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November 24th, 2010
Boards at the four Addison Northwest Supervisory Union schools are all making efforts to meet the Challenges for Change spending recommendations. Here’s what’s going on at each school:
Vergennes Union High School Co-Principal Ed Webbley said VUHS must cut about $165,000 from the previous budget plus new costs to reach level funding. That goal could be reached because fewer aides will be needed next year and another “position or two” will be lost through attrition, he said.
“It would cost us quite a bit, but we would still have full programs,” he said.
MIDDLEBURY — “Challenges for Change” has largely been portrayed as an effort by the Douglas administration and the 2010 Legislature to save $38 million in state spending by making government programs more lean and efficient.
And while the new directive has sent many public entities scrambling to make deep cuts, a few enterprising nonprofits are poised to receive some budget increases for some innovative programs that could help the state save more money in the long run to meet the Challenges goal.
MIDDLEBURY — The turkeys are flying off the shelves at Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE’s) headquarters on Boardman Street, leaving officials concerned about being able to meet the demand of needy families this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As of last Wednesday, 223 Addison County households had signed up for a turkey and related side dishes from the local poverty-fighting agency. HOPE has thus far ordered a total of 325 birds to cover special meals for qualifying families on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
VERGENNES — The five Addison Northwest Supervisory Union towns are headed toward another vote on one-board governance, almost certainly on Town Meeting Day this coming March.
Last Wednesday, the full ANwSU board met at Vergennes Union High School with the board subcommittee that this fall has been studying unification. The board then made a formal motion to approve what will be the fifth unification vote in six years.
BRISTOL — Representatives of Mount Abraham Union High School teachers and school board members came to the contract negotiations table last Thursday night following a quiet picket carried out by the teachers’ organization. The two sides left the meeting with only the promise of another meeting.
VERGENNES — In a split vote, Vergennes aldermen last week gave permission for the 16-passenger tour boat “Moonlight Lady” to use the city’s free docks for overnight stays next summer.
Aldermen at their Tuesday, Nov. 16, meeting debated whether the dock space reserved for the Burlington cruise boat might better be left open for boaters who make the seven-mile trip up Otter Creek from Lake Champlain — and who might be more likely to spend money in Vergennes — or whether the publicity Vergennes receives from the cruises might be a greater benefit.
MIDDLEBURY — For the first time since 1993, the Middlebury College men’s hockey team stands at 0-2. And those two losses came in Kenyon Arena on Friday and Saturday to Tufts and Connecticut College, respectively, teams against which the Panthers had a collective record of 38-8-2 entering the weekend.
But more puzzling to Middlebury Coach Bill Beaney than the results — Friday’s 3-0 loss to Tufts and Saturday’s 5-3 setback to Conn. College — was the way he said the Panthers played.
After Saturday’s loss, Beaney talked about what he saw as the Panthers’ lack of fire and effort.
MIDDLEBURY — Andrew Freeman willingly posted on Facebook footage of himself tumbling haphazardly over the Otter Creek Falls in downtown Middlebury in a kayak and is encouraging people to watch it and to tell their friends to do the same.
If he gets enough people to watch it — and like it — he’ll will a grant.
Freeman’s video, which he wrote and shot at various locations around Vermont on behalf of the Middlebury College Mountain Club (known also as MMC), was recently chosen as one of four finalists for fabric manufacturer Polartec’s “Made Possible” grant.