May 17th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — A consultant and a local biomass study committee will look at the feasibility of carving Middlebury into five separate energy districts, with the concept of endowing each with a communal woodchip heating plant.
The study group, with the aid of a consultant and a combined total of $250,000 in state and federal funding, has been working since last year to see if Middlebury has the potential to establish one or more biomass plants to provide a cost-effective, renewable energy alternative for local businesses that now rely on imported fossil fuels for heating.
ADDISON COUNTY — Lawmakers and farmers’ advocates are saying that compromise and the importance of economic development programs rose to the forefront this year in the discussion about farm policy in Montpelier.
MIDDLEBURY — Change looks to be on the horizon for Middlebury College’s gendered housing policies.
On Sunday, May 2, as the school year began to wind down, Elizabeth King, Joey Radu and first-year student senator Tony Huynh went before the college’s Student Government Association (SGA) with the Rooming Choice Act, which resolves to push for revisions to the college’s housing policy.
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County orchardists and fruit growers are assessing the damage to their crops after a cold snap swept through the region last week, but most are saying its too early to know how temperatures that dipped well into the 20s early on May 11 could affect the region’s harvest.
The cold weather was worrisome to fruit growers because frostbitten blossoms could kill the chance of fruit developing later in the season. By and large, though, orchardists in the region were optimistic after last week’s frost.
VERGENNES — In an annual goal-setting session at last week’s Vergennes city council meeting, Alderman David Austin suggested that the city look to form an economic development committee that could work to improve the area’s business climate and offer support and information to potential new ventures.
“I think we really need a local economic development committee,” said Austin, a Main Street business and property owner. “I continue to believe there is economic opportunity here in Vergennes.”
VERGENNES — In addition to discussing goals of each alderman, Vergennes City Council members at last Tuesday’s meeting:
SHOREHAM — Beatrice Parwatikar has been active in the fight against global poverty and warfare for many years.
The Shoreham resident, who has had a hand in many social justice movements, both global and local, on April 14 delivered a petition for the global grassroots advocacy campaign ONE to Vermont’s two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, at a presentation in Burlington.
MONTPELIER — There were no specific Addison County earmarks in the $74.8 million capital spending bill passed by the Vermont Legislature last week to rival the nearly $7 million appropriated for the courthouse and state office building in Bennington. But Middlebury and the surrounding towns will get some boost from the new law, which was passed last Wednesday on the final day of the Legislative session.