February 4th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — Administrators, staff and residents at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center are embarking on a months-long effort to overhaul the atmosphere at the nursing home, striving to make the facility less like a hospital and more like a residential care home.
Administrators at Helen Porter hope that the “culture change,” as they’ve termed the effort, will make the nursing home more comfortable for residents, and also bolster the facility financially.
MIDDLEBURY — A who’s who of local musicians and singers come together Friday evening for an eclectic night of music to benefit two organizations helping earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The lineup includes Anais Mitchell, Bread and Bones, Michael Chorney, They Might Be Gypsies, The Grift, O’hAnleigh, Rik Palieri and Rebecca Padula, and the Dirtminers, as well as members of two Middlebury Union High School singing groups.
MIDDLEBURY — When the Middlebury College men’s hockey team lost games on Jan. 22 and 23 at New England College and St. Anselm in gruesome fashion — five unanswered third-period goals at NEC as a 4-2 lead evaporated that Friday followed by a stunning 4-0 setback the next day, the Panthers’ first to St. Anselm in 16 years — the question became how a young Panther team would respond.
The answer? Quite nicely, thank you very much.
This past weekend the Panthers swept visiting NESCAC foes Colby and Bowdoin, leapfrogging them into third place in the league.
Today’s column is brought to you by the number 5. Here are 5 things to do outdoors in 2010, and 5 ways you can do them.
ONE: Hike one of Vermont’s 4,000-foot peaks. There are five of them.
In increasing order of height, and starting closest to home, Mt. Abraham is 4,006 feet in elevation at the summit. It is not only the lowest 4,000-footer, but also the shortest to climb, with the Lincoln Gap trailhead starting already at 2,424 feet, leaving a vertical climb of 1,600 feet (counting the ups and downs) over 5.2 miles.
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After my last post on the Blueberry Hill ski touring area, I had to follow up with a post describing a favorite loop at my home in the mountains, the Rikert Ski touring center on the Breadloaf Campus. I have purchased a season’s pass here pretty much every winter since I moved to Vt, and I can’t say enough good things about the place and the people who run it, so I won’t!
NEW HAVEN — Rep. Christopher Bray, D-New Haven, confirmed this week that he will run for lieutenant governor this November, entering a field of candidates that already includes another Addison County resident, Republican Mark Snelling of Starksboro.
Bray, 54, said he is running primarily to give farm issues a more prominent forum in Montpelier. Bray, a two-term incumbent legislator representing the Addison-5 district on the House Agriculture Committee, is excited about the new challenge he has decided to take on.
ADDISON COUNTY — Budget woes could spell major changes for the state’s Use Value Appraisal Program, better known as “Current Use,” which is credited with preserving millions of acres of Vermont forestland and farmland from development.
Right now, the 32-year-old program is facing a one-year moratorium on new enrollments, higher penalties for landowners who withdraw land from Current Use to be developed, and a new property transfer tax that would be more in line with the rates applied to other property sales in the state.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters on April 14 will consider a proposed Mary Hogan Elementary School budget of $5,771,990, representing a 1.52-percent increase in spending compared to this year.
The budget reflects no new programs, nor additional teaching staff. It actually represents a decrease of $87 in spending per pupil (from $13,539 to $13,452). That’s in large part because the school anticipates welcoming eight additional students next year, for a potential total of 395, according to Mary Hogan Elementary School Associate Principal Tom Buzzell.