August 28th, 2014
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen held a public forum this past Monday to discuss a proposed $48,000 East Street toddler playground that has sparked debate. After hearing pros and cons from three dozen neighbors and other residents, aldermen said they would continue to study the issue but saw no clear path forward.
Mayor Bill Benton said afterward he was not sure what the council’s next step might be for a project that has already won support from a $21,000 Vermont Department of Buildings and Services grant.
WHITING — If it’s August, then it’s time for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.
On Aug. 22, the Vermont Department of Health reported that two batches of bird-biting mosquitoes collected on Aug. 19 in Whiting tested positive for the virus, known as EEE. It is the first detection of the EEE virus in the area this year, and the first in Vermont since it was found in mosquitoes from Grand Isle in the middle of June.
MIDDLEBURY — When Middlebury educator Priscilla Powers last year wrapped up her career at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center her retirement lasted all of five days.
“I left on a Friday and was back to work the next Wednesday,” Powers recalled with a smile.
But she doesn’t really consider her new career to be work.
Powers has swapped a classroom for her own kitchen, where she and son Ben have cooked up a premium lasagna enterprise that is starting to yield some tasty results in stores throughout the state.
CHARLOTTE — Twenty-four boats from up and down Lake Champlain took part in the second annual Diamond Island Regatta on Saturday, Aug. 23. The benefit race, sponsored by the Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC) and Point Bay Marina, raised more than $1,000 for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh.
ADDISON COUNTY — The Middlebury Garden Club has announced the winners of its annual “Roadside Attractions Awards.” These accolades recognize gardens cultivated by people around the county who are not members of the club.
The theme for all these gardens is that they can be enjoyed from the road while passing by in a car or on foot.
The saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” can be an apt metaphor for how easily we succumb to the routine and miss what is right in front of our eyes. An anecdote is to leave for a couple of weeks, return, and view our surroundings with a fresh perspective.
I did just that for the middle part of August.
For those who think we live in a sleepy part of the country, here were just a few of the stories reported in the Addison Independent during that time:
ADDISON COUNTY — Democrats Amy Sheldon and Betty Nuovo will continue their respective bids for Middlebury’s two seats in the Vermont House on Nov. 4, thanks to their performances in Addison County’s lone contested legislative primary on Tuesday.
BRANDON — For better or worse, Brandon has a budget.
In this, the last town in Vermont to pass a municipal spending plan, voters approved a budget on the fifth try Tuesday by a vote of 534-472.
But considering the austerity needed for voter approval, it is not exactly a time for celebration. Voters and officials alike are feeling bruised and beaten after five months of financial wrangling, finger pointing and frustration.