June 14th, 2012
BRISTOL — The oldest town building in Bristol, Howden Hall, is about to get what officials say are some much-needed upgrades.
With roughly $75,000 in the town’s Howden Hall Capital Reserve Fund, the Howden Hall Committee — with the selectboard’s approval — is moving ahead with electrical upgrades, moisture reduction measures, weatherization improvements and possibly some wheel-chair accessibility measures.
At a meeting last week, the Bristol selectboard hired project manager Ed Hanson at a rate of $50 an hour to oversee the process.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen and planners on Tuesday agreed on a series of tweaks to proposed zoning regulations and said they hope to schedule a public hearing on the new rules by mid-July.
Most of the changes agreed upon at a council meeting attended by six members of the planning commission derived from testimony at the council’s May 8 public hearing on the proposed laws:
• Multi-family homes will be allowed in the Otter Creek Basin District, as suggested by a property owner.
VERGENNES — In addition to discussing new zoning at a Tuesday meeting, the Vergennes City Council also took care of a number of other issues. At the June 12 meeting, aldermen:
• Said they would not take up the issue of a new policy for displays on the city green — notably including the longstanding Christian crèche — until July. Before then, the latest draft of a policy will circulate to council members and then be posted at vergennes.org.
FERRISBURGH — While the Ferrisburgh selectboard on June 5 considered how to put in place a complex residential energy-efficiency program narrowly backed in March by town residents, the town’s energy committee chairman said a few homeowners are already interested in signing on.
At town meeting, residents voted, 50-49, that Ferrisburgh should become a Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) district.
FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh selectboard at its Tuesday meeting agreed to use equipment borrowed from Shelburne to measure the speed and amount of traffic coming through the North Ferrisburgh village along Old Hollow Road.
The board took that action in response to a petition filed by Old Hollow Road resident Nick Patch and signed by about 90 residents of the area; he said “the vast majority” of the village population wanted something done.
Editor’s note: Doug Anderson’s contemporary staging of the Massenet opera “Thaïs” opened at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater last Friday and will be performed at 8 p.m. on June 14, 15 (with alternate cast) and 16. Here are responses to the work from two reviewers.
I don’t know Doug Anderson that well but I learned something new about him this past Friday; he’s not afraid to take on a challenge. To stage a production of a complex opera written in the 19th century, about a repressed monk and a promiscuous courtesan from ancient Egypt, and make it appealing to a modern audience, takes vision and some serious nerve.
MIDDLEBURY — A hospital can be an intimidating and foreboding place for those who first cross the threshold looking for a sick loved one somewhere in a veritable honeycomb of rooms.
Porter Hospital is no impersonal honeycomb, but visitors can still be anxious — until they see Mary Baker. It is then that furrowed brows become less crinkled and destinations become more clear as Baker smiles reassuringly, issues a warm welcome and asks if she can help.
And she invariably can.