November 20th, 2014
Last week when I wrote this column was Agricultural Literacy Week in Vermont — a great opportunity to learn about new methods as our farms continue to grow and modernize. This week is also the week of Thanksgiving. The holiday is traditionally a time to give thanks for the many gifts we’ve been given. In our homes, our churches and our communities we also take time to think about stewardship — how we care for those gifts. Here in Vermont we have no greater gift than our beautiful environment.
FERRISBURGH — Pointing to the cost of and uncertain result for his ongoing Act 250 application, Denecker Chevrolet owner Tom Denecker recently told the town of Ferrisburgh he was giving up on his $350,000 purchase of town-owned land at the junction of Routes 7 and 22A.
In a Nov. 6 letter to the town, Denecker said his decision was a result of his inability to satisfy the “conditions to close” contingency in his purchase-and-sale agreement with Ferrisburgh.
BRANDON — Otter Valley Union High School’s Walking Stick Theater will perform Bob Fosse’s iconic musical “Chicago” at the Brandon school on Nov. 20-23. Performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s matinee begins at 2:30 p.m.
The original Broadway production opened in 1975 and became one of the longest running shows in Broadway history.
ADDISON COUNTY — A Saturday and Sunday with fair but cold weather saw Vermont’s deer rifle season get off to a solid, but not spectacular, start in the area.
During the first two days of the state’s 16-day rifle season, local hunters shot 154 deer and then took them to one of Addison County’s official weighing stations.
That opening weekend total dropped from the 200 killed in 2013’s first two days, but overall fell in line with numbers from the past four years’ opening weekends.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board, at their meeting Tuesday evening, performed an autopsy on the lopsided defeat of a $32.6 million bond proposal to renovate the aging Bristol school.
The board came to a consensus on the primary reason the bond failed: taxpayers were unwilling to foot the bill.
Residents of the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union’s five sending towns on Nov. 4 voted down the proposal, 3,328 to 1,239.
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Hogan Elementary School officials are discussing a proposal that the annual ID-4 school district budget be decided on Town Meeting Day instead of on the second Wednesday of April, and that residents cast ballots on the spending plan instead of passing judgment with a voice vote.
The ID-4 school board’s decision to consider the changes comes after a pitch by some local citizens and Middlebury officials who believe that a Town Meeting Day vote by Australian ballot would allow more residents to weigh in on annual Mary Hogan Elementary spending.
VERMONT — Critics of the Shumlin administration earlier this week were demanding the dismissal of a state consultant whose remarks about the Affordable Care Act last week went viral on Twitter and were picked up by major news outlets, including Bloomberg, Slate and the New Republic.
By the end of the day Wednesday the consultant had said he would stay on the job but work without pay.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes sewer fund should soon be $107,876 richer, City Manager Mel Hawley told Vergennes aldermen at their Nov. 11 meeting.
City and Vermont Agency of Transportation officials earlier this fall agreed on that figure as a tap-on fee to the city sewer system for the historic former Vergennes rail depot, which was moved in October 2012 from North Main Street to a Ferrisburgh site next to the VTrans park-and-ride lot and is now state-owned.