March 17th, 2011
St. Patrick’s Day: I like it when my day to write this column falls on a holiday.
My first wife was born on St. Patrick’s Day, which made it easy for me to remember her birthday (editor’s note: no ex-wife wisecracks). My second wife’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, which I can also remember, but can’t get dinner reservations.
MIDDLEBURY — Gary Hirshberg, an icon in the world of organic foods, shed light on food and agriculture issues that hit close to home for Addison County residents in two appearances at Middlebury College this week.
The president and — in his words — “CE-Yo” of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm gave a positive forecast for the future of organically certified milk and also offered a nuanced take on how genetically engineered crops fit into the food landscape.
BRISTOL — Bristol selectmen learned at a Monday meeting that plans for repair of two key bridges in town are coming together, but that residents should not expect for the spans to be in full working order any time soon.
A highway official explained the state’s multi-year plans for repairing the one-lane bridge on Route 116 that crosses the New Haven River in the southern part of town, and town officials signed an agreement that will lead to repair of the closed bridge at the base of South Street just below the village.
ADDISON COUNTY — Until early this year, plastic disposal was not an issue that Ferrisburgh resident Ann Poskas had to think too hard about.
When Casella Waste Systems discontinued its plastic bag recycling program, stating that the thin film clogged its systems, Poskas began storing her bags.
Like others who heat their homes with wood pellets that are delivered in plastic bags — which problematically for recyclers are dusty inside and like other plastic bags therefore hard to handle — Postas quickly noticed those bags began to add up.
BRANDON — Bill Mathis can add another title to his extensive resume: Vermont State Board of Education (VSBE) member.
The former Rutland Northeast Superintendent was appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin last week to complete four years of a six-year vacated by John Hall.
Mathis, 67, of Goshen retired from his post as superintendent of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in June 2009 after 27 years on the job. He is the managing director of the National Education Policy Center, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
MIDDLEBURY — Eddie Havens has spent the past 28 years making sure the Middlebury Union High School building has been in tip-top condition for teachers to teach and students to learn.
But recent months have seen Havens, a 52-year-old custodian at MUHS, do a little teaching of his own while tidying up the campus. And it’s a lesson steeped in courage and built on a real-life testimonial on the dangers of smoking.
MIDDLEBURY — An idea that started as a blog post last summer may become the newest field of study at Middlebury College.
Last summer, Amanda Warren and Ben Blackshear, students who currently head up the Middlebury College Organic Garden (MCOG), sat down to develop an unofficial program in Food and Agriculture Studies using courses already offered at the college. They posted the plan to their blog at middfood.com.
MIDDLEBURY — Costello’s Market took top culinary honors at Middlebury’s Third Annual Winter Carnival and Chili Festival, an event that drew more than 3,000 people to Addison County’s shire town, according to organizers.
The festival was held downtown with traffic blocked from Merchants Row and Main Street from the Middlebury Community House to the new rotary.