Archive - 2006 - Page
By MEGAN JAMES
ADDISON COUNTY — Many local businesses will play a compassionate role in the community when they release their employees this Thursday and Saturday to build fences, paint walls, and clear trails for nonprofit agencies across the county.
The 11th annual Days of Caring, sponsored by the United Way of Addison County, will link 63 agencies dealing with health issues, poverty, childcare, and aging, to hundreds of local volunteers. Together they will work to keep the area’s human service organizations running smoothly.
“It is extremely important not only for individuals, but for businesses to learn about the nonprofits in their community, to gain insight into the services they provide,” said UWAC Co-director Helen Freismuth. “We want to create a more well-informed community.”
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
MIDDLEBURY — How good a hospital is Porter Medical Center?
Hospital officials on Sept. 26 will discuss the findings of a state-mandated “report card” that shows how well Porter, along with 12 other Vermont hospitals, performs on a variety of quality, safety and financial measures.
This is the second annual report compiled to meet the requirements of Act 53, a law passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2003 to create greater accountability for hospitals and health care providers.
Porter’s rating was average in most specific areas — it scored a little lower than average for its food but higher than average for safety. Its overall rating for patient satisfaction was close to the national average for hospitals of its size.
By JOHN FLOWERS
SHOREHAM — Opponents of International Paper Co.’s (IPC) proposal to conduct a two-week trial burn of tire chips at its Ticonderoga, N.Y., mill are busy planning the next steps in their fight should the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) give its green light to the IPC plan. A decision that could be released as early as next week.
The EPA is in the midst of a 45-day review of the IPC proposal to burn up to 72 tons of tire-derived fuel per day in one of its boilers during the two-week test period. Company officials hope the trial burn will pave the way for IPC to eventually replace 5 to 10 percent of its traditional fuel source annually with the tire material, a cheaper alternative to oil.
Vermont officials and environmental groups have argued that IPC should not be allowed to conduct its test burn until it installs an electrostatic precipitator on its smokestack to capture the smallest, toxic particles they believe will otherwise waft over Lake Champlain and into the lungs of Addison County residents.
By JOHN FLOWERS
VERGENNES — Addison County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to decide a variety of statewide primary contests and sort out a spirited GOP runoff in the Addison-3 House district.
The one competitive local primary involves Republicans Greg Clark, Tom McGrath and Kitty Oxholm, who are among those competing for the two house seats representing the district that includes Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Waltham and Addison.
The two Republicans finishing with the most votes on Sept. 12 will earn spots on the Nov. 7 general election ballot, joining a field that already includes Progressive April Jin and Democrats Elizabeth Markowski and Diane Lanpher.
Addison-3 is the exception in an otherwise humdrum primary election scene in Addison County this fall. There are no local races at all for state Senate and in the Addison-1 and Addison-2 House districts.
By HARRIETTE BRAINARD
SUDBURY/WHITING — As their respective elementary schools struggling with fewer than 30 students apiece for the second year in a row, school boards in Whiting and Sudbury are considering consolidating operations.
The two boards have met several times to discuss the idea, and are now looking for input from their respective communities. Both plan to float non-binding votes in November to see where their respective community members stand on the issue.
A final vote would not be taken until the March town meeting.
“Both of these schools have been facing a declining enrollment trend — we share common challenges — so the two boards have met several times to discuss these challenges and what the future holds,” said Linda Rossi, a Sudbury school board member and acting administrator at the Sudbury Country School.
MIDDLEBURY — Here come the college students.
On Wednesday, Sept. 6, about 570 Middlebury College freshmen are expected to arrive on campus for orientation.
The majority of the class of 2010 and their families are expected to arrive between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day. Students have been directed to go to the college’s welcome center in Kenyon Arena, and will then drive to their residence halls through campus routes. The college estimates that about 800 family members will accompany the new students.
Although all orientation activities will be based on campus, it is likely that the students’ arrival will impact traffic patterns in town. The college encourages town residents to plan accordingly, and apologizes in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Hogan Elementary School teachers returned to classes this week to find familiar surroundings, new students and a new labor contract.
Middlebury Elementary Teachers Association (META) representatives and ID-4 school district officials confirmed on Monday that both sides have ratified a new, three-year pact that will dictate teachers’ compensation through the 2008-2009 academic years.
Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) Superintendent Lee Sease said he may soon have some more good news to announce on the subject of teachers’ contracts at other schools within his district. It appears as though teachers at the other ACSU elementary schools in Cornwall, Weybridge, Bridport, Ripton, Salisbury and Shoreham have “come to a tentative agreement on a new, multi-year deal,” according to Sease.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh selectmen have followed the recommendation of the town’s planning commission and voted, 4-0, to end discussions with The Infill Group about a proposed extension of Vergennes sewer service into the town.
The decision, made at an Aug. 24 meeting, appears to close some options for the future development of a 32-acre parcel near the Ferrisburgh village.
Infill head Bill Niquette has a deal with Vergennes aldermen to pay $1 million for a two-mile sewer extension that could have served the Ferrisburgh village area near the intersection of Route 7 and Little Chicago Road, including the town’s school and existing and proposed town office buildings. The proposed extension had a capacity of 100,000 gallons a day, enough to handle more than 400 homes and businesses.