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January 10th, 2011
MONTPELIER — County lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle found something to like in Gov. Peter Shumlin’s priorities for the next two years outline in his inaugural address at the Statehouse last Thursday. The list includes universal health care, expanding high-speed Internet access and cell phone service throughout the state, no new taxes, and spurring a “renaissance in Vermont agriculture.”
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury manufacturing scene reverberated on Friday with news that Green Mountain Beverage (GMB) will acquire and move into the Connor Homes headquarters on Route 7 South.
Meanwhile, Connor Homes will leave Middlebury and relocate to the now-vacant Vermont Tubbs complex in Brandon.
Middlebury selectboard Chairman John Tenny confirmed that news on Friday as the Addison Independent went to press. Efforts to reach GMB President and CEO Bret Williams and Connor Homes founder Mike Connor were unsuccessful at press time.
BRISTOL — Will Parini has the contract negotiation blues.
Parini, a new music teacher at Bristol and Starksboro elementary schools, stood up in front of a nearly full auditorium of Addison Northeast Supervisory Union teachers, board members and residents at Mount Abraham Union High School last Wednesday night and sang about the woes of the impasse reached on Dec. 16.
Parini was the last to speak in the discussion leading up to the negotiation committee’s vote to impose the ANeSU school boards’ final proposal as the terms for the 2010-2011 teachers’ contract.
MONTPELIER — Two veteran Addison County lawmakers will play key roles in the Legislature’s health care reform efforts this biennium.
Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Weybridge, will serve as chairwoman of the Senate Health Care Committee, while Rep. Michael Fisher, D-Lincoln, has been named vice chair of House Health Care panel.
ADDISON — A Thursday meeting called by an Addison resident and opponent of Addison Northwest Supervisory Union unification drew 16 other town residents to Addison Central School, but most who attended said they backed unification and were skeptical of the other options, a private town academy and/or a voucher system.
The headmaster of The Mountain School at Winhall, Daren Houck, also said on Friday that some statements in the flyer promoting the meeting and made at the meeting by organizer Carol Kauffman about the intentions of Mountain School officials were inaccurate.
MIDDLEBURY — In an entertaining Saturday game, the much improved Middlebury Union High School boys’ basketball team outlasted rapidly improving Otter Valley, 54-44, at MUHS.
As well as displaying maximum effort, players showed sportsmanship as well — they often patted each other on the back or helped each other up after diving or colliding as they hustled for loose balls or rebounds.
ADDISON — One Tuesday late last month, the Addison firehouse was full of dairy farmers — most from Addison County, and some from farther afield — having a long talk with Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin about the future of farming.
“We needed to see what was coming down the pipe,” said Phil Livingston, a New Haven dairy farmer and co-president of the Addison County Young Farmers group, which organized the event.
He, along with his co-presidents John Chamberlain and Derrick Dykstra, hold monthly events for the group, covering a range of topics related to the dairy business.
BRISTOL/MIDDLEBURY — When the Bristol-based Mothers Without Borders Vermont group hosts its fifth annual sew-a-thon to create dresses for orphans around the world, it will get a little extra spur. Kathy Headlee Miner, the founder of the international aid organization Mothers Without Borders, will be in town to describe the group’s accomplishments and encourage volunteers on to greater achievements.