March 11th, 2010
MONKTON — Monkton officials gunning for the construction of a new town hall and community center are regrouping after Monkton voters on Town Meeting Day narrowly defeated a $1.4 million bond to fund the proposed municipal building.
Voters defeated a proposed bond, 226 to 193.
Though the proposed bond did not win voters’ approval, chair of the Municipal Building Committee John Phillips said the committee was actually encouraged by the outcome of the vote.
“Given the economic situation, it was pretty close,” said Phillips, who also sits on the town selectboard.
The shrill cry cut like a knife through the searing Costa Rican air that had been doing a lethargic tango with the sounds of crashing surf, clinking glasses and Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” crackling through a primitive boom-box.
It was a jarring wake-up call from a pool-side seat last month during a family vacation to the warmer climes of Central America. Our family tries to join the snowbirds for a week each February to recharge the batteries. A little fun in the sun, some family togetherness and some memories to last a lifetime.
MIDDLEBURY — A Middlebury College alum-turned-opera-star returns to the town of his alma mater this weekend for a recital that will showcase the music of Henry Duparc, Leonard Bernstein and various other arias, while supporting a community opera company.
Not sure whether spring has arrived? Just ask a turkey. Judging from the way ours are acting, it’s been spring for weeks.
Mingling among our dozen or so free-range chickens, we have eight Slates and Bourbon Reds, two breeds of heritage turkeys. These old-fashioned breeds of turkey are heavier and tamer than the wild turkey and smarter than the genetically “improved” supermarket turkey, which in terms of adaptive intelligence ranks just above a cinder block. They let us know loud and clear when mating season — what we more politely refer to as “spring” — has arrived.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury planning office has approved two substantial new storage buildings in town, one that will house steel fabrication activities at J.P. Carrara & Sons, the other to provide storage for maintenance equipment at the Middlebury State Airport.
Plans call for J.P. Carrara & Sons to erect a 17,000-square-foot, pre-cast concrete building on its property off Case Street. The building will become the company’s hub for rebar fabrication, the centerpiece of which will be a recently acquired new automatic rebar bending machine.
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While the snow cover is much improved from my last posting, the gorgeous spring-like weather could bring the ski season to an early close, so I had to get out over the weekend and enjoy the deep, but increasingly slushy snow. You will also notice something very different about this post. As a rule of thumb, I am usually a purist in that I earn my descents by putting out the effort to gain altitude first. But today, I felt that a lobster analogy was quite appropriate.
VERGENNES — Seniors in Vergennes got some good news Friday when the Vermont Community Development Program awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to the city for the long-planned and long-awaited senior housing center off Monkton Road.
That grant, officially announced by Gov. Jim Douglas at Vergennes American Legion Post 14 on Friday, provides one of the final two pieces of the financial puzzle for the fully permitted 25-unit, $5.8 million facility.
ADDISON COUNTY — For most local maple syrup makers, each sugaring season is marked by something new. Prices fluctuate. Mother Nature is unpredictable. And now and then, there’s an advancement in the field of sugaring — like the “check valves” that many sugarmakers are using this year for the first time to increase production (see story, Page 18) — that changes the business of sugarmaking just enough to get everyone talking.