A 75-mile wheelchair odyssey for justice

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copyright the Chronicle August 10, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

 JEFFERSONVILLE — A week or so ago, Danny Perry of Newport Center felt a sudden calling to take a trip. Not just any trip, but a 75-mile journey from Newport to Burlington in his wheelchair — and sometimes on his hands and knees — to speak out about injustice and inequality.

He didn’t plan, he didn’t pack. But two days later he crawled the first mile out of Newport Center, then hauled himself up into his hand-propelled chair and began to wheel himself along Route 105.

By Tuesday, he’d traveled Route 100 to Route 100C in Johnson, and then west on Route 15 as far as Cambridge.

On Saturday, August 13 — his thirty-fifth birthday — he will crawl the last mile up Church Street to Burlington City Hall on his hands and knees.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Electric vehicle charging station in Derby Line

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copyright the Chronicle August 10, 2016

by Jef Barker

The first publicly available charger in Orleans County is now operational thanks to the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition, the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line, and Derby Line Village. The charger is at the church at 112 Main Street in Derby Line.

The Vermont Clean Cities Coalition offers incentive programs to help bring electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the state.

One such program provides a Clipper Creek level-2, single-port charging station to Vermont businesses with at least ten employees, free of charge.

On August 2, the Derby Line Village Trustees agreed to support an application for one of the free charging stations, spearheaded by Barton resident Ed Helm…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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More named Renaissance Corp. director

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — It was July 28, Cynthia More’s first day on the job as executive director of the Newport City Renaissance Corporation (NCRC), and she didn’t have the key to her office.

Fortunately, Rick Woodward, the owner of the old Montgomery Ward building on Main Street and NCRC’s landlord, saw Ms. More’s predicament as she stood at the door and let her use his key.

Ms. More went in, followed by her husband, Gene McCormick, and a visitor, and she tried the desk chair out for size and looked around at the room’s bare walls.

By Tuesday the office was transformed. Ms. More had found banners trumpeting Newport’s marketing slogans and hung them on the walls. Swag, including Newport tote bags, medallions, and other NCRC branded items were out of storage and on display. Ms. More looked as if she had been on the job for years.

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Storm chasing — sometimes you win, sometimes you lose

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Steve Maleski

May 25, mid-afternoon, and we are east of Newton, Kansas, in the middle of a slim wedge of very unstable air extruded northward from a reservoir of moist, hot tropical air resident over east Texas and eastern Oklahoma. The tip of the wedge is near Manhattan, Kansas, about 100 miles farther north. A weak outflow boundary left by thunderstorms the previous day is in the vicinity; farther north is a warm front. Both boundaries will provide lift and low-level turning of the wind field that will be adequate to support supercells. The bigger question is: Which boundary should we focus on?

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Galbraith says he would put an end to big wind

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BARTON — Former state Senator Peter Galbraith, who hails from Townsend, visited the Northeast Kingdom on July 27. He was on a campaign swing to promote his bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor in the Primary on August 9.

Mr. Galbraith showed up at the Chronicle with a piece of strategic advice for those who dislike large-scale wind development.

“If you are opposed to industrial wind, you should vote for me in the Democratic Primary,” he said.

He explained his reasoning by noting that both Republican candidates favor a ban on industrial wind development.

Should he gain the nomination, he said, voters would be assured that wind development would stop regardless of which party wins in November.

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Does school district consolidation save money?

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Tena Starr

Last month, voters in the Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OCSU) rejected a plan to consolidate into a single big school district. When they did, they also threw away the carrots that went with early consolidation, a surprising move for taxpayers who have been complaining about the increasing cost of education, and the corresponding hikes in property taxes. Only Barton voted in favor of the consolidation plan.

Act 46, the law that urges districts to consolidate, was initially touted as a measure to provide the property tax relief that people were clamoring for. It has since been somewhat recast as a way to improve, or at least equalize, educational opportunities.

But does consolidation do either one? It turns out that question has been the subject of considerable research, by scholars, journalists, and educators. And the optimistic answer, the one that puts consolidation in the best light possible, is maybe.

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Holland citizens continue to oppose Dairy Air Wind

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copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016

 

by Elizabeth Trail

At the Holland Select Board meeting on July 18, a recently formed group called Citizens for Responsible Energy in Holland (CREH) presented a petition signed by 52 citizens, asking the select board to do everything possible to oppose the proposed Dairy Air Wind project, and big wind turbines in general, in Holland.

The president of CREH, John Wagner, also gave the select board a letter that laid out the group’s position in more detail.

CREH is adding its voice to a lively debate that has been ongoing in Holland since May, when farmers Kim and Brian Champney announced that they are looking into putting up a 2.2-megawatt wind turbine on their farm. …To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Vermont lawyer helps free Gitmo detainee

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copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Abu Zahir was cleared to return to his country on July 11, exactly 14 years after he was arrested by U.S. forces at his home in Afghanistan. For most of that time Mr. Zahir was held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while a pair of Vermont lawyers worked on his behalf.

One of the two, David Sleigh of St. Johnsbury, said Monday that Mr. Zahir was “recommended for transfer without reservation.” Mr. Sleigh said that means he will not be under supervision on his return to Afghanistan.

In its “unclassified summary of final determination,” his periodic review board noted Mr. Zahir’s “limited role in Taliban structure and activities, and the assessment that [he] was probably misidentified as the individual who had ties to al-Qaeda weapons facilitation” as some of its reasons for allowing his release.

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Flowering parsnips can be hazardous to your health

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copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016 

by Jef Barker

Beware of those yellow roadside flowers that look like Queen Anne’s lace — the sap they produce can burn your skin.

Flowering parsnips pose a little known danger — they didn’t even get a cameo on last Friday’s Jeopardy, which included a poisonous plants category.

In the Northeast Kingdom, however, people are urged to stay clear of this potentially dangerous plant, which grows wild along roadsides and other unmaintained areas, according to the Vermont Department of Health website.

“Wild parsnips produce a sap, or plant juice, that can cause burns to the skin in the presence of sunlight,” the web page warns.

However, simply brushing up against a wild parsnip plant won’t normally cause a reaction. …To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Farmers suffer from steep drop in milk prices

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copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

A steep drop in milk prices over the past year or so is hurting farmers, and the insurance program intended to help them has not done its job. That’s the bad news from Leon Berthiaume, general manager of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery.

He was quick to add happier tidings, such as the switch by consumers from skim and reduced fat back to whole milk, and continued high demand for butter. But his overall message was one of low prices and difficult margins into next year.

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