SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Saturday night, Sugarbush Gatehouse Lodge, premiere of Charlie Brown’s new film, Irene in the Mad River Valley @ 7 pm. Come one, come all. Admission is FREE with a CASH BAR. (Just sayin’).
Today’s Meeting–>Present: Wendy Cox, Kathy Meyer, Josh Schwartz, Stan Ward, Rob Williams, Dottie Kyle, Jasna Brown, Jordan Dietz, Charlie Hosford, Eric Brattstrom, Nancy McHugh, Conner Soderquist, Leah Cameron, Tom Barefoot, Quayle Rewinski, Robin Morris, & Liza Walker.
Next meeting: Friday, January 13, 2012. Happy Holidays!
Here are the December 9, 2012 VFN Monthly Minutes
MRV Flood Relief HQ Update (Dotty, Jasna, and Josh)
Flood relief will continue for a LONG time. Plenty of good work to do. Stress levels are high among families and individuals impacted by the flood. We are still in need of VOLUNTEERS to do some good work. Call the FLOOD RELIEF HQ #, temporarily located in the Universal Microsystems Building, but moving back to the Masonic Lodge on Monday –> #496.6089. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.mrvhurricaneirene.com/. Still dialing in a fiscal agent for donations for the Irene “reconstruction building materials fund.” Already received several small grants.
Josh from MRVPD
1. November 13th “It’s A Mad River” Flooding History/Dynamics of Mad River – public presentation for 140 local citizens. Powerful community event – reminder of our history and the need to plan for the future around the River. HUMS students, working with Nancy Spencer’s class, created some engaging river-focused projects around Irene, and helped create useful dialogue between our middle school and citizens in the community. Presentations available at MRVPD.org.
2. November 17 – Vermont state all day “Listening Session” @ Valley Players Theater: Vermont state officials from 5 different agencies met with local citizens for dialogue and planning around the Mad River for the future.
3. EPA Grant application – 3 different state agencies proposed funding to study Irene and the problem of “silo management” with regard to natural disasters like Irene – can we think and act more holistically by changing policies to promote more collaboration?
One BIG NOTE – the state of Vermont is looking at our long-term flood relief HQ as a model for future disaster relief.
Food Sovereignty (Dotty and Eric)
Eric mentioned Ben Hewitt’s book THE TOWN THAT FOOD SAVED as an interesting look at Hardwick, Vermont and the idea of “food sovereignty.” How do we make it easier for MRV residents to access local food from our farm neighbors? Town meeting petition in the works. Contact Rural Vermont for more information –> email@example.com. Find out more by Googling Joel Salatin, organic farmer (http://www.polyfacefarms.com/).
Food Hub (Robin)
The Mad River Valley Food Hub is open for business – all three rooms are OPEN! First food safety course already run. Supplying food to Red Hen in Middlesex, City Market in Burlington, and beginning to run a truck network in central Vermont. NEEDS –> more meat processing, beyond Knoll Farm sheep (Baaaaa!), and small custom orders. Robin suggests embracing a BOTH/AND approach with regard to selling in versus out of state, and embracing organic or local (go with both).
Update on Gross National Happiness USA (Tom)
Follow up to the first-ever Gross National Happiness conference in the country (last summer) with an August 2012 GNH conference. Stay tuned. Tom shared the results of the GNH survey – find out more at http://www.gnhusa.org and contact Tom Barefoot for more information.
Zip Car/Transportation ideas for MRV – A Proposal (Wendy)
Thanks to Wendy Cox, Norwich U prof and Warren resident. for submitting what is a fascinating idea for an electric zip car transportation system that she envisions running along the spine of the Green Mountains. She will submit her notes on this idea to the VFN. More information about CarSharesVermont’s 10 car fleet in Burlington–>http://www.carsharevt.org/our-fleet/ – they all have really nifty names, each car. “Clementine” is my favorite.
VFN/UVM partnership finale summary (Josh)
Josh provided a summary of the FOUR projects our UVM/VFN partners worked on this fall through the Local Community Initiatives course: PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program; Compost Power; Community Solar, and MRV Health Center survey. “Phenomenal” presentations, and so inspiring to see UVM students partnering with our MRV organizations. Special thanks to UVM teacher Erin Buckwalter for taking over the reins from UVM’s Chip Sawyer and ROCKING IT. Let’s do it again NEXT fall!
Happy holidays, everyone!
Be the change!!
Rob the Weaver