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Archive - Dec 2007

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1148.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 181.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images::pre_render() should be compatible with views_handler_field::pre_render($values) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/image/contrib/image_attach/image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images.inc on line 112.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area.inc on line 81.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area_text::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area_text.inc on line 121.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
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December 20th

Cat missing three years comes home for the holidays

SHIRLEY GIARD OF Bridport gives a hug to her cat, Trucker, who returned home recently after going missing three years ago when the Giards’ former home burned down. Trucker was one of five cats that disappeared after the fire.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell


December 20, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

BRIDPORT — There was a part of Shirley Giard that never gave up hope she might find her yellow cat, Trucker.

After a fire destroyed her Bridport home three years ago, Giard and her husband, Harold, assumed their five cats and yellow Amazon parrot were dead. They moved into another house on their farm property and thanked their lucky stars the fire hadn’t done more damage. After all, neither of them had been hurt and their two dogs made it out alive.

But even after settling into their new home, Shirley couldn’t stop thinking about Trucker.

Earlier this month, three years and one week after the fire, Giard saw something yellow darting off her front porch. The next day, her daughter caught a glimpse of the same thing, and went out to see what it was. It was Trucker. He had come home, just in time for Christmas.

“This is the greatest gift I could have gotten,” Giard said. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”

The yellow cat looked healthy, well-fed and a little older. Giard recognized him by the way he nuzzled his head under her chin when she picked him up. Giard’s dog, Lexi, also perked up when he saw his old pal.   

“He must have found someone like us who feeds stray cats,” she said.

In the early days after the fire, Giard would wander over to the site of the old house and call the cats’ names. None ever responded. Each summer she would mow the lawn by the old homestead, keeping her eyes peeled for cats, especially Trucker.

full story

Middlebury selectmen seek feedback on new tax to build bridge

December 20, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents on Jan. 31 will be asked for their feedback on the notion of slightly raising one or more of the town’s sales and use, meals, rooms or alcohol taxes as a means of generating revenues to help pay for a new in-town bridge.

Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to call for the Jan. 31 public hearing, which will focus on the concept of Middlebury adopting “local option taxes.”

Residents would then get a chance on Town Meeting Day to vote for or against a plan to lobby the Legislature for a change in the town charter that would allow Middlebury to boost, by 1 percent, one (or a combination of several) of its sales and use, meals, rooms or alcohol taxes.

If the Legislature were to approve a charter change, selectmen would then have the authority to call a townwide vote to ask residents to endorse one or more local option taxes. The resulting revenues would flow into Middlebury’s general fund and be put toward paying off the proposed $16 million in-town bridge project. Middlebury College has already promised $9 million in financing for the project, the centerpiece of which would be a new bridge that would connect Main Street with Court Street across the Otter Creek, via Cross Street. That leaves a $7 million gap that selectmen are trying to creatively fill without hammering locals with a property tax increase.

“Certainly, (local options taxes) are an option that would allow us to get to our goal of financing the remaining $7 million for the bridge without having a significant impact on the property tax, which we are all very concerned about going through this budget,” said Selectman Dean George, who is chairman of the town’s bridge committee.

full story

'Massive' arts festival, 'Best Night' to ring in the new year in Bristol

December 20, 2007

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

BRISTOL — The Five Town Massive, an annual arts and entertainment extravaganza staged in Bristol during the last week in December, will be shorter this year than it was last — only four nights instead of five — but organizers expect it to be even bigger.

“We’re trying to do the biggest show we’ve done,” said Josef Shafer, one organizer of the events and one of the original founders.

The upcoming Five Town Massive, which will be staged from Dec. 26 to 29 mostly at Holley Hall, will be the ninth. Shafer and several friends, now working as 9:37 Productions, founded it as a way to both help local artists find an audience and to bring art and culture created by independent artists from the wide world to Bristol and the other towns in northeastern Addison County. Shafer said that this year, he and the other organizers feel they have struck a good balance.

“We’ve always struggled to have enough content from Vermont and (the rest of) the world, and this year we’ve nailed it,” he said.

In previous years the Massive was a number of different events all on one night, until in 2006 Shafer and crew spread them out so each could have room to breathe as it were. The shortened schedule of this year’s Five Town Massive is simply because Christmas this year falls on a Tuesday, Shafer said. A full five-day schedule would have taken it into a Sunday performance, which they wanted to avoid.

full story

December 17th

Little drummer girl

MARY HOGAN ELEMENTARY School first-grader Ayana Mason drums along with her classmates during a presentation with artist-in-residence Rob Zollman last Thursday afternoon.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

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Addison County to host green energy expo

December 17, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Local environmental groups and business leaders are planning the first in a series of annual events they hope will give Addison County a reputation for being the state’s hub for “green” technology and conservation.

The event, tentatively scheduled for March 1 in Middlebury, is being called the first annual “Green Energy Expo,” a day-long event that will offer visitors workshops on how to make their homes and businesses more fuel-efficient; examples of new technology that can power homes without relying on fossil fuels; and samples of locally grown food.

“It will be a free day for people to come down, participate, learn from workshops and see local vendors,” said Netaka White, an organizer of the event, which will be held in Middlebury College’s McCardell Bicentennial Hall.

White explained that the seeds for the expo were planted during a series of “creative economy” forums held this past summer in Middlebury. Those forums were designed to help the community devise, and follow through, on projects to spice up the local economy.

Creative economy participants came up with three main ideas for Middlebury to pursue, including making better use of the Otter Creek as an economic calling card; founding a creative economy association; and “establishing the Middlebury area as a pioneer in renewable energy production and management.” The first annual Green Energy Expo is a direct response to that third mandate, White noted.

full story

Festival shines light on solstice

December 17, 2007


By CYRUS LEVESQUE

BRISTOL — Last Thursday’s performance of “Night Fires” drew an enthusiastic crowd to Holley Hall in Bristol for two hours of music, dance and evocative costumes, but it may be the beginning of the end for the annual winter solstice celebration. After 26 years of organizing the festivity, founder and director Marianne Lust plans to step down.

“I’m 60 years old, and it seems time to think about what I should do next,” said Lust, a Lincoln resident.

“Night Fires” is a mix of carnival and opera that recalls centuries of festivities around the shortest day of the year — the winter solstice, which is Dec. 22 this year — and the climb back up to light. It features songs, dances and costumes inspired by cultures around the world in a passionate performance.

Each year the production tells a different story. Previous years have focused on St. Francis of Assisi, a Dutch Jew who died in Auschwitz and the diaries of a young girl whose family settled in Oregon in the late 19th century, among other themes.

“It’s a really unique production,” said Solveig Overby, publicity director for the Night Fires Theater Group Ltd.

Whatever the storyline, every production shares the common theme of a journey, sometimes a struggle, from darkness into light.

“The winter solstice is about going from the darkness into the light, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Lust said. This year’s “Night Fires” is focused on the walls around the world — from Berlin to Israel to the Texas-Mexican border — that separate people from each other and from the natural world, the harm those walls do, and how to break them down.

full story

Addison wraps up multi-year zoning effort

December 17, 2007


By ANDY KIRKALDY

ADDISON — Addison’s multi-year effort to put new zoning laws into place came to an end on Nov. 27, when selectmen adopted the planning commission’s latest version of updated regulations. Planners had forwarded that version to the selectboard earlier this year.

Selectmen acted immediately after a Nov. 27 public hearing that, unlike earlier hearings on proposed zoning, was sparsely attended. In the spring of 2006 about 200 residents came to a hearing on planners’ initial proposal, and not to heap praise on it — most said proposed zoning laws were too restrictive.

After that meeting planners went back to the drawing board for about a dozen-and-a-half meetings, most of which were also attended by former Addison selectboard chairman Tim Buskey. They worked to create the laws that 30 residents at a May 2007 public hearing generally found acceptable, and that selectmen approved on Nov. 27 after a few more changes.

Current selectboard Chairman Jeff Kauffman said selectmen saw declining attendance at the public hearings as a sign that residents had accepted the new laws, which ended up not making too many dramatic changes to former regulations.

“Our thinking was the questions must have been answered, and the (new) regs are pretty similar to what we have,” Kauffman said.

Planning commission Chairwoman Sally Conway, who plans to step down from the planning board after 12 years when her term expires in March, said planners don’t believe the new laws are ideal, but a key new element will make adapting the laws to the town’s needs easier in the future.

The laws created a separate development review board (DRB) to handle all zoning applications. Planners think that move will free them to focus on the town’s future and on fine-tuning zoning if necessary.

full story

December 13th

Two horse open sleigh

STARKSBORO FARMER DAVID RUSSELL takes a group of children from Starksboro Cooperative Preschool for a horse-drawn wagon ride up into the Christmas tree stand above his Starksboro dairy farm Tuesday morning. Russell helped the children cut down a tree and deliver it back down the hill.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

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