Archive - Feb 2010
MIDDLEBURY — What had recently been just a two-person field for three, three-year spots on the Middlebury selectboard has suddenly doubled to four candidates, as yet another write-in hopeful has confirmed his intent to run.
The handwritten letter arrived here from Vergennes right around Christmas, and essentially I have treated it like a gift.
And not because it was flattering. Signed “Grandma Bushee,” the handwritten document on a small, yellow lined sheet rightly took me to task for misspelling her grandchildren’s last name, and possibly for confusing their first names.
“Will you please spell my two grandsons’ names right?” wrote Ms. Bushee “I have not seen their names spelled correctly yet. I’m proud of them, as I was (of) their father and uncle in the ’70s.”
Measures taken by the Middlebury selectboard to encourage Green Mountain Beverage to expand here, rather than move out of town, are to be applauded. More importantly, such measures should be encouraged and supported by Middlebury taxpayers for reasons that can be summed up quite simply: a stable or growing population helps support the town’s existing infrastructure by spreading the tax burden, lowers taxes and fees (such as water and sewer rates) per capita, and provides needed commerce for area businesses and services. The opposite leads to community decline.
Shortly after a Jan. 12 earthquake devastated the Caribbean country of Haiti, I earned myself a new nickname in the office: “Haiti Katie.” (Granted, I’d divvied up the duty of covering the local angle on the disaster with reporter John Flowers, but “Haiti John” just didn’t have the same ring to it.)
They say everyone has skeletons in their closet. I probably would, too, but I just don’t have the room.
My bedroom closet is packed right now. I’ve been meaning to clean it for months, but you know how busy Vermont winters are. Most nights and weekends I’m out straight watching TV and sleeping.
Until recently, the closet would have been called a walk-in. Sort of. Not the kind that you actually walk into to get dressed, or the kind with a full-length mirror and floor-to-ceiling shoe racks and adequate lighting.
When life gives you lemons, the saying goes, make lemonade.
So it is that on a Sunday afternoon, instead of returning from cross-country at Rikert or snowboarding at Sugarbush, we are heading west into the sunset — to go ice skating.
The torrential rain that washed away most of winter’s snow has had one huge benefit: It flooded hayfields all over Addison County. That, combined with two weeks of frigid temperatures, created ice where once there was only snow and grassy stubble.
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Recently, I got into a discussion with a friend about baking bread. He's been doing it regularly for a couple of years, and judging from the finished products that I've tasted, he's learned quite a bit in that time.
In the past, when I've tried to make bread, it's always failed to rise, or it's come out tasteless or too sweet or salty, or the wheatberries I've added come out toothbreakingly hard. My schedule forces me to edit the rising times or I make substitutions or just plain forget that I am waiting for my bread to rise. The variables are endless.
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The greatest diversity challenge that Vermont public schools face is socioeconomic. I discovered this during my first few days as a teacher at Middlebury Union High School. My senior advisory, which included a random cross-section of that year’s graduating class, socialized almost exclusively along class lines: those who were going to college versus those about to enter the workforce.