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August 20th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously approved the hiring of Jennifer Murray, a senior conservation planner for the town of Williston, as Middlebury’s new director of planning and zoning. She will officially begin her duties on Aug. 31.
Murray has more than 15 years of experience as an environmental project manager and planner, both in Vermont and in rural upstate New York. In her cover letter, Murray professed particular interest in “community development in small rural towns.”
VERGENNES — Bixby Memorial Library in Vergennes announces an exhibition of new works by Ripton artist and teacher Jean Cherouny. The show, titled simply “OPEN,” begins on Friday, Aug. 28, with a reception, demonstration and chances for audience participation. All are invited to the opening, from 5-7 p.m, part of Vergennes’ monthly summer Arts Walk. Just drop in, or plan to view the entire five-act performance.
MIDDLEBURY — EastView at Middlebury will host a talk by writer/carver/painter Tim Brookes on Monday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. In “Disappearing Alphabets and the Future of the Written Word,” Brookes explores what the age of digital convergence, Twitter, and e-books means for the future of written language.
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) announces a major milestone in its service history. Ridership tracking indicates ACTR will deliver its 2 millionth ride on Tuesday, Aug. 25. To thank riders, ACTR’s buses will operate fare-free that day and each Bus System and Dial-A-Ride passenger will receive a gift, while supplies last.
MIDDLEBURY — Organizers of Festival on-the-Green, the week-long summer music event in Middlebury, are seeking a new year-round storage space for some festival equipment.
For many years Festival on-the-Green has been able to store its equipment in the town of Middlebury municipal garage.
How time flies.
I started as a reporter here at the Addison Independent back in 1990. A quarter-century later, times have changed — as have virtually all the faces with whom I deal in municipal and state government.
Some of the story themes currently on my plate are a lot different than they were 25 years ago. For example, back then, there was no controversy in Addison County about the siting of solar farms, natural gas pipelines or cell towers. There wasn’t a murmur about same-sex marriage, let alone civil unions.
The 2016 elections for the Vermont House of Representatives will be one of the most interesting parts of next year’s political cycle.
In 2014, Vermont Democrats lost 12 House seats, going from 98 seats before the election to 86 seats in the current Legislature. They also lost the so-called super-majority in the House, the two-thirds majority they had held along with Progressives. However, Democrats still hold a comfortable overall majority, with 10 seats more than the 76 needed to control the 150-member chamber.
Secretary Susan Minter has been quoted as saying that Middlebury is a bottleneck. There is no doubt in my mind that she was referring not to the town of Middlebury or its governing body, but to the physical landscape of the railway as it passes through the town center. And she is correct. The space is neither wide enough nor deep enough to accommodate the growing size of railway freight carriers.