May 10th, 2015
Legislation can be well intended, but misses the mark so far it actually makes things worse.
Such is the case with recent changes to H.40, the renewable energy bill that was passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee last Thursday on a 5-0 vote. At issue was language added to establish minimum setbacks and provide towns the right to impose appropriate screening standards.
MIDDLEBURY — Members of the Addison County judiciary are warning that a dramatic surge in the number of juvenile cases is stretching court staff to the limit and in some cases deferring the legal process for adult defendants whose cases must, by state law, take a backseat to justice for young victims and defendants.
VERGENNES — Addison Northwest Supervisory Union voters on Tuesday sent two VUHS budget articles down to defeat for the second time in 2015, one by a close margin and one by a landslide.
A $10.31 million proposal to fund the high school, and which cut $156,000 from the budget defeated on Town Meeting Day, lost 722-676 or 51.6-48.4 percent.
A second article, one that could have only taken effect if the first article had passed, would have added that $156,000 back into VUHS spending. It failed by 843-556, or 60-40 percent.
MIDDLEBURY — Another scorching day in the West African Republic of Sierra Leone, where the air hangs heavy with humidity and death.
Another day of misery for the latest group of patients filing into the Lunsar Ebola Treatment Center.
For those flagged with the vicious disease, there’s a 60-percent chance they’ll leave the center in a body bag — especially if they’re children.
Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series on Vermonters who are giving back at home and around the world.
CABARETE, Dominican Republic — At her home on the outskirts of Cabarete, a beach town on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, life is not easy for Luismina. Her mother is single and poor. Luismina, 9, is the youngest of five daughters. In a country where one out of every 10 girls is married by age 15, she does not know how old her eldest sister is.
FERRISBURGH — In a second 2015 vote on a Ferrisburgh Central School budget, Ferrisburgh voters on Tuesday approved two spending articles totaling $3,592,402 for the 2015-2016 school year. The result will be an increase of about 2 percent over current FCS spending.
Because a second Vergennes Union High School budget proposal was defeated on Tuesday, 722-676, despite support in Ferrisburgh, the tax impact of Tuesday’s vote is difficult to assess.
VERMONT — After a warm, dry weekend and a Red Flag Warning on Monday that ended with more than 25 new reports of wildfires, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) on Tuesday ordered the state’s forest fire wardens to cease issuing burning permits through May 19.
MIDDLEBURY — There’s a lot of work and a sense of mystery associated with being Addison County’s public defender, and James Gratton embraces both facets of the job.
“I like the challenge of working with people,” Gratton said. “I like the fact that I never know when I come in in the morning what’s going to happen. I might be doing a motion that I wasn’t expecting, I might be getting through the paperwork that’s on my desk, for once.