May 16th, 2013
While the legislative session was dominated by a gnashing of teeth over cuts to the $1.3 billion General Fund budget and proposed tax increases, creating a clash between the Democrat-Progressive controlled Legislature and Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin, it was also a session that produced several significant advances — including several social-cultural milestones and ended with a balanced budget without tax increases on income or sales.
MIDDLEBURY — One would think that Middlebury Planning Commission members could rest a little after spending the past three years updating the community’s comprehensive town plan. But the panel is now turning its attention to another, complementary task: ensuring that Middlebury’s zoning laws dovetail with the principles laid out in the town plan.
Is it just me, or can springtime seem a little overwhelming?
I get the part about how green and warm and wonderful it is. I’m reveling in it.
Even my cat is juiced about spring.
When I wouldn’t let him out one recent morning, he launched himself from an open second-story window and landed on the stone patio, 15 feet below. I found him down there, no worse the wear for his Superman imitation, licking his paws and purring.
BRANDON — As a Brandon lister and member of the Otter Valley Union High School Board, Maria Ammatuna already had her hands full. Now, she can add selectboard member to her resume.
The Brandon selectboard chose Ammatuna to fill the vacant board seat left when Richard Baker agreed to become interim town manager late last month. The appointment to the three-year seat expires on Town Meeting Day in March 2014.
VERGENNES — After being selected in February from among several other outstanding local teens for the honor of being the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes Youth of the Year, Vergennes resident Jesse Whitney on April 25 competed in Montpelier against other statewide club honorees for the honor of Vermont Youth of the year.
Although Whitney lost out to Burlington Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year Kabura Onesime for the state honor, Vergennes club officials said Whitney, an 18-year-old Vergennes Union High School senior, richly deserved his local honor.
This week’s writer is William Sayre of Bristol, an economist formerly with the Federal Reserve and a commentator on Ethan Allen Institute’s Common Sense Radio, broadcasting from WDEV radio in Waterbury.
ADDISON COUNTY AND BRANDON — On May 7 the Vermont State Police Special Investigation Unit out of Rutland arrested Joseph N. Shackett Jr., 48, of Brandon and charged him with aggravated sexual assault.
The 12-year-old victim reported that during a sleepover in April Shackett sexually assaulted her. Shackett is known to the victim. Shackett is scheduled to answer the charge in Rutland District Court on June 17.
Aggravated sexual assault holds a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.