November 11th, 2010
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board on Tuesday set its educational spending target for the coming fiscal year at $10,893,881, which represents a reduction of 2 percent — or $266,767 — from this year’s spending plan.
The target agreed upon unanimously by the board members would allow Mount Abe to reach the voluntary 2 percent spending cut mandated by the Legislature as part of its “Challenges for Change” law, which aims to trim $23 million from education spending statewide.
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union committee studying unification of the five-town district took no action at a Tuesday meeting, but reached a consensus that it will offer a positive review of potential one-board governance to the full ANwSU board on Nov. 17.
“It’s fair to say the committee is still very positive and feels that the unified union is a good match for our district,” said committee head Kristin Bristow after the evening meeting at Vergennes Union Elementary School.
Tough budgets, progressive thinking
As Middlebury’s board of selectmen hone in on a draft 2011-2012 municipal budget, we urge community residents to get involved in the budgeting process by reading and understanding the issues as thoroughly as possible. To the extent that is done, area residents will be reminded how frugal this board has been over the past couple of years, while still respecting the town’s need for progress and a consistent approach to infrastructure repair and maintenance.
SUDBURY — After a number of failed moves to possibly merge their elementary school with schools in neighboring towns, Sudbury residents will be asked to close the Sudbury Country School. A number of parents recently delivered a petition demanding that the school be closed and the town tuition its youngest students to other schools.
At a special school district meeting on Dec. 6, town voters will decide whether to authorize the Sudbury school board to close the school and send students to other public schools beginning in September of 2011.
As Governor-elect Peter Shumlin assembles a team that he hopes will help him grow jobs and effect long-term change, we repeat two previous appeals: the need to select an outside agent of change as the next Commissioner of Agriculture (we covered those reasons in a guest editorial on Page 5on Monday) and the need for substantial reform in our educational system — a move that could be highlighted by making the commissioner a member of the governor’s cabinet.
MIDDLEBURY — The Town Hall Theater is in line for a coming attraction that will let people know about its coming attractions.
A new, 10-feet-tall-by-3.5-feet-wide marquee, made of hand-forged steel will soon stand in front of the THT at the intersection of Merchants Row and South Pleasant streets. The new marquee — to be installed before the end of the year — will provide a very sturdy and classy message board on which the theater will be able to communicate its many events to the Addison County community.
MIDDLEBURY — This weekend, the fourth annual Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup is slated to take place, not on Middlebury College’s grassy Battell Beach, but in the heart of New York City.
“We are all very excited for this weekend,” said Middlebury College senior and member of the undefeated Middlebury quidditch team Matt Engel. “I think everyone is a little disappointed that the tournament isn’t being held at Midd because we love playing in front of the Middlebury community. However, we also are thrilled that the game has grown popular enough to force us to change venues.”
As they left the polls last Tuesday, 869 Vermont voters completed an exit poll conducted by a consortium of national news organizations. This poll shows some of the ways in which Vermont differs from most of the nation, and provides some of the reasons why Peter Shumlin was elected governor.
Nationally, President Obama’s approval rating is 45 percent. In Vermont, his approval rating is 60 percent. Only in Obama’s native state of Hawaii — where he has 66 percent support — is the president’s approval higher than in Vermont.