BRISTOL — For the students in Hannah Estey and Rebecca Zavadil’s fifth-grade classes, Christmas came a bit early this year.
On Thursday, the Bristol Elementary School fifth-graders all received new Dell netbooks to use at school and at home through the end of the school year as part of the education portion of the “e-Vermont” grant awarded to the town earlier this year.
FERRISBURGH — A state energy official will meet with the Ferrisburgh selectboard on Tuesday to explain the benefits of a program that could allow town property owners to finance energy-efficiency upgrades with long-term, town-backed loans.
Peter Adamczyk of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), which among other things runs Efficiency Vermont, will discuss with selectmen whether Ferrisburgh should become a “Property Assessed Clean Energy,” or PACE, community.
It’s a model for funding energy efficiency that other Addison County towns could emulate.
VERGENNES — With the ceremonial flick of a giant switch last Wednesday, developers of the largest solar farm north of New Jersey fired up their $5 million project located on a 16-acre parcel off Route 7, next to Vergennes Union High School.
The project — known as the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm (FSF) — was spearheaded by Ernie Pomerleau and Brian Waxler, who playfully donned sunglasses to soften the glare of a series of strobe lights activated in the VUHS gym at the special unveiling on Dec. 15.
VERMONT — On Nov. 30, in a rare showing of bipartisan agreement, 73 U.S. Senators voted to pass the Food Safety and Modernization Act. Since that date, however, the bill has lingered in a state of purgatory. While Senate Democrats on Friday continued to push for the legislation, the window of opportunity was closing quickly.
MIDDLEBURY — During his four years on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Chris Bray, D-New Haven, has frequently advocated for farming practices and food policies that are socially responsible and add value to Vermont’s food commodities.
He is now participating in just such a venture.
Vermont Coffee Company confirmed on Thursday the hiring of Bray as its executive vice president, one of four new positions recently added at the fast growing, Middlebury-based firm.
MIDDLEBURY — A group of 18 Vermont inns and bed and breakfasts, led by the owners of the Swift House Inn in Middlebury, are offering free stays this winter to members of the Vermont National Guard, many of whom are returning home from a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Nearly 1,500 Vermont National Guard soldiers are returning home from Afghanistan after participating in the Vermont Guard’s largest mobilization since World War II. The first soldiers returned home before Thanksgiving, and the rest are expected home by Christmas.
VERGENNES — A Vergennes Union High School boys’ basketball team without a senior on the roster improved to 2-0 on Saturday, when the host Commodores used a 12-0 second-half run to erase Montpelier’s one-point lead on the way to a 53-40 win.
Five Commodores scored in that outburst, which lasted 2:48, and only one of them was a starter — sophomore guard Shep Carter, who beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 10-foot runner to make it 34-29, VUHS.
ADDISON — The Addison Volunteer Fire Department is wrapping up a year in which community members not only gave their time and efforts in responding to emergencies, but also reached into their wallets and gave financial support to the department.
The total raised from this month’s tree lighting fund-raiser is not complete, but Geoff Nelson of the department’s finance committee said a few thousand dollars has been raised so far, and a few donations are still coming in.