January 25th, 2010
If news of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant’s underground pipes leaking radioactive water into nearby wells doesn’t completely nix Entergy’s hope of renewing that plant’s license for another 20 years, at the very least its plan to spin off ownership of the plant to an independent company called Enexus should be scrapped immediately.
MIDDLEBURY — Humanitarian efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti are getting a big assist from Addison County residents, scores of whom are either reaching deep into their pocketbooks or are trying to wing their way to the suffering Caribbean nation to provide direct support.
MIDDLEBURY — Ilsley Library’s newest star is a scene-stealer: At 120 pounds with sleek black hair and soulful brown eyes, the reading assistant draws a crowd the moment she steps into a room.
That this budding literacy advocate just happens to be a dog doesn’t particularly worry Judah Hamer, the youth services librarian at the Middlebury library. Shoopie the Newfoundland, a therapy dog now making weekly appearances at the library to read with children, is just the thing to make reading out loud exciting for some kids, Hamer explained.
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union’s seven elementary school boards have all been preparing 2010-2011 spending plans reflecting less than a 2 percent bump in spending, but education property taxes are still pegged to escalate at a much higher rate — including by more than 19 percent in Weybridge.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board of directors on Tuesday agreed to send a $13,233,629 spending plan for the 2010-2011 school year to voters in the five towns in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union on Town Meeting Day.
Total spending in the proposed budget is down 1.72 percent from the current year’s numbers, and matches this year’s educational spending dollar-for-dollar. Declining student enrollment, however, means the level-funded budget would still reflect a roughly 6 percent increase in per pupil spending.
FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh Central School board has adopted a $3.05 million spending proposal for the upcoming school year that includes a major increase, one that is being driven by the first year of payments on last summer’s $1.5 million school upgrade project.
In all, the increase is about $190,400, or 6.66 percent, over current spending.
Of that, $130,000 will go toward making bond payments. That amount alone would boost FCS spending by 4.55 percent, if voters approve the board’s proposal on Town Meeting Day.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Jim Douglas on Tuesday laid out an austere budget for the next fiscal year, saying the state must close a $150 million money gap by taking such steps as: more than quadrupling deductibles paid by some public healthcare beneficiaries, trimming payments to human services providers, and reducing subsidies to help middle-income Vermonters pay school property taxes.
BRIDPORT — When Annette Franklin heard about last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, her first thoughts flew to the orphanage in the hills above Petionville and the little girl, just 2 years old, she held in her arms last summer.
The girl’s name is Gedeleine, and the 2-year-old is one of 160 orphans at God’s Littlest Angels, an independent, nondenominational orphanage in poverty-stricken Haiti. Since December of 2008, Annette and Tim Franklin, and their four children, have been looking forward to welcoming the child into their Bridport home.