Weak loonie cuts into Canadian travel and maple syrup prices

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

The increasingly weak Canadian dollar is affecting both U.S. business along the border and the price of maple syrup.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Canadian dollar’s value fluctuated right around $1 American. Since then, its value has steadily dropped, reaching a low point on January 20 of about 68 cents U.S., according to tradingeconomics.com.

Apparently, the Canadian dollar is tied to the price of oil because Canada exports a lot of it. Given that the price of oil is low, so is the loonie.

The Fédération des Producteurs Acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) sets syrup prices in Canadian dollars, so when the loonie’s value goes down in American dollars, so does the price of syrup.

Quebec sugarmakers provide maple syrup for over 70 percent of the global market, the FPAQ website says.

Because there are so many of them, the price set for their product becomes the base price for… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Clerk foils armed robbery

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

GREENSBORO BEND — Police say Joshua L. Chase-Renault walked into Smith’s Store in Greensboro Bend on the evening of February 8 carrying a knife and intending to rob the place.

But Mr. Chase-Renault left the store in a hurry when the clerk pulled out a handgun, said Hardwick Police Detective Kevin Lehoe.

Not only was the clerk armed, but also Hardwick Sergeant Michael Glodgett was watching the store from the parking lot of a sawmill across the street. When he saw a man run out of the store and jump into a car he followed, but gave up the chase after losing him on Stannard Mountain Road.… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Holland: School budget is down, tax rate is up

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

HOLLAND — The Holland School Board has crafted a budget for the town’s elementary school that reduces spending by nearly $80,000 compared to last year. Working with a very sharp pencil, they reduced the elementary school’s budget from the $1.02-million voters approved last year to about $963,000.

As a result, the portion of the town’s education rate assigned to the elementary school will be down by a smidgen more than one cent per hundred dollars of assessed value.

Overall, though, Holland’s education tax rate is likely to rise by 17 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value. The steep increase is due to a couple of factors… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Outage created plenty of work for plumbers

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copyright the Chronicle February 17, 2016

by Tena Starr

It was a perfect trifecta of bad luck – the coldest day of the year by far, not enough snow to insulate foundations, and an outage that left roughly 1,500 Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) members without power for about 12 hours Sunday.  Barton and Orleans electric customers were out as well.

A day later, or a day earlier, and it might have been a different story.  But by Sunday afternoon… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Sugaring is off to a very early start

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Ted Young of West Glover has been sugaring for at least 43 years.  He has already boiled his first batch of syrup this year, the earliest he remembers doing so.  Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Ted Young of West Glover has been sugaring for at least 43 years. He has already boiled his first batch of syrup this year, the earliest he remembers doing so. Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle February 10, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Temperatures 15 to 20 degrees higher than normal have led to an unusually early start to the sugaring season this year. Sugarmakers who tapped early enough have already made syrup and say it’s the earliest they have ever boiled.

Ted and Rebecca Young of West Glover made 50 gallons of light syrup on Friday. Ted Young has been sugaring for at least 43 years.

“I’ve only ever boiled once in February,” he said. “In the old days, we wouldn’t have had the trees tapped anyways.”

It takes warm days and below freezing nights to get the sap running in maple trees, and that’s exactly what happened during the last week of January and in early February.

“We’re seeing more temperatures indicative of late March, early April,” said meteorologist Brooke Taber of the National Weather Service. “It’s been crazy.”

On average, temperatures have been… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Sanders, Clinton speak at Democratic Party fund-raiser

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Supporters of Senator Sanders engage in a friendly competition with their rivals across the arena.  Each group tried to better the level of enthusiasm shown by partisans of the opposing candidate.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Supporters of Senator Sanders engage in a friendly competition with their rivals across the arena. Each group tried to better the level of enthusiasm shown by partisans of the opposing candidate. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle February 10, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The New Hampshire Democratic Party took advantage of the fact that it’s a presidential election year and booked both national candidates to speak at the party’s big annual fund-raising event.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders never shared the stage Friday, but they did draw a big crowd on a wintery day.

Hosting the first Primary in the nation, which a former Democratic Party chair told the crowd was “the way God meant it to be,” gets Vermont’s neighbor a lot of attention from presidential candidates, who make repeated visits to the state.

Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders have each held more than 80 events in New Hampshire since the campaign began.

Friday evening both were booked to appear… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Allegations against Smith are dropped

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Ms. Smith brings Don Nelson to the podium to discuss his concerns about wind power. Mr. Nelson is bound by a gag order imposed when he sold his farm to Green Mountain Power, and declined to speak. Photo by Joseph Gresser

Ms. Smith brings Don Nelson to the podium to discuss his concerns about wind power. Mr. Nelson is bound by a gag order imposed when he sold his farm to Green Mountain Power, and declined to speak. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle February 10, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

MONTPELIER — The 80 or so supporters of Annette Smith who filled the Cedar Creek Room at the State House here Monday arrived spoiling for a fight.

Their emotion changed from anger to jubilation when Ms. Smith’s lawyer, David Sleigh, announced that the state Attorney General’s office had found no merit to allegations that she has been practicing law without a license.

Ms. Smith, who heads Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), has worked with a number of individuals and towns opposing big wind and solar projects, including some in Orleans County. Although she does not speak on their behalf in proceedings before the Public Service Board (PSB), she does provide advice on the process, and she helps with documents and… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Who does, and who doesn’t, support Bernie?

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copyright the Chronicle February 3, 2016

For decades, Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a democrat socialist, has been a top vote getter in Orleans County, one of the more conservative counties in Vermont.  Through random phone calls and man-on-the-street interviews, the Chronicle set out to find out who supports Senator Sanders, and who doesn’t, and why.

by staff

For a dozen years or so, Dexter Randall, now a retired dairy farmer, regularly hosted a pig roast for Bernie Sanders at his farm in Troy.

Before that, the event occurred at Bob Judd’s dairy farm.  Mr. Randall took it over after Mr. Judd died.
“I used to go to those dinners that the Judd family had, and then when…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Select board races in several towns

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copyright the Chronicle February 3, 2016

There will be contested races for selectmen in Derby and Brighton.  The big news, though, is that the four towns that choose officers by Australian ballot will have candidates for all major offices.

In Barton, which has two open seats on the board of selectmen, Elizabeth McCartney will stand to replace Jim Greenwood, who decided…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Community mourns Creative Minds closure

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copyright the Chronicle February 3, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

NEWPORT – Shortcomings in both early childhood education policy and funding have made it impossible for Creative Minds Children’s Center in Newport Center to stay open, founder and owner Jody Marquis told the community Monday night at a meeting at the North Country Career Center.

The Newport Center childcare provider will close its doors on February 26, following several years of struggling to make ends meet.  Nearly 50 children were attending when the decision to close was made.

“It’s a very emotional day…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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