Archive - Aug 2006 - Page
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Middle-bury’s new junk ordinance officially took effect Tuesday night, in the wake of a referendum that saw residents vote 272 to 95 against repealing the new law.
The repeal question failed to carry on two fronts. Not only did junk law opponents fail to win a majority of the tallies, the referendum failed to attract the minimum 15 percent (around 670) of registered Middlebury voters required by the town charter for an ordinance change. In all, only 367 votes were cast in the election.
Tuesday’s vote was forced by a citizens’ petition effort organized by resident Peggy Kimball. Kimball, who filed the petition back on June 16, said she wanted to give all registered voters in town a chance to weigh in on the issue, as opposed to just municipal leaders. Selectmen had voted 5-2 in May to approve the ordinance.
By MEGAN GAMBINO
NEW HAVEN — The Addison County Fair and Field Days has been a tradition since 1948. But, for as much as the exhibition showcases the current agricultural life of the county, it also pays tribute to the days gone by.
Throughout the five days of festivities, which began Tuesday and continue through Saturday, a group of tinkerers leads demonstrations of functioning antique farm equipment.
A large crowd gathered at one of Tuesday’s shows. Many veteran fair-goers said they are always sure to include the Antique Equipment Building on their circuit through horse shows, sheep shearing demos, dairy confirmation classes and, of course, the midway.
“I come here ever year to watch,” said Bristol’s Todd Lossman, who brought his son, Wyatt, to the Tuesday demonstration. “It’s awesome.”
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
ADDISON COUNTY — A number of Addison County elementary schools were included on a watch list released by the Vermont Department of Education late last week.
While most schools in the county and in the state did not make the list, which flags schools that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress as required by the No Child Left Behind Act, a Department of Education official said the list will likely grow in coming years as NCLB standards get tougher.
Five Addison County schools were tagged as not having made Adequate Yearly Progress for the first time and two area schools entered year two of being targeted for school improvement. Vergennes Union High School was taken off the “needs improvement” list.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — As director of AmeriCorps*VISTA, Sen. Matt Dunne, D-Hartland, organized thousands of people to perform community service projects throughout the nation.
Dunne, 36, is now organizing a grassroots campaign that he hopes will push him over the top in his bid to unseat incumbent Lt. Gov. Michael Dubie.
Dunne was in Middlebury last week stumping for support in anticipation of his first hurdle in the election — a primary contest against fellow Democrat John Tracy, a Burlington representative in the Vermont House.
“I want the next generation to be able to earn a living and stay in Vermont, and I plan to work hard to make the state a place where our children and grandchildren can live in strong, vibrant communities,” Dunne said.
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.