Login
Skip to content

Archive

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1148.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 181.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images::pre_render() should be compatible with views_handler_field::pre_render($values) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/image/contrib/image_attach/image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images.inc on line 112.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area.inc on line 81.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area_text::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area_text.inc on line 121.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.

January 28th, 2008

Starbucks passes on Middlebury location

January 28, 2008

BY JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Starbucks will not proceed with plans for a new store off Route 7 South in Middlebury. The proposed coffee shop has apparently become a casualty of a recent shift in Starbucks’ business plan calling for development of fewer stores in the U.S. this year.

“As you are no doubt aware, the Starbucks Corporation has entered a period of reorganization in the wake of its disappointing financial performance this past year,” reads a recent letter to the Middlebury planning office from Christopher Hunt, a partner with Buffalo, N.Y.-based company Myron Hunt Inc. that was seeking to build the coffee shop on land adjacent to The Centre shopping plaza.

“Unfortunately for us, and for the town of Middlebury, as part of their process (Starbucks) has decided to halt development of many planned, yet un-built stores,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, we are hereby withdrawing our application to amend the Hannaford shopping center P.U.D. (planned unit development) to include Starbucks.”

Newly named Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said his agenda will include refocusing on the “customer experience” in current stores and new products, while slowing the pace of new U.S. store openings. Starbucks also plans to close an as-yet undetermined number of underperforming locations.

Starbucks becomes the second major retailer to pull the plug on plans for a Middlebury store during the past three months. In early December, Aldi announced it would not proceed with a plan to locate a 17,000-square-foot discount food operation in the Middlebury South Village (MSV) development off Court Street. Aldi also cancelled plans to develop stores on a handful of sites in other parts of the state.

full story

Bridge tax up for debate in Middlebury

January 28, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectmen on Thursday, Jan. 31, will seek public feedback on the concept of boosting the town’s sales, rooms, meals and alcohol taxes by 1 percent to generate revenues for a new in-town bridge at Cross Street.

Thursday’s hearing, set for 7 p.m. in the municipal gym, will be the first in a series of meetings and votes selectmen will need to convene if the town is to implement a series of “local option taxes.” Board members are hoping to have those taxes at the town’s disposal to pay down a portion of the estimated $16 million price tag of a proposed Cross Street bridge project.

Middlebury College has already promised to donate $9 million toward the project, which would link Main Street with Court Street across the Otter Creek, via Cross Street. Selectmen are hoping to cover the balance of the project costs through local option taxes and federal highway money, thereby eliminating the need to raise local property taxes.

At this point, selectmen are looking for the ability to implement all the available local option taxes — sales, rooms, meals and alcohol.

“The board is looking at all four, thinking it is the fairest way to distribute the burden,” said Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger. “It is also the most direct was to spread the (tax) base out.”

Figures provided by the Vermont Tax Department show that a 1-percent local sales, meals, rooms and alcohol taxes would have netted Middlebury $725,319 in 2007. That, combined with the college’s commitment of $600,000 annually over the life of a 30-year bond for the project, should more than cover yearly debt service payments, officials said. Finger said the town is still crunching numbers on the exact annual payments Middlebury will need to make a 30-year bond.

full story

Bristol Fire Department passes torch

January 28, 2008

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

BRISTOL — After nearly two decades leading the Bristol Fire Department, Mark Bouvier has passed the mantle of authority to a younger generation. Second Assistant Chief John “Peeker” Heffernan took over as chief earlier this month from Bouvier.

“It was a combination of feeling that I’ve done what I set out to do, and sometimes there’s the loss of the, if you’ll pardon the pun, the fire in the belly,” said Bouvier, 59. “It was a good time, I felt, to hand over the reins.”

Two other senior officers — Fire Truck Captain Peter Bouvier (Mark’s brother), and First Assistant Chief Peter Coffey — also stepped away from those posts on Jan. 5 because of other demands on their time.

Mark Bouvier has spent a total of 34 years in the fire department, with the last 18 years as chief and seven years before that as an assistant chief. Peter Bouvier was assistant fire truck captain for the past 19 years, and was assistant truck captain for one year before that. Coffey was first assistant chief for 19 years, and was the second assistant chief for one year before that.

All told, Peter and Mark Bouvier and Peter Coffey have spent 65 years as officers of the Bristol Fire Department.

Peter Bouvier and Coffey could not be reached for comment, but Heffernan said that they also were stepping aside partly due to other demands on their time.

Mark Bouvier stressed that he, along with the others, will still be around as members of the department, just not in leadership positions.

“I’m just stepping aside, not out,” he said.

Heffernan said he was glad to know that the former officers will still be around to offer guidance here and there. “They said they were willing to help, and that’s why I agreed to take the spot,” Heffernan said.

full story

January 24th

Great Wall

LOUIS BEAUCHAINE, right, and Henry Cogswell build their version of the Great Wall of China at the Starksboro Cooperative Preschool.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

full story

Middlebury explores a single bond for new bridge

January 24, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectmen on Friday, Feb. 1, will finalize a Town Meeting Day warning that will have huge implications for the proposed in-town bridge project.

As the Addison Independent went to press on Wednesday, town officials were still working with financial analysts to determine whether to ask voters to endorse the $16 million Cross Street bridge in a single vote this March, or divide it up into two or more referenda spaced over two town meetings.

The decision is likely to come down to which scenario will get the town the best interest rate on 30-year bonds it will have to float to proceed with the plan. Officials are hoping to craft a financing scheme that will depend on little or no property tax revenues. Selectmen want to pay back the principal and interest on bonds through a combination of local option taxes, federal highway funds and a promised college contribution of $600,000 annually for 30 years.

“The appealing aspect is the rather attractive interest rates which would be available to the town should we bond for the entire amount,” said Selectman Dean George, chairman of Middlebury’s bridge committee.

Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger noted officials originally estimated a 5-percent interest rate on bonding for the bridge project. Those estimates are now at around 4.2 percent, with the potential for even lower rates during some of the earlier years of the bond issue.

“The implications of the lower interest rate are pretty profound, with the potential savings over the life of the bond of $4 million to $5 million in interest,” Finger said. “It makes a big difference.”

George added that the town may be able to reinvest the bond during the early years of bond repayments and apply those proceeds toward interest payments.

full story

Town makes deal to buy Steele's garage for $820,000

January 24, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectmen on Tuesday endorsed a contract that would allow the town to buy Steele’s Service Center at 83 Main St. for $820,000, with the intent of eventually removing the business to make way for the proposed Cross Street Bridge.

The potential deal — which must be approved by Middlebury voters on Town Meeting Day — would allow Paul and Jane Steele to maintain their operation until the structure needs to be removed as part of the $16 million bridge project. The new span would link Main Street with Court Street across the Otter Creek, via Cross Street.

“It’s a tremendously important piece for us in moving ahead with the bridge project,” Middlebury selectboard Chairman John Tenny said of the Steeles’ property.

The tentative accord with the Steeles leaves three other, less high-profile properties the town must acquire within the right-of-way of the proposed bridge. Selectmen are optimistic they will be able to strike deals with those landowners, too.

The potential sale and destruction of the service center would represent the end of a long, successful era for the Steele family. Paul Steele began working at the business in 1968, before acquiring it in 1982.

“We are pleased to have arrived at a mutually satisfactory agreement with the town,” said Jane Steele, Paul’s wife, who also works at the business.

“We will still be here during all the planning stages,” she stressed, “and we will still operate a towing service no matter where we are located.”

The couple already has the flexibility to relocate the business to the Frog Hollow area. The town several years ago granted the Steeles permission to perform auto repair services on their Mill Street property. The property comprises the garage and two homes at the base of Mill Street.

full story

Bristol area schools and teachers discussing new contracts

January 24, 2008

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

BRISTOL — Negotiations over teacher contracts in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union have reached a pivotal moment. A fact-finding report released by a mediator to the parties this month and a Jan. 17 meeting led to agreement on several parts of a proposed new contract, but some major issues like salaries, health insurance and planning time remain unresolved.

The negotiating committees for the six ANeSU school boards and the teachers’ union, the Addison Northeast Education Association, plan to meet again on Feb. 7 with mediator Ira Lobel of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to continue talks.

Teachers in the ANeSU schools — Beeman Elementary School in New Haven, Bristol Elementary School, Lincoln Community School, Monkton Central School, Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro and Mount Abraham Union High School — have been working without a contract since July 2007 while the union and the school boards of the schools have tried to come to an agreement.

The mediator’s fact-finding report will not be made public until Jan. 28, according to ANeSU Superintendent Evelyn Howard.

A number of components of the contract have essentially been settled, but all agreements are tentative until a contract is finalized and signed. Casey said the school boards and the union have reached tentative agreements on the sick leave, scheduling rules for extracurricular activities, and several related issues.

Details were not available on all those agreements as the Addison Independent went to press, but Joanne Casey, head negotiator for the teachers’ union, said that most of those aspects of the contracts will probably remain the same as under the last contract.

SALARIES

full story

January 21st

Police to cite 28 in Frost home vandalism, many with MUHS ties

MIDDLEBURY POLICE OFFICER Scott Fisher, left, listens as Vermont State Police Sgt. Lee Hodsden presents the results of his investigation into the Dec. 28 vandalism at the former Robert Frost summer home in Ripton. More than two dozen youths, most with ties to Middlebury Union High School, have been cited in connection with the case.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell


January 21, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

RIPTON — Vermont State Police on Friday said they are citing into court 28 youths — the vast majority of them Middlebury Union High School students — in connection with an underage drinking party that caused an estimated $10,600 in damage to the former summer home of Robert Frost in Ripton.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned in Addison County District Court on Feb. 11 on various misdemeanor charges, including unlawful trespass; unlawful mischief; furnishing alcohol to minors; enabling the consumption of alcohol by minors; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; and underage drinking.

Police said as many as 50 people attended the party at the Homer Noble Farm on Dec. 28. Some partygoers destroyed antique tables, chairs, pictures, dishes, glasses, windows and lighting fixtures; sprayed the contents of two fire extinguishers around the first floor and vomited and urinated inside the building and on the damaged property.

Authorities, who announced the citations during a Friday morning press conference, singled out two individuals in particular: Andrew Ford, 17, of Ripton, a former seasonal kitchen staffer at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus, whom they allege planned the party, picked the site and put up money for alcohol consumed there; and Patrick Deering, 22, of Middlebury, who allegedly bought a large quantity of beer for the young partiers.

full story

Addy Indy News Digest

The latest in Addison County news, every Monday and Thursday.

Connect with us

Comments