Archive - Oct 2006 - Page
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
SHOREHAM/NEW HAVEN — A $22,250 grant to the Lincoln Peak Vineyards of New Haven this week epitomizes the state’s efforts to aid struggling Vermont agricultural enterprises by encouraging local production of value-added products with Vermont agricultural output.
Chris and Michaela Granstrom, owners of Lincoln Peak Vineyards, received the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program grant during an event in Shoreham on Monday at which Vermont and U.S. government officials doled out $400,000 in grants to aid Vermont agriculture.
The Granstroms have grown grapes on at least part of their roughly 11 acres for five years, but until now they have been selling the grapes to a winery elsewhere. However, they would like to change that, and the $22,250 planning grant they received should help the process by helping create feasibility, marketing and business plans for adding a winery.
By MEGAN JAMES
CASTLETON — Every American knows that photo: six soldiers struggling to hoist a wind-twisted American flag over Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island Iwo Jima.
But surprisingly few know the story behind it.
One is Castleton resident Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning co-author of the New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, a story of the six iconic men told through the eyes of one of their sons, James Bradley. The book was adapted for the big screen by director Clint Eastwood and Paul Haggis, screenwriter of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, and will be released nationwide this Friday, with two special screenings at Castleton State College on Sunday.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Ripton resident and environmental activist Joanna Colwell is pleased to hear the state of Vermont is pursuing legal action through state and federal court systems to try to prevent International Paper (IP) from conducting a two-week tire burn at its Ticonderoga, N.Y., mill.
But on Oct. 28 in Middlebury, Colwell and other like-minded citizens plan to bring IP before the court of public opinion. They are organizing an event called “Line up to Sue IP,” during which citizens from throughout the state will be asked to sign a petition in protest of IP’s proposed test burn, scheduled to begin on Nov. 6.
Colwell is hoping that media footage of throngs of protestors lining up on Middlebury’s town green will put additional pressure on the company to stop its proposed tire burn, an event opponents believe will spew harmful toxins into the air and across Lake Champlain into Addison County.
By CYRUS LEVESQUE AND JOHN S. McCRIGHT
ADDISON COUNTY — Most area high schools slightly outperformed the state averages in a batch of standardized reading and math test results released by the Vermont Department of Education last Wednesday.
In general, area elementary schools scored about on par with their peers across the state in a release of reading comprehension test results on the same day.
Educators gleaned a few specific lessons from the their initial look at the test results other than that they seem to be focusing their instructional efforts on some of the right things.
In results from the New Standards Reference Exams (NSRE), which were given to 10th graders in March, Mount Abraham Union High School students met the standard at four percentage points above the state average in the Math Concepts category, eight points below the state average in Writing Effectiveness, and within two points either way on the other five math and reading categories.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
WALTHAM — After an Oct. 5 hearing at which members of the Waltham Planning Commission and some residents questioned changes selectmen made to proposed new zoning laws, it looks like selectmen and planners will be sitting down to talk before another version of the zoning rules is put before the public.
Selectman Harold Francis said on Friday that disagreements over conditional use language, frontage requirements, changes made in the town’s forest zone, noise law provisions, and the size of the town’s main 5-acre residential zone will almost certainly require face-to-face meetings to resolve.
“It was suggested that the zoning board and selectboard get together and work this out … which I think we’ll probably do,” Francis said.
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont’s top agriculture official said he is in favor of weaning the state’s dairy farmers from synthetic growth hormone, but he expects milk processors to help them do it.
Dean Foods and H.P. Hood Inc. have both announced recently that they would no longer accept milk from cows that have been treated with rBST (recumbent bovine somatropin), an artificial form of a naturally occurring hormone. Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Steve Kerr this week said he welcomed the change but said that the processors should compensate farmers for going without the hormone.
rBST, developed and marketed by Monsanto Corp. under the name Posilac, increase milk production by an average of 10 extra pounds per day.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Members of the Middlebury Business Association (MBA) on Tuesday urged selectmen to put pressure on the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) to make sure that next year’s scheduled repaving of downtown roads does not choke off customer traffic to local stores.
More than 20 downtown business owners packed the board’s conference room to voice their concerns about the state’s plans in 2007 to mill and repave Main Street from the Middlebury Congregational Church to the Cornwall town line; Route 125 (College Street) from Main Street to the Cornwall line; and Route 7 from Creek Road to just north of High Street.
The state has budgeted for the multi-million-dollar project to occur within the fiscal year 2008, which begins on July 1, 2007. Local merchants fear a late summer/early fall work schedule, which would coincide with one of the most lucrative shopping periods of the year.