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By the way for Nov. 11

Now that vaccinated volunteers are allowed in area public schools, Addison Central School District officials are looking to pair helpers with classroom teachers in need of aid. The district office has forms for volunteers to complete prior to being delegated specific assignments. Those assignments might include emailing class families about announcements, coordinating snacks, and/or volunteering on a walking field trip. Teachers use room parents differently, depending on the class and class needs. Check out acsdvt.org, or call the ACSD central office at 382-1274.

Starksboro residents are busy ensuring that everyone in the community can have a nice Thanksgiving Day dinner and decent presents on Christmas this year, regardless of their economic circumstances. To that end, the Starksboro Fire Auxiliary — in collaboration with the Robinson Elementary School — is organizing its annual Starksboro Holiday Project. Funds are being raised for families with children who may need help at holiday time. The school provides a list of those families who qualify. Anyone who’d like to donate to this fundraiser can send a check or cash to: Starksboro Holiday Project, c/o Starksboro Town Clerk, P. O. Box 91, Starksboro, VT 05487. Meanwhile, Starksboro Food Shelf volunteers are looking to the community for donations of turkeys. If you wish to donate a turkey you can deliver one to the food shelf on Wednesdays. If you can’t get to the Food Shelf, please call 802 453-6775 and arrange a time to drop off your bird.

As the weather is getting cooler and we’re turning our heat on, now is a good time to test your home for radon — a radioactive gas that you can’t see or smell. It’s easy and it’s free. More than 56,000 Vermonters have already tested their homes for radon. Request your testing kit today by emailing your name, mailing address, physical address and phone number to [email protected] or by calling 1-800-439-8550. One out of every seven homes in Vermont has elevated levels of radon and an estimated 50 Vermonters die of lung cancer related to radon every year. Radon gas enters your home from the surrounding soil and bedrock. It doesn’t matter where your home is or how old it is – it can still have high levels of radon. But you can reduce radon levels in your home. For more information, visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/radon

Middlebury’s WVTK-FM (92.1-FM) human/canine co-hosts Bruce & Hobbes will be among past and current broadcasters to be inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington. After Bruce Zeman rescued Hobbes, a dachshund, from domestic abuse in 2009, they became perhaps the first fulltime human/canine radio team in U.S. history. In addition to hosting the Morning Show on WVTK-FM in Middlebury, Bruce & Hobbes were heard on other Vermont stations, including WCLX-FM, WOKO-FM, WTNN-FM and WWFY-FM. Bruce & Hobbes made appearances at hundreds of community events. The duo raised more than $75,000 through their “Cash for Paws” annual radiothons on WVTK and during the “Hobbes Goes Home” book tour. They also visited more than 250 schools to talk about anti-bullying and domestic violence, an effort recognized by then-President Barack Obama. After Hobbes passed away, Gov, Phil Scott declared July 28, 2021, “Hobbes Remembrance Day.” Details about all the Hall of Fame inductees and award winners can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y2wbcdsa.

Speaking of canines, supporters of the Middlebury Dog Park have another convenient way to boost the well-used facility located on the Porter Medical Center campus. The park now has a consignment number at Neat Repeats. So clean out your closets and take your donations to Neat Repeats between noon and 4 p.m. any day other than Sunday; please note Neat Repeats now has a two-bag or two-box limit on donations. Tell them it’s for the Dog Park, and it will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your donated items. Neat Repeats may is off Route 7 South, near Paris Farm Supply.

In last week’s By The Way column we mentioned that the Vermont Brain Bee, the annual event for high school students who are interested in learning how the brain works, would get a dollar from Hannaford supermarket in Middlebury for every $2.50 reusable bag it sold there. But we neglected that this gift only applies to bags sold during this month — November.

The Vermont Department of Labor wants you to know that the state’s minimum wage rate will increase to $12.55 per hour — up from the current $11.75 per hour — beginning Jan. 1, 2022. That an increase of 80 cents per hour. This annual adjustment also affects the minimum wage for tipped employees. The “Basic Tipped Wage Rate” for service equals 50% of the full minimum wage. So on Jan. 1 the tipped minimum wage will increase from $5.88 to $6.28 per hour. Any employee who believes they are not being compensated fairly according to state law is encouraged to contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Unit at 802-951-4083 or online at Labor.Vermont.gov/Rights-and-Wages.

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