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By the way for July 19

WomenSafe, an Addison County nonprofit that helps area victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, is looking for board members. The board typically meets one evening per month, in Middlebury. WomenSafe in particular wants board members with diverse backgrounds and qualifications to help it address issues of power, culture and privilege. If you’re interested, submit a statement of intent to Executive Director Kerri Duquette-Hoffman at info@womensafe.net. If you have a resumé, you are welcome to submit it alongside your statement of intent.
 
Bristol’s wildly successful Three Day Stampede Toward the Cure of Cystic Fibrosis will begin on July 27 and last into July 29, offering a huge lawn sale, silent auction, tasty food, walk-a-thon and other activities designed to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Stampede organizers have raised a little less than $2 million through the years, and the event has become an annual ritual for many Addison County residents. Organizers are recruiting Stampede volunteers to help out, particularly on Sunday, Sept. 29, for the dismantling of all the event tents and processing unsold items. Volunteers will meet at 3 p.m. on that day for a quick meeting on the recreation field bleachers and then start the tear-down process.
 
Warning: There’s still at least one bear paying unwanted visits to homes in Middlebury village and environs. A Swanage Court resident reported seeing a bear’s claw marks on a tree on their property in which the animal is suspected to have spent the night on July 14-15. State Fish & Wildlife officials ask residents to not approach or feed the bears. Residents who suspect a bear is in their area should also bring in their bird feeders.
 
Here’s a lesson for Addison County residents who are considering whether they should get rid of an unwanted structure by burning it down. The Agency of Natural Resources’ Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that Stephen McGranaghan, a former Vermont State Police Trooper, and Christina McGranaghan were fined $10,760 for burning a derelict structure and other junk materials on their property in Stannard. After investigating, DEC said the charred remains included burnt vinyl siding, asphalt roofing, plywood, painted and treated wood, and several automobile tires. The McGranaghans agreed to a full cleanup of the burned materials and a $10,760 fine for violations of the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations and Solid Waste Management Rules. While open burning of natural wood, leaves and brush is permitted in much of Vermont, the open burning of trash, treated wood and other non-natural materials is always unlawful. Burning trash creates a nuisance at best, and at worst creates potential environmental hazards and significant public health risks. As non-natural materials like plastics, rubber, and chemicals burn, particulates and toxic compounds released by the burning travel into the air. These pollutants can degrade air quality, can be inhaled, or can settle in water or soils and enter the food chain and are difficult to remove from the environment. Many of the toxic compounds have been linked to several types of significant health issues in humans. For more information regarding permissible and prohibited open burning in Vermont, visit DEC’s Open Burning Permit Program at dec.vermont.gov/air-quality/compliance/open-burning.
 
With several of its towns bordering Lake Champlain, Addison County will play a key role in efforts to clean up the state’s waterways. State officials are now asking Addison County residents — and indeed all Vermonters — for their ideas on how to prioritize the use of $19 million earmarked for clean water efforts for fiscal year 2020. To that end the Vermont Clean Water Board has drafted a nine-question survey, available online at bit.ly/2KT6YGz or by mail. The board will use survey results and other feedback to develop the clean water budget.
 
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos was recently named president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), at its summer conference in Philadelphia. NASS is the nation’s oldest, non-partisan professional organization for state officials. Condos will serve a one year-term, ending July 2019. As a member of NASS, Secretary Condos has been active in promoting voter participation and election cyber-security. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the U.S. Senate Rules & Administration Committee on behalf of NASS to discuss what states are doing to protect elections from cyber threats and attacks. Condos previously served on the NASS Executive Board as President-elect and Treasurer.

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