Archive - 2006
By CYRUS LEVESQUE AND JOHN S. McCRIGHT
ADDISON COUNTY — Most area high schools slightly outperformed the state averages in a batch of standardized reading and math test results released by the Vermont Department of Education last Wednesday.
In general, area elementary schools scored about on par with their peers across the state in a release of reading comprehension test results on the same day.
Educators gleaned a few specific lessons from the their initial look at the test results other than that they seem to be focusing their instructional efforts on some of the right things.
In results from the New Standards Reference Exams (NSRE), which were given to 10th graders in March, Mount Abraham Union High School students met the standard at four percentage points above the state average in the Math Concepts category, eight points below the state average in Writing Effectiveness, and within two points either way on the other five math and reading categories.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
WALTHAM — After an Oct. 5 hearing at which members of the Waltham Planning Commission and some residents questioned changes selectmen made to proposed new zoning laws, it looks like selectmen and planners will be sitting down to talk before another version of the zoning rules is put before the public.
Selectman Harold Francis said on Friday that disagreements over conditional use language, frontage requirements, changes made in the town’s forest zone, noise law provisions, and the size of the town’s main 5-acre residential zone will almost certainly require face-to-face meetings to resolve.
“It was suggested that the zoning board and selectboard get together and work this out … which I think we’ll probably do,” Francis said.
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont’s top agriculture official said he is in favor of weaning the state’s dairy farmers from synthetic growth hormone, but he expects milk processors to help them do it.
Dean Foods and H.P. Hood Inc. have both announced recently that they would no longer accept milk from cows that have been treated with rBST (recumbent bovine somatropin), an artificial form of a naturally occurring hormone. Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Steve Kerr this week said he welcomed the change but said that the processors should compensate farmers for going without the hormone.
rBST, developed and marketed by Monsanto Corp. under the name Posilac, increase milk production by an average of 10 extra pounds per day.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Members of the Middlebury Business Association (MBA) on Tuesday urged selectmen to put pressure on the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) to make sure that next year’s scheduled repaving of downtown roads does not choke off customer traffic to local stores.
More than 20 downtown business owners packed the board’s conference room to voice their concerns about the state’s plans in 2007 to mill and repave Main Street from the Middlebury Congregational Church to the Cornwall town line; Route 125 (College Street) from Main Street to the Cornwall line; and Route 7 from Creek Road to just north of High Street.
The state has budgeted for the multi-million-dollar project to occur within the fiscal year 2008, which begins on July 1, 2007. Local merchants fear a late summer/early fall work schedule, which would coincide with one of the most lucrative shopping periods of the year.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY â€” Justin Spurley, Marietou Paye and Conetrise Holt were the top students of their graduating classes at Atlanta public high schools. When choosing colleges, they could have gone where their friends were going â€” the University of Florida or Georgia, or even accepted generous scholarships to Emory University in Atlanta.
But these three students chose Middlebury College.
Their parents had never heard of the school. Their friends called it â€œMiddle-of-nowhere-bury,â€? but with the support of the year-old 21st Century Scholars Program, created by Atlanta native and Middlebury College alumnus Graham Balch, these students applied to a range of northeastern liberal arts colleges they never would have considered before.
The Atlanta public schools are struggling to see their students through college, Balch says, and they attribute this to the lack of gap-financing in southern colleges and universities.
ADDISON COUNTY — Two Vermont transit organizations soon will begin offering weekday bus service between Middlebury and Rutland.
Officials from Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) and the Marble Valley Regional Transit District (MVRTD) said the service, which will run several times a day during the workweek beginning Dec. 4, will make it easier for people to commute to and from both towns.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
FERRISBURGH — A major federal grant recently earned by the Rokeby Museum could “transform” the Ferrisburgh institution that illustrates the key role Vermont played in the anti-slavery movement, its director said.
Rokeby director Jane Williamson announced this week that the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the historic Route 7 museum a $235,000 grant to develop a permanent exhibit on the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves find their freedom.
Rokeby earned the highly competitive grant by developing a proposal to highlight the stories of two fugitives who enjoyed long stays at the Ferrisburgh farm, then owned by Rowland Robinson, after fleeing slavery in Maryland and North Carolina.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Nick Artim still vividly recalls his high school guidance counselors’ reaction when he first told them of his desire to work at a job that melded his love of history and architecture.
“They said, ‘You’re never going to make money at that,’” Artim recalled.
Well, Artim is currently proving those guidance counselors wrong.
Artim, 50, has quietly become one of the country’s most respected authorities in designing fire protection systems for some of the western world’s most historic homes, libraries, museums and castles. Even if you look real closely, you’d be hard-pressed to see his handiwork — sprinkler heads, smoke detectors and the like — craftily camouflaged within the rafters, banisters or log walls within such iconic structures as Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and the Vermont Statehouse.