Windsor Students Mark International AchievementSchool news leads the way this week with a very significant achievement. In April we were informed that 5 Windsor High School students were recognized for their efforts at the VT State Science Fair, and that three of the students would be moving on to the international competitions in Houston and Phoenix. This week three of the young women were in Phoenix, Jamie Nolan, Rachel Meagher, and Abby Millard (left to right in the photo. The 4th student is not a WHS student) participating in the international phase of the Science Fair competition. We received word earlier this week that the Windsor Students have made it through the next round in the competition! This is a huge achievement for these young women and Windsor High School! According to the sponsors of the competition over 7million high school students from around the world develop original research projects. Only 1,600 are invited to this stage of the competition. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest international pre-college science competition, provides an annual forum for more than 1,600 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research as they compete for more than $3 million annually. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/education/competitions/international-science-and-engineering-fair.html?cid=sem118p7849&gclid=COOC7IamnbcCFS4aOgodN3MA9w The “hosing” has been canceled! In last week’s newsletter I indicated that the Snapdragon Inn was going to “hose” author M. Dylan Raskin. Apparently I was wrong. They actually are going to host Mr. Raskin. There is more on the event below. With all of the hubbub about the release of the movie Gatsby, I am not sure how many know of Windsor’s ties to F. Scott Fitzgerald, through Maxwell Perkins, editor for Fitzgerald and a prior owner of the Snapdragon property. Find out more about Perkins here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell_Perkins Community Garden I have been asked on several occasions about the possibility of establishing a community garden. Over the last couple of weeks I have been reaching out looking for potential locations and individuals that would help bring the idea to reality. Several people have kindly stepped forward, though I am sure we will need more bodies to get the project off the ground. An informal organizational meeting is being held this Tuesday at 6:30 at the Welcome Center. Please stop by if you are interested. This is not a meeting to tell the world how the garden will work. This is a meeting to listen and share ideas on how we can make it happen. I 91 Bridge Update – Route 44 Closure and detours The dates of closure are next Tuesday, May 21, through Thursday, May 23 with the road being reopened to traffic on the morning of Friday May 24th. As a result, motorists will be detoured onto Route 44 A and then to Route 5. This detour will cause approximately a 15 minute delay. The crews will be working on the bridge around the clock during those days to minimize the closure requirements. The does however, mean that the closures will be 24 hours a day between those dates. Also, please be aware of very strict enforcement of the 55 mph speed limit through the I-91 work zone. Troopers will regularly be present at the zone and will be stringently enforcing the limit. Windsor On AirWindsor on Air is a great community resource. For those with Comcast cable service they can be found on channel 8. For those without Comcast, Windsor on Air programing can be found on line: http://woa-tv.org/site/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Windsor-On-Air/304381210782. A new episode of “Around Windsor” aired this week. Take a look and learn more about the new owners of the Station Restaurant and their plans, the new owners of Fraser’s Place restaurant, as well as municipal plans to tear down a burned out structure on Main St. and the $400k streetscape project scheduled for River and Depot streets. http://woa-tv.org/site/2013/05/14/around-windsor-with-tom-marsh-episode-8/ Community Events Presentation at Cider Hill Gardens Saturday May 18 at 10:30 Cider Hill Gardens Join the discussion of the benefits of growing Asian Greens and other vegetables in raised beds. Veggies, Asian greens and Raised Beds will be available. http://ow.ly/kV6t4 Tasting at the Sustainable Farmer Saturday, May 18, from 11-2. Taylor Farm of Londonderry, Vermont will be doing a tasting of their award-winning Farmstead Gouda cheeses at Sustainable Farmer on Saturday, May 18, from 11-2. Taylor Farm is the only maker of Farmstead Gouda in the state, and they produce several different varieties - all of them delicious! The event is free and open to the public. Please join us. The Sustainable Farmer is located next to the Harpoon Brewery at 71 Artisans Way in Windsor, VT. 802-674-4260 http://www.mysustainablefarmer.com/ Windsor Farmers Market Sunday, May 19th will be the last Winter Farmers Market at the Welcome Center (Noon - 3pm). The following vendors will be there: Raycin Farms, Green Mountain Flour, Max and Ozzie's,Contented Butterfly Farm. Rhine River Bakery LLC, J & A Crafts, Honestly Simple Soaps, and Brookhaven. These great vendors will be bringing the following items: crayons in funky shapes, re-usable lunch bags, felt items, eggs, yarn, dog biscuits, veggie starts, meat, candles, breads, pastries, bird feeders, knitted items, soaps, lotions, body sprays, flours, prepared foods to take home and heat up, donuts, quick breads, cookies, maple syrup, and lots more. Come stop by the market and check out what's available. Don't forget to stop by the market to say a big thank you to Steve Proctor, our market manager for last summer and this winter (he also wore the President's hat on the market board). Steve will be stepping down as manager and Cecile Corliss, his assistant manager, will be taking his place at the tent. As always, the market gladly accepts debit and EBT cards. For more information, stop by the market manager's table just inside the door on your left. The summer market will be kicking in full gear on Sunday June 2nd ... see our Facebook page for more information or check out our blog at http://windsorfarmersmarket.blogspot.com/ A Pampered Horses Life" Scavenger Hunt & Open House May 19th “A Pampered Horses Life" Scavenger Hunt is happening during Delaney Stables Open House on May 19th. Come see the facility and have some fun getting familiar with life on the farm. The grand prize is "A Day at the Salon" with your favorite school horse. Door prizes include gifts to pamper people and their companions. For more information, contact Jill at 484-3138 or check Delaney Stables Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaney-Stables-LLC/272043130905 The American Precision Museum Opens For The Season The American Precision Museum will open its doors for the 2013 season on May 25, 2013. For thesecond straight year, our Civil War exhibits, Full Duty and Arming the Union are among the State’s Top Ten Civil War 'things to see and do' in Vermont. We also have a great lineup of events posted on our website at Upcoming Events. The museum is open every day from Memorial Day weekend to October 31, from 10:00am – 5:00pm. Free admission on Sundays. Snapdragon Inn literary club is excited to host author, M. Dylan Raskin May 30th at 7:30 PM in the Maxwell Perkins library at Snapdragon Inn in Windsor, Vermont. The literary club read Raskin’s second novel “Bandanas & October Supplies” last month and are thrilled he will be bringing his unique voice to the Inn. "In a live setting, Raskin is the literary equivalent of Axl Rose." -- Rolling Stone Magazine and "A strikingly original and unforgettable narrative voice." -- Library Journal The Snapdragon Inn formed their literary club over two years ago as a way to bring the Inn’s literary history alive. William Maxwell Evarts Perkins, better known as Max Perkins, was a well-known editor at Scribner’s. Perkins famously guided the literary careers of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings among many others. The Snapdragon Inn named their library after him and host monthly meet-ups to discuss a wide range of books that are chosen by the attendees. In April of 2012, the Literary club won a contest with NPR and author, Abraham Verghese of “Cutting for Stone” called in to join the club’s discussion. “The space was begging for some kind of book club but we thought Max would have liked if we called it a literary club instead. We love the history and hope to build on our rich literary heritage with more author readings or even workshops and residencies, “ said Chris Cammock, one of the owners of the inn and literary club members. M.Dylan Raskin will be at the Inn for a reading on Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the Maxwell Perkins library. This is a free event and all are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by calling 802 227 0008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month at 7:30PM. All are welcome to attend. www.snapdragoninn.com Memorial Day Ceremonies Saturday, May 25th 10am Constitution Common Anyone wanting to march in the parade, veterans that want to drive their cars, antique cars or anyone else that would like to participate in some way please contact Craig Williams email@example.com or Rudy Hanecak firstname.lastname@example.org Welcoming Remarks: American Legion Commander Craig Williams -Pledge of Allegiance - Announce proceedings- Introductions of participants Music: Star Spangled Banner: Performed by the Windsor High School Band Invocation and Prayer: Legion Chaplain Herb Moore Poem Reading: It Is The Soldier by Charles M. Province: Craig Williams) Speech: Importance of Service: Michael Kell, Army (Ret.) Reading: Logan’s Orders: Windsor, VT Girl Scouts troop Speech: Memorial Day A Family Reflection: Steve Ducharme Reading: Gettysburg Address: Boy Scouts troop Keynote Speaker: Honoring Those That Served And Sacrificed: Ryan Palmer, Air ForceMusic: God Bless America: Performed by the Windsor High School Poem Reading: No, Freedom Isn’t Free: American Legion Commander Benediction/ Closing Prayer: American Legion Post # 25 Chaplain Closing Remarks: American Legion Commander -Playing of Taps— Kevin Anderson and Nick Lebeau -Firing Squad -Line up procession—parade Annual Mt. Ascutney Hike Saturday, May 25th Hike any of the three hiking trails and you will get a free lunch sandwiches, drink, apples and cookies. All are welcomed. Lunch is served starting serving around 11am and stay until 2pm. This event is sponsored by the Mt. Ascutney Trails Association. http://ascutneytrails.org/ National Trail Day on Saturday, June 1st in Paradise from 9:00am to 12:00pm Meet at Eddie’s Place across form the Price Chopper. We will primarily be moving and spreading woodchips, leveling new boardwalk sections, fixing erosion areas, and possibly erecting more birdhouses. We need extra wheel barrels, shovels and garden rakes so bring’em if you got’em. Don’t forget to bring water and a snack!!! Invasive Species Work Shop on Saturday, June 8th in Paradise from 9:00am to 1:00pm Meet by the Old Archery Range across from the O'Neil's homestead on Juniper Hill Rd. We will primarily be targeting, buckthorn and barberry using non-chemical methods Bring loppers and pruning saws and work gloves. Don’t forget to bring water and a snack!!! Upcoming Events Sponsored by Windsor Public Library Saturday, May 18. 9-11 a.m. Computer Choices: Devices & Operating Systems. 9-10: Windows is not your only option for an operating system. Learn about Linux, similar to others but free to users. 10-11: Should I buy a laptop, desktop, tablet, notebook, or iPhone? Both sessions will focus on what the best choices are for your needs. Led by Marc Morgan, General Manager of WinCycle. Free. Windsor Public Library, 43 State Street. Wednesday, May 22. 7 p.m. Appy Hour. Do you have an iPad, Android Tablet, Smartphone, iPod or other device? Do you have cool apps you'd like to show off? Want to learn about apps that others find useful, fun, or extra-cool? Bring your device and come prepared to share and learn. Free. Windsor Public Library, 43 State Street. REGULARLY SCHEDULED FREE EVENTS AT THE LIBRARY · Spanish Classes. Each Monday 3:30-5:30 p.m. · Preschool Story Time. Each Wednesday. 10:30 a.m. Children and their caregivers share stories, songs and crafts. · After School Club. Each Wednesday. 2:30-3:30 p.m. A book, a snack, a project. Grades k and up. · Meditation. Each Thursday, 6-6:30 p.m. Beginners welcome. · Adult Creative Writing Group. First and third Wednesdays monthly, 7-8:30 p.m. (May 1 and 15.) Focus on writing together, support for each other. Please call Barbara with questions at 802-674-2556 or email email@example.com. · Writers’ Critique Circle. Third Saturday monthly, 1-3 p.m. (May 18.) Bring works-in-progress—it could be several poems, a short story, an essay or a chapter from a longer work—for thoughtful, in-depth peer review. Call 802-674-5808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to join. · Play through the Tunes with Instruments: Street Music! Saturday, May 25, 7-9 p.m. We'll play through some of the music of San Francisco's Brass Liberation Orchestra as well as try some Mariachi music in honor of Cinco de Mayo. All instruments are welcome! Please email email@example.com or call the library at 674-2556 MAY Community Meal Schedule for seniors 60+: Reservations required – call VIA @ 802-674-5971 Wednesday, May 22nd @ 12:00 noon – location: Mr. G’s Restaurant, ASCUTNEY: Menu: pork roast, two side dishes, salad, dessert (suggested donation: $4.00) Wednesday, May 29th @ 12:00 noon – location: WINDSOR Mt. Ascutney Hospital-Bd. Room: Menu: meat lasagna,corn,garlic bread,salad,dessert (suggested donation: $3.00) (coordinated by: Volunteers In Action (VIA), sponsored by: Senior Solutions) Windsor Business News Windsor firm named VT small business exporter of the year: http://www.windsorvt.org/news/2013/5/10/windsor-based-eastwind-diamond-abrasives-named-vts-small-bus.html Paradise Sports new location from Blight to Business: http://woa-tv.org/site/2013/05/10/paradise-sports-windsor-vt/ New focus for Windsor business park: Artisan’s Park http://www.artisanspark.net/ Fraser’s Place now open: The old “Stubb & Laura’s” has a new operator serving three meals a day, as well as ice cream. Eat inside or outside. Check out their menu as well as the other Windsor restaurants here: http://www.windsorvt.org/documents/economic-development/menus/ Hypertherm: While not a Windsor business, Hypertherm is proud to employ quite a few Windsorites (30 to 40) and contributes a lot to the Upper Valley. For example Windsor second grade students recently took a field trip to Hypertherm. The agenda: Agenda: · How do you earn the Windsor Yellow Jackets trophy? (school logo cut out of steel as trophy) --> answer enough correct answers about their sessions to earn the trophy · What is plasma? – 4th state of matter · What does Hypertherm make? What are Hypertherm products used for? · Where do our products go? --> Metric/Imperial vs. F/C° depending on region · Video of Hypertherm products in action Activities: · Tour group --> Let’s take a walk (facility tour: look out at production, check out recycling in cafeteria) · How is math used at work? It’s for measuring everything! --> Meet the engineers and manufacturers and learn how math gets used at work · Water and heat goes where at our new building? Green talk: composting, recycling, energy efficiency at work Pretty rigorous! And this is for 2nd graders! In a market where key competitors have outsourced production to third parties in Asia and Europe, Hypertherm has maintained a commitment to American manufacturing. To learn more aboutHypertherm’s American Built. Building America program, please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC9mDBtj6nc&feature=youtu.be . To learn more about Hypertherm: http://www.hypertherm.com/en-us/About_us/
Eastwind Diamond Abrasives of Windsor, VT has been named Vermont’s Small Business Exporter of the Year by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Owned by Douglas Klein, the firm — a subsidiary of Windsor-based Eastwind Lapidary, Inc., — manufactures and sells abrasive belts, disks, bulk diamond powder, and metal-bond products.
The other 2013 Vermont winners are Pete Johnson of Pete’s Greens of Colchester, named the Small Business Person of the Year; Nelson’s Ace Hardware of Barre, named the Family-Owned Business of the Year; Shelburne Shipyard of Shelburne as the Woman-Owned Business of the Year; Music Store Live of South Burlington as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year; and Patch’s Green Service, LLC of South Burlington as the Micro-Enterprise of the Year.
“Congratulations to all of our winners,” said Darcy Carter, district director of the SBA Vermont Office. “Each one is deserving of their respective award. They all represent the best of Vermont’s small businesses.”
The winners will be recognized during the 2013 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 13 at the Shelburne Farms Coach Barn in Shelburne.
Each year since 1963, the President of the U.S. has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
The SBA is a federal agency that works to help small businesses start, grow and prosper.
The University of Vermont has identified Windsor High School as a school that’s closing the achievement gap in reading
Testing Shapes Teaching: Twin State Educators Find NECAPs Useful
By Alex Hanson Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 (Published in print: Tuesday, May 7, 2013)
When the federal No Child Left Behind Act ushered in an era of high stakes testing for public schools, the response from Upper Valley educators was largely negative. The tests placed new burdens on schools and taxpayers and unfairly branded schools that didn’t improve their scores as “failing,” school officials said.
But the main purpose of the testing took place behind the scenes. Every year, the test results provide schools with a mountain of information about how students and teachers are doing. For a decade now, schools have been sifting through this information, and since 2006, New Hampshire and Vermont schools have been testing students in grades three through eight and grade 11 in reading and math. Fewer grades take annual tests in writing and science.
As painful as the public shaming of schools has been, educators say now that the tests have helped them identify students who need more help, teaching practices that need improvement and subject areas that would benefit from better curriculum.
“I was somewhat skeptical of the process at the start,” said Mike Harris, superintendent of the Lyme School District. He was superintendent in Lebanon when the school testing regime began and took its current form. It wasn’t clear how the tests would identify students and instruction that needed help, Harris said.
Now, he said, “I think they’ve been pretty good tests.” If a school and district can make time to analyze the data, it provides a road map for school improvement. In Lyme, where student test scores are generally high, that allows the district’s director of special education to focus on the relatively small number of students whose scores aren’t improving, Harris said.
What this means, educators and officials said, is that schools have been implementing new methods and programs and making slow, steady progress.
“Often we don’t give programs or teachers or good ideas a chance to work,” said Michael Hock, director of assessment at the Vermont Department of Education. For example, Vermont schools have been adding preschool and full-day kindergarten programs to improve school readiness. It will likely take several years for those initiatives to make a dent in test scores, Hock said.
The scores on the New England Common Assessment Program tests taken last fall in the Twin States showed little progress at the state level from the year before.
“Statewide, performances in mathematics, reading and writing have remained statistically the same,” New Hampshire officials said in a news release. But over the past seven years, around 10 percent more New Hampshire students at each grade and in each content area are achieving the grade level standards.
In Vermont, performance in math and reading remained stagnant from the year before, but elementary and middle school students made measurable progress in writing over the previous year.
In interviews, educators downplayed the accountability aspect of the testing, which had caused a furor when No Child Left Behind took effect in January 2002.
Under the law, all students are supposed to be proficient in reading and math by 2014, a goal widely understood as unrealistic. Last year, Hanover High School, considered one of the best in the state, was among the 70 percent of schools that failed to make “adequate yearly progress” in both reading and math, results that state Education Commissioner Virginia Barry cited as “ample evidence that the accountability system is broken, not that the vast majority of schools in New Hampshire are failing.”
Under No Child, subgroups of students who are disabled, economically disadvantaged or English language learners are also supposed to reach the mandated proficiency mark, and when they don’t, the school earns a failing label. Two years of that status and a school is flagged as “in need of improvement.” So many schools have reached that status — New Hampshire’s most recent list of schools in need of improvement runs to 17 pages — and are trying to improve instruction that it has become the norm.
Christine Downing, coordinator of educational improvement for Newport and Croydon schools, said using the test results for school improvement was a question of attitude. While politicians and teachers at first groaned under the federal imposition handed down by No Child, most have adjusted to it, the better to, as Downing put it, “make the best of the situation and use it to our advantage.”
“The tests were originally designed to do exactly what we’re doing with them,” Downing said.
Downing said the test results show exactly where students are struggling. “Once the data comes out, I sit with grade-level teams and we look at the data for the children who are in front of them right now,” she said.
The district’s curriculum is based on the state standards that underpin the tests, Downing said. The test results show what content areas the schools struggle to communicate, and lead teachers to question how students learn particular concepts.
One question that has arisen from studying test data, Downing said, is “What misconceptions would a student have that would lead them to this wrong answer?”
Schools now administer more tests during the school year to assess whether children are absorbing the material. These “formative assessments” help teachers adjust their instruction in the middle of the year, and many schools use questions similar to those found on the NECAP tests. Such assessments not only help teachers adjust, they also provide a snapshot to students so they can assess their own progress and take control of their own learning, Downing said.
Newport schools have shown solid, if uneven, improvement on the NECAP tests. In 2006, only 40 percent of eighth-graders were proficient in math, but last fall 61 percent were proficient or better. That’s still below the state average, but nonetheless shows significant growth. Eighth-grade reading has improved even more, from 58 percent scoring proficent or better in 2006 to 81 percent reaching that mark last fall. (Student test results fall into one of four categories; proficient with distinction, proficient, partially proficient or substantially below proficient.)
In some instances, particular groups show at best modest progress on the NECAP tests. For example, high school scores have been most resistant to improvement, with some educators theorizing that 11th-graders have little incentive to work hard on tests that have no impact on their grades or college plans. And an achievement gap remains between students of low socio-economic status and their comparatively better off peers.
There are exceptions to these rules. The University of Vermont has identified Windsor High School as a school that’s closing the achievement gap in reading, Principal Michael Kell said..
On the tests given in 2011, 73 percent of Windsor juniors who received free or reduced-price lunch were proficient, which compares favorably to the 76 percent of students not on free and reduced lunch who score proficient. Last fall, 83 percent of juniors on free and reduced lunch were proficient or better, while only 61 percent of their non-free-and-reduced-lunch peers met that standard.
Examining the NECAP results has been crucial to understanding what’s going on in the classroom, Kell said.
“I don’t look at NECAPs as something negative,” he said. “We need to turn it around and say, what are the NECAPs telling us.”
Even where the achievement gap has persisted, test scores for disadvantaged children have improved, Hock said.
“In some cases we were disappointed, because the gap hasn’t closed, but we have seen the scores go up,” he said. “Sometimes, the best way to improve the results for low income families is something that improves results for all kids.”
Canaan Elementary School has also closed the achievement gap in some areas. Last fall, 100 percent of economically disadvantaged fourth-graders were proficient or better in reading, while 93 percent of students deemed not disadvantaged met or beat the standard.
In addition to closely examining the test results and meeting with teachers across the Mascoma Regional School District, Nancie Murphy has had teachers go to classes designed by Plymouth State University on such subjects as “thinking maps” and early education, then bring those lessons home to other teachers in the district. Robert Greenleaf, an education and neuroscience researcher, has been a regular presence in the Mascoma district, where he helps teachers understand how children learn.
“A lot of what he’s been doing is help people look formatively at what teachers are doing,” said Murphy, who has been in the Mascoma schools since 1975 and is currently the director of curriculum, assessment and professional development, and is subbing as principal at Canaan Elementary.
“I think one of the things the test has done is it’s given us a good vehicle to take a close look at children,” Murphy said. The NECAPs have “forced us to look at what we can do to provide the best education for each student.”
To a large degree, that was the point all along. In August, Vermont will release its list of which schools failed to make “adequate yearly progress.” New Hampshire is seeking a waiver from the federal government in an attempt to use its own standards to determine which schools are failing.
And in the next school year, students in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, the four states that use the NECAP tests, will take the exams for the last time. The Twin States are among the 45 states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards, a new curriculum that will have its own set of tests starting in 2014.
The NECAPs have served their purpose, educators said. “I actually think the new tests are going to be the next generation up,” said Downing. They will offer a new and better way to assess student performance, she said.
Lane completed the traffic switchover on I–91 late Friday afternoon. This means they can begin demolishing the newly closed overpass. They are currently predicting that the closure of Route 44 will be taking place within two weeks of this past Monday. We do not have a precise date yet, but I can say that Monday May 20 would probably be the earliest closure date possible.
This will be the first of three scheduled closures that will happen on Route 44 in 2013. During closure periods, passenger vehicles will be detoured down Route 44A to Route 5. It should add approximately 15 minutes to travel time and motorists should plan accordingly.
Also, please be aware of very strict enforcement of the 55 mph speed limit through the I-91 work zone. Troopers will regularly be present at the zone and will be stringently enforcing the limit.
FEMA Denies Bennington Irene Funds
Bennington, Vt. — The federal government will pay only $1.5 million of the $3.9 million that Bennington spent on emergency work for damages from Tropical Storm Irene, town officials say.
Town Planning Director Daniel Monks told the Bennington Banner that he learned Thursday evening of the preliminary decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The town had been waiting about 21 months to find out if it would be reimbursed for damages in the Roaring Branch after the storm.
Bennington can now accept the decision or appeal, but Monks said an appeal is more likely. He will meet with state officials and Vermont’s congressional delegation to determine how best to proceed.
FEMA initially denied the town’s request for reimbursement last year, claiming the work should be funded by an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency backed off that position in December, but the state’s congressional delegation intervened, keeping the door open for the town to recoup costs.
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., met briefly last month with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department oversees FEMA, to push Bennington’s cause. Monks said Leahy called Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd on Thursday night and “assured him that he is going to continue to fight for full funding and that he was not happy with FEMA.”
“Not happy is an understatement,” Monks said. “He did indicate to (Hurd) that he would have another chat with Napolitano.”
The town submitted extensive information about the work it completed after the storm. FEMA agreed to fully fund removal of woody debris that had collected against bridges, but it did not fund most of the work the town did to remove sediment from the river, or work done to fortify the river bank with rock. FEMA also rejected all funding for repairs to a flood wall that sustained damage, which the town determined at the time of the storm could not wait weeks or months for repairs.
Monks said removing debris and fortifying the banks was determined to be necessary to protect the public and was recommended by a river scientist under contract with the town.
“We didn’t just do this willy-nilly,” Monks said. “We weren’t cowboys in the river.”