April 14th, 2011
ADDISON COUNTY — According to the Vermont Department of Education’s late March release of its 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report, 72 percent of Vermont schools — including 13 of 25 schools in Addison County and Brandon — failed to meet performance targets.
But officials from area supervisory unions say that these benchmarks are missing the point.
“It’s a waste of time,” said John Castle, superintendent of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. “I think the whole system should be thrown out.”
BRISTOL — Whitewater kayakers from up and down the East Coast and across the border in Canada tore over Bristol’s infamous Bartlett Falls at last Saturday’s New Haven River Festival. Organized by the University of Vermont (UVM) Kayak Club and the Vermont Paddlers Club, the festival hosted 59 paddlers in its third consecutive year, up from 26 last year.
At the heart of the festival was a grueling 1/3-mile race down a technical section of the New Haven River that finished at Bartlett Falls. And, the stakes were high.
VERGENNES — In scheduling a televised public forum in advance of the city’s May 17 revote on Addison Northwest Supervisory Union unification, Vergennes aldermen and an ANwSU representative agreed on Tuesday that the school district should make a full presentation describing what the school governance change would mean.
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. on May 10 in the Vergennes Opera House. It will then be broadcast locally on cable channel 17 on Wednesday, May 11, at 1 and 7 p.m.; on Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m.; and on Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m.
NEW HAVEN — The chorus of spring peepers’ early season song marks the end of maple sugaring season. For many sugarmakers across the lower elevations of Addison County’s Champlain Valley, last weekend likely marked this sugar season’s final sap run.
“I’m boiling in the frog run,” bellowed George Crane over the roar of his wood-fire evaporator.
MIDDLEBURY — An ad hoc committee studying the prospect of upgrading Middlebury Fire Department facilities is close to deciding on a preferred option that will likely be fielded by voters next Town Meeting Day.
Some members of the town’s fire station study committee delivered that update to the Middlebury selectboard on Monday, along with news that maintaining stations on Seymour Street and in East Middlebury is gaining more support than the notion of erecting a single new facility on Route 7 South.
BRISTOL — Voters in the Bristol Police District next month will weigh in a proposed budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year that features a 10.5 percent cut in spending and would require 6.5 percent less money from taxpayers.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury officials are preparing a search for a new assistant town manager to take over for Joe Colangelo, who left that post last week to become town administrator in Hinesburg.
Officials will first review the assistant town manager’s job description to see if it should be adjusted before it is advertised. It is a job with a focus on municipal budget and human resources issues.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters on Tuesday voted 75 to 17 in favor of affirming a $3 million bond issue to finance various road improvement projects throughout town.
The second Australian ballot vote was needed to affirm a Town Meeting Day vote of 467 to 158 in favor of the bond. That initial vote was improperly warned and therefore had to be ratified.
The proposed 20-year, $3 million bond issue is to take care of 17 different road improvement projects that might otherwise linger on the drawing board.