January 21st, 2010
That the thrust of Gov. James Douglas’ final budget address was to cut spending was no surprise. But that he chose to raise property taxes on middle-income Vermonters while seeking tax reductions for the richest Vermonters seems out-of-sync with the state and the times. Add that he continues to throw money at roads and bridges and put a greater burden on the property tax and you have ample cause for a difference of opinion on how to make up for the projected $154 million shortfall in next year’s spending plan.
MIDDLEBURY — The hard work put in by the young Middlebury Union High School gymnastics team paid off on Monday with the Tigers’ first win in at least two years and probably longer. The score was 115.40-101.675 over U-32 at the Middlebury Union Middle School gym.
Junior Rosalie Wright-Lapin sparked the Tigers’ victory by winning all four events and the all-around title, while classmate Bronwyn Worrick was second twice, third twice and a close third in the all-around race.
VERGENNES — Although the face value of the Vergennes Union Elementary School budget will look bigger, residents of Vergennes, Panton on Waltham will be asked on Town Meeting Day this year to approve a little less elementary school spending than in 2009.
That’s because the 2010-2011 VUES budget will include money previously voted on separately in the three union towns’ ID board (essentially elementary school board) budgets.
If you have being waiting for me to weigh in on the paper versus plastic debate (and who hasn’t) I am finally prepared to provide some guidance. Anyone over 40 remembers a time when there was no choice when you got to the end of the grocery store checkout line. Paper was the only option until 1977 when plastic bags first appeared. They quickly became the bag of choice because they didn’t destroy trees, plus they had handy little loops for carrying. But plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which is made from natural gas. And plastic doesn’t decompose for a long, long time.
MIDDLEBURY — As has been the case at times this winter, on Monday the Middlebury Union High School boys’ hockey team did almost everything well enough to win.
The missing element in the Tigers’ 3-1 setback to visiting Northfield was offense. The Tigers outskated the 9-4 Marauders for most of the game and outshot them, 24-18, but couldn’t light the lamp.
Coach Derek Bartlett was left with mixed feelings about his 5-7-1 Tigers. Bartlett is disappointed that the Tigers don’t have more to show for their efforts, but not disappointed with their effort.
VERGENNES — Vergennes Union High School Principal Ed Webbley will meet on Monday with any interested community members to discuss his recommendation that VUHS not pursue accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
That meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the VUHS library.
Vermont’s unemployment rate in November — the most recent month for which state-by-state data is available — was 6.4 percent. The national unemployment rate in November was 10 percent, and only five states had lower unemployment rates than Vermont’s. The Green Mountain State’s unemployment rate peaked in May 2009, at just over 7 percent, and slowly declined to 6.4 percent over the next six months. Maine was the only other state in the nation to see a decline in unemployment during this period, when national unemployment climbed from 9.4 to 10 percent.
This decade began with snow as nice as anything Addison County has enjoyed in the past few years. (I’m speaking, of course, to those like me who enjoy the white stuff.) We had such deep, light, fluffy covering that it was difficult for my wife and I not just to walk out into the woods every morning on our snowshoes, no matter how much work was beckoning to us.