Thursday, April 24, 2014

WVTK Local & State News April 24, 2014

Next Tuesday, the Middlebury Selectboard will be holding an informational meeting on the Phase II Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project. The meeting will focus on the proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline from Middlebury through Cornwall and Shoreham and under Lake Champlain to the International Paper Co. in Ticonderoga. Selectboard members say the meeting is intended to give Middlebury landowners along the proposed pipeline route, as well as Middlebury residents in general, a chance to hear updated information about the project and ask questions and express concerns.

Governor Peter Shumlin says he will sign into law a bill requiring labels on food with Genetically Modified Organisms, or G-M-O's. Yesterday the House did what the Senate had already done by passing the bill likely to make Vermont the first state with a labeling requirement for G-M-O's. The bill includes setting up a legal defense fund as the attorney general expects the state to be slapped with a lawsuit or two by food manufacturers.

The Vermont House is slated to take a final vote on passage of a measure calling for a study of potential tax revenues and other impacts from legalizing marijuana. That provision was added to a bill yesterday calling for adjustments to an existing state law allowing some sick Vermonters to use marijuana for relief of their symptoms. Some lawmakers criticized the measure saying it would give the public a clear sign that Vermont was on the road to legalization. Supporters say it is just about gathering information.

Attention bird watchers. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wants you to give nesting bald eagles some space. Nests are being found mostly along the Connecticut River and surrounding waterways after the magnificent birds have been absent from the state for decades. They're slowly making a comeback in Vermont, and this is considered a very crucial time of year with eggs incubating or some even hatching. So, people are the last things the birds want to find around their nests. Wildlife authorities say use a good spotting scope or binoculars to watch the eagles from about 300 feet away.

Vermont officials are advising motorists to avoid moose on the highway. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says drivers need to be alert and cautious because moose are on the move this time of year, especially after dark and early in the morning. Last year, motorists hit 75 moose on Vermont roadways.