Archive - Mar 2011
BRANDON — Bill Mathis can add another title to his extensive resume: Vermont State Board of Education (VSBE) member.
The former Rutland Northeast Superintendent was appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin last week to complete four years of a six-year vacated by John Hall.
Mathis, 67, of Goshen retired from his post as superintendent of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in June 2009 after 27 years on the job. He is the managing director of the National Education Policy Center, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
MIDDLEBURY — Eddie Havens has spent the past 28 years making sure the Middlebury Union High School building has been in tip-top condition for teachers to teach and students to learn.
But recent months have seen Havens, a 52-year-old custodian at MUHS, do a little teaching of his own while tidying up the campus. And it’s a lesson steeped in courage and built on a real-life testimonial on the dangers of smoking.
MIDDLEBURY — An idea that started as a blog post last summer may become the newest field of study at Middlebury College.
Last summer, Amanda Warren and Ben Blackshear, students who currently head up the Middlebury College Organic Garden (MCOG), sat down to develop an unofficial program in Food and Agriculture Studies using courses already offered at the college. They posted the plan to their blog at middfood.com.
MIDDLEBURY — Costello’s Market took top culinary honors at Middlebury’s Third Annual Winter Carnival and Chili Festival, an event that drew more than 3,000 people to Addison County’s shire town, according to organizers.
The festival was held downtown with traffic blocked from Merchants Row and Main Street from the Middlebury Community House to the new rotary.
Founding father Benjamin Franklin — what a guy. He came up with a lot of neat ideas, including bifocals, the lightning rod and the stove that bears his name. In his spare time, he was an author, printer, politician, postmaster and scientist.
But every March, I wish ol’ Ben had been flying his kite instead of brainstorming what I believe to be his most dubious contribution to society: Daylight Saving Time (DST) — setting the clock back one hour in the fall and forward one hour in the spring to maximize the availability of daylight.
This is the sixth anniversary of Sunshine Week, a time to take stock of the public’s right to know and to celebrate victories in making ours a more open and transparent government.
Saturday’s Chili Festival in Middlebury drew a throng of about 3,500 people who enjoyed socializing on a closed Main Street while tasting more than 80 varieties of chili on a semi-raw, March day. It was, as coordinators of the event said, “an overwhelming success.”
In two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case raising important First Amendment issues about public financing of political campaigns.
The case comes from Arizona. In the 1990s, many Arizona legislators faced civil and criminal charges involving campaign contributions from the gambling industry. In 1998, Arizona’s voters passed a referendum establishing a “Clean Elections” program that provides public funding to candidates for state offices who voluntarily limit the amount of money they raise in private donations.