Archive - Feb 7, 2008
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — A Shoreham teen has agreed to withdraw her lawsuit against UD-3 in wake of a pending settlement with the school district that will give her on-campus “Youth Alive” religious club essentially the same recognition and benefits enjoyed by other co-curricular student organizations.
The settlement, nearly finalized, would avert a potentially long and expensive legal proceeding that the plaintiff and her legal backers had vowed to take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court as a test of the federal doctrines relating to the separation of church and state.
“We have concluded that the Youth Alive organization should be afforded more access than what we are providing,” Addison Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Lee Sease said on Monday.
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
BRISTOL — Voters in Bristol will have to choose between two candidates for an open seat on the Mount Abraham Union High School board on March 4. Bristol residents Gary Farnsworth and R.E. “Dick” Merrill are both running for the three-year seat now held by Wendy Puls, who has said she will not be running again.
Dick Merrill is a familiar face to the current school board; he said he has attended meetings regularly for three years. “I think if I do get elected, I can hit the ground running,” Merrill said.
Merrill, 69, has lived in Bristol for the past 11 years, after more than three decades in Connecticut, where he worked for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, manufacturing jet engines. He had a management position for several years there, so he has supervisory experience, he pointed out.
By MEGAN JAMES
ADDISON COUNTY — For ballerina Patty Smith, who at 57 still dances with her Leap of Faith Dance Company, teaching and choreographing add up to more than a coda to her life’s performance; they are the resolution to a tune she’s been humming for more than 50 years.
The same seems true of veteran ballerina Barbara Elias, who after a glamorous career performing with companies like the Boston Ballet is passing the torch to the next generation at the Middlebury Dance Center.
“Every dancer eventually has to teach,” Smith, who lives in Whiting, said. “Not just for finances, but to carry on the legacy. You have to.”
Some professional ballerinas perform well into their 40s and 50s, but many shift their focus around age 35 to teaching younger dancers.
“A lot of it is the body God gives you,” said Elias, who took part in her last professional performance in the 1990s. “You never know what things in life will make you stumble. Injury will take you out. You just have to move on and do other things. Sometimes people just plain get worn out.”