Archive - 2006
By MEGAN JAMES
VERGENNES — When Elizabeth Ready, executive director of the John Graham Emergency Shelter in Vergennes, asked Middlebury College student Alex Hall what surprised him the most about homelessness in Vermont, he answered, “That there was any.”
Since last spring, Hall and about 20 Middlebury students, in groups of three or four at a time, have visited the Vergennes shelter once a week where they cook dinner and socialize. The residents, in turn, have begun to shatter the students’ stereotypes of homelessness.
“You think it only exists in urban areas. You think they’ve chosen not to work, that they’re lazy,” said student volunteer Andrew Haile. “But really they’re great people who’ve just had some bad breaks.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County human services providers are putting the finishing touches on a new DVD, brochure and other material aimed at helping local homeless people find — and keep — affordable housing.
The providers, working under the banner of the Addison County Housing Coalition, have also enlisted the help of Northlands Job Corps students in making a series of wooden human silhouettes that will soon be placed throughout the county to increase public awareness of the plight of the homeless.
Cheryl Mitchell, director of People of Addison County Together (PACT), is spearheading creation of the new brochure titled, “Almost Home: Finding an Affordable Place to Live in Addison County.” The 11-page brochure, in its final draft, will let homeless people know how their incomes play into qualifying for affordable housing; how to overcome bad credit; how to apply for rental housing; and what their rights are as tenants.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College hopes to stimulate the local forest products economy when it begins buying woodchips instead of oil for a new $11 million, biomass-fueled power plant. In addition, the plant, which college trustees signed off on at a meeting late last month, will cut the college’s greenhouse gas emissions by 12,500 metric tons a year — a step that will be welcomed by a student-led effort to zero-out Middlebury College’s impact on global warming.
By relying on woodchips, a by-product of the lumbering business already established in Addison County, the college will support local industry while weaning itself off the global oil supply, officials said.
“The biomass plant exemplifies the college’s longstanding commitment to the environment not only as an academic subject, but also as an integral part of the institution’s operations,” said Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz. “It reflects the significance we place on the local economy as well.”
In our election-year tradition of endorsing candidates, we offer our views not as much to encourage votes for these particular candidates as to provoke our readers to question the support of their own preferred candidates and to think through the reasons they support one candidate over another.
Our own views are shaped by the multiple interviews we have had with the candidates at the Addison Independent offices, extensive reading and study of their programs and accomplishments, and the routine observation of their ongoing work either at home or in Montpelier or Washington. Our goal is to help our readers be informed, and we encourage any healthy debate that fosters that outcome.
We begin with the race for the U.S. Senate.
Bernie Sanders for U.S. Senate
In an election year in which the vast majority of Americans are eager to elect a Congress that wonâ€™t continue to rubber-stamp President George W. Bushâ€™s radical agenda, an in which the balance of power in the Senate may tip to the Democrats, incumbent Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the clear pick for the seat being vacated by Sen. James Jeffords.
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
SHOREHAM/NEW HAVEN — A $22,250 grant to the Lincoln Peak Vineyards of New Haven this week epitomizes the state’s efforts to aid struggling Vermont agricultural enterprises by encouraging local production of value-added products with Vermont agricultural output.
Chris and Michaela Granstrom, owners of Lincoln Peak Vineyards, received the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program grant during an event in Shoreham on Monday at which Vermont and U.S. government officials doled out $400,000 in grants to aid Vermont agriculture.
The Granstroms have grown grapes on at least part of their roughly 11 acres for five years, but until now they have been selling the grapes to a winery elsewhere. However, they would like to change that, and the $22,250 planning grant they received should help the process by helping create feasibility, marketing and business plans for adding a winery.
By MEGAN JAMES
CASTLETON — Every American knows that photo: six soldiers struggling to hoist a wind-twisted American flag over Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island Iwo Jima.
But surprisingly few know the story behind it.
One is Castleton resident Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning co-author of the New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, a story of the six iconic men told through the eyes of one of their sons, James Bradley. The book was adapted for the big screen by director Clint Eastwood and Paul Haggis, screenwriter of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, and will be released nationwide this Friday, with two special screenings at Castleton State College on Sunday.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Ripton resident and environmental activist Joanna Colwell is pleased to hear the state of Vermont is pursuing legal action through state and federal court systems to try to prevent International Paper (IP) from conducting a two-week tire burn at its Ticonderoga, N.Y., mill.
But on Oct. 28 in Middlebury, Colwell and other like-minded citizens plan to bring IP before the court of public opinion. They are organizing an event called “Line up to Sue IP,” during which citizens from throughout the state will be asked to sign a petition in protest of IP’s proposed test burn, scheduled to begin on Nov. 6.
Colwell is hoping that media footage of throngs of protestors lining up on Middlebury’s town green will put additional pressure on the company to stop its proposed tire burn, an event opponents believe will spew harmful toxins into the air and across Lake Champlain into Addison County.