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November 11th, 2010
As they left the polls last Tuesday, 869 Vermont voters completed an exit poll conducted by a consortium of national news organizations. This poll shows some of the ways in which Vermont differs from most of the nation, and provides some of the reasons why Peter Shumlin was elected governor.
Nationally, President Obama’s approval rating is 45 percent. In Vermont, his approval rating is 60 percent. Only in Obama’s native state of Hawaii — where he has 66 percent support — is the president’s approval higher than in Vermont.
RIPTON — Ripton Elementary School officials are seeking community input on how students can mark the holiday season as part of their learning experience.
The outreach comes in the wake of decision by school officials to take a pass on typical Halloween activities this year in favor of a more general celebration of the fall and Thanksgiving. The school community has, in its recent history, marked Halloween with the reading of scary stories and the donning of costumes, among other things. Some activities had been co-organized by the Ripton Elementary parent-teacher organization.
What better time to talk about the summer game than a week that opened with a wintry mix of precipitation, a little slush, a dash of sleet, a touch of freezing rain, and a rush to Randy’s Citgo to get the snow tires on.
Before the Major League Baseball playoffs began, I told a group of sports fans at the Elderly Services headquarters that anyone who pretended to know who would win the World Series was, in so many words, full of organic fertilizer. Anything can happen in a short series, including favored teams choking away 3-0 leads in seven-game sets.
To hear what it was like to play professional football in the early days of the NFL, you’d want to talk to a guy like Y.A. Tittle. Interested in the history of the feminist movement? Go hear a Gloria Steinem talk. George McGovern could tell you all you needed to know about trying to change a political party.
And if you wanted to learn about folk music — which reaches back several centuries yet still shapes the music we hear today — you couldn’t do much better than going to a Tom Rush concert.
MIDDLEBURY — Gov. James Douglas’s first post-gubernatorial job will be a short-term teaching assignment in his own backyard, on the campus from which he launched his political career almost four decades ago: his alma mater, Middlebury College.
RIPTON — Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, faced no opponent in his re-election bid on Nov. 2 and hopes to have similar smooth sailing in his next political contest coming up on Dec. 4.
On that date, the four-term Addison-2 lawmaker will ask his Democrat colleagues to elect him assistant majority leader — also known as “majority whip” — of the Vermont House.
MIDDLEBURY — The romance between Laura Wright and Samuel Clemens was a whirlwind on the New Orleans riverfront, lasting only three days in the spring of 1858.
The passionate (though chaste) meeting had a lasting impact on the lives of both young people long after they went their separate ways — 14-year-old Laura to become a schoolteacher in Los Angeles; 22-year-old Sam to pilot steamboats and, later, begin writing under the pen name Mark Twain.
FERRISBURGH — The owners of a Route 7 parcel and their representatives on Wednesday submitted to the Ferrisburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment a revised plan for what one of them called a “discount department store.” The 9.9-acre tract lies across the highway from the new solar farm near the intersection with Monkton Road.
About 20 people attended the second of two public hearings on a plan for a 10,000-square-foot, one-story, metal-sided and roofed Dollar General store, which the developers hope will be the first of three stores on the site.