July 1st, 2013
I’m excited about the “Plan forged for new Middlebury offices” described in the June 13 edition of the Addison Independent. I’ve devoted my professional career to encouraging and assisting communities all around the country to proactively steer their futures. There are far too many examples of communities losing their character and their economic vibrancy to incremental, uncoordinated growth driven by short-term economic opportunity and huge corporate domination.
ADDISON COUNTY — In a March 27 email before the start of this spring season, Otter Valley Union High School baseball coach Tim Mitchell asked, “Too early to feel the excitement in the air?”
Well, no, turns out it wasn’t.
LEICESTER — A fish die-off in Fern Lake earlier this month has gotten some publicity thanks to one resident’s theory that mosquito pesticide is to blame, but there is no proof of that, yet.
State and local agriculture, fish and wildlife, and mosquito control officials believe the June 4 die-off of several different species of fish in Fern Lake was caused by unusually warm spring weather.
ST. ALBANS — Late last week the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the U.S. Farm Bill, 234-195, thereby setting up the potential for devastating effects on the dairy industry and local farmers.
The rejection came after last-minute amendments made further changes to nutrition programs for the poor and removed the dairy price stabilization programs from the bill.
MIDDLEBURY — Throughout the year, seasonal tourists flock to Vermont to camp in the Green Mountains, peep at the foliage or hit the slopes. Tourism is a significant industry in the state, with visitors spending $1.7 billion annually and supporting 12 percent of all Vermont jobs, according to the most recent report by the Vermont Tourism Data Center at UVM Extension.
NEW HAVEN — The Vermont Attorney General’s office reported last week that the state has received $2 million for cleanup of a contaminated gas station located in New Haven. The recovery resulted from a lawsuit brought by Attorney Gen. William Sorrell to recover payments that were made from the Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund (PCF) at the site and the future costs of cleanup from spills at the New Haven Mobil more than a decade ago.
VERGENNES — In considering their 2013-2014 municipal budget on Tuesday, the Vergennes city council gave special attention to two organizations — the Vergennes Partnership and the Vergennes Opera House.
Aldermen included $7,500 for the Vergennes Partnership despite a last-minute plea from partnership executive director Tara Brooks for $15,000 of support, which she said would allow the organization to retain at least a 20-hour position.