March 18th, 2010
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of essays about politics and the moral life by Victor Nuovo, Middlebury College professor emeritus of philosophy. The essays develop themes from a work by the philosopher Plato titled “Laws,” which he wrote shortly before his death in 347 BCE. “Laws” is written as a dialogue involving three old men with long experience in politics: Cleinias from the Cretan city of Cnossos, Megillus from Sparta, and an Athenian stranger who is not named, but who may be Plato himself.
MIDDLEBURY — In a down economy, humane societies and animal shelters become overburdened with pets that owners can no longer afford to care for. And unwanted horses, some of the largest and most resource-intensive domesticated animals, present significant problems for those shelters.
On Tuesday, March 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., veterinarians, members of Vermont humane organizations, farriers, horse owners and horse enthusiasts will gather at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury to discuss local solutions to what some say is an urgent problem nationwide.
MONTPELIER — Local lawmakers were working overtime late last week to salvage at least half of what had been a $1 million financial aid package for Addison County businesses hit hard by last fall’s closure of the Champlain Bridge.
ADDISON COUNTY — Acting in accordance with a new federal mandate, school officials in Vermont last week identified 10 of the state’s lowest-achieving schools, and offered the promise of hefty federal funding to those willing to make significant changes.
Addison County students attend four of the 10 schools that cropped up on the list: Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol, the Bridport Central School, Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon, and Fair Haven Union High School, where students from Orwell are schooled.
SHOREHAM — Shoreham officials this week are set to begin talks with a new medical clinic that could occupy a chunk of space in the historic Newton Academy building on School Road.
Shoreham Selectboard Chairman Paul Saenger said on Thursday he was not able to disclose the identity of the prospective tenant, which he said hails from the Champlain Valley.
“This is just one prospective tenant,” Saenger stressed. “There will be others we visit with in a similar way.”
VERGENNES — By September the Small City Market should be a lot bigger.
On March 8, Cory and Hilary Foote, the Weybridge residents who for 12 years have owned the Vergennes store at the intersection of South Water and Main streets, received a Development Review Board permit to put up a new building to house their business — right across the street from their existing shop.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team’s remarkable late-season run ended on Saturday, when visiting Plattsburgh scored early in overtime to earn a 3-2 win in an NCAA Division III quarterfinal.
The Panthers entered the game with a 19-4-4 record after winning 12 of their 13 previous outings, including a 5-3 decision over the 19-5-3 Cardinals.
But on Saturday Plattsburgh got to loose pucks first, won most of the battles along the boards, and outshot the Panthers, 31-23.
This is Sunshine Week in America, a press-organized annual observance to stress the importance of openness in government. Lord knows Sunshine Week (March 14-20) deserves attention here in Vermont.
How Vermont’s laws on public meetings and public records got so messed up is a mystery, but there’s no question they’re messed up. The man who wrote the law, a former attorney general and state senator, put 27 exemptions in the law for the usual stuff — personnel matters, land acquisition, legal strategy in a lawsuit, that kind of thing.