February 24th, 2011
SHOREHAM — Shoreham Inn co-owners Molly and Dominic Francis were the big “winners” in a pig kissing contest that raised more than $6,000 for the town’s Platt Memorial Library.
The “Pig Kissin’” competition saw seven local celebrities vie for the dubious honor of kissing a piglet, aka Runty the Porker, at a public gathering last Saturday. Voters cast their ballots with dollar bills, with the largest sum sealing the victory with a kiss for Runty.
SHOREHAM — With its quaint town park, venerable historic buildings and sprawling farmland, it is easy to stereotype Shoreham as an idyllic rural hamlet.
But that Rockwellian portrait belies a growing business community that is organizing itself to give Shoreham the added reputation as a destination for goods and services.
The Shoreham Economic Development Committee (SEDC) hosted its first Business-to-Business meeting late last month, an event that drew more than two dozen local vendors and entrepreneurs.
VERGENNES — According to estimates released by the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union office, school tax rates in the five district towns will all drop, with the decreases ranging from about 1 cent in Panton to roughly 16 cents in Waltham. This assumes passage of school budgets warned for consideration at town meetings.
The Vergennes Union High, Vergennes Union Elementary, Ferrisburgh Central and Addison Central school boards all proposed lower spending plans for March 1 balloting.
BRISTOL — As of early this month Bristol Works! LLC has two more tenants lined up to take over portions of the empty Autumn Harp development.
According to Bristol Works! partner Kevin Harper, the Bristol company Vermont Bicycle Touring (VBT) and new Internet start-up Graze will occupy both office and manufacturing space in some of the 55,000 square feet of commercial buildings.
It is not just semantics that undermines Gov. Peter Shumlin’s push for a single-payer health care system when businesses, providers and patients hear the proposed reform as a promise instead of a guarantee. It’s today’s economic pressures, past practices that haven’t lived up to the hype, and a decision to delay any explanation of the financing that has people up in arms.
SHOREHAM — It’s understandable if Shoreham’s Nick Balfour is having a tougher time than usual adjusting to the spate of cold, snowy weather in Vermont this winter.
That’s because only a short time ago, the 22-year-old was among a group of 27 college students sailing the balmy equatorial Pacific on a six-week-long scientific odyssey during which, among other things, they gained a better understanding of the effects of climate change on vital marine nutrients.
Vermont’s Town Meeting Day tradition, with one of the purest forms of democratic rule, falls in the midst of turbulent upheaval throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East and should prompt deep appreciation for what too many Vermonters take for granted.
But before looking inward, let’s look abroad.
MIDDLEBURY — A new 17,000-square-foot building in the Middlebury South Village (MSV) development off Court Street is on track to be finished by the end of March, at which time it will be occupied by the Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Addison County offices that are currently based at 700 Exchange St.
“Things have gone incredibly smoothly,” MSV managing owner Jeff Glassberg said of the project, which broke ground just last September.
“We are ahead of schedule.”