March 22nd, 2010
Montpelier should be trying to make the education tax system simpler and fairer. Instead, in the haste to cut General Fund spending, Gov. Jim Douglas would make it more complicated and less fair—increasing taxes on middle-income Vermonters and lowering them on those with higher incomes. Sound crazy? It is.
Most Vermonters agree that the fairest tax is one based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay: a family’s school tax obligation should go up or down along with its income.
MIDDLEBURY — There was not an empty seat in the meeting room of the Ilsley Public Library on Tuesday night, and everyone in the room had something to say about horses.
It was the first meeting of the Equine Welfare Council, and veterinarians, farriers, horse owners and members of Vermont organizations dedicated to the humane treatment of animals had gathered from all over Addison County and as far away as Brattleboro and Chelsea.
MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, the Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team took what its players and coach believe is a major step forward with a 12-5 pummeling of visiting Wesleyan, which often rivals the Panthers for the NESCAC title.
In improving the 3-0, the Panthers continued to play stingy defense — they have just allowed 16 goals so far in this young season — and get outstanding work from junior goalie Ryan Deane (14 saves vs. the 3-3 Cardinals).
“Where are your kids from?”
When you are a pale-skinned mom with two brown-skinned children, you get asked this question on a surprisingly frequent basis in casual conversations in all kinds of settings. In adoption circles, we refer to these people as “supermarket strangers,” people who don’t know us or our children but ask rather invasive and personal questions without much preamble.
BRIDPORT/BRANDON — Administrators at Bridport Central School and Otter Valley Union High School breathed a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday after the Vermont Department of Education removed the schools from a list of Vermont’s 10 persistently lowest achieving schools.
The schools were initially tagged for the list in a memo released last week, but state education officials on Tuesday said “human error” meant that two of the identified schools — Bridport and OV — were mistakenly included.
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) Board next Wednesday will begin reviewing a new report detailing the district’s current resources, and the discussion could be the first step in exploring school board consolidation in the seven-town union.
It was last fall that that the ACSU board commissioned a $5,000 so-called “governance study,” contracted through the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA). The VSBA ultimately picked Ray Proulx, a retired Vermont school superintendent, to perform the study.
ADDISON — New York and Vermont transportation officials on Monday began advertising for a contractor to build the new Champlain Bridge, a span that’s expected to be ready for traffic by the fall of 2011.
Monday’s action fires the starter’s gun on an expedited construction timetable that’s expected to result in work on the new bridge starting late this May or early June, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Project Manager Dan Landry.
BRIDPORT — Faced with the need to trim $1.6 million from Vermont’s so-called “Current Use” program, local legislators told farmers on Monday that changes are almost certainly in store for the popular tax abatement program that preserves Vermont farm- and forestland from development.