April 25th, 2013
MIDDLEBURY — In 1928, on the cusp of one of the greatest economic crises in history, German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht sat down to adapt John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” for a theater in Berlin. The piece was a 19th century satire of Italian opera that offered a socialist critique of what both playwrights considered the pervasive corruption of capitalism at all levels of society.
MIDDLEBURY — A veritable legion of bulldozers, excavators and dump trucks have begun moving tons of earth on a 27-acre parcel off Exchange Street to make way for construction of the new, 100,000-square foot, $30-million home of Vermont Hard Cider Co.
“It will be a world-class facility,” Vermont Hard Cider President and CEO Bret Williams said on Tuesday.
“It feels terrific to put this facility in the town of Middlebury, where it belongs.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Advocates for Vermont’s migrant laborers know that a driver’s license bill, such as the one being considered by the Vermont Legislature, is a short-term solution to what is ultimately a federal problem. Few would dispute that the dairy industries in states like Vermont have been saved by migrant labor, but the federal government does not offer a visa program to supply labor-strapped dairy farms with legal, documented foreign workers, like the H-2A visa does for seasonal agricultural work.
MIDDLEBURY — Describing an especially competitive applicant pool, Middlebury College officials announced early this month that the school had offered admission to 1,700 students for the incoming Class of 2017.
The college admitted students from a pool of 9,112 applicants from 77 countries and all 50 states. It was the largest group of applicants in the college’s history.
Students will choose their college by May 1. In recent years, 23 to 28 percent of the students Middlebury College has accepted have chosen to attend the school.
BRISTOL — The Bristol Recreation Club is wrapping up a much-needed renovation project to its grandstand and kitchen facility just in time for the Little League baseball season.
“We thought it was going to be a minor repair project to start with,” said Eric Carter, co-director of the Rec Club. “But when we tore off the siding, we realized that five big posts that hold up the building — two of them had about two feet rotting.”
About 30 years of garbage, stuffed between cracks in the grandstand, had also accumulated.
BRANDON — There’s been a major change in management in the town of Brandon.
After weeks of searching, the selectboard here agreed to accept the resignation of Richard Baker from the board and hire him as interim town manager.
Baker and Brandon resident Seth Hopkins were both interviewed for the job in executive session during a special selectboard meeting on April 19 before the board made its decision. Board Chair Devon Fuller said Baker was eminently qualified.
BRANDON — Now that petitioners have triggered a re-vote on the Brandon town budget after it passed on Town Meeting Day by eight votes, the stage is set for voters to ask their long-awaited questions.
An informational meeting about the budget will be held at the Neshobe School on Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m. The Brandon selectboard will take budget questions from voters. The meeting will be moderated by Bernie Carr.
MIDDLEBURY — Engineers planning the replacement of Middlebury’s two downtown railroad bridges anticipate presenting various project options by the end of May in anticipation of construction beginning at the end of next March.