Archive - 2006 - Page
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
STARKSBORO â€” Lori Russell is renting the former Starksboro town clerkâ€™s office and will be opening a general store in the space.
The Starksboro resident thinks the store, to be called the Starksboro Country Store, will be ready for business some time in May.
Starksboro has been without a store like this for about four years since the previous one closed, and Russell thinks that needs to be fixed. â€œI really think our town has missed it,â€? she said. â€œWeâ€™re a very tight community here in Starksboro, and I think we need something like this.â€?
The â€œcountry convenience store,â€? as Russell called it, will have a creemee window, and will feature as many locally made products as possible, including maple syrup from her familyâ€™s farm.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
ADDISON COUNTY â€” The final appearance of the Vermont Electric Power Co.â€™s 115-kilovolt line between New Haven and South Burlington is now being decided in negotiations before the Public Service Board (PSB) that include VELCO, towns, individual residents and the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC).
At stake are the locations and appearance of major substations in Vergennes and Ferrisburgh, the heights of poles at many road crossings and near some homes, the placement of poles and guy wires in residentsâ€™ yards and fields, and the amount of landscaping VELCO will provide to screen its 115-kV line in many places.
When the stateâ€™s congressional delegation, joined by Gov. James Douglas, files a protest to a private company for dismissing a long-time employee, the average reader should be interested. We canâ€™t recall another time in Vermontâ€™s history that itâ€™s happened, which makes the outrage and disappointment expressed by Gov. Douglas and Sens. Patrick Leahy, James Jeffords, and Rep. Bernie Sanders, all the more poignant.
The protest is over the sudden dismissal of Chris Graff. A familiar face on Vermont Public Televisionâ€™s â€œVermont This Week,â€? Graff not only worked as the Associated Pressâ€™ bureau chief for the past 27 years, but he has been one of the stateâ€™s most prominent and well-respected journalists â€” as the managing editor of a staff of fine reporters, as a keen observer of state politics and history, and as a moderator of numerous political debates and public forums. He has become, as one editor recently wrote, an institution in Vermont.
Good news came Friday in Montpelier when Gov. James Douglas agreed to consider an increase in taxes to help pay for changes in the stateâ€™s health care system. Though he conceded that it took him out of his â€œcomfort zoneâ€? on taxation, Douglas approved the notion of adding a 60-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes â€” driving state taxes from $1.19 to roughly $1.79.
Good for the governor. Just the notion of raising taxes to accomplish a public good was a needed concession to move things forward and offer an element of hope in future legislative discussions.
The governor, however, still insists that the final draft on the health care plan must include his employer-sponsored insurance plan, which requires employees who qualify for their companyâ€™s health insurance plan to opt for that plan rather than the stateâ€™s plan. While such a requirement would drive up costs to businesses, itâ€™s a fair point and one that Democrats can easily support.