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April 7th, 2014
I was struck by a headline in the April 2 Burlington Free Press: “Conservation department updates plan to clean up Lake Champlain.” Here we are, the state of Vermont, trying to clean up the lake, yet Vermont Gas Systems (owned by a Canadian corporation, Gaz Métro) wants to lay a natural gas pipeline under the lake to feed the profits of International Paper, who owns a mill in New York state.
The North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York and the Lake Champlain region, representing more than 4,200 predominantly small employers across Essex, Clinton, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren counties. We are strategically committed to the sustainable economic future of our shared, bi-state Champlain Valley region, working actively over the last 20 years across the lake on such endeavors as the Lake Champlain Basin Plan.
This week’s writer is Goshen resident William J. Mathis, a former Rutland Northeast superintendent and the managing director of the National Education Policy Center, which has researched school consolidations nationally.
When the press release named me as the only state board of education member who voted against the Legislature’s consolidation plan, the perfectly predictable result was a stampede of reporters asking me, “Why?” Here’s my answer:
The bill is ghost dancing.
VERGENNES — Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel updated on Friday a Vergennes police log item published in the Addison Independent on Thursday, stating that his department no longer believes that funds were embezzled late last month from the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union.
The department began an investigation on March 24 into an amount of $10,000 or slightly more that was reported missing, Merkel said, and last week learned that a source outside the office was responsible for the missing funds.
My friend, Karl, writes he’s sitting outside
with a jacket on at a cafe on the Champs
Elysees. Thinking of himself as Hemingway.
Imagining the words that strolled that street,
that Victory walked through its arches.
Karl speaks a Maine French that goes a long way
wherever he is. Which is everywhere
a city needs a friend to stop one of its citizens
to chat. Karl is well-known at home for chatting
all morning and afternoon, standing in front
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on Monday moved to adopt a new spending plan, which would bring spending below the current level and cut the equivalent of five full-time staff positions. It was a move board members said was necessary to rein in costs after voters rejected their first proposal by more than 200 votes on March 4.
Board member Neil Kamman said this budget is the most difficult he has ever worked on, but he supported cutting staff.
BRIDPORT — Two issues dominated the conversation at the annual legislative luncheon Monday in Bridport: bills in the Legislature to mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods and pollution regulations affecting Lake Champlain.
Farmers, community members and legislators packed the Bridport Community Hall Monday for the luncheon devoted to agriculture issues. State Reps. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, and Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, were on hand to discuss agricultural issues facing Addison County farmers.