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November 4th, 2010
This past Saturday marked my grandpa’s 80th birthday. Born just shy of Halloween, my grandpa, James Hilmes — or Jim, before I knew him — celebrated his big day in Hays, Kan., surrounded by my extended family.
The fish was huge. From 30 yards away, I could see its body waving below two feet of current on the gravel river bottom. It was another angler who pointed it out to me.
“It’s gotta be 30 inches long,” he said. “I cast to it for a while, but I couldn’t get it to take.”
The woman standing next to me in the dairy aisle didn’t share my enthusiasm.
She seemed not to understand she was witnessing one of my greatest personal triumphs.
She did not congratulate me; in fact, she told me not to hug her ever again.
She didn’t care that there, on the bottom shelf next to the butter, lay proof that my voice had been heard.
Stonyfield had listened to me.
Yes, this is a tale of yogurt and the power of free speech, two things I’m in favor of but rarely think about simultaneously. Through my input, I effected meaningful change in the yogurt industry.
This is the fifth in a second series of essays and reflections about politics and the moral life. The themes of the essays are drawn from Plato’s “Laws,” his last and longest philosophical dialogue written shortly before his death in 347 B.C. “Laws” is a fictional account of a conversation involving three old men with long experience in politics: Cleinias, from the Cretan city of Cnossos; Megillus, from Sparta; and an Athenian stranger who is not named, but who may be Plato himself.
BRIDPORT — Peter Damone came within a whisker of losing his life, has his jaw held in place by a metal bar and is essentially confined to his home except for short walks and trips to the doctor.
But if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s one of the most fortunate men in the world.
“I came so close to being gone; you’ve got to feel lucky,” Damone, 76, said on Thursday during a visit on his back porch, where a stray bullet changed his world almost three months ago.
“I’m standing — how can you be mad?”
FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday will hold a continued public hearing on a proposal to build a Dollar General Store on a Route 7 site across from the new solar farm outside Vergennes. The hearing will reopen at 7:05 p.m. at the Ferrisburgh town office building.
MIDDLEBURY — The Mary Hogan Elementary School board wants the public to weigh in on approximately $235,000 in 2011-2012 budget cuts that would be necessary for the school to comply with the state’s “Challenges for Change” request.
The Vermont Legislature and Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca have asked the state’s school districts to prepare 2011-2012 budgets that reflect a 2-percent decrease in spending compared to this year. This Challenges for Change directive is designed to save around $23 million in overall education spending next year.