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This week I had the wonderful opportunity to attend, in Burlington, the two-day MMSAP (Masonic Model Student Assistance Program) seminar sponsored by the Vermont Freemasons and assisted by several Vermont state agencies. For decades I had considered it just another charity. I now see it more as an investment.
So many times all we hear and see are the bad things people do and say to each other. Recently, I had a bad experience that really proved the other side, the good side, of people. Let me start from the beginning:
Gov. Shumlin’s call for an increase in the minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour by 2017 is not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense.
No reasonable person can argue that a lower wage is good for business or the nation’s economy. The economic goal of the nation should be to create and nurture a vibrant and thriving middle class, which includes those at the lower end of the wage scale who see the merits of hard work yield a lifestyle that, at the very least, can put food on the table and shelter overhead.
MIDDLEBURY — It was originally presented as a real estate swap. Middlebury College would acquire the Lazarus building at 20 Main St. and convey it to the town for demolition for better access into the Marble Works Business District. In return, the town would cede a small property behind Ilsley Library (less than a third of an acre) to the college, which would add to its own 1-plus acre of land to create a 1.4-acre parcel that it would market for a future economic development project to strengthen the downtown.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen at their Tuesday meeting said they expected the March 18 “Community Visit” organized by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to produce a number of concrete proposals to improve the city for its residents.
Mayor Bill Benton said 111 residents on March 18 signed up for nine workshops moderated by the VCRD and attended by more than two-dozen high-ranking state and county officials and private-sector experts, while 90 residents sat down at a community dinner at St. Peter’s Church that evening.
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County residents welcomed Gov. Peter Shumlin to Middlebury American Legion Post 27 on Monday with a rousing serenade to mark his 58th birthday.
BRISTOL — The Bristol Elementary School board on Monday chose the school’s interim principal to be the permanent head.
Sandy Jump, a longtime educator who has served at the school since last summer, will continue as principal at BES.
In a unanimous vote, the board selected Jump over the other finalist, Roy Getchell, who visited the school last week. Jump has served as principal in Milton, Charlotte and East Corinth; while Getchell has worked at a secondary school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for the past five years.
MIDDLEBURY — United Way of Addison County leaders will spend the coming weeks reminding potential donors that there’s still time to contribute to the organization’s 2013 fund drive, which as of last week had yielded around $622,000 — approximately $100,000 shy of the $725,000 goal announced last September.