January 28th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — It began as a 2009 Arbor Day assignment during which Mary Hogan Elementary School fourth-graders led an effort to plant 16 new trees on school grounds.
But it was as assignment that blossomed into an educational, community-wide endeavor and culminated last week in the young students receiving a statewide award for their efforts, presented to them at the Vermont Statehouse on Jan. 20 by fellow Middlebury resident Gov. James Douglas.
MIDDLEBURY — Pierre Vachon is a familiar face around town. He’s lived in Middlebury for almost three years and works as a bouncer at Two Brothers Tavern four nights a week.
But on Saturday, Jan. 30, audiences will get the opportunity to see him in another light: He’ll be competing as “The Beast” in a professional wrestling show that he is putting on at the Middlebury Municipal Gym.
BRANDON — The Brandon selectboard on Monday approved a proposed $2,018,360 municipal spending plan for 2010-2011 that includes money for a part-time recreation coordinator and a significant increase in economic development funding.
Those funds are available because there are no raises in the proposed budget for town management, including the town manager, the superintendent of public works, and the police chief. One full-time public works employee has also been cut, leaving three full-time workers and the superintendent.
BRANDON — Four-year-old Aiden Decker has seen his share of tragedy. His father, Joey Decker, died of a heroin overdose in 2007. Then, after a heroic act on the part of his maternal grandmother, Aiden escaped death in the icy waters of Lake Dunmore on Jan. 9 when Terry Flynn tossed him onto the ice as her snowmobile was sinking into the lake.
Terry Flynn survived, as did Aiden and, miraculously, his six-year-old cousin Jeremiah Popp.
BRANDON — The foundation is being laid in Brandon to nurture local economic development.
There are signs of possible movement in attracting potential investors and filling some large, empty industrial buildings, including decisions regarding improvements to the town zoning ordinance and the water system.
Just when you thought things could not become more unsettled, the earth shakes and the landscape changes. There is the human drama in Haiti. There is the political drama in Washington. And then, there is the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Jan. 21 made a ruling that will affect how the nation’s business is conducted — beginning at city hall, extending to our state capitals, and reaching our nation’s legislative and executive branches of government.
Our 8-year-old daughter, Emma, is beginning to show a real interest in cooking. Last weekend she whipped up a stack of chocolate chip pancakes for the family breakfast. They were a little on the sweet side, particularly the last few, dredged from the bottom of the mixing bowl with big clumps of chips.
As a child, I was afraid of ghosts. During that phase — where “phase” is defined as “from my earliest memories until high school” — I was convinced that invisible, malevolent forces were coming to “get” me whenever I was alone.
It started innocently enough when I saw a “Bewitched” episode in which an enchanted chair moved around by itself. That was supposed to be amusing? A possessed chair is funny? For years, I refused to enter the dining room by myself.