Archive - Dec 1, 2008
By KATHRYN FLAGG
BRISTOL — Bristol Elementary School will say goodbye to its team of top administrators come June, when Co-principals Anne Driscoll and Jill Mackler retire following their respective 10- and four-year stints at the school.
Both women have left their mark on the school they’ve teamed up to lead, Driscoll with her passion for literacy and Mackler with her expertise in “responsive classroom” training, an approach to elementary school education that emphasizes the well-rounded social, emotional and academic growth of students.
Though Mackler and Driscoll will both be stepping down in June, the two administrators came to their decisions to leave the elementary school at separate times, and for very different reasons.
Driscoll said that she is ending her tenure at the elementary school in large part because of health problems. Driscoll, who has multiple sclerosis, was finding that her work was taking a toll on her health, and so last April she told the staff at the elementary school at that this year would be her last.
“It was important to me that I would be the best that I could be as a principal,” said Driscoll, “and if I felt that I couldn’t do that, it wasn’t fair to the staff or the school or the town.”
Driscoll said that leaving the school would make for a tough good-bye, come June. After being hired in 1972, Driscoll spent her entire teaching career in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union, working as a teacher and literacy specialist at Monkton Central School and at Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro before coming to Bristol.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
VERGENNES — By way of a co-applicant, the Lake Champlain Byway Council, the city of Vergennes recently received a $376,300 grant to finish a key element that was originally the centerpiece of a project estimated at $203,000 in 2002 — a stairway down to Otter Creek from Main Street.
The federal National Scenic Byways grant was funneled to the city by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT). It will fund, along with a $42,500 local match, a $425,000 concrete stairway, including a viewing platform and railings, that will run from the east end of the Main Street bridge down to the Otter Creek basin.
The stairway will start downward at about the midway point of a large brick building known as the Benton Mill. It will provide canoe portage as well as a link with existing trails in the basin that stretch to the city docks and have been created largely by the Youth Conservation Corps.
Eventually, another trail under construction — the so-called “Rail Trail” — will also link those paths and the docks with Kayhart Crossing, the rail station that will be moved there and the AOT commuter lot recently built there.
The improvements will not have a direct cost to city taxpayers. Aldermen in March approved the recommendation of former city manager Renny Perry to use a fund set aside for improving recreation in the basin area to provide the $42,500 local match for the project.
That fund was created in the 1990s. When Green Mountain Power applied for a new federal license to use Otter Creek to generate power in Vergennes, federal law required the firm to compensate the host community. Part of that compensation was to start a $166,000 fund to support recreation in the area, and new city manager Mel Hawley confirmed plenty remains in it to support the project.
By JOHN FLOWERS
SHOREHAM — Shoreham residents on Wednesday, Dec. 3, will cast ballots on a the first comprehensive rewrite of the community’s zoning regulations in two decades.
Shoreham Planning Commission member Glenn Symon said the new rules place the community in compliance with Chapter 117, the state law that governs Vermont’s planning and zoning enabling statutes. But the proposed rules also, according to Symon, give landowners more flexibility in developing property in the village area while promoting more clustering of homes and retention of agriculture land in the more rural sections of town.
“A lot of people have participated in the process,” Symon said of the work in revising the zoning regulations, which he noted has gone on for the better part of the last 10 years.
What the commission ended up with is a 70-page document that outlines priorities for community growth. Those priorities include “promoting the general health, safety and welfare of Shoreham’s residents”; “Encouraging Shoreham’s rural, agricultural character and quality of life”; “Respecting the property rights of individuals, within a framework that recognizes and balances the needs of the community at large“; “Managing change in such a way that the ability of the town to provide services to its residents will not be compromised”; and “Developing an environment for new job opportunities, such as agriculturally related businesses or cottage industries, which are compatible with the other goals of the plan.”
It’s a plan that divides the town into seven zoning districts: Agricultural, medium-density residential, lakeshore residential, village commercial, village residential, flood hazard area overlay, and conservation overlay.