Login
Skip to content

Archive

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1148.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 599.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 181.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Declaration of image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images::pre_render() should be compatible with views_handler_field::pre_render($values) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/image/contrib/image_attach/image_attach_views_handler_field_attached_images.inc on line 112.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area.inc on line 81.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_area_text::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_area_text.inc on line 121.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.

January 3rd, 2008

Happy New Year!

FIREWORKS EXPLODE OVER the heads of spectators assembled near the athletic fields on Creek Road in Middlebury for part of the town’s New Year’s Eve celebration.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

full story

Area legislators expect 2008 session to look a lot like 2007

January 3, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

MONTPELIER — While the state has turned the page on 2007, the Vermont Legislature’s 2008 agenda will have a decidedly familiar look when legislators return to the Statehouse next week.

full story

Middlebury police have difficulty finding qualified cops

January 3, 2008

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Only a decade ago, Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley didn’t have to worry a lot about filling unexpected vacancies on his force. He would just reach into his filing cabinet and pull out a folder with more than 50 qualified candidates, and start recruiting.

It’s not that easy anymore.

Middlebury is currently struggling to fill two longstanding vacancies on its police force, a chore made especially difficult by a shallow pool of applicants, many of whom can’t measure up to even basic entry requirements.

“It’s been a rough road to hoe this past year,” Hanley said on Friday.

“The candidate pool is very thin,” he added. “The trend seems to be that people are not entering this type of public service anymore.”

It was back in February that the town began advertising its two police officer vacancies, thus far with limited success.

Hanley now has around 30 résumés in his file of candidates, but none have completely worked out. The department has offered multiple rounds of candidate testing during the past 10 months, but the smattering of hopefuls have either failed to make the grade; have moved on to other opportunities; or couldn’t pass the requisite background check.

Middlebury has decided to continue its search rather than make some potentially bad hires.

“We are not going to lower our standards to get people in the door,” Hanley said. “You can’t let a cancer in the door.”

The town of Middlebury is far from alone in having a hard time attracting and retaining qualified police officers. It is a problem that has been plaguing local, county and state law enforcement operations not only throughout Vermont, but the Northeast, officials said.

full story

Vermont leads the nation in insurance niche

January 3, 2008

By MEGAN JAMES

ADDISON COUNTY — When former state Rep. Mark Young of Orwell got his first crash course in Vermont’s captive insurance industry 15 years ago, the rest of the country was suspicious of what the Green Mountain State was up to.

At the time, only a handful of states had laws to license captive insurance companies, which a business may form if it wishes to insure its own risks, rather than get coverage from an outside insurance company.

Once known as “offshore” insurance companies, captives have traditionally operated out of places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But back in 1992, Vermont’s captive industry was already on its way to becoming the largest in any state in the country.

Today, it is the second largest in the world, and the economic benefits for Vermont are undeniable. Besides creating employment opportunities for young Vermonters with a college degree — there are nearly 1,500 related jobs — the industry brought in $24.3 million last year in tax revenue.

“And think about it, there’s no smoke, there’s no pollution, no trailer trucks coming in and out,” Young said. “It’s a huge thing for Vermont.”

In 2003, the last time the state released a comprehensive evaluation of the captive industry’s economic impact, 1,429 Vermonters worked in the industry. The average salary for those jobs was $55,179, about 60 percent above the average private, non-farming job in Vermont, according to Dan Towle, Director of Financial Services at the Vermont Department of Economic Development.

This year 814 businesses have captive insurance licensed in Vermont, and $11.5 billion has flowed through the state in premium payments.

“Vermont started from humble beginnings, and now we’re the second largest in the world (behind Bermuda),” Towle said.

full story

December 31st, 2007

Making friends

A SHEEP WELCOMES two pigeons to its stomping grounds in Weybridge last week.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

full story

VUES eyes budget options

December 31, 2007

By ANDY KIRKALDY

VERGENNES — The impending retirement of two Vergennes Union Elementary School teachers has given the school’s board a range of budget options as decision time looms in January.

When board members meet next month, their final proposal could call for a spending hike in the 2008-09 school year of as little as 0.7 percent or as much as 4.1 percent, depending on whether they decide to replace both, one or neither of the retiring teachers.

Officials said no final spending plan will call for new programs or personnel, although increases in energy costs and the price of health insurance are putting pressure on the bottom line, as are contracted raises that average about 4 percent for the school’s teachers and aides.

Principal Sandy Bassett said he and the school’s board members have been careful spenders during his eight-year tenure, during which VUES budgets have earned regular backing. 

“I think we always have been (careful),” Bassett said. “I think that’s why our budgets pass. The public knows we’re very responsible.”

The current year’s budget calls for spending roughly $3.4 million. The smallest increase being considered would boost spending by 0.7 percent to $3.422 million. That assumes neither teacher — one of those retiring teaches first grade, the other, fifth grade — is replaced,

If one teacher is replaced, spending would go to about $3.48 million, an increase of about 2.1 percent. If both are replaced spending would rise to about $3.54 million, an increase of about 4.1 percent.

full story

Brandon Town Hall project making steady progress

December 31, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

BRANDON — It was about 10 degrees inside the Brandon Town Hall one morning last week, but that didn’t stop Dennis Marden from putting in half a day’s work on the set he’s been building there for the Brandon Town Players’ upcoming production of “My Fair Lady.”

The players will perform the play this winter at Otter Valley Union High School, not on the town hall stage — besides heat, the building also lacks a fire suppression or sprinkler system, making it a safety hazard to the public. But the open space in the main level is perfect for a large-scale set-building project, and Marden, like many Brandon residents, is sick of seeing the old building sitting there, empty.

To that end, his organization, Friends of the Brandon Town Hall, is ratcheting up its efforts to restore the building. By this summer, the Friends hope to raise $72,000 for a fire suppression system, which would allow the building to open to the public six months out of the year.

And they’re making progress. Earlier this month the Vermont Arts Council awarded the organization a $20,000 cultural facilities grant; earlier this season the National Bank of Middlebury pledged a challenge grant of $7,500; and the First Brandon Bank also made a challenge grant of $7,500 over the next three years. Businesses and individuals in the Brandon area have also been generous, donating about $5,000 over the last few weeks.

Since the incorporation of the Friends in 1998, the group has raised $386,000, hired architect Jay White from Robert Williams and Associates in Pittsfield and completed a number of mostly external renovations, including the installation of marble front steps donated by the Omya quarry; exterior painting; brick masonry re-pointing; installation of a handicapped lift; and updates to the electrical system.

full story

New Haven proposes a development review board

December 31, 2007

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

NEW HAVEN — The town of New Haven is thinking about simplifying the review process for new development proposals. A Jan. 8 meeting will let town residents talk about creating a development review board (DRB), which would take over all the responsibilities of New Haven’s Zoning Board of Adjustment as well as some of the Planning Commission.

“It more or less combines all the development review issues in one body,” said planning commission chairman Al Karnatz. “It streamlines some of the process.”

Currently, the ZBA handles most parts of an application for any significant new use or change in use of property in New Haven, including appeals of the zoning administrator’s decisions, applications for variances, and conditional use permits. However, approval of the planning commission is required for a number of uses of property. The planning commission’s main job is the town plan and zoning bylaws, but in addition to those responsibilities, it also gives subdivision approval and reviews site plans for commercial and industrial developments.

A DRB would replace the ZBA, and would also take over the planning commission’s approval and review functions. “Applicants who (now) need both planning commission approval, like for a subdivision, and zoning board approval, like for a septic tank, would only need to go before one board,” said John Evers, chairman of the ZBA.

According to Evers, the ZBA originally had almost all the review and approval responsibility, but as new cases arose functions closer to the planning commission’s job were shifted to them. “Over time, what happened is that there is more and more overlap.”

full story

Addy Indy News Digest

The latest in Addison County news, every Monday and Thursday.

Connect with us

Comments