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By the Way for Jan. 25, 2018

The Independent just learned on Wednesday afternoon that longtime Ferrisburgh selectboard Chairwoman Loretta Lawrence has decided not to run again for her seat on the board.
In addition to wishing Lawrence well and joining Ferrisburgh residents in thanking her for her years of service, we would also like to remind those interested in replacing her on the Ferrisburgh selectboard — or in serving on any of the many elective boards in Addison County — that the deadline for submitting petitions for office is this coming Monday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m. Aspiring office holders must obtain the signatures of 5 percent of a town’s eligible voters on their petitions. Good luck to those who do so.
 
Congratulation to Ripton resident Abi Jewett! The 18-year-old has been named to the 16-member 2018 FIS Alpine Junior World Championships Team that will represent the U.S. in Davos, Switzerland, in six ski events from next Monday through Feb. 8. Jewett is a senior at Green Mountain Valley School and a regular on the regional and international ski circuits. She will be looking to help the U.S. improve on its fifth-place team finish of a year ago.
 
Remember Sap!, the company that started in Bristol (now based in Burlington) that cans a carbonated maple sap beverage? Co-founders Chas P. Smith and Nikita Salmon will appear on the ABC-TV show “Shark Tank” on Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. They will trying to win investor money to help them grow their business. 2018 is already off to a great start for Sap! and they have been named to Whole Foods Trends List for 2018 and also are gaining new distribution in several key Northeast based retail chains, according to Smith and Salmon. Good luck!
 
Those advocating for the homeless in Vermont are planning the 12th statewide Point in Time Count on Jan. 31, when they will count the number of homeless Vermonters. It’s an annual measure that can be used for year-to-year comparisons. Homeless advocates will use the data collected in the count in their funding applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as to provide a statewide baseline for measuring the success of housing and supportive services. Vermont’s last Point in Time homelessness count, conducted on a single night in January of 2017, recorded an overall statewide increase of 11 percent in the number of homeless individuals statewide. On that night a year ago, 1,225 persons were counted as homeless across Vermont.
 
By the way, we were told that the foot clinics run by Addison County Home Health and Hospice in Bridport Bristol, Middlebury and Vergennes have been suspended until Feb. 11. Go online to achhh.org to see details for future clinics.
 
Among the 24 Vermonters that Gov. Phil Scott appointed to state boards and commissions last month were two Addison County residents. Scott appointed Margaret Bolton of Addison to the Vermont Board of Health and Ulrika Schygulla of North Ferrisburgh to the State Program Standing Committee for Adult Mental Health. Boards and commissions serve an important role in state government, giving Vermonters numerous opportunities to serve their state and communities. The governor’s office is soliciting applications to fill vacancies and upcoming term expirations. All those interested in serving on a board or commission should go online to governor.vermont.gov/boards-commissions to apply.
 
Sas Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits in Middlebury recently joined the board of directors of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
 
The Addison Northwest School District Early Education Program was one of 10 organizations that received an At-Risk Children’s grant from the Children’s Literacy Foundation this month. The grant provides a fun and inspiring storytelling session with one of CLiF’s children’s author/illustrators and storytellers; a new on-site children’s library for the program; an optional literacy discussion for parents and family members to emphasize the importance of developing early literacy skills and tips for helping children do so; and two new high-quality books for each child to choose and keep. The grant’s goals are to promote a love of reading and writing among children at high risk of developing low literacy skills.
 
The Otter Valley Class of 2018 is holding a shoe drive from Feb. 1 to March 31, with the goals of having the class march at graduation in free caps and gowns, raise funds for their Senior Ball, and maybe have some left over to go toward Project Graduation. Otter seniors will be collecting new shoes, gently used work shoes, or used shoes of any kind, and hope to collect 2,700 pairs. Shoes can be dropped off in the Otter Valley lobby, or at various businesses within the community.

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