By JOHN FLOWERS
MONTPELIER — Election day is still three months away, but that hasn’t kept Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington from drafting a 2007 legislative “to-do” list that includes re-examining Vermont’s use of the property tax; devising a long-range energy plan; helping farmers; and implementing health care reform measures.
Symington, a Jericho Democrat, recently discussed her 2007 agenda during a far ranging interview at the Addison Independent offices. With Democrats currently holding an 83-60 seat edge over Republicans in the Vermont House, it appears unlikely that she will have to give up the gavel this winter. Symington believes her party could even pick up a few seats, though she does not anticipate Democrats will be able to muster the two-thirds majority they would need to override gubernatorial vetoes.
By MEGAN GAMBINO
LINCOLN — After thunderstorms subsided Tuesday morning, a group of high school students and educators from South China and Vermont left from the base of Battell Trail to hike to the top of Lincoln’s Mount Abraham. Their mission on a small scale was to reach the top.
But on a grander scale, they hoped to bridge a cultural divide, through a shared interest in the environment.
The 12 Chinese students, four Chinese educators, three Vermont students and two Vermont educators are all participants of Green Across the Pacific, an intensive three-week summer program that teams American and Chinese teenagers to study natural resource management and environmental leadership.
This year’s program, which began on July 16, has addressed topics such as wind power, invasive plants, mercury pollution and transportation issues, and the group’s travels have taken them all across central and northern Vermont. Stops in Addison County included a lesson on turning cow manure into electricity at the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, and visits to Middlebury’s OMYA quarry and Shoreham’s Champlain Orchards, Millborne Farms and Golden Russet Farm.