January 19th, 2012
Last week, while Congress was in recess, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., joined eight House colleagues on a trip to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was not a junket, but a working visit with officials of the host governments and U.S. diplomats and military personnel stationed in those countries.
It’s practically an indisputable fact of modern life that information is king. And thanks largely to the free flow of the U.S. Internet, we have access to it in unprecedented abundance.
The speed by which citizens of any socioeconomic class are able to access information, the quality of information they’re able to access and the ability to sort through vast layers of up-to-the second news is at an all-time high for Americans.
It’s difficult not to notice that there is a growing crescendo here at home which appears to be encouraging the United States to attack Iran.
Backers of this campaign, at least until recently, have been limited to the Neoconservatives who would like us to invade everywhere and who got us into the Iraq invasion, parts of the Israeli government, and those American supporters of Israel who never question anything the Israelis do.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union Middle and High School board on Tuesday approved a proposed budget that would level-fund education spending for next fiscal year.
Under the proposal, overall expenses would increase 0.7 percent to $13,542,142, but education spending — the part of the budget that directly affects tax rates — would remain the same as this year at $11,309,068. Additionally, the per pupil spending rate would increase 4.1 percent next year to $13,552.
How might this proposed budget affect property tax rates?
FERRISBURGH — From a distance, the vertical green panels revolving in a back field at Boundbrook Farm in Ferrisburgh look more like an art installation than a piece of farm equipment.
But don’t be deceived: Come spring, the unconventional windmill will pump as many as 150 gallons of water a minute into farmer Erik Andrus’s 5-acre rice paddy, day in and day out.
MIDDLEBURY — Just before the Jan. 12 second anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, three local moms early this month delivered more than 700 pairs of shoes collected in Addison County to needy children on the Caribbean island.
“There is an incredible culture of humility that happens when you take a trip like this because we come from a place of such excess by comparison,” said Andrea Ward, a New Haven resident, who made the Jan. 4-8 relief trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with Maria Graham and Kelly Hickey.
UPDATE 1/23/12: This story has a major inaccuracy: Due to a calculation error by Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU), the proposed 2012-2013 Ripton Elementary School spending plan will not require two votes at town meeting after all. Please see the end of the article for more details, and stay tuned for an article with updated ACSU budget information.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union Elementary School board on Monday made final a decision to put before voters on Town Meeting Day a $3.91 million budget proposal for 2012-13 that would increase current spending by $20,500, or 0.5 percent.
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union officials are cautiously optimistic that spending proposal, combined with the recently proposed $8.97 million Vergennes Union High School spending plan, would lead to little or no school tax hikes in the three towns served by VUES.