May 20th, 2010
MONTPLIER — Area lawmakers cited advances in health care legislation; funding for the Champlain Bridge along with loans for businesses affected by its closure; and preservation of the Addison County Probate Court system as among several local victories scored during a money-strapped 2010 legislative session.
“I think that overall, this was a very successful session based on the circumstances in which we worked,” said Sen. Harold Giard, D-Bridport.
“When money is in short supply, it dominates the entire session.”
MIDDLEBURY — It’s an image that evokes an earlier time: a solitary Vermonter in a flat-bottomed wooden boat, poling through a flooded marshland and pulling muskrats out of traps.
Though the art of building the fur-trapping boat has been all but lost in the past half-century, last fall Vergennes boat builder Douglas Brooks and Middlebury College students Renee Igo, Christian Woodard and Ben Meader embarked on a journey to rediscover — and recreate — that tradition.
ADDISON COUNTY — State and local trash handlers are sizing up a new “e-recycling law” that will soon prohibit them from putting unwanted electronic equipment in landfills while establishing new drop-off centers for some of that material to be recycled.
BRISTOL — Bristol residents in the village police district could see a 12.5 percent hike in the amount to be raised by taxes if the police department’s spending plan is approved on Monday.
The proposed $378,806 police district budget for 2010-2011 is slated for a vote on May 24 at a 7 p.m. meeting at the Bristol Hub Teen Center, where residents will also discuss the town’s water and sewer budgets for the coming fiscal year.
MIDDLEBURY — Gene Childers, 66, has been marching to his own tune since he was six years old.
Students in the region have been following Childers’ marching orders for more than four decades during his long career as a music instructor and band director, the past 22 years of which have been spent at Middlebury Union Middle School.
GOSHEN — Tensions ran high at a meeting of the Goshen Planning Commission on Monday night, where efforts to compile information for an update to the town plan became a continuation of an earlier debate about the future of one of the more prominent pieces of property in the tiny mountain town.
BRISTOL — One of Addison County’s largest farms has secured a $250,000 grant to put toward the construction of an on-farm methane digester to convert manure into electricity.
Bristol’s Four Hills Farm was received the grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which last week announced more than $3 million in grants and low-interest loans for 15 Vermont renewable energy projects.
Brian Hill, who co-owns the farm with Kevin, Ronald and Joanne Hill, said the farmers have been considering installing a methane digester for about eight years.
BP’s oil spill in the Gulf Coast has prompted older stories of BP’s mismanagement to rise to the fore. The stories are of political favoritism involving the White House, Department of Justice and the EPA, all undermining the good work that was trying to be done by bureaucrats doing their job.