January 27th, 2011
MIDDLEBURY — Last Friday seven tiny kindergarten students from Nikki Juvan’s class at St. Mary’s School filed into the Middlebury College Museum of Art. As part of the college’s MiddArts program, this visit was a carefully planned exercise in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a curriculum for teaching art to primary and secondary school students.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday OK’d a 2011 Town Meeting Day warning that includes a request for a 20-year, $3 million bond issue to take care 17 different road improvement projects that might otherwise linger on the drawing board.
Officials stressed they would not seek to repay the bond issue through a property tax increase. Rather, they are proposing to pay down the bond debt with funds Middlebury already budgets annually for capital improvements.
MIDDLEBURY — School directors in Middlebury have decided to delay the introduction of Spanish language teaching at Mary Hogan Elementary School for at least a year. The decision came in the wake of concerns voiced by some teachers about how the program would be implemented and whether those resources would be best spent on other needs.
MIDDLEBURY — While the long-discussed $16 million Cross Street Bridge has now been completed, Middlebury continues to maintain a lengthy list of other capital improvement projects that local officials believe will need to be whittled down sooner, rather than later.
Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger earlier this month gave the selectboard what he said was an incomplete list of almost 30 potential projects, ranging from the fairly basic and inexpensive (celebration of the 250th anniversary of the town charter this year) to the complex and costly (new town offices).
ADDISON COUNTY — Bridport Grange No. 303 this week confirmed a 2011 legislative breakfast series that will debut on Monday, Feb. 7, and include a March 7 session with the state’s new governor, Peter Shumlin.
Bridport Grange is once again organizing the Monday morning legislative breakfasts this year, with support from the Middlebury Chamber of Commerce and Addison County Regional Planning Commission. As has been the custom, the breakfasts will begin at 7 a.m., with the political program beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending promptly at 8:45 a.m.
BRIDPORT — It’s not often that the goings-on at a rural beef farm are broadcast across five counties.
But nestled alongside the barns and fields that make up Wood Creek Farm in Bridport, a low wooden room adjoining a tidy farmhouse is the source of the radio stations WMUD 89.3-FM and Farm Fresh 102.9-FM. The two stations broadcast up to 1,000 songs each day into homes and cars around the Champlain Valley.
It might seem an odd combination, but Chip Morgan, who with his wife, Kathy, runs the two stations, said it makes sense.
BRANDON — It didn’t take Otter Valley Union High School varsity wrestling coach Bob Bathalon too long to figure out he had something special in Forestdale resident George Mitchell.
Seven years ago, Bathalon was still coaching in OV’s youth wrestling programs when Mitchell, now a senior two-time Vermont wrestling champion, caught his eye.
“I started noticing back in 5th and 6th grade. When he came in there you’d see him start wanting more and more and more. He just took off,” he said.
What struck Bathalon were not only Mitchell’s quickness and ability, but also his intangibles.
I like to build sledding jumps. Even as a teenager, when I still took great delight in sailing through the air on all manner of gravity-propelled sliding devices, and would approach nearly any jump with little or no fear — even then I secretly thought that building jumps was as fun as using them.