President Bill gavelled the meeting to order with 14 members and three guests present (and with heat on for the first time in two weeks).   Visitors included our guest speaker Bette Lambert of Randolph and a guest of Bette's, Shari as well as Kevin from the Boy Scouts, who has been with us several times in the past, and hopefully will become a new member of the club at some point in the near future!

Following a relatively quiet few minutes, Bertil rose to offer a happy dollar for something to do with his tractor, a fire, repairs, boys loving their toys and maybe there were even a few Swedish songs thrown in there somewhere.  At any rate, the club happily accepted Bertil's happy krona.   

Carol followed with a happy dollar of her own for passage on Tuesday of the proposed TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district for Barre City, which she said will continue the economic development progress being made in the city.   She was especially happy that the TIF district passed with about 75% of the voters favoring the proposal.

Joe noted that dictionaries and atlases were going to be handed out on Thursday 11/7 at the Central Vermont Catholic School in Barre.   Book presentations will also be made on Nov. 19th at 9:30 at Barre Town Elementary School.

Claire noted that the final downtown walk for the season is scheduled for tonight (11/7) with those participating gathering behind City Hall at 6:30 (hopefully this reaches everyone prior to that time!).

President Bill presented the nominating committee report on the slate of candidates for the next Rotary year (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015).  The slate presented is:   President (vacant);  President-elect (vacant);  Past-president (Bill Noyes);  Secretary (Sue Poczobut);  Treasurer (Elizabeth LaPerle);   Directors-at-large (Karl Rinker, Jack Barnes).   No nominations were made from the floor.   This slate of officers will be voted on at the first meeting in December.  The question was asked about what would happen if we have no president or president-elect.  The short answer is we don't know.   The board of directors has discussed possibly running the club by committee of the board with board members taking turns running meetings, etc.    This is a less than optimum solution.   A question was also posed at the recent board meeting about the continued viability of the club (a question that has been raised and discussed at length by the club in recent months).   Next week's meeting is club assembly and may present an opportunity to continue this discussion.   Membership and attendance has not increased following our move downtown (and in fact has decreased by 5 members in that time) so a re-visiting of the "viability question" may be in order at some point.

Returning to a lighter note, Karl proposed a fine of 1+4 on Bill Rossi for pocketing Karl's change after collecting his luncheon and ticket money for the meeting.   For reasons that escape the writer, Elizabeth was added to the fine, as was George Milne, as he rose to defend Bill by saying he got plenty of change from him...clearly Karl's money!   And finally Karl was added to the fine himself (he tried to invoke the 5-minute rule, but we had been discussing the fine for well over 5-minutes by then so he was riled out of order).  Again, the rationale for Karl being included has managed to elude this writer.  In any event, Elizabeth was cleared of any culpability but everyone else was fined 1+4.

A fine of 1+9 was then levied on Jack Barnes and Tom Babic for wearing Chet Briggs' and Ron Parnigoni's badges. Since Tom never wears his own, this shouldn't have been a surprise, however the fine on both of them did the automatic 1+1 1/2 on several others for no badge at all. 

President Bill introduced our speaker, Bette Silloway Lambert who spoke about her farm which is known as Silloway Maple and produces many maple-related products.   It's truly a family operation as she works with her children in the business.    She said she and her late husband ran a dairy farm, but in 1991 they got rid of the cows and started their maple operation.   Sh said her 25-year-old son is expanding the business.  They currently have about 1200-3100 taps in use but hope to expand to about 20,000 in a few years.   They are also in the process of building a new solar-powered sugarhouse.

Bette said she's learning how to market her business as it grows and is working with the Upper Valley SCORE for help in growing the business and finding ways to market to corporations.

In addition to her maple operation, Bette has also been a journalist, having written a column for the Randolph Herald for several years, called A Farm Wife's Journal.   She has compiled those articles into a book of the same name, which she made available to club members at the end  of the meeting, and it appears she sold several copies!

Bette pulled the winning ticket which belonged to Tom Babic (or was it Ron Parnigoni?).

Once again, next week's program is club assembly, so please come prepared to offer your thoughts on how we can revitalize the Barre Rotary Club...changes you'd like to see made, ideas for programs and projects, fund-raisers, etc.