February 16th, 2012
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday voted unanimously to spend $70,000 from the town’s conservation fund to beautify and improve public access to the riverfront area of the Marble Works that fronts the Otter Creek falls.
The riverfront area has long been targeted for improvements that would attract shoppers, tourists and locals who would have a safer, better-groomed area from which to view the spectacular Otter Creek falls from the Marble Works complex.
BRISTOL — The Bristol Planning Commission looks poised to move ahead with a proposed town plan at its meeting next Tuesday when it considers a compromise on the proposed gravel mining prohibition zone.
Since fall, commissioners have struggled to agree on a chief component of the proposed plan: a zone that prohibits resource extraction in and around Bristol’s downtown area. At the planners’ last meeting on Jan. 17, four versions of the no-extraction zone were discussed.
ORWELL — Michael B. King’s music ranges from blues to rock to reggae, but these days it’s taken on a different theme: Many of his new songs are about mothers and their children.
The 55-year-old Orwell resident spread his own mother’s ashes this past summer, around the same time that his band, The Jesters, broke up after an 18-year run. Both milestones made him step back and think about his next project.
“I knew I had to replace my music with something,” he said.
MIDDLEBURY — This winter the Middlebury Union High School girls’ basketball team has struggled to score, and Tuesday’s first half against visiting Mount Abraham looked like more of the same — the Tigers trailed at the half, 20-11.
Then their shots started to fall. And those launched by the Eagles did not: Mount Abe managed only five free throws between 2:00 of the second quarter and 5:45 of the fourth.
A meditation on basketball officiating, stimulated by recent events:
My late brother-in-law, the football coach, didn’t watch much basketball, though he was an avid fan of sports generally. He said, “I don’t like a game where the official is so important. The whistle is blowing all the time. It seems the refs often control the outcome, not the players.” He preferred ice hockey in the winter.
That’s a valid criticism. This dependence on officials is basketball’s greatest limitation. Nonetheless, it’s a great game.
I have lived in Addison County for 14 years, a drop in the bucket compared to many of my friends and neighbors. It’s a place that I am proud to call home. And although I love my hometown, Cornwall, clearly Middlebury is the economic engine that makes our county hum.
The case for making the state education department a cabinet-level agency with a secretary appointed by the governor gained strength this past week as the state’s test scores provided less than sterling results with no-one but local school boards to hold accountable.
What’s to be done?
One week from now, I will be traveling through Rwanda — “land of 1,000 hills” — with 18 high school students.
I’m still trying to convince myself of this fact: On Sunday, I will abandon my desk here at the Addison Independent for three weeks and hop on a plane to sub-Saharan Africa, acting as a multimedia instructor for a group of students who are immersed in an unfamiliar country, a different history, a new reality.