April 1st, 2010
VERGENNES — As expected, Vergennes officials were handed on Tuesday a petition calling for a revote of the city’s Town Meeting Day decision to approve changing governance of the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union to a one-board system.
City Manager Mel Hawley said Aldermen Ziggy Comeau and David Austin and former planning commission member Michael Ferland each dropped off petitions with signatures calling for a second vote on the question. The total number of signatures totaled 85, in excess of the 75 needed to trigger a revote.
Hey, Mt. Abe, buck up. Take the good with the not-so-good and make the best of up to $600,000 the federal government is offering in school improvement grants. That’s not a lot of money spread over three years, considering the union school budget is $13.2 million, but what’s not to like about the opportunity to assess the school’s strengths and weaknesses and devise a “transformation model” that figures out ways to improve the weakest links?
BRISTOL — Administrators and some community members at Mount Abraham Union High School are balking at the school’s recent appearance on a list of the state’s 10 “persistently low-achieving” schools.
The designation means Mount Abe could qualify for as much as $600,000 in federal school improvement grants, and the school board voted last week to move ahead with an application for the funding. Meanwhile, school officials have also been quick to point out that the list of low achieving schools paints an inaccurate, oversimplified picture of Mount Abe’s record of achievement.
As long as Middlebury travelers are going to have to put up with traffic jams, delays, detours and other interruptions in daily travels because of the Cross Street Bridge construction and changes in surrounding roads for the next six months, let’s at least have some fun with it.
First, let’s give this project a snazzy name.
MIDDLEBURY — Richard Nessen still vividly recalls the day that he, his wife Kathy, and friends Gerry and Bobbi Loney decided to put into motion what had been a dream of starting a school.
“We had had a notion of starting a school together since the 1970s and one night, we just said ‘We’re going to do it.’ We gave notice at our jobs,” he said. “It was kind of like stepping off a cliff.”
If you notice smoke signals wafting from the chimney at my Shoreham home any time soon, pay close attention: What may seem at first like the inviting trickle of wood smoke from our stove is really an SOS. • • • — — — • • •! Translation: We’re under siege, and the invading forces are winning.
MIDDLEBURY — It’s been seven months since Middlebury doctors Diana Barnard and Will Porter saw the first patient in their new practice, Partners in Palliative and Home Care, and they say that it is going very well.
And Porter Medical Center board chairman Joe Sutton agreed — he introduced Barnard’s keynote speech at Porter’s annual meeting last Thursday with glowing praise.
“This is a practice that is unique within the state, and even the country,” said Sutton.
A controversy brewing about the conditions governing bids from contractors that would like to build the new Champlain Bridge provides a window into the politics of labor issues in New York state and in Vermont. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is the lead agency overseeing the bridge project. NYSDOT is considering including a “Project Labor Agreement” (PLA) as part of the bid conditions. The PLA would require contractors to give the highest priority to unionized workers in hiring for the project and to contribute to union benefit funds.