By the Way for March 1

Some Middlebury Union High School students are expected to join their peers throughout the country in a coordinated school walkout on Wednesday, March 14, beginning at 10 a.m. The walkout is in protest of Congressional inaction on gun legislation. The act of civil disobedience will last 17 minutes — one minute for each of the 17 lives lost during the latest school shooting incident, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Members of the Middlebury College community are scheduled to march, in solidarity, from the campus to the Cross Street Bridge. There they will stand with the students for 17 minutes. Who knows, maybe Congress will act before then and negate the need for such a protest.
On Sunday, March 11, the Ripton husband and wife team of Bill McKibben and Sue Halpern will discuss their recently published books during a signing at the Hinesburg Public House, from 2 to 4 p.m. McKibben’s new novel is “Radio Free Vermont,” while Halpern’s novel —profiled in last Thursday’s Addison Independent — is called “Summer Hours at the Robbers Library.” McKibben’s flight of fancy, sub-titled “A Fable of Resistance,” follows a band of Vermont patriots (headquartered in Starksboro) who decide their state might be better off as its own republic. “Robbers Library” is set in a small-town New Hampshire library. The book features a colorful cast of characters who help each other and bond as a family in the library setting. This Hinesburg event is free and refreshments will be served so reservations are appreciated. Please call the Public House at 802-482-5500 for reservations.
The D.C.-based Food Research and Action Center recently released its School Breakfast Scorecard report showing that Vermont is a leader in the nation for serving school breakfasts to students from low-income households. Vermont rose in the rankings from 9th to 4th, in large part because of the success of the Vermont Breakfast After the Bell Challenge launched in the 2015-2016 school year. The School Breakfast Scorecard reports that more than 18,038 Vermont low-income children ate a free school breakfast on an average school day in 2016-2017, a 4.1 percent increase over the previous year.
The USDA’s Risk Management Agency is reminding farmers about upcoming sales closing dates for crop insurance coverage.  Sales closing dates vary by crop, state, and county, but in Vermont, most spring-planted crops have a sales closing date of March 15 this year. The deadline for growers of nursery crops is May 1.
Federal crop insurance helps to mitigate the inherent risks farmers and ranchers face, from natural disasters to market related challenges. Information on applying is online at rma.usda.gov.
Middlebury Police Department is passing the word that U.S. Census Bureau field representatives are scheduled to be collecting data in Middlebury this year for a number of surveys. All Census Bureau representatives will be carrying proper identification. For anything suspicious you may call Middlebury police at 388-3191 or you can contact the Census Bureau New York Regional Office, toll-free, at 1-800-991-2520 for information and for any concerns on the legitimacy of the representative. More information on the surveys that the Census Bureau is conducting can be found at census.gov.

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