Monday, January 7, 2013

WVTK Local & State News January 7, 2013

The Middlebury Select Board will be holding it’s regular meeting this evening at 7 in the Main Conference Room of the Town Offices.  Items on the agenda for this meeting include the signature authorization of Closing Documents for the Purchase of 38.3 acres of Conservation Land off Washington Street Extension, adjacent to Chipman Hill.  Various Committee Reports will also be heard and a FY14 Budget update that will review and revise the Budget Proposal & Prepare for a Public Hearing on the Budget Proposal set for January 22nd.  For a look at the complete agenda just visit the Town Of Middlebury’sWebsite.

A reminder that you are invited to join the Addison County Chamber Of Commerce tonight for the presentation, "Embezzlement, Fraud & Theft: It Can (and does) Happen Here." Holden Insurance is presenting the meeting and speaker.  Don’t think you can be duped? Do you have all the right checks and balances in place? Embezzlement has happened in our own backyard.  Join the Chamber to hear Tom Hughes—a one-time banker, accountant, business manager, and small business CFO.  Tom will talk about some of the things he’s learned.  Everyone is welcome!  The presentation will take place from 6:00 – 7:30 this evening in the Ilsley Library Community Room.  Please RSVP to or 388-7951 x2.

On Wednesday the Vermont Agency of Transportation will be holding an Open Forum and Public Hearing regarding the Middlebury State Airport Runway Reconstruction and Safety Area Improvements.  The Open Forum begins at 6 PM and provides an opportunity for interested parties to ask questions of VTrans representatives specific to their property.  The Public hearing begins at 6:30 PM so VTrans can receive comments and suggestions for changes from interested persons. Project plans are available for review in the Middlebury Town Clerk's Office.

Coming up tomorrow at the Sheldon Museum art teacher Sarah Flinn and 5th and 6th grade teacher Catharine Canavan from Weybridge Elementary School will present a talk on their collaborative student project detailing the history and development of the town of Weybridge.  The exhibit was inspired by the 250th anniversary celebrations for the town of Weybridge and the Henry Sheldon Museum outreach program Maps to the Past. The exhibit is currently on display at the Henry Sheldon Museum through January 12th.  Bring a brown bag lunch at Noon and beverages and dessert will be provided. Museum members may visit free, others pay a minimum donation of $2.  For information call 388-2117 or visit

The “Ski Bum League” ski race series at the Snow Bowl starts this Friday. The league is a recreational series and all levels of skiers are encouraged to participate. There are 10 races scheduled on Fridays from 1:30 to 3:00 PM through March. An après ski gathering follows each race. You can form a team of at least 3 people or be placed on an existing team. Join the fun! Contact for more information.

The founder of the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance has left the organization.  Alex Levitch has resigned from the executive board of directors.  Alex said he resigned because he no longer had the time to devote to the alliance. He is owner of Adirondack Camp in Putnam.  The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance is a not-for-profit, local development corporation whose mission is to restore economic prosperity in the Ticonderoga region. Its goal is to serve as a clearinghouse for ideas and resources and be a catalyst for public-private partnerships and investment opportunities.  Alex emphasized he feels strongly about the future of the alliance.

A school-board veteran has filled a post left vacant by resignation from the Essex Town Council.  The council appointed Bryan Garvey to fill the last year of James LaForest’s term as councilor.  He will complete that unexpired period, which ends December 31st of this year.  The post will be on the November general election ballot.  Essex Town Supervisor Sharon Boisen said there were five applicants for the council position, and the board felt Garvey is community-spirited and will do a good job.

The Westport Central School Board will hold a budget session and regular meeting at 5:30 PM tomorrow in the library of the school.  Topics for discussion include the budget and policy review. There will also be a presentation on the ‘Dignity for all Students’ Act.  The meeting is open to the public.

The Willsboro Central School Board will meet at 6 PM tomorrow in the conference room of the school.  Agenda items include business and finance reports and personnel discussions.  The meeting is open to all.

The Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Board will meet at 6 PM this Wednesday in the conference room of the school.  Items on the agenda include public recognition of faculty and staff members for supporting community members during the holidays, recognition of the Adirondack Youth Climate Board and a presentation of the E-L-C-S Green Team.  The meeting is open to the public.

Rutland City Police are investigating a robbery and an attempted robbery at two convenience stores Friday night, possibly involving the same suspect.  In both cases, police said, the man did not show a weapon but “had his hand in his pocket like he had one.”  Police first received a call at 9:15 PM from employees at the Jiffy Mart at 98 State Street.   Jiffy Mart workers told police the man got into a “dark-colored, sporty-looking car with white plates” and a spoiler on the trunk, and drove north on Pine Street.   About 25 minutes later, police received a call from Mac’s Market at 145 North Main Street. Mac’s employees said the man had a blue bandana covering his face and was wearing a blue baseball cap, a black sweatshirt with a hood, a blue “polo” shirt over a white T-shirt and baggy pants. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call Rutland City Police at 802-773-1816.

Vermont police have made an arrest in three armed robberies in Chittenden County in which the suspect used a long-barreled handgun.  Police say 29-year-old Jason A. Peet is accused of robbing the Simons Store in South Burlington, and the Champlain Farms and Maplefields stores in Colchester on November 25.  Authorities say Peet allegedly pulled the trigger on the handgun multiple times in the Champlain Farms at the intersection of Route 2a and Route 7 in Colchester, but the weapon did not fire.   Police say Pete, who is currently jailed in another matter, is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday on charges of attempted murder, and assault and robbery and attempted assault and robbery.

A plan that could replace the Vermont Air National Guard's aging fighter planes is running into fierce opposition from people who feel the new plane, the F-35, is just too loud.  The South Burlington airport is the Air Force's "preferred alternative" as the Air National Guard base to host the first batch of F-35s that would be ready for use in combat. Plans call for different versions of the F-35, the nation's newest fighter plane, to be used by the Air Force, Navy and Marines. In many locations where the Department of Defense has considered basing or flying the planes - from San Diego to Maine - there have been noise concerns.

Vermont lawmakers convening in Montpelier this week will be hearing from a range of activists joining in what they're calling a 'Put People First' movement. Leaders of several organizations say they'll gather at noon on Wednesday to push an agenda including affordable health care access for all, accessible transportation, a healthy environment and inclusion of people with disabilities. Organizers say they expect hundreds of people to attend the rally and will deliver thousands of postcards to lawmakers demanding that their agenda be attended to.

A Washington-based group of people with Vermont ties will be celebrating President Barack Obama's second inaugural in two weeks. Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy is urging that Vermonters in the Washington area consider attending the group's inauguration part on Sunday evening, January 20. Washington area residents who have a strong affinity for Vermont founded the Vermont State Society in 2008. Leahy says he went to its inaugural association in 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A 60-year-old skier who got lost after going off the trail at Vermont's Bolton Valley has been found and is in good condition. Police said that Michael Krasnow of Charlotte was located Friday night after ski patrols, mountain rescue crews from Stowe and Waterbury and state police searched for him. Michael had called the Bolton Valley Ski area on his cell phone Friday afternoon and said he skied out of bounds and got lost in the woods.

The annual Vermont Farm Show is returning to the Champlain Valley Fair Grounds.  It will be the second year that the show will be at the fairgrounds after moving from the Barre Civic Center, which hosted it for years. It's being held from Jan. 29-31.  Organizers say the new site is more spacious and provides a better experience for guests.  The Farm Show is opportunity to meet vendors, see agricultural products, machinery and farm animals, and attend trade association meetings. This year includes a Buy Local Market, with foods and products from Vermont farms. There also will be a "Capital Cook-off," in which teams from the Vermont House of Representatives, Senate, and Agency of Agriculture will have 90 minutes to create a dish using Vermont products.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says new state power to limit rate hikes will save New Yorkers more than $500 million on health insurance premiums in 2013.  Cuomo announced yesterday that health insurers requested average increases of about 12.4%, but the state Department of Financial Services cut the average increase to 7.5%.  The rate actions under a 2-year-old law affect health insurance policies covering about 2.3 million New Yorkers, mostly in small groups, plus people covered by large group HMOs, individual direct-pay plans and Medicare Supplement policies.

New York’s 5-year plan for fighting cancer targets smoking, poor nutrition and obesity to limit the disease that is now diagnosed in more than 100,000 New Yorkers annually.  Among the state's 19 million residents are nearly 1 million cancer survivors. The plan also calls for tracking their quality of life and ensuring appropriate follow-up care including ongoing screenings.  Cancer kills about 35,000 people in New York each year.  The report from a group of providers and organizations, including the state Health Department and the American Cancer Society, lists a series of measurable goals for early detection, treatment and public outreach.

New York State has taken ownership of the Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the Adirondacks.  The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports the deal to buy the 18,294 acres from The Nature Conservancy for almost $12.4 million closed on December 21st.  The purchase is the first in a 5-year program of buying 69,000 acres timberlands for a total of $48 million.  The land is in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb and includes 11 lakes and ponds, nearly 15 miles of Hudson River shoreline and 8.5 miles on the Cedar River shoreline.  There won't be public access to most of the property until the fall, when two hunting club leases on a total of 11,600 acres expires.

The new Vermont State Legislative session kicks off this week.  Activities begin Wednesday with both the House and Senate convening, electing top officers along with the House clerk and Senate secretary.  On Thursday, Governor Peter Shumlin and other statewide elected officials are sworn in before a joint assembly.  Issues likely to come before lawmakers this session are dealing with the projected shortfall of 50 to 70 million dollars, doctor-assisted suicides, and decriminalizing marijuana.

Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his third State of the State address on Wednesday.  The governor is expected to call for stronger gun control laws during his address, fueled by the school shootings in Connecticut last month.  Cuomo is also expected to call for an increase in the state minimum wage, and for more assistance to victims of Storm Sandy.  Cuomo's address will take place Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.

The UPS Store in Rutland will host the next Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce mixer from 5 to 7 PM tomorrow. The UPS Store is located at 31 North Main St. in the CVS Plaza. The mixer will feature hors d’oeuvres, networking and door prizes including a print by Peter Huntoon. For more information contact the Rutland Chamber, call 773-2747.

PEGTV recently broke ground for a new 1,500-square-foot addition to its headquarters in building 24 at Howe Center in Rutland.  The addition will provide for new office space, storage and a garage for the PEGTV van, according to a press release.   PEGTV signed a new 10-year lease on the soon-to-be expanded facility. PEGTV is comprised of channel 15, for public programming, channel 20, for education programming, and channel 21, for government programming, and is available to all cable subscribers throughout Rutland County.  Visit them online at

President Obama signed a piece of legislation into law this week that will protect the families of thousands of emergency medical technicians across the country.  But it was in honor of one Vermont man that this bill finally got the push it needed to become law.  At a snow-covered memorial in Pittsford you can read the names of Vermont emergency responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. Including Dale Long.  "We did transport him to the hospital and make all attempts to recessitate him but couldn't," Vermont Ambulance Association Treasurer Bill Hathaway said.  Hathaway was director of Bennington EMS, where Dale was an EMT, when Long was in an ambulance crash in 2009 that killed him. At the time there was no federal program to compensate the families of non-profit EMS responders  "Two o'clock in the morning you get a page to go out on a call and your spouse, wife, husband whomever. You don't know if they're coming back," Hathaway said.  But now there's the Dale Long Act, which provided more than $320,000 to the families of non-profit EMS responders who lose their lives in the field.  It wasn't easy getting the piece of legislation bearing Dale's name to pass in Washington. But one of Vermont's senator's had met Dale before he died in 2009 and was willing to go to any length to make sure the bill bearing Dale's name passed.  "I gave senator Leahy a call and I said senator this lends a face to the law," Hathaway said.  "Dale would be so humbled by all this he might even be embarrassed," Rich Long, Dale's brother, said.  But there's no doubt Dale would be proud of his brother. Both Rich and his wife joined Colchester Rescue after Dale's death.  "I love my brother and I miss him very much but I can't have him back. But what we can do is pay forward some of the good work he was doing," Rich Long said.  And now a law bearing his brother's name will help pay back those who suffer the loss of someone who lived to serve.  "This has a tremendous impact on not just Vermonters but all states where they have volunteers in action doing volunteer EMT’s work," Rich Long said.  In Vermont it will help cover the lives of 1200 Vermont Emit’s and paramedics.