September 9th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — Two weeks ago, most members of this year’s incoming class at the Gailer School were soaking up some rays at the beach, playing ball, catching a flick at the movie theater or just chilling out at home.
Meanwhile, two of the school’s newest enrollees were almost a half a world away, preparing for a hazardous, life-changing journey through a war-torn countryside to board a plane for the safer climes of Addison County, Vermont.
VERGENNES — After nearly nine months of negotiations, teachers and Addison Northwest Supervisory Union officials have come to a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract.
Superintendent Tom O’Brien said that the contract, pending approval by the supervisory union board, will maintain the status quo on salary and benefit levels for teachers at the Vergennes-area schools, with the addition of the already budgeted salary increases.
LINCOLN — After months of deliberation, the Lincoln Community School building committee has recommended major renovations and expansions to the aging school. After further study of the options and a public comment period, the full school board plans to seek voter support on Nov. 2 for a bond of between $3.5 and $4.2 million to pay for the work.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson nailed it on the head last Friday when he wrote of the current political mood to toss out Democrats and put Republicans back into control of Congress that “this isn’t an ‘electoral wave,’ it’s a temper tantrum.”
MIDDLEBURY — In the complex world of hospital budgets, a 4.4 percent rise in revenue added to a 1 percent decline in expenses, but which yields a $90,000 loss for the year is understandable.
So is a tax increase imposed by the federal government that will add an additional $1 million in expenses in 2011, not to mention an $814,060 expense for a digital record keeping system that is mandated under state law.
CORNWALL — Gary Margolis is indeed reaching lofty heights for his poetry prowess.
It wasn’t long ago that he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his third collection of poems, “Fire in the Orchard.”
This past spring he released his fourth book, titled “Below the Falls,” inspired by the emotional search in 2008 for missing Middlebury College student Nicholas Garza.
Last week in this space my esteemed colleague Trent Campbell told a sad story about his personal alienation from one of the high art forms of 20th century suburban life: lawn mowing. He thought he fell in love with mowing while in college. Sitting in class he heard the grounds crew outside soaking up the sun and plugging away at the vast expanse of collegiate lawn with ne’er a care in the world while he slogged through a calculus lesson.
But what the love soured and Trent now despises the task.
LINCOLN — “Why pigs?” was the first question posed to Nate Gusakov, owner and operator of Full Belly Farm located off Quaker Street in Lincoln. His answer was simple and unabashed:
“Why pigs?” he responded. “Bacon, in a word.”
Before he began leasing his 17-acre farm three years ago, Gusakov had been a wandering graduate of Sterling College’s Sustainable Agriculture program and Bristol-native who dreamed of one day operating his own small farm.