November 24th, 2009
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Despite the generally nice weather we have had this November, there is no denying the cold hard fact that the trailrunning season is coming to a close. The days are chillier, and soon, hopefully, the trails will be covered in snow. For the next few weeks there is one other modest impediment to running in the woods – deer hunting season.
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It's that time of year already! I spent a few hours last week calling around to local farmers, winemakers, and other food producers for a story in today's paper about celebrating Thanksgiving with locally grown foods. The good news is that it's not difficult to do: Plenty of local vegetables are still in season, and you can supplement those with wine or beer from a nearby vineyard or brewery, as well as cheese from our neighborly cheesemongers.
Guess which country has the lowest fertility rate — Iran or the United States. It’s Iran.
The United States is one of the few rich nations of the world in which women have more children during their child-bearing years (15 to 49) than it takes to replace them and the fathers. Iran has a fertility rate of 1.9 for the whole country, 1.5 for the capital city of Tehran. The magic number is 2.1. Two to replace the parents, point one to compensate for early female deaths. The U.S. rate is at 2.1 or a bit higher.
ADDISON COUNTY — Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) and other local nonprofits will spend the coming weeks working to lift people’s holiday spirits with some food and gifts they might not otherwise get in this tough economy.
MIDDLEBURY — Fans of offensive football got a treat on Saturday at Middlebury College’s Alumni Stadium, when two teams of Vermont high school senior standouts — including five local student-athletes — combined for 100 points in the ninth annual North-South All-Star Football Game.
When the ball stopped flying, the South team with two Otter Valley players defeated the North team with one Vergennes and two Middlebury athletes, 61-39.
ADDISON COUNTY — Some Vermont dairy farmers found themselves in the crosshairs of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thursday when the agency rolled out its largest ever audit of employers in a crackdown on businesses shirking laws about employing foreign workers.
Reports Friday from the Addison County Migrant Workers Coalition and other farmers indicated that perhaps only four or five farms in the state would be issued subpoenas for employment records, though initial reports about the audits placed that number much higher.
ADDISON COUNTY — “It’s just a no-brainer to be a localvore on Thanksgiving.”
That’s according to Francie Caccavo, the owner of Olivia’s Crouton Company in New Haven. And it’s not hard to see why Caccavo embraces eating locally this time of year: Though the growing season is giving way to frosty temperatures, many farmers are still selling a bounty of root vegetables, squash and other produce.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s police dog program faces an uncertain future as newly appointed Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel. a Middlebury police officer, will be bringing his K-9 Akido with him to the Little City.
Merkel established Middlebury police’s K-9 program around five years ago, beginning with Blade, an animal he had inherited from a Vermont State Police trooper who had been deployed overseas with a National Guard unit. Blade has retired, but was replaced last June by another dog, Akido. Merkel owns both dogs.