April 15th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — The former bookkeeper for the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union in Bristol pleaded guilty in Addison District Court on Monday to one count of felony embezzlement and one count of misdemeanor petty larceny after stealing more than $40,000 from the school district.
ADDISON COUNTY — On a brisk mid-April morning, Jeremy Gildrien worked alone in the large greenhouse beside his Middlebury home, fashioning from a mound of earth the “soil blocks” that would someday soon nurture small, green seedlings.
The breeze cut through the greenhouse as Gildrien worked among the rows of spinach and radishes and pea shoots, each sending up sprouts. He and his wife, Caitlin, are beginning farmers, and they’re learning that much of the work on their vegetable farm is solitary.
WEYBRIDGE — Local lawmakers served notice on Monday they are not enamored with a proposal to save around $20 million annually by consolidating Vermont’s 280 school districts into fewer than 50 and trimming public education personnel.
That public education consolidation plan, endorsed by Vermont Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca, is part of a “Challenges for Change” cost cutting plan aimed at producing $38 million in savings for state government. Lawmakers are currently trying to shore up a $154 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2011 state budget.
MIDDLEBURY – Where can you find solar houses, glass blowing, analyses of the Chilean health care system and old wooden trapping boats?
Students will be doing presentations on all of these — and more — this Friday at the Middlebury College Spring Student Symposium.
To be fair, the solar house won’t be on display, since it isn’t built yet. But building plans for the house will be on display all day at the symposium, an event that gives students a chance to present projects they have been doing to the wider community.
To have a serious discussion about the financial benefits of school consolidation, we all first have to agree that unifying governance, alone, solves very little. What is uniformly recognized is that significant savings come by combining schools — including eliminating building expenses; reducing staff, teachers and administrators; and getting the teacher-pupil ratio higher. Reducing the number of school boards and the number of meetings all of those volunteers attend saves little and serves as the smoke screen to the more serious conversation.
On April 18, 1970, then Gov. Deane Davis — clad in work clothes and a brimmed hat with a dozen Boy Scouts in front of him — posed for a photo in the middle of Interstate 89 outside of Montpelier while picking up trash along the highway. It was the state’s first Green Up Day and the governor (who also pushed through Act 250 under Addison County Sen. Art Gibb’s leadership) closed the interstate for the day (imagine!) so Vermonters could safely clean up the state’s busiest thoroughfare.
That’s taking the issue to heart — and making a statement.
Last week, Governor Douglas allowed a bill to move Vermont’s primary from the second Tuesday of September back to the fourth Tuesday of August to become law without his signature. This year’s primary elections will be held on August 24.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team on Tuesday bounced back from its first home loss of the spring by outlasting visiting Skidmore, 11-9.
The Panthers, ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division III, are 6-3 overall and in a five-way tie for third place in NESCAC at 3-3, trailing Connecticut and Tufts, each 6-0.
They were coming off a disappointing 11-6 loss to Bowdoin (also 3-3 in NESCAC) on Saturday, and are heading into their final regular season home game, vs. Trinity (1-5 NESCAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m.