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 on: April 20, 2018, 12:30:54 PM 
Started by ucf - Last post by ucf
Rummage Sale Fri., May 4th from 3-7pm and Sat., May 5th from 9-2 (Bag Sale All Day) at the Fairfax Community Center (aka Baptist Building) on Main St in Fairfax.   Clean clothes, books, toys and white elephant.  Benefit of the United Church of Fairfax missions.  For info email ucffairfaxvt@gmail.com or call 849-6313.

Drop off times are Thurs May 3rd from 9-noon and 4-6pm as well as Fri 9-noon.  Please leave items on the front porch if no one is there.  The Sale will be held upstairs. 

 on: April 20, 2018, 11:58:44 AM 
Started by Barbara - Last post by Barbara
The Transportation committee was prepared to present S. 272 on the House floor but it was sent to the Ways and Means committee for final approval of changes that had minor effect on the revenue to the State. The bill is poised to be on notice for floor discussion Tuesday. Prior to officially receiving H. 917 the committee began reviewing sections that the Senate has altered in their strike all amendment.
In the original H. 917 language existing statute was enhanced by the House committee to support safety of vulnerable users of roads with the direction that vehicles need to slow down when approaching vulnerable users. This was expanded in the Senate by an amendment to the bill that includes language similar to what is in a National campaign to protect stopped utility-type vehicles displaying flashing lights and their users titled “Slow Down to Get Around”.  The accident in St Albans that killed a Casella worker last summer brought this issue to the forefront.
Friday morning the committee heard testimony on a floor amendment that is being considered to address the concern raised by ice blocks flying from the roofs of vehicles and causing harm to other users of the road. A recent incident in Vermont drew the attention back to this issue by the sponsor of H. 367, an act relating to requiring the removal of snow and ice from vehicles operated on public highways. There is national attention on this issue that has been titled Ice Missile legislation. 
Thursday night a Cabaret to highlight member’s ‘talents’ was held as a fund-raiser for the Vermont Food Bank - Rutland Distribution Center  This annual tradition raises a few dollars for a good cause and brings the members together for a bit of light hearted roasting as the session comes near to its end.
A sign of the session coming to its final weeks is the cessation of Senate morning committees. They will be held on an as need basis to allow for morning floor start. Bills are moving rapidly between House and Senate as final amendments are made, agreed to, or Conference committees created to iron out the differences. 
People continue to contact me with thoughts and concerns regarding bills and resolutions they have seen introduced. I appreciate the information on what concerns fellow Fairfax residents. Please contact me at bmurphy@leg.state.vt.us, 802-849-6545, or by mail at 7 Lily Rd. The Sergeant at Arms office in the State House, (802) 828-2228, will see messages reach me as well.

 on: April 17, 2018, 05:11:09 PM 
Started by Library Assistant - Last post by Library Assistant
Reminder that because of school vacation next week, the Library will be opening at 9:00 daily.

 on: April 17, 2018, 05:47:41 AM 
Started by Rev. Elizabeth - Last post by Rev. Elizabeth
BFA Fairfax Conference Room
April 12, 2018
Joint Board Meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30, by principal John Tague, substituting for Pat Gallant, who was ill.  In attendance were: Sandy Alexander and Kathy Muehl (voting members), representing the School Board, Liz Griffin (voting member), Ellen Holmes-Henry and Eric Foreman, representing the library trustees, and Joy Mercer, school librarian, and Debbie Landauer, FCL library director. 

There was no public input, nor was there any correspondence.

The agenda was reviewed.

Officers for the coming year were elected.  Kathy Muehl nominated Pat Gallant as chair; the motion was seconded by Sandy and the motion was passed
Kathy nominated Liz Griffin to be secretary; the second was by Sandy and the motion was passed.

The minutes of the October 2017 Joint Board meeting were read and approved. 

Quarterly Report Highlights: Joy Mercer, School Librarian.

Diversity was the theme that ran through the past year, as it is important for our children to be aware  of other countries and other cultures. Joy recounted a story where a preschool teacher reached out for books for an African American youth who  felt he had no one like him to play with.  Joy found appropriate books, gave them to the teacher, and the child was reassured and found comfort in them.. 
As part of the diversity theme, the middle school youth participated in the Reading without Walls program.

Quarterly Report Highlights: Debbie Landauer, Public Library Director.

Debbie noted that diversity as a theme in books for children is growing,and while there is less increase in diversity in adult fiction, there is an increase in non-fiction books, such as the books about the WWII code breakers, and the women who worked for NASA. There is an increase in adult fiction about immigrants.

Thanks to donations from two community members the library has been able to create STEM kits that are available for patrons to take out and use at home. (They must sign an agreement about their  financial responsibility for any damage done to the contents of the kits.)

The STEM kits include: a telescope and support from the Vermont Astronomical Society; a jewelry making kit that contains tools, but not consumables; a microscope with a smart phone attachment; a bloxel kit to make video games;  and Mother Goose kits  from the Vermont Center for Books that are early literacy kits for youth from pre-K kindergarten.

The library partnered with the Town Recreation Department’s Easter Egg Hunt and hosted the Easter Bunny for children after the Egg Hunt.  The library also served hot chocolate and cookies.  This was well attended.

The Titans Chess Club ended their season with a live chess game. This was an exciting and well received event that will hopefully be held again next year. The chess club remains a highly popular after school activity.

Unfinished business

John stated that there were no policy updates for the meeting, but that there probably would be at the October meeting.

The new facilities committee has met twice with about 14 participants, including school staff and administrators, school board members and members of the public.  At the second meeting the group took a tour of the building ( which did not include the entire facility as the group ran out of time) and discussed facility needs.  There are local architects and contractors on the committee. The next meeting will be at the beginning of May, date to be announced.

Debbie brought up her concern that the annual cleaning of the library, which takes a week, has of late occured in a conflict with the annual Summer Reading program.  Previously, the  cleaning had taken place toward the end of the summer, often in August.  Debbie sent a communication to Tod Granger requesting the library be cleaned after Aug. 9th this year.
John will speak to Tod Granger to see if it can be so scheduled that there is no interference with the summer reading program.

New Business.
School and Community Safety and the Library.

During the lockdown that occurred  on  February 20,  the fact that the public entrance to the library has always been and currently is  unlocked has become a cause of great concern. Various safety personnel, including the state police, the local sheriff, and safety experts from the state have all indicated that this creates an unsafe situation for the students in the school. It has been recommended that a buzzer system be installed that can be used by any of the library personnel, both librarians and their assistants, to buzz in members of the public. This will be done.

A question was posed: how can the buzzer system  make the environment safer when  a person being buzzed in could have  a weapon that would be unseen by whoever opened the door?  While this is perhaps true, the buzzer entrance makes accessibility more difficult.

There are video cameras at the entrance to the school, but because of privacy concerns 
( Vermont Patron Confidentiality Act ) there is no camera at the entrance to the library.

The thought is  that this buzzer might necessitate more public library staff  as the staff is already overworked. Eric suggested that before we take that step the library trustees need to determine how many public patrons use the library on a daily basis. Debbie believes 400-500 public patrons use the library per week.  She will take a count, and Ellen offered to help count community library  patron traffic. Joy Mercer requested that the School Board hire a third school library employee, as there used to be before one position was cut several years ago.  This person could be responsible for monitoring the door along with numerous other duties that Joy could use help with.

A   long term solution  suggested would be to build a separate community library building. 
Ellen mentioned that this was not a possible option at this point in time.

Another option, more constricting, would be to have the public library hours  limited to after school and Saturday. 

Debbie is concerned that the buzzer will be one more barrier to the public use of the library. Some potential patrons are already discouraged by the length of the walk to the library, and the lack of adequate parking. She feels the buzzer would add one more barrier.

Ellen said that we should all strive to figure out how to work together to  make this recommendation work as this is going to happen as soon as possible.  Presenting this change in the most positive light possible would facilitate the transition.  Ellen has provided some resources on how safety is handled at other libraries including other joint libraries.  These were not discussed.

Ellen brought up a concern about the windows.  They are large, extensive, and uncovered.  There are shades, but they are manually controlled.  Electronically controlled shades were suggested as was covering some of the windows at either end of the array of windows to reduce their number.

The small size of the safe room, the current Flexible Pathways room, was mentioned.  Debbie thinks that if there were classes and/or or a large number of public patrons in the library at the time of a lockdown the room could not accommodate them.  The Fairfax Room, while available, has windows and no second exit and therefore would not be a good option. 

Debbie observed that there seems to be a lack of training for school staff vis a vis student safety during a lockdown.  She wonders if  training  is available and could library staff, including library substitutes, be able to participate. Perhaps there could be a joint policy--library and school -- on managing a  safety crisis. FCL staff and substitutes need to be part of any safety training that might occur. 

John will find a way to sit down with the FCL staff so that everyone is aware of the protocols  for a crisis.He also mentioned that there will be an ALICE training this summer and library staff will be invited to participate.

Joy Mercer is making a box of items of items that could be used to keep small children amused if they had to go to the safe room during a lockdown.  The box would also include a flashlight, and a list of the library trustees and their contact information. It will be kept in a secure place.

It was also noted that there is no emergency light in the library.   

Next Joint Board Meetings

The October meeting will be held in the Fairfax Room at 6;30 on October 11, 2018.
The April meeting will be held in the Fairfax Room at 6:30 on April 11 2019.

Meeting Notices.

Sandy Alexander will give Liz Griffin a current list of individuals who need to be contacted about meeting dates.

Kathy made a motion to adjourn, and Sandy seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:51.

Respectfully submitted

Rev. Elizabeth Griffin, secretary.

 on: April 16, 2018, 12:33:52 PM 
Started by ssweet - Last post by ssweet
Senior Citizen meal Tues., April 17th at the Fairfax Fire Station will be Shepard's Pie with salad, rolls and desert. We eat at noon - so come on down and join your neighbors. All seniors welcome.

 on: April 16, 2018, 10:56:19 AM 
Started by LibraryPrograms - Last post by LibraryPrograms
Tuesday, April 17, 9:30-10:30am: Preschool Story Hour with Firefighter Dave
Join us for themed stories, songs, and activities for ages 0-6. No registration necessary for Story Hour. 

Wednesday, April 18, 3-4pm: STEM Club: Science Fair Working/Prep. Day
Children who have been participating in STEM Club this year will put on a Science Fair on May 30th. In this month’s session, children will choose a project to present about for our final meeting and show off all the cool things they have learned this year.  Must register.

Thursday, April 19, 3:15-4:15pm: READ to a DOG
Kids ages 5-10 can read a book of their choice to a fuzzy, friendly dog. Call to reserve a 15-minute slot.

Thursday, April 19, 6:30-7:30pm:  Family STEAM Night: Join us for this great family program, where each month parents and children visit stations with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and/or Math (STEAM) activities. This month our theme is “Owls” and we will be dissecting owl pellets together. (Gloves provided for squeamish folks.) Please register.

Tuesday, April 24, 10-11am: Paint! Paint! Paint! Special for School Break Week!
Kids ages 0-8 will have fun visiting different painting stations around the library. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little messy! Must register.

Thursday, April 26, 6-7:30pm: Camp-Out in the Library
Bring your sleeping bags for a camp out in the library (but only for part of the evening). We’ll tell campfire stories, eat s’mores, and make shadow puppets. Ages 3-9. Must register.

 on: April 13, 2018, 01:55:55 PM 
Started by Barbara - Last post by Barbara
The season of Conference Committees has begun. H. 562, an act relating to parentage proceedings was recommended to be moved to committee of conference rather than accept the Senate proposal of amendment. One of the Senate proposals of amendment echoed one that failed in the House on a roll call vote of 70 to 74. The language would guarantee that any genetic sample taken pursuant to this section of law would be destroyed after final determination of the case.

 S.29, an act relating to decedents’ estates was presented with amendments by House Judiciary. The bill updates probate law from outdated language regarding gender but also makes some substantive changes including reducing from three to one year the time frame for filing creditor’s claims against the estate.  S. 101, an act relating to the conduct of forestry operation passed on a roll call vote of 127 to 4. The bill is similar to “right to farm” language in statute and protects forestry operations from nuisance lawsuits.

The Transportation committee has spent the week working on amending S. 272, an act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to motor vehicles or in brief the DMV bill. Substantial testimony and debate surrounded the language that supported the changes being made to the Vehicle Inspection Manual. DMV has spent the last six months compiling a major overhaul with the input of many stakeholders and has now begun the process to formally change the rules. The check engine light is a component that is required for air quality and is under EPA oversight. Staff from the Department of Environmental Conservation presented concerns for the conditional passes that are being granted and shared information on assistance that can be granted for the required repairs as well as Federal conditional pass opportunities.

HR 23 a resolution that addresses video game violence was passed on a vote of 107 to 12.
It makes a request to the Executive Branch to examine the connection between the exposure to excessive media and video game violence and the propensity to engage in gun violence and to consider submitting a legislative proposal on restricting the sale of violent video games to persons below a designated age. This request ties in with the Violence Protection Task Force the Governor spoke to creating by Executive Order in his speech at the signing of the three gun bills Wednesday.

People continue to contact me with thoughts and concerns regarding bills and resolutions they have seen introduced. I appreciate the information on what concerns fellow Fairfax residents.  Please contact me at bmurphy@leg.state.vt.us, 802-849-6545, or by mail at 7 Lily Rd. The Sergeant at Arms office in the State House, (802) 828-2228, will see messages reach me as well.

 on: April 12, 2018, 07:05:17 AM 
Started by Henry - Last post by Henry

ESSEX JUNCTION - Eugene "Gene" J. Collette, 3rd, 88, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the VNA Respite House in Colchester, VT.

He was born March 28, 1930 in Burlington, VT the son of Eugene J. Collette, Jr. and Frances (Dubie) Collette. Gene graduated from Shelburne High School in 1948. He married Helen Muir on June 6, 1959 in Burlington, VT. Gene was in the US Navy during the Korean War. He worked at the Shelburne Shipyard building LCVP's. He was one of the original 100 employees at the new IBM plant in Essex Junction, VT retiring in 1992 after 35 years. He was an avid New York Yankees and Giants fan.

He is survived by his wife Helen (Muir) Collette of Essex Junction, VT, son Eugene Collette, IV of Colchester, VT, son David Collette of Essex Junction,VT, daughter Pamela and her husband Daniel Overton of Sheridan, WY, 3 grandchildren Danielle (Chris) Bean of Colchester, VT, Matthew (Marissa) Overton of Gilbert, AZ, Kathryn "Katie" Overton of Hillsboro, OR, 3 great-grandchildren; Madison and Cameron Bean of Colchester, VT, Brooklynn Overton of Gilbert, AZ, 2 sisters Marie Boisvert of Burlington, VT, Lorraine Roberge of Winooski, VT, and several nieces and nephews.

Gene was predeceased by his brothers Francis Collette and Marvin Collette.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 4 Prospect Street, Essex Junction, VT. Interment will be at a later date at Holy Family Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Essex Rescue,

1 Educational Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452 or to the Essex Junction Little League, c/o Essex Junction Recreation Department, 75 Maple Street, Essex Junction,VT 05452.

Corbin & Palmer, 9 Pleasant St., Essex Junction, VT is assisting with arrangements.
Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 12, 2018

 on: April 10, 2018, 11:50:45 AM 
Started by Henry - Last post by Henry

Essex Junction,  Our amazing father Walter E. Senn passed from this life on Sunday April 8th with family and friends seeing him on his journey.   Walter lived a storybook life of 92 plus years.  At 81 he got his first Kayak and found every opportunity to use it.   He kayaked with many people and truly loved to go, even into his late 80’s his youthful vigor astounded people that paddled with him.  He found a second love with Arlene Yankowski in his early 80’s. Together they explored many of the back roads of Vermont until her passing.  He had a great fondness for Arlenes’ children that continues even today.

Dad had many passions in life;  Kayaking, Hiking, Hunting, Poetry,  Scrabble, Beekeeping, Singing, Jokes, going to Holland Pond and of course all his family and the two newest loves of his life, his Great Granddaughters.  He was especially fond of Sugaring and always had to know the latest number of gallons made.  He remained young and able to do activities almost until his passing, recently tapping trees in the yard with his HomeShare friend Therese.  Though their time was short as house mates, she greatly enriched his life and helped turn back the hands of time.

He was predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Dorothy White.   Unbelievably his older sister Marion Lajoie joined him at the Respite House in their final Chapter.   He is survived by his Daughter Linda Cox and husband Bill and their children; Bryan, Nick, Kate, Joshua, and Griffin.  His daughter Laurie and husband Dick Wilcox and their children Christopher and Benjamin and wife Marie Michelle two Great Granddaughters; Bailey and Madelyn.  His son Eric and his wife Susan (Canty) of Essex and their children Erika and Alex.  His youngest daughter Jennifer and husband Gary Villeneuve of Jericho and their children Derek, Kyle and Andrew.  Many additional Nieces, Nephews and dear friends.

Thanks to his special HomeShare guests; Sherwood, Maki, Val and Therese.

Special thanks to all the friends and family support over the past Month.  The wonderful caring support of Dr. Rippa and staff, VNA and Palliative care team at UVM Med Ctr.  Exemplary care from the staff at the Vermont Respite House who provided comfort, dignity, guidance and understanding for us all.  In lieu of flowers please make donations in Walters’ name to Respite House or VNA.

Visiting Hours will be held on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 5 to 8 pm in the Minor Funeral Home, Route 7 in Milton.  A funeral service will held on Saturday, April 14th at 10 am in the Jericho Center Congregational Church with Pastor David Coons officiating.

 on: April 10, 2018, 11:41:20 AM 
Started by Henry - Last post by Henry

Essex Junction - Joyce A. Harris, 86, of Whitcomb Woods passed away peacefully Sunday April 8, 2018 in the University of VT Medical Center in Burlington.

Joyce was born June 16, 1931 in Ticonderoga, NY, the daughter of the late Clifton and Eva Quebec Sousie. She graduated from Burlington High School with the Class of 1950 and on December 9, 1950 she married Sam Harris in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Burlington. Sam predeceased her on April 21, 2002.

While living in Essex she served her community as a Selectperson from 1980 to 1983. She and Sam lived for a while in Fairfax where she enjoyed being a parishioner of St. Luke Catholic Church and singing in the church choir. A very caring and giving person, Joyce enjoyed volunteering at the Northwest Medical Center. Her hobbies included ceramics and painting by number and playing Bingo at her senior apartment complex where she especially loved winning and enjoying the food prepared for her.

Joyce is survived by her children, Kathleen Benoit and her husband Gary of Jericho and Samuel Wayne Harris and his wife Betty of Fremont, NH; Several grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great great grandson, her sister Anne Fagga and her husband Frank of Burlington and her sisters-in-law; Blanche Zeno and Lorette Sousie. . Several nieces, nephews and many good friends.She was predeceased by her son, Mark and her daughter in law Kathleen Harris; Her brothers, Clifton, Robert and Richard Sousie.

Visiting Hours will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 4 to 7 pm in the Minor Funeral Home, Route 7 in Milton.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, April 12th at 10 am in St. Lawrence Catholic Church on West Street in Essex Junction.Memorial Contributions may be made to either the American Kidney Foundation, 6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 1010, Rockville, MD 20852-9813 or to the Franklin County Animal Rescue Association, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans, VT 05478

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