September 27th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — They are basic words transposed on simple cotton T-shirts, but they are strung together in such a fashion as to form powerful messages that can’t be ignored.
“One year later, I still cringe when people touch me. I always thought I was one of the people who would never be raped, until it happened.”
“‘Home sweet home’ may not always be sunshine and lollipops.”
“End the silence, stop the violence.”
“You took so much from me, but you couldn’t take my sparkle.”
MIDDLEBURY — A Mormon student at Middlebury College can feel almost as out of place as a 20-year-old Hasidic Jew running the illicit drug ecstasy from Amsterdam to New York.
Award-winning screenwriter Antonio Macia, who graduated from Middlebury in 2000, is well acquainted with the feeling of isolation that goes hand-in-hand with both scenarios.
VERGENNES — Teachers in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union are once again working under a contract, after the ANwSU board of directors last week ratified a new, two-year agreement.
The new contract — which covers the period from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012 — holds the base teacher salary steady throughout the union, and stipulates no change in the percentage of health care coverage teachers pay. It does, however, uphold already budgeted stepped increases in salary, which will provide scheduled raises to teachers with higher education levels or longer tenures.
MIDDLEBURY — Grass rustled in a muddy, sulphur-smelling ditch in Bridport, and just beyond the property line, vehicles hummed through fields of long grasses, cutting and sweeping the cuttings up to store for winter feed.
The long, deep ditch sits close to the edge of 175 acres along the Lemon Fair River that was, until recently, agricultural land. Years before that, the area was a wetland vital to the health of both the Lemon Fair and, at its end, Lake Champlain.
NEW HAVEN — On Monday, members of the New Haven Development Review Board (DRB) signed off on Mike McGrath’s application to place a lot selling up to 100 used cars on his Route 7 property, which already hosts McGrath Flooring Center Inc. The DRB tentatively approved the car lot last week, and signed off on the official permit on Monday after presenting McGrath with a list of conditions.
In addition to the 200-foot space between the cars and the road required by zoning bylaws, DRB Chairman Tim Bouton outlined these conditions for the lot:
LINCOLN — Plans for revamping the Lincoln Community School (LCS) facility were put on pause when the Vermont education commissioner rejected the school board’s $3 million-$4 million bond proposal early last week. The school board and Building Committee met on Wednesday to discuss possible next steps for the school.
The decision arrived in a letter written by School Construction Coordinator Cathy Hilgendorf on behalf of Commissioner Armando Vilaseca.
NEW HAVEN — The town of New Haven has hired an assistant zoning administrator to act as a liaison between the regional zoning administrator and the New Haven Development Review Board (DRB).
Jill Devoe, who worked for four years as an auditor before resigning to work two days a week as an assistant town clerk, was hired by the New Haven selectboard in July to perform clerical duties for the DRB and also act as a go-between for both the DRB and Zoning Administrator Cris Messerle.
MIDDLEBURY — The state has approved Porter Hospital’s request for a 6.5 percent rate for the fiscal year that begins this Friday. The higher rate is part of Porter’s $62,326,074 spending plan for fiscal year 2011, which represents a 5.4 percent spending increase over 2010.
The 6.5 percent rate increase exceeded regulators’ 5.9 percent cap on Vermont hospital rate increases, but Porter got the green light because its increase would have landed at just 5 percent had it not budgeted for installation of a digital record-keeping system also mandated by the state.