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July 7th, 2011
ADDISON COUNTY — When John St. Germain, 21, of Shoreham made his daily trip to Maplefields to pick up a pack of cigarettes on July 1, he looked past the cashier, realized the price of cigarettes had skyrocketed overnight, pushed his wallet back into his pocket and walked out the door empty-handed, swearing never to buy another pack again.
What happened was the state’s 38-cent cigarette tax increase went into effect, raising the total tax per pack from $2.24-$2.62.
ADDISON — Recent flooding and high water levels on Lake Champlain have put a crimp in the construction of the new bridge linking West Addison to Crown Point, New York, though transportation officials said they are still driving for an Oct. 9 opening for the $70 million span.
“We have had to contend with the flood conditions and they have had an impact on our progress,” said John Grady, construction engineer for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).
RIPTON — Prominent author and environmentalist Bill McKibben gave a talk and short reading last Tuesday on the Bread Loaf campus just up the road from Ripton. Rather than the usual environmental rallying cry, no matter how evenly tempered McKibben’s rallying cries can be, the talk focused instead on what the forest land around the campus, Joseph Battell’s bequest, has to offer those interested.
As McKibben puts it, the trails around Ripton are there to teach students “the book of the outdoors.”
MIDDLEBURY — On a recent summer evening, some 25 people gathered at 51 Main to celebrate all things “green,” especially biking.
The June 21 event was the first local installment of Green Drinks, a loosely organized network of environmental meetups that take place around the world.
Local organizers said the events are designed to be informal social opportunities for “people who work or aim to be involved in green efforts or jobs in business, academia, government and nonprofits.”
VERMONT — Running 200 miles alone is a feat that only a select number of ultra-endurance athletes can accomplish. As a group of Addison County women found out on June 18, tackling the distance as a team still offers a significant challenge, but also leads to a fun, exciting and rewarding weekend — especially when the course runs right through the heart of Vermont.
MIDDLEBURY — A Salisbury couple is seeking permission to transform the former Dundon Plumbing & Heating headquarters at 610 Route 7 south into a small brewery and trade school for aspiring beer producers.
Steve Parkes and Christine McKeever-Parkes are advancing the project, which would provide a base of operations for the American Brewers Guild (ABG) Brewing School. Steve Parkes — former brewmaster for Otter Creek/Wolavers Organic Beers — has been leading the ABG’s school since the late-1990s.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard has unanimously endorsed a proposal to install a 650-panel, 150-kilowatt solar array project on municipal land behind the local police headquarters on Lucius Shaw Lane. Organizers hope to be producing energy by the end of the year.
The project, being spearheaded by the Acorn Energy Co-op, would generate an estimated 172,500 kWh of electricity each year — enough to provide electricity to 30 average-sized homes, according to organizers.
BURLINGTON — On Wednesday the Addison County American Legion baseball team coasted past host Burlington, 12-3, in a game rescheduled after an earlier rain-out. The win, AC’s fourth straight, moved the local nine to 4-2 in the Northern Division and 4-4 overall.