a single preK through 12th grade district with a single tax rate on March 1, 2016. If voters approve, they plan to be operational by July 1, 2016, which means they will be able to take advantage of the full package of tax incentives.
There was state praise for local efforts:
Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe said the mergers are a “phenomenal accomplishment.”
“People are really engaged in this conversation,” Holcombe said. “This is a hard conversation. Nobody wants to have this conversation. We have to really hand it to our school boards who have embraced this challenge.”
We blogged about this process yesterday, and will continue to follow the story into 2016 and beyond.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

State agency examines ACSU plan for new school board

Today the state's Board of Education is examining plans for a new school governance structure, which would create a single school board for Ripton and the other six ACSU towns, if accepted by the state and passed by voters.  This process is in accordance with Act 46.

VPR quotes State Board Chairman Stephan Morse, who
says he's encouraged by the start, but he understands it'll take a lot more work to have every district in the state sign on to a consolidation plan.
 "This is the first time since the 1890s that there's been a major reform in the governance structure of Vermont's educational system," Morse says. "It's huge. And I think both legislators and the State Board, as well as the agency, can fully appreciate the difficulty that some areas are going to have pulling this together."
We'll blog about the result's of today's Board of Education process as they come in.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ripton Community Church food drive

Coming up this month:
The Ripton Community Church is hosting a Food Drive to benefit the food shelves of Addision County. We will be collecting non perishable items at the church on the following dates:
  • Friday November 20 4-630 pm
  • Saturday November 21 9-12 am
Please forward this any of our neighbors you think may be interested.
(thanks to Lisa Knickerbocker)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Voter registration is now online, at last

Riptonites and all Vermonters can now register online to vote.
 The new software also allows voters to request and track absentee ballots, retrieve directions to polling places and view real-time election results, officials said...
The online system allows Vermonters to register to vote by filling out a six-part questionnaire, similar to the paper documents available at town clerks’ offices all over the state.
Here's the direct link:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Community sawing bee November 1

Our REAP group is holding a sawing session on November 1st, from 9 am to noon. The location: the shed next to the fire department.

From email:
We’ll be finishing up the birch slab wood we purchased in September. It ought to dry quickly and be ready for those who need it this winter, but it’ll want to be cut, split and under cover. And there are still plenty of logs to keep us busy for the morning. As always, come when you can, stay until you need to leave. There’ll be refreshments to keep us going. Bring a saw, a splitter, a splitting maul, or just yourself. We’ll find a way to keep you busy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Andrea Chesman on homesteading

The Free Press interviewed Riptonite Andrea Chesman about skills and practices for homesteading.

The article quotes Andrea offering "Five tips for exploring self-sustainability"

  1. Plan a garden for next summer. 
  2. If considering animals, “chickens are the gateway animal.” 
  3. Identify maple trees on property and try backyard sugaring next spring. 
  4. Scout for old apple trees on your property or in your neighborhood 
  5. Think about what you might have to barter with others.

The article also references Andrea's latest book, The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bill McKibben arrested in Burlington

Riptonite Bill McKibben was arrested this week.
This was a deliberate move, a political protest:

McKibben, a Ripton resident, said he hoped his protest at the Simon's Quick Stop and Deli Mobile station on South Winooski Avenue would draw attention to recent evidence that suggests that Exxon Mobil Corp. knew about fossil fuel's role in global warming several decades ago — and shaped drilling strategies accordingly.
Bill wanted to avoid one media spin:
 "I don't want this story to disappear in all this media clutter," McKibben told journalists and a dozen or so supporters. "We need to let people know what we now know about Exxon Mobil. In a noisy world, this may be what we have to do."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Road work on 125

This morning there's some road work on 125.  When I drove through it this morning the crew was a little less than one mile below the general store.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Single lane on 125

Construction work is happening on 125.  VTrans states that culvert replacement is under way, meaning that part of that major artery may be down to a single lane at times.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Middlebury man arrested for burglarizing Ripton home

A Middlebury man appeared in court last week, charged with breaking into a Ripton home.

Travis Huestis, 25, of Middlebury broke into a residence located on Lincoln Road in Ripton.
Huestis was subsequently taken into custody and transported to the VSP New Haven Barracks for processing.
Huestis was released on a citation to appear in Addison County District Court on Sept. 28, at 12:30 p.m., to answer the charges of burglary and unlawful trespass.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Robert Frost Cabins receive more national media attention

Our own Robert Frost Mountain Cabins starred on the Today Show this week.
Online social networking company, Foursquare, identified Robert Frost Mountain Cabins and featured the property and the city of Burlington along with 5 other locations across the country during the Today Show’s travel segment on Saturday, July 25th. Foursquare’s Editor-at-Large, Sarah Spagnolo, highlighted the best cities and nearby accommodations for summer camp style getaways .

Carol and Marty's business won national notice in June, too.  Well done!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ripton history presentation this Saturday

What is the history of Ripton?Our town's historical society will dive into that question at the community church on Saturday, July 25th, from 10 am until noon.

RHS president Charles Billings will present and lead discussion.  Jerry Shedd will play videos he created of residents describing their personal histories.

All are invited.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Route 125 to Hancock closed this week

Route 125, the major road running through our town, will be closed between Ripton and Hancock this week.
Vermont 125 in Ripton will be closed from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Saturday for a culvert replacement project. Drivers should look for a signed detour.
Please share any photos or additional information.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ripton Fire Department cookout coming up

Riptonites, the annual town fire department cookout is coming up!
It's on Saturday, July 25th, from noon until 2 pm:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ripton Community Yard Sale coming up the Saturday after next

The Ripton Community Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, from 7:00 am to 12:00 noon, rain or shine.

It will take place in in the community church parking lot, on US Route 125.

As the organizers say, expect "Treasures from more than 30 Ripton families Antiques, clothing, furniture and much more!"  There is still time to participate.

For more information, please contact Bonnie Degray at (802) 388-1008.

Sponsored by Friends of the Ripton Community Church

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rainy week

It's apparently the rainy season, or at least it feels like it.  We're experiencing a lot of rain this past week, and will probably enjoy some more during the next, according to VPR.

It's not good news for those of us growing stuff:
Across the state some farmers have reported they're harvesting only half as much hay as their fields normally produce. Others say their corn definitely won't be knee-high by the 4th of July...  
“It’s actually fairly well-drained soil, but with the rainfall we’ve had we’re seeing lots of ponding,” says Workman, an agronomy outreach professional with UVM Extension, as she points to struggling corn stalks sitting in several inches of water. “What we really are seeing across Chittenden, Addison, Franklin counties is nutrient deficiencies in the corn crops and soy corps because of all the rain.”

Up on Pearl Lee, our woods were quite misty after so much precipitation:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Travel honor for Ripton business

Ripton's own Robert Frost Cabins just received a fine award. gave the cabins a Certificate of Excellence, once againaccording to the Times Argus.

The award recognizes the property as top performing lodging and celebrates excellence in hospitality. Robert Frost Mountain Cabins received the Certificate of Excellence award as a result of consistently achieving exceptional traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.
Congratulations and well done, Carol and Marty!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ripton bird walk this Saturday

Blackburnian Warbler
Ripton's bird experts will host a bird walk this Saturday at the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail:
Meet us at the parking area. Wear comfortable shoes, bring binoculars if you have them, and don’t forget bug spray. We’ll walk the trail and identify the species we find there.
Beginner to expert, everyone is welcome!
*For questions call Warren and Barry King at 388-4082
or Rebecca Purdum at 388-9791 

The event begins at 7 am, and will last until 9.

Sponsored by the Ripton Conservation Commission.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Arguments over East Middlebury airport expansion

Middlebury town residents disagree over a possible expansion to the East Middlebury airport.  According to Vermont Digger some locals support the expanded airport for safety and economic development reasons.  Others oppose it for sound quality problems, which could impact Ripton, as well as seeing the expansion as a gift solely for the rich.

Friday, May 15, 2015

CD release party on Saturday night

On Saturday night, May 16th, a CD release party will be held at the Ripton Community Church.  Starting at 7:30 PM and running until 9:00 PM, the Michele Fay Band will unleash their new recording.
According to a FrontPorchForum posting,
The band features original and Americana music that brings forth a comfortable groove of folk, swing, and bluegrass-influenced songs that are woven seamlessly together. 
Entrance is $8 for adults, $4 for kids.  There will be food.  Proceeds go towards the continued restoration of this historical building.
For more information, call: 388-1062 or 388-6863.

(thanks to Lisa Knickerbocker and Norm Tjossen)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fires and no fires in Ripton

We're under a burn ban for the moment, due to very dry weather.

On the Robert Frost Trail the Forest Service conducted a very careful prescribed burn.
 It was dicey to be burning at all. The previous morning, the 15-member crew had assembled only to discover the National Weather Service had just issued a "red flag" advisory warning of high wildfire risk. The combination of 80-degree weather, clear skies, gusting winds, low humidity and still-bare branches made for a significant threat of wildfire. 
"It's kind of like tempting the devil to burn on a red-flag day,'' said Boness, who is fire management officer for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Celebration of Life in memory of Justine Billings

Please join us on Saturday, May 16th, for a celebration of Life in memory of Justine Billings.

The event begins at 11 am in the Ripton Community Church.  There will be pot luck food.
(thanks to Lisa Whitman)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Help your neighbors with firewood on March 29th

We're cutting and storing firewood for Riptonites on the last Sunday this month.
Here's the information:
REAP is hoping you can join us from 9 am to noon on Sunday, 29 March, at the REAP Woodshed next to the Ripton Fire Station back of the elementary school on the Dugway. We'll cut wood, split it, and stack it in our woodshed to replenish REAP’s wood supply. Next year's recipients of firewood from REAP will join us in thanking you for participating. Come when you can; leave when you need to. Bring a chainsaw, a splitting maul, a splitter, a pair of gloves, whatever you have.

Come help!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Town meeting 2015

This week we held our annual town meeting.  Here are some quick notes.

We began the March 2, 2015 meeting with thoughts on the late Sally Hoyler, Riptonite, friend of many, and town clerk.

Next we approved the main budget ($577,000; general fund and highway), the necessary tax collection to support it, and set the tax due date (November 5, 2015).

Then we moved on to some policies, namely changing terms for the town clerk and town treasurer positions to one year, instead of three.

All of these measures passed unanimously on voice votes.

The meeting concluded with announcements, including one from the newly revived Ripton Historical Society (RHS).

We then switched from town meeting to school board meeting, and passed a school budget of $905,614.

The next day, March 3rd, saw Riptonites vote for various officers.  The results, according to the Addison Independent, were:
  • Ron Wimett retained his selectboard position after defeating Perry Hanson, 64 to 49.
  • Tim Hanson continued as town moderator.
  • Kathleen Sullivan " " delinquent tax collector.
  • Beth Eliason " "  as lister.(CORRECTED)
  • Marlene Thompson is the new cemetery commissioner.(CORRECTED)
  • Carol Ford and Perry Hanson remain on the Ripton Elementary School board.
Does anyone have details or reflections to add?

(thanks to Barry and Warren King for assistance)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Storytelling night next week

Next Tuesday night will be a storytelling event at the Ilsley public library.
Here's the announcement:
Have we got some stories for you! 
Tuesday March 3 7:30 pm at Ilsley Public Library 
 Come hear original and (mostly) true tales told live and in person by… 
 Bryan Alexander - Barbara Andres - Kari Hansen - Judith Holler - Madeleine Lyttle - Len Rowell - Kevin Unrath - David Weinstock 

 The storytellers are part of the first Storytelling Mini-Course sponsored by StoryMatters Vermont and Ilsley Public Library. 
 Please join us! Admission is free. 
 75 Main St., Middlebury, VT 

 Questions? Email or call David at 989-4314

Towards town meeting

What's on deck for next week's town meeting?  John Flowers shares a nice summary in the Addison Independent.  There are elections opposed and un-, several budgets, changes to official positions, and more.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Riptonite wins energy honor

A Ripton resident received an honor this month, concerning energy efficiency.
 Efficiency Vermont has named two Vermont building designers as Partners of the Year in energy efficient design and construction. The awards honor homebuilder Alex Carver of Ripton andDuncan Wisniewski Architecture of Burlington.
Carver, co-owner of Northern Timbers Construction of Ripton, was named Residential New Construction Partner of the Year for achievements in the construction of energy efficient homes that provide lower energy and maintenance costs, superior comfort and air quality, strong resale value, and durability.
“Alex is an extraordinary builder who is highly regarded by his peers,” said Matt Sargent, Efficiency Vermont Senior Energy Consultant. “In his nearly 30 years of homebuilding in Vermont, Alex has been unwavering in his commitment to creating high-performance homes and to educating others, including the next generation of building professionals. Alex has a drive to always explore new and better building approaches. This award rightfully honors Alex Carver’s notable contributions to efficient residential construction in Vermont.”
Congratulations, Alex!

School district meeting ahead

Also coming up with our annual Town Meeting is our school district meeting.  That's March 2nd, starting at 7:30 pm in the Community House.

Here's what's on deck:
ARTICLE 1: To see if the voters of the Town School District will authorize its Board of Directors, under 16 VSA 562 (9), to borrow money by issuance of bonds or notes not in excess of anticipated revenue for the school year.
ARTICLE 2: To see if the voters of the Town School District will approve the sum of $905,614 to defray current expenses of the Town School District for the ensuing school year and to pay outstanding orders and obligations. 
ARTICLE 3: To see if the voters of the Town School District will authorize the Board of Directors to transfer a sum not to exceed $37,000 from the Education Reserve Fund (balance of $58,825) to the General Fund as revenue for the 2015-16 school year. 
ARTICLE 4: To transact any other business proper to come before said meeting.
 Upon completion of the transaction of the aforesaid business, or upon adjournment of the aforesaid meeting for any other purpose, said meeting shall be reconvened on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in the Ripton Town Office for the following business of the Town School District by Australian Ballot.
Polls will be open 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
ARTICLE 5: To elect a Moderator for the Town School District for a term of one year.
ARTICLE 6: To elect one School Director for the Town School District for a term of three years.
ARTICLE 7: To elect one School Director for the Town School District for a term of two years.
 Carol Ford, Chair 
 Bryan Alexander 
 Perry Hanson 
 Giles Hoyler 
Laura Murphy McIntosh

(thanks to Alison Dickinson for the documentation)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Town meeting ahead

Our Ripton Town Meeting is coming up on March 2nd.  It starts at 7:30 and will take place at the Ripton Community House, as ever.

Here are some details from the official warning:

The legal voters of the Town of Ripton are warned to meet at the Community House in Ripton on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. to transact the following business:  
Article 1: Will the Town vote the sum of $577,000.00 to pay Road and General Fund expenses for July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016, and pay outstanding orders or obligations of the Town, with interest, the tax rate on the 2015 Grand List to be determined by the Selectboard, divided as follows: 
Roads, including winter work $294,100.00
General Fund $282,900.00
Total $577,000.00
Article 2: Will the Town vote the sum of $38,650.00 to the RiptonVolunteer Fire and First Response Department to help pay Fire and First Response expenses for July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016?  
Article 3: Will the Town vote to have current property taxes collected by the Treasurer with a tax due date of Thursday, November 5, 2015?  
Article 4: Will the Town vote to elect a Town Clerk for the term of one year as provided by 17 V.S.A. §2646 (2), said term to begin at Town Meeting, March 1, 2016?  
Article 5: Will the Town vote to elect a Town Treasurer for the term of one year as provided by 17 V.S.A. §2646 (3), said term to begin at Town Meeting, March 1, 2016?  
Article 6: Any other business proper to come before this meeting. 

The Meeting will recess until 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
(thanks to Alison Dickinson)

Monday, January 19, 2015

A river quality discussion

Next week you're invited to a discussion of our local rivers and their water quality.
From a FrontPorchForum post:
On Wednesday, January 28 at 7 pm Matt Witten, director of Addison County River Watch Collaborative, and other River Watch leaders will be in Ripton to participate in a community discussion about River Watch and water quality on the Middlebury River and Otter Creek. Come join the discussion at the Ripton Fire Station on Dugway Road behind the elementary school. We’ll shoot for ending by 8:30, but it may run to 9. Light refreshments.
(thanks to Barry King)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A celebrating of a Riptonite's life

On Tuesday night Riptonites are invited to celebrate the life of one of her own.
Sally Hoyler passed from this life on January 15th, and her family would like to celebrate her life.

Here's what her family emailed:

We will be celebrating Sally's life on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at the Community House in Ripton.
Gathering begins around 4:00.  In true Ripton style, potluck and BYOB.
At 5:00 we'd like to invite sharing of stories, memories, poems, song and music, anything you like...this will be informal. We look forward to celebrating this amazing life with you.  Please spread the word.
In love,
Giles & Emily

All best wishes to the Hoyler family.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Recycling on a cold January day

We held our first town recycling morning of the year.  The Kulczyks and Kings kindly provided fire, soup, and other goodies for us.