May 12th, 2011
MONTPELIER — Local lawmakers said they will remember the 2011 legislative session for being short on funds but long on accomplishments and punctuality.
The gavel fell on the session on Friday, May 6 — one week ahead of schedule and in spite of a very busy agenda that included health care reform and a fiscal year 2012 budget that was $176 million in the red at the outset.
VERGENNES — At Tuesday’s Vergennes forum in advance of the May 17 revote on Addison Northwest Supervisory Union unification, opponents questioned what tax impact the switch to one-board governance would have on city residents.
Meanwhile, backers focused on unification’s potential benefits to ANwSU students, especially those from elementary schools coming into Vergennes Union High School, and to residents from long-range stability of tax rates.
VERMONT — Labor has long been an issue for dairy farmers, but Vermont’s congressional delegation is seeking to alleviate some of that pressure with changes to federal guest worker policy.
At present, guest workers from other countries are limited to a one-year visa; and dairy farms, as non-seasonal operations, are barred from hiring through the program. The H-2A Improvement Act proposes changes to the current seasonal worker visa program that would allow dairy farmers to hire guest workers legally for a period of three years.
MIDDLEBURY — Gov. Peter Shumlin said on Monday he could not have imagined a more successful inaugural legislative session as the state’s new chief executive officer.
“It was truly extraordinary,” Shumlin said of the 2011 Legislature’s accomplishments, which included passing health care reform; balancing a fiscal year 2012 budget that was saddled with a $176 million revenue shortfall and no federal stimulus funds; and advancing the administration’s goal of extending wireless broadband access to all parts of the state by 2013.
FERRISBURGH — There was a time when Art Cohn believed the heaviest lifting associated with establishing the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) would be setting up its first rudimentary headquarters near the Basin Harbor Club in Ferrisburgh.
That feat occurred a little more than 25 year ago, when museum co-founders Cohn and Robert Beach Jr. spearheaded the dismantling of Panton’s old stone schoolhouse on Lake Road, then relocated and reassembled it — piece by piece — at the then-barren, four-acre LCMM campus.
MIDDLEBURY — As Middlebury College seniors gear up for graduation in just a few weeks, Don Kjelleren, the head of the college’s Career Services Office, said most students are facing up to the task of finding a job with a more positive view than he has seen over the past few years.
“The outlook is cautiously optimistic — all trends are up at the moment,” he said.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday joined several prominent local businesses in supporting the efforts of Vermont Gas System (VGS) to secure financing to extend a natural gas pipeline into Addison County.
MIDDLEBURY — The U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont confirmed on May 5 that Addison County resident Anthony Carosella, 26, was sentenced to 120 months in prison after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and 100 grams or more of heroin, conspiracy to obstruct commerce by armed robbery, and conspiracy to burglarize pharmacies.