February 16th, 2012
A meditation on basketball officiating, stimulated by recent events:
My late brother-in-law, the football coach, didn’t watch much basketball, though he was an avid fan of sports generally. He said, “I don’t like a game where the official is so important. The whistle is blowing all the time. It seems the refs often control the outcome, not the players.” He preferred ice hockey in the winter.
That’s a valid criticism. This dependence on officials is basketball’s greatest limitation. Nonetheless, it’s a great game.
I have lived in Addison County for 14 years, a drop in the bucket compared to many of my friends and neighbors. It’s a place that I am proud to call home. And although I love my hometown, Cornwall, clearly Middlebury is the economic engine that makes our county hum.
The case for making the state education department a cabinet-level agency with a secretary appointed by the governor gained strength this past week as the state’s test scores provided less than sterling results with no-one but local school boards to hold accountable.
What’s to be done?
One week from now, I will be traveling through Rwanda — “land of 1,000 hills” — with 18 high school students.
I’m still trying to convince myself of this fact: On Sunday, I will abandon my desk here at the Addison Independent for three weeks and hop on a plane to sub-Saharan Africa, acting as a multimedia instructor for a group of students who are immersed in an unfamiliar country, a different history, a new reality.
The White House and the Obama re-election campaign should reconsider their plans for the president’s trip to Vermont at the end of March. Obama will be taking a quick trip to Burlington and to Portland, Maine, on March 30 solely for the purpose of fundraising. All the events in Burlington will be at the Sheraton.
As a rookie reporter in 1974, one of the first stories I covered was the Eastern Wilderness Act. To get some details on the new law, I called the office of Vermont Republican Sen. George Aiken.
I was expecting to get a junior aide on the phone. Instead, the receptionist asked, “Would you like to speak to the senator? He’s right here.”
VERGENNES — Vergennes police on Feb. 10 cited a South Burlington man for possession of 1.89 pounds of marijuana following a 1:40 a.m. traffic stop on Main Street.
Police said that department Drug Recognition Expert Brent Newton also tested Justin B. Thayer, 24, on the scene for driving under the influence of drugs, and that Thayer could face DUI-drug charges depending on the results of a blood test administered later that night at Porter Hospital.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police cited Jeffrey A. Drown, 30, of Middlebury for possession of heroin, following an incident outside of the Shaw’s Supermarket on Washington Street on Feb 7. A police officer alleged seeing Drown using a hypodermic needle in his vehicle. After getting consent, authorities searched the vehicle.
In other action last week, Middlebury police:
• Investigated a report of vandalism to multiple mailboxes on Halladay Road on Feb.6.