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June 2nd, 2011
My dad and I have a lot in common. We were both born and raised in Iowa by Roman Catholic parents. We both went to college and got post-graduate degrees. We both take pleasure in being fathers, enjoy eating peanut butter, prefer manual transmission cars.
What we don’t have in common is the news we read. And that’s not just because we have easy access to different print newspapers given the fact that he lives in Iowa and I live in Vermont.
Last weekend, our 17-year-old nephew stopped by to check out what my husband, Mark, and I were doing in the garden. (Apparently he’s never seen anyone planting potatoes with a post-hole digger, a method we picked up from The New York Times bestseller “Concrete Cornucopia: How to Grow Vegetables in Rock Hard Clay.”)
But the boy never got to the garden because on his way across the lawn, he suddenly yelled, “Snake!” and leaped backward, jumping right out of his shoes. Literally.
When I was a child, we planted the entire vegetable garden at once, over Memorial Day weekend. Finally it was warm enough to start thinking about planting, and it was a long weekend.
Warm enough, you ask? Indeed. I am talking about 45 years ago when there could be snow in Connecticut in May. Frequently there were killing frosts. So Memorial Day weekend was not only family time, for being together and honoring those who had made sacrifices for our country, but it marked the true beginning of the summer growing season.
BANDS, REENACTORS, LITTLE Leaguers, firetrucks (both big and small), horses, tractors, candy and even a couple of aliens appeared on the streets of Middlebury and Vergennes Monday for Memorial Day parades. Large crowds soaked up the sun and excitement, and then both towns offered heartfelt words of honor and remembrance at ceremonies following the parades.
MIDDLEBURY — Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Weybridge, has been named to a nine-member state panel that will vet nominees for the Green Mountain Care Board, which will help design and administer major components of a single-payer health care system for Vermont.
Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday announced the members of the nine-member Green Mountain Health Care Board nominating committee. As dictated by state statute, the Governor appointed three, House Speaker Shap Smith appointed three, and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell appointed three.
BRISTOL — Tax rates in some Addison Northeast Supervisory Union towns likely will increase in the coming year by a penny more than they otherwise would have as school directors, on the advice of supervisory union officials, try to rein in operating deficits for all six district schools.
ANeSU interim business manager Susan Jefferies shifted into high gear early this month to quickly draw up fiscal action plans for each of the schools after audits released at that time showed the official cumulative deficits that the schools had run.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury volunteer and activist Dottie Neuberger might be one of the six recent recipients of honorary degrees from Middlebury College, but before the May 22 commencement ceremony she would never have dreamed about sharing the stage with a U.S. senator or an internationally recognized geneticist.
“I don’t see myself in the same category as most of the honorary degree recipients,” Neuberger said last week.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen at their May 24 meeting got their first look at a draft 2011-2012 budget that City Manager Mel Hawley said should mean no increase in the municipal portion of the city tax rate if they adopt it as proposed in the weeks to come.
And Vergennes homeowners might be looking at a lower tax rate overall.
The current municipal tax rate rounds to 60.3 cents. The city’s full 2011 residential rate including school taxes is $1.8895, and the non-residential rate is $1.9641.