June 23rd, 2011
ORWELL — In a barn at the Hall and Breen Farm on Monday morning, two lines of cows jostled for position, eager to enter the single-cow berths where they’d be rewarded with troughs of grain.
On the other side of the berths, Louis Hall and two maintenance workers watched as the robotic arms grasped each cow’s udders, milked, then released. As a cow left the stall, she pushed aside a bar that allowed the next cow to enter.
On Monday morning Otter Valley baseball coach Tim Mitchell and I were trying to puzzle out why OV players are assigned to the Rutland American Legion baseball team and not to Addison County’s, especially given that Rutland is already drawing players from as far away as Manchester.
We decided that as long as athletes are playing somewhere at all we wouldn’t worry too much about it.
There are plenty of reasons to be worried about Vermont’s march toward single-payer health care.
Federal health care reform may allow states to cover virtually all health care costs within their borders. But of course there’s no guarantee such a system would work. It’s never been tried in the U.S.
BRANDON — Almost two years of negotiation have led not only to a new contract, but better relations between the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union (RNeSU) and local teaching associations, the parties said.
RNeSU, the Rutland Northeast Education Association and the Otter Valley Teachers’ Association have agreed to a 1.6 percent increase on the base salary schedule for the current 2010-11 school year along with a 1.74 percent for 2011-12 and 2.37 percent for 2012-13.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Tuesday made final a 2011-2012 budget and adopted a municipal tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year that will remain level for the fourth year in a row.
The budget features few spending increases other than a modest pay raise for some city employees.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters this fall will see the first of two votes on a major fix-up of the local fire department’s two firehouses.
Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) officials last month unveiled a $5.2 million plan to replace their East Middlebury fire station and expand and renovate their Seymour Street headquarters. Officials at the time proposed a bond referendum for Town Meeting Day in March 2012.
ADDISON COUNTY — Many drunk driving offenders will have the ability to get on the road quicker beginning next month if they install a state-approved ignition interlock system designed to ensure they are not operating under the influence.
The reason is Act 126, a new state law passed by the Legislature in 2010 that takes effect on July 1.
MIDDLEBURY — The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History will be marching to a new tune at its biggest annual fund-raiser on June 30 in order to add a little musical variety while cranking up the financial return.
For the past 18 years, the Sheldon Museum Pops Concert, which is hosted in the week leading up to the Fourth of July, had featured the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) as lead performer during an evening culminating in fireworks. The concert has yielded an important piece of the nonprofit Sheldon’s annual revenue stream.