ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County residents who waited until the week before Christmas to buy a tree found it a hard task this year.
Most area vendors reached the end of their Christmas tree supply last weekend, and by Sunday many had closed their doors for the season.
“It was a very early, very fast season,” said Cheryl Werner, who with her family runs Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury.
Editor’s note: A year ago this week, a New Jersey family was traveling through Addison County when car problems forced an unexpected stopover. It may be unsurprising to locals how the “flatlanders” were treated here, but it is interesting and enlightening to see ourselves in the eyes of our visitors. This is their story in the words of the New Jersey man who found himself stranded on Christmas Eve.
MIDDLEBURY — Ask Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin what’s on his mind as he prepares to take over the reins of state government on Jan. 6, and he’ll tell you about tackling the biggest battles: getting broadband to every last mile in Vermont; getting health care costs under control; figuring out how to pay for the early education and corrections initiatives he proposed during the campaign; and reducing a projected $150 million deficit so he can balance the next state budget.
He’ll also tell you that none of it will be easy.
BRISTOL — Representatives of the six Addison Northeast Supervisory Union school boards and of the teachers who work in those schools met into the wee hours last Thursday negotiating a contract for the current school year. By the end of the night the two sides had come to an impasse.
The school boards will meet next month to decide whether to restart negotiations or impose a contract. If they opt for the latter, the teachers will have to agree to take what the boards offer or strike.
VERGENNES — The John Graham Shelter and the city of Vergennes on Tuesday received a $327,000 Community Development Block Grant that will fund more than half of a $627,000 renovation to the Monkton Road homeless shelter, the first major project in its 30-year history.
Shelter Executive Director Elizabeth Ready said the organization already had in hand a $197,000 grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and that other private donations will fund the balance of a project that she hopes will begin in June.
MIDDLEBURY — Though local boy Luke Reynolds has made it big by joining the ranks of popular alt-rock band Guster, he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
On Wednesday, Dec. 29, Reynolds will return to Middlebury to spend the holidays with his family and to play a show at the Town Hall Theater (THT) to promote his newest solo EP, “Maps.”
This year, as I sat down to write my letter to Santa, I found my list populated with items like fingerless gloves, Velcro wrist guards, ergonomic keyboards and heated keyboard pads. The big item this year (not a Barbie Jeep or a puppy as in years past): surgery.
BRISTOL — First, downtown Middlebury was featured for a second or two in a pair of “30 Rock” episodes on TV, and now downtown Bristol has made its own minutes-long debut on the pop culture scene.
In October, the popular alternative rock band Guster released a music video featuring downtown Bristol as its backdrop.