January 26th, 2010
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For the last two years, my friend and I have been asking area businesses to put mason jars on their counters for the month of November. Our goal is to gather pennies from customers to donate to the Brandon Area Food Shelf. The great thing about collecting pennies is that for adults, they are almost meaningless.
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As promised, I am posting occasional ski tours over the winter. I have been an avid cross-country skier even longer than a runner – in fact I started running in the first place to stay in shape for skiing, feeding my delusions that I was a nordic racer. Some of my ski tours are within the confines of ski touring areas, while some are along less manicured routes. Today’s post is the former. There are two fabulous ski touring areas in the mountains above Middlebury, and the Romance Mountain route is part of one of them, the Blueberry Hill Ski Touring Center in Goshen.
MIDDLEBURY — Gov. James Douglas’s proposed state budget cuts have hospital administrators at Porter Medical Center keeping a close eye on what potentially severe cutbacks in health and human services funding could mean for Vermont hospitals.
With Medicaid funding and hospital reimbursements on the chopping block, Porter President James Daily said Vermont hospitals will have to figure out how to make do with less in a time when the state’s $150 million deficit “defines the time for us to pull together and get through this.”
ADDISON COUNTY — After months of delays, local pharmacies and health care organizations are reporting that more supplies of the seasonal and H1N1 “swine” flu vaccines have finally trickled into the county.
Though public concern over the H1N1 flu seems to have died down in the wake of the October and November surge in illness, epidemiologists are predicting that another spike in illnesses could hit in a few months, and health care workers are encouraging patients to be immunized against both strains of the flu.
MIDDLEBURY — The ID-4 school board will form a committee to study the feasibility of re-establishing a foreign language program at Mary Hogan Elementary School by the fall of 2011.
The study comes in response to a citizens’ petition, signed by 90 Middlebury residents, seeking resumption of world language instruction at Mary Hogan. School officials made the painful decision to drop French classes several years ago, primarily due to financial reasons.
VERGENNES — Gov. James Douglas set the tone for the evening at last Wednesday night’s Addison County Firefighters Association annual dinner meeting.
He asked the scores of white- and blue-shirted men and women present at the Addison Eagles Club to think for a moment about longtime Vergennes Fire Chief Ralph Jackman, a lifetime member of the ACFA who died Jan. 2 after 62 years of service to his department.
“Ralph’s gone, but we’ll always remember his service to the community,” said Douglas.
ADDISON — The Addison Central School board on Thursday eliminated the jobs of the school’s music teacher and librarian, among other cuts, to cut spending and avoid paying a higher per-pupil tax penalty in the 2010-2011 school year.
The result is a total proposed decrease in spending of $84,700, or about 6 percent, to roughly $1.8 million. Addison voters will decide the fate of that proposed ACS budget on Town Meeting Day.
MIDDLEBURY — Voters in the ID-4 school district in April will be asked to approve a major drainage, grading and resurfacing project for the asphalt-based playground areas and emergency vehicle route at Mary Hogan Elementary School.
Tom Buzzell, associate principal at Mary Hogan Elementary School, said he had received preliminary designs for a project that will focus on repairs to the asphalt surface on the playground areas east and north of the school buildings, as well as to the emergency vehicle access route leading to the back of the building.