May 20th, 2010
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.
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh selectmen will meet with other town officials and citizens on Monday night to discuss the future of the town-owned Union Meeting Hall, which sits on the east side of Route 7 across from the former town clerk’s office.
Selectmen are concerned with the condition of the historic building and the increasing cost of maintaining it. The building is now rented for a modest fee to a church, but officials said the income is not enough to pay for building upkeep in the long term.
As Gov. Douglas contemplates vetoes of last-minute bills passed by the Legislature, many of his supporters over the past eight years are appealing for his support of H.485, a bill that reforms the Current Use law. Douglas is considering a veto presumably because it restricts a landowner’s ability to enroll the land in Current Use for a short time to avoid higher taxes, then take the land out of the program to sell it at a premium. It is, in short, a loophole in the 30-year-old law that was created in the 1990s when a “development penalty” was weakened.
MIDDLEBURY — It was early on a recent Thursday morning when eight people, armed with binoculars and guidebooks, gathered in the parking lot at Otter View Park in Middlebury, ears perked up for morning birdcalls.
The group was there for the monthly wildlife walk organized jointly by the Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) and the Otter Creek Audubon Society. The walks are two hours long, and starting with the May 13 walk, they will now begin at 7:30 a.m. for the summer season.
NEW HAVEN — Laura Armell, 24, of New Haven faces criminal animal cruelty charges relating to the death of two horses, and the apparent mistreatment of a third.
On April 14, the Vermont State Police and the Addison County Humane Society (ACHS) responded to a report of animal cruelty at Armell’s home on Field Days Road in New Haven. When he arrived, Trooper Joseph Szarejko found two dead horses and a third horse that was severely emaciated.
MIDDLEBURY — Monday’s 11-10 overtime loss to visiting Mount Anthony probably means the Middlebury Union High School girls’ lacrosse team must settle for the No. 2 seed in the Division I tournament behind the No. 1 Patriots.
If the 9-2 Tigers hold serve the rest of the way, as they did by defeating Champlain Valley at home on Tuesday, 14-13, they will earn home field for the playoffs through the postseason until a potential title-game rematch with MAU (10-1).