Archive - Nov 2006 - Page
By JOHN FLOWERS
ADDISON COUNTY â€” Addison County voters turned out in droves on Tuesday to change some of the faces of those who represent them in the county courthouse and in Montpelier.
With turnout exceeding 65 percent in most towns, residents elected Cornwall Democrat Eleanor â€œMisseâ€? Smith as their new probate court judge, and sent three first-time candidates to county seats in Vermont House. One of those three new legislators â€” New Haven Democrat Christopher Bray â€” earned his spot in a tight Addison-5 contest against longtime incumbent Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven.
Tuesdayâ€™s General Election also gave voters an opportunity to soundly defeat a $10.3 million renovation plan for Otter Valley Union High School; endorse a new town garage project for Bridport and a veteransâ€™ memorial in Bristol; and pick two assistant judges for the Addison County courthouse.
By JOHN FLOWERS
EAST MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) confirmed last week that it had sold a conserved East Middlebury farm to a young family who plans to grow beans, grains and organic vegetables at the 90-acre spread located off Route 116 and Airport Road.
The VLT purchased the former Elmer Farm earlier this year for $445,000 with support from the town of Middlebury, the Freeman Foundation and several individual donors. The VLT immediately conserved the farm in order to sell it for less money to a family dedicated to agricultural pursuits.
Through its new “Farm Access Program,” the VLT solicited interest from farm families interested in buying the Elmer Farm in order to launch a diversified agriculture business.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — If any athletes have a reason to fear the effects of climate change, skiers certainly do. In a sport that depends entirely on cold weather and snow, rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels across the globe pose a formidable threat.
That’s why Middlebury College is hitting the slopes with its newest initiative to fight global warming. Beginning this ski season, the college’s Snow Bowl ski facility, as well as the college’s Alpine and Nordic ski teams, will be entirely carbon neutral.
“The long-term effects of climate change will effect us all,” Snow Bowl Manager Peter Mackey said, “but those of us who love skiing, and want it to continue at this latitude, have an extra reason to start acting now.”
Candidates Q&A 2006
The following six questions, along with a requested word limit, were asked of each local candidate for the Vermont House.
The questions are not repeated in the context of each candidate’s response, but are recalled by subject at the beginning of each answer.
Election Day is Nov. 7.
1) HEALTHCARE: Are you satisfied with the state’s Catamount Health plan? If not, what additional steps should the state take to expand health care coverage. (Maximum 150 words.)
2) ELECTRICITY: Vermont’s contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee expire during the next decade. What should Vermont do to meet its energy needs? (150 words.)
By ANDY KIRKALDY
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vermont Principals’ Association on Thursday decided to hold Saturday’s Division I football playoff game between Middlebury Union High School and Hartford at the Mount Abraham Union High School field in Bristol because the MUHS field was too badly torn up by play during the wet weather.
The Tigers, who are 9-0 overall, earned D-I’s No. 1 seed with a 6-0 league record. They will host No. 4 Hartford (5-4, 3-3) at 1 p.m. The game will be a rematch of this past Friday’s match between the two squads, won by the host Tigers, 27-20, on a late touchdown.
No. 2 Rutland (5-4, 5-1 league) will host No. 3 Brattleboro (7-2, 4-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday in the other D-I semifinal.
Editor’s note: During the current political season some lawmakers have proposed repealing the current law for funding schools and creating some new funding system with the goal, proponents say, of providing property tax relief. We took a look at the impact of Act 68 in one Addison County school district to provide some data that would be useful in debate over that proposal.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
VERGENNES — In 2002, the last year before the passage of Act 68, the Vermont school financing law that raised the state sales tax to provide property tax relief, Addison Northwest Supervisory Union residents sent almost $10.4 million to Montpelier in school tax payments.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Ana Solis desperately wants you to know who she is.
But she can’t tell you.
As one of the estimated 500 migrant workers now toiling on farms throughout Addison County, Ana Solis (not her real name) must be content to work in the shadows of a milk stall, or risk running afoul of loosely-interpreted federal immigration laws that would require her and her family’s deportation to Mexico.
“I like this country and the economic opportunity available here,” said Solis, who with her husband has worked on the same Addison County farm for the past three years.
“But there are times when we feel like prisoners,” she added, as she bounced her American-born, 16-month-old daughter on her knee. “We have the right to work, and nothing more.”