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3/29/19 Cavendish Update
1. Why Doesn’t Cavendish Have Town Wide Broadband?
2. Cavendish Related News
3. Friends of Cavendish Town Elementary School
1. WHY DOESN’T CAVENDISH HAVE TOWN WIDE BROADBAND Three articles aired by Vermont Public Radio (VPR) this week once again call into question why doesn’t Cavendish have town wide broadband that meets or exceeds the federal government’s definition of 25 Mbps down and 3 up, or 25/3?
It’s not for lack of trying.
Unless you are on Comcast, the majority of Cavendish residents have Internet speeds well below the federal definition. A speed test survey showed that those on TDS had average speeds of 2.96/.44. Since that survey was done in late 2015, while TDS has made some improvements, people are complaining and a 2017 survey reported that their service had deteriorated since 2015.
Since June of 2014, when a Cavendish Telecommunications Committee (CTC) was established, all types of efforts have been tried including many meetings with state and Internet providers. It was thought that Cavendish was on its way to resolving issues in the most underserved area-Knapp Pond/Tarbell (Consolidated Communications territory) when they helped to secure a state grant for Comcast to wire this segment of Cavendish. With state delays, the final agreement was given to Comcast in 2018 for their signature. By the fall, it was learned that Comcast was walking away as they were in litigation with Vermont. CTC asked the state to use the funds for another project in Cavendish, but the money was reassigned.
CTC is now working with surrounding towns in trying to secure a Northern Border Regional Commission grant to support TDS wiring fiber as they go about implementing upgrades for our area. This grant will not be submitted until May.
CTC is favoring the approach of working with existing Internet providers to upgrade to fiber-optics, thereby eliminating the costs and time of “make ready work” (obtaining permits for use of poles and making certain they are appropriate for fiber) as well as to take advantage of the purchasing power of a large company like TDS to procure a lower rate for materials.
To read the full report, go to The Dish.
2. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS
William “Jim” Jones: Jim” Jones Jr., 61, of Cavendish, Vt. died Friday, March 22, 2019 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction, Vt. Owner of Ludlow Auto Body Shop in Cavendish, a Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Ludlow Auto Body, 96 Route 103, Cavendish, Vt. You are invited to share a memory of Jim with the family or leave a message of condolence in the family guest book at www.royfuneralhome.com.
GMUSD Board Replaces Mahusky As Chair: In a surprise move at the March 21 meeting of the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) board meeting, Marilyn Mahusky was replaced as board chair by a vote of 5-3 by Joe Fromberger (Andover). The change in leadership comes on the heels of differing understandings of the role of the board since it was created out of the Act 46 merger in 2017. Mahusky has maintained that the board tries to micromanage the school system. She has been generally supportive of Powden, while others have resisted a management model that puts the board’s interaction and oversight of the schools at arms length, with almost complete control of the schools in the hands of the superintendent. Chester Telegraph
Proctorsville’s Lisa Marks Celebrates 20 Years as a Boston Marathoner: In April, Lisa Marks will be stepping up to the starting line of her 20th Boston Marathon. To honor year 20 on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, Marks has brought her running experience to her fourth grade classroom at Ludlow Elementary School where she’s teaching a new generation of potential marathon runners. In the classroom, Marks teaches her students about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team and their goal to “help reach the ultimate finish line – a world without cancer.” When Marks first started running for cancer research, it was in honor of her college friend who had been diagnosed with leukemia and had passed away. She’s shared her marathon jerseys with her students, noting that as each year passes, the list of names gets longer – over 500 names today. To learn more about Lisa Marks’s story or to donate, go to www.danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/Lisa_Marks. Vermont Journal
I-91 exit 6 north on-ramp to close for 2 weeks: On Monday, April 15, 2019 at 7 a.m. the construction company working on the I-91 bridge over the Williams River in Rockingham will close the Exit 6 northbound on-ramp. The ramp will be closed for two weeks while it is reconstructed to its original grade. In the meantime motorists will follow a signed detour north on Route 5 to the Exit 7 northbound on-ramp in Springfield. Chester Telegraph
Springfield, Brattleboro hospitals announce collaboration for childbirth services: With Springfield Hospital closing its birthing center, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro OB/GYN will establish an office in Springfield, Vt. Expectant mothers will be able to see one of the BOG providers for their pre- and post-natal care and deliver at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Birthing Center in Brattleboro, Vt. The BOG office will be open in Springfield at least two days per week and will be staffed by an OB/GYN physician, a certified nurse midwife, and an R.N. care coordinator. Pre-natal services will be offered at the Springfield BOG office location, and lab work, ultrasound, and other testing will be provided at Springfield Hospital. Immediate R.N. care coordination services are available to current patients in their third trimester for immediate transfer and review of care in collaboration with Springfield Hospital clinicians. Additional services offered include Centering Pregnancy and childbirth education classes. BOG clinicians will also be available to provide gynecological surgical services at Springfield Hospital as needed. VT Journal
Springfield Hospital Asks for Rate Increase: Springfield’s Interim CEO, Michael Halstead, says the hospital's “cash position is tenuous at best,” and is asking the Green Mountain Care Board to OK a budget adjustment that could allow collection of nearly $500,000 in additional patient revenue over the remainder of the fiscal year. VT Digger
GMP Pushes Customers to Switch to Electronic Billing: Green Mountain Power is trying to eliminate paper billing and are urging people to sign up for online updates. To make the switch more appealing, crews are randomly selecting people to win an iPad and eventually one person will win an e-bike. The vice president says this is a simple way to cut the carbon footprint, since they mail out hundreds of thousands of statements every month.
Bentley’s is Closing: The long time Woodstock village restaurant, bar and entertainment venue, is closing at the end of April due to inability of the business and the new owner, an out of state New York investor, to come to terms on a new lease.
3. FRIENDS OF CAVENDISH TOWN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: On March 25, Cavendish Town Elementary School convened a meeting of community, parents and staff to launch a Friends of CTES. While this is still a working title, the group discussed fundraising and programming ideas.
The PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) has disassembled and a fundraising structure is needed to supplement/augment in school activities. Some of the past fundraisers –Turkey Bingo ($1,165.90) and Little Caesar’s Pizza (raised $1,400 for the 6th grade Keewaydin trip)-have done well while others did not-T shirts. Upcoming events include April 11 Ham Bingo; May 17 Spring Fling; May 30 Memorial Day activities and Parade; 3rd grade play and the annual trip to Plymouth State Park. Possible new ideas for this year include a Fun Run on June 8 and Mini Golf tournament at Okemo Mountain. Community partnerships, such as with Rotary and area businesses, were discussed.
Future meeting dates of this committee are April 8, April 29, May 13, June 3 and June 17. Minutes from the meeting are available on line FMI: Call Deb Beaupre at 802-578-7758.
MARCH 30 (SATURDAY): Town Garage Open House, 11-1. All invited.
MARCH 31 (SUNDAY): Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting, 4 pm at the Cavendish Baptist Church. As part of the this event, the film “Alone in the Wilderness” will be shown. This is free and open to the public. FMI: 802-226-7807 or firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 1 (MONDAY): VTrans Public Information Meeting with Pike Industries. Representatives for VTrans and Pike Industries would like to explain what happened with the Route 103 project this past summer/fall with some time to answer public questions as well. The information meeting will be held from 6-8 pm at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium, 37 Depot St.
APRIL 4-6 (THURSDAY-SATURDAY): GMUHS presents Beauty & the Beast, 7 PM in the auditorium each night. Matinee, 2pm on Saturday. Tickets are $10 adults; $8 Students and Seniors.
MAY 14 (TUESDAY): Cavendish Connections Tech Cafe, 6-8 pm at the Cavendish Town Library in Proctorsville. Bring your smart phone, laptop, tablet (iPad) to learn how to use them as well as how to use Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. This will be free and open to the Cavendish community.
SEPTEMBER 14 (SATURDAY): VT Golden Honey Festival. 10-4 Part craft fair, part food festival, the VT Golden Honey Festival is a community favorite. Located on the lawn of the Golden Stage Inn, 399 Depot St. in Proctorsville. Proceeds of this event will benefit VT Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth (Ludlow and Proctorsville. For vendor and other information: email@example.com or 802-226-7744 (Julie).