January 13th, 2014
Having these past few months observed an unfortunate level of heightened discourse over the issues surrounding the Middlebury Town Hall and the corresponding concern over “conflict of interest,” I chose to attend the Jan. 2 meeting of the selectboard, in which a complaint of conflict of interest in three recent votes was being considered.
Gov. Peter Shumlin recently took the unusual step of addressing both the Senate and house health care committees to talk about Vermont Health Connect and how the state needs to prepare itself for Green Mountain Care, the state’s single-payer health care plan.
He made the trip because the issue dominates all others. How it is managed will affect the careers of many of those who spend their time under the dome in Montpelier.
It’s time to pay attention.
VERGENNES — The proposal to convert the former Vergennes nursing home at 1 Alden Place into a treatment center for troubled teen girls and young women has hit a major snag — a dispute between the property’s seller and its contracted buyer.
The sale of the former Briarwood Nursing Home to Valley Vista, which operates a 10-year-old, 80-bed substance-abuse treatment center in Bradford, is either off or on hold, according to versions offered by building owner John Laberge or Valley Vista co-owner Rick DiStefano.
MIDDLEBURY — Bread Loaf Corp. this week provided estimates that compare the cost of building the new Middlebury town offices and town gym on new sites vs. renovating or reconstructing the existing municipal building and gym at the corner of South Main and College streets.
BRISTOL — A consortium of groups has joined forces to purchase 40 acres of land along the New Haven River in order to conserve it and donate it to the town of Bristol.
The land, which straddles the river in the Bristol Flats area and was previously owned by Alan and Todd Saunders, will be used with the best interests of the river and environment in mind, its new owners said.
ADDISON COUNTY — Bridport Grange No. 303 and the Addison County Farm Bureau have organized a series of breakfasts and lunches at which local lawmakers and residents can discuss what is going on in Montpelier during the legislative session.
The 2014 Legislative Breakfast series will debut on Monday, Feb. 3, and include a March 24 session with Gov. Peter Shumlin.
MIDDLEBURY — For students at many colleges, January is typically a time to relax between fall term finals and the new semester. It is a month of home-cooked meals, showers without flip-flops, and nights spent on a comfortable mattress.
Middlebury College students, however, face a slightly different four weeks. From Jan. 6 to 31, students are enrolled in only one course that is chosen from a selection of offerings that differ from the usual academic fare.
BRISTOL — First and foremost, Bristol resident John Shepard, a former U.S. Marine with terminal cancer, and his girlfriend Hillary Provoncha are grateful for the support their acquaintances have shown by donating about $3,800 to a website set up to fund Shepard’s daughter’s attempt to take him on a trip to North Carolina or buy him a boat so they may go fishing together.