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August 20th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — Organizers of Festival on-the-Green, the week-long summer music event in Middlebury, are seeking a new year-round storage space for some festival equipment.
For many years Festival on-the-Green has been able to store its equipment in the town of Middlebury municipal garage.
How time flies.
I started as a reporter here at the Addison Independent back in 1990. A quarter-century later, times have changed — as have virtually all the faces with whom I deal in municipal and state government.
Some of the story themes currently on my plate are a lot different than they were 25 years ago. For example, back then, there was no controversy in Addison County about the siting of solar farms, natural gas pipelines or cell towers. There wasn’t a murmur about same-sex marriage, let alone civil unions.
The 2016 elections for the Vermont House of Representatives will be one of the most interesting parts of next year’s political cycle.
In 2014, Vermont Democrats lost 12 House seats, going from 98 seats before the election to 86 seats in the current Legislature. They also lost the so-called super-majority in the House, the two-thirds majority they had held along with Progressives. However, Democrats still hold a comfortable overall majority, with 10 seats more than the 76 needed to control the 150-member chamber.
Secretary Susan Minter has been quoted as saying that Middlebury is a bottleneck. There is no doubt in my mind that she was referring not to the town of Middlebury or its governing body, but to the physical landscape of the railway as it passes through the town center. And she is correct. The space is neither wide enough nor deep enough to accommodate the growing size of railway freight carriers.
Vermont communities, businesses and workers dependent upon tourism and the hospitality industry could and want to be doing better. And simply stated, doing better means having more people visit the state, delivering to those individuals and families a Vermont experience that exceeds their expectations and as a result they will promote Vermont to their extended family, friends and colleagues. More visitors spending more dollars strengthen the economic fabric of our communities.
American retailers have a problem.
It used to be that retail stores could buy their merchandise, then “pile it high and watch it fly” out of the store.
Now, in what some analysts think is a sea change in consumer behavior, Americans have begun buying fewer things. Instead, we’re spending more of our money on experiences.
The New York Times business section recently reported that while sales on dining, homes, travel and vehicles are up, spending in large department stores is flat or declining.
Dear Mary Hogan School and the Middlebury Community,
It is with heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation that I write to thank everyone for the “Dining for Matt” evening held on May 13 at Mary Hogan School. We are overwhelmed with the generosity of our colleagues, friends and neighbors.
I’ve attended four recent social gatherings in fabulous local settings, hosted by generous people interested in our plans for the upcoming Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival that unfolds Aug. 27 through 30. Festival producer Lloyd Komesar has joined me at each of these and, together, we’ve worked to start discussions about our planned festival.