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January 30th, 2014
How Vermonters pay for their schools will be one of those issues that bubbles along the top of this year’s legislative session, catching a burst of attention here and there, ultimately signifying very little.
Most of us dislike the idea of selling property, particularly property we’ve owned for a long time. However distasteful, it is a choice to be considered when confronted with unexpected expenses.
The Middlebury selectboard has asked us to consider selling property so as to meet the burden of replacing the municipal building and gym. Others ask us to consider spending more of our income to keep the property and the buildings on it.
So many have said in their letters or editorials regarding the municipal building and gym that there is a need to (1) focus on the facts and not personalities, and (2) conduct the discussion in civil discourse. We have seen how difficult that can be as sometimes, even in that letter or editorial, there has been other than factual, civil discourse. But I agree that we should continue to have that goal, and separate our feelings regarding the way the process has gone from information that will help us make the important decisions that lie ahead.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday approved a 2014 town meeting warning that will ask voters to make substantial investments in some of their community’s key buildings and bridges.
The marquee items on the 10-article warning relate to plans to build a new Middlebury municipal building and recreation center.
VERGENNES — Three Vergennes City Council incumbents and two former aldermen filed petitions by Monday’s deadline, setting up a five-way race for three seats on the council in March.
On the Town Meeting Day ballot, incumbents Ziggy Comeau, Renny Perry and Lynn Donnelly will face challengers Peter Garon and former mayor Michael Daniels.
Comeau, a real estate broker, was first appointed to the board in 2005 and has won re-election ever since.
BRISTOL — A Mount Abraham Union High School student placed third in an annual essay contest sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Freshman Will Aldrich won the award for his essay, “Promote Sustainable Development,” in the contest timed to coincide with the president’s annual State of the Union Address to Congress.
For the contest, Vermont high school students are asked to write a 250-500-word essay about their views on the state of the union. President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union at the Capitol on Tuesday evening.
MIDDLEBURY — Steven Hauschka looks not so different from everybody else in the Middlebury College class of 2007 facebook. Sandwiched between Casey Harwood and Tristan Hayes, Hauschka’s photo shows a fresh-faced kid from Needham, Mass., who had come to Middlebury to get a first-class education and play soccer.
ESSEX JUNCTION — Francis Bronson of Bridport has been a regular at the annual Vermont Farm Show for 30 years, and this week attended the 82nd annual fair at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction even though he has left dairy farming.
While looking over some of the show’s more than 150 agricultural exhibits, Bronson said he was impressed by some of the technological advances on display.
“There’s some innovative thought processes on some of this stuff,” he said. “I wish some of it was around when I was still going.”