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March 7th, 2013
Winston Churchill said of democracy that it is “the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” That may also be a good description of Vermont town meeting.
Voters at town meeting are asked to make decisions through a process that can be imprecise, contentious, confusing and ill informed.
It’s early March, when the gray skies and “mixed precipitation” always put me into a restless and dreary state of mind. Seems like a good time to augment the mood by writing about death.
Until now, I have succumbed to the cultural taboo against talking about death or preparing for death. It’s morbid. It’s sad. Nobody wants to hear it. If you talk about dying, it might happen! I don’t want to think about it. So I haven’t.
ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont State Police were called to investigate the burglary of a Panton Road home in the town of Panton on March 1. Troopers reported that various items and jewelry were taken while the residents were away during the workday.
Two days later, a citizen turned into VSP a Heartwood Creations custom jewelry box that had been found in a ditch off West Road in Panton. The Panton Road homeowner told the Independent that she suspected the box was hers, but she hadn’t confirmed it as of press time.
VERGENNES — Vergennes police investigated two assaults this past weekend and filed charges against a Northlands Job Corps student in one case.
City police cited Sherrelle N. Smith, 19, of Rochester, N.Y., for aggravated assault on March 1 and lodged her at the Chittenden County Correctional Center after Smith allegedly attacked a fellow female Northlands student.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police cited Lynda W. Bushman, 50, of Middlebury for larceny at the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Court Street Extension on Feb. 27. Rite Aid officials told police they suspected Bushman, an employee of the store, had stolen some pills.
In other action last week, Middlebury police:
• Were informed of the theft of a woman’s wallet from a Porter Drive office on Feb. 25. Police said the wallet was found in the trash.
BRIDPORT — Addison Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Gail Conley has decided to close Bridport Central School for the remainder of this week after most of the student body and several adults contracted a mysterious stomach ailment on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7.
VERGENNES — Voters in the three towns that send students to the Vergennes Union Elementary School approved a proposed spending plan by a margin of 447-322 on Town Meeting Day.
The school budgeted $4.08 million in spending for the fiscal year that beginns July 1.
Votes from Vergennes, Waltham and Panton are co-mingled, so results from the individual towns are not available.
MONTPELIER — Vermont is one step closer to becoming the first state to put mandatory labels on genetically modified food products.
On Friday, the House Agriculture Committee, after weeks of testimony, passed H.112, or the “GMO labeling bill,” by an 8-3 vote. H.112 requires producers to put labels on raw agricultural and processed, packaged food products that are genetically engineered. The bill will go to the House Judiciary Committee for review, then to the floor for a vote.