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  • 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($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1148.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
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  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($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.
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  • 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.

March 29th, 2007

Sexuality with disabilities

March 29, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

MIDDLEBURY — There are a lot of things Randy Lizotte wishes he had known about sex before moving out of his parents’ house three years ago. The 26-year-old president of Speak Up Addison County, a self-advocacy group organized by area residents with developmental disabilities, said he was 20 years old when his father gave him “the talk.”

“My dad’s a man of few words, short and to the point,” he said. “It wasn’t scary, it was just kind of awkward that late in my life.”

Lizotte has developmental disabilities, but when he moved into an apartment in Middlebury, he was physically fully developed. It didn’t take him long to leap into his first serious romantic relationship.

Everything he knew about dating and his body, he had pieced together from things his friends told him. So he learned the basics on the fly and did the best he could. Now he wants to make sure others are more prepared than he was.

full story

March 26th

Mary Hogan budget termed maintenance

March 26, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents on April 11 will vote on a proposed 2007-2008 Mary Hogan Elementary School spending plan that offers no new programs and reflects an inflationary increase in spending.

ID-4 school directors have OK’d a draft budget of $5,482,885, which represents a 2.73-percent increase compared to this year’s Mary Hogan Elementary spending plan of $5,337,045.

“It’s pretty much a maintenance budget,” said Principal Bonnie Bourne. “There are no new initiatives.”

It’s a spending plan that reflects roughly the same number of staff (around 65) delivering services to what officials believe will be a level — or slightly higher — number of students next year. Mary Hogan currently serves 389 children in grades kindergarten through 6.

“We worked hard to keep the increase (in spending) as low as possible,” Bourne said.

full story

Discount food chain eyes Middlebury

March 26, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury South Village (MSV) development off Court Street could soon host a 17,000-square-foot Aldi discount food store.

Developers Jeffry Glassberg and Steve Reid confirmed on Friday they have signed a purchase and sales agreement with Aldi, through which the company would buy two lots within the 30-acre project. Aldi would build its new store on one of the lots, while setting aside the other lot for landscaping and parking — though that site could potentially be developed at a later date.

Friday saw Glassberg, Reid and Aldi Director of Real Estate David S. Wolf meet with Middlebury officials and local business leaders to explain the food store’s history and tentative plans. If all goes well, Aldi will submit a building application to the town as soon as this spring or summer, according to Wolf.

“Our goal today is to introduce the (project concept), and Aldi, and listen,” Glassberg said. “We want to hear from folks what they think.”

full story

March 22nd

Farm viability bill scheduled for action

March 22, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

VERGENNES — The Vermont House is scheduled to take action late this week on legislation aimed at boosting the economic viability of area farms, including initiatives that would make it easier for farmers to butcher their poultry and get their products into restaurants and schools.

The House Agriculture Committee on March 16 passed the so-called “farm viability bill” — also known as the farm omnibus bill. The main goals of the bill, according to House leaders, are to foster the development of a diversified agricultural sector; maintain the state’s prominence as a major milk producer in the region; and ensure the continued stewardship of the land with respect for the environment.

It was the second major piece of legislation passed out of the House Agriculture Committee this session. The first was the “farm aid bill,” passed in February, which included $3.2 million in emergency state assistance for cash-strapped farmers struggling to make ends meet until the spring planting season.

full story

Audet retiring from post on college board

March 22, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

ORWELL — Mike Audet wasn’t expecting much of a response in 1982 when he sent a letter to state officials recommending ways to improve his alma mater, Vermont Technical College.

Little did he know that his letter would soon lead to a face-to-face meeting with then-Gov. Richard Snelling, followed by a 24-year stint on the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) board of trustees. There, he would recommend — and help oversee — many improvements to a state college system that has grown immeasurably during Audet’s tenure.

“I’ve always been grateful to Gov. Snelling for appointing a farmer,” said Audet, who with his brother, Tom, has run the Ledge Haven Farm in Orwell for the past 35 years.

full story

March 19th

State tried to contain health care costs

March 19, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — A few short years ago, state officials were forecasting the doom-and-gloom scenario that Vermont’s Medicaid budget would be $500 million in the red within five years.

While the news today still isn’t great, it’s a lot better than it could have been, according to Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. Thanks to a special waiver that allows Vermont to oversee the spending of its federal Medicaid dollars, along with recently implemented health care programs that stress preventative care over acute care, state officials have readjusted their Medicaid deficit projection to $100 million.

Medicaid was just one of several health care issues discussed by LaWare during a far-ranging interview at the Addison Independent on Thursday.

“To the extent we can diagnose and treat illnesses early on, it can have a dramatic affect on acute care costs,” LaWare said of her agency’s current strategy.

full story

Sugaring season begins

March 19, 2007

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

ADDISON COUNTY — After a winter that remained warm well into January, no one knew what to expect for Vermont’s sugaring season. But now that the area has had a sustained cold period followed by a few thaws, those who feared what the unpredictable weather would mean for one of Vermont’s iconic industries can breathe a sigh of relief.

So far, local sugarmakers say, the season is getting started only a few days later than average, and the sap is as sweet as ever.

“The flavor is wonderful,” said Sam Cutting Sr. of Dakin Farms in Ferrisburgh. “Now we need the weather to get straightened out.”

Barbara Rainville of Lincoln said that her family had expected to start earlier than usual until cold weather arrived around the middle of January. The recent sub-zero weather has delayed them a little, but she thinks it will have little or no overall effect.

full story

March 15th

State school district plan draws mixed reaction locally

March 15, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Past and present Addison County school officials on Tuesday gave mixed reviews to Vermont Education Commissioner Richard Cate’s proposal to reduce the number of school districts in the state from the current 280 to 58.

Around 45 people — most of them current or former school board members and supervisory union administrators — gathered at Middlebury Union High School to listen to, and critique, Cate’s ideas, which could soon be incorporated into legislation being drafted by the House Education Committee.

Cate — who was not present at Tuesday’s meeting — has suggested that whittling the state’s school districts down to a smaller number could reduce administrative headaches and allow schools to better share equipment and personnel.

The current system, according to Cate, has become unwieldy — particularly for superintendents, who are often accountable to several school boards.

full story

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