January 11th, 2010
LEICESTER — Taxpayers in Leicester will be relieved to hear that town school directors are on track to propose a level-funded Leicester Central School spending plan for the 2010-2011 school year.
On Wednesday the board will meet to vote on the proposed budget. And although the past couple years have brought bad news for the school, with several failed efforts to consolidate with schools in neighboring towns and building maintenance woes, school board chair Hannah Sessions was optimistic last Friday.
PITTSFORD — Pittsford Assistant Fire Chief and local business owner Charles “Butch” Shaw has been appointed to the state House of Representatives by Gov. Jim Douglas. Shaw fills the seat vacated by longtime Rep. Peg Flory, a Republican who represented Pittsford/Sudbury.
“I look forward to working with Butch as we address difficult fiscal challenges and work to strengthen our economy,” Douglas said. “I am confident that he will represent the people of Pittsford and Sudbury thoughtfully and with dedication.”
MONTPELIER — Gov. James Douglas threw down the gauntlet in his final state-of-the-state address on Thursday, urging lawmakers to enact a series of initiatives he believes will advance economic development and reduce school spending.
Douglas, a Middlebury Republican, pulled no punches in an address that took just over 40 minutes to deliver and was interrupted 10 times by applause from a General Assembly heavily dominated by Democrats.
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Economists and peace activists have long pointed out that the true cost of oil-based energy is not adequately accounted for or paid by us consumers: the pollution it generates, the treatment for diseases it necessitates, the environmental damage that needs to be ameliorated, and the military presence we provide in order to ensure our oil supplies all have costs that are not on our utility bills. Forcing oil, coal and nuclear energy providers to internalize the costs had proven almost impossible due to their strong lobbyist presence in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ basketball team pulled away in the fourth quarter from stubborn visitor Middlebury on Tuesday for a 47-31 victory that snapped the 3-4 Eagles’ three-game losing streak.
The 1-9 Tigers cut what had been a 30-22 third-quarter Eagle lead to three, 32-29, when Tiger junior guards Charlie Cluss and Brendan Burrell beat the third-quarter buzzer and opened the fourth quarter, respectively, with 15-foot jumpers.
MIDDLEBURY — In Sunday and Monday’s Panther-Cardinal Classic at Chip Kenyon Arena, the Middlebury College women’s hockey team suffered its first two losses of the season, by 3-2 in overtime vs. Elmira on Sunday and 4-1 vs. Plattsburgh on Monday.
In an event featuring every champion in the eight-year history of the NCAA Division III hockey tournament and four of the top five teams in this winter’s poll, Elmira defeated defending national champ Amherst in Monday’s final, 2-1.
One of my favorite NPR shows is “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” Hosted by Peter Sagal, it airs locally on VPR Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. to noon. One segment on this quiz show challenges contestants to distinguish between the real and the phony: actual news stories vs. made-up “news.” products on the market vs. imagined products, etc.
VERGENNES — Gray skies provided a somber backdrop on Wednesday morning as a funeral service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, a procession through the streets of downtown Vergennes and a Final Alarm at the Vergennes Volunteer Fire Department for longtime Chief Ralph J. Jackman drew about 600 people for an emotional farewell.
Jackman, a Bristol native, Waltham resident and tireless community volunteer whose 55 years as chief of the city department is believed to be a unmatched accomplishment, died at home on Saturday at the age of 85.