If you notice smoke signals wafting from the chimney at my Shoreham home any time soon, pay close attention: What may seem at first like the inviting trickle of wood smoke from our stove is really an SOS. • • • — — — • • •! Translation: We’re under siege, and the invading forces are winning.
A controversy brewing about the conditions governing bids from contractors that would like to build the new Champlain Bridge provides a window into the politics of labor issues in New York state and in Vermont. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is the lead agency overseeing the bridge project. NYSDOT is considering including a “Project Labor Agreement” (PLA) as part of the bid conditions. The PLA would require contractors to give the highest priority to unionized workers in hiring for the project and to contribute to union benefit funds.
You’re in for a muddy ride this time of year, if you turn up onto Big Hollow Road off Route 116 in Starksboro.
There’s a short stretch of pavement as the road climbs steeply out of the valley. But it’s all dirt from there.
As on so many of Vermont’s less traveled roads, a surprising number of people live back in the hollow.
Just about when you think the settlements will give way to untouched forests, you arrive at the optimistically named Hillsboro Manor mobile home park.