Archive - Dec 7, 2006
By JOHN FLOWERS
MONTPELIER — While lawmakers wait to see whom Gov. James Douglas will appoint as the Vermont’s new secretary of agriculture, an Addison County state senator promises to file legislation that would require future agriculture secretaries to be elected by the general public.
“Historically, the governor has appointed someone and said, ‘You take care of agriculture,’” said Sen. Harold Giard, D-Bridport. “They’ve had no direction; they’ve had no vision; they didn’t know where to go, because no one told them where to go. So we went through a lot of dead years.”
Giard reasoned that if subject to an election, candidates for agriculture secretary would have to lay out their policies on farming during campaigns. They would therefore have to accumulate a record of accomplishment every two years.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — The UD-3 school board on Tuesday endorsed a proposed 2007-2008 budget of $14,341,552, a spending plan that preserves two staff positions and approximately $57,000 in school furnishings and new computer equipment that had been eliminated under a previous budget draft the panel considered on Nov. 28.
The UD-3 budget includes the anticipated costs of running Middlebury Union High School and Middlebury Union Middle School. Those schools serve secondary school-age children in the Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge.
Preliminary estimates indicate that ACSU-member towns would see their UD-3 assessments increase by a low of 0.83 percent in Shoreham, to a high of 12.1 percent in Weybridge, if voters approve the proposed spending plan on Town Meeting Day next March. Assessments are based on enrollment counts at MUHS and MUMS.
By MEGAN JAMES
VERGENNES — Musician Anais Mitchell couldn’t shake these lyrics from her mind: “Wait for me, I’m coming, in my garters and pearls/ With what melody did you barter me from the wicked underworld?” The lines, which she composed while driving, refer to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the story of a man whose music was so beautiful it swayed Hades, king of the underworld, to make an exception to the rules of life and death.
The myth has captured artists’ imaginations for centuries, as it is the story of the power of art itself. Fascinated by this, Mitchell, a New Haven native now a popular musician living in Montpelier, worked for more than two years to make sense out of that original lyric.